John Calvin was a prominent theologian and religious reformer of the 16th century who played a key role in shaping Protestant theology. Central to Calvin’s theology was his view of the Bible as the ultimate authority for Christian doctrine and practice. In this blog post, we will explore Calvin’s view of the Bible, and examine how his ideas continue to shape modern Christian thought.

For Calvin, the Bible was more than just a collection of religious texts - it was the very foundation of Christian faith. As he writes in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, “all the principles of the Christian religion…are comprehended in the Holy Scriptures.” For Calvin, the Bible was the source of all knowledge of God, and the only true guide to Christian doctrine.

Calvin believed that the Bible was not only inspired by God, but that it was also infallible and inerrant. He wrote, “we owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God, because it has proceeded from Him alone.” For Calvin, the Bible was not just a historical document, but a living word of God that spoke to believers in all times and places.

Calvin also believed that the Bible should be read and interpreted in a particular way. He argued that the Bible was its own interpreter, and that it should be read in light of its own teachings. He writes, “It is a fundamental principle in interpreting Scripture that Scripture is its own interpreter.” This meant that the Bible should be read in context, with an eye to its historical and cultural background, but always with a focus on its central message of salvation through Christ.

Another key aspect of Calvin’s view of the Bible was his emphasis on the importance of preaching. For Calvin, preaching was a crucial means by which the Bible was communicated to believers. He believed that the preaching of the Word was a vital part of worship, and that it was through the preaching of the Word that believers were nourished and strengthened in their faith.

In conclusion, John Calvin’s view of the Bible has had a profound impact on Christian theology and practice. His emphasis on the authority of Scripture, its infallibility and inerrancy, and the importance of preaching has shaped the way that many Christians understand and engage with the Bible. As Calvin himself wrote, “The Word of God is the sole standard of all truth…and it is the only light which can dispel the darkness of ignorance and error.”