John Calvin on the Catholic Epistles

John Calvin, author of Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles
John Calvin [1509-1564]
John Calvin’s commentaries on the 1 John, 1 & 2 Peter, James and Jude are now available for free download in PDF:

John Calvin (John Owen translator), Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1855. Hbk. pp.488.

Commentaries on the First Epistle of Peter

The Argument

The design of Peter in this Epistle is to exhort the faithful to a denial of the world and a contempt of it, so that being freed from carnal affections and all earthly hindrances, they might with their whole soul aspire after the celestial kingdom of Christ, that being elevated by hope, supported by patience, and fortified by courage and perseverance, they might overcome all kinds of temptations, and pursue this course and practice throughout life.

Hence at the very beginning he proclaims in express words the grace of God made known to us in Christ; and at the same time he adds, that it is received by faith and possessed by hope, so that the godly might raise up their minds and hearts above the world. Hence he exhorts them to holiness, lest they should render void the price by which they were redeemed, and lest they should suffer the incorruptible seed of the Word, by which they had: been regenerated into eternal life, to be destroyed or to die. And as he had said, that they had been born again by God’s Word, he makes mention of their spiritual infancy. Moreover, that their faith might not vacillate or stagger, because they saw that Christ was despised and rejected almost by the whole world, he reminds them that this was only the fulfilment of what had been written of him, that he would be the stone of stumbling. But he further teaches them that he would be a firm foundation to those who believe in him. Hence he again refers to the great honour to which God had raised them, that they might be animated by the contemplation of their former state, and by the perception of their present benefits, to devote themselves to a godly life.

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Pastoral Epistles Commentary by Simpson

Simpson's Commentary on the Pastoral EpistlesThe following Pastoral Epistles commentary is now available for free download in PDF:

E.K. Simpson, M.A., The Pastoral Epistles. The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary. London: The Tyndale Press, 1954. Hbk. pp.174.

Due Diligence

This book is still in copyright. I have attempted the following to locate the current copyright holder:

1) Contacted the publisher of the book – no record of current copyright holder.
2) Contacted American publisher of another book by the same author – records out-of-date.
3) Wrote to author’s former College – no reply.
4) Wrote to author’s former church – no reply.
5) Posted a resquest for contact information on-line – no response.
6) Have had other works by this author online for several years and have had no contact from copyright holder.

As these searches have failed, I am posting the book and inviting the copyright holder to get in touch with me.

Pastoral Epistles Commentary

Introduction

I. The Author

The spell cast by Saul of Tarsus over minds of any moral earnestness admits of no question. Unlike his namesake, the first king of Israel, he was shortish of stature. Chrysostom styles him ho tripechus anthropos, and Augustine, playing on his Roman cognomen, paullum modicum quid; but the extent of the shadow he has spread over posterity bears witness to the hulk of his spiritual build. Indeed, his most ardent admirers do not pay him more signal homage in this respect than those detractors from his just fame who ascribe to his influence an age-long perversion of primitive Christianity so entire as to set him at cross purposes with his Master. Such a man’s career throbs with interest to all serious thinkers.

That career, as we all know, bisects itself into two wholly discrepant halves. To explain how the hunting leopard of Pharisaism came to he transformed into one of the Good Shepherd’s most docile lambs has always baffled sceptical ingenuity. The change of front is so utter, and pregnant with such far-reaching issues, that it positively demands the supernatural cause which he himself assigns for it to render the phenomenon intelligible.

But our theme restricts us to those closing days of this marvellous biography about which, strange to say, we know less than about the rest. Whatever he the verdict we pass on the Pastoral Epistles, it cannot be denied that they form a group by themselves, detached from the residue of Paul’s writings and attached to one another by links of their own. Some of the older commentators, in common with Wieseler, a German theologian of the last century, have sought to isolate Titus and the first Epistle to Timothy from its twin brother, and affix on them a date prior to what are known as the ‘Prison Epistles’. They seem to have thought that on any other supposition the apparent references to a revisit of Paul to Ephesus clashed with his declaration in Acts xx to the elders at Miletus that they should ‘see his face no more’. But there are two or three ways of parrying this over-hasty conclusion.

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John Calvin on the Pastorals and Philemon

John Calvin, author of Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles and Philemon
John Calvin [1509-1564]
The following commentaries by John Calvin are now available on-line in PDF:

John Calvin, (Translated from the Original Latin by the Rev. William Pringle). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1856. Hbk. pp.398.

John Calvin’s Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles and Philemon

The Argument of the First Epistle of Timothy

This Epistle appears to me to have been written more for the sake of others than for the sake of Timothy, and that opinion will receive the assent of those who shall carefully consider the whole matter. I do not, indeed, deny that Paul intended also to teach and admonish him but my view of the Epistle is, that it contains many things which it would have been superfluous to write, if he had had to deal with Timothy alone. He was a young man, not yet clothed with that authority which would have been, sufficient for restraining the headstrong men that rose up against him. It is manifest, from the words used by Paul, that there were at that time some who were prodigiously inclined o ostentation, and for that reason would not willingly yield to any person, and who likewise burned with such ardent ambition, that they would never have ceased to disturb the Church, had not a greater than Timothy interposed. It is likewise manifest, that there were many things to be adjusted at Ephesus, and that needed the approbation of Paul, and the sanction of his name. Raving therefore intended to give advice to Timothy on many subjects, he resolved at the same time to advise others under the name of Timothy. In the first chapter, he attacks some ambitious persons who made their boast of discussing idle questions. It may readily be concluded that they were Jews, who, while they pretended to have zeal for the law, disregarded edification, and attended only to frivolous disputes.

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