John Calvin’s Commentary on Romans

John CalvinThis is the 1849 edition of John Calvin’s Commentary on Paul’s letter to the Romans, published by the Calvin Translation Society, translated by the Rev. John Owen. I need to be careful to distinguish it from more recent translations, which may still be in copyright.

My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

John Calvin, Translated edited by Rev John Owen, Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1849. Hbk. pp.592. [Click to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

  • Translator’s Preface
  • Commentary
  • Indices

The Argument

With regard to the excellency of this Epistle, I know not whether it would be well for me to dwell long on the subject; for I fear, lest through my recommendations falling far short of what they ought to be, I should do nothing but obscure its merits: besides, the Epistle itself, at its very beginning, explains itself in a much better way than can be done by any words which I can use. It will then be better for me to pass on to the Argument, or the contents of the Epistle; and it will hence appear beyond all controversy, that besides other excellencies, and those remarkable, this can with truth be said of it, and it is what can never be sufficiently appreciated – that when any one gains a knowledge of this Epistle, he has an entrance opened to him to all the most hidden treasures of Scripture….

Click here to find more commentaries on the letter to the Romans.

Lightfoot’s Commentary on Galatians

Joseph Barber Lightfoot [1828-1889], Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians.

I recently digitised a hard-to-find article by F.F. Bruce:

F.F. Bruce, “Bishop Westcott and the Classical Tradition,” Spectrum 11 (September 1978): 19-21. [Click to download this article in PDF]

Bruce’s thesis in this article is that training in the Classical tradition (typically that of the old Public School in the UK) is essential if one is to become truly competent in New Testament Greek. I have grave reservations about this idea – and I think the recent history of both linguistics and biblical studies in general have proved him wrong. I guess that Bruce is not alone in thinking his our own training was “the best” for his particular field. Nevertheless, I think that this article is helpful for its discussion of three of the greats of Nineteenth Century New Testament scholarship, Westcott, Hort and Lightfoot. I was therefore delighted to find a number of their commentaries at Book Aid recently. The first to be uploaded is J.B. Lightfoot commentary on Galatians.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot [1828-1889], Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. A revised text with introduction, Notes and Dissertations. London: Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1896. Hbk. pp.384. [Click to visit the download page]

I would be interested to hear what others think about Bruce’s thesis. Is a classical education a help or a hindrance to being a proficient student of New Testament Greek?

Commentary on 2 Corinthians by Alfred Plummer

The ruins of ancient Corinth
The Ruins of Ancient Corinth [Photo source: Pixabay]
This is a brief commentary on 2 Corinthians by Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], written with young people in mind.

My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of the book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

Alfred Plummer [1841-1926], The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, 1923 reprint. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903. Hbk. pp.156. [Click to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction § 1. The Genuineness of the Epistle

    § 2. Place and Time, Occasion and Purpose

    § 3. Contents and Results

    § 4. Language and Style

    § 5. Quotation from the Old Testament

    § 6. The Greek Text

    § VII. The Integrity of the Epistle

    §VIII. Commentaries

  2. Text and Notes
  3. Appendices
  4. Index

Introduction

The Genuineness of the Epistle

The genuineness of this letter is as impregnable as that of l Corinthians, which imparts much of its own strength to the later letter. But the independent evidence in favour of 2 Corinthians is very strong, although the external testimony begins a little later than in the case of the earlier letter.

There is no evidence that the Second Epistle was known to Clement of Rome. The supposed reminiscences are very unconvincing: e.g. 2 Cor. i. 5 and Clem. ii. 1, 2 Cor. viii. 9 and Clem. xvi. 2, 2 Cor. x. 3, 4 and Clem. xxxvii. 1, 2 Cor. x. 13, 15, 16 and Clem. i. 3, 2 Cor. x. 17 and Clem. xiii. 1, 2 Cor. x. 18 and Clem. xxx. 6. There is much of 2 Corinthians that would have suited Clement’s purpose very well; so much so, that we may believe that he would have made as free use of it as he does of 1 Corinthians had he known the Second Epistle….

If you need a more detailed commentary on 2 Corinthians, see the list on this page.