Recent release of Calvin's Institutes compared with previous one

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Posts 3033
Milkman | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:13 AM

Is there any difference between the latest Institutes and the earlier one that FL has released?

mm.

mm.

Posts 1937
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:32 AM

cfr

Posts 259
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:36 AM

Mark:

cfr

I have no idea what this means.  Council of Foreign Relations, perhaps.???

Posts 3033
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:42 AM

Hope it's not associated with the illuminati? Cool

mm.

Posts 3033
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:49 AM

Mark? What is cfr?

mm.

Posts 1937
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:50 AM

sorry...commenting for reference.  I am also interested in knowing the difference between the two resources as I have the old version.

Posts 81
Joseph | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:53 AM

Short answer: Yes. 

Long explanation: The earlier version is a 1 work, 2 volume critical edition in an English translation of Calvin's Institutes. It is still probably the standard version used in scholarly circles. It is based principally on the 1559 edition (in which Calvin wrote in Latin, and was the final edition he wrote). This edition also cross references early versions (French and English) to show where Calvin's thought evolved or where the Latin/French is ambiguous and need to be read in light of one another. Calvin in his lifetime did work on the translation of the 1559 version into French 

The Second (and newer one) is a collection of two volumes. They are English translations of 1536/1541 versions of Calvin's Institutes. The 1541 text is an English translation of the first French version of Calvin's institutes. These are newer translation which has the advantage of a better understanding of the time/context so footnotes are very valuable if they exist in the work (I'm not sure, as I've never used these books).

The 1560 version in French translation  (a translation with minor changes) also exists in Logos. The 1559 Latin and 1560 French are the final versions of the Institutes and should be read together. 

Hopefully that answers your question.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:08 AM

Milkman:

Is there any difference between the latest Institutes and the earlier one that FL has released?

mm.

Yes there is.

The earlier one is the most authoritative Latin and final edition.

The latest is an earlier french edition. If you want to trace Calvin's thought and development then get both. From time to time Calvin will state things a little differently in the french edition, he seems to have different audiences in mind.

 if you want an abridge edition of the Institute from the pen of Calvin though it was not intended to be so by him, then the French edition is the way to go.

Regards

 

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Posts 3033
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:16 AM

Thanks. So let me ask another question then:

Is the first volume in the newer release just prefatory remarks, appendices, indexes and references and no actual "theological" writings? And excuse my ignorance - is there value to reading this whole first volume? I only ask because I want to know and take the chance of appearing like a ????

In the first volume of my hard copy of the McNeill volume the first 100 pages or so is the introduction and Prefatory Address. The rest of this volume and the second are his theological works. Same with the Logos version of the same.

Joseph:

Short answer: Yes. 

Long explanation: The earlier version is a 1 work, 2 volume critical edition in an English translation of Calvin's Institutes. It is still probably the standard version used in scholarly circles. It is based principally on the 1559 edition (in which Calvin wrote in Latin, and was the final edition he wrote). This edition also cross references early versions (French and English) to show where Calvin's thought evolved or where the Latin/French is ambiguous and need to be read in light of one another. Calvin in his lifetime did work on the translation of the 1559 version into French 

The Second (and newer one) is a collection of two volumes. They are English translations of 1536/1541 versions of Calvin's Institutes. The 1541 text is an English translation of the first French version of Calvin's institutes. These are newer translation which has the advantage of a better understanding of the time/context so footnotes are very valuable if they exist in the work (I'm not sure, as I've never used these books).

The 1560 version in French translation  (a translation with minor changes) also exists in Logos. The 1559 Latin and 1560 French are the final versions of the Institutes and should be read together. 

Hopefully that answers your question.

mm.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:37 AM

Ted Hans:

Yes there is.

The earlier one is the most authoritative Latin and final edition.

The latest is an earlier french edition. If you want to trace Calvin's thought and development then get both. From time to time Calvin will state things a little differently in the french edition, he seems to have different audiences in mind.

 if you want an abridge edition of the Institute from the pen of Calvin though it was not intended to be so by him, then the French edition is the way to go.

Regards


I am the Lord your God, ‹2.8.13› who led you out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage.

8. By these words he informs us that he is the Lord who has the right to give commandments, and to be obeyed. ‹2.8.14› Besides, (32) he calls to mind how gloriously he manifested his strength and power, when he aided the Israelites in getting free from the bondage of Pharoah and the Egyptians; how he daily shows the same power, when he takes away his chosen ones [52] (the true Israelites) from bondage to sin (figured under the name ‘Egypt’),* ‹2.8.15› when he releases them from the chains of the devil, spiritual Pharaoh, Lord of the Egyptians (those who walk in their own lusts). He then adds the first commandment in this form:


Calvin, J. (1995). Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1536 Edition. (F. L. Battles, Trans.) (p. 19). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; The H. H. Meeter Center for Calvin Studies.


I am the Eternal One Your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no strange gods before my face.

It is not important whether we take the first sentence as part of the first commandment or put it separately, provided that we understand that it is a preface to the whole law. First, when one makes laws, it is necessary to order that they not be abolished through disdain or contempt. Therefore the Lord remedies this problem at the beginning and provides for His law not to be despised. He bases this action on three reasons. First He ascribes to Himself the right and power to command; by that He holds us to the necessity of obeying. Next He promises us His grace to draw us by kindness to follow His will. Finally He reminds us of the good He has done us to indict us for ingratitude if we despise what He commands us. Under the name “Eternal” is signified His empire and His legitimate dominion over us. For if all things come from Him and exist in Him, it is right that they be related back to Him, as St. Paul says (Rom. 11[36]). By this word we are shown that we must bow to the Lord’s yoke, since it would be monstrous of us to withdraw from the government of One outside of whom we cannot exist


Calvin, J. (2009). Institutes of the Christian Religion: 1541 French Edition. (E. A. McKee, Trans.) (p. 125). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

“I am Jehovah, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before my face.” [Ex. 20:2–3, cf. Vg.]

13. The Preface (“I am Jehovah, your God.…”)
bWhether you make the first sentence a part of the First Commandment or read it separately makes no difference to me, provided you do not deny to me that it is a sort of preface to the whole law. First, in framing laws, care must be taken that they be not abrogated out of contempt. God therefore especially provides that the majesty of the law he is about to give may not at any time fall into contempt. To secure this he uses a threefold proof. b(a)He claims for himself the power and right of authority in order to constrain the chosen people by the necessity of obeying him. bHe holds out the promise of grace to draw them by its sweetness to a zeal for holiness. He recounts his benefits to the Jews that he may convict them of ingratitude should they not respond to his kindness. The name “Jehovah” signifies God’s authority and lawful domination. If, then, “from him are all things and in him all things abide,” it is right that all things should be referred to him, as Paul says [Rom. 11:36 p.]. With this word alone, therefore, we are sufficiently brought under the yoke of God’s majesty, because it would be monstrous for us to want to withdraw from his rule when we cannot exist apart from him.


Calvin, J. (2011). Institutes of the Christian Religion & 2. (J. T. McNeill, Ed., F. L. Battles, Trans.) (Vol. 1, pp. 379–380). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

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Posts 81
Joseph | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:47 AM

1. NP

Milkman:
Is the first volume in the newer release just prefatory remarks, appendices, indexes and references and no actual "theological" writings? And excuse my ignorance - is there value to reading this whole first volume? I only ask because I want to know and take the chance of appearing like a ????

2. There is nothing to excuse; there is no such thing as a dumb question :) 

3. I suppose the question is how much disposable income you have and how much you love Calvin. I love Calvin, I wouldn't use my money on these volumes, I would rather spend them on something else that interests me more. They are probably great volumes and totally worth the money. However, if you have the final edition Calvin's thought already, why buy the older ones? Do you see yourself writing a paper on the evolution of Calvin's thought on various subjects in the next 3 years? I would rather use my money on Kuyper's works (being published by Lexham Press) or anything by Theodore de Bèze, Guillaume Farel, William Perkins, the Puritans, or the Dutch Reformers. 

I have not read every single version/translation of Calvin's institutes and probably won't. I've read 1159 in English and French, The Beveridge translation, and the 1541French version and I'm content in not owning these other works. But that's me and my preferences. I like a variety of types, some persons like to collect Calvin's works as if they were Pokemon. I have good friends who do that. That's just not my cup of tea. 

Posts 3033
Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:55 AM

Very helpful! Thanks and I too love Calvin, but maybe I'll look at some Puritan guys as well, also who I love their writings. Once again thanks.

Joseph:

1. NP

Milkman:
Is the first volume in the newer release just prefatory remarks, appendices, indexes and references and no actual "theological" writings? And excuse my ignorance - is there value to reading this whole first volume? I only ask because I want to know and take the chance of appearing like a ????

2. There is nothing to excuse; there is no such thing as a dumb question :) 

3. I suppose the question is how much disposable income you have and how much you love Calvin. I love Calvin, I wouldn't use my money on these volumes, I would rather spend them on something else that interests me more. They are probably great volumes and totally worth the money. However, if you have the final edition Calvin's thought already, why buy the older ones? Do you see yourself writing a paper on the evolution of Calvin's thought on various subjects in the next 3 years? I would rather use my money on Kuyper's works (being published by Lexham Press) or anything by Theodore de Bèze, Guillaume Farel, William Perkins, the Puritans, or the Dutch Reformers. 

I have not read every single version/translation of Calvin's institutes and probably won't. I've read 1159 in English and French, The Beveridge translation, and the 1541French version and I'm content in not owning these other works. But that's me and my preferences. I like a variety of types, some persons like to collect Calvin's works as if they were Pokemon. I have good friends who do that. That's just not my cup of tea. 

mm.

Posts 1356
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 11:30 AM

I'm supposed to read Calvin's Institutes in preparation for a comprehensive exam on Reformation Christianity (still some time off). For my purposes, which would you recommend? Is one translation more accessible than the other?

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 234
Colin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 11:44 AM

Hi Ben, 

This one https://www.logos.com/product/16036/institutes-of-the-christian-religion is generally considered the most accessible. Given its size and scope, you'll want to make a start soon :) It's available in various base packages and collections so it's worth checking to see if you can get a better deal that way. 

Colin. 

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