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Durham e-Theses
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Scripture as word of god in the teaching of John Calvin

Close, Brian Eric (1976) Scripture as word of god in the teaching of John Calvin. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis seeks to investigate the relationship, as Calvin saw it, between the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ, and the written Word of the Scriptures. The central thrust of the argument is that, for Calvin, the concept Word of God is constant in both these instances. Scripture is seen to be, from beginning to end, a witness to the creative and redemptive work of God in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true and substantial Word of God. Scripture is the vehicle by means of which Our Lord has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind. In the first three chapters of the thesis I trace God's dealings with mankind from the Creation until after the Fall, examining why it is that man fails to find God in His works, and showing how it is that man is totally culpable for his actions. There follow four chapters on Calvin's doctrine of Scripture, showing the necessity of the Scriptures in the salvation of mankind, and how as a source of indisputable truth they are never called in question by Calvin. In chapter eight I examine Calvin's concept of Scripture as God's Word, viewing the issue in terms of the general concept of God's dealings with men. Apart from the conclusion, the final three chapters are concerned with the Person and work of Jesus Christ and the relationship of the Scriptures to Him. It is my contention that when Calvin speaks of God's Word, he does not differentiate it from the canonical Scriptures. Yet if asked to say what it is, he would not simply point to the words written on the page. It is "the everlasting Wisdom, residing with God, from which both all oracles and all prophecies go forth.” By "the everlasting Wisdom" in this context, he means Jesus Christ, by whose Spirit, he says, the ancient prophets spoke. Thus Christ, the Word, by whom all things were created (John 1:1), is the Author of the written Word, by which the eternal Word is known.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1976
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:44

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