In February, the Banner of Truth will be releasing an English translation of John Calvin’s Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles: Chapters 1-7 (688 pp., clothbound). Dr Rob Roy McGregor served as the translator. In the new Banner of Truth magazine, William Evans writes:
“The contributions of John Calvin as a Reformer, theologian, and student of Scripture are, of course, well known. His Institutes of the Christian Religion, first published in 1536 and achieving definitive form in the Latin edition of 1559, have influenced many generations of Presbyterian and Reformed readers. Likewise, the commentaries he wrote on most of the books of the Bible are rightly regarded as monuments of careful biblical scholarship which repay careful study even today. Less well known is Calvin’s preaching, despite the fact that he devoted a great deal of his time to pulpit ministry in Strasbourg and Geneva.
It is only during the twentieth century, and especially the post-World War II period, that Calvin’s sermons have begun to receive the scholarly attention they so richly deserve. Due to the work of scholars such as Émil Doumergue, Erwin Mülhaupt, T. H. L. Parker, Richard Stauffer, and Hughes Oliphant Old we now have a much greater knowledge of Calvin’s preaching activity, and ongoing efforts are underway to provide critical texts of all extant Calvin sermons in the series Supplementa Calviniana. This excellent English translation of Calvin’s sermons on The Acts of the Apostles represents the fruit of this careful labour in that it is translated from this more recent critical edition.”
I agree with Evans. The sermons of Calvin are valuable but often overlooked. Sadly, some readers will equate Calvin with their experiences of near-drowning in the Institutes or reading his sometimes-dry commentaries. The sermons of Calvin, however, read more easily than the Institutes and focus more on the robust, reformed experiential spirituality than his commentaries. To soak my own soul in biblical encouragement I often open a copy of Calvin’s sermons.
This newest volume of sermon on Acts follows my favorite Banner title from 2006, Calvin’s Sermons on the Beatitudes translated by Robert White (114 pp., clothbound). And in 2003 P&R’s published an English version of Calvin’s Sermons on the Book of Micah translated by Benjamin Wirt Farley (433 pp., paperback). Older sermon volumes carried by the Banner include Calvin’s sermons on Galatians, Ephesians, 2 Samuel, and Job.
Expositors will benefit from these volumes but anyone desirous of reading Calvin for themselves will be encouraged to start in his sermons.