Thursday, October 02, 2014
Where is Calvin's Commentary on Revelation?
1. In John Bale's commentary on Revelation (The Image of Both Churches, 1547), he lists the commentaries on Revelation that he's seen, and those that are thought to exist that he has not seen. He includes Calvin in his list.
2. In the Marloratus commentary on Revelation, he mention Calvin as having produced a commentary. He cites Calvin on Revelation, but these Calvin citations are from known works of Calvin.
3. "The catalogue of the Bibliotheque publique et universitaire de Geneve ascribes an anonymously published commentary on Revelation to Calvin: Familiere et briefve exposition sur l'Apocalypse de Sainct Jehan l'Apostre. Geneve. Jehan Gerard 1539 " (Parker, 117).
All three of these instances appear to be spurious. Parker examined the anonymous publication and determined that the method and exegesis were not Calvin's.
4. A second-hand report (at best) suggests Calvin did not write on Revelation because he said he could not understand the book. This quote is republished by Parker on pages 117-18, and Parker says he's "apt to believe he did not say it at all" (118).
5. Parker suggests that Calvin did not write on Revelation due to a theological reason. Calvin saw the Old Testament as concealing Christ, but the New Testament presented Christ clearly. "...[H]e may have considered that apocalyptic is foreign to the New Testament as if it involved a re-veiling of the clear and unambiguous Gospel" (Parker, 119).