The Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1541 Edition   -     By: John Calvin
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The Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1541 Edition

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

John Calvin (1509-1564) originally wrote his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion in Latin to reach the rulers, reformers, and educated people across Europe. However, he was also consciously working to provide the laity in his native France with biblical teaching and a way to understand it.

Beginning with the second edition of this early theological textbook published in 1541, Calvin translated each new version into French. He simultaneously adapted the text to suit lay audiences, shaping it subtly but clearly to teach, exhort, and encourage them.

This masterful translation of the earliest French Edition is the first access in English both to Calvin's first pastoral presentation of the book and to the second edition of the Institutes (1539) from which he made the translation. For those pastors, seminarians, and scholars who do not have time to read the original Latin or early modern French, this version makes it possible to see the development of the original work as Calvin moved from interested layperson to experienced minister. It offers full access to the mind of this brilliant pillar of Christendom as he considered what a serious Christian should know and could handle.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 768
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802807747
ISBN-13: 9780802807748
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

he first English translation of a classic text of pastoral theology.

John Calvin (1509-1564) originally wrote his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion in Latin. Beginning with the second edition of his work published in 1541, Calvin translated each new version into French, simultaneously adapting the text to suit lay audiences, shaping it subtly but clearly to teach, exhort, and encourage them. Besides reflecting a more pastoral bent on Calvin's part, this 1541 Institutes is also notable as one of the founding documents of the modern French language. 

Elsie Anne McKee's masterful translation of the 1541 French Edition -- the first-ever English version -- offers full access to the brilliant mind of John Calvin as he considered what common Christian people should all know and practice.

Author Bio

(1509-1564) One of the most influential reformers, his workwas of significance throughout Europe andbeyond.
Elsie Anne McKee is Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Endorsements

This sparkling translation of John Calvin's 1541 French Institutes offers modern-day readers in the English-speaking world the opportunity to read Calvin's first version of his masterwork intended for a general audience. Elsie McKee is to be commended for her faithful yet accessible translation of this key text.
-Karin Maag,
H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin College and Seminary

A major event for Calvin students! English-language readers can, at last, access and use the 1541 version of the Institutes. Scholars of repute consider this version the most admirable of all: it combines freshness and maturity, it is not overloaded with polemical developments, and, as the first theological work in the vernacular, it made a decisive contribution toward shaping modern French. It is a landmark in Calvin's corpus. Elsie McKee's translation, checked against the original French, remains scrupulously accurate, while it reads with ease and harmonious fluidity.
-Henri Blocher,
Faculté Libre de Th?ologie Evangélique, Wheaton College Graduate School

I am impressed with what Elsie McKee has accomplished. It is amazing how she has managed to translate Calvin's smooth French into an English that is a pleasure to read. Even more important, however, is that she has made this important work of Calvin accessible for a wide audience, so all can experience the stimulus that reading Calvin can give to the church and theology today.
-Herman J. Selderhuis,
Theologische Universiteit Appeldoorn

The 1541 edition of the Institutes has long been considered a gem among the various editions of Calvin's classic. Its special virtues are that it is more concise than the final 1559 edition and also more pastoral and practical, reflecting Calvin's years in the ministry. Finally we have a superb English translation of this edition by a premier Calvin scholar. Elsie McKee knows Calvin and knows French. The result is a wonderful contribution to Calvin studies in the English-speaking world. Readers of this version will gain fresh perspectives and new insights into the Reformer's theology.
-I. John Hesselink,
Western Theological Seminary

Any who wish to encounter Calvin's systematic theology at its most pastoral, freest from controversial preoccupations, and mediated through superlative translation, should devour this rendering of the Reformer's own French version of the second edition of his Institutes. This volume should win Calvin many new friends.
-J. I. Packer,
Regent College

Translator Bio

Elsie Anne McKee is the Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary. Among her other books are John Calvin on the Diaconate and Liturgical Almsgiving and John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety.

Publisher Description

John Calvin (1509–1564) originally wrote his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion in Latin to reach the rulers, reformers, and educated people across Europe. However, he was also consciously working to provide the laity in his native France with biblical teaching and a way to understand it. Beginning with the second edition of this early theological textbook published in 1541, Calvin translated each new version into French. He simultaneously adapted the text to suit lay audiences, shaping it subtly but clearly to teach, exhort, and encourage them.

This masterful translation of the earliest French edition is the first access in English both to Calvin’s first pastoral presentation of the book and to the second edition of the Institutes (1539) from which he made the translation. For those pastors, seminarians, and scholars who do not have time to read the original Latin or early modern French, this version makes it possible to see the development of the original work as Calvin moved from interested layperson to experienced minister. It offers full access to the mind of this brilliant pillar of Christendom as he considered what a serious Christian should know and could handle.

Editorial Reviews

Karin Maag, H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin College and Seminary
"This sparkling translation of John Calvin's 1541 French Institutes offers modern-day readers in the English-speaking world the opportunity to read Calvin's first version of his masterwork intended for a general audience. Elsie McKee is to be commended for her faithful yet accessible translation of this key text."

Henri Blocher, Faculté Libre de Theologie Evangélique, Wheaton College Graduate School
"A major event for Calvin students! English-language readers can, at last, access and use the 1541 version of the Institutes. Scholars of repute consider this version the most admirable of all: it combines freshness and maturity, it is not overloaded with polemical developments, and, as the first theological work in the vernacular, it made a decisive contribution toward shaping modern French. It is a landmark in Calvin's corpus. Elsie McKee's translation, checked against the original French, remains scrupulously accurate, while it reads with ease and harmonious fluidity."

Herman J. Selderhuis, Theologische Universiteit Appeldoorn
"I am impressed with what Elsie McKee has accomplished. It is amazing how she has managed to translate Calvin's smooth French into an English that is a pleasure to read. Even more important, however, is that she has made this important work of Calvin accessible for a wide audience, so all can experience the stimulus that reading Calvin can give to the church and theology today."

I. John Hesselink, Western Theological Seminary
"The 1541 edition of the Institutes has long been considered a gem among the various editions of Calvin's classic. Its special virtues are that it is more concise than the final 1559 edition and also more pastoral and practical, reflecting Calvin's years in the ministry. Finally we have a superb English translation of this edition by a premier Calvin scholar. Elsie McKee knows Calvin and knows French. The result is a wonderful contribution to Calvin studies in the English-speaking world. Readers of this version will gain fresh perspectives and new insights into the Reformer's theology."

J. I. Packer, Regent College
"Any who wish to encounter Calvin's systematic theology at its most pastoral, freest from controversial preoccupations, and mediated through superlative translation, should devour this rendering of the Reformer's own French version of the second edition of his Institutes. This volume should win Calvin many new friends."

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