by John Calvin
John Calvin’s dedication to preaching verse by verse through the Bible was impressive. He was a firm believer in preaching from the original language, in the historical-grammatical approach, with application to the hearer. What is even more amazing is to see the shear number of sermons he preached on various books of the Bible:
Calvin’s method of preaching is well-documented: it was consecutive, expositional preaching through various books of the Bible. He would begin in verse 1, chapter 1 of a particular book and then preach through the book until the end. The next sermon would begin a new book, and he would preach that book sequentially until finished. This is serial preaching at its best. Calvin’s immediate movement to preach one book after another is what Gerstner calls ‘chain preaching.’ He spent, for example, one year preaching through Job, a year and a half on Deuteronomy (200 sermons), and three years on Isaiah (350 sermons).
As mentioned, John Calvin preached 200 sermons on Deuteronomy. They have been dropped down the memory hole. Calvinist seminary professors have never heard of them, let alone read them. Until today, they had an excuse. Not any longer. In 1583, a translation of them appeared in English. This was ignored, then forgotten.Over four centuries later (1987), the Banner of Truth Trust reprinted an English edition, which was barely readable in 1583, and was worse in the facsimile copy. Today, a used copy sells for $100 or more.
Recently this was put into the public domain. A dedicated woman voluntarily proofed the digital text, and then produced clean copy. The public can now read these sermons, which have been ignored for 450 years. Lionel Dyck helped me clean up the public domain copy and make it into an eBook. I want people to know about these remarkable documents. Seminary professors at Calvinist seminaries would be wise to read them. They will have to revise their old lecture notes on what Calvin thought about the Mosaic law.