Heinrich Bullinger and Jean Calvin on the Authority of Scripture (1538-1571)

in Journal of Reformed Theology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Abstract

This article summarizes Jean Calvin’s concept of the self-convincing authority of Scripture, and relates his position to the writings of Heinrich Bullinger. The authors possibly influenced each other. Both use the Greek term autopistos for the authority of Scripture. In 1571, Bullinger published an anonymous work that relies on Calvin’s Institutes. In spite of minor differences in emphasis, the reformers agreed in maintaining the independent authority of Scripture as the norm of faith. For both authors Word and Spirit were intimately connected, although in the writings studied for this article Calvin more explicitly connects the acknowledgement of Scripture’s authority to the witness of the Spirit.

Sections

References

1

Jean Calvin, Institutes 1.7.5. Translation mine, see Henk van den Belt, The Authority of Scripture in Reformed Theology: Truth and Trust (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 53. For the Latin text see Jean Calvin, Opera Selecta, 3rd edn, Peter Barth and Wilhelm Niesel, ed. (Munich: Christian Kaiser, 1967) [Henceforth: Calvin, OS], 3, 70.

3

Aristotle, Analytica posteriora 1.6, 74b 5.

10

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 26.

12

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 32-33.

13

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 34.

17

Calvin, OS 3, 67, 69, 70. In the later editions of the Institutes the quote falls into three parts.

22

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 36.

23

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 25.

24

Calvin, OS 3, 66. Cf. Calvin, Battles, Institutes, 75.

26

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 28.

28

Calvin, OS 3, 66. For Calvin’s use of oraculum see also Calvin, OS 3, 62, 65.

29

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 23.

31

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 22, 23, 26, 29, 31, 34-36. Of course, Bullinger affirms that faith is the result of the work of the Spirit. HBTS 4, 39, 177.

32

Calvin, OS 3, 81. In the edition of 1543, Calvin elaborates on the doctrine of inspiration in the context of ecclesiology, saying that the apostles were scribes of the Holy Spirit and their writings are therefore to be considered oracles of God. Calvin, OS 5, 141.

34

Bullinger, HBTS 4, 31.

41

Albertus Pighius, De libero hominis arbitrio et divina gratia, Libri decem, (Cologne: Melchior Novesianus, 1542). In the Institutes of 1539 Calvin had stated the church fathers, except Augustine, wrote so ambiguously on free will, that nothing could be concluded from their writings. Pighius responded to that claim. On the debate see A.N.S. Lane, John Calvin: Student of the Church Fathers (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999), 151-178.

43

Calvin, Defensio, 118.

44

Calvin, Defensio, 125.

45

Calvin, Defensio, 127.

55

N.N., Heinrich Bullinger ed., De Scripturae Sanctae praestantia, dignitate, excellentissimaq[ue] authoritate, perfectione, vel sufficientia, claritate item, facilitate, perspicuitateq[ue], & vero earum vsu, pijssima doctissimaque dissertatio (Zürich: Christopher Froschauer, 1571). The book was translated into English: Heinrich Bullinger ed., A Most Godly and Learned Discourse of the Woorthynesse, Authoritie, and Sufficiencie of the Holy Scripture, transl. John Tomkys, (London: William Ponnsonby, 1579).

57

N.N., De Scripturae Sanctae praestantia, 34.

58

N.N., De Scripturae Sanctae praestantia, 34.

61

N.N., Godly and Learned Discourse, 45. “Nihil hic loquor, quod non in se experitur, quisquis fidei verae lumine illustrates est.” N.N., De Scripturae Sanctae praestantia, 35.

63

N.N., De Scripturae Sanctae praestantia, 35. Cf. Calvin, OS 3, 69.

66

N.N., Godly and Learned Discourse, 9.

67

N.N., Godly and Learned Discourse, 10.

68

N.N., Godly and Learned Discourse, 75-78.

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 8 8 3
Full Text Views 2 2 2
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0