Luther, Bucer, and Calvin On Psalms 8 and 16: Confessional Formation and the Question of Jewish Exegesis

in Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis / Dutch Review of Church History
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Abstract

This essay sets forth a case study of the use of the biblical commentary for confessional formation through an examination of the significant differences between Lutheran and Reformed exegeses of Psalms 8 and 16 by looking at the commentaries of Luther, Bucer, and Calvin. Furthermore, it investigates the variations within the Reformed tradition itself through a comparison and contrast of Calvin and Bucer's interpretations of Psalms 8 and 16. Three main questions become prominent in the comparison and contrast of these three exegetes: the questions of a Christological-prophetic reading versus a historical reading, the use of Jewish exegesis, and the teachings found in these psalms — whether these are teachings concerning Trinity and the two natures of Christ (Luther) or teachings for the society of the saints (Bucer) or teachings on God's providence (Calvin). The varying answers to these three questions demonstrate some of the distinctive elements of Lutheran and Reformed confessional identities.

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