Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More on Calvin and Genesis 17

Paul R. Williamson in his “Abraham, Israel and the Nations: The Patriarchal promise and its covenantal Development in Genesis” argues that Calvin viewed Genesis 15 and Genesis 17 as two stages in the same divine-human covenant. That is his understanding of what Calvin wrote in his commentary on Genesis:

“The first was a declaration of gratuitous love; to which was annexed the promise of a happy life. But the other was an exhortation to the sincere endeavor to cultivate uprightness …He (God) does not… speak of this (covenant) as a new thing: but he recalls the memory of the covenant which he had before made, and now fully confirms and established its certainty… Therefore, by these words, he intends nothing else than that the covenant, of which Abram had heard before, should be established and ratified: but he expressly introduces the principal point, concerning the multiplication of seed, which he afterwards frequently repeats.”

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