Calvin and Typology

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by ccravens, Apr 24, 2018.

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  1. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    Just finished Volume 1 of Calvin's commentary on Genesis (Eerdman's 1948). Very much enjoyed it. While I admire Calvin's restraint in not seeing everything as a type, I'm surprised that he has almost no mention of any typology at all.

    Yes, typology can be overdone, but almost no mention, especially Genesis 22 and Abraham's willing sacrifice of Isaac?

    Is there a specific reason for this? Not intended as a criticism, just wondering about it.
  2. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    It is clear proof of the fact that Calvin espoused dispensationalism in his later years.
  3. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    There is possibly some typology going on with Abraham and Isaac, but I think the substitute ram caught in a crown of thorns, as it were, is a clearer type than Isaac.
  4. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Can you unpack that conclusion a wee bit? [​IMG]
  5. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    I can just see it: In 5 years time coming across a post that read as follows:
    "I once heard that Calvin was dispensational in his later life. Does someone have a reference for this?"
  6. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    I see now. We really need a tongue-in-cheek smilie. [​IMG]
  7. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    And became a Charismatic 5 years after that.
  8. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm confused. Are you saying that seeing types in the old testament is something found mostly in dispensational and charismatic circles?

    That would be depressing, and I would not agree, seeing as I am not a charasmatic but see plenty of types in the OT that Calvin never even discusses.

    To NOT see Abraham's willingness to offer his son Isaac as a type of God the Father and Christ would be a little shocking to me.

    I'm here to learn: is typology frowned upon by the Puritan/reformed tradition?
  9. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I think possibly Von made a joke, and the intervening posts are reacting?

    Neither Calvin, nor the Reformed tradition is against typology. If anything, dispensationalism, because of its at-times hyper-literalism, gets away from countless plain types that saturate the OT literature.

    Calvin's commentaries do not delve deeply into the interpretation of the text through a New Covenant lens, but he deliberately operates upon constraint. Calvin's interest is primarily in what the text contains internally considered, and as Moses most likely regarded his own writing; and not how the text of Genesis preaches when it is presented to a Christian audience.

    Therefore, Calvin is bound to be restrained in developing the material in situ as it is later typologically, theologically appropriated and applied by other inspired authors.
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