A Classic Calvin Illustration: The Scripture as Eyeglasses

Calvin in his Study“For as the aged, or those whose sight is defective, when any book, however fair, is set before them, though they perceive that there is something written, are scarcely able to make out two consecutive words, but, when aided by glasses, begin to read distinctly, so Scripture, gathering together the impressions of Deity, which, till then, lay confused in our minds, dissipates the darkness, and shows us the true God clearly.”  (Institutes I.VI.I, emphasis added)

For John Calvin the underlying principle which unified everything the holy Scriptures teaches is what he called “the knowledge of God.”

By “the knowledge of God,” for Calvin the Bible was more than a revelation about God.  It was also God’s revelation of himself in order that his creatures may come to know and serve him.

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