Posted by: Michael M. Dewalt | May 6, 2009

Institutes of the Christian Religion: 1541 French Edition

One of the significant tokens of strength of commemoration is the volume of related publications. Elsie McKee has released (and one of our Calvin500 friends, Jim Goodloe of the Foundation for Reformed Theology helped make this effort possible by a grant) a first time English translation of Calvin’s 1541 edition of the Institutes. Taken from a 2008 publication of a French edition, note the review of this work, and see the sample pages here for a sample.

The first English translation of a classic text of pastoral theology.

John Calvin (1509-1564) originally wrote his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion in Latin. Beginning with the second edition of his work published in 1541, Calvin translated each new version into French, simultaneously adapting the text to suit lay audiences, shaping it subtly but clearly to teach, exhort, and encourage them. Besides reflecting a more pastoral bent on Calvin’s part, this 1541 Institutes is also notable as one of the founding documents of the modern French language.

Elsie Anne McKee’s masterful translation of the 1541 French Edition – the first-ever English version – offers full access to the brilliant mind of John Calvin as he considered what common Christian people should all know and practice.

768 Pages
Published April 2009

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