John Calvin (1520-1567AD)

French Protestant Reformer of Geneva

 John Calvin

Engraved by H. Robinson from the original oil painting in the University
Library of Geneva.
It is considered the best likeness.

John Calvin was, first of all, a theologian. He easily takes the lead among the systematic expounders of the Reformed system of Christian doctrine. He is scarcely inferior to Augustin among the fathers, or Thomas Aquinas among the schoolmen, and more methodical and symmetrical than either. Melanchthon, himself the prince of Lutheran divines and “the Preceptor of Germany,” called him emphatically “the Theologian.”

Calvin's theology is based upon a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He was the ablest exegete among the Reformers, and his commentaries rank among the very best of ancient and modern times. His theology, therefore, is biblical rather than scholastic, and has all the freshness of enthusiastic devotion to the truths of God’s Word. At the same time he was a consummate logician and dialectician. He had a rare power of clear, strong, convincing statement. He built up a body of doctrines which is called after him, and which obtained symbolical authority through some of the leading Reformed Confessions of Faith.

[from "History of the Christian Church" by Philip Schaff, D.D. LL. D.]



John Calvin

Engraved by Thos. A. Woolnoth from a print by Cornelis Dankertz


  1. Conversion of John Calvin. (32k) by Prof. F. Wendel (1972 edition).zip (10k)

  2. Calvin's "Knowledge of God." (48k) by Prof. F. Wendel (1972 edition).zip (17k)

  3. Calvin and Servetus. (178k) by William Cunningham D.D.(1825) zip (60k)

  4. French Confession of Faith (48k) by John Calvin (1559AD) zip (15k)

  5. The Need of Scripture.... (138k) by John Calvin from his "Institutes of the Christian Religion" zip (34k)

  6. Calvin & Servetus (228k) by Philip Schaff from his History of Christianity (1893AD edition) zip (77k)

  7. Calvin's Prefatory Address to his Institutes (100k) translated by H. Beveridge (1953AD) pdf (152k) zip (34k)

  8. INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION PAGE by John Calvin (Beveridge translation 1953AD)

  9. Calvinism by J. A. Froude (an address delivered at St Andrew's, March 17, 1871AD) (168k) zip (43k)