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Original Research

The Ideal of Brevitas et Facilitas: The Theological Hermeneutics of John Calvin

M.J. Ahn

Verbum et Ecclesia; Skrif en Kerk: Vol 20, No 2 (1999), 270-281. doi: 10.4102/ve.v20i2.601

Submitted: 10 August 1999
Published:  10 August 1999


Calvin presented his own distinctive method of the hermeneutics of Scripture in his Commentary on the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle, to the Romans. It is called the ideal of brevitas et facilitas. Calvin was not satisfied with both Malanchthon's loci method and Bucer's prolixity commentary. He took a via media approach. Calvin's method was influenced by rhetoric of Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian and Chrysostom. Calvin, however, confirmed that his own principle came from Scripture itself. I deal with Calvin's view that the clarity of Scripture was related to the ideal of brevitas et facilitas. After analyzing Calvin's writing, I discovered ten component elements of the method of brevitas et facilitas.

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Author affiliations

M.J. Ahn, Christian Theological University, Pyongtaek, Korea, Korea, Republic Of



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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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