The Blog

Calvin’s Birth

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Before the summer ends, it is fitting for me to note that July is the 508th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, the great Protestant Reformer of Geneva, Switzerland. John Calvin was born in Noyon, France. He was the second child of Gerard and Jeanne Cauvin. Historians dispute the actual date of Calvin’s birth: Theodore Beza indicates it was July 27, however most scholars today believe it was July 10, 1509. In either case, Theodore Beza’s words honorably define Calvin’s character. He thoughtfully writes, “Having seen his conduct for sixteen years…I can now declare, that in him all may see a most beautiful example of Christian character, an example which is as easy to slander as it is difficult to imitate” (Beza, Life of John Calvin, 1564). This fabulous bust of John Calvin belongs to a friend of mine, Rev. Jack Smith, and the books are three rare volumes in the Calvini Opera (i.e. “Calvin’s Works”) that belong to Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX. Previously, these books were owned by the noted Calvin scholar, Dr. Philip E. Hughes. His name is neatly written in the front of each volume; I know, because I looked!

— Dr. Marcus J. Serven