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‘I confess that at the outset I was put off by the fear of being thought rash and arrogant if I should attempt such an undertaking after so many excellent works.’
So wrote John Calvin (1509-1564) in the dedicatory letter of his commentary on Romans, his first printed exposition. The initial hesitation overcome, Calvin went on to produce a commentary series covering much of Scripture, one which is, in words of William Cunningham, ‘not only superior to any that preceded it, but it has continued ever since, and continues to this day, to be regarded by all competent judges, as a work of highest value.’ C.H. Spurgeon concurred: ‘Everything that Calvin wrote by way of exposition is priceless. His expositions are more equal in excellence than those of other men; other men rise and fall, but he is almost uniformly good.’
These estimations still hold true and, even in this age of multiplying commentaries, those of John Calvin stand out as models of honesty, good sense, and evangelical warmth.
Here, in this extensive exposition of Jeremiah, we encounter Calvin’s great gifts as an exegete and theologian. But we also see how his experience as a pastor and preacher equipped him to produce this outstanding exposition of ‘the weeping prophet.’