Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 24: Daniel, Part I, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com
THE PRINTER WISHES HEALTH FROM THE LORD
TO THE PIOUS READER.
Hail to thee, Christian Reader! — I present to thee the Lectures of the most illustrious John Calvin, in which he has interpreted The Prophecies Of Daniel, with his usual diligence and clearness, and with that singular fidelity which shines throughout all his Expositions of Sacred Scripture. The manner in which they have been edited by those two brethren, John Budaeus and Charles Joinville, it would be superfluous to dwell upon, since that has been clearly made manifest in the way in which the Twelve Minor Prophets were brought out two years ago by John Crispin. For, in treating these Lectures, they have followed entirely the same course as they did in the former ones. Lest, perhaps, you should be surprised at the addition of the Hebrew context to the Latin version, I will explain the matter in a few words. Some studious and learned men very much wished to have the Hebrew text in the former Lectures which I mentioned, for the following reason chiefly, among others. It is exceedingly agreeable to Hebrew scholars to have that very fountain placed before their eyes from which this most faithful Interpreter drew the genuine sense of the Prophet. It is by no means unpleasing to those less skilled in the language, to see Daniel speaking not only in a foreign, but in his native tongue, and to understand how anything is originally expressed. Hence we have thought it right not to pass over the original words of the holy man. In addition to this, the same learned Interpreter, Calvin, is accustomed first to read each verse in Hebrew, and then to turn it into Latin. It was desirable to introduce this short preface, that you may understand his whole method of teaching. Besides, every one will judge better by his own perusal, what copious and abundant fruit all may derive from these Lectures. Farewell, and if you profit at all, ascribe the praise to God alone, who deserves it, and always pray much for Calvin, his most faithful servant. 60
Geneva, August 27th, 1561, A.D.
This is the address of Bartholomew Vincent in his edition, A.D. 1571, which has the Hebrew and Latin text printed together. It has been repeated in the edition at Geneva, 1591, with the omission of the clause “ante biennium Joanne Crispino;” since, like the former, it contains the Hebrew and Chaldee text opposite the Latin, with a running Hebrew title.
In the collected edition of Calvin’s works, Amsterdam, volume v., a Dedication to that Volume occurs, dated 10mo Cal. Aug. 1568, which, although preceding Daniel, has no reference to his Prophecies, and is consequently omitted in this our work. It concerns the disputes of that period respecting the Lord’s Supper, and certain heretical perversions of the truth then current.
The Address of the Printer to the Reader prefixed to the same volume, refers to Jeremiah, Laminations, Twelve Miner Prophets, and Daniel generally; but; as it contains nothing suitable to our purpose, it is of course omitted.