This article explores the methods and characteristics of the bib-lical interpretation of the church reformer John Calvin (1506-1564). Different from the medieval Quadriga in inter-preting the Bible, Calvin emphasized the plain meanings of the biblical texts and laid stress on their literal and theological meanings. Familiar with the literary works of the church fathers, he had a strong belief in the convictions of the church reformers. He integrated contemporary humanistic linguistics with rhetoric, and advocated for the principle of perspicua brevitas in inter-preting the Bible.
Calvin argued for the internal consistency of the Old Tes-tament and New Testament. His numerous works on the inter-pretation of the Bible enabled him to develop a theological sys-tem, the most famous of which are the Institute of the Christian Religion, Commentaries on the Bible, and Sermons. These works have different focuses in handling the biblical texts, yet their basic patterns and messages are consistent. Studying these works by Calvin enables us to comprehend the characteristics of Calvin’s biblical interpretation.
Finally, this article takes two examples (Rom 4 vs. Gen 15:6; Gal 4 vs. Gen 15; 21) to illustrate how Calvin interpreted the Bible and to reflect on the edification his interpretation of the Bible brings about for us today.