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Christ the Right Interpreter

November 12, 2010

In the preface to his exposition of the 10 Commandments, John Calvin states:

Christ himself restored the right understanding of the law. When we say that this is the meaning of the law [his explanation of its spiritual meaning above], we are not thrusting forward a new interpretation of our own, but we are following Christ, its best interpreter. The Pharisees had infected the people with a perverse opinoin: that he who has committed nothing by way of outward works against the law fulfills the law. . . Those who did not comprehend these teachings fancied Christ another Moses, the giver of the law of the gospel, which supplied what was lacking in the Mosaic law. Whence that common saying about the perfection of the Law of the Gospel, that it far surpasses the old law–in many respects a most pernicious opinion! Subsequently when we gather together the sum of his precepts, it will be clear from Moses himself with what undesevered abuse this view brands from God’s law.

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