Capturing both the best of elite scholarship, as well as exhibiting a firm understanding of and passion for Calvin's own work, these essays by twenty elite Calvin scholars who appreciate the abiding value of Calvin's Institutes provide definitive and section-by-section commentary on Calvin's magnum opus. Capturing both the best of elite scholarship, as well as exhibiting a firm understanding of and passion for Calvin's own work, these essays provide definitive commentary from Calvin scholars who seek to elucidate his work and display its abiding value. This long-needed work serves as the natural companion to Calvin's The Institutes of the Christian Religion for classes, students, pastors, and others for years to come.I'd recommend reading Packer's foreword (online) which is instructive in and of itself and a joy to read. Here's a good quote
Great theology, like the Bible in which all great theology is soaked, is essentially transhistorical and transcultural, and interprets us, joltingly sometimes, as we seek to interpret it. The 1559 Institutio is great theology, and it is uncanny how often, as we read and re-read it, we come across passages that seem to speak directly across the centuries to our own hearts and our own present-day theological debates. You never seem to get to the book’s bottom; it keeps opening up as a veritable treasure trove of biblical wisdom on all the main themes of the Christian faith. Do you, I wonder, know what I am talking about? Dig into the Institutio, and you soon will.If you plan to make a serious study of the Institutes, you also may want to pick up
Ford Lewis Battles's Analysis of the Institutes of the Christian Religion of John Calvin, which contains a detailed outline of Calvin's entire work.
If you've only heard or read about Calvin but never actually read him, you'll probably be in for a surprise. As Packer writes, "Still today, one simply cannot read it receptively without being searched, humbled, and challenged regarding one’s sincerity and progress (Calvin’s favorite word), or lack of it, in one’s personal Christian life."