18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Why read John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion? For gems like this:
In vain were the authority of Scripture fortified by argument, or supported by the consent of the Church, or confirmed by any other helps, if unaccompanied by an assurance higher and stronger than human judgement can give. Till this better foundation has been laid, the authority of Scripture remains in suspense. On the other hand, when recognising its exemption from the common rule, we receive it reverently, and according to its dignity, those proofs which were not so strong as to produce and rivet a full conviction in our minds, become most appropriate helps. For it is wonderful how much we are confirmed in our belief, when we more attentively consider how admirably the system of divine wisdom contained in itis arranged – how perfectly free the doctrine is from every thing that savours of earth – how beautifully it harmonises in all its parts – and how rich it is in all the other qualities which give an air of majesty to composition. Our hearts are still more firmly assured when we reflect that our admiration is elicited more by the dignity of the matter than by the graces of style. For it was not without an admirable arrangement of Providence, that the sublime mysteries of the kingdom of heaven have for the greater part been delivered with a contemptible meanness of words. Had they been adorned with a more splendid eloquence, the wicked might have cavilled, and alleged that this constituted all their force. But now, when an unpolished simplicity, almost bordering on rudeness, makes a deeper impression than the loftiest flights of oratory, what does it indicate if not that the Holy Scriptures are too mighty in the power of truth to need the rhetorician’s art?
Whatever I get in this life is better than I deserve. Even in utter misery God may still be present. In Hell there is full justice.
I downloaded the You Version Bible App (which is free) onto my iPad last year. It took me months to realize that there were ample translations to download in this App as well as, and I think this is the best part, audio narration of some translations.
I’ve been listening through some of the Old Testament, Joshua and Judges in particular. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent ample time in the OT. If you want to make it through a book or two of the OT I highly recommend it. The narration is very well done and listening to it is an excellent way to get a bird’s eye view of the larger context of the passages.
We often get hung up in our pet verses, or verses that have been removed from the context so often that to hear them in context is rare. And while I’m a big fan of really getting down to work to figure out what a particular passage is saying, the large ideas of scripture frame the discussion within and keep us from proof-texting.
If you think you might benefit from having an audio resource, I highly recommend the You Version App.