On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, this paper aims to analyze and evaluate Calvin’s exegetical methodology for the Psalms, with a specific focus on the royal psalms. Because of the limited space, Psalms 2, 72, 89, 110, and 132 were selected to be studied. This study analyzes Calvin’s exegetical methodology for these psalms, specifically from a grammatical/literary, historical, and theological perspective. It also examines Calvin’s method of application.
This study investigates the following details: First, Calvin’s grammatical interpretation such as the pursuit of the plain literary sense of words, the study of etymology, the usage of words, the context of words, and the study of the original language.
Second, Calvin’s literary interpretation and utilization of literary features such as personification, metaphor, figures of speech, imagery, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, and so on.
Third, Calvin’s historical interpretation, specifically in terms of how he understands the author, historical background, original meaning of the text, and its relation to the New Testament.
Fourth, Calvin’s theological interpretation, which further examines typological, prophetic, Christ-centered, and inner-biblical interpretation.
Fifth, Calvin’s effective application of the message of the text to the situations of the audience when he has finished exegeting the text.
As a result of this study, I came to realize that we can still utilize some of Calvin’s exegetical methods today. Calvin makes use of many useful methods of interpretation, such as the study of the original language and words, literary analysis, historical interpretation considering the original historical context, and theological interpretation including typology, promise-fulfillment, and Christ-centered interpretation.
However, the readers who use Calvin’s commentaries should discern when he reads the meaning of the New Testament into the translation and interpretation of the Old Testament text. Besides, the readers should be aware of inaccuracies in Calvin’s interpretation of the original language, which occur in his commentaries from time to time.