The Protestant Reformation;

John Calvin

Name: John Calvin (Jean Calvin)
Birthdate: July 10, 1509
Date of Death: May 27, 1564

John Calvin was a preeminent Protestant theologian of Martin Luther. He fits into the reformation in 1528-1533.

The Major Protest Against The Church

Calvin was highly critical of the abuses in the French Catholic Church, but he never doubted that he was God's chosen. In 1536 he published the landmark text Institutes Of The Christian Religion. It was an early attempt to standardize the theories of protestantism.

Major Events of The Reformation

In 1538 anti-protestant authorities Calvin to leave Geneva. He was then invited back in 1541, where he became an important spiritual and political leader. He used protestant principles to establish a religious government. He insulted many positive policies and punished Impiety and any kind of dissent against his vision of Christianity with execution. In his first 5 years of being a leader, 58 people were executed and 76 exiled for their religious beliefs. Calvin allowed no art but music involving no instruments. Geneva became the center of protestantism. Pastors were sent out through Europe, creating Presbyterianism in Scotland, The Puritan Movement in England, and Reformed church in the Netherlands.

Major Works

Calvin wrote 45 Biblical commentaries. A commentary is a series of explanations or interpretations. Here's a link to Calvin's works;


"We must remember that Satan has his miracles too."

"The torture of a bad concience is the hell of a living soul."

"Every one of us is, even from his mother's womb, a master craftsman of idols."

"There is no work, however vile or sordid, that does not glisten before God."

"A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent."

Mini Quiz!

1. Where was John Calvin forced to leave in 1538 by anti-protestant authorities?
A. Germany
B. Florence
C. Geneva
D. None of the above

2. When was John in the Reformation?
A. 1528-1533
B. 1226-1258
C. 1528-1541
D. None of the above

3. What was Calvin's main reason for executing people? Why did he execute 58 people within his first 5 years of ruling?

4. What were John's complaints with the church?