On Birthdays

Calvin has some interesting thoughts on birthdays in his commentary on the synoptic Gospels, volume 2, page 225:

The ancient custom of observing a birth-day every year as an occasion of joy cannot in itself be disapproved; for that day, as often as it returns, reminds each of us to give thanks to God, who brought us into this world, and has permitted us, in his kindness, to spend many years in it; next, to bring to our recollection how improperly and uselessly the time which God granted to us has been permitted to pass away; and, lastly, that we ought to commit ourselves to the protection of the same God for the remainder of our life.



  1. April 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    A good, biblically informed, common sense comment. Thus can wedding anniversaries, etc., be justified, as well.

  2. drollord said,

    April 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    What about holidays, Johnny?

  3. G.C. Berkley said,

    April 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    So, I guess John Calvin was not a Jehovah’s Witness then, eh? ;-)

  4. tim prussic said,

    April 20, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait… I JUST read that Calvin’s Geneva was a joy-less place where everyone frowned and the Consistory would bust you if you even thought about smiling (Calvin was, I guess, a thought-Nazi). How does *this* jive with that?

  5. April 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm


    Both reports cannot be right. Guess which one is.

  6. April 21, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    When I saw this post, I had a flashback of my old IFB pastor preaching that the only birthdays in the Bible were celebrated by pagans, like the one who received the handwriting on the wall? Glad to see Calvin is less JW than some fundamentalist Christians.

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