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Translation of Bavinck series on Reformed dogmatics completed

Effort bridges language gap

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - The completion of the translation of a series of books on Reformed Christian Dogmatics by 19th century Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck recently was celebrated by the sponsoring group. The work was begun in the early 1990s.

Organisers of the broadly-based Dutch Reformed Translation Society say that although the original works were written a century ago, “there are countless numbers of issues that come up again and again.” Bavinck was addressing the same things in his time that we are seeing now, commented Calvin Seminary professor John Bolt who edited the new translation of Bavinck’s work, aptly known as ‘Reformed Dogmatics’.

Bavinck who first taught at the Theological College of Kampen and later at the Free University of Amsterdam, visited Princeton University in New Jersey in 1908-9 where he delivered a series of lectures called ‘The Philosophy of Revelation’. The son of a German-born minister in Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (GKN), Bavinck died in 1921, at the age of 66.

Bavinck’s work for decades was used at theological schools such as Calvin where students mastered the Dutch language. In recent decades, with the vast majority of students unable to read Dutch the dogmatics’ series had become inaccessible.

The first two volumes of the translated series were published in 1996 and 1999. The next three are scheduled to be released in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The translation society fully funds the entire project, inluding printing.

The two books of Bavinck -In the Beginning and The Last Things - are listed in the Dutch Heritage Pages catalogue and also can be ordered online at or by calling 1-800-881-0705.