Our Dead Theologians Society will embark on it most ambitious expedition yet when we take up Calvin’s Institutes in 2015, beginning January 5th. Using the reading schedule prepared by Dr. James C. Goodloe IV, available online here, the pace will require reading an average of 5-7 pages per day of the Battles/McNeill edition of the Institutes, five days a week for 50 weeks (no sweat, just 10-15 minutes per day, 5 days a week).
Any cost-conscious enthusiast eager to join this expedition may obtain Beveridge’s translation (1845) for around $20 from the WTS Bookstore. If you want the more recent, two-volume Battles translation edited by John T. McNeill (1960), it will cost you a little more. If you don’t want to spend anything, Beveridge’s translation is accessible online for free.
As background on the life of Calvin, Jeremy Walker’s An Outline of the Life of John Calvin is handy. And J. I. Packer wrote an excellent preface, as always, to A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes: Essays and Analysis. Ligon Duncan gave 10 good reasons to read through the Institutes in 2009 (the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth), so we are only six years behind, but the days of the week fall out exactly the same. So Dr. Goodloe’s reading schedule will serve us well in 2015!