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John Calvin (1509–1564) started his career as a thoroughly trained humanist who possessed, in addition, a thorough knowledge of the Fathers of the Church. This article provides an overview of this particular knowledge. It also focuses on the use Calvin made of the patristic argument in both his instructive and apologetic writings. Some evident cases of Calvin's misuse of the patres are discussed as well. It is concluded that Calvin's special patristic knowledge gave his theology its specialdoi:10.4102/hts.v71i3.3059 fatcat:eckerqolq5f73obo26rkccyemu