John Diodati’s Annotations on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1607, 1648

Diodati (1576-1649) was an Italian protestant Bible scholar, successor to Theodore Beza as the professor of theology at Geneva, Swtizerland, and a pastor.  He was one of the six divines that wrote the Canons of Dort (1619).  Diodati’s Annotations (1607) were relied heavily upon by the later Westminster Annotations (1645).




Pious and Learned Annotations upon the Holy Bible: Plainly Expounding the most difficult places thereof, 1607 in Latin, translated into English in 1648.  The quotes below are from the 3rd edition of 1651.


Gen. 6:3 – “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh”

Spirit.  Which through the teaching of God’s holy servants, 1 Pet. 3:19, and by internal motions reproved the world, and pressed it to repentance.

For that.  viz. they are altogether incorrigible: the light of my regenerating Spirit being quite extinguished in them, and all its power smothered up: whereby the external action and benefit thereof is in vain employed about them.

Prov. 1:20 – “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:”

Wisdom.  Hebrew: ‘wisdoms’; that is, the everlasting Son of God, who is the Father’s subsisting wisdom, Prov. 8:23.24…

Prov. 1:24 – “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;”

I have stretched outA kind of gesture of such as call a man at a far distance, beckoning with their hands, as Isa. 65:2; Acts 21:40

Prov. 9:1 – “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:”

Hath builded.  The meaning is, the Son of God has laid the foundation Himself, and perfectly established his Church, Heb. 3:3,4, and in it He unfolds all his treasures for the getting and preserving of the spiritual and everlasting life, to participation of which He invites all men by the minister of his holy Word: See a like parable, Matt 22:2.

Isa. 5:4 – “What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?”

What could have been.  viz. I have conferred upon this people in general, all the graces and gifts belonging to the outward body of a Church, and such as are called, that were necessary for her estate, and to have her sufficiently instructed and prepared for every good work; namely, my law and ministry, documents, exhortations, reprehensions, corrections, with a certain measure of my Spirit, to quicken the operation of my Word, 1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; but they have rejected and made them unprofitable through their idolatries, revolts, public and common rebellions.  Now we must note that here is not properly spoken of the grace of the internal regeneration in spirit, which is not common to every called member of the Church, but proper to the mystical body of the Church of the true elect, and everyone of its members, and never is, nor can be in them, nor by them frustrated of its virtue and effect, to obedience of faith; being by God made altogether powerful to salvation.

Isa. 65:1-2 – “I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.  I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;”

I am sought.  That is to say, I am called upon by the Gentiles, which are converted by my grace, whereas before they were altogether stranger unto Me, Eph. 2:12.  Others expound it, I have caused myself to be found, or I have proffered [held out something to someone for acceptance; offered] Myself.

I have.  That is, the Jews have contrariwise hardened themselves against the Gospel preached by the prophets and Apostles, and Christ Himself.


Eze. 18:22-23 – “All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”

Shall live.  viz. He shall be delivered from the common evils of this world, and attain to everlasting life, to which the true way and direction is the pure and constant conversion of a sinner, Job 22:30 and 33:26

Have I any pleasure. viz. Am I a tyrant, or an inexorable Judge?  Do not I give way for repentance, and hope of pardon to the guilty?

And liveOr, had I not rather that he should be converted from his evil ways, and live?


Hosea 11:2 – “As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.”

Called them.  Namely, my prophets exhorted them to repentance, and to my true service, which was the true end [design] for which they were at first called out of Egypt.  [see Ex. 8:1]

Hosea 11:3 – “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.”

I taught.  viz. I have been as a nurse to him, Deut. 32:10,11.

Healed them.  That is, protected and delivered them from all evil, Ex. 15:26 and 23:25.

Hosea 11:4 – “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.”

I drew them.  A phrase taken from cattle bred up to carry or draw; which by a good master are used gently, and brought to their labor without any violence.


Luke 19:42 – “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”

If thouNamely, the people that is within you, and the chief of you, etc…

In this thy day.  That is, at this time in which by a special grace of God the accomplishment of his promises in Me is presented unto you

Thy peace.  viz. your security and happiness both present and future.

Luke 19:44 – “And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

Of thy.  viz. In which God has manifested Himself unto you in My person, to present his grace unto you.


John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The worldNamely, mankind in its generality, which being all subject to eternal perdition through sin, God out of his sovereign and absolute good pleasure has saved his elect from it; whom He has taken of all degrees, and out of all the nations in the world indifferently, that the whole kind might not perish, but that in this number of elect, as in a new and holy communality, it might subsist before God forever.  A benefit which He has not imparted to the apostate angels, nor universally to men.  See John 17:6,9; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 John 4:10.


Acts 3:26 – “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.”

[Note that in this passage in Acts, Peter is preaching to an indiscriminate multitude of Jews, who are all yet unconverted, and many of them, as evidenced in Acts 4, remain unconverted and hostile to the apostles]

Sent Him.  viz. presented Him for your salvation by the preaching of the Gospel.

To bless you. viz. with this heavenly and spiritual blessing, which was promised Abraham, and was to be spread the world over by Christ, who is the holy seed, by virtue and communion whereof this blessing is communicated.  Gal. 3:9,14.


2 Cor. 5:20 – “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Be ye.  That is to say, accept by faith the grace which is offered you, and persevere in it, and abstain from all manner of offence which may alienate God from you.

2 Cor. 6:2 – “(For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

I have heard.  These are God’s words speaking to Jesus Christ, appointing Him Prince over his Church; now that which is spoken to the head, is rightly applied to the members for whom Christ was heard; whereby they are all admonished in his person, not to neglect the occasion of salvation which God offered.

A time accepted. That is, the time wherein God has showed his free bounty and good-will towards men.


2 Pet. 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Not willingHe does not here speak of God’s secret and everlasting decree, by which He chooses whom He thinks good, but of the preaching of the Gospel by which all men are invited…



Related Pages

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

Historic Reformed Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

1600’s – Quotes on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel

The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Canons of Dort