Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 6th, 2023
the First Week of Advent
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Historical Writings

Creeds, Confessions and Catechisms


The Augsburg Confession

Written on behalf of the Protestant territories of Northern Germany for presentation to emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg. Melanchthon's twenty one original articles were composed as a response to John Eck's attack on the Protestants as guilty of being ancient heresies. Thus the articles attempt to show that the Protestant faith is in line with the ancient Church. Many, but not all, of the articles were acceptable to Rome. In 1540 Melancthon revised the confession to be acceptable to Calvin. The Lutherans rejected this revision and Melancthon himself.

The Episcopal Confession

As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on September 12, 1801.

The Second Helvetic Confession

Written by Heinrich Bullinger in Switzerland after surviving the Black Plague as a codicil to his will. It is in response to the Anabaptists and makes an attempt to reconcile with the Lutherans. It is influenced by Ulrich Zwingli. Its central doctrines are those of Covenant and Baptism.

The Scots Confession

Written by John Knox and five other "Johns" (Willock, Winram, Spottiswood, Row and Douglas), in 1560, at the conclusion of the Scottish civil war in response to medieval catholicism and at the behest of the Scottish Parliament in five days. Its central doctrines are those of election and the Church. It was approved by the Reformation Parliament and Church of Scotland, attaining full legal status with the departure of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1567.

The Geneva Confession

The Genevan Confession was credited to John Calvin in 1536 by Beza who said Calvin wrote it as a formula of Christian doctrine suited to the church at Geneva.

The Westminster Confession

Written by the Westminster Assembly at the call of Parliament together along with two catechisms and heavily influenced by Reynolds. It is written in the context of the English Civil War and as a response to high church Anglicanism. The central doctrines of this and the two catechisms are the sovereignty of God and the authority and proper interpretation of Scripture.

A Puritan Confession

The A Puritan Confession, along with the A Puritan Catechism were both compiled and published around 1855 by Charles Spurgeon.

The London Baptist Confession

The London Baptist Confession of Faith, with scripture proofs, was adopted by the Ministers and Messengers of the General Assembly which met in 1689.
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