The Athanasian Creed Affirmed in Reformed Confessions

 

This list was compiled from Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation by James T. Dennison, Jr.

Zwingli, Fidei Ratio (1530):

“First of all, I both believe and know that God is one and He alone is God, and that He is by nature good, true, powerful, just, wise, the Creator and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are indeed three persons, but that their essence is one and single. And I think altogether in accordance with the Creed, the Nicene and also the Athanasian, in all their details concerning the Godhead himself, the names or the three persons.”

The Bohemian Confession (1535):

“First of all, they teach by the Scriptures that God is to be known by faith as One in divine substance, but three in persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They teach that there is a distinction on the part of the persons, but as regards true essence and substance there is co-equality and no distinction. This is plainly attested by the Catholic faith, the Synod of Nicaea, and other decrees and articles in agreement with it, and also by the Confession or Symbol of Athanasius.”

The Walloon Confession of Wesel (1544-45):

“First, we believe what is contained in the Creed of the Apostles, of the Council of Nicaea, and of St. Athanasius.”

Juan Diaz’s Sum of the Christian Religion, Chapter 2 (1546):

“We embrace, nonetheless, three creeds, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian as summaries of the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures. Also the four great councils: the Nicene, the Constantinopolitan, the Ephesian, and the Chalcedonian and others, as long as they agree with the Holy Scriptures, and their teachings and decrees are in conformity with the Holy Scriptures.”

Rhaetian Confession (1552), after quoting the Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed:

“In addition to these are certain other texts of teachers as well as pious men and councils with Scriptural canons which are similar to and consonant with the creeds already quoted. These men composed them against the Macedonians and other heretics and commended them to us and their posterity. We have omitted them here for the sake of brevity and because they are easy to find. This is the summa, the system of our faith. It alone and uniquely do we accept as the true faith and the one given to us from heaven, and it alone and uniquely do we hold. We commend it to all mortals who want to obtain life. We despise, spurn, and condemn other faiths, whatever they are, which oppose this one or do not agree with it exactly in all aspects.”

“Then, if the brothers think it necessary, he is to read the confession of our faith and the creeds, especially the creed of Athanasius, so that however many are present may be instructed in the faith and so that no one could condemn us as heretics of a new doctrine.”

The Forty-Two Articles of the Church of England (1552/53):

“The three creeds—Nicene Creed, Athanasius’ Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed—ought thoroughly to be received: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.”

Waldensian Confession of Turin (1556):

“Likewise, they confess that they accept the creeds of the four ancient general councils, that is, Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and also the Athanasian Creed, in which the mystery of the Christian faith and religion is clearly and amply treated.”

The French Confession (1559):

“Wherefore we do for this cause also allow of those three creeds, namely, the Apostles’, the Nicene, and Athanasian because they are agreeable to the Word of God.”

Waldensian Confession (1561):

“Likewise, they maintain the creeds of the four ancient general councils, i.e., of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and also the Athanasian Creed, in which the mystery of the faith and of the Christian religion is clearly and amply treated.”

Belgic Confession (1561):

“This doctrine of the Holy Trinity has always been affirmed and maintained by the true Church since the time of the apostles to this very day against the Jews, Mohammedans, and some false Christians and heretics, as Marcion, Manes, Praxeas, Sabellius, Samosatenus, Arius, and such like, who have been justly condemned by the orthodox fathers. Therefore, in this point, we do willingly receive the three creeds, namely, that of the Apostles, of Nicea, and of Athanasius; likewise that which, conformable thereunto, is agreed upon by the ancient fathers.”

Sandomierz Consensus (1570):

“We also uphold the symbols or confessions of faith made at the four earliest councils, of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and the Athanasian Creed, all of which we understand to perfectly agree with Scripture regarding this matter, in declaring and explaining the universal Christian faith, which was given directly from the apostles and from which we do not desire to deviate in the least, but rather reject and condemn all errors and sects that are opposed to it.”

The Confession of La Rochelle (1571):

“In this spirit, we recognize the three creeds, namely, the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, because they conform to the Word of God.”

The Second Helvetic Confession (1566):

“And to speak many things in few words, with a sincere heart we believe, and with liberty of speech we freely profess, whatsoever things are defined out of the Holy Scriptures, and comprehended in the creeds, and in the decrees of those four first and most excellent Councils held at Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon, together with blessed Athanasius’ Creed, and all other creeds like to these, touching the mystery of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ; and we condemn all things contrary to the same. And thus do we retain the Christian, sound, and catholic faith, whole and inviolable, knowing that nothing is contained in the foresaid creeds which is not agreeable to the Word of God, and makes wholly for the sincere declaration of the faith.”

Documents of the Debrecen Synod (1567):

“Therefore, with the Nicene Creed, that of Athanasius and sacred Scripture, we confess that Christ as Son and as God is from the Father.”

“Indeed, they even clearly twist and obscure the testimony of Scripture that counters the opinion and heresy of Servetus, and they reject the creeds of the apostles, Nicaea, Athanasius, and [John of] Damascus, which accord with the truth of Scripture.”

The Thirty-Nine Articles (1572-3):

“The three creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius’ Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.”

The Bohemian Confession (1573):

“Chapter 2. Of Catechizing

In the second place, they teach the Christian catechism, i.e., a catholic doctrine and instruction made with the mouth that agrees in Christianity with the ancient church and holy fathers, because it is the most profound and essential part and also the key to the whole Holy Scripture and contains the sum of it. It is comprehended in the Ten Commandments; in the catholic, Christian, and Apostolic Creed, in which there are twelve articles that are expounded and confirmed by the Nicene and Athanasian Creed and by godly catholic and ecumenical councils; also, in the formula of prayers—the sacred Lord’s Prayer; in the summary doctrine concerning the sacraments; and due and also proper duties of every person’s place and order in the divers and distinct kinds of life to which he is divinely called. And there is an open confession and profession that this Christian doctrine is that true, full, perfect, and acceptable will of God, necessary to every faithful Christian for salvation.”

“This true and full faith and arduous knowledge of God, concerning His nature as well as His will, is comprehended and included in the above-mentioned catholic and Apostolic Creed and agrees with that decree of the Nicene Council, and in many other orthodox decrees, also in Athanasius’s confession, which we judge and profess to be true.”

Bohemian Confession (1575):

“We believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths, according to the content of the articles of the holy universal apostolic Christian faith, of the Council of Nicaea and the Confession of Athanasius, that there is only one divine being who is called and truthfully is God, eternal and invisible, immeasurable and incomprehensible in power, wisdom, equity and benevolence, who has created all things which are visible and invisible. He is a wondrous protector, ruler and leader, and in this single divine Being are three distinct persons; they are alike and of the same being and force of eternity: namely God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. And by the Word will the person be thus understood, that each one has His own and distinct personal subsistence. In fact, by the word ‘person’ will be understood what the Greeks call ύφιστάμενον.”

The Confession of Frederick III (1577):

“Furthermore, with a true and steadfast heart, we begin by making the general confession that we assuredly believe everything that has been revealed, comprehended, taught, affirmed, and grounded in the divine, prophetic, and apostolic Scriptures and doctrines, doing so with a true, faithful, and uncorrupted understanding of Scripture. In like manner, the church, since the time of the apostles, has summarized the chief doctrines of the Christian faith in our Christian Creed (referred to as Symbolum Apostolorum), and subsequently gave a true and faithful exposition of this apostolic faith in the Symbolo Nicaeno and Athanasii. This is the main foundation upon which we, in addition to all other faithful creeds (past, present, and future), build our faith. We confess that we shall thereby be saved according to Athanasius’s statement in his Symbolo: ‘Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith.'”

The Nassau (Dillenburger Synod) Confession (1578):

“Therefore with mouth and heart we profess this agreed and true doctrine comprised in the writings of the prophets and apostles, in the sense contained in the Apostolic, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds.”

“Yet in the Athanasian Creed it is properly declared that all three persons are equal in majesty and glory, that is, of one and the same majesty and glory.”

The Bremen Consensus (1595):

“Therefore, next after the Word of God and the universal Apostolic, Nicene, Athanasian, Ephesian, and Chalcedonian creeds, we hereby profess the aforesaid Augsburg Confession, understood in a legitimate and well-grounded sense so as it agrees and harmonizes with the true and infallible Word of God to which all must duly remain subject.”

The Stafforts Book (1599):

“We confess now with heart and mouth, without reservation, all those things which are taught and proclaimed to us in the Holy Scripture, in the Apostles’ Creed, in the Nicene Creed, in the Creed of Athanasius, in the third article of the Augsburg Confession, and in the Apologia of the same, concerning the person of our Lord and only Savior Jesus Christ.”

The Confession of John Sigismund (1614):

“To begin with, his Grace, the Elector, confesses from the heart the true and infallible Word of God, which alone can save (2 Tim. 3:15–17; Ps. 119), as it is set down in the writings of the holy prophets and apostles in the Holy Bible, and which is and should be a rule of conduct for all pious people (Ps. 119:104). It is complete and sufficient for our salvation, and for discernment in all controversies in religion, and abides forever (Isa. 40:8; Matt. 24:35; Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:25). After this, he confesses also the principal Christian and universal creeds, as the Apostolic, the Athanasian, the Nicene, the Ephesian, and the Chalcedonian, in which the articles of the Christian faith are concisely and candidly handled, and sufficiently asserted and proved from Scripture, in refutation of old and new heresies.”

The Irish Articles of Religion (1615):

“All and every the articles contained in the Nicene Creed, the Creed of Athanasius, and that which is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, ought firmly to be received and believed, for they may be proved by most certain warrant of Holy Scripture.”

Leipzig Colloquy (1631):

“…they confess the Apostolic, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds with mouth and heart.”

The Colloquy of Thorn (1645):

“We also confess that the so-called Athanasian Creed agrees therewith as well, no less than do the confessions of the first Council of Ephesus and the Council of Chalcedon, and that which in the fifth and sixth councils were set over against the Nestorians and Eutychians; as well as that which the first council at Mileve and the second council at Orange taught from Scripture against the Pelagians.”

Advertisements

3 Comments

Add yours →

  1. Reblogged this on Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – a former Catholic on the narrow way and commented:
    The Reformation reaffirmed the fundamental and essential Bible doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

    Praise the Lord for the confessions and declarations of faith published during that important time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: