A New “Must Read” for Reformed Christians

from Oct 25, 2008 Category: Articles

For the last several years, I have been hearing rumors of a book project that was being developed by Dr. James T. Dennison. According to the “word on the street,” Dennison was working on a multi-volume work that would include most or all of the Reformed confessions of confessions_dennison_web.jpegthe sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in English translation. Some of these confessions have long been available in English, but many have never before been translated. Occasionally, I would see references being made to this work on various blogs and forums, but I did not know when it would be complete.

This week I finally received a copy of the first volume of this work from the publisher Reformation Heritage Books, and all I can say is that is was worth the wait. The book is titled Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation: Volume 1, 1523-1552 . This volume is the first in a projected three-volume set that will include all of the Reformed confessions written between 1523 and 1693. This first volume is 820 pages and includes 33 confessions and catechisms from the years 1523 to 1552. Each of these confessions and catechisms is preceded by a brief introduction, written by Dennison.

It may be most helpful to simply list the contents of this volume:

  1. The Sixty-Seven Articles of Huldrych Zwingli (1523)
  2. Zwingli’s Short Christian Instruction (1523)
  3. The Ten Theses of Bern (1528)
  4. Confession of the East Friesland Preachers (1528)
  5. William Farel’s Summary (1529)
  6. Zwingli, Fidei ratio (1530)
  7. The Tetrapolitan Confession (1530)
  8. Waldensian Confession (1530)
  9. Zwingli, Fidei Expositio (1531)
  10. The Bern Synod (1532)
  11. Waldensian Synod of Chanforan (1532)
  12. The Waldensian Confession of Angrogna (1532)
  13. The First Confession of Basel (1534)
  14. The Bohemian Confession (1535)
  15. The Lausanne Articles (1536)
  16. The First Helvetic Confession (1536)
  17. Calvin’s Catechism (1537)
  18. Geneva Confession (1536/37)
  19. Calvin’s Catechism (1538)
  20. Waldensian Confession of Merindol (1541)
  21. Waldensian Confession of Provence (1543)
  22. The Waldensian Confession of Merindol (1543)
  23. The Walloon Confession of Wesel (1544/45)
  24. Calvin’s Catechism (1545)
  25. Juan Diaz’s Sum of the Christian Religion (1546)
  26. Valdes’s Catechism (1549)
  27. Consensus Tigurinus (1549)
  28. Anglican Catechism (1549)
  29. London Confession of John a Lasco (1551)
  30. Large Emden Catechism of the Strangers’ Church, London (1551)
  31. Vallerandus Poullain: Confession of the Glastonbury Congregation (1551)
  32. Rhaetian Confession (1552)
  33. Consensus Genevensis: Calvin on Eternal Predestination (1552)

This is an invaluable historical and theological resource. Reformed Christians everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Dennison, the translators with whom he worked to bring this work to completion, and the publisher. I for one am eagerly awaiting the remaining two volumes.