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The church of the Reformation in England and Scotland also adopted three doctrinal standards. These are:

  • The Thirty-nine Articles
  • The Westminster Confession of Faith
  • The Westminster Catechism (Larger and Shorter)

The Thirty-nine Articles

Established under Queen Elizabeth in 1563, the Thirty-Nine Articles are primarily the work of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533-1556. The articles address the major doctrines of Scripture as confessed by the Protestant church of England.

The Westminster Confession of Faith

The Westminster Assembly was summoned by the English Parliament in 1643. The assembly included 121 ministers, 10 members of the House of Lords, 20 representatives from the Commons, and 8 advisory members from Scotland. They met in Westminster Abbey 163 times over a span of 5 years. Their task was to advise Parliament on restructuring the Church of England along scriptural/Puritan lines.

Its thirty-three chapters represent a clear and comprehensive statement of biblical/Reformed principles in the Calvinistic/ Puritan tradition.

The Westminster Confession was ratified by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1647 and has become a standard of orthodoxy for Presbyterian and other church denominations throughout the world.

The Westminster Catechisms

After completing the Confession of Faith, the Westminster Assembly focused upon the preparation of a catechism. Both a larger and shorter version were produced; the larger, designed for pulpit exposition, included 196 Questions and Answers; and the

  • Ratified - Approved; officially confirmed
  • Orthodoxy - Soundness in doctrine; true to God's Word

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