Saturday, February 25, 2012

Waldenses Confession of Faith of 1120 AD

I. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles' creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.

II. We believe that there is one God - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

III. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. * 

 IV. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.

V. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.

VI. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born - a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.

VII. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness - our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.

VIII. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.

IX. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places - one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.

X. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.

XI. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.

XII. We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.

XIII. We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord's supper.

XIV. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment.

*The Books of Moses called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st Samuel, 2nd of Samuel, 1st of Kings, 2nd of Kings, 1st Chronicles, 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms. The Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher, The Song of Solomon, The Prophesies of Isaiah, and Jeremiah. The Lamentations of Jeremiah. Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonas, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Here follow the Books Apocryphal, which are not received of the Hebrews. But we reade them (as saith St. Hierome in his Prologue to the Proverbs) for the instruction of the People, not to confirm the Authority of the Doctrine of the Church: 2nd Esdras, 3d Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, with the Epistle of Jeremiah, Esther from the tenth Chapter to the end, The Song of the three Children in the Fornace, The History of Susanna, The History of the Dragon, 1 Maccabes, 2 Maccabes, 3 Maccabes.

Here follow the Books of the New Testament: The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, The Acts of the Apostles, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, The Epistle of James, The first Epistle of Peter, The second Epistle of Peter, The first Epistle of John, The second Epistle of John, The third Epistle of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation of John.


Anonymous said...

I don't believe this confession is genuinely from the Waldensians. It is highly unlikely that a group of forest dwellers were aquainted with Augustinian theology or that they would accept it. Its a phoney document.

A.M. Mallett said...

beowulf, why would you think a community of believers living in northern Italy would be unfamiliar with Augustine? It is established fact that the Waldenses suffered persecution at the hands of Papal authorities late in the 12th century for their anti-papal beliefs as represented in their confessional statements. We see a repeat of this in the 1544 confessional as well.

The academic consensus on this matter is fairly well established.