Martin Luther 1537
Phillip Melanchthon 1537
What are the Lutheran Confessions?
Drawn from God’s Word, the Lutheran Confessions are a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and serve as authoritative texts for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and the LCMS subscribes unconditionally to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God.
We accept the Lutheran Confessions as articulated in the Book of Concord of 1580 because they are drawn from the Word of God, and on that account we regard their doctrinal content as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture and as authoritative for all pastors, congregations and other rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
On many occasions in the 16th century, Martin Luther and other evangelical reformers were asked to give an account of their teaching and practice. In response Philip Melanchthon, one of Luther’s colleagues, wrote, “We must see what Scripture attributes to the law and what it attributes to the promises. For it praises and teaches good works in such a way as not to abolish the free promise and not to eliminate Christ.” Although the writings that comprise the Book of Concord engage a range of issues regarding teaching and practice, they do not address every question or topic. Rather, they focus on the Scriptures’ purpose: to present Jesus Christ to faith.
The Book of Concord includes seven writings composed by Luther and others. Lutheran churches around the world have affirmed these writings, and the ELCA affirms them in its governing documents. Lutherans most often use them in teaching — for example, when the Small Catechism is used in basic Christian instruction, or when the Augsburg Confession is used to teach women and men preparing for ministry.
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