Concordia Theological Monthly

Publication Date


Document Type



lutheran symbols, scriptures, german, missouri synod, catholic, apostles creed, faith, luther, righteousness

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The Symbols have various intended uses. They can serve as a legal club, in order to enforce conformity with their teaching by a clergyman or instructor who has solemnly committed himself to teach and practice according to them, under pain of dismissal for having obtained money or other emoluments under false pretenses. But this is certainly an opus alienum. Their proper office includes serving as a norm of teaching and of administering Sacraments, to which an individual solemnly and voluntarily committed to them strives conscientiously to conform; as a Symbol, that is, an identification among Lutherans, since they are the constitutive factor of the Lutheran Church as a denomination; as a witness to the way in which the authors of the Symbols (as well as their present-day spiritual posterity) understood and interpreted the Sacred Scriptures on controverted points; and as a confession, that is, a classic formulation of our own grateful response to the divine revelation.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

John 5:39b; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 1 Corinthians 2:14; John 14:26;

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars