Date of Award


Document Type

Seminar Paper

Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Systematic Theology

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

Matthew 11:30; 1 Corinthians 3: 11-13; Matthew 16: 19; Colossians 2:3; 1 John 16:13; Ephesians 4:5, 6; John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 3:5; Luke 11:23; Colossians 2:9;


This essay will analyze Luther's On the Councils and the Church, especially Parts I and II, in search of the criteria he uses for distinguishing between true and false doctrine in the ecumenical councils and consequently for "locating" the "true" church amid the confusing whirl of ecclesiastical traditions. It is my desire to allow Luther himself to speak, to engage the reader in Luther's own argument as it develops in this treatise. He does not show all of his cards in the first pages of the treatise. He builds his case slowly, methodically. As we shall see, according to Luther, everybody must pick and choose from the canons and creeds of these councils, and Luther has a fascinating, and I believe timely, evangelical method of differentiating between what abides and what falls away in church tradition.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.