Apology of the Augsburg Confession

Apology of the Augsburg Confession

The Apology of the Augsburg Confession was prepared by Philipp Melanchthon as a response to the Roman Catholic "Confutation of the Augsburg Confession" which was written to answer the Lutheran Augsburg Confession after it was presented in 1530 at the Diet of Augsburg. Melanchthon wrote this as a defense of the original Confession, and a refutation of this Confutation that Emperor Charles V had commissioned. The Book of Concord includes it as a Lutheran confessional document. It is the longest document in the Book of Concord and offers the most detailed Lutheran response to the Roman Catholicism, as well as the most detailed Lutheran explanation of the doctrine of justification.


The major sections of the Apology are listed below, along with the article of the Agusburg Confession that Melanchthon is defending.

1. Concerning Original Sin -- Article II

2. Concerning Justification -- Article IV

3. Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law

4. Concerning the Churchdn -- Articles VII and VIII

5. Concerning Repentance -- Article XII

6. Concerning Confession and Satisfaction

7. Concerning the Number and Use of the Sacraments -- Article XIII

8. Concerning Human Traditions in the Church -- Article XV

9. Concerning the Invocation of Saints -- Article XXI

10. Concerning Both Kinds in the Lord's Supper -- Article XXII

11. Concerning the Marriage of Priests -- Article XXIII

12. Concerning the Mass -- Article XXIV

13. Concerning Monastic Vows -- Article XXVII

14. Concerning Ecclesiastical Power -- Article XXVIII

He also refers to some of the other articles in the Augsburg Confession which did not require an extensive defense. These articles are I, III, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX.

Textual Issues

The first edition of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession was published in Spring 1531. Melanchthon continued to revise it and issued a second edition in the Fall of 1531. Some scholars believe the second edition is the better edition of the Apology. The Lutheran Church's formal collection of confessions in the Book of Concord refer to the first edition of the Apology when it is quoted in the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord. The 1580 German edition of the Book of Concord used the translation of the Apology prepared by Justus Jonas, who rendered it freely based on Melanchthon's further editing. The 1584 Latin edition of the Book of Concord uses the first edition of the Apology, following the decision made by the Luther estates and rulers at the Diet of Naumburg in 1560 to use only the first edition of the Augsburg Confession and the Apology of the Augsburg Confession.


*"Concordia Triglotta: Die symbolischen Bücher der evanglish-lutherischen Kirche." St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921 [http://online.nph.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?10418&productID=150461] . This book contains the first edition, the Quarto edition, and translates it from the Latin 1584 Book of Concord, putting in brackets the translation of material found in the Jonas German translation.
* The "Bekenntnisschriften" is the critical edition of the Lutheran Confessions, offering the latest academic opinions of the various textual forms of the Lutheran Confessions. [http://www.amazon.com/dp/3525521014]

External links

* [http://www.bookofconcord.org/augsburgdefense.html Apology (HTML)] - bookofconcord.org
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6744 Apology (Plain Text Download)] - Project Gutenburg


* [http://www.cph.org/concordia] The Concordia Edition of the Lutheran Confessions contains a translation of the first edition, the Quarto edition.
* [http://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/item.asp?clsid=128050&isbn=0800627407] The Kolb/Wengert Edition of the Lutheran Confessions contains a translation of the second edition of the Apology, the Octavo edition. The editors of the Book of Concord, rejected the Octavo text for inclusion in both authoritative editions of the Lutheran Confessions, the German edition of the Book of Concord from 1580 and the Latin edition of 1584.

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