Heidelminicast: Belgic Confession Art. 6—With The Ancient Church, The Reformed Churches Respect But Do Not Receive The Apocryphal Books

The Belgic Confession was written by a Reformed pastor, Guy de Bres (1522–1567), who adopted the Reformed faith as a young man and studied with several Reformed luminaries, including John Calvin, before serving as a pastor, church planter, and chaplain in France and the French-speaking Lowlands. He was martyred for the gospel in 1567 but the confession he drafted in 1561 was adopted by the Reformed churches in 1567 and most significantly at the Great Synod of Dort (1618–19). It is one of the three forms of unity (including the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dort). It is a warm, pastoral, and even powerful confession of God’s Word written by a faithful pastor and pilgrim even as Romanist troops sought to arrest him and silence the gospel in the Netherlands.

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  1. I have to admit that my briefcase/travelling Bible is usually an Oxford KJV with Apocrypha (it was bought 2dhand, and had to be rebound). While I accept Jerome’s and the Reformers’ objection that those books are not really Scripture, it’s good to have a testimony to certain streams of Jewish piety in the era immediately prior to the coming of the Messiah.

    • Peter, be careful what you believe from it. For instance, I am prepared to believe that following the battle in which the Israelites killed were found with idols hidden under their cloaks, Maccabaeus held a great sacrifice in Jerusalem. What I am not prepared to believe is that this sacrifice was for the dead – I mean, if you were Maccabaeus and every soldier killed had been found with an idol under his coat, what would you think? I know what I would think, and it’s not that everyone who wasn’t killed must have been innocent of idolatry. I’m pretty sure that sacrifice was a Job-like sacrifice for the nation, and in particular, for the surviving soldiers.
      On the whole, I would think that Josephus is every bit as reliable, or not, as the Apocrypha.

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