1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

Baptists in the United States tend not to emphasize “creeds and confessions”. Over the last century or so, the preference for “soul freedom” of the individual believer and/or emphasis on the Bible itself led American Baptists to backpedal on these documents that attempt to summarize what we believe.

One example is the Apostle’s Creed that was developed within a couple of hundred years of Christ’s ascension. There can be a risk that rote, repeated, frequent recitation of a creed during worship services can be counterproductive. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with the content of the Apostle’s Creed itself.

What then is a “confession”? It is a more lengthy document that explains the doctrines of the Christian faith in greater detail. One example is the Westminster Confession of Faith used by the Presbyterians.

But it turns out that the Baptists in Great Britain also developed a confession centuries ago. It is the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. I would bet that few of us are aware that American Baptists later also used this document. In fact, when the Southern Baptists first met to form their Convention in 1845, each of the churches and associations represented used the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith as a statement of belief. It was regarded as pretty important back then.

I learned about this confession only recently despite having been a Southern Baptist for greater than 40 years. It has been de-emphasized to that extent.

It turns out that Founders Ministries has published the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith as a short book. In addition, they “translated” it from archaic English, and produced a modern English version. It runs about 6o pages; and is literally packed with scriptural references. I recommend it enthusiastically for those interested. It can be purchased here. The cost is $4.50 plus shipping.


2 thoughts on “1689 Baptist Confession of Faith

  1. How is it any different than the Nicine Creed ?

    I believe in one God,
    the Father almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all things visible and invisible.

    I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
    the Only Begotten Son of God,
    born of the Father before all ages.

    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
    through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven,
    and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
    and became man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
    he suffered death and was buried,
    and rose again on the third day
    in accordance with the Scriptures.
    He ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory
    to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
    who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
    who has spoken through the prophets.

    I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
    I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
    and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

  2. The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith is much longer and more detailed and gets down in the weeds a bit more about doctrine compared with the Nicene Creed, Fred. (And the Nicene Creed expands a bit upon the Apostle’s Creed.)

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