The textual history of the Westminster Confession of Faith

Alexander Mitchell, in The Westminster Assembly (1883), tells us a little bit about the textual history of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Contrary to popular assumption, the Westminster Confession as we know it today is not authentic in the sense that it is not the parliamentary approved version. The Westminster Assembly was called by Parliament, and was thus accountable to Parliament for authorization of its work. As you will see below, the version we know today is the version that was illegally reprinted and distributed in Scotland. The parliamentary approved version makes edits which Mitchell points out below.

Alexander Mitchell, Westminster Assembly, 366-367

Alexander Mitchell, Westminster Assembly, 368-369

Here you can see the clear instructions not to reproduce this work because it is not the final or parliament-approved version. Note the date, April 29, 1647, this is the version mentioned by Mitchell.

Westminster Confession Original Form

Review copy of Westminster Confession

Apparently, the Scots had a hard time submitting to the civil magistrate.

This is the title page of the parliamentary approved Westminster Confession
WCF Authorized

What does this mean? Your copies of the Westminster Confession of Faith are illegal!

Click the images for larger versions.

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7 thoughts on “The textual history of the Westminster Confession of Faith

  1. Pingback: WCF & Revisions

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