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Helvetic Confessions, the name of two documents expressing the common belief of the Reformed churches of Switzerlandmarker.

The First Helvetic Confession ( ), known also as the Second Confession of Basel, was drawn up at that city in 1536 by Bullinger and Leo Jud of Zürichmarker, Megander of Bernmarker, Oswald Myconius and Grynaeus of Baselmarker, Bucer and Capito of Strasbourgmarker, with other representatives from Schaffhausenmarker, St Gallmarker, Mülhausenmarker and Bielmarker. The first draft was in Latin and the Zürich delegates objected to its Lutheran phraseology. Leo Jud's German translation was, however, accepted by all, and after Myconius and Grynaeus had modified the Latin form, both versions were agreed to and adopted on February 26, 1536.

The Second Helvetic Confession (Latin: Confessio Helvetica posterior) was written by Bullinger in 1562 and revised in 1564 as a private exercise. It came to the notice of the elector palatine Frederick III, who had it translated into German and published. It gained a favourable hold on the Swiss churches, who had found the First Confession too short and too Lutheran. It was adopted by the Reformed Church not only throughout Switzerland but in Scotlandmarker (1566), Hungarymarker (1567), Francemarker (1571), Polandmarker (1578), and next to the Heidelberg Catechism is the most generally recognized Confession of the Reformed Church.

See also


  • L Thomas, La Confession helvétique (Geneva, 1853);
  • Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, i. 390-420, iii. 234-306;
  • Julius Müller, Die Bekenntnisschriften der reformierten Kirche (Leipzig, 1903).

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