The following passage comes from from the fifth volume of the authors' Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (1894). After scanning and linking the text, I divided the original into separate paragraphs to make for easier reading. — George P. Landow ]

The name “Lutherans,” as a designation of all those who were in sympathy with Luther’s views, was, at the opening of the Reformation, first applied to them by Eck and Pope Hadrian VI, and was meant as a term of depreciation, and at first and for a considerable time designated the entire body of those who opposed the corruptions of Rome. The official and proper titles of the particular churches on which the name Lutheran has finally been fixed are “Protestant,” “Evangelical,” and “Adherents of the Augsburg Confession.” The Protestant Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession has not, as a whole, to this hour, by any official act, received or acknowledged the title “Lutheran,” but has tolerated it because of the historical necessities of the usage. Like the name “Christian” itself, invented by enemies, it has been borne until it has become a name of honor. It became more and more the received term for the Protestant Evangelical Church in consequence of the struggles of that Church with the Zwinglian and Calvinistic-Reformed without, and the Philippists within. It marked Lutheranism in antithesis to Calvinism. . .

The Lutheran Church is the ecclesiastical communion which adheres to the rule and articles of faith restored in the Reformation, of which Luther was the chief instrument. The acceptance of this rule (God’s Word) and the confession of this faith are set forth in the Augsburg Confession of 1530, which is the common confession of the entire Lutheran Church. The major part of the Lutheran Church . . . acknowledges the Apology of the Augsburg Confession of 1530, the Schmalcald Articles of 1537, the two Catechisms of Luther of 1529, and the Formula of Concord of 1579, as accordant with the rule of faith and with the Augsburg Confession. These confessions, together with the oecumenical creeds, form the Book of Concord of 1580, and are often styled the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church. . . . The chief peculiarities Lutheran doctrine . . . relate to (1.) Original Sin, (2.) the Person of Christ (3) Baptism, and (4) the Lord’s Supper.


Churches and places associated with Luther


M'Clintock, John, and James Strong. . .. Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894.

Last modified 12 October 2015