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Belgic Confession thrown over castle wall 450 years ago

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

UTRECHT - This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Belgic Confession whose author was a Walloon pastor, Guido de Bres. The Confession (called the Nederlandse Geloofsbelijdenis in Dutch) landed inside the castle at Tournai (the Dutch call it Doornik), thrown over its wall by an unknown supporter during the night and found early on November 2, 1561. It is thought that the Confession was already written early that year and published after the persecuted churches authorized it. Commentator Dr. N. H. Gootjes, who authored a book on the Belgic Confession, suggests that this is why the Confession is the first person plural throughout, “We believe…” The authority of the Confession was fine-tuned and confirmed by the Synod of Antwerp (1566), the Convent of Wezel (1586), the Synod of Emden (1571) and the Synod of Dortrecht (1618/19). The Belgic Confession is the most widely accepted faith summary and has been translated into German, Latin, Greek, English, and Spanish, to name the best known ones. De Bres was martyred at Valenciennes on May 31, 1567, aged 45.