The title “The Apostles Creed” does not mean the Apostles wrote the creed. Rather, it is called The Apostles Creed because it contains a brief summary of what the Apostles taught. It is dated no later than the fourth century and is considered to be Christianity’s earliest statement of belief. The Creed derives from the Canonical Gospels and has a Trinitarian structure.
The Belgic Confession
The Belgic Confession was written in 1561 for the purpose of defending Protestantism from the persecution of the Roman Catholic government. Guido De Brès, the chief author of the confession, wanted to prove that the Reformed faith was not a group of rebels but were law-abiding citizens who adhered to Biblical doctrine according to sacred Scripture. It was a confession that aimed to provide clarity and understanding of the Reformed faith.
Composed in the city of Heidelberg, Germany from 1563, this catechism was written for the purpose of not only teaching young people but also for preaching in the church. Tradition credits Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, along with a team of ministers and university theologians under the eye of Elector Fredrick III for the composition of this Reformed confession. It served, as it still does today, as a point of unity among several Protestant denominations.
Between 1618 and 1619, a synod of Reformed theologians, pastors, and even politicians came together in Dordrecht, Netherlands for the purposes of responding to the five doctrinal teachings of Jacob Arminius (Arminianism) and his followers. The conclusion and response is known as The Canons of Dort, which is a polemical articulation of Calvinistic belief to refute Arminianism. It also touches on a Reformed perspective of Christian life and practice.
Written between 1646 and 1647, a synod was held to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland by the Westminster Assembly. The assembly consisted of English and Scottish theologians and laymen. The synod produced the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger Catechism. Since its publication, the catechism and confession have been a pivotal statement for Reformed theology, life, and practice.