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Journal > Volumes > 36 (2005) / 1 (Spring)
Melanchthon’s Doctrinal Last Will and Testament: The Responsiones ad articulos Bavaricae inquisitionis as His Final Confession of Faith
Robert Kolb
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

The day before his death (18 April 1560) Philip Melanchthon designated in his will that his Responsiones ad articulos Bavaricae inquisitionis, composed a year earlier, should be his final confession of faith. Directed primarily against the theology of articles prepared for an ecclesiastical visitation by the government of Bavarian duke Albrecht V, this treatise criticized the Roman Catholic doctrines of meritorious contribution to salvation by human good works, of penance, of the Mass, and of the church as well as what Melanchthon regarded as “superstitious” practices of the medieval church. His Responsiones also rejects the emphasis on the bondage of the will enunciated by his “Flacian” former students and the antitrinitarian and sacramental doctrines of certain radical reformers. This document demonstrates how Melanchthon’s teaching on justification by faith, essentially in the form set down in the Augsburg Confession (1530), remained the guiding principle of his theology.

Pages: 97 - 114