The “Catalog of Testimonies” and Advent

The “Catalog of Testimonies” was appended to the Book of Concord to show that the Lutheran doctrine was not invented in the 1500s.

A person will easily recognize that when these doctrines are taught in the Book of Concord nothing new has been introduced, either in the doctrinal issues themselves, or in phrases and ways of speaking.  We have spoken and taught about these mysteries, first of all, just as Holy Scripture does, and also as the ancient, pure Church did.  [Catalog of Testimonies: To the Christian Reader].

Because these testimonies of “the ancient, pure Church” relate primarily to the natures of Christ they make excellent Advent meditations.  They also help to explain why Christians view the Lord’s Supper as an integral part of the Christmas celebration:

Christ always received worship and adoration from the angels, for He always was God.  Now they are adoring Him also as man.  [Theodoret, 632].


In regard to the flesh the Father has commanded, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.”  [Chrysostom, 631].


The Word did not become flesh in order to add to divinity.  In order that flesh might rise up, He came forth from Mary, not that the Word might become better.  There was a great addition to the human body from communion and union with the Word.  [Athanasius, 628].


The Word that became man did not confer a partial grace on the received [human] nature; rather, it pleased God that the whole fullness of Deity dwelt in it.  [Theodoret, 639].


… the divinity which is not seen is worshiped through the nature which is seen—this surpasses every miracle.  [Theodoret, 629].


Because the Savior’s flesh was joined to the Word of God, who is by nature Life, it was made life-giving.  [Cyril, 640].

The Word became one of us, and said, “This is my body given for you,” and thereby he puts his word, his body, his blood: his very life into us.  (John 1:14, Luke 22:19).

May you have a blessed Advent and Christmas.

Notes:  All page citations and translations are from Concordia, the Lutheran Confessions: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord.

3 thoughts on “The “Catalog of Testimonies” and Advent

  1. Kashif Shahzada,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    After reading your pleasant post, I would say that the issue of who Jesus is, is far more important than when Jesus was born. If the witnesses are correct, and Jesus is who he claimed to be: if Jesus is the one God who became man, then he is more than just a prophet. (John 8:58).

    May the one God bless you this holiday season with the one Truth.

  2. Rick,
    The Catalogue of Testimonies as appended to the Book of Concord is indeed valuable (one wonders why it was deleted from 20th century editions?). However, it covers only Christology. I am attempting to collate a similar catalogue of testimones for all the articles of faith and heads of doctrine, publishing them at a blog called ‘Lutheran Catholicity‘. It is a work in progress. I note that you link to this blog on your blogroll and want to express my appreciation for that, as well as encourage your readers to check it out.

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