Belgic Confession on the Trinity - prooftext

Not open for further replies.

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Article 8 was our reading tonight. Great stuff, it I was scratching my head with one proof text -

The Father is the cause, origin, and beginning of all things visible and invisible;9

Col. 1:16—For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

I always thought this was referring to the Son rather than the Father. Do we know when these proof texts were appended to the Confession?

(I’m using the Protestant Reformed version of the proof texts.)


Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I agree that the text is speaking of Christ but considering that it says "all things were created by him," this implies that the Son is the one through whom the Father made all things. In other words, the Son is the instrumental person, with the Father being "the cause, origin..."

As far as the prooftexts are concerned, I would ask Guido's Brother.

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior

Yes, proof-texts have been in the Belgic Confession since the first edition in 1561. However, over the years, they have been revised in various editions. For example, the first editions of the BC had proof-texts from the apocrypha. By 1566, these had been excised by a synod.

In this case, the reference to Colossians 1 was in the original 1561 BC. However, the reference was to Colossians 1:16-18. Modern readers need to realize two things:

1. The verse references used in this period of the 16th century are not yet standardized -- they're not necessarily equivalent to what we use today.
2. While the original BC had proof-texts, it didn't have footnotes linking the body of the text to the appropriate text-references as we have them today. The references were just put next to the article in a fairly sloppy manner.

Given those two factors, I think it's likely that the reference to Colossians 1 was meant to go with the statement, "The Son is the Word, the wisdom, and the image of the Father." And the intended Scripture text in our versification is Colossians 1:15, "He is the image of the invisible God."

The edition used by the Canadian Reformed Churches and Free Reformed Churches of Australia moves the reference to Colossians 1 to the sentence about the Son and gives it as "Col. 1:15-20."

Hope that helps!
Not open for further replies.