I couldn't find side-by-side comparisons, but I did find essays that
discuss and compare the theologies of Calvin and Luther. I also found
links to many of the documents you listed.
Calvin & Luther -- Comparisons/ Writings:
Here's the best overall essay I found: "Confessing the Reformed Faith:
Our Identity in Unity and Diversity," at:
by Richard Muller, "the P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical
Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. This
address was given by Professor Muller at a meeting of the North
American Presbyterian and Reformed Council on November 9, 1993 and
appeared originally in the March and April numbers (1994) of New
Horizons, the publication of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church."
The above speech/essay does a superb job of comparing various
Reformation doctrines: "the Tetrapolitan Confession, the Gallican
Confession, the Belgic Confession, the First Confession of Base, the
First Helvetic Confession, the Second Helvetic Confession, the
Heidelberg Catechism, the Scots Confession, the Thirty-nine Articles,
I found that essay at this site "Reformed Confessions and Catechisms,"
which is maintained by R. Scott Clark,
Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at CA's
That page will link you to:
Second Helvetic Confession (1561/1566)
Notes on the Heidelberg Catechism
A Synopsis of the Three Forms of Unity
Helvetic Consensus Formula (1675
The Center For Reformed Theology and Apologetics also has some of the
historic documents you're seeking, archived at:
The Genesis 1-20 site compares Calvin to several other theologians,
The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne offers an overview of the
evolution of the Reformation, while comparing Luther and Calvin:
(There's lots of clickable links to subtopics that may interest you.)
"A Short Course in UCC [United Church of Christ] History -- Reformation Roots"
offers a good -- albeit, very short -- like the title says -- overview
of the chief reformers.
Biblestudy.org has a good site "Doctrines of Men, Denominations," at:
Just click on Calvin's and Luther's names to bring up links to their
writings and commentaries about them.
Here's an interesting article I found at Worldwide Faith News
archives, "The Protestant Reformation: an Historical Idea Ready for a
Reform," written in March 2000 by Edmund Doogue of Ecumenical News
Fordham University's "Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Reformation
Europe," has an exhaustive section on Reformation history, including a
great deal of material on Calvin and Luther:
You may also be interested in the book "Luther and Calvin On Secular
Authority" (Cambridge University Press; Sept. 1991. Authors: Calving,
Luther. Editors: Hopfl, Geuss, Skinner):
(You can read sample pages from the book at this link.)
When you mentioned "symbols" in your question, given the context, I
took that to mean the documents you listed. In case you're also
looking for Calvin's and Luther's views on symbols, see:
The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America),"LET'S TALK:
WORSHIP," compares how Calvin and Luther viewed symbols of communion:
See the essay, "The Protestant Struggle With Image," (by David
Morgan) at Religion-Online:
Books, Essays, & Web Sites About John Calvin:
A directory of sites devoted to John Calvin can be found at:
The first site listed there:
contains extensive excerpts from Calvin's writings.
The University of Houston has an excellent site about John Calvin:
"What Presbyterians Believe":
(This essay also compares Calvin's and Luther's views on the "doctrine
"Calvin: A Biography" (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Nov. 2000;
authors: Cottret, McDonald):
Books, Essays & Web Sites About Martin Luther:
From the (ELCA) Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's site:
"Living the Faith: Session One: MATTERS OF MORALITY"
This series contains six lessons that do a good job of explaining how
the ELCA (the most dominant sect of Lutheranism in America) interprets
Luther's teachings. Session Four also offers some comparisons between
Lutheranism and Calvinism.
See the essay: "Luther's Deathbed Confession -- The Smalcald Articles"
by Carleton A. Toppe:
Here's a lengthy review of the book "The Book of Concord: The
Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church" (Fortress: 2000.
Edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert), from "Currents In
Theology and Mission Magazine," Dec. 2002 issue:
The review notes that this book "is a collection of creeds,
confessions, and teachings that provide the normative doctrines of the
Lutheran Church. The collection of 10 documents (The Three Ecumenical
Creeds, The Augsburg Confession, Apology of the Augsburg Confession,
The Smalcald Articles, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope,
The Small Catechism, The Large Catechism, and Formula of Concord)."
Read more about the book at Amazon:
My mother, a lifelong Lutheran who minored in theology, emphatically
recommends the Martin Luther biography "Here I Stand," by Roland
Amazon.com customer "rp4pr. a Catholic Presbyterian," has assembled a
list of recommended books by, and about, Luther and Calvin:
"'John Calvin' AND Luther AND comparison'"
"'John Calvin' AND Luther AND contrast'"
"'Augsburg Confession' AND 'Belgic Confession' AND comparison"
" 'John Calvin' 'Martin Luther' differences"
"compare Calvin Luther symbols"
"compare Calvin Luther beliefs"
I hope my research is of help to you. Please post a "Request For
Clarification" if you need help navigating any of the above links, or
if you need me to clarify any of the information I've given you, prior
to rating my answer.
Clarification of Answer by
26 Dec 2003 13:58 PST
I'm sorry you're not happy with the resources I gave you.
You'd asked for "a good quantity of material which compares the
theology of Martin Luther with that of John Calvin."
I felt I'd given you the best resources available online, and some
good books regarding Luther's and Calvin's theologies.
You also asked for "side-by-side comparisons of the major symbols of Lutheran
theology (Augsburg Confession; Smalcald Articles; Small
Catechism/Large Catechism; Formula of Concord, etc.) with those of
Calvinist theology (Belgic Confession; Heidelberg Catechism; Second
Helvetic Confession; Canons of Dort; Westminster Confession of Faith;
Westminster Shorter/Larger Catechisms, etc."
As I noted in my answer, I couldn't find "side-by-side" comparisons of
those documents, but I did provide you with links to many of those
documents. (Many of those texts can be read online.)
If you're dissatisfied with my answer, I can have my answer removed,
which would allow another researcher to tackle the question for you.
I was raised Lutheran, so have some understanding of Lutheran
theology. But my goal was to gather as many helpful resources re:
Calvin and Luther as I possibly could. I thought that was what you
were looking for! That you wanted essays that discussed and compared
Lutheranism and Calvinism.
If after checking out some of the essays and other documents I've
provided for you, you still feel that this information is
insufficient, or that I misunderstood what you wanted, I will gladly
ask the editors to pull my answer and allow another researcher to try
answering the question to your satisfaction.