Tetrapolitan Confession

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The Tetrapolitan Confession, also called the Confessio Tetrapolitana, Strasbourg Confession, or Swabian Confession, was the official confession of the followers of Huldrych Zwingli and the first confession of the reformed church. "Tetrapolitan", formed by the Greek "Tetra", meaning "four", and "Politan", meaning "city", or "Municipal", consisted of four cities: Strasbourg, Konstanz, Memmingen, and Lindau. It was written mostly by Martin Bucer with the help of Wolfgang Capito in 1530 (during the Diet of Augsburg) in order to bring Zwinglianist Christians into theological consistency. At the time Zwinglianists were excluded from Lutheranism because of differences in significant points of theology (i.e. Sacramental Union vs. Memorialism, etc.).

The Confession consists of 23 chapters, and is rather similar to the Augsburg Confession in both format and theology, and retains the same essence of moderation. However the first chapter does state that nothing should be taught except that which is explicitly stated in Scripture, a statement that is not found in the Augsburg Confession, although this has always been a major principle of Lutheran theology.

The Confession never fully took hold, however, because the more clear and logical Calvinist confessions were generally more appealing, and the remaining four Zwinglian cities all signed the Lutheran Confession in order to be a part of the defensive Schmalkaldic League. Bucer, however, stayed true to his confession and recited it even on his deathbed.