Commentaries on the Apostles’ Creed

“Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires…  and all thy borders of pleasant stones.  And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

Isa. 54:11-13

“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”

2 Tim. 1:13-14

“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations;”

Isa. 58:12




‘He descended into ‘Hell”
Communion of Saints



Order of Contents

Shorter  12+
Longer  30
In the Heidelberg Catechism  12
Study Guides  10

Websites  2
Bibliography  1
Latin  3



Shorter Commentaries

Early Church

Augustine – Treatise on the Faith & Creed  ToC  trans. S.D.F. Salmond  in NPNF1 3.315-333



Vermigli, Peter Martyr – ch. 18, ‘A Plain Exposition of Peter Martyr, upon the Twelve Articles of the Christian faith’  in pt. 2 of The Common Places…  (London, 1583), pp. 612-40

Dent, Arthur – A Plain Exposition of the Articles of our Faith, by Short Questions & Answers…  (London, 1589)  26 pp.



Clapham, Henoch – An Abstract of Faith Grounded on Moses, & Applied to the Common Creed; Plainely & Briefly  (London, 1606)  43 pp.

Clapham (fl. 1600) was a minister for the English-speaking, separatist, congregation at Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Anon. – pp. 38-48  of ch. 5  in The Speedy Passage to Heaven. Or a Perfect Direction for every True Christian, to walk in the right path of true holiness for the sure attaining of everlasting happiness. Containing an explanation of the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and our Lord’s Prayer  (London, 1612), pp.

Bruch, Richard – The Life of Religion: or Short & Sure Directions teaching how to 1 Believe aright. 2 Live aright, & 3 Pray Aright. In the Form of Exposition on 1. the Creed. 2. The Ten Commandments. 3. The Lord’s Prayer…  (London, 1615)

‘The First Heads or Grounds of the Exposition following. The Creed’
‘The Resolution of the Creed’
‘The Life of Religion.  The Creed’

Andrewes, Lancelot – Confession of Faith  in Holy Devotions, with Directions to Pray also a Brief Exposition upon the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments...  (d. 1626; London, 1663), pp. 221-40

Andrewes (1555-1626)

Bristow, John – An Exposition of the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments & the Sacraments. Catechetically Composed  (London, 1628), pp. 1-14 & 42-72

pp. 1-14  of ‘An Exposition of the Creede, the Lords Prayer, the Ten Commandments & the Sacraments’

pp. 42-72  of ‘The Grounds of Christian Religion somewhat Enlarged by some Addition to the Exposition of the Creed, the Ten Commandments & the Lords Prayer’

Bristow was an English minister.

Bernard, Richard – Good Christian, Look to thy Creed: for a True Trial of an Holy Profession, & of the Truth of Religion from All Crooked by-paths  (London, 1630)  34 pp.

Twisse, William – ‘The 4th Catechism, expounding the Creed’  in A Brief Catechetical Exposition of Christian Doctrine. Divided into Four Catechisms, Comprising the Doctrine of the 1. Two Sacraments. 2. Lord’s Prayer. 3. Ten Commandments. 4. & the Creed  (1632), pp. 48-62

Palmer, Herbert – ‘Questions & Answers tending to Explain the Articles of the Creed’  in An Endeavor of Making the Principles of Christian Religion, Namely the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer & the Sacraments Plain & Easy  (1644), pp. 1-23

Forbes, John – ‘On the Apostles’ Creed’  in Instructiones Historico-Theologicae  (Amsterdam, 1645), p. 1

Fenner, William –  Questions 21-57  of The Spiritual Man’s Directory…  (London, 1648), pp. 8-25

Fenner (1600–1640) was an English, non-conformist, puritan divine, practical writer and casuist.

Leighton, Robert – An Exposition of the Creed, on 1 Tim. 3:9  in Works, vol. 4, pp. 1-36

Leighton (1611-1684) was a reformed, evangelical and pious Scottish bishop.



Longer Commentaries

Early Church

Rufinus, Tyrannius – A Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed  trans. J.N.D. Kelly  in Ancient Christian Writers  (Newman Press, 1955)  165 pp.  ToC  HTML

Rufinus (345-411) was a monk, historian, and theologian.  He is best known as a translator of Greek patristic material, especially the work of Origen, into Latin.


Medieval Church

Aquinas, Thomas

The Sermon-Conferences…  on the Apostles’ Creed  trans. Nicholas Ayo  (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1988)  215 pp.  ToC  The Latin and English are on parallel pages.

These two works, above and below, are two different translations of the same work.  Here is another translation, an HTML version, of the same work.

The Apostles’ Creed  ToC  in The Three Greatest Prayers: Commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, & the Apostles’ Creed  (Sophia Institute Press, 1990), pp. 1-98  HTML



Rhegius, Urbanus – The Twelve Articles of our Christian Faith, with Annotations of Holy Scripture, wherein they be Grounded  85 pp.  in A Declaration of the Twelve Articles of the Christian Faith… and the Right Foundation & Principal Common Places of the Whole Godly Scripture…  (London, 1548)

Rhegius (1489–1541) was a Protestant Reformer who was active both in Northern and Southern Germany in order to promote Lutheran unity in the Holy Roman Empire.  He was also a popular poet.  Luther referred to him as the “Bishop of Lower Saxony”.

Rhegius began to support the Reform movement in 1521 (having succeeded Johannes Oecolampadius in Augsburg) and became an arbitor between the different views on the Eucharist expressed by Luther and Zwingli.  In 1530 he was one of the collaborators (along with Luther and others) who created the Augsburg Confession.

Viret, Pierre – A Very Familiar & Fruitful Exposition of the 12 Articles of the Christian Faith contained in the Common Creed, called the Apostles’ Creed, made in Dialogues… (London, 1548)  227 pp.  ToC

Hooper, John – A Brief & Clear Confession of the Christian faith, containing an Hundred Articles, according to the order of the Apostles’ Creed  (1574)  50 pp.  no ToC

Garnier, Jean – A Brief & Clear Confession of the Christian Faith, containing an Hundred Articles, after the Order of the Creed of the Apostles  (London, 1579)  77 pp.

Garnier (d. 1574) was reformed professor of theology at Marburg, Germany.  This work was written in French in Strasbourg, and was dedicated to the Church at Strasbourg.

Olevian, Caspar – An Exposition of the Symbol of the Apostles…  (London, 1581)  253 pp.  ToC

Olevian (1536–1587) was a significant German reformed theologian, and has been said to be a co-author of the Heidelberg Catechism along with Zacharias Ursinus (though this has been questioned).

Baker, John – Sermons upon the Creed, or 12 Articles of our Christian Faith  in Lectures of I.B. upon the 12 Articles of our Christian Faith Briefly set forth…  (London, 1581), pp. 1-395  The second work on the Creed in this volume is that of John Hooper.

Chapelin, George – A Familiar & Christian Instruction containing a Collection of Diverse and sundry places of Scripture, serving for an exposition upon the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments...  (London, 1582), pp. 3-6 & 88-238

‘The Apostles’ Creed’
‘Of Faith’

Bullinger, Heinrich – The Decades  (Cambridge: Parker Society, 1849), 1st Decade, pp. 122-180

7th Sermon, ‘Of the First Articles of the Christian Faith contained in the Apostles’ Creed’

8th Sermon, ‘Of the Latter Articles of Christian Faith contained in the Apostles’ Creed’

9th Sermon, ‘Of the Latter Articles of Christian Faith contained in the Apostles’ Creed’

Perkins, William – An Exposition of the Symbol or Creed of the Apostles…  (London, 1595)  544 pp.  ToC



Byfield, Nicholas – The Rule of Faith, or, An Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, so handled as it affords both milk for babes & strong meat for such as are at full age  (London, 1626)  563 pp.

Smith, John – An Exposition of the Creed: or an Explanation of the Articles of our Christian Faith. Delivered in many Afternoon Sermons…  (London, 1632)  660 pp.  Index  74 sermons

Smith was a reformed Anglican minister.

Gil, Alexander – The Sacred Philosophy of the Holy Scripture: Laid down as Conclusions on the Articles of our Faith, commonly called the Apostles Creed…  (London, 1635)  232 pp.

Gil, Sr. (1565-1635) was an English school-master and scholar.

Baker, Richard – Meditations & Disquisitions upon the Creed  (London, 1646)  239 pp.  no ToC

Baker (Knight, c.1568-1645) was an English politician, historian and religious writer.  He is now known for his Meditations on several psalms, which were highly commended by Charles Spurgeon and have been reprinted.

Cartwright, Christopher – A Brief & Plain Exposition of the Creed, commonly called the Apostles’ Creed  (York: 1649)  115 pp.

Cartwright (1602-1658) was an English clergyman, known as a Hebraist and for his debate in writing with Richard Baxter, against his deviant soteriology.

Pearson, John – An Exposition of the Creed  rev. Robert Sinker  (1659; Cambridge Univ. Press, 1882)  no ToC

Pearson (1613–1686) was an Anglican bishop.

Nicholson, William – …an Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, Delivered in Several Sermons  (London, 1661)

Nicholson (1591–1672) was a Calvinistic, English bishop.  He was invited to the Westminster Assembly, but chose not to attend, as many of the Episcopalian clergymen.

Littleton, Adam – The Explanation of the Apostles’ Creed  in Solomon’s Gate, or an Entrance into the Church, being a Familiar Explanation of the Grounds of Religion contained in the four heads of Catechism, viz. the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Sacraments  (London, 1662), pp. 178-214

Littleton (1627-1694) was an Anglican cleric and lexicographer.

Ellis, John – Clavis fidei, or, The Key of Faith…  Propounded by him in Public Lectures upon the Apostles’ Creed…  (Cambridge, 1668)  96 pp.  ToC

Ellis (1598/9–1665) was a Welsh Anglican clergyman and religious writer.

Lightfoot, John – An Exposition of Three Articles of the Apostles’ Creed: viz. I. He Descended into Hell, II. The Holy Catholic Church, III. The Communion of Saints  ed. John Pitman  in Whole Works  (d. 1675; London, 1822), vol. 6, pp. 1-82

Witsius, Herman – Sacred Dissertations on what is Commonly Called the Apostles’ Creed, vol. 12  trans. Donald Fraser  (1681; Glasgow, 1823)

Kettlewell, John – The Practical Believer, or the Articles of the Apostles’ Creed drawn out to Form a True Christian’s Heart & Practice in Two Parts  (London, 1688)  625 pp.  ToC

Kettlewell (1653-1695) was an Anglican clergyman, nonjuror at the Glorious Revolution and a devotional writer.



Ken, Thomas – Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed  (d. 1711; London, 1854)  145 pp.  no ToC  from his Practice of Divine Love

Ken (1637-1711) was an Anglican bishop.

Edwards, John – The First Part, of the Principles of the Christian Faith, which are Discoursed of from Particular Texts of Holy Scripture, according to the Order of the Articles of the Apostles’ Creed (Articles 1-10) & Articles 11-12  in Theologia Reformataor the Body & Substance of the Christian Religion…  (London: John Lawrence, 1713), vols. 1 (All) & 2.1-103

Edwards (1637–1716) was a Calvinistic, episcopalian, Anglican, the son of Thomas Edwards (a presbyterian), who wrote the famed book ‘Gangraena’ against the sects in the 1640’s.



Griffith, Thomas – The Apostles’ Creed: considered in Relation to the Wants of the Religious Sense, & Certain Errors of the Present Day  (London, 1842)  485 pp.  ToC

Griffith was an Anglican minister.

Gibson, Robert Christopher – The Apostles’ Creed. Collected chiefly from the Works of Bishop Pearson, Dr. Barrow& Dr. Hammond, etc. etc.  (London, 1875)  140 pp.  no ToC  This is in a catechetical format and was written for the young.

Gibson was an Anglican vicar.



Meyer, F.B. – The Creed of Creeds: a Series of Short Expositions of the Apostles’ Creed  (Fleming H. Revell, 1906)  230 pp.  no ToC

Burrell, David James – The Apostles’ Creed  (American Tract Society, 1915)  250 pp.  ToC

Burrell (1844–1926) was the pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York, which started out as Dutch reformed.  Burrell authored a book entitled, Why I Believe the Bible.  His other books are here.  The American Tract Society was generally reliable.

Barclay, William – The Apostles’ Creed  (Westminster John Knox Press, 1998)  330 pp.  ToC  The publisher is liberal.

Barclay (1907-1978) was Church of Scotland minister and professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.  He wrote a popular set of Bible commentaries on the New Testament.

Barclay described himself theologically as a “liberal evangelical.”  He was a convinced universalist, a pacifist, and held to evolution.  He has been described as “reticent about the inspiration of Scripture, critical of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, and given to views about the virgin birth and miracles which conservatives would find either heretical or imprecise.”



The Apostles’ Creed as Expounded in the Heidelberg Catechism


Ursinus, Zacharias – ‘Of the Creed, or Symbol of the Apostles’, L.D. 7-22, Q. 22-61  of The Sum of Christian Religion: Delivered…  in his Lectures upon the [Heidelberg] Catechism…  trans. Henrie Parrie  (d. 1583; Oxford, 1587), pp. 287-811  The modern editions are heavily edited.

Ursinus (1534–1583) was a German reformed theologian, reformer and professor at the University of Heidelberg.  He was the principal author and interpreter of the Heidelberg Catechism.

Bastingius, Jeremias – L.D. 7-22, Q. 22-61  ToC  of An Exposition or Commentary upon the Catechism of Christian Religion which is Taught in the Schools & Churches Both of the Low Countries & of the Dominions of the County Palatine  (Cambridge, ca. 1591), pp. 35-131

Bastingius (1551–1595) was a Dutch Reformed theologian best known for this exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Bastingius was trained by several prominent second-generation reformers.  He studied under Ursinus, Beza, Olevianus and Zanchi, and was appointed to be a professor of theology at Leiden (though he died before he could exercise that office, at 44 years of age).



Ames, William – L.D. 7-22, Q. 22-61  in The Substance of Christian Religion, or a Plain & Easy Draught of the Christian Catechism in 52 Lectures on Chosen Texts of Scripture…  (London, 1659), pp. 46-153  Reprinted as A Sketch of the Christian’s Catechism  trans. Todd Rester  in Classic Reformed Theological Series  (RHB)

“Ames’s method in this book is not an analysis of the Catechism itself. Rather, he chooses a particular text of Scripture that supports the main thoughts for a given Lord’s Day.  While the exposition is directly from the Bible, Ames’s doctrinal conclusions interact with the corresponding Questions and Answers of the Heidelberg Catechism.”

de Witte, Petrus – L.D. 7-23, Q. 21-61  ToC  in Catechizing upon the Heidelberg Catechism of the Reformed Christian Religion, Published after…  Approbation of the Rev. Classis of Hoorn  (Amsterdam, 1670), pp. 138-478

de Witte (1622-1669) was a reformed minsiter at Leiden.



Vanderkemp, John – L.D. 7-22, Q. 22-61  in The Christian Entirely the Property of Christ in Life & Death; Exhibited in Fifty-Three Sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism  (New-Brunswick, NJ: Abraham Blauvelt, 1718), vol. 1, pp. 146-462   no ToC

Vanderkemp (1664-1718) was a reformed Ducth minister.

De Ronde, Lambertus – L.D. 7-22, Q. 22-61  ToC  in A System Containing the Principles of the Christian Religion, Suitable to the Heidelberg Catechism…  (NY: H. Gaine, 1763), pp. 39-105

de Ronde (1720-1795) was a minister of the Protestant Dutch Church in New York.

VanderGroe, Theodore – L.D. 7-22, Q. 22-61  in The Christian’s Only Comfort in Life & Death: An Exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism, 2 vols.  trans. Bartel Elshout  (RHB)

VanderGroe (1705–1784) was one of the last and most well-known representatives of the Dutch Further Reformation.  This is the first publishing of these sermons.



Bethune, George W. – Lectures 7-22 & L.D. 19-23  in Lectures  in Expository Lectures on the Heidelberg Catechism  (NY, 1864/1866), 1.153-491 & 2.7-163  ToC 12

Bethune was a minister in the Reformed Dutch Church of America.



Kersten, G.H. – Q. 22-61  in The Heidelberg Catechism in 52 Sermons, 2 vols.  (d. 1948; Netherlands Reformed Congregations in America, 1968), vol. 1

Kersten (1882-1948) was a Netherlands Reformed Congregation minister.

Praamsma, Louis – L.D. 7-22  in Before the Face of God: a Study of the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1-24  (Paideia Press, 1987), pp. 28-94  ToC

Bremmer, R.H. – L.D. 7-22  in 52 Open Windows  trans. Ralph Winkel  (1991)  Each sermon is individually paginated.  The document was produced with a typewriter, which is not the easiest to read.

Dr. Bremmer was a minister.  The translator acknowledged that his translation from the Dutch tended to be wooden and stilted.  Wes Bredenhof has said that the translation “does provide a fairly accurate representation of the original work of Dr. Bremmer.  I’ve often used Bremmer’s book in Dutch and have found it helpful.”



Bierma, Lyle D. – chs. 4-5  in The Theology of the Heidelberg Catechism  (Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), pp. 41-70  ToC



Study Guides on the Creed in the Heidelberg Catechism


L.D. 7-22  in The Heidelberg Catechism, or: Short Instruction in Christian Doctrine as it Conducted in the Churches & Schools of the Palatinate…  Explicated…  trans. J.H. Good & H. Harbaugh  (Chambersburg, 1849)  no ToC

Fisher, Samuel R. – L.D. 7-22  in Exercises on the Heidelberg Catechism: Applied to the Use of Families, Sabbath-Schools, & Catechetical Classes  rev. ed.  (Publication Office of the German Reformed Church, 1854)  no ToC

Whitmer, A.C. – L.D. 7-22  in Notes on the Heidelberg Catechism for Parents, Teachers & Catechumens  (Philadelphia, 1878)  no ToC

Thelemann, Otto – Q. 21-61  in An Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism  trans. M. Peters  (James I. Good Publisher, 1896)  ToC



Good, James I. – Q. 21-61  in Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism  (Central Publishing House, 1904), pp. 13-32  no ToC

Good (1850–1924) was an American, Reformed Church minister and historian.

Williamson, G.I. – L.D. 7-22  in The Heidelberg Catechism: a Study Guide  Buy  (P&R, 1994)  256 pp.

Williamson was a minister in the OPC.

van Bruggen, J. – L.D. 7-22  in Annotations to the Heidelberg Catechism  trans. A.H. Oosterhoff  (Inheritance Publications, 1991)  ToC



Working, Randal – L.D. 7-22  in From Rebellion to Redemption: a Journey through the Great Themes of Christian Faith: a Year of Reflections on the Heidelberg Catechism  (NavPress, 2001)  ToC

Kaloostian, Adam – L.D. 7-22  in Heidelberg Catechism Curriculum for Families  (URCLearning, 2006), pp. 15-36  This is printable.

Barnes, M. Craig – Q. 21-61  in Body & Soul: Reclaiming the Heidelberg Catechism  (Faith Alive; Congregational Ministries, 2012), pp. 56-97  ToC

Barnes has been a pastor and a professor and president at Princeton Theological Seminary (which is liberal).




This is a huge database of material on the Heidelberg Catechism.  On the left column select the Lord’s Day you are interested in (7-22 for the Apostles’ Creed).  Then use the right column to view sermons, articles or outlines by various authors on that Lord’s Day.

600+ print sermons on the Catechism.  Scroll down a little to the Heidelberg Catechism section, and then pick your Lord’s Day (7-22 for the Apostles’ Creed).



Bibliography of Commentaries on the Creed

Malcom, Howard – ‘Creed, Apostles’  in Theological Index…  (Boston, 1868), pp. 133-34



Latin:  Short Works

Early Church

Ambrose – A Tract on the Orthodox Faith contra the Arians, Others, & on the Divinity & Consubstantiality of the Son  in PL 17.550-68



Alsted, Johann Heinrich

ch. 4,‘Of the Apostolic Creed’ in Theological Questions Briefly Set Forth & Exposited  (Frankfurt, 1627), pp. 13-21

Alsted (1588-1638)

A Minor catholic Symphony, On the Apostles’ Creed  in Polemical Theology, Exhibiting the Principal Eternal Things of Religion in Navigating Controversies  (Hanau, 1620; 1627), pt. 2, A catholic Symphony, pp. 161-66

Baxter, Richard – A Method of Christian Theology…  (London, 1681), pt. 3, pp. 107-34

ch. 11, ‘Of the Gospel, thus in Three Short Summaries…’
ch. 12, ‘Of the Divine Christian Faith Itself’



Latin:  Longer Works


Bachoff, Reinhard – Questions 22-58  in Catechism of the Christian Religion, which is Taught in the Churches & Schools of the Palitinate  (Hanau, 1603), pp. 75-264

Bachoff (1544-1614)




“My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.”

Dt. 32:2-3

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”

Jer. 6:16

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 2:42




Related Pages

On Creeds & Confessions

Creeds are Not an Element of Worship

Commentaries on the Westminster Standards

Commentaries on the Heidelberg Catechism

Early Church History

Unity of the Church

On Union with Christ & the Fruits of the Fellowship Ensuing Therefrom