Confession of Faith, and Nine Reflections

The full title of this nineteenth century work explains its content: “The Confession of Faith of the Christians Known by the Name of Mennonites, in Thirty-three Articles; with a Short Extract from Their Catechism. Translated from the German, and Accompanied with Notes to Which is Added an Introduction. Also, Nine Reflections, from Different Passages of the Scriptures, Illustrative of their Confession, Faith, and Practice; by Peter Burkholder, Pastor of the Church of the Mennonites; Written by him in the German Language, and from his manuscript translated, together with the foregoing articles, by Joseph Funk.

Gameo includes this discussion of the work: ‘In 1837 a book appeared at Winchester, Virginia, with the following lengthy title . The Confession is the P. J. Twisck 33 Articles found in the Martyrs’ Mirror. The Introduction of 27 pages is an independent writing, designed “to adduce some testimony to prove the antiquity of our religious confession of faith and from Dr. Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History.” It has been claimed that Peter Burkholder “compiled the confession,” i.e., arranged for its publication in English. However, since everything which he wrote was translated from the German by Joseph Funk, as is clearly stated on the title page of the Nine Reflections, and as is stated of the additional material at the end of the book, including “Of the Administration of Baptism” (pp. 405-14), “Of the Mode and Practice of the Administration of Baptism” (414-17), and “On Predestination” (435-61), and since it is not indicated that the Introduction was translated, it is most likely that Joseph Funk, and not Peter Burkholder, was the author of the Introduction, the translator of all the material in the book, and the compiler of the volume.’

For a discussion of the importance of this work in articulating the doctrine of the Mennonite Church prior to the Great Awakening, see the first of Edsel Burdge’s talks on the Mennonite Great Awakening.

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