Basic doctrinal statement of Lutheranism. Its principal author was Philipp Melanchthon, and it was presented to Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg on June 25, 1530. Its purpose was to defend the Lutherans against misrepresentations of their teachings and to provide a statement of theology that Roman Catholics might accept. It consisted of 28 articles that outlined Lutheran doctrine and listed abuses that had crept into Western Christendom over the centuries. The unaltered document has remained authoritative for Lutherans, and a heavily revised version by Melanchthon is accepted by some Reformed churches. Translated into English in 1536, it had a major influence on the Anglican Church's Thirty-nine Articles and the Methodists' Twenty-five Articles of Religion.
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