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The First Helvetic Confession (Latin: Confessio Helvetica prior), known also as the Second Confession of Basel, was drawn up at that city in 1536 by Bullinger and Leo Jud of Zürich, Megander of Bern, Oswald Myconius and Grynaeus of Basel, Bucer and Capito of Strasbourg, with other representatives from Schaffhausen, St Gall, Mülhausen and Biel. The first draft was in Latin and the Zürich delegates objected to its Lutheran phraseology. Leo Jud's German translation was, however, accepted by all, and after Myconius and Grynaeus had modified the Latin form, both versions were agreed to and adopted on February 26, 1536.
The Second Helvetic Confession (Latin: Confessio Helvetica posterior) was written by Bullinger in 1562 and revised in 1564 as a private exercise. It came to the notice of the elector palatine Frederick III, who had it translated into German and published. It gained a favourable hold on the Swiss churches, who had found the First Confession too short and too Lutheran. It was adopted by the Reformed Church not only throughout Switzerland but in Scotland (1566), Hungary (1567), France (1571), Poland (1578), and next to the Heidelberg Catechism is the most generally recognized Confession of the Reformed Church.
- L Thomas, La Confession helvétique (Geneva, 1853);
- Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, i. 390-420, iii. 234-306;
- Julius Müller, Die Bekenntnisschriften der reformierten Kirche (Leipzig, 1903).
- The formula consensus helvetica (1675), translated by Martin I. Klauber.
- The Second Helvetic Confession in English Translation
- Text of the creeds from Schaff's Creeds of Christendom (vol. 3) at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library:
- History of the creeds from Schaff's Creeds of Christendom (vol. 1) at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library: