GS 1986 art 91

GS 1986 ARTICLE 91

Revision Belgic Confession, Art. 8, and Canons of Dort II, 3/4

Committee 1 presents:


-Agenda VIII, D, E Letter of Dr. J. Faber re the revision of Belgic Con­fession, Article 8, and Canons of Dort, Ch. II, 3/4.


  • 1.     Belgic Confession, Article B.
    • Dr. J. Faber requests Synod to return to the old reading “for they are all three co-eternal and co-essential” instead of the present revised reading, “For these three, in one and the same essence, are equal in eternity.”
    • His reason is that the phrase “equal in eternity” is ambiguous and “obscures the grand truth of the qualitative co-eternity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
  • 2.     Canons of Dort, Ch. 11, Art. 3 and 4.
    • Dr. J. Faber requests Synod to change the heading of Article 4 from “His death had infinite value” to “Why His death had infinite value.”
    • The reason is that the two headings are now almost identical and that the pres­ent heading does not show the progress in the reasoning of the Canons.


  • 1.     Although the expressions “co-eternal” and “co-essential” are somewhat archaic, they do excellently express the eternal unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • 2.    The heading of Canons of Dort, Ch. 11, Article 4 should be changed to show pro­gession of thought.


Synod decide:

To grant the requests of Dr. J. Faber and instruct the Standing Committee for the Book of Praise to include these changes in the next printing of the Book of Praise. A motion, duly seconded, reads:

  • C.1. Since the expressions “co-eternal” and “co-essential” are somewhat archaic, and since “co-essential” can easily be misunderstood, it would be better to im­prove the language of Art. 8, B.C., to read, “For these three together, in one and the same essence, are equally eternal.”
  • D.1. …to include the following change… to read in Art. B, B.C., (2nd last sentence), “For these three are together, of one and the same essence, and are co-eternal.”

The motion is DEFEATED.

The recommendation is ADOPTED.