Staffort Book, The

Staffort Book, The a book written to justify the exchange of the Lutheran for the Reformed faith by the margrave Ernest Frederick of Baden (died 1604), and printed in 1599 at the Castle of Staffort, a few miles to the north of Carlsruhe. It begins with a preface addressed to margrave George Frederick, and then proceeds to collate the Augustana as, embodied in the Book of Concord with the original manuscript copy signed by the princes assembled in diet at Naumburg, Feb. 1, 1561. Next follows a careful comparison of the Lutheran catechism contained in the Book of Concord with the Wittenberg edition of 1570. The object of this review was to demonstrate that intentional alterations and falsifications had been made. A detailed criticism of the teachings of the Formula of Concord is given, with reference especially to Christology and the doctrine, of the ubiquity of Christ's body in the sacrament, followed by an examination of the citations from ancient ecclesiastical writings contained in the appendix to the Book of Concord, and designed to show the general correspondence of doctrine between these different authorities. Every variation from the original, so discovered, is at once charged to willful dishonesty. The book concludes with the margrave's own confession of faith with reference to the doctrines de libero arbitrio, de providentia Dei, de proedestinatione, de persona Christi, of the sacraments generally, and of baptism and the Lord's supper particularly.

A response to the Staffort book was issued by the Wurtemberg theologians in the following year (1600); all a second work appeared in 1601 in defense, of the Book of Concord. The Saxons also entered the lists against the "margrave's Calvinistic book." Two replies to the Wurtembergers were issued by the margrave in 1602. The controversy was, however, transferred to other hands by the margrave's death in 1604.

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