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Resources on the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion

As a number of readers have probably already gathered, I am convinced that Anglican theology fell sharply downward in quality and orthodoxy after 1930.  Indeed, it seems to me that books on the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion may have reached their zenith in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – and happily those books are largely in the public domain.

Consequently, again with the aid of Google Books (and subject to their terms of noncommercial use), I am assembling a group of these books in PDF format on this blog, in hopes that they will serve as a resource for people who are interested in Anglican theology and doctrine.  One thing that will not come as a surprise to anyone who has given classical Anglican doctrine a look is the familiarity and respect these authors show the writings of the early Church Fathers, as well as Sacred Scripture.

At least two of these books are back in print at Wipf and Stock Publishers, although the Gibson text is a different edition:

I hope readers will find this useful, and I hope to add a few more texts as I have time.

(Original text on this page (certainly not the PDFs) © 2010-2016)

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. Benton H Marder permalink
    August 12, 2010 9:50 am

    For those of us that don’t have the actual books, this is a big help. I note a couple of titles I didn’t previously know.
    By the way, for those that want more titles and for those that prefer having their own CD-ROMs, the Prayer Book Society (US) carries a number of CD-ROMs on the 39, the BCP, and other useful writings by our old divines. These are reasonably priced,,
    Even though I have the books themselves, and can now access many of them on-line, I find the PBS collections to be an excellent back-up. I keep them in my document safe just in case. Fire and flood, server being down but one still may have these collections.

    In +,
    Benton

    • August 12, 2010 11:07 am

      You are certainly right about the CD-ROM from the Prayer Book Society. It is a treasure, and if anyone wants to order it, it can be found and ordered here.

  2. Robin Morello permalink
    September 23, 2011 10:33 am

    Another is “The Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England” by E. J. Bicknell, 1919. Third Edition revised by H. J. Carpenter, Bishop of Oxford, 1955.

    • September 23, 2011 11:07 am

      Thanks for that recommendation! I had not realized Bicknell’s work was first published in 1919, so who knows – perhaps there is a version of it available online too. I’ll certainly look for a PDF of that one.

  3. December 5, 2011 2:05 am

    Browne is fantastic and I have used him often. He is exhaustive but really ties the historical and biblical together quite nicely. Good searchable resources for the BCP can be found here: http://footstoolpublications.com/Anglican/index.htm

    • December 5, 2011 5:44 pm

      Thanks for that link! I did not know all of those PDFs were available and they could be VERY helpful.

  4. Andrew Nixon permalink
    April 7, 2013 5:24 pm

    You may find this very well researched text on the Book of Common Prayer (2004 – Church of Ireland) most useful Will:

    http://ireland.anglican.org/worship/62

  5. September 14, 2013 9:04 pm

    Mr Prydain,

    What think thee of the Packer/ Beckwith book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Thirty-nine-Articles-Their-Place/dp/1573834130

    or that of Charles Wheatly? ~ http://archive.org/details/rationalillustra014115mbp

    Thanks!

    • September 15, 2013 12:02 am

      I would unreservedly commend the Packer/Beckwith book – I have the highest respect for Dr. Packer, for one thing, and Beckwith is no slouch, either.

      Wheatly, though, is interesting. I’d almost call him a predecessor of the Tractarians as he was quite the High Churchman. But I don’t think he ever went as far as some of the Tractarians. The Hackney Hub blog has an interesting post (that you may have already seen) on the High Churchmen that quotes Wheatly. I do think Wheatly’s book is worth reading. (Thanks for the link to that 1871 text.) And please call me “Will”!

  6. Dom Walk permalink
    January 17, 2014 6:14 am

    Classical Anglican Press has a very high quality hard cover matched set of Griffith Thomas’ and Browne’s tomes on the Articles, as part of the Reformed Episcopal Seminary Series.

    • January 17, 2014 11:53 am

      Thanks for letting me know. I will see about mentioning them in a future post.

  7. M. Joseph Burger permalink
    May 31, 2016 11:41 am

    I know this page has been up for a while now and I’ve found it an invaluable resource in teaching the catechism class at our church. But I will say that all commentaries on the Articles are not equal. For instance, I’ve just read Gilbert Burnet’s for the first time and his Latitudinarianism definitely comes through. Although extremely verbose, he’s lacks orthodox clarity on the Trinity and while vehemently anti-Roman also allows for a bit broader view of sacramental in a Puritan/Presbyterian direction than other commentaries. A bit less than orthodox. I’ve generally favor Thomas Rogers (1586), William Beveridge (who is actually 1669 not 1830), and Edward Browne (1887), because they seem to avoid the church party bias which ruins so many commentaries from the late 1800’s onward. In one extreme example of this, our church bought Gerald Bray’s commentary on the Articles only to learn that Bray teaches as a Presbyterian seminary and subscribes to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which makes is very strange to write a commentary on our Articles given that Westminster was written as a reaction against them. So that in Bray’s commentary, the Articles are interpreted little different than Westminster, leading him to just ignore that plain language of the text, much less other historic orthodox commentaries.

    • May 31, 2016 12:39 pm

      Thanks for your comment…you are certainly right about there being quite a difference in the viewpoints in the various commentaries on the Articles. I actually wrestled with whether I should be rather selective about the commentaries I listed, but wound up deciding to list virtually every title I came across in the interest of providing a realistic view of the various viewpoints on the Articles. If I came across one that was obviously heretical I would not list that one, I suppose. (By way of an extreme example, suppose I came across a commentary on the Articles written by a Jehovah’s Witness. That would be one I would not list.) By the way I do agree with you that Rogers, Beveridge and Browne are excellent.

Trackbacks

  1. Another new page: Resources on the Thirty-Nine Articles « Prydain
  2. Frs. Hart and Wells on Articles I and II of the Thirty-Nine Articles « Prydain
  3. Another text on the Thirty-Nine Articles: Maclear and Williams’ An Introduction to the Articles of the Church of England « Prydain
  4. Added to the Resources page: Bp. Forbes’ “An Explanation of the Thirty-Nine Articles” « Prydain
  5. Added to the Resources page: E. Tyrrell Green’s text on the Thirty-Nine Articles « Prydain
  6. Another text on the Thirty-Nine Articles: Samuel Wix’s “Scriptural Illustrations of the Thirty-Nine Articles” | Prydain
  7. Another text added on the Thirty-Nine Articles: “Testimonies and Authorities, Divine and Human, in Confirmation of the Thirty-Nine Articles” | Prydain
  8. Another book added to the “Resources on the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion” page | Prydain
  9. One more book added to the “Resources on the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion” page | Prydain

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