Acta et Documenta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechtanae I


Acta et Documenta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechtanae (1618–1619)
Vol. I: Acta of the Synod of Dordt
ed. by Donald Sinnema, Christian Moser and Herman Selderhuis
Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht) 2014

CVII & 539 pp.
ISBN 978-3-525-55078-6


The Synod of Dordrecht 1618/1619 is one of the most important church councils in the history of the reformed tradition. International delegates from all over Europe (Great Britain, the Palatinate, Hesse, Switzerland, Nassau-Wetteravia, Bremen, and Emden) served as important participants and played a significant role in the evaluation of Remonstrant doctrine and in the formation of the Canons. The Synod also made important pronouncements on issues like Sunday observance, catechism instruction, and theological education, and commissioned the official Dutch translation of the bible (the Statenbijbel), which would be published in 1637. The Church Order of Dordrecht, which was a consolidation of earlier church orders, regulated the structure of the Dutch reformed churches and was also very influential for later church orders. Additionally, the decrees on Bible translation and on preaching and teaching the Heidelberg Catechism have shaped the spirituality and doctrine of the reformed tradition up to the present day. Given the continuing worldwide historical significance of the Synod’s Canons and Church Order, the absence of a critical scholarly edition of the majority of documents composed at the time of the Synod is remarkable. The Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek Emden, as a leading research centre for the history and theology of Reformed Protestantism, has taken the initiative to edit the Acts of the Synod of Dordrecht 1618/19. The edition is organized as a RefoRC project in which several institutions and scholars in Europe and North-America participate. The goal of the edition project is to produce a critical edition of all the documents of the Synod of Dordrecht in their original languages (predominantly Latin, but some in Dutch, English, German and French) by an international team of institutions and scholars, mostly partners of Refo500. This critical edition will comprise nine volumes.


Volume 1 includes the original Acta Authentica of the synod, here published for the first time. Following the Acta Authentica, the corresponding acts, as first published in the Acta Synodi Nationalis … Dordrechti Habitae (Leiden, 1620), are reprinted; these published Acta were a significantly revised version, for stylistic and political purposes, of the original Acta Authentica. Also included are the Acta Contracta, a topical summary of the Acta Authentica, and the minutes of the meetings of the state delegates, who represented the Dutch government at the synod; neither of these has been previously published. This volume begins with a general introduction to the Synod of Dordt and its context, an introduction to the Acta Authentica, the published Acta and Acta Contracta, and an introduction to the role of the state delegates and the minutes of their meetings.