The Proper Distinction Between Antilegomena and Homologoumena: Its History and Application
Orthodox Lutherans have varied in how they treat the antilegomena. Martin Chemnitz believed the antilegomena should not be used to establish doctrine. This was the practice in the Wisconsin Synod until not too long ago. Later theologians removed this distinction and this seems to be the practice of the Wisconsin Synod today. How do we deal with this apparent discrepancy in something as important to Christians as the Bible itself? This paper will review the authority of Scripture, the formation of the canon, and what Lutheran theologians have said about the distinction to show that there is no real theological issue underlying the ancient distinction between the homologoumena and antilegomena. Nevertheless, Lutherans would be wise to maintain it for reasons of historical accuracy and apologetics.