What Are the Tenets of the Anglican Religion?

by John Peterson

Anglicanism is a product of its Roman Catholic ancestry, the Protestant Reformation, and unique Church of England practices such as the 39 Articles. The tenets of Anglican religion are the Bible, a belief in ancestry to the early Apostolic Church, acceptance of the Nicene Creeds and the holy sacraments of baptism and Communion. Of particular relevance to Anglican religion are the 39 Articles of Religion that explicitly outline Church of England beliefs and practices.

The Bible

Like most Christian denominations, the Anglicans, or Church of England members, rely on the Bible for Scripture. The content of both the Old and New Testament are appropriate for usage. There are many translations of the Bible, but the accepted Anglican Bible is the King James version. King James VI (1566-1625) assembled a team of 54 scholars to revise the English "Geneva" Bible in 1604. This team completed the King James version in 1611, and it is the most widely published English book in history.

Apostolic Church

Although the Anglicans split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century, they still retain their belief in Apostolic succession. This means that the Church of England holds that its basic doctrine and succession of church leadership extends back in time to the first century Apostles. This is one aspect of Catholicism that the Church of England has retained as a tenet from its ancestral roots. Another and related apostolic tenet is Anglican acceptance of the Nicene Creed, or belief in the Trinity, which also traces back to the earliest Christian churches.

Holy Sacraments

The Anglicans have seven sacraments that consist of baptism, Communion, confession, confirmation, marriage, ordination and anointing of the sick. Of these, baptism and Communion, or the Holy Eucharist, are held in higher esteem than the others since these two sacraments derive from Jesus in the New Testament. Baptism, in which children receive the Holy Spirit, and Communion, when worshippers receive the Body of Christ, are essential tenets of the Anglican religion.

The 39 Articles

The Church of England desired to set forth a listing of Protestant doctrine that would stand apart from Roman Catholic Creed and Canon. In 1571, the final draft of the 39 Articles became established; it has been in use since that time. The 39 Articles of Religion set forth the basic tenets of the Anglican Church. The articles list specific Anglican religious beliefs and practices, which cover interpretation of the Bible, belief in predestination, acceptance of the Nicene Creed, the sacraments, church organization, marriage and others.

About the Author

John Peterson published his first article in 1992. Having written extensively on North American archaeology and material culture, he has contributed to various archaeological journals and publications. Peterson has a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master of Arts from the University of Nebraska, both in anthropology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in history from Columbia College.

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