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Difference Between Lutheran and Anglican

christLutheran vs Anglican

Lutheranism started in the early 1530’s when catholic priest Martin Luther announced to reform the church and split from the Catholic Church in protest. Anglicans also split from Catholicism at about the same time as the Lutherans, in 1534, but both of them had very different significant reasons to leave the church.

Lutherans left the church to protest against the remission of the punishment of sins, whereas Anglicans left the church when King Henry of England outlawed Catholicism, and declared the Anglican Church to be the official religion. Lutheranism was founded in Germany, whereas Anglicanism started in England with Henry’s Act of Supremacy.

The reformation roots of both denominations are different; Lutherans have German, whereas Anglicans have an English reformation.

There are around 66 million followers of Lutheranism worldwide, whereas Anglicanism has 70 million adherents in 161 countries. Lutheranism dominates Germany and Scandinavia, whereas dominated areas by Anglicanism are in England. Lutheran’s original language is German, and English is Anglican’s original language.

Anglicans follow the Book of Common Prayers and Lutherans’ worship guide is the Book of Concord. Anglicans have the Episcopalian church in the USA, which is one of the major churches, whereas Lutherans’ major churches in USA are called ELCA, which stands for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and LCMS, which stands for Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Both of the denominations have many similarities between the creeds and confession, sacred text, the trinity, nature of Christ, resurrection of God etc. Lutherans believe in angels, Satan and demons, but Anglicans have a different faith. They also have a difference in beliefs regarding Mary, the body and soul, original sin, free will and atonement. Lutherans and Anglicans both deny purgatory and affirm eternal hell. Lutheranism believes in salvation, whereas Anglicans believe in building good relations with other religions.

Lutherans believe in the Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, Formula of Concord, Augsburg Confession and the Athanasian Creed, whereas Anglicans believe in the Apostles’ Creed and The Nicene Creed. Anglicans’ doctrine is based upon the scriptures, the gospels and the church father, whereas Lutherans’ basis for doctrine is the Bible only. Anglicans are inspired by the Catechism, whereas LCMS Lutherans are inspired and inerrant, but ELCA Lutherans are inspired but not inerrant.


1. Lutheranism and Anglicanism both started in the early 1500’s, from Germany and England respectively.

2. Lutheranism was founded by Martin Luther, and Anglicanism was founded by King Henry.

3. Anglicans and Lutherans both believe in the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed, whereas Lutherans also believe in the Formula of Concord, Augsburg Confession and the Athanisian Creed.

4. Anglicans and Lutherans both believe and accept the Trinity, the resurrection of God and nature of Christ.

5. Lutherans’ doctrine is based upon the Bible, whereas Anglicans’ doctrine basis is the church father, the gospel and the scriptures.

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  1. This is exactly what i need. My report is based on the differences between these two types of religion and this jsut made my life so much more easy. Now instead of being up until 2am ill be up probably until 1 am. Thanks to whoever wrote this

  2. Your summary is incorrect regarding Anglicans.

    “but Lutherans believe in angels and Satan, whereas Anglicans have a different faith.” This is incorrect.

    King Henry’s original protest was against jurisdiction, rather than theology. This would be in the same manner as the Eastern Church. There are Russian, Greek, and Coptic churches all in communion with each other, and all Orthodox. This would be, in essence, an orthodox English Church.

    Anglicans believe they removed the erroneous medieval teachings of the Roman Church, but without throwing away the threefold ministry, creeds, liturgy, and effectatious sacraments. It is Protestant in that it protested Rome, but Catholic in that it retained the aforementioned doctrine and practice.

    Anglicans faith and practice is based on: Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition (the Church Fathers), and reason as enlighten by the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Scriptures are the cannon (ruler) by which all doctrin is measured. Clergy vow at ordination to teach nothing necessary to salvation that is not contained in or can be proved by Holy Scripture. However, Holy Scripture is read in light of the early Church Fathers to rightly interpret it.

    • Thanks for the clarification/correction. The bit about not believing in angels and Satan seemed like it came out of nowhere. There certainly wasn’t mention of that in the wiki page, haha!

      • Anglicans do believe in angels, the devil, demons, etc., and they do believe in repenting, that you can only go through Christ for salvation from God, and such. Having grown up in the high Anglican church, and yes, there are differences between the high and the low Anglican churches, and now attending the Lutheran, really there are so few differences of any consequence that trying to say that the faith and practices are different makes no sense. They are almost identical in my experience. High Anglican uses the old service, a lot more Latin, more Gregorian chants, insense, etc. , but the general everything else is basically the same. Anglicans quite often kneel when praying, whereas Lutherans for the most part don’t; they stand. However, these differences don’t apply to all Anglicans or all Lutherans, and it really is down to whether or not they got rid of the pews and replaced them with chairs, and replaced the kneeling benches with nothing at all.

        • Thank you all for the responses, I find this helpful.

          However, to say there is no big difference is kind of ignoring what Lutheranism is based upon. The essence is to move away from rituals and sacraments, since it is considered heathen and moves further from God.

          Insense, Latin, gregorian chanting, all this is so far from the Lutheran faith as it can be. Luther started the whole movement based on the idea that every man should be able to understand every word in his church.

  3. This is a poorly written article that contains numerous factual errors. For example, ” Lutherans believe in angels, Satan and demons, but Anglicans have a different faith. ” In what way does the faith of Anglicans differ? Second, this is simply not true. As an Anglican, or any other traditional christian the belief in angels, Satan and demons is isn’t optional.

    Next, Anglicans worship according to the Book of Common Prayer, not Prayers. The book of Concord is set of confessional documents, not a liturgical text and therefore cannot be used in the context of worship the same way the BCP.

    The author of the this article should consider re-writing this article and clean up both the language and the factual errors. It doesn’t need to be a comprehensive article detailing all the differences, only the “big picture” will suffice.

    • The Anglican Church is now a broad one and has probably changed a lot since the Emancipation which liberated Catholics and other faiths in Britain. With religious freedom the Victorians began to experiment with spiritualism and some probably joined other sects. Disraeli despite being Jewish became Prime Minister which may have been unthinkable at the beginning of the 19th century. After the Emancipation secular reforms came about including the Reform Bill which gave more people the right to vote. These reforms would continue into the 20th century ending with everyone over 21 having the right to vote. It has since been lowered to 18 years and may be lowered further to 16 years although it’s is not certain it will happen. As for the Church of England fewer people now seem to be practising their faith or going to church. The number of people of no religion seems to be growing although Islam is also. growing in Britain. No one knows where this might lead.

  4. This is an *extremely* poorly written article. Much doesn’t even make sense. I don’t know if the problem is that you’re not a native speaker, or just don’t know what you’re talking about. You should look up “fault parallelism” in a grammar book and reconsider your uses of “whereas” etc..

    • Learn how to use quotation marks honey. Then maybe stop picking on people for grammar and such.
      Bless you for trying to be helpful.

  5. I have to agree with Rachel about the lamentable standard of this article, both linguistically and in its poor grasp of logic.

    I strongly suspect that English is not the writer’s first language; in particular the writer does not understand the meaning of the word “whereas”.

    “Lutheranism believes in salvation, whereas Anglicans believe in building good relations with other religions.”

    This statement implies that Lutherans do not believe in building good relations with other religions, and that Anglicans do not believe in salvation. Surely both of these claims are false!

    “Lutherans’ doctrine is based upon the Bible, whereas Anglicans’ doctrine basis is the church father, the gospel and the scriptures.”

    Again, misuse of the word “whereas”. What difference (if any) is the writer attempting to make between “the Bible” on the one hand and “the gospel and the scriptures” on the other. “Anglicans’ doctrine basis” is clumsy English. And just who is this “church father” mentioned by the writer?

    I came to this article hoping to find a concise summary of some of the more notable points of contrast between Lutheran and Anglican faith and practice. Instead we have a rather heavy concentration on US-centric organizational details and some really very obvious historical facts (Luther was German; the first Anglicans were English — surprise, surprise!), while statements like “They also have a difference in beliefs regarding Mary, the body and soul,” etc. etc. are simply left hanging. What differences?

    Oh, well. I guess there are no shortcuts to wisdom. I’ll just have to look up some authorities for myself. (What I should have done in the first place, of course!)

  6. I have to agree with Rachel, Richard, and others that the article is poorly researched. Anglicans also traditionally believed in angels, Satan, and the like.

    Further, Lutheranism began on November 1, 1519, when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses Against the Sale of Indulgences to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany,where Luther worked as a professor of theology. Hence, it predates the 1530’s. Anglicanism was launched in the 1530’s, when Henry VIII broke with Rome, and appointed Cranmer and other reform-minded bishops. Further, Anglicanism represents a “middle way” between Luther’s Saxon Reformation and Zwingli’s Swiss Reformation.

  7. Right off the top, I noticed a glaring factual error in this article — chiefly, that Anglicanism was founded by King Henry VIII of England. NOTHING could be further from the truth: contrary to what the author states (in partial fairness to him, it’s what most of the world, being ignorant, erroneously believes as well), Anglicanism was the brainchild of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. That’s right: it was born of the 1559 Elizabethan Act that attempted to settle the religious disputes in the land, left by the reigns of her father, half-brother, and half-sister. The Anglican religion was concocted as a compromise settlement — designed to attract moderates from Catholics and Protestants — those English persons willing to compromise their respective faiths, in the cause of national unity. So Anglicanism was a later development that had nothing to do with King Henry VIII. True: he separated the Church of England from the Church of Rome. But what people forget is that it nearly got dissolved later on — with the nation splitting into extremist factions with Catholicism and Protestantism. As it was, a critical decision was reached by the queen and her ministers: retain the said church, and turn in into a gatebridge between the said factions.

  8. The reason why all Lutheran nations switched allegiance had nothing to do with theology. It is the same reason as England had…jurisdiction, and solidify that you are king by God’s grace without having to answer to the poor or the Holy Roman Emperor. Lutheranism have the kings a new option not to answer to the poor and themselves be head of both state and church. They could also reduct all lands owned by different monasteries and churches and give it to worldly elites instead.

    Every different Lutheran church is very different. Swedish Lutheran church is the one most liturgically similar to Catholic church but with a large influence from Anglican church regarding ecumenical activities. The core is the Lutheran catechesis and the ascetism (both in church decoration and in mind) with a strong believe in eternal damnation if not taking part in collective salvation rituals. Sinners cannot get salvation by earthly authority (including priests) but can be forgiven and repatriated to church to stop further degeneration. Essential is emphasis on nonlaziness as that is regarded as the main sin and the root for all other sins. Communion should not be taken before confirmation of the baptism – you have to be aware of what being Christian is to be a full member of the church and be eligible for salvation. Thus, in historic times children could not be buried in sacred earth. This have been relaxed in modern times.

    • I am not sure where Eve came up with her opinions, but they are most certainly opinion and not fact. Luther posted 95 theses a church door in order to debate areas in which he felt the Roman Catholic church was in error of not following the Scriptures. The pope was quite outraged and excommunicated Luther. He was not trying to split the church and start a new one; he was trying to get reform instituted within the Catholic church. Instead the pope essentially declared a death sentence against him and he had to go into hiding. There were definitely theological differences. I don’t get the references to the poor at all. It makes it sound as if people became Lutheran to disavow any compassion for the poor. That is untrue and offensive. Leadership did play some part, as Lutherans felt the pope was in error and did not wish to follow him as a leader. However, the original intent was not to split from the pope, but rather for the pope to follow the teachings of the Bible more closely. An important part of Lutheranism is “sola scriptura,” that is that ALL doctrine must have a scriptural basis or it cannot be doctrine. Tradition and reason can be valued, but the are not the basis for doctrine.

      • The argument continues untill kingdom come. Why don’t we stop blaming denominations and submit ourselves to the real teachings of Jesus as expressed in the four gospels and acts of the apostles.?

        • You say it right brother. It’s Oct 2020 and we see Isaiah 26:20 occurring in this time of testing. A great gift was promised to us at the end of time, called the book of truth – open and understandable in daniel11truth. We’re closing in on 11:30, the abomination of desolation which the LORD told us to watch for. Who’s watching? Time to stop bickering and reading and watching which HE told us to do more than a dozen time. Pray – repent – watch as time is short.

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