The aim of this article is to reflect on the hermeneutical premises related to doctrinal criticism. The dogma of the virginal conception of Jesus as recorded in the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession serves as case study. The article
argues that the same historical critical exegetical principles applied to Scripture
should guide the interpretation of creeds. Christian doctrine should be seen as a
social demarcator, grounded in the foundational narrative of Jesus of Nazareth.
This foundational narrative is interpreted by means of doctrinal criticism when
doctrine is seen as the interpretation of the experience of belief and as the
articulation of truth.
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