Kolb, Robert. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.
Augsburg Confession XXIII, “Concerning the Marriage of Priests” pp. 62-67.
Apology to the Augsburg Confession XXIII, “The Marriage of Priests” pp. 247-257.
In article 24 of the Augsburg Confession the issue of chastity of the priests is raised. Because of the common problems of immorality, some of the Evangelical priests were marrying (Kolb 2000, 62). Marriage is recognized in Scripture as good. Historically priests normally married (Ibid., 63). The prohibition of marriage was instituted only in the eleventh century and only by force (Ibid., 64). In the Apology Melanchthon observes that the opponents defend the papal law of celibacy. He then attacks the point of view that makes marriage a bad thing (Ibid., 247). A defense of formal celibacy without a commitment to chastity is not honoring to God (Ibid., 248). Marriage is a good thing, for populating the earth, for honoring the way God created male and female, to avoid immorality (Ibid., 249). Because neither Scripture nor ancient church councils object to marriage it is accepted (Ibid., 251). It is no more pure to be married or unmarried.