Lutheran vs Presbyterian: Difference and Comparison

Religion and belief are one of the most sensitive topics all over the world. Christianity is the largest followed belief worldwide, with over 2 billion followers.

Christianity has been further divided into forms of many churches or denominations. Two such denominations that exist are Lutheran and Presbyterian. They have quite a few similarities and differences on which they stand strong.

The follower of the German monk and old theologian Martin Luther is known as Lutherans. Lutheran is one of the most vital denominations of the christen religion worldwide.

The teaching of Calvin influences the Presbyterian. It is a church or denomination within a fold.

Key Takeaways

  1. Lutheranism originated in Germany, while Presbyterianism has its roots in Switzerland and Scotland.
  2. Lutheran churches adhere to the teachings of Martin Luther, while Presbyterian churches follow the doctrines of John Calvin and John Knox.
  3. Regarding governance, Lutheran churches have a hierarchical structure, while Presbyterian churches follow a more democratic approach with a system of elders and representatives.

Lutheran vs. Presbyterian

Lutherans believe in justification by faith alone and emphasize the authority of the Bible and the sacraments of baptism and communion. Presbyterians believe in the sovereignty of God and the authority of the Bible, emphasizing the church’s role in governing and disciplining its members.

Lutheran vs Presbyterian


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonLutheranPresbyterian
FollowerLutherans are followers of a German monk and theologian Martin Luther.Presbyterian is the follower of John Calvin.
ApproachThey believe that Jesus died on the cross for everyone.They believe that Jesus died for only a few chosen ones.
BeliefThey believe in the fact of salvation by god.They do not believe in the fact of salvation by god.
FaithThe Lutherans have faith that only if you have faith in God will you be saved by him.The Presbyterians believe that God has already decided whom he wants to save rest will be damned.
KnowledgeScriptures are used by the Lutherans as the pure source of doctrine.The Presbyterians use scripture, as well as they, consider human reasons.


What is Lutheran?

The follower of the German monk and theologian Martin Luther is known as Lutherans. Martin Luther is also considered the “father of the Reformation.”

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Lutherans believe that Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for forgiveness for all the sins people have committed.

The sacrifice was for all the followers who believed in him and those who would never have faith in him.

They preach about God’s unconditional love and unselfishness towards all the people in the world, even those who do not deliver his love.

Lutherans believe that God has already chosen whom he wants to save and whom he wants to allow to spend eternity. The Lutherans believe that the gospel is the sole way of interpreting and understanding the hold bible.

They believe that it is the heart of scripture.

Martin Luther was a catholic, annoyed by the beliefs and faiths in Christianity. He, on the contrary, believed in the holy bible. He stood against the practices preached by the roman catholic church.

lutheran 1

What is Presbyterian?

The thought of John Calvin influenced the Presbyterian. It is a church or a denotation with a fold. The term “presbyterian” derives from the Greek presbyteros meaning “having elders ruling,” as the only form of church government with a god.

The current modern-day Presbyterian church has its roots in the 16th century during the protestant reformation, with John Calvin being the most influential figure. The father figure of theology from France.

Presbyterian Church teaches their church members that the sacrifices Jesus made at the cross were limited. According to Presbyterian, his death was only for the sins of the few chosen ones.

They believe people destined to have faith in Christ and believe in him are the sole ones to spend eternity with him in heaven; the rest will be damned.

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The Presbyterian preached in the church about “double predestination,” which states gods predestined everyone a justified place, regardless of faith and belief. Whereas some are destined to be eternal by him, and some are destined to be damned by him.

According to the Presbyterian, everything is already predicated from beforehand. Man cannot do anything to save himself from what has already been predicted.

presbyterian 1

Main Differences Between Lutheran and Presbyterian

  1. The Lutherans are the followers of the German monk and theologian Martin Luther. At the same time, the presbyterian are the followers of John Calvin.
  2. The Lutherans believe that Jesus died on the cross for all; he sacrificed his life for the sins of the people they committed. It was for the follower and those who did not follow him. However, the Presbyterians believe that Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for a few, only chosen ones.
  3. The Lutherans believe in salvation by god himself, while Presbyterians do not believe in salvation by god himself.
  4. The Lutherans believe that only if you follow God and believe in his ideologies will he only save you. While on the contrary, the Presbyterians believe it has already been decided whom God wants to have his mercy on and whom he wants to punish, so nothing now will lead to any changes.
  5. The Lutherans use scriptures as the pure source of doctrine, whereas the Presbyterians use scripture and consider human reasons as their knowledge.
Difference Between Lutheran and Presbyterian


Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Lutheran vs Presbyterian: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table is a valuable addition to the article, offering a succinct overview of the disparities between Lutheran and Presbyterian beliefs.

  2. The topic of religious denominations always sparks intriguing debates and discussions. This article provides a solid foundation for such conversations.

  3. Although the differences between Lutheranism and Presbyterianism are clearly outlined, it is evident that both have their own unique perspectives and interpretations of the Christian faith.

  4. The article effectively elucidates the nuances between Lutheran and Presbyterian beliefs, shedding light on their core distinctions.

  5. I appreciate the level of detail provided in this article, it has expanded my understanding of these denominations’ history and beliefs.

  6. The contrast between Lutheran and Presbyterian beliefs is quite thought-provoking. It showcases the diversity within Christianity.

  7. The historical context provided in this article offers valuable insight into the foundations of Lutheranism and Presbyterianism.

  8. The article effectively captures the divergent beliefs and historical foundations of Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations, providing a comprehensive analysis.

  9. This was a very informative article. It’s fascinating to learn about the history and beliefs of two of the most prominent denominations in Christianity.


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