[quote="josephback, post:1, topic:239621"]
Hi. So I thought I'd pose the question: what is the REAL number of Protestant denominations? I've heard everywhere from 25,000; 33,000; 38,000; 40,000; and 60,000. All of these numbers can not be true. I remember reading somewhere that by the standards used to arrive at 33,000 there are 200 Catholic Churches-and we know that isn't true. So what's the REAL number of Protestant denominations? I thought we'd all (Protestants and Catholic users alike) attempt a list. But first some guidelines....
1)THE GROUP MUST BE TRINITARIAN. This excludes groups such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Oneness Pentecostals. For the purposes of this study they cannot be called Protestant or listed. Sorry.
2)THE GROUP MUST BELIEVE IN SOLA SCRIPTURA. This can include adhering to the Bible alone, nothing else required; or placing the Bible as the highest authority possible, generally used alone but not always.
3) THE GROUP MUST HAVE A FOUNDER. For instance, Martin Luther founded Lutheranism, John Calvin founded Calvinism, etc. Who's the daddy?
4) THE LISTING MUST HAVE A DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC. What distinguishes the group from the Catholic Church or it's fellow Protestants. Not all Protestants think alike, and they shouldn't be lumped together. What sets each group apart from another?
5) INTERDENOMINATIONAL SPLITS MUST HAVE THE FOUNDER AND THE ORIGINAL BEARER. For instance Martin Luther started Lutheranism. Who started the elca? Both must be listed.
6)TO KEEP TRACK< EACH POST WILL START WITH A NUMBER. The first person to post will post "1". The second group will have a "2", and so on.
With these 6 guidelines it will be interesting to see how many denominations there are. Forum open!.....
I think it's around 5,000.