Heidelberg Catechism (Banner of Truth)


Video from Matthew Everhard


"The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) was composed in the city of Heidelberg, Germany, at the request of Elector Frederick III, who ruled the province of the Palatinate from 1559 to 1576. The new catechism was intended as a tool for teaching young people, a guide for preaching in the provincial churches, and a form of confessional unity among the several Protestant factions in the Palatinate. An old tradition credits Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus with being the coauthors of the catechism, but the project was actually the work of a team of ministers and university theologians under the watchful eye of Frederick himself. Ursinus probably served as the primary writer on the team, and Olevianus had a lesser role. The catechism was approved by a synod in Heidelberg in January 1563. A second and third German edition, each with small additions, as well as a Latin translation were published the same year in Heidelberg. The third edition was included in the Palatinate Church Order of November 15, 1563, at which time the catechism was divided into fifty-two sections or Lord's Days, so that one Lord's Day could be explained in an afternoon worship service each Sunday of the year..." from the article: Heidelberg Catechism


"A catechism is a teaching tool using the ancient scheme of questions and answers. Over the coming year, this article series will unpack the Heidelberg Catehcism (HC), a particular catechism written in Heidelberg, Germany in 1563—less than 50 years and 400 miles from the start of the Protestant Reformation. The reforming Christians in Heidelberg went public with their faith in Christ by drafting and adopting this catechism.

It’s okay if you aren’t excited yet.

Here’s what matters: You need what the catechism teaches. Using the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer (plus some lessons on baptism and the Lord’s Supper) the HC teaches how you can live and die in the joy of eternal comfort. The Bible isn’t simply an ancient religious text. It’s a divine autobiography. It’s the story of how “the God of all comfort” fixes the horror of sin (2 Cor. 1:3). According to the catechism, you fight bad news with good news, and good news becomes more comforting the better you know it..." from the article: Why You Should Care About Catechisms


The Heidelberg Catechism (link)


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