The Heidelberg Catechism is an important Living Faith document for churches of the
Evangelical, Reformed, Christian and Congregational heritage that had its birth in the midst
of the Protestant Reformation.
The Heidelberg Catechism, considered the "most ecumenical of the confessions of the
Protestant Churches" was first published on January 19, 1563, in Heidelberg, Germany
at the request of Frederick III, who wanted a catechism book written that united Lutheran
and Reformed beliefs.
Zacharias Ursinus and Casper Olevianus were chosen to author the Catechism.
Zacharias Ursinus, age 28, a professor of theology at Heidelberg University, wrote most
of the Catechism. Casper Olevianus, age 26, a gifted biblical preacher, assisted in the
project and was given the responsibility for a final revision and translation into German.
The Heidelberg Catechism explains Reformation faith through a series of questions
and answers that explore the Apostles Creed, Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer,
and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. Each teaching in the Catechism is
based on Scripture and the biblical support texts can be read along with the online
version of the Heidelberg Catechism.
It should be noted that the Heidelberg Catechism expresses some of the historical
tensions of the times felt between Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church in the
decades following the start of the Protestant Reformation. Question #80 on the Lord's
Supper is a prime example. These tensions no longer draw such sharp contrasts
between Catholics and Protestants in our contemporary age since most Christians
globally acknowledge that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father
of all..." (Ephesians 4:5-6)
Read a printable version of the Heidelberg Catechism below or listen to an audio version
of the Heidelberg Catechism here.
The Reformed faith, which the Heidelberg
Catechism summarizes. began on October 31,
1517, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses
on the chapel doors in Wittenberg, Germany thus
starting the Protestant Reformation.
|© 2010 - Merge: a Living Faith Christian Community. All rights reserved.
A multi-media exploration of Jesus Christ