The Apostles Creed was one of three basic elements in Reformation teaching for disciples (the other two being the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments). Of course, the Heidelberg Catechism covered much more ground than that, but this is a good place to start.
Each post in this space will present a Question and an Answer from the Heidelberg Catechism along with supporting Scripture texts.
There is a comment section at the bottom of each post for your comments, observations or questions.
Please take time to record your comments and questions. We are a team. We are here to encourage and learn from each other.
In the Reformation and Puritan periods of Western History, Christian teaching focused on three subjects: The Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. Children and adults knew the Creed, the Prayer and the Commandments by heart. They were instructed in more detail through question and answer sessions with more mature believers. Pastors and teachers preached great sermons that clarified the foundational Christian doctrines summarized in the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments; and Christian scholars followed the same outline in universities of their time. Zacharias Ursinus was one such scholar who taught at the University of Heidelberg, in Germany.
Zacharias Ursinus, Professor of Dogmatics (1534-1583)
Educated at Wittenberg under Melanchthon, at Geneva under Calvin and at Paris under Mercier. From 1561 to 1568 was professor of dogmatics at the University of Heidelberg. He and Caspar Olevianus, a disciple of Calvin, wrote the Heidelberg Catechism, which was adopted as the official creed of the German Reformed churches.
The Heidelberg Catechism is a clear, simple and profound summary of Christian Doctrine that burns with the practical passion of a pastor’s heart. Dr. Zacharias Ursinus was a gifted pastor-teacher who stood on the shoulders of three giants of the Reformation (Luther, Calvin and Mercier) and proclaimed the gospel in simplicity for children and in greater depth for university students. The Heidelberg Catechism has endured for 450 years and is still taught to children and adults around the world.