The life of John Calvin, Petrus Dathenus Wie was Johannes Calvijn?
Petrus Dathenus & Heidelberger Catechismus

P. Dathenus
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Sporen uit de tijd van de Reformatie (IV), door G. Roos, Reformatorisch Dagblad 23-10-1979

Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 2

The catechism was written in 1563 in the city of Heidelberg, the capital city of the Palatinate. This German state had for some time been troubled by the conflicts between the Lutherans and the Calvinists. However when the God fearing Frederick III came to the throne, who not only sought the political welfare of his country, but especially sought to maintain the pure religion as the foundation for the true welfare of his people, Zacharias Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus were instructed to draw up a catechism which could be used for instruction in schools and in churches. The elector himself wrote the preface for this book. It was like a thunderclap from heaven when the Heidelberg catechism appeared in January, 1563. Translated into all European languages, it was distributed in all countries. Rome trembled upon its foundations, the Lutherans were furious. All those who reviled the pure doctrine worked together to make the hated catechism disappear. The elector himself was summoned before the Diet of Augsburg in 1566, and he went, although loss of his estate and even death threatened him. He defended with much liberty the true doctrine confessed in the catechism, and the Lord gave him so much influence that his enemies were silenced, and he was permitted to use this instruction in the Christian doctrine throughout his domain. Thus the truth triumphed.

From Heidelberg the catechism was introduced into the Netherlands through the services of the faithful, zealous chaplain of Frederick III, Peter Datheen. The provincial Synod in 1574 decided to use this catechism, and in 1578 the General Synod did likewise, and the churches of the Netherlands have never been sorry.

This book has been reprinted innumerable times. Many explanations of the catechism have been published, and up to this present day those who love the truth of God, love to hear catechism preaching.

Christian Reformed Church, Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism was composed in Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III, who ruled the Palatinate, an influential German province, from 1559 to 1576. An old tradition credits Zacharius Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus with being coauthors of the new catechism. Both were certainly involved in its composition, although one of them may have had primary responsibility. All we know for sure is reported by the Elector in his preface of January 19, 1563. It was, he writes, "with the advice and cooperation of our entire theological faculty in this place, and of all superintendents and distinguished servants of the church" that he secured the preparation of the Heidelberg Catechism. 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. Soon the catechism was divided into fifty-two sections so that one Lord's Day could be explained in preaching each Sunday of the year.

The Synod of Dort in 1618-1619 approved the Heidelberg Catechism, and it soon became the most ecumenical of the Reformed catechisms and confessions. The catechism has been translated into many European, Asian, and African languages and is the most widely used and most warmly praised catechism of the Reformation period.


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