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Chapter Four

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Chapter Summary

The Heidelberg Catechism, composed in late 1562 and published in January 1563, arguably became the most important confessional document in the history of Reformed Christianity. It was the first manifestly Reformed confession adopted by a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and, as such, stood as a direct challenge to the Religious Peace of Augsburg. The traditional image of Zacharius Ursinus and Olevianus as the joint authors of the catechism was based on the account found in Historia de Ecclesiis Palatinis by the Emden theologian Heinrich Alting that was published in 1644. The catechism's primary motif was to direct the believer toward receiving the benefits of Christ's crucifixion and away from contemplation of the elements themselves. Complementing the theological agreement of the Gründtlicher Bericht with the Heidelberg Catechism is a linguistic similarity between the catechism and Thomas Erastus's works.

Keywords: Heidelberg Catechism; Olevianus; Thomas Erastus; Zacharius Ursinus

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