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Ursinus' Large and Small Catechisms Together with the Heidelberg Catechism

Several years ago, one of the members of Christ Reformed Church (Greg Myers) learned that Dr. Fred Klooster (who died in 2003) and John Medendorp had prepared translations of Ursinus' Large (1560-61) and Small (1561-62) catechisms.  Greg contacted Dr. Klooster, and got permission to put the large and small catechisms in parallel columns along with the Heidelberg Catechism.

At the time, we made this document available as a PDF file on the old Christ Reformed web site.  When we moved to the new Christ Reformed Info blog, we didn't move this file. 

Recently, Wes Bredenhof made mention of it on his blog (  So, I am posting it here for your use and enjoyment!

Ursinus' Large and Small Catechisms


Reader Comments (6)

I have read all of the commentary of Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism. I must have been born in the wrong era, as I prefer the 16th century theologians, or even older.

Pastor Kim is one of the few modern theologians worth reading, along with our Lutheran guys. (He is a real throw back to the good old days.)
November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Dr. Ursinus clearly delineates between a covenant of law (or creation) and another covenant of grace. So much for mono-covenantalism.

36 Q What is the difference
between the law and the gospel?
A The law contains the covenant of nature
established by God with man in creation;
that means,
it is known by man from nature,
it requires perfect obedience of us
to God,
and it promises eternal life
to those who keep it
but threatens eternal punishment
to those who do not.
The gospel, however,
contains the covenant of grace;
that means,
although it exists,
it is not known at all from nature;
it shows us
Christ’s fulfillment of that righteousness
which the law requires,
and its restoration in us
through Christ’s Spirit;
and it promises eternal life
freely on account of Christ
to those who believe in him.
November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Robinson
I love this publication SO much!

Such a feast of clear and arrestingly beautiful language:

Ursinus: Large Catechism

28 Q What is eternal death?
A It is the terrifying awareness
in one’s conscience
of divine anger and judgment,
and the continuous torment
of soul and body.

29 Q Why does sin deserve eternal punishment?
A First, because God’s justice demands
that punishment be equivalent to the wrong.
Every sin involves infinite wrong
because it is an offense
against God who is infinite Good.
Therefore it deserves
infinite punishment.
Second, since sin does not cease
its punishment cannot cease.

But without the grace of Christ
no one stops sinning;
therefore no one can ever be set free
from punishment.

Ursinus Shorter Catechism

10 Q How can you then escape
eternal death?
A Through God’s Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
who for me
became man,
satisfied God’s most perfect
and very strict justice
by his suffering and obedience,
and earned eternal life
which he has already begun in me
through his Holy Spirit
and will make perfect
after this life.

Pastor Kim, I'm so grateful you get food like this off the high shelves and put down onto the table for us.

November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
Thanks for posting this Kim! I have been wondering whether there's a more concised HB catechism for younger children, like the Luther's Shorter Catechism and Westminster's Shorter Catechism. This is a real gem. I have read somewhere too that Calvin did wrote a Catechism for children. Do anyone of you here and Dr Kim know where I can find it? I googled it but seems to yield no result. Thanks!
December 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Teo
Hi Matthew, thanks for the post, I did look it up, but apparently its different. I think this is the one I am looking for, I found this quote elsewhere,

"In Calvin's Strasbourg catechism, he asks the student "How do you know yourself to be a son of God in fact as well as in name?" The answer is "Because I am baptized in the name of God the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." "

If you know where I can source Calvin's Strasbourg Catechism, I would be much appreciated. Seems to be hard to find the entire catechism.
December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Teo

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