Historical Background And Development Of The Small Catechism Essay

Historical Background And Development Of The Small Catechism Essay

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The Small Catechism is a well-known document or book which has been published in many languages. It was used as an instructional material, due to a lack of biblical understanding surrounding the Protestant Reformation. Nowadays, some people might say that the Small Catechism is a handbook of Christian Doctrine, manual of Christian doctrine, or some other names for it. In the other words, people still appreciate Luther’s work on the Small Catechism, even though it was first published almost 500 years ago. This appreciation given in acknowledges of the fact that the Small Catechism is a compact form of faith teaching.

In this first chapter, I will trace what gave rise to Luther’s Small Catechism, with special attention to how it developed as a teaching and spiritual formation resource. In order to fulfil this purpose, this first chapter will be divided into four sections. First of all, I will overview the historical background and development of the Small Catechism. Secondly, I will investigate some key features of Luther’s Small Catechism which make it as a catechetical resource. Thirdly, I will analyse the internal theological structure and content of this catechism. Finally, I will explain the role of Luther’s Small Catechism in Christian teaching and spiritual formation today.

These sections in this chapter will assist me to write an in-depth critical comparison of Luther’s Small Catechism with the education resources currently used for teaching the Christian faith in the Gereja Kristen Protestan Simalungun (GKPS).

Historical Background and Development of Luther’s Small Catechism
Martin Luther 's critique of church actions and doctrinal principles in Germany had a great impact on the reformation of the Christian teaching wh...


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... the catechisms. These three series were focused on the Decalogue, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. Luther’s sermons were the immediate source of his Small Catechism. Annually, he would preach sermons on the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. Overduin also adds that the 1531 edition was the final form of the Small Catechism (1980, 7-10).

After the development of the printing press, charts came into vogue. Thus when Luther had completed the first three parts of his catechism, they were printed in the first week of 1529 and published in the form of charts. Each section of this document appeared on large single sheets of paper, to be sold like newspapers and hung up in churches, schools, and homes. The development of the Small Catechism by the charts on the wall meant that everyone could read and reread the principal doctrines of the Christian faith.

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