Celebrating the Heidelberg Catechism

2013. november 13., szerda

This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism. To celebrate the occasion, the Common Synod of the Hungarian Reformed Church (HRC), made up of the Reformed Church in Hungary alongside other Hungarian Reformed communities in the Carpathian Basin, accepted the new Hungarian translation of the Catechism. The John Calvin publishing house of the RCH printed a special edition of the Catechism, which contains the full text in the languages used in Reformed congregations in the Carpathian Basin: German, English, Romanian, Slovakian and Hungarian. It has been internationally well received since its publication.

In July the Common Synod voted to accept the new Hungarian translation of the Catechism, which is a modern language adaptation of the historic confessional text. There have been several translations done before, and these different versions were being used throughout the Carpathian Basin, but the mutual adoption of the newly released translation by the HRC's member churches is the first step to preparing a common liturgy for the Carpathian Basin.

First Hungarian edition published in Pápa in 1577 by Dávid Huszár

In addition, a new Heidelberg Catechism commentary written by Károly Fekete, professor of practical theology at the Reformed seminary in Debrecen, and a small booklet of the Catechism's biblical references, were released to go along with the newly translated text. Next to these books, Karl Barth's lecture series, The Heidelberg Catechism for Today, about the meaning of the Heidelberg Catechism was also translated into Hungarian.

Beside these efforts to make the confessional text more accessible and useful for today's congregations, the General Convent of the HRC would also like to create a new Reformed catechism for the 500th jubilee of the Reformation in 2017, which would formulate young people's faith into their language. The Catechism Commission wants to include youth into this writing process, so they prepared a questionnaire in order to obtain young people's opinions.


Amy Lester

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We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.