The Heidelberg Catechism was written with numerous support texts accompanying each answer. This was done for the following two reasons:
1. To clearly establish that the catechism answers are not merely the ideas of men, but summaries of the truths taught in God's Word.
2. To provide various biblical references for those desiring to study the catechism's summary answers in more depth.
The Heidelberg Catechism was shortened for use by young people in catechism and confession classes. This shortened version is termed the Compendium. The Compendium was written by Herman Faukeel in 1611. The Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) approved the Compendium for the instruction of young people.
The Canons of Dordt (or The Five Articles Against the Remonstrants)
The Canons of Dordt were written by the National Synod of the Reformed Church held in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, in 1618 and 1619. The chairman of the Synod was Johannes Bogerman.
The Canons of Dordt were written to correct five false teachings of Jacobus Arminius, a professor of theology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. The followers of Arminius wrote a remonstrance, a short confession of that which they opposed and believed. It contained the following five doctrinal errors:
1. Everyone has a free will to accept or reject faith.
2. God's election is based upon His foreknowledge of man's faith.
3. Christ died equally for everyone. His death removed original sin (total depravity) from all mankind.
4. Man must cooperate with the Holy Spirit for God to work in his heart.
5. God's children can fall away and become unregenerate again.
Why did the Reformers institute catechism preaching, since all preaching must be Bible-based?
Canons - Official church statements or rulings
Remonstrance - A strong statement of reasons against something