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Genevan Catechism

The first Genevan Catechism was drawn up by John Calvin in 1537, originally French and then translated into Latin. It would seem, however, to have been verbose and not easily memorized. Consequently, after his return from exile in Strasbourg in 1541, at the request of a number of people including some of the ministers of East Friesland, Calvin produced another which had a more catechetical form with crisper phrases more easily learned. Again written in French and then translated into Latin, this work sought to set forth the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. At the same time a schedule was prepared indicating how it could be learned and recited over a period of fifty-five weeks. This catechism was adopted by the French Reformed Church and in translation was used as the Scottish Church's catechism until it accepted the Westminster Catechisms in 1648. The best modern edition is in Calvin, Theological Treatises (ed. J.K.S. Reid, 1954).