Olevianus’s Exposition of the Apostles’ Creed is a collection of sermons he preached on the basic articles of the Christian faith. It serves as a reminder that the Reformed tradition did not see itself as separate from the universal church, though it was principally opposed to Rome. Rather, Olevianus and his tradition argue for a Reformed catholicity rooted in the ancient confession of the church. This new translation by Lyle D. Bierma, along with R. Scott Clark’s historical introduction, will benefit both scholarly and general readers. Charged with federal language, An Exposition explains the Christian faith as the believer’s fellowship with God in the covenant of grace. Thus, it is significant for its contribution to the development of Reformed covenantal theology. In addition to exhibiting its historical value within the Reformed tradition, readers will be “directed,” as Olevianus had intended, “toward edification in true and sound piety.”
The Classic Reformed Theology Series seeks to produce and provide critical English translations of some of the more important but generally neglected texts of the orthodox period. It is the sincere hope of the editor and the board that at least one volume shall appear annually.We call this series Classic Reformed Theology because, by definition, a period is classical when it defines an approach to a discipline. During the period of Protestant orthodoxy, Reformed theology reached its highest degree of definition and precision. It was in this period when the most important Reformed confessions were formed, and when the Reformed churches took the form they have today.There are at least three reasons why classic Reformed theology ought to be studied and thus why this series of critical English translations should exist. First, Reformed orthodoxy forms the intellectual background of modern theology. Second, Reformed orthodoxy merits attention by those who identify with the Reformed confessions because it is their heritage and thus shapes their theology, piety, and practice. Third, contemporary scholarship has shown that it must be regarded as a vital intellectual and spiritual movement, and thus an important subject for continued study.
Caspar Oleviaus (1536–1587) is most known today for his role as one of the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. He was also an able biblical commentator, passionate preacher, and influential churchman. His place in history is noted as a key transitional theologian, helping to bridge the gap between the first generation of the Reformation and the era of Reformed Orthodoxy.
"Caspar Olevianus is a significant theologian and his exposition of the creed places him firmly in the great tradition of the church. Pre-eminent authorities on Olevianus, Clark and Bierma have combined to provide a wider readership access to this important source of our Reformed heritage. Clark’s detailed biographical introduction effectively sets the work in context, while Bierma’s excellent and readable translation is a welcome addition to the corpus of classic Reformed texts available in English." -Robert Letham, Wales Evangelical School of Theology