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Born of Necessity

The Lutheran Small Catechism’s Origin and Purpose

The reason for the formation of Luther’s Small Catechism can be found in his Preface. However, other contemporaries of Luther give us access to even more details of the deplorable condition of the Christian Church in Medieval times. His preface states:

The deplorable, miserable condition that I discovered recently when I, too, was a visitor, has forced and urged me to prepare this catechism, or Christian doctrine, in this small, plain, simple form. Mercy! Dear God, what great misery I beheld! The common person, especially in the villages, has no knowledge whatever of Christian doctrine…[1]