Kaspar Olevianus
Kaspar Olevianus (10 August 1536 – 15 March 1587) was a significant German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 Reformed theologian
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 during the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and along with Zacharius Ursinus was said to be co-author of the Heidelberg Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism
The Heidelberg Catechism is a Protestant confessional document taking the form of a series of questions and answers, for use in teaching Reformed Christian doctrine...

. That theory of authorship has been questioned by some modern scholarship.


Born in Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

, Olevianus was the son of a baker and attended a course of humanist studies in Paris. He went on to study law at Bourges
Bourges is a city in central France on the Yèvre river. It is the capital of the department of Cher and also was the capital of the former province of Berry.-History:...

 and came under the influence of Reformation teaching. On his return to Trier his beliefs came into conflict with those of the local clergy.

In 1560 he was invited by Frederick III, Elector Palatine
Frederick III, Elector Palatine
Frederick III of Simmern, the Pious, Elector Palatine of the Rhine was a ruler from the house of Wittelsbach, branch Palatinate-Simmern-Sponheim. He was a son of John II of Simmern and inherited the Palatinate from the childless Elector Otto-Henry, Elector Palatine in 1559...

 to teach at the University of Heidelberg. After the Elector's death his son Louis VI, Elector Palatine
Louis VI, Elector Palatine
In the history of the Holy Roman Empire, Louis VI, Elector Palatine was an Elector from the Palatinate-Simmern branch of the house of Wittelsbach. He was the first-born son of Frederick III, Elector Palatine and Marie of Brandenburg-Kulmbach...

, who was strongly Lutheran in conviction, attempted to turn the school away from the Reformed doctrine of the Heidelberg catechism. Olevianus was banned from teaching but he was able to move to Berleburg. There, in 1578, he published a commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians
Epistle to the Galatians
The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, often shortened to Galatians, is the ninth book of the New Testament. It is a letter from Paul of Tarsus to a number of Early Christian communities in the Roman province of Galatia in central Anatolia...

, with a preface by Theodore Beza
Theodore Beza
Theodore Beza was a French Protestant Christian theologian and scholar who played an important role in the Reformation...


Olevianus published several works on the Covenant of Grace. In 1584 he moved to the County of Nassau
Nassau (state)
Nassau was a German state within the Holy Roman Empire and later in the German Confederation. Its ruling dynasty, now extinct in male line, was the House of Nassau.-Origins:...

 and became rector of Herborn Academy
Herborn Academy
The Herborn Academy was a German institution of higher learning very similar to a university in Herborn, which existed from 1584 to 1817...

. He died in 1587 surrounded by friends and supporters and was buried in Herborn. On his deathbed he was asked "Are you undoubtedly sure of your salvation, as you taught others constantly?" His reply was "Most certain!"

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