Thursday, January 23, 2014

Handmade Heidelberg Catechism from The Purple Carrot (review) 

Heidelberg Catechism, with Scripture Proof Texts
I received this item from The Purple Carrot for review purposes.  It’s a handcrafted Heidelberg Catechism.  The cover in front and back is hard, like a hardback book, but with a sewn-on cover that you can get in a number of different patterns.  It has a binding that I think you’d call stitched or sewn.  I don’t know a lot about book binding.  But I would think that the nice thing about this kind of binding, besides its aesthetic value, is that it seems to be able to open and close and lay very flat without stressing the binding much at all.  It seems like it would be quite durable and stand up to some use. 

That durability would be very nice for a piece like this, because one of the chief uses I could foresee for it would be as a gift for church members having a child baptized.  You’d want something that looks this nice to last a while, and to be actually usable without just falling apart.  Inside is a title page, an introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism, and each of the questions.  All the proof texts are listed as well, very helpful for catechetical study.

I think the price is pretty reasonable for something hand-crafted like this ($20).  I think it would be a really nice touch to give something like this to families with a new baby or new member families or those kinds of occasions.  The Purple Carrot makes a few different versions of this- I think right now they have the Heidelberg Catechism, the Westminster Shorter Catechism and the Catechism for Young Children.  The translation for the Heidelberg that was used is I believe the same one some of the more conservative Dutch churches.  It’s the same as is listed here on Westminster Theological Seminary's site, which says it's the one the Canadian and American Reformed Churches use.  But there's only minor differences in wording between this and the one we are using in the RCUS right now, which itself has been modified a few times with more modern language.  I've been told that The Purple Carrot is putting one together using the current RCUS translation as well.

Overall, I really recommend it.  Well-made, reasonably priced, very useful and attractive item.  Good for churches who want to buy it as a gift item- or buy it yourself for your own family.  I love the Heidelberg of course, but the Westminster Shorter Catechism and the Catechism for Young Children are both great resources too.  If you don't know which one to get, get the Heidelberg!

Here is a link to The Purple Carrot's website.

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