Wanradt-Koell's catechism is printed

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Kateksimuse leht

In 1535, a Lutheran catechism in German, written by the pastor of St. Olaf's Church - Simon Wanradt, was printed. The parallel translation into Estonian had been made by the preacher of the Church of the Holy Ghost, Johann Koell. Linguists found, that the Estonian translation is mainly in Alutaguse dialect, thus it is surmised, that Koell may have come from that area.

At the time of its publication, the catechism did not reach the masses because the Town Council found it to be full of errors: the fact that Wanradt did not support Luther's opinions regarding the reformation was probably fatal to the text. Therefore, the catechism was called back, and today only fragments can be found. Failing to distribute the book became as a bad surprise to many as the catechism had many supporters: Johann Selhorst, an influential merchant and the patron of St. Olaf's church; also book dealer Giesebrecht Schepeler had invested his money into the project. Latter turned to the Town Council in 1537, asking for a reparation for the loss he suffered after the book had been called back.

Source: Eesti ajalugu elulugudes: 101 tähtsat eestlast. Tallinn: Olion, 1997, lk-d 24-25


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