The volume was put together from his lectures on the Catechism in Neustadt, Germany—lectures which he edited and prepared for publication, although the final publication was completed in 1584, posthumously. This version contains an introduction from the translator, a general prolegomena with reference to the catechism of the Christian religion, and a special prolegomena with reference to the catechism.
Zacharias Ursinus (1534–1583) was born Zacharias Baer in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland). Like all young scholars of his era, he gave himself a Latin name; he chose Ursus, meaning bear. He is best known as a professor of theology at the University of Heidelberg and the coauthor, with Caspar Olevianus, of the Heidelberg Catechism, included in Historic Creeds and Confessions.
When Ursinus traveled to Wittenberg to study, he met Philip Melanchthon, colleague and close friend of the late Martin Luther . Eventually Melanchthon befriended and tutored the young Ursinus. Parting ways after many years, Ursinus traveled for a year throughout Europe visiting the Protestant centers of learning in Germany, France, and Switzerland. He read the Hebrew lectures of Jean Mercier in Paris, sat at the feet of Bullinger in Zurich, and talked with Calvin in Geneva, who presented him with a gift of a complete, signed set of Calvin's works.
Finally on March 6, 1583, at the age of 49, he died in Neustadt, Germany, leaving behind his wife and child.