Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Olaf I

(Olaf Tryggvesson; Trygvason; 969–1000). King of Norw. 995–1000; b. while parents were in exile; brought up at court of Vladimir I (ca. 956–1015; “Vladimir the Great”; ruled Russ. 980–1015; converted to Christianity ca. 989); converted to Christianity in Scilly Islands; led Viking expedition 994 and ravaged coasts of Fr., Eng., and Ireland; to Norw.; brought bps. and priests from Eng. and tried to Christianize Norway. See also Iceland; Norway, Early Christianity in.

Olaf II

(Olaf Haraldsson; Olave; ca. 995–1030). Nickname “Digre” meaning “physically big” given him because he was believed to be a reincarnation of Olav Digre, a pagan Viking king, half-uncle to Harald Haarfagre, grandfather of Olav Haraldsson. Patron saint of Norw.; king of Norw. 1016–1028/30; brought bps. and priests from Eng. and tried to complete the conversion of Norw. by force; rebellion resulted; fled to Russ. 1028; killed in battle at Stiklestad in attempt to reconquer Norw. See also Norway, Early Christianity in.

V. Henriksen. St. Olav of Norway (Otta, Norway, 1985).

Olafsson, Stefan

(ca. 1620–88). Educ. Copenhagen, Den.; dean Vallanes, Iceland; lyric poet. Tr. hymns of T. H. Kingo* into Icelandic.

Oldcastle, John

(ca. 1377–1417). Lord, or Baron, Cobham; b. probably in the manor of Almeley, Herefordshire, Eng.; m. Joan, Lady Cobham, 1409; friend of Prince of Wales (later Henry V; 1387–1422; king of Eng. 1413–22); convicted of Lollardism (see Lollards, 2) and given 40 days to recant 1413; escaped; headed Lollard conspiracy; captured; hanged and burned as heretic and traitor. Thought by some to be the basis of Shakespeare's Falstaff in Henry IV.

R. Fiehler, “Sir John Oldcastle Reconsidered,” CTM, XXVIII (1957), 579–594, and The Strange History of Sir John Oldcastle (New York, 1965).

Old Catholics.

1. Some RCs rejected the decree of papal infallibility and absolutism (see Nürnberg Declaration, The; Vatican Councils, 1 b), seceded from the RC Ch., and est. an indep. organization known as Old Catholics.

2. Leaders included J. J. I. v. Döllinger,* J. Friedrich,* J. H. Reinkens,* F. H. Reusch,* and J. F. v. Schulte.*

3. The 1st Old Cath. Congress met September 1871 Munich, the 2d in September 1872 at Cologne. An electoral body chose Reinkens bp. June 1873; he was consecrated in August The 3d Congress met September 1873 Constance and adopted a const. Some Old Caths. considered themselves bound by the Council of Trent* until 1889, when the doctrinal basis of Old Caths. was formalized in the Declaration of Utrecht.* Old Caths. recognize doctrines accepted before 1054. The Bible and tradition are admitted as sources of revelation. But Old Caths. have been affected by Prot. influences. The clergy is permitted to marry. Bible reading is encouraged. The mass is celebrated in the vernacular.

4. Abortive miss. efforts in Am. early in the 20th c. resulted in Old Cath. chs. not recognized by those of Eur., e.g., N. Am. Old RC Ch. (formerly N. Am. Cath. Ch.); Old Cath. Ch. in Am.; Old Cath. Archdiocese of the Americas and Eur.; Ref. Cath. Ch. (Utrecht Confession), Province of N. Am.; The Am. Cath. Ch., Archdiocese of New York.

5. The 1931 Bonn Agreement allowed intercommunion bet. the Angl. Ch. (including the Prot. Episc. Ch.) and the Old Cath. Church. Old Caths. have shown interest in ecumenical movements.

See also Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, The; Jansenism.

Oldenberg, Hermann

(1854–1920). Indologist; b. Hamburg, Ger.; prof. Kiel 1889, Göttingen 1908; engaged in research in early religions of India. Issued texts and translations.

Oldendorp, Johannes

(ca. 1488–1567). Luth. jurist and canonist; b. Hamburg, Ger.; prof. law Greifswald, Rostock, and Frankfurt an der Oder; developed a Luth. concept of natural* law influenced by Aristotle,* humanism,* and P. Melanchthon.*

Old High German Religious Poetry and Prose.

Dates from the 8th c.; includes the Weissenburger Katechismus, the Heliand,* and the eschatological poem Muspilli. See also Otfrid.

Old Lutherans.

Originally this name was applied to Luths. who refused to join in the Prussian* Union (see also Germany, Lutheran Free Churches in, 1). There was a similar reaction against unionism and rationalism in Saxony. Old Luths. continued in Ger. and Poland under various names including Altlutheraner; Breslauer Synode; Verein der evangelisch-altlutherischen Kirchengemeinden; Ev.-luth. Kirche in Westpolen; Ev.-luth. Kirche in Preussen, later &Ev.-luth. Kirche in Altpreussen, and since 1945 Evangelisch-lutherische (altlutherische) Kirche.

The name Old Lutherans was also applied to confessional Luths. who emigrated to Am. 1838–48 under such men as J. A. A. Grabau* and M. Stephan* Sr. See also Buffalo Synod; Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, The, II; Symbolists. ARS

V. Ferm, The Crisis in American Lutheran Theology (New York, 1927); C. Mauelshagen, American Lutheranism Surrenders to Forces of Conservatism (Athens, Georgia, 1936); R. D. Owen, “The Old Lutherans Come,” CHIQ, XX, No. 1 (April 1947), 3–56; F. Lichtenberger, History of German Theology in the Nineteenth Century, tr. and ed. W. Hastie (Edinburgh, 1889).


1. Johann(es) (1546–1623); b. Wesel, Ger.; educ. Marburg and Jena; rector Gymnasium at Königsberg 1574; prof. theol. Helmstedt 1578; pastor and supt. Halle 1581; son-in-law of T. Hesshus*; strict Lutheran. 2. Gottfried (1604–85); son of 1, brother of 3; Luth. pastor and supt. Halle; hymnist. Works include Ideae dispositionum biblicarum; Annotationes biblicae; Aphorismi biblici; Halygraphia. 3. Johann(es) (1611–84); son of 1, brother of 2; b. Halle; preacher and supt. Halle and Weissenfels; hymnist. Hymns include “Herr, öffne mir die Herzenstür”; “Gelobet sei der Herr”; “Tröstet, tröstet meine Lieben”; “Ach, wie gross ist deine Gnade”; “Jesus selbst, mein Licht, mein Leben.” 4. Johann Gottfried (1635–1711); son of 2, brother of 5; b. Halle; educ. Leipzig and Jena; diaconus Halle; supt. and consistorial councillor Arnstadt; wrote in field of patristics; hymnist. Hymns include “Komm, du wertes Lösegeld”; “Es war die ganze Welt.” 5. Johann(es) (1639–1713); son of 2, brother of 4; prof. Leipzig. Works include De stylo Novi Testamenti; Hermeneutica sacra. 6. Johann Christian (1646–99); son of 3; supt. and pastor Querfurt 1672, Halle 1685; consistorial councillor Halle; orthodox Lutheran; hymnist. 7. Johann Christoph(orus) (1668 [1669?]–1747); son of 4; b. Halle; polymath; held various ch. positions in Arnstadt; hymnologist. 8. Gottfried (1672–1715); son of 5; b. Leipzig; prof. theol. Leipzig 1708.

Olevian(us), Caspar

(Kaspar; 1536–87). B. Trier, Ger.; prof. Heidelberg 1561; helped prepare Heidelberg Catechism (see Reformed Confessions, D 2); attended Maulbronn* Colloquy 1564; furthered Calvinism also in Berleburg and Herborn.

Olier, Jean Jacques

(1608–57). B. Paris, Fr.; RC priest 1633; founded Sulpicians.*

Olivétan, Pierre Robert

(Petrus Robertus Olivetanus; Louis Olivier; ca. 1506–38). B. Noyon, Fr.; adopted Luth. doctrines 1528 during studies at Orléans; fled to Strasbourg; preached to Waldenses* in Piedmont 1532–35; tr. Bible into Fr.; said to have been called Olevitan (a reference to olive oil) because he burned the midnight oil. See also Bible Versions, K.


Indep. branch of Benedictines*; est. 1313/ 19 at Accona, near Siena, It.; Accona came to be called Monte Oliveto, whence the name of the order.

Olshausen, Hermann

(1796–1839). Brother of J. Olshausen*; b. Oldesloe, Holstein, near Hamburg, Ger.; educ. Kiel and Berlin; prof. Königsberg 1821, Erlangen 1834; upheld the genuineness of the 4 canonical gospels. Works include a commentary on the NT.

Olshausen, Justus

(1800–82). Brother of H. Olshausen*; b. Hohenfelde, Holstein, Ger.; prof. oriental languages Kiel 1823, Königsberg 1853. Works include a Heb. grammar; commentary on the Psalms.

Olsson, Olof

(March 31, 1841–May 12, 1900). B. Karlskoga, Vaermland (Varmland; Värmland; Vermland), Swed.; educ. Uppsala, Swed., and Leipzig, Ger.; to Am. 1869; pastor Lindsborg, Kansas, 1869; prof. Augustana Theol. Sem., Rock Island, Ill. (see Ministry, Education of, X M) 1876–88 [87?]; pastor Woodhull, Illinois, 1890; pres. Augustana Coll. and Sem. 1891–1900; musician. Works include Vid korset (tr. At the Cross).

Oltramare, Paul

(1854–1930). Swiss Indologist and historian of religions; held that progress of civilization made religion largely unnecessary and that religion results from ignorance and inability.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online