What is the biblical root of ‘catechism’?

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on telegram
Telegram
Share on email
Email

In Luke 1:4, we read Luke writing to Theophilus “it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed (kat­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ēcheō).”

Kat­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ēcheō (Greek.): means to “instruct” or “teach orally” and is the basis of our English word “catechism”. The verb is used eight times in the New Testament. It is often linked with the early transmission of the gospel, when the apostles and their associates instructed believers by word of mouth.

Luke writes his Gospel to a certain Theophilus, who has already been catechized in this way, in order to confirm and deepen his understanding of Jesus life and teachings (Lk 1:4). Apollos had likewise, learned the rudiments of Christian doctrine by oral instruction (Acts 18:25).

Paul employs this term years earlier when he encourages young Christians to assist their local catechists with financial support (Gal 6:6), and when he stresses that intelligible instruction in the faith is more profitable for God’s people than the unintelligible speech of charismatic tongues (1 Cor 14:19).

The most recent ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ was given to the church by Pope John Paul II on Oct.11th, 1992, which was the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

Explore More

Becoming honest in prayer

Very often when we talk of prayer, we think of polite conversation with God – saying the right words, the right formulas, in a certain tone of voice and so on. But prayer in the Bible is anything, but that. Just read the Book of Psalms for example, which is full of raw emotion expressed to God as prayer. This is because an important aspect of engaging with God from the heart in prayer, is learning to be honest with what’s coming up in our hearts. In today’s Bible reading, we find another example of honesty in prayer and hear how it’s also the place where we can find intimacy with God.

The longings of our heart

We’re all aware from time to time, of the deep longings of our heart – for love, significance, recognition, a sense of worth, belonging, freedom and so on. But what many of us are not aware of, are the ways in which the Bible speaks about this area. And how it’s such a crucial area of our hearts to which we need to pay attention, if we want to develop an intimate relationship with God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *