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After some years spent in this stage he was promoted to the ranks of the , i.e. As might be expected, he was now instructed more especially in the rites for this purpose.
In considering the catechetical writings of the Fathers we must bear in mind the distinction of these different grades. The "Catecheses" proper (numbered i to xviii) are divided into two groups: i-v, repeating the leading ideas of the "Procatechesis", and treating of sin and repentance, baptism, the principal doctrines of the Christian religion, and the nature and origin of faith; vi-xviii, setting forth, article by article, the baptismal Creed of the Church of Jerusalem., are often used in the New Testament, especially in the Pastoral Epistles.As we might expect, the Apostle insists upon "doctrine" as one of the most important duties of a bishop (1 Timothy , 16; ; 2 Timothy 4:2, etc.).During His public life He frequently made use of the catechetical method to impart instruction: "What think ye of Christ? Peter speaks to him of Jesus Christ who "is lord of all . And we are witnesses of all things that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree. even to us who did eat and drink with him after he arose again from the dead; and he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead.Him God raised up the third day, and gave him to be made manifest . To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him" (Acts 10).Peter, except that Justin dwells on the Creation and proves the Divinity of Christ, the Logos and only-begotten Son of the Father.
(4) In the ages of persecution it became necessary to exercise great caution in admitting persons to membership in the Church.
Proselytes were carefully instructed before being admitted to become members of the Jewish faith. When they had been convinced of this truth, and had compunction in their heart for their crime, they asked, "What shall we do? We have here an abridgment of the first catechetical instruction given by the Apostles. John came from Jerusalem and "prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost"; and doubtless declared to them the doctrine of that Holy Spirit (ibid.).
The regular instruction of children began when they were twelve years old. " And Peter answered, "Do penance, and be baptized . It is both doctrinal and moral the hearers are to believe and to repent. Peter's second discourse after healing the lame man in the Temple (Acts 3). Stephen goes further, and brings out that belief in Jesus as the Christ (Messias) meant the ending of the Old Covenant and the coming in of a New (Acts 6:7). Philip the Deacon preached "of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ"; and the Samaritans "were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8). The same deacon's discourse to the eunuch deals with the proof from Scripture, and notably Isaias (53:7), that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God", and the necessity of baptism.
Thus, in the Didache we find little but moral instruction; but it is clear that those to whom it is addressed must have already received some knowledge of what they were to believe.
Later on we find more explicit dogmatic teaching, for instance, in St.
The danger of falling away, or even of betrayal, must be guarded against by a careful doctrinal and moral training.