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What is a Catechism?

Catechism vs. Bible

Catechisms vs. Bibles

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"Can you please tell me what a catechism is? How does it differ from the bible and why?"

 

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A catechism is an instructional tool that contains basic principles of the Catholic faith. Catechisms such as the Baltimore Catechism and the Catechism of St. Pius X are in Q & A format, other catechisms such as the Catechism of the Council of Trent & the Catechism of the Catholic Church are not in Q & A format. Catechisms typically cover basics of the faith such as the commandments & the sacraments, along with other essential elements of the faith. Catechisms are authored by humans. Catechisms differ from the bible in a variety of ways. First of all, recall that the bible was written under the influence of the Holy Spirit by early followers of Christ and therefore is 'inherently error free'. Next, remember that Gospels may present information about Jesus' life and teachings in more of a chronological sequence. The letters, which make up much of the New Testament, may have been written to address particular issue(s). While Scripture is obviously instructional, it was not written to be a "catechism" in the sense of being an easy-to-understand, concise summary of the Catholic faith.

[Note: For a searchable catechism and for more on the bible, see links below.]


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