BIBLICAL BASIS FOR CATECHISM

The Word
The Old and New Testaments

INTRODUCTION

Nicene Creed, the greatest expression of the Christian faith, promotes the apostolic foundation of Christianity, including the New Testament

“I believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church”


EMPHASIS ON APOSTOLIC

The Roman Catholic Church in conjunction with the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the mainstream Protestant denominations (Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians and Presbyterians) emphasize the apostolic foundation of the Church. For example, C.S. Lewis names the head king over Narnia, Peter in honor of the chief of the apostles. (Exceptions to this emphasis include Baptists, charismatic, and non-denominational groups).


What were the names of these apostles?

Peter John James
Andrew Philip Bartholomew/Nathanael
Matthew Thomas Simon the Zealot
James the Son of Alphaeus Jude Judas who was later replaced by Mathias

Later Paul is added to the list.


What made them apostles?

    First, they were apostles because Jesus chose them (Luke 6:12-19).

    Second, they were apostles because 12 of them walked with Jesus while He was on earth (Acts 1:21-22).

    Third, they were apostles because they had seen the resurrected Jesus (1 Cor. 15:3-8).


Why Emphasize the Apostolic Foundations of the Church?

    Christ emphasized the apostolic foundations: Matthew 16:18, 19:28; and John 13:20.

    The apostles emphasized the apostolic foundations: Eph. 2:20.

    The very nature of the Bible itself: none of the books of the NT were written by Jesus; they were written only by the apostles.


The Apostolic Foundations of the Bible

BOOKS APOSTOLIC SUPPORT
Matthew Matthew
Mark/1-2 Peter Peter
Luke/Acts; Paul's Letters Paul
John, 1-3 John, Revelation John
Hebrews John/Paul
James James
Jude Jude


QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

  1. Why would Christ/God work through the apostles and not just drop the Bible into our laps?

    God is very serious about His creation and doesn’t skirt creation: The Bible begins “In the beginning God created . . .” Creation is the beginning.

    God is giving a permanence to creation (Rom. 8:18-25).

    God doesn’t just give grace, He gives it to us THROUGH creation: the body of His Son Jesus, the sacraments.

    Conclusion: God/Christ works through people and doesn’t just drop a book down in our laps. (This is one of the major contributions of Roman Catholicism.) Remember: God works through people, through YOU!!!!!!!!!


  2. What are the 2 major gifts to us from the apostles?

    The Church

    The Word of God

    (We will focus later on the Church and its relationship to the Word of God.)


  3. Why does the Catholic Bible have more books than the Protestant Bible?

    We call these additional books Deuterocanonical: Tobit, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and Baruch.

    So why do we have these 7 extra books? These 7 extra books were part of the very Bible that the apostles used (the LXX/Septuagint). All Christians accepted these books as part of the Christian Bible from the days of the apostles until the Protestant Reformation (1500) when some of the Protestant leaders simply felt they were not part of the Bible. But what gives people who lived 1500 years after the time of Christ the authority to reject the very books the apostles themselves used?

    So the better question is “Why doesn’t the rest of Christendom accept all these book?”


  4. Why should I read and study the Bible?

    The Roman Catholic Church by its very practice shows that the Bible is very important: the Liturgy of the Word takes up 40% of the Mass. NB: the entire Mass is sacramental and not just the portion focusing on the Lord’s Supper.

    The Bible makes some radical claims for itself.


    Personal Testimony

    Christ changed my life by means of His Word, the Bible.

    I am actually a Catholic because of the Bible/the Word.


  5. How do I get the Bible more into my life?

    Pope Benedict XVI said that 2 things were necessary to grow spiritually: praying and reading one’s Bible daily. If Benedict XVI thought these were important, then we should too!