Sunday, August 29, 2010

Didache Questions

Hello, Scholars.
I apologize that I have been out of town this weekend for a relative's wedding and I have not yet posted the Didache questions. No worries. We will work on these in class tomorrow. See you all bright and early.

Here are the questions we will be going over in class, as well as some key vocabulary terms that I thought might be unfamiliar to you.

Monger (Christmonger)

1. Briefly explain what is meant by the “Two Ways”. In what sense are these paths or “ways” that one travels? Why do you think the authors put all of the moral instruction at the beginning as opposed to starting off describing who Jesus is and what had happened to him?

2. Chapter 3 uses “slippery slope” logic to deter readers from committing minor sins. List the minor sins mentioned and explain why each one is bad in its own right, even if it does not lead to the “greater sin” associated with it.

3. Chapter 4 reiterates what we find in the 4th Chapter of Acts, namely that to be a Christian was to share one’s worldly goods without noting the loss or expectation of repayment. Why is such emphasis made on this in the early Church and why is this mentality so far removed in the contemporary Church?

4. Chapter 4 urges parents not to “withdraw their hands” from their children, basically condoning spanking. Why do you think the apostolic fathers would bother to include this among their list of precepts? What is the relationship between a child’s behavior and a child’s faith?

5. As stern as the first section of the Didache is, in chapter 6 we see the very moderate admonition to “do what you can” rather than a demand for perfection. What is the danger of straying too far to one side (expecting perfection of Christians) or too far to another side (expecting virtually nothing of Christians)? Where do you think the Church is today and why? (give examples)

6. In chapter 7 we see a call for those being baptized (and any others associated with baptism) to fast for two or three days prior. What does fasting do to enhance one’s experience of baptism? Why do you think there are specifications as to the type of water used?

7. We find an instruction to pray the Lord’s Prayer three times a day. Why do you think this prescription was made? And why is there a concern about keeping particular days as fast days?

8. Compare & Contrast the Eucharistic Prayers described in the Didache with the prayers you are familiar with at mass.

9. Chapters 11 – 13 give guidelines for the reception of travelling preachers as well as criteria for testing the authenticity of these “prophets”. How do these guidelines and criteria compare to the respect shown to clergy today and to the Church’s expectations of them?

Ad Jesum per Mariam,
Mr. Basso

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Acts of the Apostles

Welcome to the Theology 11 (Honors) website. This will be your online resource for questions, reading assignments, and links to aid your research. We are starting off with the Acts of the Apostles, and here is your first set of questions:

1. Briefly summarize the events of the first Pentecost. What charisms (gifts) did the Apostles receive and what purpose do they have for these gifts? Can you think of an Old Testament story that is, in some way, the "opposite" of what is going on here? Describe it.

2. Compare and contrast SS. Peter and Paul as Apostolic Leaders. How do their efforts at Evangelization differ? In what ways are they consistent?

3. Analyze the social structure of the Apostolic Church and contrast it with the social structure of the Church today.

4. What need prompts the institution of deacons? What are the elements of the Ordination of the deacons? (What do the apostles do to them to make them deacons?)

5. Analyze St. Paul’s speech at the Acropolis to the Greeks. How does this compare to the way Paul speaks to the Jews?

6. Describe the Gentile vs. Jew controversy and analyze how the Apostolic Church ultimately dealt with that controversey.


1. Pentecost is often associated with the sacrament of Confirmation. What is the nature and origin of this connection? Based on your experience of Confirmation preparation, how well is this connection explained?

2. The efforts of the Apostles in evangelizing others is directed toward making converts and then having them receive baptism. Acts records mass baptisms of hundreds, even thousands of converts. What "goes along with" these baptism events? What sort of "follow up" do the Apostles provide to the new converts?

3. See question #4 above.

Ad Jesum Per Mariam,

Mr. Basso