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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.).The word means instruction by word of mouth, especially by questioning and answering.
As he himself summed up the matter, he taught "publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and Gentiles penance towards God, and faith in [ (3) The materials for describing the catechetical teaching of the ages immediately succeeding the Apostles are scanty.
The books of the New Testament were available, and all that would be needed would be to supplement these.
The Socratic dialogues will occur to every one as brilliant examples.
But many centuries before Socrates' day this method was practised among the Hebrews (Exodus ; Deuteronomy 6:7, 20, etc.). In His final charge to His Apostles He said: ", "instructing"] them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew ).
The danger of falling away, or even of betrayal, must be guarded against by a careful doctrinal and moral training.
Hence the institution of the catechumenate and the Discipline of the Secret.
The word is still used in French; but it is now more properly applied to the little printed book in which the questions and answers are contained.
The subject will be treated in this article under the three heads: (1) Oral instruction by means of questions and answers has occupied a prominent place in the scholastic methods of the moral and religious teachers of all countries and of all ages.
When addressing a mere inquirer they would naturally be more guarded and less explicit than if they had to do with one who had passed through the catechumenate. The "Procatechesis" and the eighteen discourses were intended for the during Lent, in immediate preparation for reception into the Church.