Teach One Another – BT1
What about NT catechism teaching that utilized OT prophetic writings?
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Yes, the early Church had ‘catechism’ teaching, not just the Catholic Church! There is no biblical Greek noun for this, but the verb katecheo means “repetitive instruction of foundational truths.” That’s the way a prominent Roman named Theophilus was instructed about the logos gospel message, of which Luke would reinforce with his own account, which he continued as the Book of Acts (a). The early Jewish-Christian church in Galatia was taught the logos gospel message of The Truth this way also, which had nothing to do with the Torah Law of conditional-favor but the ‘Law of Christ’ to bear one another’s burdens (b). Paul refers to many of the Spirit’s grace-gifts for Body-of-Christ ministry for the “building up of the Church,” but especially emphasizes prophecy or tongues with understandable interpretation, because “in the church I would rather speak 5 words with my mind/understanding in order to catechize others, than 10,000 words in the [supernatural] tongues” (c). There were other early Jewish-Christian evangelists like Apollos who were competent in the OT scripture but ‘catechized’ in the New Covenant Way of the Lord being fervent in the Spirit. So they spoke and didasko taught the things concerning Jesus” (d). Very likely all of this teaching refers to the prophetic portions of OT scripture used to convert Jews to Christ, which Paul’s letters and Hebrews generously refer to, and most likely this has everything to do with the Only 2 Commandments of the New Covenant. <Notes> a) Luke 1:4; Acts 1:1, b) Galatians 6:6, c) 1 Corinthians 14:19, d) Acts 18:25.
But there is much written in the NT about directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words being God’s dominant way of teaching now under the New Covenant. For example, regarding the use of the Spirit’s grace-gifts in church gatherings, Peter instructs with an imperative urgency: “If a certain one presently/ongoingly speaks [publicly], [then] as with divine oracles (a) (b). In context, Peter isn’t referring to the OT prophetic scriptures used for catechism above, but clearly had in mind the grace-gift of prophecy (c). In fact, this is the only “speaking” people he mentions in the gathering, as if that was the dominant form of didaskalos teaching the Church was supposed to be routinely taught by! We will speak of this more later, but also see the Prophetic Rhema page. <Notes> a) logion: uttered prophetic messages of the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God, b) 1 Peter 4:11, c) Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 14:22; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
As Christian musicians, don’t we want to stick with the model of teaching that was left for us in the New Testament, instead of resuming Old Testament models or adding models from the world? Both of these other models create The Great Wall that quenches the Holy Spirit! If you are converting Jews, then it makes sense to use a catechism of Messianic prophecies from the Old Testament. But if converting Gentiles, are we trying to make them Jews first to revere the Old just to get them into the New? Seems like “the long scenic route” that would be ineffective for most Gentiles who hold no reverence, let alone confidence, in the Old Testament!