Justin's Apologies and in the writings of Clement of Alexandria.
Still, even this is not much more advanced than what we have seen above as taught by St.
Luke's Gospel: "That thou mayest know the verity of those things in which thou hast been instructed" (] him, in all good things" (Galatians 6:6).
Hence the word, with its technical meaning of oral religious instruction, passed into ecclesiastical use, and is applied both to the act of instructing and the subject-matter of the instruction.
During the week after Easter, while the grace of first fervour was still upon him, the various rites and mysteries in which he had just participated were more fully explained to him. In the first of these, called the "Procatechesis", he sets forth the greatness and efficacy of the grace of initiation into the Church.
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 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.
The work of the Apologists had been to remove prejudices against Christianity, and to set forth its doctrines and practices in such a way as to appeal to the fair-minded pagan.
If anyone was moved to embrace the true religion, he was not at once admitted, as in the days of the Apostles.
Though it may apply to any subject-matter, it is commonly used for instruction in the elements of religion, especially preparation for initiation into Christianity.