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Chapter 1

In the Beginning


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  1. What do the opening chapters of Genesis reveal about God’s special relationship with human beings?

  2. What does the creation narrative reveal about the human being’s place within creation?

  3. What was Adam and Eve’s original condition?

  4. What disrupted the original harmony of Paradise?

  5. What did Original Sin do to the world?

  6. How did God respond to the disobedience of Adam and Eve?

  7. According to the Catechism, no. 141, what do Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist have in common for faithful believers?

  8. How many books are in the Bible?

  9. How is salvation history different from other kinds of history?

  10. How was the Bible divinely inspired?

  11. What is the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the human writers of Scripture?

  12. Why is it impossible for the Bible to be in error?

  13. Why is the Bible sacred literature?

  14. What are some of the various genres in which Sacred Scripture is written?

  15. How old is the Bible?

  16. What is the root meaning of the word “religion”?

  17. How did ancient peoples view religion?

  18. Despite modern peoples pretending to write objective history, how are all of our histories actually quite subjective?

  19. To the sacred authors, what was the most important thing about history?

  20. How can we understand the literal sense of a passage of Scripture?

  21. Give an example of a false literalistic interpretation of the Bible.

  22. Why can there be no contradiction between the literal and spiritual senses of the Bible?

  23. What is an example of the allegorical, or typical, sense of Sacred Scripture?

  24. What is an example of the moral, or tropological, sense of Sacred Scripture?

  25. Why do some of the passages in the Bible that mention physical or astronomical phenomena seem outdated to us?

  26. What institution gives us the ability to understand difficult passages in the Bible?

  27. Critical Thinking: What might happen if a person were to read the Bible, come across passages that were not immediately clear, and have no definitive authority to which he or she can appeal in order to interpret and to understand it correctly? Does it even make a difference how a person interprets the Bible?

  28. What is the error of scientific creationism?

  29. What error is the opposite of creationism?

  30. What is the “both / ​and” approach to interpreting the creation narrative in Genesis?

  31. How can faith elevate reason?

  32. Why can faith and reason not be in real conflict?

  33. How has the religious message of the Bible helped Western civilization give birth to and advance modern science?

  34. What does the word genesis mean?

  35. What doctrine does the sacred author of Genesis teach by writing, “God created the heavens and the earth”?

  36. What is the significance of the six-day creation narrative?

  37. Does the Catholic faith understand Genesis to mean that human beings are free to do whatever they want in or to the world?

  38. Have human beings obeyed God’s command to “subdue” the earth?

  39. What question is being asked in the sidebar, “Is It True”?

  40. What answer does the text of the sidebar give to your answer to the previous question?

  41. To what extent can we understand the nature of the Blessed Trinity?

  42. Why is assigning specific roles to each of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity erroneous?

  43. Who is the Word of God that was “spoken” by the Father in each command in the creation narrative?

  44. What is the “Spirit of God” and the “breath of life” mentioned in the creation narrative?

  45. How did the early Christians view the use of the plural pronouns in the creation narrative?

  46. Give an example of a truth found in Genesis that the Church requires Christians to accept.

  47. What does the Church teach in general about the various scientific theories of evolution?

  48. Critical Thinking: In light of the Catholic faith, how would you answer someone who claimed that both human beings and apes descended from a common ancestor?

  49. Among all creatures in visible creation, why are human beings uniquely privileged?

  50. What is the source of every human being’s body and soul?

  51. What is the relationship between body and soul?

  52. What does it mean to say that men and women are different but complementary?

  53. In relation to each other, in what state of life were Adam and Eve created?

  54. Why did Christ quote Genesis: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Mt 19:5)?

  55. What is marriage?

  56. How does human sexuality relate to fruitfulness in marriage?

  57. How is marriage good for society?

  58. What does the practice of chastity mean for single people?

  59. What does the practice of chastity mean for married people?

  60. Critical Thinking: How is exercising chastity a charitable act?

  61. What preternatural gifts did our first parents possess?

  62. What supernatural gifts did our first parents possess?

  63. What work were our first parents given to do?

  64. What is the only example of a material and spiritual creature?

  65. In what ways do angels cooperate in God’s plan of salvation for all people?

  66. What is a guardian angel?

  67. Who is Satan, or the Devil, and what mission do he and his followers pursue?

  68. Why does God allow demons to test people?

  69. How powerful is Satan?

  70. How was Original Sin a sin of disobedience?

  71. According to the Catechism, no. 398, how was Original Sin a rejection of God?

  72. Critical Thinking: If a person does not acknowledge his or her limits as a creature and submit his or her behavior to God’s will, what is possible?

  73. In terms of how people relate to one another, what is one consequence of Original Sin?

  74. Did Original Sin destroy human nature?

  75. How are the effects of the fall manifested in Adam and Eve’s immediate descendants?

  76. What is the relationship between Original Sin and every person’s actual sins?

  77. What does it mean to say that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton understood both lay and religious life?

  78. Why is St. Elizabeth important to the Catholic Church in the United States of America?

  79. What trials did St. Elizabeth suffer, and how did she endure them?

  80. How did God respond to the fall of Adam and Eve?

  81. What would be the culmination of God’s plan of redemption?

  82. According to St. Paul, how is Christ a “New Adam” (Rom 5:19)?

  83. According to St. Peter Chrysologus, what qualities of Christ should Christians imitate to be like God, and what quality should they not imitate?

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