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Chapter 1

God Prepares the Way for His Church in the Old Testament


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  1. Explain this statement: Salvation history began with the sin of Adam and Eve.

  2. What is the pivotal point of human history, and why?

  3. What is the purpose of the Church?

  4. What are some common names for the Church?

  5. What is the source of the Church’s life?

  6. What kind of institution is the Church? How many natures does she have?

  7. What does the text mean by this sentence: “We were made for communion with God”?

  8. What was St. Irenæus’ major contribution to understanding the relationship among covenants of the Old Testament and with the New Covenant?

  9. With which five figures of the Old Testament did God make his covenants?

  10. As the creation narrative in Genesis recounts, after God had created Adam, he placed him in a garden and gave him the responsibility to take care of it. What lesson does this offer about the nature of human work?

  11. Name, in order of appearance, the five books of the Pentateuch.

  12. What was the most important consequence of the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve?

  13. What does the Protoevangelium have to do with salvation history?

  14. How did the destruction of man’s original relationship with God affect the relationship among human beings?

  15. What does the narrative of Noah and the Ark reveal?

  16. What three promises did God make to Abraham, and what is their significance?

  17. How did Abraham respond to God’s promises? What can be learned from his response?

  18. Comparing the story of Abraham and Isaac with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, in what ways is Isaac a type (prefigurement) of Christ? To answer this question, complete the table below based on what you have learned in the chapter.

      Isaac Jesus Christ
    The father offers:
    The son submits:
    The sacrifice:

  19. God promised Abraham he would be a blessing for all nations. How did God ultimately fulfill this promise?

  20. What name for himself did God reveal to Moses? What was the significance of God having revealed his name to Moses?

  21. As God was preparing to send the tenth plague against Egypt because of the pharaoh’s stubbornness in not setting free the people of Israel, he gave the Israelites instructions as to what they must do in order to be spared this fate. What was the name of this divinely revealed, annual feast, and what directions did God give the Israelites in order to spare their firstborn males?

  22. Look ahead to the painting “Madonna and Child” (p. 31). Based on what you have learned about the lambs in the Books of Genesis and Exodus (cf. pp. 12, 15) and what you already know about the Redemption accomplished by Christ, why did Sesto depict the Christ child playing with a lamb?

  23. During the Exodus, how did God protect and provide for his Chosen People? Why is this important?

  24. In the covenant with Moses, what did God demand of the Israelites?

  25. What was the Ark of the Covenant? Why was it important?

  26. a. While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Law and Decalogue from God, what was going on among the Israelites in the desert below?


    b. How did Moses react when he returned from the mountain to see the Golden Calf?


    c. In response to the Golden Calf, what did God do with respect to the priesthood within Israel?

  27. What were the consequences of Israel’s disobedience, and how did God react to this disobedience?

  28. To what sin were the Israelites especially prone?

  29. Why did the Israelites demand God give them a king?

  30. When God did give them a king, how was this king different from any other?

  31. The Kings of Israel were anointed.

    a. What is the significance of the anointing of the kings of Israel?


    b. What are the Hebrew and Greek words for anointed one?

  32. Review the illustrations “Saul Is Anointed King by Samuel” and “Anointing of David” (pp. 20–21). To anoint means to pour oil on a person; in many religious traditions, including Judaism and Christianity, it signifies a divine choice. Based on what you have learned about the anointing of King David (p. 21) and what you already know about the Sacrament of Confirmation instituted by Christ, how do the two correspond to each other?

  33. Each of the kings of Israel had certain attributes or gifts to help him fulfill his kingly role. List the positive, kingly attributes of each of these kings:

    a. Saul:


    b. David:


    c. Solomon:

  34. List the seven primary features of the covenant God made with David.

  35. Name the three secondary features of the Davidic Covenant.

  36. What happened to Solomon’s kingdom after his death?

  37. What was the Northern Kingdom of Israel?

  38. What was the role of the prophets?

  39. This question requires thinking beyond the scope of the text. Some biblical critics and those opposed to the Jewish or Christian faiths are skeptical of much that appears in Scripture. By way of example, many people are skeptical of the plagues in Egypt recounted in the Book of Exodus. Such skeptics claim each of the plagues has a logical and natural explanation. For example, perhaps a normal infestation of flies could have spread a virus to the animals, or periodic swarms of locusts appeared in Egypt, sometimes in numbers so large they block the sunlight, both of which are said to explain two of the plagues in a single event. Even if all of the plagues could be explained naturally, what is a good way to answer these critics?

  40. According to Lumen Gentium, how is the Church the New People of God, the New Israel (cf. Supplementary Reading 2, p. 27)?

  41. According to Dei Verbum, what does the Old Testament reveal (cf. Supplementary Reading 3, p. 27)?

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