Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Catechismus primus, Quaestiones I-X

It used to be standard practice in Protestant academies to catechize in Latin. That is obviously much less the case now, perhaps a cause of nostalgia for those of us who are (a) Christians and who also (b) teach Latin to small children.

But nostalgia is dumb, and always has been.

In an effort, therefore, to help those who want to bring this part of Reformational humanism to bear in our own day, I’ve started translating the First Catechism into Latin. Some of the advantages are obvious: lots of children in Reformed and Presbyterian churches already learn it in English; the questions and answers are simple; and they can, at the same time, be used to illustrate a variety of syntactical constructions while also inculcating sound teaching.

I will likely continue to tweak this and modify it over time, but anyone who wishes to do so is welcome to copy, share, and modify as he sees fit. Where possible, I imitate or adapt the standard Latin edition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism for the sake of continuity, though I reserve the right not to follow it as well. Below are Questions and Answers 1-10.

Catechismus primus

i. Quis te creavit?


ii. Quae alia creavit Deus?

Deus omnia creavit.

iii. Cur te omniaque creavit Deus?

Propter gloriam suam.

iv. Quomodo Deum glorificare potes?

Eum amando, et quae praecipit observando.

v. Cur Deum glorificare debes?

Quod me creavit et conservat.

vi. Suntne plures uno Deo vero?

Unus est unicusque Deus verus.

vii. In quot personis est hic unus Deus?

In tribus personis.

viii. Appella has tres personas.

Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.

ix. Quid est Deus?

Deus est spiritus, et corpus non habet sicut homines habent.

x. Ubi est Deus?

Deus ubique est.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.