Select Page




12-13 Catechism study:  CHARITY (Commandments) Gospel of Mark and Acts (Berquist questions)

Study of the Gospel of Mark


Questions for the study of Saint Mark’s Gospel (by Laura Berquist)


Chapter 1

  1. In the first fifteen verses, does it seem that the teaching of Jesus is the same? In what way is it the same and in what way (if any) is it different?
  2. In verse 38, Jesus says He has come to preach. Where else in this chapter is there evidence that His teaching is more to Him important than His miracles?


Chapter 2

  1. Answer the question in verse 9 and give a reason for your answer.
  2. Answer the question in verse 7. 3. Find three names or descriptive terms which Jesus uses for Himself.


Chapter 3

  1. In verse 27, what does the strong man represent? What does his house represent?
  2. For what work did Jesus select the Twelve? What powers did he give them? How would these powers help them in their work?


Chapter 4

  1. In verse 11, to whom do you think our Lord refers with the words ‘those outside’?


Chapter 5

  1. Do you think the people in verses 14-17 were more afraid of Jesus than they had been of the unclean spirit? What might they be afraid of? (verse 16)
  2. What does St Mark say about why Jesus felt the touch of the woman in verses 27-30 as distinct from the general press of the crowd? Why did He ask the question He did?
  3. After what earlier miracles were people charged to tell no-one as in verse 43? (see chapters 1+ 3)


Chapter 6

  1. What was the message of the Twelve when Jesus sent them out two by two? Was it a new message, or had it previously been announced by another?
  2. In verse 34, mark says Jesus began to teach the crowd, but He had come to that desert place for another reason. What was it?


Chapter 7

  1. What does Our Lord mean in verse 15 by the things that enter a man from the outside? What would His listeners first think of as ‘things that enter from the outside’? When discussing the laws of cleanliness?
  2. In verse 27, who are the ‘children’?
  3. How is the healing in verses 28-30 like that in 5: 28-34? How is it unlike it?
  4. How is the manner of healing in verse 31-36 different from that in 5: 38-43? How is it alike?


Chapter 8

  1. Can you tell when or where the bread is multiplied? (After…, but before…)
  2. Think of what leaven (yeast) does to bread: what leaven is like before and after it is put in bread. Leaven is useful, indeed necessary, in making bread. It also smells good. In these ways it is unlike the Pharisees and Herod. How is it like them?
  3. In verses 26 and 30, who is told not to speak, and what is he told not to speak about? Do you think this silence is to be temporary or permanent? Why do you think so?
  4. In verse 35, does ‘gospel’ refer to ‘a certain book of holy scripture’, or ‘this good news’? How can you tell?


Chapter 9

  1. Refer to question 2 for chapter 1 above. In the transfiguration account, find another piece of evidence that Jesus’ teaching was more important than his miracles.
  2. Jesus again tells someone not to tell others, but now He also says when he can tell. Whom does He tell, and when is the silence to end?
  3. In the cure of the possessed boy, Our Lord asks for something from the father. Can you see things in the father’s response that must have pleased Jesus?
  4. The disciples could not cast out this unclean spirit. What other evidence is there that this was a particularly powerful or difficult spirit to cast out?
  5. In verse 31, the disciples are said to be ‘afraid’. What can this mean?


Chapter 10

  1. Before, it was the sick who sought to be touched by Jesus. Why does these people want Jesus to touch their children? Is touching a physical or a spiritual act here?
  2. Why are the ten angry at James and John? Explain how Jesus turns away their anger.


Chapter 11

  1. Why did Our Lord throw out the money changers?
  2. What happened to the fig tree that had no fruit? Of what might this be a sign or symbol?
  3. Our Lord says we should forgive when we start to pray. What reason does He give?


Chapter 12

  1. About whom was Jesus speaking in the parable of the vineyard (verse 12)? Why?
  2. What is Jesus’ answer to those who wish to catch Him in His words (verse 13)?
  3. How did the Sadducees err in their question about whom the woman with the seven husbands would be married to in heaven?
  4. In what way did the poor widow put more money in than all the others?


Chapter 13

  1. Why will we be hated by all men (verse 13)?
  2. What are the various things Our Lord warns us about in this chapter?


Chapter 14

  1. Why was what the woman with the ointment did acceptable? Why did those who grumbled do so?
  2. Who betrays Jesus, and what does he receive for his act? What does our Lord say about him?
  3. Who goes with Jesus to Gethsemane? What does He do there? What do they do?
  4. Did Peter betray Christ? Is he like Judas in this? How does he differ from Judas?
  5. What did Jesus say that the High priest objected to? How did those around Our Lord act once the judgement was pronounced?


Chapter 15

  1. Why had the chief priests delivered up Jesus? Does Pilate know this? Why does he have Jesus crucified?
  2. Why does the centurion who is present at the crucifixion say, ‘Indeed this man was the son of God’?


Chapter 16

  1. Where is Peter singled out from the other disciples? Why do think that might be?
  2. Did those who heard Jesus was alive believe it? What did Jesus say to them when He appeared?
  3. What did Jesus tell the disciples to do?

Study of the Acts of the Apostles




  1. What is the full title of Acts?
  2. The book begins right after an important series of events: what are they?
  3. Jesus gave the apostles a final instruction. What did he say? And what happened next?
  4. To what city did the apostles go after the Ascension?
  5. How was Matthias chosen to be an apostle? Whose place did he take?
  6. Why did Peter conduct the election?



  1. Which came first, Pentecost or Ascension?
  2. Describe the events of the coming of the Holy Ghost (four particular ‘happenings’).
  3. When the people gathered to hear about his event, what surprised them?
  4. Who originally said, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days…I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh’? What was he talking about?
  5. Who first said, ‘Thou (God) wilt not leave my soul in hell…see corruption’. To whom did he refer?
  6. Why did Peter tell the people that these two writers had been talking about Christ?
  7. What did Peter tell the Jews they should do?
  8. How many people were converted that day?
  9. Name some characteristics of the first Christian community.



  1. Speaking in tongues preceded Peter’s great sermon in chapter two. What miracle preceded his second great sermon?
  2. How does Peter heal the man? What does he say about how the man was healed?
  3. In this sermon what does Peter exhort the people to do?



  1. How many people had now come to believe in Our Lord?
  2. Who apprehends Peter and John? What does Peter say that makes them angry?
  3. What did the council tell the apostles to do?
  4. When Peter and John returned to their own company, what happened?



  1. What was the sin of Ananias and Sapphira?
  2. Why were the apostles apprehended the second time?
  3. Did they stay in prison?
  4. Why did Peter disobey the order of the council not to preach in the Name of Jesus?
  5. Who urged moderation in the council? What was he?
  6. What punishment did the apostles receive?



  1. For what service were Stephen and six others selected?
  2. With what ceremony were they selected?
  3. In what ways was Stephen outstanding in the community?
  4. Of what did the false witnesses accuse him?
  5. What indicates that Stephen’s speech in response was inspired by the Holy Ghost?



  1. Stephen told the council, ‘As your fathers did, so do you.’ What did their fathers do?
  2. And what did the Jewish leaders of his day do?
  3. What was Stephen’s last action?
  4. Why do you think the Roman government was not involved in the first wave of persecution against the Church?



1. What happened immediately after the martyrdom of Stephen?
2. Who preached the good news of Christ to the Samaritans?
3. How did they receive it?
4.What did Peter and John add to the baptisms in Samaria?
5. What was Simon’s sin?
6. Why did Philip leave Samaria?
7. What was God’s plan for him on the road to Gaza?



1. What was Saul’s purpose in going to Damascus?

  1. What was God’s purpose for Saul (i.e. what did he tell Ananias that Saul had been chosen to do?)
  2. What did Saul do after he regained his sight?
  3. Where did Saul begin to preach?
  4. Why did he leave? How?
  5. Why were the disciples in Jerusalem afraid of Saul?
  6. What miracle did Peter work at Lydda?
  7. Who was Tabitha?
  8. What did Peter do for her?



  1. What was Cornelius’ job?
  2. In what two acts did he show his piety?
  3. What did the voice tell Peter after his vision of the animals?
  4. Peter interpreted this to mean that he could do something further (not connected with eating) that the Jews had not been permitted to do. What was this?
  5. What did those who came with Peter see that showed them that the Holy Spirit had indeed come upon the gentiles there?
  6. What does ‘those of the circumcision’ mean?



  1. What saying of Jesus does Peter recall that he can now understand as supporting baptism of the gentiles?
  2. Where next was the gospel preached to non-Jews? Who preached there?
  3. What prophecy was made there?



  1. How did Herod persecute the Church at this time?
  2. What did the angel who came to the prison do for Peter?
  3. What did he tell Peter to do to himself?
  4. Why was Herod struck dead?



  1. What were the Christians in the church at Antioch doing when the Holy Spirit spoke, telling them to set apart Paul and Barnabas?
  2. What did Saul do to the sorcerer attached to the pro-consul on Cyprus?
  3. What effect did this have on the pro-consul?
  4. In both Cyprus and Pisidia Antioch, where was the first place Saul and Barnabas went to preach?
  5. In Paul’s speech at Pisidia Antioch, how did he say the inhabitants of Jerusalem fulfilled the prophecies?
  6. How, did Paul say, had God fulfilled the promise made their fathers?
  7. What did Paul say he would do when the Jews rejected the word he preached?



  1. What did the people of Lystra think of Paul and Barnabas when Paul cured the man lame from birth?
  2. In each of the cities in this chapter, why did they have to leave?



  1. What question did Paul and Barnabas go to Jerusalem to discuss?
  2. Who said, ‘Why then do you now try to test God by putting on the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?”
  3. Which of the following restrictions did the Council decide were still necessary?
  4. a) circumcision b)  abstaining from blood   c)  not marrying foreigners   d) abstaining from pork   e) abstaining from things offered to idols   f)  ritual hand washing   g) abstaining from anything strangled   h) avoiding immoral behaviour



  1. Why did Paul circumcise Timothy?
  2. In what two ways did the churches improve?
  3. How did Paul decide what cities to travel to?
  4. Who insisted Paul stay in her house in Macedonia?
  5. Why did the masters of the possessed girl bring Paul and Silas before the magistrates?
  6. What did they accuse Paul and Silas of?
  7. How were they freed from their imprisonment?
  8. Why did the guard want to kill himself?
  9. What did Paul want to be done before he would leave the prison?



  1. Paul and his companions went to Thessalonika. What did they do there and for how long?
  2. What happened and why?
  3. Next Paul went to Berea. How did the Jews there receive him?
  4. What happened at Berea. Where did Paul go next?
  5. Paul preached to the Athenians. What idea did he use to begin telling them about Jesus? Why did he use this rather than the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament?



  1. Was Paul successful with the Jews at Corinth?
  2. What did Jesus tell Paul he should do?
  3. Why did the Jews bring Paul before Gallio? What did Gallio say?
  4. What did Apollo do for the Church?



  1. Had the members of the Church in Ephesus been baptised?
  2. Paul found that after three months, certain members of the synagogue were hardened, speaking evil of the way of the Lord. What did he do?
  3. Could anyone who wanted to perform a cure using the way of the Lord?
  4. Why was the man Demetrius upset about the way of the Lord?
  5. How did the town clerk quiet the tumult?



  1. Can you see in verse 4 a sign of the Catholicity of the Catholic Church?
  2. What miracle did Paul do at Troas?
  3. What are the most important points in Paul’s discourse?



  1. Did Paul know what awaited him in Jerusalem?
  2. What advice did those in Jerusalem give him?
  3. Did this appease those who were angry with Paul?
  4. What did those men intend to do to Paul? Why did they not do it?



  1. Paul spoke to the multitude and they listened until what point? Why did this point make them so angry?
  2. The centurion was going to scourge and torture Paul. Why didn’t he?



  1. What device did Paul use to deflect interest way from himself?


  1. How did Paul escape from the plot of the Jews?
  2. Where was Paul sent?
  3. Did the governor hear Paul’s case immediately?



  1. Who came to accuse Paul. Of what did they accuse him?
  2. What was his defence?
  3. What did Felix do?
  4. Why do you think Felix seemed terrified by Paul’s preaching?



  1. Felix asked if Paul would go to Jerusalem to be judged. Paul objected on what grounds?
  2. What did Paul do then?
  3. Who came and wished to hear Paul?



  1. What kind of Jew was Paul?
  2. What did King Agrippa think of Paul’s account?



  1. Did Paul go alone to Rome?
  2. Did Paul think it advisable to sail from Crete? Was he right? How did he know?
  3. How many people were in the ship? Howe many were saved?



  1. Why did the Melitians think Paul was a God?
  2. Paul went to Rome and called together the local leaders of the Jews. He explained why he was there. He also told them about Jesus. Did they believe?
  3. What did Paul say of them?


CHRISTIAN CULTURE In the middle years, he might focus not so much on the lives of individual saints as on the manifestations of Christian culture during whatever historical period he has decided to specialise in (see History overview). For example, when studying the Normans, he might investigate ecclesiastical architecture, illuminated manuscripts and the development of religious orders.

Closer study of Christian culture during chosen periods