The Baltimore Catechism
Revised Edition (1941)
The Creation and the Fall of Man
48. What is man?
Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.
And God created man to his own image. (Genesis 2:7)
49. Is this likeness to God in the body or in the soul?
This likeness to God is chiefly in the soul.
50. How is the soul like God?
The soul is like God because it is a spirit having understanding and free will, and is destined to live forever.
And the dust return into its earth, from whence it was, and the spirit return to God, who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
51. Who were the first man and woman?
The first man and woman were Adam and Eve, the first parents of the whole human race.
And Adam called the name of his wife Eve. (Genesis 3:15)
52. What was the chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God?
The chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God was sanctifying grace, which made them children of God and gave them the right to heaven.
53. What other gifts were bestowed on Adam and Eve by God?
The other gifts bestowed on Adam and Eve by God were happiness in the Garden of Paradise, great knowledge, control of the passions by reason, and freedom from suffering and death.
He gave them counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, and ears, and a heart to devise; and he filled them with the knowledge of understanding. (Ecclesiasticus 17:5)
54. What commandment did God give Adam and Eve?
God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree that grew in the Garden of Paradise.
And he commanded him, saying: “Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
55. Did Adam and Eve obey the commandment of God?
Adam and Eve did not obey the commandment of God, but ate of the forbidden fruit.
And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. (Genesis 3:6)
56. What happened to Adam and Eve on account of their sin?
On account of their sin Adam and Eve lost sanctifying grace, the right to heaven, and their special gifts; they became subject to death, to suffering, and to a strong inclination to evil, and they were driven from the Garden of Paradise.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. (Genesis 3:19)
57. What has happened to us on account of the sin of Adam?
On account of the sin of Adam, we, his descendants, come into the world deprived of sanctifying grace and inherit his punishment, as we would have inherited his gifts had he been obedient to God.
But, by the envy of the devil, death came into the world. (Wisdom 2:24)
58. What is this sin in us called?
This sin in us is called original.
59. Why is this sin called original?
This sin is called original because it comes down to us through our origin, or descent, from Adam.
Therefore as through one man sin entered into the world and through sin death, and thus death has passed unto all men because all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)
60. What are the chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin?
The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are: death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin.
61. Is God unjust in punishing us on account of the sin of Adam?
God is not unjust in punishing us on account of the sin of Adam, because original sin does not take away from us anything to which we have a strict right as human beings, but only the free gifts which God in His goodness would have bestowed on us if Adam had not sinned.
62. Was any human person ever preserved from original sin?
The Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin in view of the merits of her Divine Son, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception.
I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait his heel. (Genesis 3:15)