The Baltimore Catechism, with 421 questions and answers, was originally issued in 1885 by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore to use as a resource for educating Catholics. It was later broken down into a series of four books that gradually added more questions so that the first volume could be used with younger children. Over the years, slightly different versions have been printed by various publishers. The four-volume TAN Classics editions are based on the Benziger Brothers, Inc. editions published in 1933, although they have updated covers and typesetting. The books use the traditional question-and-answer format and include essential prayers. The questions in each volume are arranged into chapters under topical headings.
Baltimore Catechism One covers 208 of the questions and is appropriate for grades one through five. (It includes the words for some hymns.) Baltimore Catechism Two has all 421 questions and is appropriate for grades six through nine.
Baltimore Catechism Three has all 421 questions plus almost 1,000 more written by Fr. Thomas Kinkead. The original questions start to show up at number 130 in this volume, and they are identified with the original number in brackets. The additional questions are very useful and make the book appropriate for those in high school through adults.
Baltimore Catechism Four was written by Fr. Kinkead as a teacher's manual with expanded explanations for many of the questions. This feature makes it also suitable for adults who want to acquire a deeper understanding of their faith. It covers only the 421 original questions. Like the other volumes, it is divided into chapters. Review questions for students are at the end of the book.
All four books are available in print or as epub editions (epubs need to be purchased from the publisher), and the first two volumes are available for Kindle readers.