What does the Bible say about education?
In this article, let’s learn what the Bible has to say about education and how God views education and learning.
Christian quotes about education
“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” Theodore Roosevelt
“The Bible is the foundation of all education and development.”
“The greatest education is the knowledge of God.”
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X
Education and learning in the Bible
Since the Bible is completely sufficient for equipping us to live a life of godliness, this must also include matters of education. We must take a high view of education, because God does. God knows all things and has created an elaborate system of laws governing physics and biology and mathematics. We glorify Him by investing in a solid education. But what does the Bible have to say about education? First of all, we can see that the Bible itself is meant to be educational.
1. 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
2. Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
3. 1 Timothy 4:13 “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”
Education in Bible Times
Most of the time, children were taught from home by their parents. Most of the education was from the mother but the father too participated when he was at home. This is because parents are the people who are responsible for their children, and will be judged for what children are being taught. We do see instances in Bible times of children being sent to a school, as in Daniel. Daniel was in the king’s court. In Bible times it was only the nobility that received a special education, this would be equivalent to going off to college.
4. 2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
5. Daniel 1:5 “The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service.”
6. Daniel 1:3-4 “Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.”
7. Proverbs 1:8 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
8. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The importance of learning and wisdom
The Bible teaches us that having knowledge simply isn’t enough. Knowledge is knowing facts about things. But Wisdom is from God alone. Wisdom has three aspects: knowledge about God’s Truth, understanding God’s Truth, and How to Apply God’s Truth. Wisdom is more than just following “the rules.” Wisdom implies acting according to the spirit of God’s Commands and not just looking for a loophole. With wisdom comes a will and a courage to follow through with living by God’s wisdom.
9. Ecclesiastes 7:19 “Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city.”
10. Ecclesiastes 9:18 “Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.”
11. Proverbs 4:13 “Take hold of instruction, do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.”
12. Colossians 1:28 “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
13. Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
14. Proverbs 4:6-7 “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
15. Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.”
16. Proverbs 9:9 “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.”
17. Proverbs 3:14 “For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.”
Always put the Lord first
Wisdom involves putting the Lord as our primary priority. It is seeking His will in all that we think and do and say. To have wisdom also implies having a Biblical worldview – we will see things through the lens of the Bible. We will see the world as God sees it, and conduct our affairs with a gospel focus.
18. Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.”
19. Psalm 119:66 “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believer in your commandments.”
20. Job 28:28 “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”
21. Psalm 107:43 “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.”
One aspect of an education is studying. This requires immense discipline. Studying is not for the weak. While it is often tempting to want to shun study, or to think that it is the opposite of fun every single time, the Bible says that studying is very important. The Bible teaches that it is important to acquire knowledge and that we need to work hard and become good at handling His Word. We are also commanded to do all things for His glory – this includes studying. Studying in school can be just as glorifying to God as singing a hymn if it is done rightly.
22. Proverbs 18:15 “The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
23. 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
24. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
25. Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
The education of Moses
Moses was raised with the Egyptians. He received an Egyptian education. Students were taught reading, writing, mathematics, medicine, geography, history, music, and science. The Book of Instruction was used to teach morality, ethics, and humanities. Since Moses was in the royal household, he would have received a specialized education that was reserved for children of the nobility. This included instruction on the ways of court and religious teaching. Many of the children of noble households would leave their education to become priests and scribes.
27. Acts 7:22 “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.”
King Solomon was the wisest human that has ever lived, or ever will be. He had an immense amount of knowledge about the world and how it worked in addition to a tremendous amount of wisdom. King Solomon was just an ordinary man, but He wanted to be a righteous king, so he asked God for wisdom and discernment. And the Lord graciously gave him what he asked for – and blessed him abundantly on top of that. Repeatedly in the books that Solomon wrote, we are commanded to seek after true godly wisdom, and to run from the temptations of the world.
28. 1 Kings 4:29-34 “God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.”
29. Ecclesiastes 1:16 “I said in my heart, ‘I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had a great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”
30. 1 Kings 3:12 “Behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has ever been before you, and none like you shall arise after you.”
31. Proverbs 1:7 “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
32. Proverbs 13:10 “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” (Pride Bible verses)
Paul’s use of Greek Philosophy
Paul had been speaking to the Epicurean and the Stoic philosphers in the Areopagus, which is a key meeting place for philosophers and teachers. Paul’s speech in the verses following, showed that he had a very expansive understanding of these two philosophies. Paul even quotes an ancient Greek writers Epimenides and Aratus. In the verses following, he directly confronts the belief systems of those two philosophies showing how very well educated he had been in them.
The Stoics believed that the universe is a living being with no beginning or end, of which Paul said, “God, who made the world and everything in it…” among other notable points directed to the Stoics. The Epicurians believed that man had two primary fears, and that they should be eliminated. One was the fear of gods and the other the fear of death. Paul confronted them by saying “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world…” and “He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” He confronted the Epicureans on several other notable points as well.
Most modes of Greek philosophy ask the questions “Must there be an initial cause of all things? What is causing all things that are in existence? How can we know for sure?” And Paul repeatedly answers each of these questions when presenting the Gospel. Paul is an astute scholar, one who is extremely knowledgeable about his beliefs, his culture, and with the beliefs of other people in his culture.
33. Acts 17:16-17 “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him…”
The wisdom of God
God is the source of all wisdom and the Biblical definition of wisdom simply put is to fear the Lord. True wisdom is only found in being completely obedient to God as He has commanded in His Word, and in fearing Him.
Wisdom of God will lead to a life of ultimate joy. We were created to live eternally in the presence of God, where we will be with the source of all wisdom. To fear God means to fear running away from Him. It is keeping blinders around our eyes so that we can’t see anything else around us – just the straight path before us, laid out by Scripture, pointing us to our Savior. God will meet our needs. God will take care of our enemies. God will guide us on our path.
34. 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 “Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.”
35. 1 Corinthians 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
36. James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
37. 1 Corinthians 1:30 “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.” (Jesus Bible verses)
38. Matthew 11:25 “At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.”
To get wisdom, we must diligently study the Word of God. We must ask God to open our eyes to what we are reading so that we can learn and gain wisdom. It is by following Christ and seeing to know Him through the Word that can become wise.
39. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
40. Daniel 2:23 “To thee, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for thou hast given me wisdom and strength, and hast made known to me what we asked of thee.”