*** w92 11/1 pp. 10-15 Education in Bible Times ***
Education in Bible Times
“You must also teach them to your sons.”—DEUTERONOMY 11:19.
JEHOVAH is the Great Educator. He has never left his servants in a state of ignorance. He has always been willing to share knowledge with them. He teaches them his will and his ways. Over countless millenniums his only-begotten Son was at his side, constantly learning as God’s “master worker.” (Proverbs 8:30) When on earth Jesus stated: “Just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” (John 8:28) Referring to God as the Incomparable Educator, Elihu asked: “Who is an instructor like him?” (Job 36:22) The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jehovah as being the “Grand Instructor” of His people and prophesied: “All your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.” (Isaiah 30:20; 54:13) Unquestionably, Jehovah desires his intelligent creatures to be enlightened and well educated.
2 One of the basic prerogatives of the family head in patriarchal times was the teaching of his children and of his household. For God’s servants the education of their children was a religious duty. Jehovah said of his servant Abraham: “I have become acquainted with him in order that he may command his sons and his household after him so that they shall keep Jehovah’s way to do righteousness and judgment; in order that Jehovah may certainly bring upon Abraham what he has spoken about him.”—Genesis 18:19.
3 This divine statement shows that Jehovah considered education to be of great importance. God required Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to educate their households in His ways of righteousness and judgment so that future generations would be in a position to keep Jehovah’s way. Thus, Jehovah would fulfill his promises concerning Abraham’s seed and the blessing of “all the nations of the earth.”—Genesis 18:18; 22:17,18.
The Educational System in Israel
4 The Encyclopaedia Judaica states: “The Bible is the primary source for an understanding of the process of education in ancient Israel.” Jehovah used Moses as Israel’s first human teacher. (Deuteronomy 1:3,5; 4:5) Moses transmitted words given to him by Jehovah. (Exodus 24:3) So, in point of fact, God was Israel’s primary Educator. This in itself differentiated Israel’s educational system from that of other nations.
5 The same reference work declares: “Higher education or book learning in Mesopotamia and Egypt was formal and limited to the scribal class, which does not seem to have been the case in Israel. The difference was no doubt due to the simpler alphabetic system of writing used by the Hebrews. ... The importance of alphabetic writing for the history of education must not be overlooked. It ushered in a break with the traditional scribal cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and second-millennium Canaan. To be literate was no longer the identifying and exclusive characteristic of a class of professional scribes and priests, versed in the abstruse cuneiform and hieroglyphic scripts.”
6 The Bible provides evidence that the Israelites were a literate people. Before they even entered the Promised Land, they were told to write Jehovah’s laws on their doorposts and on their gates. (Deuteronomy 6:1,9; 11:20; 27:1-3) While this command was no doubt figurative, it would certainly have had no meaning to the average Israelite if he did not know how to read and write. Scriptures such as Joshua 18:9 and Judges 8:14 show that others besides leaders like Moses and Joshua knew how to write long before the monarchy was set up in Israel.—Exodus 34:27; Joshua 24:26.
7 In Israel, children were taught from a very early age by both father and mother. (Deuteronomy 11:18,19; Proverbs 1:8; 31:26) In the French Dictionnaire de la Bible, Bible scholar E.Mangenot wrote: “As soon as he could speak, the child learned a few passages from the Law. His mother would repeat a verse; when he knew it, she would give him another one. Later, the written text of the verses they could already recite from memory would be put into the children’s hands. Thus, they were introduced to reading, and when they had grown older, they could continue their religious instruction by reading and meditating on the law of the Lord.”
8 This suggests that a basic teaching method used was the learning of things by heart. The things learned concerning Jehovah’s laws and his dealings with his people were to penetrate into the heart. (Deuteronomy 6:6,7) They were to be meditated upon. (Psalm 77:11,12) To help young and old to memorize, various memory aids were used. These included alphabetic acrostics, successive verses in a psalm beginning with a different letter, in alphabetical order (such as Proverbs 31:10-31); alliteration (words beginning with the same letter or sound); and the use of numbers, like those used in the latter half of Proverbs chapter 30. Interestingly, the Gezer Calendar, one of the oldest examples of ancient Hebrew writing, is thought by some scholars to be a schoolboy’s memory exercise.
9 Education in Israel was not limited to learning to read and write. One important subject taught was history. The learning of Jehovah’s wondrous doings in favor of his people was a fundamental part of the curriculum. These historical facts had to be taught from generation to generation. (Deuteronomy 4:9,10; Psalm 78:1-7) The celebration of the annual festivals provided a fine opportunity for the family head to teach his children. (Exodus 13:14; Leviticus 23:37-43) In this connection The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states: “Through the father’s instruction in the home and his explanations of the significance of the festivals, the Hebrew children were taught how God had manifested Himself to them in the past, how they were to live in the present, and what God’s promises were regarding the future of His people.”
10 Parental education included practical training. Girls were taught household skills. The closing chapter of Proverbs shows that these were many and varied; they included spinning, weaving, cooking, trading, and general household management. Boys were usually taught their father’s secular occupation, whether in agriculture or some trade or craft. In later times Jewish rabbis were wont to say: “He who does not teach his son a useful trade is bringing him up to be a thief.”
11 The spiritual depth of the teaching methods used in Israel is apparent throughout the book of Proverbs. It shows that the purpose was to teach “inexperienced ones” such elevated things as wisdom, discipline, understanding, insight, judgment, shrewdness, knowledge, and thinking ability—all of this in “the fear of Jehovah.” (Proverbs 1:1-7; 2:1-14) It underscores the motives that should move one of God’s servants today to improve his or her education.
Priests, Levites, and Prophets
12 While basic education was provided by parents, Jehovah further educated his people by means of the priests, the nonpriestly Levites, and the prophets. In his final blessing upon the tribe of Levi, Moses stated: “Let them instruct Jacob in your judicial decisions and Israel in your law.” (Deuteronomy 33:8,10) Significantly, the word “law” in Hebrew (toh·rah´) is derived from a root that in its verbal form means “to show,” “to teach,” “to instruct.” The Encyclopaedia Judaica states: “The meaning of the word [torah] is therefore ‘teaching,’ ‘doctrine,’ or ‘instruction.’”
13 This too set Israel apart from the other nations and even from modern-day nations. Political nations today have a body of laws of which the general population knows only a fragment. When people run afoul of the law, they have to pay lawyers high fees to defend them. Law schools are for the specialists. Yet, in Israel the Law was God’s means of telling his people how he wanted them to worship him and live in accordance with his will. Unlike other legal codes, it included love for God and neighbor. (Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5) The Law was far from being a cold statute-book. It provided doctrine, teaching, and instruction in a way of life that had to be learned.
14 While faithful, the priests and the Levites discharged their responsibility to teach the people. But more often than not, the priests neglected their duty to educate the nation. This lack of education in God’s Law was to have dire consequences for both priests and people. In the eighth centuryB.C.E., Jehovah prophesied: “My people will certainly be silenced, because there is no knowledge. Because the knowledge is what you yourself have rejected, I shall also reject you from serving as a priest to me; and because you keep forgetting the law of your God, I shall forget your sons, even I.”—Hosea 4:6.
15 As well as the priests, Jehovah raised up prophets as educators. We read: “Jehovah kept warning Israel and Judah by means of all his prophets and every visionary, saying: ‘Turn back from your bad ways and keep my commandments, my statutes, according to all the law that I commanded your forefathers and that I have sent to you by means of my servants the prophets.’” (2Kings 17:13) As to the role of the prophets as educators, French Bible scholar Roland de Vaux wrote: “The prophets, too, had a mission to instruct the people; this was at least as much a part of their task as foretelling the future. And prophetic inspiration lent to their preaching the authority of a word of God. It is certain that under the monarchy the prophets were the religious and moral teachers of the people; and, we may add, the best of all their teachers, if not always the most heeded.” Through lack of proper education by the priests and the Levites together with failure to heed Jehovah’s prophets, the Israelites forsook Jehovah’s ways. Samaria fell to the Assyrians in 740B.C.E., and Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by the Babylonians in 607B.C.E.
Education During and After the Captivity
16 Some ten years before the destruction of Jerusalem, King Jehoiachin and a group of princes and nobles were carried off to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. (2Kings 24:15) Among them were Daniel and three other young nobles. (Daniel 1:3,6) Nebuchadnezzar ordered the four of them to undergo a special three-year training course in “the writing and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Moreover, they were provided with “a daily allowance from the delicacies of the king and from his drinking wine.” (Daniel 1:4,5) This was potentially dangerous for several reasons.Likely, the curriculum was not simply a three-year language course. The term “Chaldeans” in this passage is thought by some to designate, “not the Babylonians as a people, but the learned class.” (The Soncino Books of the Bible) In his commentary on Daniel, C.F.Keil states: “Daniel and his companions were to be educated in the wisdom of the Chaldean priests and learned men, which was taught in the schools of Babylon.” The royal food allowance also exposed them to violating the dietary restrictions imposed by the Law of Moses. How did they fare?
17 As spokesman for the four young Jewish nobles, Daniel made it clear right from the start that they would not eat or drink in violation of their conscience. (Daniel 1:8, 11-13) Jehovah blessed this firm stand and softened the heart of the Babylonian official in charge. (Daniel 1:9, 14-16) As to their studies, subsequent events in the lives of all four young Hebrews prove beyond doubt that their compulsory three-year curriculum in Babylonian culture did not cause them to deviate from their profound attachment to Jehovah and his pure worship. (Daniel, chapters 3 and 6) Jehovah enabled them to emerge unscathed from this forced three-year immersion in Babylonian higher learning. “As for these children, the four of them, to them the true God gave knowledge and insight in all writing and wisdom; and Daniel himself had understanding in all sorts of visions and dreams. And as regards every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired about from them, he even got to find them ten times better than all the magic-practicing priests and the conjurers that were in all his royal realm.”—Daniel 1:17,20.
18 After the Babylonian captivity, a great work of education was carried out by Ezra, a priest who “prepared his heart to consult the law of Jehovah and to do it and to teach in Israel regulation and justice.” (Ezra 7:10) In this he was helped by faithful Levites, who “were explaining the law to the people.” (Nehemiah 8:7) Ezra was a Bible scholar and “a skilled copyist,” or scribe. (Ezra 7:6) It was in his day that scribes came into prominence as a class.
19 By the time Jesus appeared on earth, the scribes had become an elite class of teachers, more attached to traditions than to the true teachings of God’s Word. They liked to be called “Rabbi,” which had become an honorific title meaning “My Great (Excellent) One.” (Matthew 23:6,7, footnote) In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the scribes are often associated with the Pharisees, some of whom were themselves teachers of the Law. (Acts 5:34) Jesus accused both groups of making the word of God invalid because of their tradition and teaching “commands of men as doctrines.” (Matthew 15:1, 6,9) Small wonder that neither Jesus nor most of his disciples were educated in the rabbinical schools.—John 7:14,15; Acts 4:13; 22:3.
20 This overview of education in Bible times has shown that Jehovah is the Grand Instructor of his people. Through Moses, God organized an efficient system of education in Israel. But after a long time, a system of Jewish higher education developed that taught things contrary to the Word of God. While Jesus did not attend such Jewish schools, he was, nevertheless, an incomparable Teacher. (Matthew 7:28,29; 23:8; John 13:13) He also commissioned his disciples to teach, even until the conclusion of the system of things. (Matthew 28:19,20) To do this, they would have to be good teachers and consequently would require education. So how should true Christians view education today? This question will be examined in the following article.
A Memory Test
· Why can we be sure that Jehovah is interested in the education of his servants?
· In what respects was Israel’s educational system different from that of the other nations?
· What education did Israelite children receive?
· What teaching methods were used in Israel?
· Why did Jesus and his disciples not go to Jewish schools of higher learning?
1. What shows that Jehovah is interested in the education of his servants?
2, 3. (a) How did the faithful patriarchs view the education of their children, and what instruction did Jehovah give Abraham? (b)What grand purpose was behind the instruction to educate Abraham’s offspring?
4, 5. (a) What differentiated Israel’s educational system from that of other nations? (b)What other important difference is outlined in the Encyclopaedia Judaica, and what doubtless contributed to this difference?
6. What Biblical evidence is there that right from the beginning of their history, the Israelites were a literate people?
7. (a) According to the Scriptures, who gave Israelite children their basic education? (b)What information is given by a French Bible scholar?
8. (a) What basic teaching method was used in Israel, but with what important characteristic? (b)What memory aids were used?
9. (a) What was an important part of the study program for Israelite children? (b)What does a Bible encyclopedia state concerning teaching done in connection with the annual festivals?
10. What practical training was given to girls? to boys?
11. What shows the underlying purpose of education in Israel, and what lesson does this contain for young ones today?
12. Who besides parents took part in educating the people of Israel, and what is the basic meaning of the Hebrew word translated “law”?
13. Why was Israel’s Law different from the legal systems of other nations?
14. What was one reason why Jehovah rejected the Levitical priesthood? (Malachi 2:7,8)
15. (a) In addition to priests, whom did Jehovah raise up as teachers in Israel, and what did a Bible scholar write about their role as educators? (b)What finally happened to Israel and Judah because they rejected knowledge of Jehovah and his ways?
16, 17. (a) What educational program was forced upon Daniel and his three companions? (b)What enabled them to undergo this Babylonian education and yet remain faithful to Jehovah?
18. What educational program was carried out in Judah after the Babylonian captivity?
19. What class of educators had appeared in Israel by the time Jesus came to earth, and for what important reasons did he and his disciples not undergo Jewish higher education?
20. What has this review of education in Bible times shown us, and what indicates that Jehovah’s servants need education?
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Compulsory education in Babylon did not turn Daniel and his companions away from Jehovah
*** w92 11/1 pp. 15-21 Education With a Purpose ***
Education With a Purpose
“Impart knowledge to someone righteous and he will increase in learning.”—PROVERBS 9:9.
JEHOVAH is “a God of knowledge.” (1Samuel 2:3) He educates his servants. Moses foretold that contemporary peoples would say of Israel: “This great nation is undoubtedly a wise and understanding people.” (Deuteronomy 4:6) True Christians should likewise be knowledgeable. They need to be excellent students of God’s Word. Showing the purpose of such study, the apostle Paul wrote: “We ... have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, in order to walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing him as you go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God.”—Colossians 1:9,10.
2 Study with a view to acquiring an accurate knowledge of God and his purposes requires at least a minimum amount of education. But many people who have come to learn the truth of God’s Word live in countries where they had little or no opportunity to receive proper secular education. They were at a disadvantage. To overcome this problem, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has for many years now instructed that, where needed, literacy classes should be organized within the congregations. Over 30 years ago, the Brazilian newspaper Diário de Mogi published an article entitled “Jehovah’s Witnesses Wage War Against Illiteracy.” It stated: “A qualified instructor sets about ... to patiently teach others to read and write. ... The pupils, because of the very circumstances impelling them as ministers of God, must develop their knowledge of the language in order to give discourses.” Thousands of people all over the world have thus been enabled to become good students of God’s Word. They undertook this basic education with an elevated purpose in mind.
Skills Needed to Be Effective Ministers
3 True Christians are interested in education, not for its own sake, but in order to become more effective servants of Jehovah. Christ gave all Christians the mission to “make disciples of people of all the nations, ... teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded.” (Matthew 28:19,20) To teach others, they themselves must first learn, and this requires good study methods. They must have the ability to examine the Scriptures carefully. (Acts 17:11) To fulfill their commission, they also need to be able to read fluently.—See Habakkuk 2:2; 1Timothy 4:13.
4 As we saw in the previous article, there is good reason to believe that, by and large, even young ones in ancient Israel knew how to read and write. (Judges 8:14; Isaiah 10:19) Christian ministers today need to make neat notes as they witness from house to house. They write letters, take notes at meetings, and annotate their study material. All of this requires legible handwriting. Keeping records within the Christian congregation calls for at least a basic knowledge of arithmetic.
Advantages of Proper Schooling
5 Interestingly, the word “school” comes from the Greek word skho·le´, which originally meant “leisure” or the use of leisure time for some serious activity, such as learning. It later came to designate the place where such learning was done. This indicates that, at one time, only the privileged class—in Greece and most other lands—had the leisure to learn. The working class generally remained ignorant. Today, in most countries children and young folk are given time to learn. Young Witnesses should certainly buy out the opportune time to become knowledgeable and capable servants of Jehovah.—Ephesians 5:15,16.
6 A basic knowledge of history, geography, science, and so forth will enable young Witnesses to become rounded-out ministers. Their schooling will teach them not only many subjects but also the learning process. True Christians do not stop learning and studying when they leave school. What they get out of their studying, however, will greatly depend on their knowing how to study. Both secular and congregation schooling can help them to develop their thinking abilities. (Proverbs 5:1,2) When they read they will be better able to discern what is important, what deserves noting and memorizing.
7 Learning a foreign language, for example, will not only develop the mental capacity of young people but also make them more useful to Jehovah’s organization. In some of the Watch Tower Society’s branches, a number of young brothers have found it advantageous to be able to speak or read English fluently. Moreover, all Christian ministers should endeavor to be articulate in their mother tongue. The good news of the Kingdom deserves to be expressed in a clear, grammatically correct manner. The facts show that in the world today, many youngsters when completing school still have difficulty in writing and speaking correctly and in doing even the simplest arithmetic; and they have only the vaguest knowledge of history and geography.
8 This seems, therefore, to be an appropriate time to consider the Christian’s attitude toward secular education. What Bible principles bear on this subject? First, in most countries proper submission to “Caesar” requires Christian parents to send their children to school. (Mark 12:17; Titus 3:1) As for young Witnesses, in their schoolwork they should remember Colossians 3:23, which states: “Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah, and not to men.” A second principle involved is that Christians should be able to support themselves, even if they are full-time pioneer ministers. (2Thessalonians 3:10-12) If married, a man should be able to provide properly for his wife and any children that may be born, with a little extra to give to those in need and to support the local and worldwide preaching work.—Ephesians 4:28; 1Timothy 5:8.
9 How much education does a young Christian need in order to respect these Bible principles and meet his Christian obligations?This varies from country to country. By and large, however, it seems that the general trend in many lands is that the level of schooling required to earn decent wages is now higher than it was a few years ago. Reports received from branches of the Watch Tower Society in different parts of the world indicate that in many places it is difficult to find jobs with decent wages after completing simply the minimum schooling required by law or in some countries even after finishing secondary or high school.
10 What is meant by “decent wages”? It does not indicate highly paid jobs. Webster’s Dictionary defines “decent” in this context as “adequate, satisfactory.” What might be termed “adequate,” for instance, for those who wish to be pioneer ministers of the good news? Such ones generally need part-time work to avoid putting “an expensive burden” upon their brothers or their family. (1Thessalonians 2:9) Their wages might be termed “adequate,” or “satisfactory,” if what they earn allows them to live decently while leaving them sufficient time and strength to accomplish their Christian ministry.
11 What is often the situation today? It has been reported that in some countries many well-intentioned youngsters have left school after completing the minimum required schooling in order to become pioneers. They had no trade or secular qualifications. If they were not helped by their parents, they had to find part-time work. Some have had to accept jobs that required them to work very long hours to make ends meet. Becoming physically exhausted, they gave up the pioneer ministry. What can such ones do to support themselves and get back into the pioneer service?
A Balanced View of Education
12 A balanced view of education can help. For many young people of the world, education is a status symbol, something to help them climb the social ladder, the key to a prosperous, materialistic life-style. For others, schooling is a chore to be dispensed with as quickly as possible. Neither of these views is appropriate for true Christians. What, then, might be termed “a balanced view”? Christians should regard education as a means to an end. In these last days, their purpose is to serve Jehovah as much and as effectively as possible. If, in the country where they live, minimal or even high school education will only allow them to find jobs providing insufficient income to support themselves as pioneers, then supplementary education or training might be considered. This would be with the specific goal of full-time service.
13 Some have taken training courses that have opened up job opportunities enabling them to engage in or resume full-time service. One sister in the Philippines was the family breadwinner, but she wanted to pioneer. The branch reports: “She has been able to do this because she has received additional education to qualify as a certified public accountant.” The same branch report stated: “We have quite a number who are studying and at the same time have been able to arrange their schedules to pioneer. Generally they become better publishers as they are more studious, provided they do not become overly ambitious in worldly pursuits.” The last remark should give us reason to reflect. The purpose of the extra schooling, where this seems necessary, must not be lost sight of or change into a materialistic goal.
14 In a few countries, secondary schools provide vocational training that can prepare a young Christian for some trade or occupation by the time of graduation. Even when this is not the case, in some lands enterprising youngsters with only basic schooling do find part-time work that enables them to earn enough to pioneer. So no hard-and-fast rules should be made either for or against extra education.
15 Many who are now serving in responsible positions as traveling overseers, at the Society’s headquarters, or in one of the branches had only basic education. They were faithful pioneers, never stopped learning, received training, and have been entrusted with greater responsibilities. They have no regrets. On the other hand, some of their contemporaries chose to get a university education and fell by the wayside, subjugated by the faith-destroying philosophies and “wisdom of this world.”—1Corinthians 1:19-21; 3:19,20; Colossians 2:8.
Counting the Cost
16 Who decides whether a young Christian should undertake further education or training? The Bible principle of headship comes into play here. (1Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 6:1) On this basis parents will surely want to guide their children in the choice of a trade or occupation and consequently in the amount of education that will be needed. In many countries educational and occupational choices have to be made early on during secondary education. That is the time when Christian parents and youths need to seek Jehovah’s direction in making a wise choice, with Kingdom interests uppermost in mind. Young people have different propensities and aptitudes. Wise parents will take these into account. All honest work is honorable, be it blue-collar or white-collar. While the world may elevateoffice work and disparage working hardwith one’s hands, the Bible certainly does not. (Acts 18:3) So when parents and youngChristians today, after carefully and prayerfully weighing the pros and cons, decide for or against postsecondary studies, others in the congregation should not criticize them.
17 If Christian parents responsibly decide to provide their children with further education after high school, that is their prerogative. The period of these studies would vary according to the type of trade or occupation selected. For financial reasons and in order to enable their children to get into the full-time service as quickly as possible, many Christian parents have chosen for them short-term study programs in vocational or technical schools. In some cases youths have needed to be apprenticed to some trade but always with a full life of service to Jehovah as the goal.
18 If additional courses are taken, certainly the motive should not be to shine scholastically or to carve out a prestigious worldly career. Courses should be chosen with care. This magazine has placed emphasis on the dangers of higher learning, and justifiably so, for much higher education opposes the “healthful teaching” of the Bible. (Titus 2:1; 1Timothy 6:20,21) Further, since the 1960’s, many schools of advanced learning have become hotbeds of lawlessness and immorality. “The faithful and discreet slave” has strongly discouraged entering that kindof environment. (Matthew 24:12,45) It must be admitted, however, that nowadays youngsters meet up with these same dangers in high schools and technical colleges and even in the workplace.—1John 5:19.
19 Should supplementary education be decided upon, a young Witness would do well, if at all possible, to take this while living at home, thus being able to maintain normal Christian study habits, meeting attendance, and preaching activity. At the outset a proper stand should also be taken on Bible principles. It should be remembered that Daniel and his three Hebrew companions were captives in exile when they were obliged to undertake advanced studies in Babylon, but they consistently kept their integrity. (Daniel, chapter 1) While placing spiritual interests first, young Witnesses in a number of countries have taken courses to equip themselves for part-time work as accountants, tradesmen, teachers, translators, interpreters, or other occupations that supported them adequately in their primary career of pioneering. (Matthew 6:33) A number of these youths have later become traveling overseers or Bethel volunteers.
A United, Educated People
20 Among Jehovah’s people, whether a person’s occupation is white-collar, blue-collar, farming, or services, all need to be good students of the Bible and able teachers. Skills acquired by all in reading, studying, and teaching tend to dispel the distinction that the world makes between manual and office workers. This makes for the unity and mutual respect that is particularly visible among the volunteer workers in Bethel homes and on Watch Tower Society construction sites, where spiritual qualities are all-important and required of all. Here, experienced office personnel work joyfully with skilled manual workers, all displaying appreciative love for one another.—John 13:34,35; Philippians 2:1-4.
21 Parents, guide your children toward the goal of becoming useful members of the new world society! Young Christians, use your opportunities for education as a means of equipping you to lay hold more fully on your privileges in serving Jehovah! As taught ones, may all of you prove to be well-equipped members of the theocratic society both now and everlastingly in God’s promised “new earth.”—2Peter 3:13; Isaiah 50:4; 54:13; 1Corinthians 2:13.
See also The Watchtower of September 1, 1975, pages542-4.
Test Your Memory
· Why are true Christians interested in education?
· What extreme views of education will true Christians avoid?
· What dangers of added education should be taken into account, and what precautions should be taken?
· What worldly distinction has no place among Jehovah’s people?
1. What does Jehovah expect of his servants regarding knowledge?
2. (a) What is necessary in order to acquire an accurate knowledge of God? (b)How has the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses addressed this matter?
3, 4. (a) Why are true Christians interested in education? (b)What was the situation in Israel, and what basic education is indispensable within our congregations today?
5. (a) What is the origin of the word “school”? (b)What opportunity should young ones seize?
6, 7. (a) What are some of the advantages of proper schooling? (b)In what ways can learning a foreign language be useful? (c)What is the situation today among many young people when they complete school?
8. What scriptures bear on the subject of secular education and a person’s ability to support himself?
9, 10. (a) What appears to be a trend in many lands? (b)What might a pioneer minister consider to be an adequate wage?
11. Why have some young ones given up the pioneer service, and what question is raised?
12. (a) With regard to education, what two extreme views will a Christian avoid? (b)For dedicated servants of Jehovah and their children, what purpose should education serve?
13. (a) How has one sister in the Philippines been able to continue her pioneer service while meeting her family obligations? (b)What warning is timely?
14, 15. (a)Why should no hard-and-fast rules be made with regard to education? (b)What secular education did some responsible brothers receive, but what has compensated for this?
16. (a) Who decides whether further education is desirable, and what should be kept uppermost in mind? (b)What should be taken into consideration?
17. What choice do some Witness parents make for their children?
18. If additional courses are taken, what should be kept in mind?
19. (a) What precautions should be taken by those who decide to take supplementary courses? (b)How have some used their education to good advantage?
20. What worldly distinction has no place among Jehovah’s people?
21. What should be the aim of young Christians?
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By studying diligently, young Christians can become more useful members of the new world society
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Further education, if chosen, should be motivated by the desire to serve Jehovah better