Throughout history, many societies have had different perspectives regarding education. The Ancient Greeks thought they could cure all the evils in society with education. Now we know that more education does not necessarily equal higher morality.
In modern societies today, education is tied to privilege, status, a more qualified labor force, and more. But what should the role of education in the life of a Christian? What is the Biblical perspective regarding education and acquiring knowledge?
The Biblical perspective on education in far different than, for example, the Ancient Greek perspective on education. The Bible’s position on education is indeed beautiful, more insightful and unique.
The Bible does recommend education of all sorts, it does not stigmatize secular, scientific knowledge, and it shows why education is important, and what should be final purpose of all knowledge and learning in Christian life.
So Here Is The List Of Bible Verses That Emphasize Education, Knowledge and Learning:
1. John 5:39:
39 “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”
In this Bible verse, the Lord gives a commandment to study, so now we have an instruction from the Lord to study, and to do so diligently.
2. Hosea 4:6:
6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
The book of Hosea is set before the time of the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel by Assyria, in 722 B.C. where the threat of the Assyrian invasion is present.
In this Bible verse from Hosea, we find something incredibly important. Israel’s lack of knowledge, and indifference to God brought their destruction, so we should always strive to avoid ignorance of the word of God.
3. Daniel 1:17:
17 “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning.”
It is great that in the book of Daniel, intelligence is solely ascribed to God. Further in the book, Daniel praises God by saying he is the one who bestows all intelligence upon smart individuals.
Daniel and his friends were dealing with secular matters of natural sciences and literature.
So in this sense, we learn that having an abundance of knowledge in a particular scientific or literary matter is not a negative thing for a pious person of God, as it was wrongly implied in medieval times by the Catholic Church.
4. 1 Peter 3:15:
15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
This verse presents us with something interesting. The apostle Peter wrote his letter during Roman times, and during this time there were various philosophical movements and intellectuals observing and scrutinizing Christianity.
So, it is good when the apostle Peter states that we should be prepared to give an answer to anyone who demands it, because both in the Greco-Roman world and today there were and are inquisitive people that do so. For this, we need to study the word of God.
5. Proverbs 1:28-29:
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.”
This Bible verse is similar to our previous Scripture from Hosea, in that it conveys we must give an important place for knowledge in our lives, and more specifically knowledge of the word of God.
6. Proverbs 3:13:
13 “Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.”
There is a lot of wisdom in the book of Proverbs, but it is powerful how in this verse and in all the following Proverbs, wisdom is equated to be far more valuable than material goods.
7. Proverbs 8:10:
10 “Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold.”
8. Proverbs 16:16:
16 “How much better to get wisdom than gold,
to get insight rather than silver!”
9. Psalm 119:99:
99 “I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.”
This Psalm is powerful in that it reveals that to cherish the word of God in one’s heart will yield wisdom. It teaches us that in order to attain wisdom, it is not enough just to memorize Scripture, but it is necessary to give room to digest it in our hearts.
10. Proverbs 16:20:
20 “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”
In the Scriptures we have reviewed so far, we learn that knowledge certainly plays an important role in the life of a Christian and this might lead to questions such as: Should Christians go to college? Should all Christians be educated then? Should all Christian attain good grades?
11. Proverbs 16:21:
21 “The wise in heart are called discerning,
and gracious words promote instruction.”
According to the Bible, Christians are not obligated to get good grades, but they are indeed obligated to maintain a good testimony and perception while living among unbelievers, and achieving excellence and getting good grades are a considerable part of this.
12. Proverbs 4:1-3:
1 “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.”
13. Proverbs 2:10-11:
10 “For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.”
14. Proverbs 9:10:
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
This a famous and beautiful Proverb, but some may wonder what does it mean that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?
It means that respecting and fearing the Lord leads to an outlook on life that has special clarity, which in turn allows the God-fearing person to judge situations in a judicious manner, and make better decisions.
15. Phillipians 1:9:
9 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
16. Colossians 1:10:
10 “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.”
17. 2 Peter 1:5:
5 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.”
18. Proverbs 1:7:
7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
There is certainly a distinction in the Bible between spiritual knowledge and secular knowledge such as scientific or literary knowledge, but the Bible encourages both types of knowledge in the life of a Christian.
We should certainly not be like the individuals who despise wisdom and instruction of all sorts, and while the Bible does not command Christian to go to college, it does exhort us to gain learning.
19. Deuteronomy 32:2:
2 “Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.”
20. Proverbs 6:23:
23 “For this command is a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and correction and instruction
are the way to life.”
21. Proverbs 23:12:
12 “Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.”
22. Proverbs 15:33:
33 “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
and humility comes before honor.”
23. 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
It is important how Paul stresses that we will be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” with the knowledge of Scripture, and we need to both receive instruction and instruct ourselves in Scripture.
24. 1 Timothy 4:13:
13 “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”
It is interesting to note in this Scripture that our Lord was Jewish, and Christianity inherited a lot of its perspective on education from Judaism.
Christianity inherited Judaism’s reliance on books for transmitting knowledge in the time of Paul.
Other pagan religions in the Roman Empire, when both Timothy and Paul were alive, did not have such emphasis in books or in public readings of Scripture.
25. Proverbs 3:21-22:
21 “My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.”
26. Acts 4:13:
13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
Paying special attention to the words: “unschooled, ordinary men.” It is good to finish with this Bible verse. It encapsulates an important principle in the Bible regarding education.
In this Bible verse, we learn that while education is great thing, the Lord does not require it in order to be great preachers of his gospel, or to lead others to Christ.
This is important because, our beautiful Lord knows that education is (in many societies) tied to privilege, and therefore, in his perfect fairness he does not give those who can’t access expensive education an unnecessary burden.
Education certainly plays an important role in Christian life, and the Bible makes constant exhortations towards education of both the spiritual and secular kinds, so all Christians should get an education and attend college if possible, if it is financially feasible.
It is not a sin not to get an education, and it is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged. Remembering that Paul encourages us to do all things such as eating, or drinking or reading, for the glory of God, and that includes learning and knowledge.