Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The purpose of education

The following is a quote from Our Father Abraham:  Jewish roots of the Christian faith by Marvin R. Wilson.

The primary purpose of education in Bible times was to train the whole person for lifelong, obedient service in the knowledge of God (Prov. 1:7; Eccl. 12:13).  The children of Abraham were to "keep the way of the Lord" (Gen. 18:19), and Torah was given to keep them on that path (Ps 119:105).  The aim of learning was holiness in living- to be set apart unto God in every dimension of life.  This holiness required a knowledge of God's acts in history and a commitment to observe the mitzvot (commandments) which instructed one how to live.  Israel was to acknowledge the Lord's authority in every circumstance and in every turn of the way (Ps. 16:8; Prov. 3:5-6).  Thus the ultimate prophetic vision was that "all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other" (1 Kgs. 8:60).  

I first came across this book in the footnotes of Robin Sampson's Heart of Wisdom.  I've so loved reading Our Father Abraham and gaining a closer look into the Hebrew culture in which the Bible was written.  I think I've dog-eared about a hundred pages and hope to go back and re-read each and every one and give each idea more thought.  Perhaps most readily applicable to my life now is the chapter "A Life of Learning:  The heart of Jewish heritage", from which I pulled the quote above.  Wilson goes on to say that the center of Jewish education was the home.  In fact, so in-grained was the association of father as teacher that even teachers unrelated to the pupil (such as priests) were given the title of "father" and their students referred to as "sons".

A blog friend recently asked what keeps us homeschooling when the going gets tough.  I think the quote above gets at our heart motivation.  Homeschooling is not about SAT scores or college scholarships, but about the passing down of our faith to our children.  That and I really enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. Amen!!!! I have this book also and really enjoyed it!!
    So true about the motivation and a good reminder to me about the really purpose of ed.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.