This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

 
Issue Features
  
View this issue online as it looks in print
Discovery Magazine 8/1/2002

Schooling at Home-An Early Biblical Custom

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

Most students today dread the words "pop quiz." While it's no fun to take a pop quiz in math or science, it is normally harmless (aside from possibly receiving a bad grade). But consider what would happen if students in the Old Testament failed a "pop quiz" over God's law. Stu­dents in Bible times were required to ''hear" and "remember" the Law of Moses (Proverbs 1:8; Deuteronomy 5:1). These students needed to know precisely what God required of them. Today, many people view education as simply ''learning." To the Jews, education was not just learning, but also involved students and their relationship with God. In order to ensure the law was passed on correctly, priests were given the responsibility of teaching rituals and preserving the law.

Education was highly valued in ancient Israel, but we have very little information regarding the practices of ancient schools. Archaeologists have discovered clay tablets at Ur of the Chaldees, which prove schools existed in the city of Abraham's youth. However, we know that during biblical times, there was a great deal of turmoil, and threats from neighboring countries also were a problem. Thus, young people mostly learned the Mosaic law at home (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Can you imagine sitting in a school classroom while a battle was being fought just outside your classroom win­dow? It definitely would be hard to concentrate on what your teacher was saying. Also, families were often required to move in order to have proper grazing land for flocks, or to avoid battles over land-which meant "home-schooling'' was the only choice.

We also know that the primary textbook that students used to learn to read and write was portions of the Old Testament. The Bible also informs us that both mothers and fathers took an active role in the education of their children. Proverbs 1:8 states: "My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother." Parents also taught their professions to their children. Sons would often watch, and help their fathers tend flocks or plant crops. Girls learned important tasks such as baking, spinning, and weaving from their mothers. While students in biblical times may have learned differently than students today, it is important to realize how much emphasis they put on God and learning about Him-something we, too, should emphasize more!



Copyright © 2010 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
U.S.A.
Phone (334) 272-8558

http://www.apologeticspress.org

Web Store

Explorer Series 7: The Church

This seventh installment of Explorer Series is for fifth and sixth graders to learn about the Church that Jesus came to Earth to establish. Students will learn about how and when the Church was established, who it includes, and how it should function (amo

Featured Audio

Listen

Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio