The Bible and education are indissolubly united. To understand something of their relation requires at least passing reference to what each is. The word “education” comes not, as commonly supposed, from the Latin educere (to “lead” or “draw forth”) but from educare (to “bear” or “bring up”). The distinction is not minor for the Christian. If education means nothing more than drawing out what is already within the person, then regeneration is unnecessary and the atoning work of Christ may be bypassed. But if to “educate” means to “rear” or “bring up,” then the creation of new life within the person through the Spirit’s use of the Word of God is recognized, and education becomes in its Christian aspect the nurture of the new man in Christ Jesus.

For this nurture the Bible is by its very nature indispensable. When the Apostle Paul said to Timothy, “… from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15, RSV), he was pointing not only to the educating power of the Bible but also to its function in regeneration, even as the Apostle Peter declared: “You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23, RSV). Moreover, when Paul went on to say, “All scripture is inspired of God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17, RSV), he was explaining both the nature of Scripture—the book “inspired by God” (literally, “God-breathed”), and its function—the formation of Christian maturity effective in good works.

Such is the essential educating ...

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