But scholarly study must go hand in hand with its devotional use.
In one way or another all of us are teachers and students. For better or worse, fathers and mothers are teachers, and the home is still the greatest educational force. No one can effectively practice a profession without in some way engaging in teaching. So also with other occupations. As for Christian ministers, they too are teachers. In listing the gifts of the ascended Christ to the church (Eph. 4:11), Paul said, “It was he who gave … some to be pastors and teachers” (NIV)—in other words, to shepherd and educate Christ’s flock.
Likewise with learning. It too has its universal aspect. To be a Christian is to be a disciple, and discipleship entails obedience to the teaching of a master. For everyone, Christian or otherwise, when learning stops, living may sink into mere existence.
In The Idea of a University, John Henry Newman said: “Religious truth is not only a portion but a condition of general knowledge”—a statement that for the purpose of this article may be adapted like this: “Biblical truth is not only a portion but a condition of all Christian education and the whole of life as well.”
All who learn and all who teach must, as best they can, seek the truth. For no teachers is this responsibility greater than for those who out of their study and research deal with the Scriptures.
Truth! What a great word it is! Next to the words for Deity, there is no more spacious word. Not only is God love, he is also truth. In the Old Testament, truth usually connotes faithfulness and points to the God who is faithful to himself and to his promises. So truth extends to the written word of God. In the New Testament also, truth connotes faithfulness and relates to the written ...1
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