The Bible tells us to study


The Reformer John Calvin was a strong advocate for universal education, believing that every child should be trained in reading, writing, math, and grammar, as well as religion.

Martin Luther taught that education was essential, “both to understand the Word of Scripture and the nature of the world in which the Word would take root.”

From the birth of most universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, and Cambridge, many were founded by Christians as religious schools.

Christians are called to be light in the world (Matthew 5:14). There is no biblical requirement, however, to take the helm of all the world systems in order to usher in Christ’s kingdom. The Bible says that the world will grow worse, not better, in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1, 13; 2 Peter 3:3).

I. The Significance of education

      1. Education is a process encouraged by God. Our minds were created and designed to grow to maturity and increase in knowledge, wisdom, and skill (Proverbs 1:1-5      

      2. Education is not an automatic process; it must be sought and obtained. Our brains are made to acquire ongoing information throughout our earthly lives. God desires us to seek wisdom and understanding. When we seek, He will give it to us (Proverbs 2:3-6).
      3. Education should give us a better knowledge of God. Paul counted all things, including his prestigious education, as loss compared with knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8-10).
      4. God holds us responsible for what we take into our minds. We are to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil (Romans 16:19). We are responsible for what we take in through our senses into our minds (Matthew 5:29, Luke 11:34-36).
      5. A proper education will lead to the greatest satisfaction in life. There will be blessing, honor, long life, pleasantness, and peace reserved for those who find true wisdom and understanding (Prov. 3:13-18).

II.  Some who were educated to serve

A. Moses

“At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds” (Acts 7:20-22).

This education served Moses well when he started to help administer the civil laws and codes for the nation of Israel. He also acted as a judge for the people. The science, law, architecture, writing, history, mathematics, and other disciplines were all part of the educational system of Egypt and must have come in handy for his dealings with Israel in the Wilderness. The building of the tabernacle, the writing of the laws and codes, the sanitation laws, and so on would have been next to impossible if Moses had not been highly educated.

B. Paul, the Scholar and Philosopher

Paul studied under one of the most brilliant men of all time. His name was Gamaliel. Paul said of himself that he was “a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day” (Acts 7:3). Paul continued in his writings to the church at Philippi saying “If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless” (Phil 3:4b-6). Paul, according to early church historians and biblical scholars, may have been the greatest mind of his time. Few could out-whit him, out-debate him and exceed his knowledge of the law and of the Scriptures. God used Paul as one of the greatest of all apologists and Bible (Old Testament) scholars, specifically when he reasoned with the Greeks from their own poets on Mar’s Hill (Acts 7:22-34)?

C. Solomon’s Wisdom

The Book of Proverbs, Song of Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes, were all called “wisdom literature” and for good reason. Solomon is also known to have written some of the psalms as well. There was such godly wisdom in these books. Why? It was because Solomon prayed to God for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9) and not for riches or honor so God gave him both (1 Kings 3:11). This prayer for wisdom was very pleasing to God because there is more value in education, particularly regarding the fear of the Lord, than there is in all the gold mines and treasure houses in the world. It was said that “Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt”

D. The Wisdom of Daniel

Daniel was only a teenager when he was brought into captivity with the rest of the captives of Israel. It was said of Daniel that “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom” (Dan 1:20). There were 3 men in particular and 4 counting Daniel of which it was said “God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Dan 1:17). Daniel’s wisdom or education exceeded that of everyone in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom of Babylon, over and above that of the magicians and enchanters, specifically in the “whole kingdom” and not just slightly over them but “ten times better!” It’s no wonder then that “the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon” (Dan 2:48). King Nebuchadnezzar would have never put someone in charge of Babylon that was not qualified to run such a mammoth and complex nation if he didn’t feel that he wasn’t educationally qualified to do so.


1 Corinthians 15:58

Prepared by Rev. Dr. Deborah Thomas, DD