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November 27    Scripture

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Manners & Customs : Education

Education at Ancient Synagogues THE SYNAGOGUE SCHOOLS WHEN JESUS WAS A BOY When JESUS grew up as a boy in the village of Nazareth, he no doubt attended the synagogue school. The Jewish child was sent to school in the fifth or sixth year of his life. The pupils either "stood, teacher and pupils alike, or else sat on the ground in a semicircle, facing a teacher." Until the children were ten years of age, the Bible was the one text book. From ten to fifteen the traditional law was the main subject dealt with, and a study of theology as taught in the Talmud was taken up with those over fifteen years of age. The study of the Bible began with the Book of Leviticus, continued with other parts of the Pentateuch, and then went on with the Prophets, and lastly, the Writings. Because of the remarkable familiarity of JESUS with the Holy Scriptures, we may be fairly certain that His home in Nazareth had in it a copy of the Sacred Book as a whole. Doubtless He loved to ponder its pages at home after having studied its teachings in the school. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Education at Ancient Ur SCHOOLS AT UR WHEN ABRAHAM WAS A BOY The archaeological expedition conducted by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley at Ur of the Chaldees, from 1922 to 1934, has proven that there were schools in the city of Abraham's youth. Clay tablets were uncovered that indicate some of the subjects taught in these schools. The pupils had writing lessons on tablets, and dictation lessons in vocabulary. In arithmetic, they had the multiplication and division tables, and more advanced scholars had square and cube roots, with lessons in practical geometry. Grammar lessons included paradigms of the conjugation of verbs.1 These revelations together with other discoveries at Ur, substantiate the view that Abraham came from a city of high civilization. No doubt he attended one of these schools. It is certain that Abraham and Sarah were familiar with the laws of Hammurabi, having been taught this Babylonian law code from their youth. The explanation for Sarah's action In giving her maid Hagar to Abraham as a secondary wife (Genesis 16) is that the law of Hammurabi allowed such to be done. Similar action was repeated in Jacob's family relations (Genesis 30). But after the law of Moses came into being, this custom disappeared in Israel. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Education in Ancient Egypt SCHOOLS IN EGYPT WHEN MOSES WAS A YOUNG MAN Stephen has given us the statement that Moses was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22). A wealth of information has come to us from the land of the Nile to let us know how valuable was the law-giver's education at the expense of Egypt. Tradition has it that Moses went to school at the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis. It was here then that he no doubt learned how to read and write. There is every indication that he had lessons in arithmetic, using duodecimal and decimal scales of notation. He must have studied geometry enough to make him familiar with the art of land-measuring. And his knowledge of mathematics would take in trigonometry. Astronomy was also studied by the Egyptians, as was architecture. The Egyptians had some proficiency in medical science and dentistry, and were acquainted with anatomy, chemistry, and had a knowledge of metals, for they had gold mines, and copper mines, and were familiar with the use of iron and the manufacture of bronze. Music was also an important subject in Egyptian schools. Moses must have been well educated according to the standards of ancient Egypt, which were of a high caliber. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Education in Ancient Rome THE ROMAN SCHOOLS OF THE FIRST CENTURY It is now known that there were twenty grammar schools in the great city of Rome when the Apostle Paul first visited the city. Girls as well as boys were allowed to go to school, but there is evidence that more boys than girls availed themselves of the privilege. Paul's reference to the "schoolmaster" (Galatians 3:24) of these Roman schools, was formerly misunderstood by many, until papyri writings threw light on his meaning. The individual called in our translation "schoolmaster" was actually not headmaster or teacher, but rather a faithful slave whose duty it was to conduct his master's sons to and from school and prevent them from getting into mischief. Paul was comparing CHRIST with the real teacher, and the law was like the slave whose duty it was to conduct the pupil to the teacher. Discoveries of the archaeologists at Ephesus indicate that the School of Tyrannus that {Paul engaged as a hall in which to preach (Acts 19:9) was probably an elementary school, where the teacher taught for a few hours early in the morning and for a while in the afternoon. Thus the room would be available for Paul's use when he wanted it. Such schoolrooms were usually adjacent to a street and thus would suit his purpose admirably. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Education in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Chiefly in the law of God (Exodus 12:26; Exodus 13:8; Exodus 13:14; Deuteronomy 4:5; Deuteronomy 4:9-10; Deuteronomy 6:2; Deuteronomy 6:7; Deuteronomy 6:20; Deuteronomy 11:19; Deuteronomy 11:21; Acts 22:3; 2 Timothy 3:15). The Book of Proverbs inculcates on parents, as to their children, the duty of disciplinary instruction and training in the word of God. This was the ONE book of national education in the reformations undertaken by Jehoshaphat and Josiah (2 Chronicles 17:7-9; 2 Chronicles 34:30). The priests' and Levites' duty especially was to teach the people (2 Chronicles 15:3; Leviticus 10:11; Malachi 2:7; Nehemiah 8:2; Nehemiah 8:8-9; Nehemiah 8:13; Jeremiah 18:18). The Mishna says that parents ought to teach their children some trade, and he who did not virtually taught his child to steal. The prophets, or special public authoritative teachers, were trained in schools or colleges (Amos 7:14). "Writers," or musterers general, belonging to Zebulun, who enrolled recruits and wrote the names of those who went to war, are mentioned (Judges 5:14). "Scribes of the host" (Jeremiah 52:25) appear in the Assyrian bas-reliefs, writing down the various persons or objects brought to them, so that there is less exaggeration than in the Egyptian representations of battle. Seraiah was David's scribe or secretary, and Jehoshaphat, son of Ahilud, was "recorder" or writer of chronicles, historiographer (2 Samuel 8:16-17); Shebun was Hezekiah's scribe (2 Kings 18:37). The learned, according to the rabbis, were called "sons of the noble," and took precedence at table. Boys at five years of age, says the Mishna, were to begin reading Scripture, at ten they were to begin reading the Mishna, and at thirteen years of age they were subject to the whole law (Luke 2:46); at fifteen they entered study of the Gemara. The prophetic schools included females such as Huldah (2 Kings 22:14). The position and duties of females among the Jews were much higher than among other Orientals (Proverbs 31:10-31; Luke 8:2-3; Luke 10:38, etc.; Acts 13:50;

Education in Smiths Bible Dictionary There is little trace among the Hebrews in earlier times of education in any other subjects than the law. The wisdom therefore and instruction, of which so much is said in the book of Proverbs, are to be understood chiefly of moral and religious discipline, imparted, according to the direction of the law, by the teaching and under the example of parents. (But Solomon himself wrote treatises on several scientific subjects, which must have been studied in those days.) In later times the prophecies and comments on them, as well as on the earlier Scriptures, together with other subjects, were studied. Parents were required to teach their children some trade. (Girls also went to schools, and women generally among the Jews were treated with greater equality to men than in any other ancient nation.) Previous to the captivity, the chief depositaries of learning were the schools or colleges, from which in most cases proceeded that succession of public teachers who at various times endeavored to reform the moral and religious conduct of both rulers and people. Besides the prophetical schools instruction was given by the priests in the temple and elsewhere. [See SCHOOLS]

Education in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ed-u-ka'-shun: I. EDUCATION DEFINED II. EDUCATION IN EARLY ISRAEL 1. Nomadic and Agricultural Periods 2. The Monarchical Period 3. Deuteronomic Legislation 4. Reading and Writing III. EDUCATION IN LATER ISRAEL 1. Educational Significance of the Prophets 2. The Book of the Law 3. Wise Men or Sages 4. The Book of Proverbs 5. Scribes and Levites 6. Greek and Roman Influences IV. EDUCATION IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES 1. Subject Matter of Instruction 2. Method and Aims 3. Valuable Results of Jewish Education 4. The Preeminence of Jesus as a Teacher 5. Educational Work of the Early Disciples LITERATURE I. Education Defined. By education we understand the sum total of those processes whereby society transmits from one generation to the next its accumulated social, intellectual and religious experience and heritage. In part these processes are informal and incidental, arising from participation in certain forms of social life and activity which exist on their own account and not for the sake of their educative influence upon the rising generation. The more formal educative processes are designed (1) to give the immature members of society a mastery over the symbols and technique of civilization, including language (reading and writing), the arts, the sciences, and religion, and (2) to enlarge the fund of individual and community knowledge beyond the measure furnished by the direct activities of the immediate environment (compare Dewey, article on "Education" in Monroe's CE; compare Butler, ME). Religious education among ancient and modern peoples alike reveals clearly this twofold aspect of all education. On its informal side it consists in the transmission of religious ideas and experience by means of the reciprocal processes of imitation and example; each generation, by actually participating in the religious activities and ceremonies of the social group, imbibing as it were the spirit and ideals of the preceding generation as these are modified by the particular economic and industrial conditions under which the entire process takes place. Formal religious education begins with the conscious and systematic...

Education Under the Mosaic Law EDUCATION UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES The duty of the educating of the youth was delegated by the Mosaic law especially to the Hebrew parents. The home was to be a school and the parents were to be teachers. The regulation read thus: "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). The feasts of the law such as the Passover were designed to cause the young to ask the question: "What mean ye by this service?" (Exodus 12:26), and thus give the parents an opportunity to explain its true meaning. The Tabernacle, and later the Temple, were meant to be object lessons in divine truth. At each seventh year on the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests were to read the law before all the people. Thus the priests and Levites were also teachers in the land. And then an order of prophets arose, beginning with Moses, and continuing through a long and illustrious line, who were indeed valuable teachers of the youth of the land. Special schools for the training of young prophets were developed by them, as will be seen. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Rabbinical Schools of the First Century THE RABBINICAL SCHOOL OF PAUL'S DAY In the times of Paul, there were two rival schools of rabbinical theology, the school of Hillel which he attended at Jerusalem, and the school of Shammai. The former was the more liberal school as we would think of it today, and placed tremendous emphasis upon Jewish oral traditions. As a young man of thirteen years of age, Saul of Tarsus came to Jerusalem to begin his training under the great leader, Gamaliel. He graduated from this school to become a typical Pharisaical rabbi. Concerning his training he himself said: "I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers" (Acts 22:3). The training of JESUS as a boy had been under the other school, where there was less stress upon tradition, and more upon spiritual teachings of the law and the prophets. In his unconverted days, how Saul would have resented what JESUS said to the Pharisees, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" and, "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition" (Matthew 15:3, 6)! [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Schools in Smiths Bible Dictionary (In the early ages most of the instruction of young children was by the parents. The leisure hours of the Sabbaths and festival days brought the parents in constant contact with the children. After the captivity schools came more into use, and at the time of Christ were very abundant. The schools were in connection with the synagogues, which were found in every village of the city and land. Their idea of the value of schools may be gained from such sayings from the Talmud as "The world is preserved by the breath of the children in the schools;" "A town in which there are no schools must perish;" "Jerusalem was destroyed because the education of children was neglected." Josephus says, "Our principal care is to educate our children." The Talmud states that in Bechar there were 400 schools, having each 400 teachers, with 400 children each and that there were 4000 pupils in the house of Rabban Simeon Ben-Gamaliel. Maimonides thus describes a school: "The teacher sat at the head, and the pupils surrounded him as the crown the head so that every one could see the teacher and hear his words. The teacher did not sit in a chair while the pupils sat on the ground but all either sat on chairs or on the ground." The children read aloud to acquire fluency. The number of school-hours was limited, and during the heat of the summer was only four hours. The punishment employed was beating with a strap, never with a rod. The chief studies were their own language and literature the chief school-book the Holy Scriptures; and there were special efforts to impress lessons of morality and chastity. Besides these they studied mathematics, astronomy and the natural sciences. Beyond the schools for popular education there were higher schools or colleges scattered throughout the cities where the Jews abounded.--ED.)

Schools of the Prophets THE SCHOOLS OF THE PROPHETS Because of the moral decline of the priesthood under Eli and his wicked sons, Samuel was led to form a school of the prophets wherein young men, mostly Levites, were trained to teach the Law of GOD, to the people. There was such a school at Ramah, over which Samuel presided, and David fled there for a time when Saul sought to kill him (I Samuel 19:18-21). There would seem to have been one at Gibeah where Samuel mentions "a company of prophets" (I Samuel 10:5, 10). In the days of Elijah and Elisha, reference is made to "the sons of the prophets" (I Kings 20:35), as living together at Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho (II Kings 2:1, 3, 5; 4:38). About one hundred prophets ate with Elisha at Gilgal (II Kings 4:38-44). There may have been that many at Jericho, for mention is made "of fifty men of the sons of the prophets" (II Kings 2:7) that went to hunt for the body of Elijah. These schools were no doubt for the study of the law and history of Israel, and also the cultivation of sacred music and poetry. The writing of sacred history came to be an important part of the labor of the prophets. These young men were given mental and spiritual training in order that they might be able to exert a greater influence for good upon the people of their day. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

Schools of the Prophets in Easton's Bible Dictionary (1 Sam. 19:18-24; 2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 12, 15) were instituted for the purpose of training young men for the prophetical and priestly offices. (See PROPHET -T0003006; SAMUEL -T0003209.)

The Study of Education Education of Youth A STUDY OF EDUCATION in Bible lands from early to late Biblical days will have bearing on the manners and customs of the people, and will throw light on certain Bible passages. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]