Hebrew vs. Greek Views of Education
Written by Brad Scott   


One of our realities today, so it seems, is our public education system, which comes straight from the Greeks. One of the main reasons for the creation of the great polis or city-state, was to achieve excellence through community education, to build gigantic gymnasiums for the purpose of educating the children. The elite were gathered into these community buildings and quickly stripped of whatever realities they possessed at that point. By the way, the word gymnasium is from the Greek word gymnos which means "naked". The many were taught by the few and given instructions on every conceivable subject. The point was that knowledge was the key to excellence, and to know was to rule. The poor, however, were not permitted to be educated this way. The parents of the poor were discouraged from teaching their young the sciences or the arts. They were trained in a trade and this was perfectly acceptable. Most poor people were barely able to write their name. Less well to do mothers and fathers were not trained to educate. So the elite were raised by the village and were advanced by the simple fact that they participated in the community education system.


It is perhaps becoming more obvious by now, what the scriptural view of this subject will be. We are talking about the ancient view and not the more modern 'Rabbinical' system. Fathers and mothers were responsible for the education of their children. Knowledge was the focus, but the knowledge was from their Creator and His moral values and judgments. The arts and sciences were taught as well, and all knowledge was founded upon scriptural principles. Some knowledge was not made available, even if it was truth. Sex education was not part of the curriculum. This is one of the most life saving principles of the culture of the Hebrews. We have been trained by our western education system that the more we are educated about the sexual experience, the safer we are. This was the thinking of the 1950's, for example. Certain venereal diseases were on the rise, barely notable by the way, and something must be done. Sex education was introduced in the public system to provide knowledge to children about everything concerning the sexual experience.

Unwanted pregnancies were dominating the landscape and education was the answer. Since that time, venereal diseases have multiplied beyond control, and teenage pregnancies are common place. But that is not the point. From the view of our Hellenistic culture, knowledge is power and the answer to our calamities. The conclusion is simple. Education leaders are responsible for the administering of knowledge. They are not, by nature, concerned with the moral values of YOUR child. The whole idea of the nature of your child's education is similar to the Greek view of heaven or salvation. Correct ideas and right thinking is the goal. What you DO with those ideas is irrelevant. Fathers and mothers, on the other hand, very much have a stake in their children's future. The child's future affects the parent as well as the child. What the child DOES with his life is imperative. The child's longevity is part of the motive. His health is also at stake. The parents have the entire life of the child in mind