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¿Qué Tiene que Ver Conmigo? por Teófila Gottfried

¿Qué tiene que ver conmigo lo que dice la Biblia? ¿Sirve en estos días lo que se cuenta allí? ¿No son anticuadas sus enseñanzas? ¿Qué tengo que ver yo con gente que vivió hace dos, cuatro o seis mil años? ¿Es posible aplicar a mi vida algo de lo que dice la Biblia? ¿O los Diez Mandamientos es todo lo que enseña? En tal caso ¿puedo considerarme "buena persona" si los cumplo? Lo que leemos en la Biblia tiene que ver con todos los seres humanos, sean cristianos o judíos, ateos o agnósticos, budistas, musulmanes o adherentes a alguna de las filosofías o nuevas religiones que surgen en el mundo. ¿Por qué? Ver mayor información sobre este libro dinámico.


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Do Christians Need a College Education to Understand and Teach the Bible?

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The answer to the question of whether Christians should get or even need a college education tends to be influenced by the educational level of the individual responding. Those who answer in the negative tend neither to hold a college degree themselves nor to be promoters of pursuing any higher education at any school. Those who answer in the affirmative usually include graduates of secular and Christian schools. I myself hold an Associates degree in the area of Computer Science from a secular college and am ordained in ministry. Obviously, I'm a supporter of those who choose to pursue higher education. However, I also support the people who choose to be self-taught.

I remember a pastor of a small congregation recounting the time in his childhood when his engagement in a game of shooting marbles landed him a whipping by his father who was a pastor. What had the boy done wrong in playing marbles? Had he committed some sin? Sadly, his father believed he had and responded with punishment. The father had read one or all of the scriptures of I John 3:13 and St. John 3:7, 5:28 which all contain the words "marvel not". As ludicrous as it may seem, the boy's father, not being fully literate, confused "marvel" with "marble" and erroneously concluded that to shoot marbles was to sin.

The boy grew up to pastor a church. Although he was completely literate, he neither receive a quality high school education nor attended college. While he didn't make the mistakes his father made, nevertheless, he was ill equipped to pastor a church with very limited understanding of the Bible. Does this prove that Christians need a college education to understand and teach the Bible or to pastor a church? Does the Bible offer any counsel on the question? Of course it does.

God called people of all walks of life to be His servants. Some were educated, others were not. It's believed that God's servant Moses authored the first 5 books of the Old Testament. He certainly would have received the finest education having been raised by the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt and we know that the Egyptians had a writing system, hieroglyphics. The scripture of Acts 7:20-22 confirms this as it says, "In which time Moses was born and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months. And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds."

Luke, one of Jesus' apostles was a physician (Col. 4:14). Nevertheless, we are informed that Peter and John, also apostles, were not educated, at least not in the beginning of their ministry. The scripture of Acts 4:13 reads, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled and they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus." And how much education could the prophet John the Baptist have had having spent his life in the wilderness? Not much.

Obviously, a college education is not needed or required to be used by God whose word declares that, "...Not many wise men after the flesh (educated by the world), not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base (lowly) things of the world and things which are despised (held in low esteem) hath God chosen. Yea, and things which are not to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh (man) should glory in his presence" (I Cor. 1:26-29).

Anyone who thinks that his or her college degree in any subject, including seminary training, gives him comprehension of the Bible and the things of God fools himself. Likewise, anyone that thinks he can comprehend the Bible and the things of God while neglecting to get understanding also fools himself. The scenario with the pastor and his son is shameful and without excuse. God isn't going to do for you what you can do for yourself. Books are freely available at public libraries and almost every city in the United States has a free literacy program with volunteers waiting to help. The Internet can be accessed for free and is replete with free teaching materials. God's word neither specifically command His servants to go to college nor does it prohibit them from pursuing college degrees. What it does order is that all get understanding of His word. Natural things can be taught by natural methods while the spiritual things of God can only be taught by Him anyway. This is why the Bible says, "Get wisdom, get understanding. Forget it not..." (Prov. 4:5). Just as a college educated person would have known the difference between marvel and marble, so can anyone who isn't too lazy to pick up a dictionary or follow a literacy program do the same. Both would have had understanding in this particular case and would have been obedient to Proverbs 4:7 which forcefully reminds us that, "Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore, get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding."


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