Bible Teaching in Our School

Bible Teaching in Our Schools—l

The secret of successful teaching of the word of God lies in the character of the teacher.

By ALFRED F. J. KRANZ, Bible Teacher, Australasian Missionary College

We cannot adequately deal with the question of Bible teaching without a few words about the teacher, because the character of the teacher bears a powerful influence upon the student. The living Word can be ministered efficiently only through the agency of the living teacher. The influence of the teacher cannot be overestimated. Long after some piece of instruction has faded from the mind, the lesson learned through human personality will live on. The secret of successful teaching of the word of God lies in the character of the teacher. The very best methods will be unavailing in the win­ning of souls through the ministry of the Word if the life of the teacher is in contradiction to the ideals of that Word. It is written of the Master Teacher:

"What He taught, He was. His words were the expression, not only of His own life experience, but of His own character. Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching power."—"Education," pp. 78, 79.

The marks of a great teacher are strength of Christian character, power of personality, mastery of subject matter, force of conviction, and teaching technique. He must learn how to translate the truths of God's word into his own life, and then study how to transmute them into life in his students. If the teaching of other subjects demands a training in educa­tional theory and practice, the teaching of the Scripture certainly does also. The best work cannot be done by one who is ignorant of the principles of teaching.

It is not true that anyone can teach Bible. A person may be very successful as an evan­gelist, and yet make a poor Bible teacher. Too often the teaching of important Bible subjects has been placed in the hands of men and women who, although they were competent in their own particular profession, were incompetent as Bible teachers. The result is seen in the student. If it is to be soulsaving, the Bible lesson calls for thorough preparation in matter and method, accompanied by diligent heart preparation. I feel firmly convinced that if more attention were given to this necessary preparation, we would see more tangible re­sults for our labors. Our success is commen­surate with what we put into our work.

In dealing briefly with the method in Scrip­ture teaching, I wish to touch first of all on the matter of the place of the Bible in class instruction. What place should the teaching of the Bible occupy in the school curriculum? This question is answered in the Spirit of prophecy in the following statements:

"God's word must be made the groundwork and subject matter of education."—"Counsets to Teach­ers," p. 16.

"The Bible should be made the foundation of study and of teaching."—"Ministry of Healing," pp. 401, 402.

From these statements, we would conclude that the Bible has its place in the teaching of every class. As well as being the subject mat­ter, it is to be the groundwork of all study. Too often, I fear, we are inclined to confine the Bible to the Bible teacher and the Bible class. When the Bible class is finished for the day, and Scripture instruction is then out of the way,' as it were, we take the atti­tude that we can devote our attention to other studies. Such an attitude results in little more benefit than is afforded by the method of Bible instruction in State schools. Although we are not to turn our other classes into Bible classes, yet the influences and principles of the Scrip­ture should run, like a golden thread, through all our subjects.

The true Seventh-day Adventist teacher will not teach history, science, or literature as they are taught in the state schools. The principles of Bible truth will enter into all his teaching. The history teacher, for example, will find in the word of God a divine interpretation of his­tory, and will present it to his students in that light. The workings of a divine hand will be pointed out, the setting of history in its rela­tion to God's purpose will be studied, and the unfolding of Bible prophecy will be shown. What will it profit the student of history if he fails to recognize its relationship to Scrip­ture? What will it profit the student of sci­ence if he is unable to see the hand of the Creator? What has the master of literature gained if his compositions never breathe the spirit of the divine ? The Bible in the school is not to be sandwiched between other sub­jects, nor should it be permitted to push out other subjects, but it is to be foundational in its relationship to all subjects.

Reverting now to the Bible class, let us give our attention to the spirit of the classroom, for it is important that we create a proper atmos­phere for Scripture study. The Word is sacred and must be studied in a holy atmosphere. A holy atmosphere, however, must not be re­garded as stiff and formal. The spirit of the classroom should be bright and free, and yet respectful and reverent. Invite God's pres­ence to direct. Handle the sacred volume rev­erently, never carelessly. Speak the name of God respectfully. Never make light of Scrip­ture. Carefulness on the part of the teacher will weigh far heavier than exhortation. Speaking of the influence of reverent deport­ment upon his life, a missionary in South Africa wrote: "From the services in which I joined as a child, I have taken with me into life a feeling for what is solemn, and have discovered a need for a quiet self-recollection, without which I cannot realize the meaning of my life." __________ To be concluded in October


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By ALFRED F. J. KRANZ, Bible Teacher, Australasian Missionary College

September 1939

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Reducing Losses and Retaining Gains

How can we reduce our losses and retain our gains?

The Early and Latter Rain—No. 1

Biblical exposition help for your consideration.

Reaching the Women of India

Can we not get a vision from this of one way to break down prejudice against Christianity and build up strong favorable impres­sions?

Training an African Ministry

It is now more than forty-five years since our mission work began among the Afri­can people. Ever since, it has been the object of our missionaries to train the Af­rican to bear responsibility.

Personality Involves A Pleasing Voice

Probably no greater compliment was ever paid to a man than Mark paid to Jesus when he wrote, "The common people heard Him gladly." But it was not only what Jesus had to say; it was also how He said it, that caused the common people to hear Him gladly.

Are You Hitting at Nothing?

A Searching Question for Each Worker

Music in Present-Day Evangelism

Music is a handmaiden of religion.

Qualifications of Ministers

Vital "Testimony" Counsels

Three Schools of Prophetic Interpretation

There are three leading systems of prophetic interpretation current in the reli­gious world. Each of these systems has many eminent advocates, and each group, of course, thinks its own system to be the only correct one.

Editorial Keynotes

True Friends Greatly Needed

Fundamental Advertising Principles

Behind every method for bringing goods to the notice of the public are certain sound principles.

The President's Leadership

The wise president, with the interests of the young people pulsating in his heart, will seek to know the youth

The Missionary Nurse in Burma

It is my firm conviction that no class of worker has filled a more useful place in the Lord's work in Burma than has the consecrated missionary nurse.

Maintaining Rhythm in Digestion*

Perhaps no laws of physiology are more commonly disregarded than those relating to digestion.

Institute at Paradise Valley

I have always wanted to be in some type of work where I could help our own church members learn the principles of proper diet and healthful living, so that they could prac­tice these principles in their homes. My op­portunity came when I had the privilege of conducting the nutrition classes in connection with the institute for church workers held at Paradise Valley Sanitarium in April of this year.

Loma Linda Nutrition School

A report from a recent institute held at Loma Linda from April 9 to 13.

Faithfulness in Health Reform

If ever there was a time that required and demanded the top point of efficiency in activities and endeavors, the present day does.

Clean and Unclean Meats

The question arises, Is there confusion in teaching that the record of clean and unclean meats of Leviticus II should be observed today, and at the same time teaching that the ceremonial law as a whole is done away with?

Dealing With the Tobacco Habit

Many of the men and women who come to our meetings, and have a desire to accept God's message, are apparently help­lessly bound by the tobacco habit. How can they find help?

Hebrew as a Tool Language

Our belief in the inspiration of the Bible makes the study of Hebrew particularly signifi­cant.

Editorial Postscripts

From the Ministry back page.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - Healthy and Happy Family - Skyscraper 160x600