Western Education Greek versus Hebrew Educational Style

The Western education system concentrates on the left-brain. We worship at the altar of rationalism. In fact we focus so much on rational, left-brained that after only two years in school our children are from 92% testing high in creativity to only 10%. By the time we reach adulthood, only 2% still test highly in creativity.

In addition to rationalism permeating the western educational style, western education has adopted the Greek view of knowledge rather than the Hebrew view of knowledge.

Adam and Eve faced a similar choice in Garden of Eden. There were two lifestyles available to Adam and Eve, one represented by the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” and the other by the “Tree of Life.” The tree of knowledge of good and evil, of course, was forbidden. However, satan tempted Eve, saying, “If you eat of it…you shall be as God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:6). In other words, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil led to our relying on our own understanding, our own rationalism, as opposed to the Tree of Life which relied on God for our understanding and granted a creative “flow” of sap within as we abide in Christ.

The Greeks believed in detached knowledge, and having a speculative interest in the ideas being presented (i.e. eating from the Tree of Knowledge).

The Hebrews believed that one must have a personal encounter with the truth, and that one must respond to the revelation of God in the area (i.e. eating from the Tree of Life).

So, for the Greeks, learning could be an activity of just the mind. However, for the Hebrews, learning was an action of the heart. The “goal of instruction” for the Hebrew was “love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5). From God flows the learning which engages the whole brain and brings both understanding and creativity. These particular heart experiences were those required of the believer who wanted to draw near to God and receive divine flow from Him

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Heb. 10:22.

The Greek educational process will therefore tend to lead one away from God and thus away from the flow of divine creativity. The Hebrew educational process will lead one toward an ongoing interaction with the Spirit of Almighty God, and therefore, increasing creativity. If one wants to excel in the Arts, and be able to release to the world the movement of God, than he should search out training which will be Hebrew in nature.

I’ll continue to examine this idea of Greek vs Hebrew education styles in additional articles I’ll be releasing. Look for the article, “Where Does Christian Creativity Come From?”

Mark Virkler is with Christian Leadership University. CLU is a Christian University and Online Bible College offering Christian education including Christian counseling and Christian theology seminaries and offers certificates, undergrad, Masters, and Doctorates in the various Christian colleges of CLU.

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