“If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, if we imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten to all eternity.” – Daniel Webster
Throughout history, biblical faith has been the driving force for the growth of excellence in education. With the exception of the Hebrews, the ancient world had no conception of education for the common man. Scholarship was the sole property of the class-conscience elite of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Our Lord tore open the veil of educational elitism when He said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” He taught that everyone, including children, must know Him through His written Word (John 8:31). Christians spearheaded the cause of literacy from the time of the early Church through the Middle Ages. Monasteries and schools were established, and eventually the first universities were started for the purpose of Christian and classical training at Cambridge, Paris, and Bologna.
With the invention of the printing press and the start of the Protestant Reformation a paradigm shift took place in education. The Bible, for the first time in history, could be purchased and read by the average family, and reformers like Martin Luther and William Tyndale made certain it was available in the common language of the people. For the purpose of scholarly study of the Bible, schools and universities were founded throughout Europe. For the very first time books by Shakespeare and Milton, and books on science and civil government, could be found in thousands of homes, being read by candlelight.
[Read the rest of the article at World History Institute.]