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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Do Jehovah's Witnesses Really Forbid Higher Learning (College Education)?

Contrary to what many opposers of Jehovah's Witnesses may say, the Watchtower and Bible Tract Society has never discouraged education.

Among Jehovah's Witnesses are dedicated workers and professionals of every sort, including university professors, doctors and other medical professionals, lawyers, and scientists. Here is just one example where one Jehovah's Witness' college education is promoted: 

A Nuclear Scientist Tells His Story (g04 1/22 pp. 19-23; Watchtower Online Library)

The Mischaracterization of Jehovah's Witnesses' Position Concerning Education

Opposers often attempt to mischaracterize Jehovah's Witnesses' position on this matter. College and education itself is not what is discouraged. Instead, the caution is placed on the attractiveness of the pursuit of wealth and the reminder of not losing focus on our main purpose as ministers.

From the 10/1/96 Watchtower, 'Providing for One's Household':

"There is no question that secular education has its advantages. But the Bible places a higher value upon a spiritual education, and God has given parents the responsibility to provide such instruction. (Deuteronomy 11:18, 19; Proverbs 3:13, 14)"

Also see: What Is the Best Education? - Benefit From the Best Education Available! (w05 10/15 pp. 4-7; Watchtower Online Library)

How much formal education Jehovah's Witnesses pursue is a personal, conscientious decision which each person makes for himself or herself. The WBTS has been consistent in encouraging parents and their children to decide for themselves how much formal education to pursue. Note this quote from the 9/1/75 Watchtower, Questions from Readers; "How many years of secular education are advisable for children in Christian households?":

"It is not our purpose here to set out rules for Christian households. Rather, suggestions are offered as guidelines. Let parents and youths plan together for an adequate secular education that will enable the young people to meet their life interests and goals in a wholesome, honorable way. The well-trained youths of today will become tomorrow’s mature, hardworking servants of Jehovah. A balanced view of education now can help to make their enjoyment of God’s spiritual paradise complete."


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