The Bible School That Really Helps You
WOULD you like to increase your knowledge and understanding of the Word of God, the Bible? Do you have questions on the Bible that you would like to have answered? Would you like to improve your ability to communicate with others? If so, then you are to be commended.
To satisfy your desire for understanding of the Scriptures, you may have attended a church Bible school. But perhaps it was short-lived, lasting only a few weeks, as has been the case with many such classes. Or it may be that you are currently studying the Bible with one of Jehovah’s witnesses in your own home but have never attended their Kingdom Hall meetings. In either case you would greatly benefit from attending the Theocratic Ministry School. What is it?
In English-speaking lands this school has been in operation for more than twenty-five years, and at present it provides regular sessions in more than 25,000 congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the world. It is a school in which anyone who attends, male or female, can enroll free of charge. Uniquely its students never graduate, nor do they want to graduate. They thoroughly enjoy the school program and, being progressive in outlook, they appreciate the need to keep on learning and improving their skills.
The Teaching Program
Each year a new teaching schedule is prepared. The schedule for 1970 presents the most interesting and helpful program ever arranged.
All who attend the school will be reading the Christian Greek Scriptures (“New Testament”) using a modern-language translation that helps them to get acquainted with the sense of the Greek Bible text. In the left-hand column of the Bible being used, there is the best Greek text available, that of Westcott and Hort, in the koineʹ Greek in which these Scriptures were originally written. Under each Greek word there appears the basic meaning of the word in English. Then in the right-hand column there is a modern-English translation. Thus each reader, even without any prior knowledge of Greek, can get to know for himself the flavor and force of that original Bible tongue. Each week three to seven chapters of this Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures will be considered.
There will also be short talks given each week to acquaint those present with enlightening and fascinating background information about persons, places, plants, animals and many significant events mentioned in the Bible. These presentations will help to make the Bible accounts come to life for those who hear them. The purpose of the talks, however, is not only to increase one’s Bible knowledge and understanding, but also to enlarge one’s heart appreciation for the Bible’s Author, Jehovah God.
Very helpful also will be the talks based on the theme ‘The Bible really is the Word of God.’ How many persons would like to have proof for that! Each week there will be a talk on this general theme. Among the subjects to be discussed will be “Genesis Account of Creation—Fact or Fiction?”, “Was There an Earth-wide Flood?” and “Is the Bible Practical for Our Day?” How strengthening to your faith in the Bible as the Word of God the answers to such questions will prove to be!
The program of the school includes a five-minute review on the previous week’s main talk, followed by a fifteen-minute main talk on some basic Bible subject, delivered by a well-qualified Christian minister. This is then followed by four student talks based on material of the type described above.
By attending and paying close attention you will gain much accurate knowledge based on the Bible and find answers to ever so many questions about the Bible that you may have wondered about. Of course, you will get much more out of the school if you prepare in advance by going over the assignments at home, in particular being certain to read the assigned Bible chapters each week.
So that you will better remember what you have learned, every four or five weeks there will be an evening set aside for written review. This will enable you to keep check on what you have learned. You need not hesitate to take this review because of fear of a poor mark, for you will be correcting your own paper and will not be asked to turn it in. So others will not know just how well you did unless you choose to tell them.
Benefits Derived from the School
Many are the benefits that you and your family will derive from attending this school. For example, the New York Times, September 28, 1969, called attention to the seriousness of the reading situation in the United States. It reported that, according to James E. Allen, Jr., the new United States Commissioner of Education, one-third of the schoolchildren in the United States read below their grade level. But does this situation exist among the Witnesses? No, it does not. Why not? Primarily because of the Bible-reading program of their Theocratic Ministry School. Thus a mother in Ottumwa, Iowa, told that her fourth-grade child had a second-grade reading ability until he took part in the Theocratic Ministry School’s Bible-reading program as carried out at home. Then within three months he advanced to fourth-grade reading ability, to the amazement of his schoolteacher.
In the Theocratic Ministry School, in addition to learning to read well, students also learn to communicate clearly with others. Time and again its youthful students have been highly commended by their secular schoolteachers because of their ability to present interesting material in an effective manner. Thus a schoolteacher in the Caribbean island of Grenada asked a young Witness if he had ever heard his voice on a tape recorder. When the youth replied that he had not, the teacher asked him to do some talking. The youth gave a sermon on the subject “Life in God’s New Order.” The teacher was visibly impressed. “You surprise me, young man! You speak so meaningfully and coherently for your age. You will make a good speaker in the future.” The youth credited his ability to the training he received in the Theocratic Ministry School.
Likewise testifying to the value of this school is the incident that took place in a Luzon town in the Philippines. There the school officials asked local religious leaders to supply a speaker for an anniversary program. They declined because of not having received notice far enough ahead of time to prepare properly. Finally, on the very day of the celebration the school officials decided to ask the Witnesses to supply a speaker, and a young Witness minister responded. As the program had already begun, he at once changed from his work clothes and accompanied them. He spoke for forty minutes on the subject “Meeting the Problems of Today’s Youth.” Later, when the main guest speaker, the chief school official of the entire province, got up to speak, he complimented the young Witness and said: “If I gave the speech I had prepared I would only be repeating what this young man said, and I would probably not do as well.”
The wondering school faculty later asked how this Witness, an ordinary workingman, could speak so well before a distinguished audience. Yes, it was because of his attending the Theocratic Ministry School at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As the apostles had learned from Jesus, he had learned at this school.—Acts 4:13.
Enrolling as a Student
Of course, if you enroll as a student and give talks regularly you will benefit most. This you are invited to do if you are a regular attender at these meetings. By preparing and giving talks not only will you gain much Bible information but you will also receive training in composition and in speaking before others.
Thus, after you have prepared and delivered your talk, the one in charge of the school or his assistant will kindly counsel you on your talk. He will discuss such aspects as the manner in which you covered the subject and whether it was logically and coherently developed. Also, did you have an appropriate introduction, and a fitting conclusion? Did you make good use of your time, neither running short nor running overtime?
You will also receive fine counsel on your manner of speaking. This will cover such factors as enthusiasm, modulation in pitch, pace and volume, sense stress and pronunciation. In a kind and upbuilding way you will be shown how you can improve.
Should you want help in preparing your talks, feel free to ask for it. This you can receive right at the Kingdom Hall at the close of the meetings or at your own home, if you prefer, at a convenient time. This aid is free, in keeping with Jesus’ command: “You received free, give free.”—Matt. 10:8.
So, if you would like to increase your understanding of God’s Word, if you would like to improve your ability to communicate to others what you have learned, if you are conscious of your spiritual need, then attend the Theocratic Ministry School at the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. You will be welcome there, as are all sincere searchers for truth and righteousness.