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Teach (1321) (didasko from dáo= know or teach; English = didactic; see study of related noun didaskalia and the adjective didaktikos) means to provide instruction or information in a formal or informal setting. In the 97 NT uses of didasko the meaning is virtually always to teach or instruct, although the purpose and content of the teaching must be determined from the context. John MacArthur writes that didasko refers to the passing on of information-often, but not necessarily, in a formal setting. It focused on content, with the purpose of discovering the truth-contrary to the forums so popular among Greeks, where discussion and the bantering about of various ideas and opinions was the primary concern (see Acts 17:21). Synagogue teaching, as illustrated by that of Jesus, was basically expository. Scripture was read and explained section by section, often verse by verse. (MacArthur, J: Matthew 1-7 Chicago: Moody Press or Logos) In another source MacArthur writes that didasko (and related words) In all the various forms, the root meaning carries with it the idea of systematic teaching or systematic training. It is the word that is used to refer to a choir director who trains a choir over a long period of rehearsals until they are able to perform. The gift of prophecy could be a one-time proclamation of Christ, but the gift of teaching is a systematic training problem to take a person from one point to another. What is the curriculum for the teacher? The Bible, the Word of God. The gift is to teach systematically the truth of God. It can be used with men—one on one, one on two, one on three, one on five thousand. It can be used with women—one on one, one on two, one on three, one on five thousand. It can be used by a lady in a little group of children. It can be used by a mother to a son. It can be used by a husband to his wife. It can be used in any conceivable way that the Spirit of God desires. It is the ability to pass on truth in a systematic progression so that someone receives it, implements it, and a change of behavior takes place. In fact, it is a gift that belongs to a lot more of us than we realize. (MacArthur, J. Spiritual Gifts. Includes index. Chicago: Moody Press) In Scripture to teach means to pass on the truth about the Word of God, the God of the Word and the faith of the saints, with the goal of influencing the understanding and stimulating obedience to the truth taught and resultant Spirit energized transformation and Christ-likeness. The essence of a disciple in fact is that he or she is a learner. The teacher teaches and the disciple hears and processes what is heard so that this truth affects his or her innermost being. Ultimately the purpose of didasko is to shape the will of the one taught. To teach means to cause to know, to help one to learn, to impart knowledge or skill, or to carry out the activity of instructing by precept or by practice. To teach is distinguished from to preach, the latter emphasizing the proclamation of the gospel to the non-Christian world. Teaching of sound doctrine is vital to stability of one's faith and spiritual growth and stability of one's faith, this vital role being clearly validated by our Lord Jesus Christ who was called Rabbi or Teacher more than any other name -- in fact the some 45 of the 58 NT uses of the Greek word for teacher (didaskalos) are used of Jesus (most of these referring to public teaching). In addition 47 of 97 occurrences of didasko are used in the Gospels to describe the activity of Jesus. Teaching was also a primary activity of the leaders of the early church. (see passages below from Acts) Rengstorf notes that didasko... Common from Homer, this word denotes teaching and learning in the wide sense of imparting theoretical and practical knowledge with the highest possible development of the pupil as the goal. There is little religious use, and the term has a strong intellectual and authoritative bearing. Thus it can also mean “to demonstrate.” When used in connection with choral training, it comes almost to have the sense “to perform.”... A novel feature in the Gospels is the absence of the intellectual emphasis which is common everywhere else among Greek writers (classical, postclassical, Hellenistic, and even Jewish Hellenistic), and which develops in rabbinic exegesis in an effort to check the disintegrating force of Hellenism, so that in some circles studying the law can be ranked higher than doing it. In this respect Jesus with his total claim represents what is perhaps a truer fulfilment of the OT concept. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans) NIDNTT writes that didasko... comes from di-dak-sko (root dek-, to accept, extend the hand to). The reduplicated stem and inchoative suffix convey the idea of repeatedly extending the hand for acceptance; the word therefore suggests the idea of causing someone to accept something. It occurs frequently in Greek from Homer onwards, and in the active voice means to teach, inform, instruct, demonstrate, prescribe; in the passive to be instructed, be taught; in the middle to learn for oneself, to think out, to master. In the active the word occurs chiefly with the accusative of the person (to teach someone) or with the accusative of the thing (to teach something), but also with the dative. It is clear that the word is used typically for the relationship between teacher and pupil, instructor and apprentice. What is taught may be knowledge, opinions or facts, but also artistic and technical skills, all of which are to be systematically and thoroughly acquired by the learner as a result of the repeated activity of both teacher and pupil. Herodotus also uses didasko to describe the work of the chorus-master (1, 23; 6, 21). The word is rarely found, however, to describe an activity of the gods. The aim of all teaching is to communicate knowledge and skill with a view to developing the pupil’s abilities.... (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan) William Arthur Ward wrote that... The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The real teacher inspires. John Milton (1608-74) summarized the importance of teaching when he wrote The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love and imitate Him. Spurgeon What gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds. We went to teach the Scriptures; we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. You must serve God with a single eye to the glory of God. If you attend a prayer-meeting, or teach a class, or preach a sermon, you must not do it with a view to your own selves in any way, or it cannot be accepted. We must teach more by our example than by our advice, or else we shall be poor pleaders for the right. Here are the 78 uses of didasko in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) (Deut 4:1, 10, 14; 5:31; 6:1; 11.19" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">11:19; 20.18" class="scriptRef">20:18; 31:19, 22; 32:44; Jdg. 3:2; 2 Sam. 1:18; 22:35; 1Chr. 5:18; 25:7; 2Chr. 17:7, 9; Ezra 7:10; Neh. 8:8; Job 6:24; 8:10; 10:2; 13:23; 21:22; 22:2; 32:8; 33.4" class="scriptRef">33:4, 33; 36:2; 37:19; 42:4; 34-Ps.18.35" class="scriptRef">Psalms 18:34, 35; 25:4, 5, 9; 34:11; 51:13; 71:17; 94:10, 12; 119:12, 26, 64, 66, 68, 99, 108, 124, 135, 171; 132:12; 143:10; 144:1; Prov. 1:23; 4:4, 11; 5:13; 6:13; 22:21; 30:3; Eccl. 12:9; Song 3:8; Isa. 9:15; 29:13; 55:12; Jeremiah 9:14, 20; 12:16; 13:21; 31:18, 34; 32:33; Ezek. 44:23; Dan. 1:4; 11:4; 12:4; Hos. 10:11) The TDNT comments on the OT uses of didasko writing that... While various kinds of instruction can be meant (cf. 2 Sa 22:35; Dt. 31:19), God’s will is the special object, with a volitional as well as an intellectual reference. God himself, the head of a house, or the righteous may do the teaching. As distinct from secular usage, where the aim is to develop talents, the OT relates teaching to the totality of the person. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans) Observe the frequent use of didasko in Psalm 119 every verse of this Psalm dealing with the some aspect of God's Word -- although it cannot be proven, it is fascinating that many think Ezra wrote Psalm 119). Notice how the psalmists use the imperative mood (Red = commands) in their prayers - they recognized their dependence of God's teaching and held nothing back in asking Him to teach them! May we as believers today go so boldly before His throne, pleading with ("commanding"!) Him to teach us His ways! Psalm 25:4 Make me know Thy ways, O LORD; Teach me Thy paths. 5 Lead me in Thy truth and teach (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) me, For Thou art the God of my salvation; For Thee I wait all the day...9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. Psalm 119:66 Teach (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Thy commandments. Psalm 143:10 Teach (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) me to do Thy will, For Thou art my God; Let Thy good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 144:1 A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; Proverbs 1:23 "Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known (Lxx = didasko) to you. Isaiah 29:13 (modified from Young's Literal) And the Lord saith: Because drawn near has this people, with its mouth, and with its lips they have honoured Me, and its heart it has put far off from Me, and their fear of Me is (consists of) a precept of men taught (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko)! Jeremiah 31:34 "And they shall not teach (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Jeremiah 32:33 "And they have turned their back to Me, and not their face; though I taught (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) them, teaching (Hebrew = lamad; Lxx = didasko) again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction. Ezekiel 44:23 "Moreover, they shall teach (Hebrew = yarah; Lxx = didasko) My people the difference between the holy and the profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. Here are the 97 uses of didasko in the 91 NT verses... Matthew 4:23 And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching (present tense = continually, His habitual practice, He taught as a lifestyle) in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. Comment: Observe how Jesus coupled teaching with proclamation of the Good News and how these activities took precedence over "signs and wonders". The modern church needs to be careful not to deviate from our Lord's pattern. Note that Whereas didasko relates to explaining a message, whereas proclaiming (kerusso) relates simply to announcing it. Matthew 5:2 (note) (Note Jesus is seated taking the normal posture of the Rabbis while teaching) And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying (the "Beatitudes") Matthew 5:19 (note) "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 7:29 (note) for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 9:35 And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Comment: Observe again as in Mt 4:23 Jesus' pattern. Matthew 11:1 And it came about that when Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. Comment: Observe again as in Mt 4:23 Jesus' pattern - "teach and preach". Matthew 13:54 And coming to His home town He began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they became astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these miraculous powers? Matthew 15:9 'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'" Matthew 21:23 And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" Matthew 22:16 And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. Matthew 26:55 At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. Comment: Observe it is not His signs and wonders He emphasizes but His teaching. Matthew 28:15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day. Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Comment: Context = Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples (aorist imperative = Do this now! Do it effectively! This is the urgent need!) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Observe it is not Jesus' signs and wonders which He emphasizes but teaching, and how teaching and obeying the teaching (cp to the "Ezra 710" principle which result in the good hand of the Lord upon his ministry) is His pattern for making disciples! Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. Mark 1:22 And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching (present tense = continuously) them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Mark 2:13 And He went out again by the seashore; and all the multitude were coming to Him, and He was teaching them. Mark 4:1 And He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very great multitude gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. Mark 4:2 And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, Mark 6:2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? Mark 6:6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching. Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. Mark 6:34 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Mark 7:7 'But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. Mark 9:31 For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, "The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later." Mark 10:1 And rising up, He went from there to the region of Judea, and beyond the Jordan; and crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them. Mark 11:17 And He began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations '? But you have made it a robbers' den." Mark 12:14 And they came and said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? Mark 12:35 And Jesus answering began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? Mark 14:49 "Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has happened that the Scriptures might be fulfilled." Luke 4:15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. Comment: Jesus' teaching is in accord with that of a typical teacher of the first century. In this section of Luke, taking place in Nazareth, Jesus reads Scripture, seated himself, and then expounded the passage. Luke 4:31 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching them on the Sabbath; Luke 5:3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the multitudes from the boat. Luke 5:17 And it came about one day that He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. Luke 6:6 And it came about on another Sabbath, that He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. Luke 11:1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach (aorist imperative = Do this now! This is the urgent need!) us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 13:10 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. Luke 13:22 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. Luke 13:26 "Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets'; Luke 19:47 And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, Luke 20:1 And it came about on one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, Luke 20:21 And they questioned Him, saying, "Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Luke 21:37 Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet. Luke 23:5 But they kept on insisting, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee, even as far as this place." John 6:59 These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. John 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. John 7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. John 7:35 The Jews therefore said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we shall not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He? John 8:2 And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. John 8:20 These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come. John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 9:34 They answered and said to him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they put him out. John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. Acts 1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, Acts 4:2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Acts 4:18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Acts 5:21 And upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates had come, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. Acts 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!" Acts 5:28 saying, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us." Acts 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Acts 15:1 And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Acts 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching, with many others also, the word of the Lord. Acts 18:11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Acts 15:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; Acts 20:20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, Acts 21:21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. Acts 21:28 (Young's Literal) crying out, 'Men, Israelites, help! this is the man who, against the people, and the law, and this place, all everywhere is teaching; and further, also, Greeks he brought into the temple, and hath defiled this holy place;' Acts 28:31 preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered. Romans 2:21 (note) you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal? Romans 12:7 (note) if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 1 Corinthians 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Comment: Note that Paul's teacher was the risen Lord Jesus Christ! Can you imagine the rapt attention of Paul when His Lord taught! Ephesians 4:21 (note) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, Colossians 1:28 (note) And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ. Colossians 2:7 (note) having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 3:16 (note) Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 1 Timothy 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 1 Timothy 4:11 Prescribe and teach (present imperative) these things. 1 Timothy 6:2 And let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach (present imperative) and preach these principles. 2 Timothy 2:2 (note) And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Titus 1:11 (note) who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain. Hebrews 5:12 (note) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Hebrews 8:11 (note) "And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 1 John 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. Revelation 2:14 (note) 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit acts of immorality. Revelation 2:20 (note) 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. "Copy and paste the address below into your web browser in order to go to the original page which will allow you to access live links related to the material on this page - these links include Scriptures (which can be read in context), Scripture pop-ups on mouse over, and a variety of related resources such as Bible dictionary articles, commentaries, sermon notes and theological journal articles related to the topic under discussion."

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