New Testament Word Studies – Anatrepho, Ektrepho, Paideou, Paideia

These words describe the bringing up and education of children. Their difference in meaning can be clearly seen in the accounts of the education of Moses and Paul. Anatrepho has to do largely with the physical side of a child’s upbringing, its rearing, nourishing and physical development. So Moses was brought up {anatrepho) first by his parents and then by Pharaoh’s daughter, Acts 7. 20, 21. But in addition he received an advanced education on the moral and intellectual side: he was educated (paideuo) in all the culture of the Egyptians, Acts 7. 22. Similarly, Paul, though born in Tarsus, was brought up {anatrepho) in Jerusalem, and then at the feet of Gamaliel was educated strictly according to the law of his fathers, Acts 22. 3. Incidentally, Jewish custom obliged his father to have him taught a trade as well as Bible-knowledge.
Both ideas are taken over and used of the education that God gives to us as His children either directly or through the agency of others. Ektrepho is used of Christ, who nourishes and nurtures the Church as a man cares for his own body, Eph. 5. 29, and as a Christian father ought to nurture {ektrepho) his children, Eph. 6.4. Paideuo covers all His instruction which consists not merely in the impartation of knowledge but in the training and development of right attitudes and habits, the formation of character. So the Word of God is profitable for instruction, i.e. (paideia) training in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3. 16; and senior women are to train the young women, Titus 2. 4. Then because such training often requires the correction of wrong ideas as well as the inculcation of right ones, paideuo takes on the meaning ‘correction’. The Lord’s servant must in meekness ‘instruct’ (a.v.), ‘correct’ (R.v.) those that oppose themselves, 2 Tim. 2. 25. And when God so corrects us, He may sometimes impose a strict discipline and that discipline may involve suffering, chastisement and scourging. We are told that God used the persecutions which the Jewish Christians suffered as an educative discipline: ‘It is for chastening, for educative discipline that ye endure’, Heb. 12. 7; and on another occasion He used the attacks of Satan in order that Hymenaeus and Alexander might be taught not to blaspheme, 1 Tim. 1. 20.
While such chastisement can never be enjoyable, we are assured it is an expression of the love of the Father, Heb. 12. 6, 11 and of Christ, Rev. 3. 19, who for our sakes not only permitted Himself to be chastized by Pilate, Luke 23. 16, but bore from God’s hand the chastisement that brought our peace, Isa. 53. 5.

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