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Webster: Education for Christian Self-Government

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, October 2, 2017

America is a nation of self-governed individuals, but for the most part, we have forgotten that idea. How can we “remember” this key concept and return our nation to its true purpose—liberty under law with Christian self-government?

Noah Webster, founding father of American education, spent 60 years of his life writing books to help his country grow up in her independence. He became famous for The American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828. This book could be called the only Christian dictionary in the world, and it became the authority for the entire English-speaking world.

The final achievement in Noah Webster’s plan for American Christian education was the translation of the holy Bible from its original languages. Webster learned more than 28 different languages while he was working on the American Dictionary. These languages were those that unlocked the Bible, and Webster called this project “the most important enterprise of my life.” He then published an “American scriptures” for daily reading by Americans “correctly translated into their own language.”

Webster firmly believed that the scriptures were the basis of correct instruction and said, “Education is useless without the Bible.” He also stated that not only should the Bible be the basis for education, but also the basis for all institutions of our Republic because it is the only foundation for teaching character and conscience—the cornerstone of Christian self-government.

Today, American education has sadly slipped away from her mornings to that great anchor—the Christian religion as defined in the holy Scriptures. The American Christian plan of education established by Noah Webster is still our heritage today, and remains the answer to the dilemma of how to return our nation to its true purpose—liberty under law with Christian self-government.

Excerpted from Nation Makers: the Art of Self-Government, Rosalie J. Slater and Verna M. Hall, edited by Carole G. Adams. Previously published as Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government by Foundation for American Christian Education. “American Dictionary of the English Language”, p. 17.

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