Can no longer be expected today. As proof, here are the opening remarks on Genesis 1:1 from the 1914 Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges:
1. In the beginning] B’rêshîth: LXX ἐν ἀρχῇ: Lat. in principio. This opening word expresses the idea of the earliest time imaginable. It contains no allusion to any philosophical conception of “eternity.” The language used in the account of Creation is neither that of abstract speculation nor of exact science, but of simple, concrete, and unscientific narrative.
First, students then could be expected, even at the ‘high school’ level, to know enough Greek and Hebrew to read the text in it. That can no longer be presumed even of Seminary graduates today! Not to mention high school or college students.
The opening words of John’s Gospel (ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, 1:1) are based upon this clause. But, whereas St John refers to the Word’s eternal pre-existence before time, the Hebrew writer simply speaks of “the beginning” of the universe as the historic origin of time and space.
Second- students could be expected to be biblically literate. Not so any longer.
In the Hebrew Bible the book of Genesis is called “B’rêshîth,” deriving its title from this first word.
God] Elohim: LXX ὁ Θεός: Lat. Deus. See Introduction on “The Names of God.” The narrative begins with a statement assuming the Existence of the Deity. It is not a matter for discussion, argument, or doubt. The Israelite Cosmogony differs in this respect from that of the Babylonians, Phoenicians, Egyptians, &c. The Cosmogonies of the ancients were wont to be preceded by Theogonies. The existence and nativities of the creating divinities were accounted for in mythologies which were often highly complicated, and not seldom grotesque. The Hebrew narrator, by beginning with the Creation, emphasizes his entire freedom from, and exclusion of, polytheistic thought. If Polytheism had existed in the earliest Hebrew times, it had been abandoned in the growing light of the Israelite religion. “God” is infinite; He was before all time: “In the beginning God created.” Upon the subject of the Divine Existence prior to “the beginning” the writer does not presume to speculate. That Israelite imagination did not wholly avoid the subject, we know from Job 28:25–28, Prov. 8:22–30, Wisd. 9:9, Ecclus. 24:9.
Third, they could be presumed to know ‘big words’ like ‘theogony’. Pop that into a discussion with a high school or college student these days and you’ll get a blank stare. But at least, thank God, they know the word ‘selfie’…
Concerning the Israelite conception of God (Elohim), we learn (1) from the present verse, that He (i) is a Person, and (ii) exists from all eternity; (2) from the whole passage, 1:1–2:4a, that He is (i) supreme in power, and (ii) perfect in wisdom and goodness. The attribute of power is shewn in creative omnipotence; that of wisdom in the orderly sequence of creation; that of goodness in the benevolent purpose which directed its successive phases.
Fourth, they could be expected to follow a philosophically intense line of reasoning. Yeah, today? Forget about it.
Many speak these days of the advances made in science and technology but the fact is, people today are less educated and less well read and less informed than they were a mere hundred years ago.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it for a while.