Saturday, August 30, 2008

Studying the Christian Science Textbooks

Any student of Christian Science doubtless knows that he cannot increase his understanding of Science vicariously. But there may be a resistance, subtle or not so subtle, to studying the King James Bible, Science and Health, and the other writings of Mary Baker Eddy. An effort to officially supplement or even replace the KJV in church services is already afoot. There have even been rumors that updating S&H has been discussed in recent years.

The KJV was consciously written in a style that was passe when it was published in 1611, so it should be no surprise that some effort is needed to make sense of many passages. With the help of a good modern translation or two and a good commentary or two it can be done. No modern translation, however, has surpassed the KJV in its timeless majesty and beauty.

Even S&H contains language and references which are not always congenial to the modern reader, but there are no insurmountable verbal obstacles. S&H is the final, inviolable, complete statement of Christian Science. If one utilizes the Student's Dictionary referred to in an earlier entry, he can better learn the meaning of words as Mrs. Eddy doubtless intended, even the meaning of words he thought was evident. If one is disturbed by Mrs. Eddy's references to 19th Century medical practices or illnesses no longer common, it isn't a barrier to grasping her meaning. The aim is to arrive at a spiritual sense and understanding of this amazing book, not to fuss over why she cites a case of dropsy.

If one is unwilling to study diligently these books as Mrs. Eddy definitely intended he certainly isn't hungering and thirsting for an understanding of Truth. The sincere, humble, grateful seeker will not be deterred or even fazed by any of these demands. And one must not lose sight of the fact that S&H is keyed to the KJV. They are a team.

Mortal mind will try to keep diligent as well as dilatory students away from these books by any subterfuge it can. All Christian Scientists should be alert to the wiles of mortal mind when it comes time for daily study of the textbooks.


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading this posting. As you point out so clearly, the King James Version of the Bible as well as "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy are a team, and need to be faithfully, daily, studied. I have found the rewards of doing this bring unimagined blessings!

Anonymous said...

If the King James Version of the Bible is what the Leader of the Christian Science church wanted read with her masterwork, "Science and Health", then by heaven, this is what I intend to stick with!

Anonymous said...

You said "Mortal mind will try to keep diligent as well as dilatory students away from these books by any subterfuge it can." I agree and this blog is a perfect example. Your motives are dangerous to our cause.