The Interpretation of Scripture

Richard Henry Dana

The study of the Bible in the light of Christian Science is an awakening to the spiritual meaning of the creation which the divine Mind knows. Often the true metaphysical idea shines through faltering human words as light breaks through clouds. It is always the idea of infinite Mind which the student must seek and not merely the intention of the original chronicler or of a translator coloring his version with his own preconceptions. From the beginning of one's interest in Christian Science, one needs to knows that divine intelligence and its expression are what one is turning to through study, reasoning, and practice. To the one with this right attitude, old phrases will take on fresh significance, since the inspiration of infinite Principle is infinitely manifest. Because no single human interpretation is all there is to true interpretation, each student is entitled to get from the Bible exactly the right meaning to bless him by dispelling just so much false belief that had suggested itself to be his; but because he catches a glimpse of Truth and phrases for himself this glimpse in words that satisfy him, he need not insist that every one else accept that phrasing as the whole expression of Truth.

Thus there is that kind of Biblical interpretation which depends entirely or in part on a literal rendering of the original words as they appear in the Hebrew or Greek, or rather in special Biblical dialects of those languages. This may be more or less profitable; but even those scholars who have reasoned out the meaning of the original words have disagreed and in their disagreement have expressed their various opinions in their renderings. It requires, therefore, metaphysical discernment to see Truth's idea in place of human concepts, for, as Mrs. Eddy says on page 241 of Science and Health, "Take away the spiritual signification of Scripture, and that compilation can do no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice."

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