Bible Notes

[The Biblical citations given in the Christian Science Quarterly are from the Authorized King James Version. The Bible Notes in this column can be used, if deemed necessary, to elucidate some of the words or passages contained in the Bible Lessons. The Notes in this issue are related to the Lesson-Sermon designated to be read in Christian Science churches on September 21, 1941.]

"Forty days and forty nights" (Matt. 4:2)—There seems to be general agreement among scholars that the numeral "forty," as employed by the Biblical writers, was almost always used as "a round number"—"between 'a few' and 'a very great many,'" as Hastings puts it; while "forty years" was often taken as signifying "a generation."

"If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread" (Matt. 4:3)—It is of interest to note how closely this expression of doubt of the Master's sonship follows after the definite affirmation of it expressed by the divine voice as recorded in the concluding verse of chapter 3: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Thus, even from a literary point of view, there appears to be a close connection between the babtism experience and that of the temptation.

September 13, 1941

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