How Important is Biblical History?

The first provision for the teaching of the pupils in our Sunday Schools, according to Section 2 of Article XX of the Church Manual by Mary Baker Eddy, is that they shall be taught the Scriptures. And in our textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 320), Mrs. Eddy tells us that "the one important interpretation of Scripture is the spiritual." Therefore in their Bible teaching Sunday School teachers above all else emphasize the spiritual interpretation. Yet not infrequently the question arises, How much attention should be given in Sunday School to the historical aspect of the Bible, and is it important that the pupils be informed regarding the chronological sequence of Biblical events?

Although Scriptural teaching is an essential requirement in our Sunday Schools, it is not required that the Scriptures shall be presented to the classes in strictly chronological sequence. Obviously it would not be practical to undertake such a thing, if from no other standpoint than that of the setup of our classes. To teach a consecutive historical course would require an arrangement like that of the public schools, where classes are formed according to the pupils' knowledge of the subjects to be covered. For example, pupils beginning in the second grade in day school have completed the requirements of the first grade; after completing the second grade, they move on to the third grade; and so on. Our classes are set up quite differently. Older pupils with little or no understanding of Christian Science often study in classes with boys and girls who have been in the Sunday School for a period of years. This is not a handicap, for the reason that our Sunday School teaches Christian Science, the law of God, and it is the nature of God's law to reach the thought of the pupil at his present stage of experience and progress. Just as our Lesson-Sermon when read in the church service feeds both the newcomer and the experienced student, so when studied in Sunday School it reaches in some degree the spiritual sense of the pupil regardless of the length of time he may have been studying Christian Science.

In reporting a sermon delivered by Mrs. Eddy, The Christian Science Journal printed the following statement (Vol. II. No. 12): "The material record of the Bible, she said, is no more important to our well-being than the history of Europe and America; but the spiritual application bears upon our eternal life." Biblical history illustrates the operation of divine law in human experience, and when considered in its spiritual import, it is valuable in teaching the lessons, for it helps the pupil to gain a better understanding of God and of the availability of God's law in his daily affairs.

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Testimony of Healing
Heart trouble yields rapidly to the truth
March 19, 1949

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