Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly®

Truth

from the Responsive Reading

II Samuel 22:2, 3

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 

Often compared with Hannah’s song in First Samuel 2:1–10, David’s psalm of thanksgiving serves as a final review of God’s protection and power in his life. To the rock and horn metaphors in the earlier poem, David adds fortress, shield, and tower images. (A slightly different version of this poem is found in Psalm 18.)

Horn can refer to musical instruments or animals’ horns, but its biblical use is largely symbolic. From projections at the altar of incense in the Temple, to Daniel’s visions and the inspiration of the Revelator, horns represent might, vigor, and strength (see Exodus 30:2Daniel 7:7, 8Revelation 13:117:12).

from Section 1

1 | Deuteronomy 32:3, 4

Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Translation

Join with me in praising
the wonderful name
     of the LORD  our God.
The LORD  is a mighty rock,
     and he never does wrong.
God can always be trusted
     to bring justice.

—Contemporary English Version

2 | Psalms 146:5, 6

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.

A commentary notes that happiness “is not the absence of pain and trouble, but the presence of a God who . . . acts on behalf of the afflicted and the oppressed.” 

These verses convey two essential Hebrew views of God, as deliverer and creator. The phrase “which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is” recalls Moses’ words about the Fourth Commandment: “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). This language appears again in praise of God in Acts 4:24 and 14:15.

3 | Psalms 119:151, 152, 169 

Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. . . . give me understanding according to thy word.

Translation

. . . you are with me,
and all of your commands
     can be trusted. 
From studying your laws,
I found out long ago
     you made them to last forever. . . .
Please, LORD,  hear my prayer
and give me the understanding
     that comes from your word.

—Contemporary English Version

from Section 2

5 | Psalms 31:1, 2, 5

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. . . . Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

Translation

LORD,  I have come to you for safety.
     Don’t let me ever be put to shame.
     Save me, because you do what is right.
Pay attention to me.
     Come quickly to help me.
Be the rock I go to for safety.
     Be the strong fort that saves me. . . .
Into your hands I commit my very life.
     LORD,  set me free. You are my faithful God.

—New International Reader’s Version

6 | I Kings 18:46

The hand of the Lord was on Elijah.

God’s supremacy is clear throughout Elijah’s ministry. At this time, the prophet has just proved this power in his contest with the prophets of Baal and in his prediction of rain in the midst of a drought (see vv. 21–46). Now he once more demonstrates God’s might, running ahead of King Ahab’s chariot all the way to Jezreel, a distance of about 17 miles (27 km).

7 | I Kings 17:8, 9, 17–19, 22–24

The word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. . . . And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. . . . And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

Zidon—also called Sidon—was the hometown of Jezebel, whose marriage to King Ahab brought the Baal cult to Israel (see I Kings 16:30–33).

The mother in this story has already witnessed God’s loving care in Elijah’s reversal of her destitution (see vv. 10–16). Here, though, she assumes that God has taken her son, attributing this to wrongdoing on her part. God’s truth—and her innocence—are made plain to the widow with the healing of her boy, and she unhesitatingly acknowledges His Word. (Centuries later, Christ Jesus decisively denies the theological doctrine of divine retribution, declaring that the works of God would be made evident in the cure of a blind man; see John 9:2, 3.)

from Section 3

8 | Isaiah 28:16

Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.

Translation

. . . this is what the Sovereign LORD  says:
“Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem,
      a firm and tested stone.
It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.”

—New Living Translation

9 | Proverbs 22:17, 19–21

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. . . . That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

Translation

Pay attention and listen to what wise people say. 
     Remember what I am teaching you. . . .
I am teaching them to you now
     so that you will put your trust in the Lord.
I have written down 30 sayings for you.
     They give knowledge and good advice.
I am teaching you true and reliable words.
     Then you can give true answers to anyone who asks.

—International Children’s Bible

Many sources believe the original text referred to “thirty sayings”—an allusion to 22:22–24:34, which is thought to contain that number of proverbs (mostly 2–3 verses each). Included is such counsel as “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom” (23:4) and “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established” (24:3).

10 | Matthew 8:5–10, 13

When Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. . . . And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

As a Roman officer, this soldier understands the Savior’s authority in terms of his own military command. (His use of the title Lord likely indicates respect rather than awareness of Jesus’ Messianic status.) 

This is the first scriptural account of Jesus recognizing faith, and of his healing a Gentile. Later he commends the faith of another Gentile, the Canaanite woman seeking healing for her daughter (see Matthew 15:28). Other examples of faith occur in the Gospels, but here the Master endorses the confidence that needs no touch or outward sign. (Jesus also marvels at the absence of faith; see Mark 6:6.)

from Section 4

12 | Luke 6:20, 35–37, 46–48

He lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. . . . Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: . . . And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Jesus speaks these words in what is called the Sermon on the Plain. While it closely corresponds to the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew, chaps. 5–7), this address is viewed by most commentaries as distinct in its occasion, its audience, and some of its content. At this point the Master is talking privately to his disciples, not to a large crowd. His message is briefer, about a third of the length of his message on the Mount. He includes several beatitudes (see Luke 6:20–23), four warnings (see vv. 24–26), and almost two dozen instructions on Christly behavior (see vv. 27–49).

Bible authorities agree that Luke’s text “Blessed be ye poor”—rendered “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in Matthew 5:3—doesn’t mean that poverty itself is a source of blessing. One explains: “. . . Christ’s offer of the kingdom of God is not a promise to every poor person. Rather it is a statement about the future condition of those who humbly choose to follow Him.”

Matthew’s Gospel records the parable of the house built on a rock as well (see 7:24–27), but Luke adds the detail of deep digging to ensure a strong foundation. Some sources see Matthew focusing on the site, Luke on the building of the base.

13 | John 8:31, 32

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Translation

Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teaching. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

—Common English Bible

from Section 5

14 | Psalms 61:1, 2

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Translation

Hear my cry, O God;
     listen to my prayer!
In despair and far from home
     I call to you!
Take me to a safe refuge,

—Good News Translation

This petition to God expresses heartfelt trust in Him in the midst of deep distress. “From the end of the earth” may allude to a physical range, the imminence of death, or a sense of isolation from God. One scholar suggests, “He measures his distance from [God’s dwelling] not by miles but by the intensity of his yearning to be there.”

15 | Psalms 56:3

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

The backstory of David’s confession is the period of danger from King Saul and the Philistines (see I Samuel 21:10–15). One scriptural expert observes: “. . . the psalmist professes that true security is a divine gift rather than a human achievement. The fundamental mistake of the wicked is their belief that they can make it on their own, that they can find hope in exploiting others . . . . The psalmist knows better. Because security is ultimately a gift from God, no human action can take it away.”

16 | Psalms 26:3

Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

Translation

I see your love, 
     and I live by your truth.

—New Century Version

17 | Matthew 14:22–33

Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Christ Jesus’ appearance on the stormy sea is recorded in all the Gospels but Luke (see also Mark 6:47–51John 6:16–21). Only Matthew, however, tells of Peter’s attempt to walk on the water. And only Matthew reports the disciples’ spontaneous profession “Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (14:33).

John’s Gospel hints at the context for Jesus’ decision to send the multitude away. After the feeding of five thousand with a small amount of bread and fish, the crowd apparently moves to crown him king (see John 6:15). The Master quells their action by separating himself and his disciples from them.

In ancient times, night was divided into four “watches,” beginning at sunset and ending at sunrise. “Fourth watch” indicates the last period of night, from 3 a.m. to dawn.

from Section 6

18 | II Timothy 2:19

The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.

Translation

. . . God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his,” . . .

—New Living Translation

Seals on foundation stones are thought to be inscriptions attesting to a building’s origin, character, or purpose. “The Lord knoweth them that are his” describes the community of believers and announces God’s intimate knowledge of them as the foundation of their faith. One source writes, “The words may be paraphrased: ‘He knows His own because He loves them;’ never will He cease to know them, but will keep them for ever and for ever.”

19 | Ephesians 2:19, 20, 22

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; . . . In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Translation

So you are no longer outsiders and strangers. You are citizens together with God’s people. You are also members of God’s family. You are a building that is built on the apostles and prophets. They are the foundation. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in the building. . . . And because you belong to him, you too are being built together. You are being made into a house where God lives through his Spirit.

—New International Reader’s Version

Cornerstones, the most basic structural elements, denote stability and dependability. Their first biblical mention is in God’s challenge to Job about the origins of the earth: “Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof?” (Job 38:6). Isaiah prophesies, “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16, citation 8; cited in I Peter 2:6).

“Chief corner stone” depicts Christ as the base of the unified faithful, “builded together” as God’s very dwelling place.


Read a related article, “ ‘The rock of my refuge’ ” by Eva-Maria Hogrefe, at jsh.christianscience.com/the-rock-of-my-refuge.

from the Responsive Reading

II Samuel 22:2, 3

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 

Often compared with Hannah’s song in First Samuel 2:1–10, David’s psalm of thanksgiving serves as a final review of God’s protection and power in his life. To the rock and horn metaphors in the earlier poem, David adds fortress, shield, and tower images. (A slightly different version of this poem is found in Psalm 18.)

Horn can refer to musical instruments or animals’ horns, but its biblical use is largely symbolic. From projections at the altar of incense in the Temple, to Daniel’s visions and the inspiration of the Revelator, horns represent might, vigor, and strength (see Exodus 30:2Daniel 7:7, 8Revelation 13:117:12).

from Section 1

2 | Psalms 146:5, 6

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.

A commentary notes that happiness “is not the absence of pain and trouble, but the presence of a God who . . . acts on behalf of the afflicted and the oppressed.” 

These verses convey two essential Hebrew views of God, as deliverer and creator. The phrase “which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is” recalls Moses’ words about the Fourth Commandment: “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). This language appears again in praise of God in Acts 4:24 and 14:15.

from Section 2

6 | I Kings 18:46

The hand of the Lord was on Elijah.

God’s supremacy is clear throughout Elijah’s ministry. At this time, the prophet has just proved this power in his contest with the prophets of Baal and in his prediction of rain in the midst of a drought (see vv. 21–46). Now he once more demonstrates God’s might, running ahead of King Ahab’s chariot all the way to Jezreel, a distance of about 17 miles (27 km).

7 | I Kings 17:8, 9, 17–19, 22–24

The word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. . . . And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. . . . And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

Zidon—also called Sidon—was the hometown of Jezebel, whose marriage to King Ahab brought the Baal cult to Israel (see I Kings 16:30–33).

The mother in this story has already witnessed God’s loving care in Elijah’s reversal of her destitution (see vv. 10–16). Here, though, she assumes that God has taken her son, attributing this to wrongdoing on her part. God’s truth—and her innocence—are made plain to the widow with the healing of her boy, and she unhesitatingly acknowledges His Word. (Centuries later, Christ Jesus decisively denies the theological doctrine of divine retribution, declaring that the works of God would be made evident in the cure of a blind man; see John 9:2, 3.)

from Section 3

9 | Proverbs 22:17, 19–21

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. . . . That thy trust may be in the Lord, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?

Many sources believe the original text referred to “thirty sayings”—an allusion to 22:22–24:34, which is thought to contain that number of proverbs (mostly 2–3 verses each). Included is such counsel as “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom” (23:4) and “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established” (24:3).

10 | Matthew 8:5–10, 13

When Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. . . . And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

As a Roman officer, this soldier understands the Savior’s authority in terms of his own military command. (His use of the title Lord likely indicates respect rather than awareness of Jesus’ Messianic status.) 

This is the first scriptural account of Jesus recognizing faith, and of his healing a Gentile. Later he commends the faith of another Gentile, the Canaanite woman seeking healing for her daughter (see Matthew 15:28). Other examples of faith occur in the Gospels, but here the Master endorses the confidence that needs no touch or outward sign. (Jesus also marvels at the absence of faith; see Mark 6:6.)

from Section 4

12 | Luke 6:20, 35–37, 46–48

He lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. . . . Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: . . . And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Jesus speaks these words in what is called the Sermon on the Plain. While it closely corresponds to the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew, chaps. 5–7), this address is viewed by most commentaries as distinct in its occasion, its audience, and some of its content. At this point the Master is talking privately to his disciples, not to a large crowd. His message is briefer, about a third of the length of his message on the Mount. He includes several beatitudes (see Luke 6:20–23), four warnings (see vv. 24–26), and almost two dozen instructions on Christly behavior (see vv. 27–49).

Bible authorities agree that Luke’s text “Blessed be ye poor”—rendered “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in Matthew 5:3—doesn’t mean that poverty itself is a source of blessing. One explains: “. . . Christ’s offer of the kingdom of God is not a promise to every poor person. Rather it is a statement about the future condition of those who humbly choose to follow Him.”

Matthew’s Gospel records the parable of the house built on a rock as well (see 7:24–27), but Luke adds the detail of deep digging to ensure a strong foundation. Some sources see Matthew focusing on the site, Luke on the building of the base.

from Section 5

14 | Psalms 61:1, 2

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

This petition to God expresses heartfelt trust in Him in the midst of deep distress. “From the end of the earth” may allude to a physical range, the imminence of death, or a sense of isolation from God. One scholar suggests, “He measures his distance from [God’s dwelling] not by miles but by the intensity of his yearning to be there.”

15 | Psalms 56:3

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

The backstory of David’s confession is the period of danger from King Saul and the Philistines (see I Samuel 21:10–15). One scriptural expert observes: “. . . the psalmist professes that true security is a divine gift rather than a human achievement. The fundamental mistake of the wicked is their belief that they can make it on their own, that they can find hope in exploiting others . . . . The psalmist knows better. Because security is ultimately a gift from God, no human action can take it away.”

17 | Matthew 14:22–33

Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Christ Jesus’ appearance on the stormy sea is recorded in all the Gospels but Luke (see also Mark 6:47–51John 6:16–21). Only Matthew, however, tells of Peter’s attempt to walk on the water. And only Matthew reports the disciples’ spontaneous profession “Of a truth thou art the Son of God” (14:33).

John’s Gospel hints at the context for Jesus’ decision to send the multitude away. After the feeding of five thousand with a small amount of bread and fish, the crowd apparently moves to crown him king (see John 6:15). The Master quells their action by separating himself and his disciples from them.

In ancient times, night was divided into four “watches,” beginning at sunset and ending at sunrise. “Fourth watch” indicates the last period of night, from 3 a.m. to dawn.

from Section 6

18 | II Timothy 2:19

The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.

Seals on foundation stones are thought to be inscriptions attesting to a building’s origin, character, or purpose. “The Lord knoweth them that are his” describes the community of believers and announces God’s intimate knowledge of them as the foundation of their faith. One source writes, “The words may be paraphrased: ‘He knows His own because He loves them;’ never will He cease to know them, but will keep them for ever and for ever.”

19 | Ephesians 2:19, 20, 22

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; . . . In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Cornerstones, the most basic structural elements, denote stability and dependability. Their first biblical mention is in God’s challenge to Job about the origins of the earth: “Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof?” (Job 38:6). Isaiah prophesies, “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16, citation 8; cited in I Peter 2:6).

“Chief corner stone” depicts Christ as the base of the unified faithful, “builded together” as God’s very dwelling place.


Read a related article, “ ‘The rock of my refuge’ ” by Eva-Maria Hogrefe, at jsh.christianscience.com/the-rock-of-my-refuge.

Resources quoted in this issue

Cits. 2, 15: Keck, Leander E., et al., eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 3, Introduction to Hebrew Poetry, Job, Psalms, Introduction to Wisdom Literature, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Nashville: Abingdon, 2015.

Cit. 12: Radmacher, Earl D., Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House. The NKJV Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.

Cit. 14: Perowne, John J.S., Alexander F. Kirkpatrick, Frederic H. Chase, Reginald St. John Parry, and Alexander Nairne, eds. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. 58 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1882–1922. Also available at biblehub.com/commentaries.

Cit. 18: Ellicott, Charles John, ed. A Bible Commentary for English Readers by Various Writers. London: Cassell, 1897–1905. Also available at studylight.org/commentaries.

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