A book that heals
I learned to love the Bible, especially the stories about Jesus, as a young child growing up in a Christian family. When I was a teen, my study helped me relate many of the Bible figures to specific recorded events and to appreciate its beautiful, poetic language. However, it was after I became a student of Christian Science while at university that I learned to not only love the Bible but honor it. These days, I am finding that the Bible is the powerful, living Word of God, which, revealed in the light of spiritual understanding, heals.
Gaining the spiritual import of a Bible passage is prayer that can bring about healing. Take, for instance, part of a verse from the book of Hebrews: “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (4:12). Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy gives the spiritual meaning of the word sword as used in Scripture, which reads, in part, “The idea of Truth” (p. 595). Elsewhere Science and Health says: “Truth should, and does, drive error out of all selfhood. Truth is a two-edged sword, guarding and guiding” (p. 538).
Years ago, prayer led me to see this spiritual sense of the Hebrews passage when a long-standing problem with my mouth that often made eating difficult flared up once again. That insight inspired me to better understand, in some small way, the nature of God as Truth, knowing and preserving only what is true and good. Within moments of this realization, I felt a sharp twinge, and a hard object was dislodged from my mouth. There was a draining, and I was healed. The problem has never recurred.
Gaining the spiritual import of a Bible passage is prayer that can bring about healing.
This experience showed me that a spiritual understanding of the Bible does bring healing to human situations, just as it did in Jesus’ day. Jesus was intimately familiar with the Scriptures. He read and quoted from them in the synagogue and when interacting with others as he went about his healing ministry. Mrs. Eddy, herself an ardent student of the Bible, sought to understand its spiritual import. A lifelong love of the Bible and a dramatic healing of a severe injury led to her spending three years in consecrated study, searching the Scriptures to gain its underlying spiritual meaning. She discovered that there is a law of God, a demonstrable divine Science consistent with the Bible, that Jesus taught his disciples and practiced by healing multitudes. She spent further decades continuing to grow in her understanding and proof of this Science.
To be a Christian disciple today is to follow Jesus’ example, become more familiar with the timeless message of the Bible, gain its spiritual import, and prove that it heals when we adhere to its rules, which are fully stated in Science and Health. This textbook does not, and cannot, take the place of the Bible. It is not designed to do so. As its full title indicates, it unlocks the Bible, and it does this by opening up to us the spiritual ideas found throughout the Old and New Testaments, enabling the reader to prove the practicality of scriptural teaching in daily life through healing. This is what proves that the Bible is the living Word of God, equal to every situation and able to meet the hungering needs of humanity.
The Bible enjoins us to “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). The first tenet of Christian Science echoes this biblical injunction: “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life” (Science and Health, p. 497). In acknowledging this tenet, and entering into full fellowship with it, members of The Mother Church—The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston—recognize their need to not only study the Bible but also utilize Science and Health to understand (rightly divide) the Word of Truth and, most importantly, put it into practice.
Striving to emulate the works of Jesus, even in modest ways, shows that we are his true followers. It is what he expected. In Christian Science Sunday Schools, the lessons from the Bible are fundamental to the pupils’ Christian instruction. The Christ standard is also the standard of Christian Science, seen in Christian living and Christly works and enabled by grace.
The Bible, the holy Scriptures of Christianity, holds a sacred, central, and fundamental place in every Christian church and is unique as the primary source of spiritual instruction for Christians. This is what the Bible is to the Church of Christ, Scientist. Mrs. Eddy confidently states in Science and Health, “You can prove for yourself, dear reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture” (p. 547).
As I found, one way anyone can prove this is through Christ-healing.
Moji George, Associate Editor