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Bible Lens

Bible Lens—November 4–10, 2019

Subject: Adam and Fallen Man

From the November 4, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


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As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

I Corinthians 15:22

Exploring Bible Verses

An exploration of Bible citations from the Christian Science Quarterly® Bible Lessons

“. . . a lesson on which the prosperity of Christian Science largely depends."—Mary Baker Eddy

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from the Golden Text

Psalms 90:9, 17

We spend our years as a tale that is told.… Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.

Throughout this psalm, the writer contrasts the fleeting experience of human life with the everlasting power and presence of God. The Hebrew word translated tale (hegeh) signifies muttering, whispering, or sighing—a sad distinction from extolling “the beauty of the Lord.”

from Section 2

7 | Psalms 119:25

Quicken thou me according to thy word.

Quicken (Hebrew, ḥāyāh) refers to giving, maintaining, and restoring life. This psalm includes repeated petitions for quickening—for the reviving influence of God’s Word. One translation offers, “Let your teachings breathe new life into me.”

8 | Isaiah 41:15

Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

Ancient threshing instruments used to harvest grain were heavy sledges studded on the underside with sharp stones or metal spikes. Teeth (Hebrew, pîpiyā) elsewhere describes a two-edged sword (see Psalms 149:6). To the Israelites, the metaphor of mountains and hills being reduced to worthless husks is prophetic assurance of divine triumph over their enemies. 

from Section 4

14 | Genesis 3:9, 10

The Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 

In the Bible, the term naked has a range of meanings, from inadequate covering to complete nudity. Although not considered inherently evil, nakedness was forbidden in the presence of God (see Exodus 20:26) and is tied to wrongdoing in this account. Later in Scripture it is associated with shame (see Lamentations 1:8). Deuteronomy 28:48 lists it as a condition of captivity, and James 2:15 as a sign of poverty.

Christ Jesus calls for clothing the naked in his poignant teaching about caring for “the least of these my brethren” (see Matthew 25:34–40). And Paul uses nakedness as a symbol for separation from God (see II Corinthians 5:2, 3).

from Section 5

15 | Proverbs 26:2

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. 

Curses were believed to take on power when spoken. This proverb debunks that assumption, assuring that, as most scholars see it, a curse aimed at an innocent person cannot harm him.

16 | II Corinthians 11:3 

I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

In this letter, Paul expresses concern that the Corinthian Christians are being led astray by eloquent words contrary to Jesus’ teachings. Describing the church as a “chaste virgin” and Christ as her bridegroom (see v. 2), he counsels “simplicity”—the purity of thought that withstands corruption.

from Section 6

18 | Hebrews 4:12 

The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

From the “flaming sword” in Genesis 3:24 to the sword of judgment in Revelation 19:21, swords are mentioned over four hundred times in the Bible—more than any other weapon. In ancient times they had handles of wood or bone. Blades were made of bronze or iron and were curved or straight, single- or double-edged. A two-edged sword was the sharpest and most powerful of these weapons. 

Speaking of the Messianic age, Isaiah 2:4 foresees that the sword as a weapon will no longer be necessary, a view echoed in Micah 4:3: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

20 | Matthew 10:34

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

“Nowhere is the sheer honesty of Jesus more vividly displayed than it is here,” one source writes. “He tells his men exactly what they may expect, if they accept the commission to be messengers of the King.” 

This passage is not a justification for physical combat or war. In fact, Luke’s account (12:51) uses the word division instead of sword. But another commentary explains, “Neutrality is not possible; we are either for [Christ] or against him, and between the two camps there is inevitable clash.”

from Section 7

25 | Psalms 17:15

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

To some researchers, this verse depicts awakening from death; to others, rousing from a “sleep” of sorrow and sin. 

The Hebrew word for likeness here (temûnā) appears in a description of God’s relation to Moses: “With him will I speak mouth to mouth, ... and the similitude [temûnā] of the Lord shall he behold” (Numbers 12:8).

To learn more about the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons, go to biblelesson.com.

Resources quoted in this issue

Cit. 7: Contemporary English Version copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.

Cit. 20:Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 2. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1955. Revised and updated by Saint Andrew, 2001. Reprinted as The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 2. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001–04; Buttrick, George Arthur, Nolan B. Harmon, et al., eds. The Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 7, New Testament Articles, Matthew, Mark. Nashville: Abingdon, 1951–57.

Related Healing Ideas


A family tree rooted in God

By Michele Newport
From the August 26, 2013, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

More and more people today are becoming attracted to the idea of tracing their family’s roots. Television may have increased the public’s interest, through the creation of shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? which features celebrities tracing their ancestry.

When my daughter was in first grade, her class was given the assignment to draw their family trees. Although she was very young, she had a strong sense of who she was and where she came from. We had always been very open with her about the joy of adopting her, and she freely shared this information with friends. At the top of her family tree, she put God. Then she drew the usual branches down, showing her grandparents, and then my husband and myself, her parents. Her teacher expressed her appreciation for this unique tree. The fact is, she started at the right place—with God—which is where we should all start.

Mary Baker Eddy, as part of her momentous discovery of Christian Science, understood the importance of freeing ourselves from generations of stories and history, both good and bad. In her short autobiography titled Retrospection and Introspection, she wrote: “It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man’s real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. It is ‘as a tale that is told,’ and ‘as the shadow when it declineth.’ ” (p. 21).

We must ultimately be willing to give up memories based on human misfortune, and yield to the truth that we have always been God’s child—perfect, upright, and whole. There has never been a single moment when any one of us was separated from our creator, our Life, God.

In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, we are given what might be perceived as a typical family story. It tells us of Adam and Eve and their two sons, Cain and Abel. Then come family squabbles, division, even murder. Many people believe that this story is the beginning of human history and that we suffer today from their mistakes. But before this story, in the first chapter of Genesis, we are given a different, wholly spiritual record of creation. This chapter makes clear that God created man in His own image and likeness and that this creation is very good (see Genesis 1:27, 31). It is this historical record that Christian Science embraces. 

We are not descendants of a family tree that is rooted in sin. We have one source of Life, and it is good only. We have inherited our Father-Mother’s harmonious nature and are reflections of the infinite One. Our roots are in divine Love, firmly fixed, well established, with no taint of earthly woes.

Mrs. Eddy writes, “Man is the family name for all ideas,—the sons and daughters of God. All that God imparts moves in accord with Him, reflecting goodness and power” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 515). How wonderful to know that there is only one family name—man—which indicates no race, ethnic history, or genetic disposition, but instead identifies all of us as proceeding from and reflecting God, the All-in-all. How wonderful it is to be part of this rich, diverse, glorious family.

To read the entire article, which has been shortened to fit this page, go to jsh.christianscience.com/a-family-tree-rooted-in-god.


© 2019 The Christian Science Publishing Society. The design of the Cross and Crown is a trademark owned by the Christian Science Board of Directors and is used by permission. Bible Lens and Christian Science Quarterly are trademarks owned by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

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