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Bible Lens

Bible Lens—May 18–24, 2020

Subject: Soul and Body

From the May 18, 2020 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Bible Lens Cover Image

The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4:18

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

from the Golden Text

I Corinthians 3:17

The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Scholars point out that Paul is addressing the entire community of Christians as God’s temple. One source suggests that as the temple is set apart to serve God, “all Christians are ... set apart for God and His service.”

from the Responsive Reading

Isaiah 26:12

Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

ordain: order; establish 

II Corinthians 4:16–18

Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Inner or inward man describes man’s divine nature (see also Romans 7:22 and Ephesians 3:16). Renewal of the inward man, a commentary submits, means that “one’s identity as a child of God ... is constantly being reaffirmed.” Paul’s use of the present tense—“is renewed”—emphasizes this spiritual renewal as continual, not eventual.

“Light affliction” is an arresting phrase, given the many trials Paul underwent—stoning, imprisonment, and shipwreck, for instance. In contrasting “but for a moment” with “exceeding and eternal,” he reverses a common belief that troubles are ceaseless and inescapable, and glory far off and ephemeral.

II Corinthians 5:1

We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

tabernacle: tent; temporary residence; symbol for the human body

II Corinthians 5:6, 8

We are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord…. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

“Heaven is home in the full sense of the word for those who are in fellowship with Christ,” observes a Bible authority. “Heaven is not a place but a spiritual condition.” It is this spiritual condition that the apostle expects believers to embrace.

from Section 1

2 | Psalms 93:5

Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

Called an enthronement psalm, this poem is one of several that celebrate God as ruler or king (see also Psalms 47, 95–99). These psalms are distinct from royal psalms, which deal with Israelite kings as representatives of Yahweh (see Psalm 2, for instance). One writer calls them “the theological heart of the psalter.”

Holiness is translated from the Hebrew word qōdeš, a term that means being set apart for sacred purposes. This status was seen to apply to both individuals and Israel as a nation.

2 | Psalms 93:2, 5

Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.… Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

• • •

You have always ruled, and you are eternal.... Your decisions are firm, and your temple will always be beautiful and holy.

—Contemporary English Version

3 | Isaiah 61:10

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

• • •

We take great delight in the Lord. We are joyful because we belong to our God. He has dressed us with salvation as if it were our clothes. He has put robes of godliness on us. We are like a groom who is dressed up for his wedding. We are like a bride who decorates herself with her jewels.

—New International Reader’s Version

4 | Isaiah 43:10

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

• • •

“You are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord. “You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God— there never has been, and there never will be.”

—New Living Translation

Definitions from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
by Mary Baker Eddy

4 | 477:6, 22–29

Man is not a material habitation for Soul; he is himself spiritual. Soul, being Spirit, is seen in nothing imperfect nor material.

Soul is the substance, Life, and intelligence of man, which is individualized, but not in matter. Soul can never reflect anything inferior to Spirit. 

Man is the expression of Soul. The Indians caught some glimpses of the underlying reality, when they called a certain beautiful lake “the smile of the Great Spirit.”

habitation: place to live
individualized: made unique or distinct in character
underlying: basic

5 | 247:13

Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own,—the radiance of Soul. Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense.

exempt from: free from; unaffected by

from Section 2

7 | Romans 8:5

They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

The Greek verb rendered mind (phroneo) means to think, regard, or have an opinion. It appears as “set your affection” in this verse from Colossians: “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (3:2).

One source observes, “To surrender one’s thoughts and motives to the Spirit brings with it a quickened vitality through the whole man.”

7 | Romans 8:12, 13

Brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

debtors: people who owe something 
mortify: destroy

7 | Romans 8:5, 9, 12–14

They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you…. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 

• • •

So don’t live under the control of sin. If you do, you will think about what sin wants. Live under the control of the Holy Spirit. If you do, you will think about what the Spirit wants.... But you are not ruled by the power of sin. Instead, the Holy Spirit rules over you. This is true if the Spirit of God lives in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ....  Brothers and sisters, we have a duty. Our duty is not to live under the power of sin. If you live under the power of sin, you will die. But by the Spirit’s power you can put to death the sins you commit. Then you will live. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

—New International Reader’s Version

9 | Psalms 65:1

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion.

Sion is a variation of Zion, originally the name for the highest point in the city of Jerusalem. After David captured this stronghold from the Jebusites (see II Samuel 5:7), it was often called the city of David. Over time, Zion became synonymous with Jerusalem and even the entire Hebrew nation. 

Centuries later, the author of Hebrews called Zion “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22).

10 | Psalms 84:11

The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory.

• • •

The Lord God is like a sun and shield; the Lord gives us kindness and honor.

—New Century Version

Definitions from Science and Health

7 | 122:29

Our theories make the same mistake regarding Soul and body that Ptolemy made regarding the solar system. They insist that soul is in body and mind therefore tributary to matter. Astronomical science has destroyed the false theory as to the relations of the celestial bodies, and Christian Science will surely destroy the greater error as to our terrestrial bodies. The true idea and Principle of man will then appear. The Ptolemaic blunder could not affect the harmony of being as does the error relating to soul and body, which reverses the order of Science and assigns to matter the power and prerogative of Spirit, so that man becomes the most absolutely weak and inharmonious creature in the universe.

Ptolemy: ancient astronomer who taught that the earth was the center of the universe 
celestial: related to the sky
terrestrial: related to the earth

8 | 200:8–13

Whoever is incompetent to explain Soul would be wise not to undertake the explanation of body. Life is, always has been, and ever will be independent of matter; for Life is God, and man is the idea of God, not formed materially but spiritually, and not subject to decay and dust.

incompetent: unable
undertake: take upon oneself

from Section 3

12 | Psalms 34:2

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord.

Most biblical uses of the word boast allude to bragging. In this verse, however, boast signifies praise and is translated from the Hebrew verb hālal—the root of the exclamation Hallelujah! 

12 | Psalms 34:2, 8

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.… O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 

• • •

With all my heart, I will praise the Lord. Let all who are helpless, listen and be glad.... Discover for yourself that the Lord is kind. Come to him for protection, and you will be glad.

—Contemporary English Version

13 | II Kings 5:1

Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

“Deliverance unto Syria” probably refers to rescue from invasion by Assyria. The writer portrays Naaman’s victory as by the Lord, signaling the Jewish belief that God was the source of triumph—even for those, like Naaman, who did not worship Him.

The word translated leper (Hebrew, sāra‘) depicts someone afflicted by one of a wide variety of skin ailments. These were not necessarily incurable or contagious, but in Hebrew law, a person with these skin conditions was deemed unclean. 

Elisha’s words “Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel” (v. 8) declare the prophet’s intention to show God’s power over this condition. After his healing, Naaman does indeed recognize this divine authority: “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (v. 15).

valour (valor): great courage

13 | II Kings 5:11

But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 

wroth: angry

14 | Luke 11:34

When thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light.

Today the eye is understood to let outside light into the body in order to make external things clear. But to ancient peoples, the eye actively transmitted light inwardly, enlightening the whole individual. 

The “single” eye is healthy—clear and unwavering. “If one responds to the light of God’s word with his total being,” offers a scholar, “then the whole body (or whole person) is full of light.”


When your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive, focused on God], your whole body also is full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts].

—Amplified® Bible

Definitions from Science and Health

16 | 14:1–5

If we are sensibly with the body and regard omnipotence as a corporeal, material person, whose ear we would gain, we are not “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” in the demonstration of Spirit.

sensibly: consciously

17 | 125:12–16

As human thought changes from one stage to another of conscious pain and painlessness, sorrow and joy,—from fear to hope and from faith to understanding,—the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by Soul, not by material sense.

manifestation: outward sign of an inner fact or reality

from Section 4

16 | Psalms 63:5

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness.

Marrow represents the inmost or essential part of things. It is translated from the Hebrew noun cheleb, most often rendered fat (see example in Genesis 4:4). Fatness (Hebrew, deshen) describes the richest or best part of something. Both are symbols of abundance.


You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy

—New Living Translation

18 | Mark 7:32

They bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

impediment: obstruction; disorder
beseech: beg; earnestly request

19 | Psalms 30:1

I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

• • •

I praise you, Lord, because you have saved me and kept my enemies from gloating over me.

—Good News Translation

Definitions from Science and Health

18 | 122:7

The material senses’ reversal of the Science of Soul was practically exposed nineteen hundred years ago by the demonstrations of Jesus; yet these so-called senses still make mortal mind tributary to mortal body, and ordain certain sections of matter, such as brain and nerves, as the seats of pain and pleasure, from which matter reports to this so-called mind its status of happiness or misery.

exposed: uncovered; revealed; brought to light
so-called: falsely or wrongly named; supposed

22 | 395:6–10

Like the great Exemplar, the healer should speak to disease as one having authority over it, leaving Soul to master the false evidences of the corporeal senses and to assert its claims over mortality and disease.

Exemplar: title for Christ Jesus as the model for thought and action
assert: put into action boldly

24 | 114:23–27

Christian Science explains all cause and effect as mental, not physical. It lifts the veil of mystery from Soul and body. It shows the scientific relation of man to God, disentangles the interlaced ambiguities of being, and sets free the imprisoned thought.

interlaced: woven together
ambiguities: uncertainties 

from Section 5

19 | Psalms 30:1

I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

extol: praise highly

20 | Acts 12:1, 5

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.... Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Here Herod refers to Judean king Agrippa I, of the Herodian line of rulers. He was the grandson of Herod the Great—the monarch who ordered all male infants in Bethlehem killed shortly after Jesus’ birth. Agrippa courted popularity with the Jews even as he worked to maintain good relations with Rome. Peter’s standing in the young Christian community made him a natural target of Herod’s political expediency. 

Peter’s arrest, and the killing of the Apostle James (see v. 2), take place during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Many Jews would have been in Jerusalem for this Passover celebration, just as they had been years earlier at Jesus’ crucifixion. Herod secures Peter’s captivity with “four quaternions of soldiers” (v. 4)—sixteen soldiers in squads of four—guarding him around the clock. It is believed that two soldiers were chained to the disciple at all times. Mention of “the first and the second ward” (v. 10) implies either that Peter was detained in an innermost cell, or that jailors were placed at additional posts. 

The verb vex is translated from the Greek word kakoo, meaning to hurt or harm. It is used only six times in Scripture, last of all in this reassurance from First Peter: “Who is he that will harm [kakoo] you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” (3:13).

20| Acts 12:8, 9

The angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.

gird: clothe; dress
cast ... about: wrap around
wist: knew

from Section 6

21 | I Corinthians 6:19, 20

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Paul’s image alludes to the payment of a ransom, compared by many to the purchase of a slave. The “price” paid for humanity is the crucifixion of Jesus, a sacrifice that compels allegiance to God and the working out of individual salvation. The words “Ye are not your own” express the concept of “belonging” to Christ (see Mark 9:41).

A similar idea appears later in Paul’s letter: “He that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men” (I Corinthians 7:22, 23).


Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.

—GOD’S WORD Translation

22 | I Chronicles 22:19

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.

• • •

Now give yourself completely to obeying the Lord your God.

—International Children’s Bible

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

Resources quoted in this issue

GT: Abraham, A. Kenneth, ed. The Matthew Henry Study Bible: King James Version. Westlake, OH: World Bible Publishers, 1994.

RR: Mays, James L., Joseph Blenkinsopp, et al., eds. The HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Rev. ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2000; Keck, Leander E., et al., eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 10, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude, Revelation. Nashville: Abingdon, 2015.

Cit. 2: Keck, Leander E., et al., eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 4, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Introduction to Hebrew Poetry, Job, Psalms. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996–2001.

Cit. 7: Driver, Samuel Rolles, Alfred Plummer, Charles Augustus Briggs, eds. The International Critical Commentary. The Epistle to the Romans. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1851–2010.

Cit. 14: Laymon, Charles M. The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary on the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 1971.

Related Healing Ideas

Kids' article

Take another look

By Charlene Anne Miller
From the September 12, 2016, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

One morning, as the school day began, a new girl slipped into our classroom. Her name was Rosie, and she was tall, with olive skin and gray eyes. Like Jack, who had red hair and freckles, she didn’t look the same as most of the rest of us. So my friends and I started teasing her.

But there was someone who saw Rosie differently from the way we did. My mom noticed Rosie and told me she could see Rosie’s beauty. Imagine my surprise! 

My mom’s comment also woke me up. I realized that I needed to start seeing things differently by getting beyond what I was seeing with my eyes. I needed to see Rosie differently, and I needed to see myself differently. I needed to see both of us more spiritually.

In the Christian Science Sunday School, I’d learned many verses from the Bible that steered me in the right direction. So as I prayed and asked God to help me, I wasn’t surprised when this passage came to mind with new meaning: “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11, New Living Translation). This verse helped me see that I needed to take responsibility for my actions and be willing to change. I could do this by listening to what God was telling me about the other kids in my class.

Next I thought about the Ninth Commandment. It says we should not bear false witness against others (see Exodus 20:16). That means don’t make up stuff about people. Wouldn’t that also mean not making fun of others? Hair, eye, and skin color, how we walk and talk, don’t define who we really are. And truly, we are God’s children, His ideas. Not material, but wholly spiritual. So what really defines us are our qualities, such as love, kindness, gentleness, and joy. We don’t see these qualities with our eyes, but we can feel them in our hearts because they are real, spiritual, and eternal. God is their source, and He expresses them individually and beautifully in each of His ideas.

I saw that I could help all my classmates by replacing my surface view of each of them with the facts of Spirit. This would help me see them as God was seeing them.

But what about seeing myself as God was seeing me? I knew I needed to do that, too, but I felt guilty after the way I’d acted. That’s when this passage cheered and softened my heart: “Love has good manners” (I Corinthians 13:5, J. B. Phillips, The New Testament in Modern English). That verse reminded me that God made me to be unselfish and loving. So I reflected goodness! It was part of me. The more I saw myself that way, the easier it was to act that way, too.

I made up my mind to start being a true witness. What happened next? It took courage, but I told my friends about seeing Rosie in a new way. We agreed to invite her to join us at lunch and recess. The meanness stopped. Friendships grew.

What a happy ending to a story with a bumpy start! That year, I not only learned to be kinder to my classmates, but I also learned how important it is not to judge by what I’m seeing with my eyes. God helps us take another look and see who others really are.

To read the entire article, which has been shortened to fit this page, go to

© 2020 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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