Settle It Now! aka Agree with Thine Adversary Quickly

October 22, 2014
“Settle It Now,” the topic for this Wednesday, is a paraphrase from a familiar quote in the King James Version of the Bible and Science and Health. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him,” and The New International Version translates this verse as “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.” Of this verse, Mary Baker Eddy states: “Agree to disagree” with approaching symptoms of chronic or acute disease,…” and  she concludes with “Therefore make your own terms with sickness, and be just to yourself and to others.” (SH 390 – 391)
If you were to look up “Agree with Thine Adversary Quickly” on jsh-online, you would find more than a dozen articles with this quote as the title.  A sample article is included on the readings page as well as a few Bible translations of this verse.   There are also two passages on Concord from Prose Works relating to the readings stating that “…error, when found out, is two-thirds destroyed, and the remaining third kills itself.” (Mis. 210 & 355)

John the Baptist: the Later Years

October 15, 2014

http://www.christianscienceneworleans.org/ArchiveWedReadings.html

This Wednesday’s readings are on the later years of John the Baptist, but it could also be subtitled with his words: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” So perhaps a modern-day paraphrase would be “Deflating Ego.” And, there is also that proverbial question: “Is it better to be loved or to be right?”
At the end of the readings are some quotes about John the Baptist by Mrs. Eddy from Miscellaneous Writings.  Also included are some Bible Notes and two articles by Helen Wood Bauman on John the Baptist. (If you look on jsh-online, you will discover that Ms. Bauman was a prolific author on this prophet since she wrote more than a dozen articles specifically about him!  If you don’t have a subscription to jsh-online, and you want to read any of these articles, let me know.)
Next month is National Bible Week, and I really appreciated Ms. Bowman’s comments about the spiritual inspiration we gain from knowing our Bible characters. In her article, “The Blessing of Repentance,” she wrote:
Fortunate is he who has some knowledge of Christian Science and has thereby increased his ability to interpret the Scriptures spiritually. To him the Bible has become an indispensable daily guide. No longer do the experiences of individuals and nations referred to in the Bible seem merely isolated historical facts; instead, they represent states of consciousness common to all mankind, depicting the tests and triumphs which inevitably accompany the unfoldment of God’s word in human consciousness.
We are going to be reading more about John in December because of the connections between his birth and his cousin Jesus. In the meantime, I hope you are inspired and humbled about the later years of John the Baptist.

 

The Rapture? The Rapture!

October 8, 2014

http://www.christianscienceneworleans.org/ArchiveWedReadings.html

My readings for tonight were originally about John the Baptist, but events this week led me to do some readings and research on the subject of the Rapture in Christian Science. Let me explain:
Over the weekend, Dan and I had seen the movie “Left Behind” while we were visiting Nathan in College Station, TX. Nathan joined us because our primary reason for attending this movie was to see one of Nathan’s friends who had a five-minute appearance next to the star Nicholas Cage in an airport scene. Then in another movie scene, we saw a church friend and Book Club regular who was another extra in this Louisiana production! The movie was about the rapture, a fundamentalist Christian term about when one group of people are left behind on earth while another group disappears for heaven (from Wikipedia).
The term “rapture” (which means in Latin “to catch up” or “take away”) does not appear in the Bible although there are references to such an event in the Bible. The word “rapture” is used in Science and Health, but it is an earlier definition of the word meaning “extreme joy or pleasure” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).  Nevertheless, Mrs. Eddy wrote quite a bit about signs of the times, millennial glory, and other terms used with rapture.
Then we had a visitor in our Reading Room yesterday who mentioned that he had met a woman who wanted to talk about the end times, and he wanted to know about the Christian Science view of this subject.  I was grateful that I had just seen the Left Behind movie which had inspired me to give this subject some thought!
I’ve also included a Journal article on Christian Science eschatology (scriptures about the end times) and a podcast on this subject from The Mother Church’s ecumenical “Circle of Faith” website.
One of my goals as Reader is to cover all of Science and Health, even those pages that we seldom (or never) read in church on Sunday. Perhaps eschatology fits within that category, but it is definitely a topic of conversation amongst other churches these days!

Reflection vs. Illusion

October 1, 2014

http://www.christianscienceneworleans.org/ArchiveWedReadings.html

When I was marking my books for the Wednesday reading, I noticed that Mrs. Eddy gives the Greek and Hebrew words in parentheses next to “serpent” in the Glossary.  This is the only definition in the Glossary where she included the Greek and Hebrew words in parentheses, so I was curious to look them up.

Ophis in Greek means “pertaining to the eye.”  Think of words beginning with this prefix — such as optical or optometry.

Nacash in Hebrew, according to Strong’s concordance, means “serpent” or “to practice divination.” There was quite a variety of commentary about the meaning of “nacash” on the internet, and here is one sample:

The Hebrew word Nachash is translated to “shine” (like brass) or whisper (as in enchantment). The Nachash was not a literal snake. The Nachash was, to use literal Hebrew, a ‘shining enchanter.’ He was also ‘shrewd’ (smooth or slick), as a descriptive term in the Hebrew for ‘naked and cunning’ in deceiving Eve.

Anyway, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of all internet sources, but you can see how knowing the original word for serpent adds meaning to our own definition!