shared from and with BibleTexts.com users
#26 - What is the value of using the BibleTexts.com Bible Lesson Study Aid?
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
Question/insight #26: 'When studying the weekly Bible Lesson, what is the value and appropriateness of using the BibleTexts.com Bible Lesson Study Aid?' [RNC's rephrasing of an emailed comment.]
Response #26: Let me shed further light on the overall value and appropriateness of using Bible dictionaries, commentaries, atlases, alternative Bible versions, the BibleTexts website, and other honest biblical research tools to enrich the study of the weekly Bible Lesson..
Like yourself, I, too, subscribe to and thoroughly study the weekly Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson as published by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Like yourself (as I would expect), I use a variety of biblical research materials to help get better acquainted with the original texts, as Mary Baker Eddy encouraged:
Acquaintance with the original texts, and willingness to give up human beliefs (established by hierarchies, and instigated sometimes by the worst passions of men), open the way for Christian Science to be understood, and make the Bible the chart of life, where the buoys and healing currents of Truth are pointed out. (See S&H 24:4.)
Mrs. Eddy also wrote::
Fatiguing Bible translations and voluminous commentaries are employed to explain and prop old creeds, and they have the civil and religious arms in their defense; then why should not these be equally extended to support the Christianity that heals the sick? (No and Yes, page 15:7-12)
In Mrs. Eddy's day, the editors of and contributors to The Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel gave some very strong encouragement to the use of high quality biblical research materials to get a clear understanding of the Bible Lesson's Bible passages.
In the May, 1899, issue of The Christian Science Journal (Vol 17, pages 144-152), there appeared an article by the Editors entitled, "The Lesson Sermons." That lengthy article explains the development and structure of the Bible Lessons. On page 150 it includes the following:
In the case of the Bible texts, then the Reader should study the context, and if an historical incident be referred to he should learn the whole history of the event named. In this study he may be helped by Smith's Bible Dictionary, the Revised Version of the Bible, Rotherham, or other equally high authorities. Having a clear understanding of the outward facts concerning the Bible passages, he should study them in connection with their correlative passages from Science and Health to learn their scientific meaning. Then with prayer and meditation he will behold their deep inward meaning, and grasp their profound spiritual import.
Like Bible commentaries and Bible dictionaries that you and I buy in Christian Science Reading Rooms and bookstores, the www.bibletexts.com website includes high quality biblical research tools that can help one more fully explore the Bible Lesson. Mrs. Eddy herself owned and used many more Bibles versions and study aids than were sold by The Christian Science Publishing Society.
For a listing of all of the Bibles owned by Mrs. Eddy in her home at Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, see The Bible Exhibit Historical Collection (Boston: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, pages 41-45.)
For a thoroughly documented and honest history of the use of non-KJV Bibles by Mrs. Eddy from 1880 to 1910 and by the official Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons from 1890 to 1914, you are welcome to browse:
Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer