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Christ's words

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  • Vinton A. Dearing
    The Christian Science point of view is set forth in Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy (final edition 1910): The decisions by vote of Church Councils as
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 1997
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      The Christian Science point of view is set forth in Science and
      Health, by Mary Baker Eddy (final edition 1910):
      "The decisions by vote of Church Councils as to what should and
      should not be considered Holy Writ; the manifest mistakes in the
      ancient versions; the thirty thousand different readings in the Old
      Testament, and the three hundred thousand in the New, -- these facts
      show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record,
      with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages. But
      mistakes could neither wholly obscure the divine Science of the
      Scriptures seen from Genesis to Revelation, mar the demonstration of
      Jesus, nor annul the healing by the prophets, who foresaw that `the
      stone which the builders rejected' would become `the head of the
      corner.'" (p. 139)
      "We must have faith in all the sayings of our Master, though
      they are not included in the teachings of the schools, and are not
      understood generally by our ethical instructors. Jesus said (John
      viii. 51), `If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' That
      statement is not confined to spiritual life, but includes all the
      phenomena of existence. Jesus demonstrated this, healing the dying
      and raising the dead." (pp. 429-430)
      "The progress of truth confirms its claims, and our Master
      confirmed his words by his works." (p. 94)
      "It is possible, -- yea, it is the duty and privilege of every
      child, man, and woman, -- to follow in some degree the example of the
      Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and
      holiness." (p. 37)
      In short, while the Gospels may not transmit all Jesus' words
      verbatim, their essential accuracy and consistency can be
      demonstrated by anyone who turns to spiritual healing for evidence.
      Speaking for myself, the evidence that Jesus could speak Greek
      is now sufficient for me to believe that in his conversations with
      Pilate we may well have his very words (presumably recounted by him
      to his followers at a later time). I particularly like to believe
      that he did say exactly this: EGW EIS TOUTO GEGENNHMAI KAI EIS TOUTO
      Pilate's reply is famous. Mrs. Eddy writes, "The women at the
      cross could have answered Pilate's question. They knew what had
      inspired their devotion, winged their faith, opened the eyes of their
      understanding, healed the sick, cast out evil, and caused the
      disciples to say to their Master: `Even the devils are subject unto
      us through thy name.'" (Science and Health, p. 49).
      I hope someday to write an essay for this forum on the
      importance of spiritual healing in textual criticism of the New
      Testament. For example, UBS4 omits KAI DIELQWN DIA MESOU AUTWN
      EPOREUETO KAI PARHGEN OUTWS from John 8:59, and Metzger, Texual
      Commentary, p. 227, explains that the fuller text was the work of
      copyists who wished to give the impression that Jesus had escaped by
      miraculous power. Why conclude that Jesus' escape was not empowered by
      the same understanding of God's love as the escape recorded in Luke
      4:30? Why not conclude instead that the omission came about through an
      eyeskip from KAI before DIELQWN to KAI before PARAGWN (9:1)?
      I recognize that among the manuscripts having DIELQWN there is a
      preceding KAI only in 01c, 04, 019, 044, 0211, 33, and 892, but
      I suppose that in an ancestor of the others it was at the margin and
      got lost among the marginal markings; I am encouraged in the idea of
      eyeskip by the fact that 02 skips from the KAI before DIELQWN to KAI
      before PARHGEN.
      If we accept the TR then the narrative takes on a wonderful
      glow of inspiration. Jesus was completely untouched by the hatred
      he had aroused -- no "not again!" not even "whew!" -- and was at once
      ready to heal the man born blind. The time has not passed when some
      Bible scholars reject the biblical record of spiritual healing, but the
      time has already come when those engaged in healing, physicians,
      psychologists, nurses, have begun to welcome the power of prayer and
      to declare that it has been satisfactorily demonstrated.
      If any member of our colloquium does not have a copy of Science
      and Health, I'll be glad to send him/her one. It has been my guide to
      life and health and a treasured key to the Scriptures for more than
      75 years.
      Vinton A. Dearing
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