A note about the format of the Bible lessons
presented on this Web-site

To find the roots of the science underlying the lesson format, one needs to go back in time some 2700 years to a development that started in the mountains of Greece centuries before the Christian era began. Isolated tribes were scattered through the region, shackled by a mythology that defined the human being as impotent. It cannot be determined whether or not this region became transformed because of a perceived need for its self-defense against the unfolding empires of the time.  We only know that it was transformed as the people found a new identity for themselves through scientific development. 

The foundation for this change was laid by Homer who had established a vastly enriched language, presented through poetry, that enabled the people to deal with complex ideas.  The resulting development was almost explosive. In a few centuries the Greece of primitive mountain tribes became the scientific and cultural center of the world, with its famous University of Athens, and such leading edge philosophic pioneers as Socrates and Plato. This explosive scientific development, of course, was echoed throughout the entire Mediterranean region, especially in Egypt. The Christian era, in turn, began near the end of this development period, possibly at its high point.

In a very real sense, Christianity is rooted in the Greek Classical culture of a developing scientific understanding. At the end of Christ Jesus' period, one of his disciples summed up in metaphor what he has seen and experienced, and could foresee as the inevitable outcome of the continued scientific and spiritual development of humanity. This extrapolation into the future, of expected developments according to perceived fundamental laws, became the book of Revelation, sometimes called, the Apocalypse.

In modern times the Apocalypse is widely regarded as a document that prophesies the end of civilization and humanity as a whole.  But if one looks closer at what St. John actually wrote, one will recognize that he predicted the end of all evil instead the end of humanity, and that he predicted the inevitable end of evil as the lawful outcome of humanity's continuing scientific and spiritual self-development. The most direct reference to this trend is found in Revelation 21, where the Apostle John describes a city foursquare descending from God out of heaven. A geometric structure that is four-square, of course represents a four-square matrix structure. Such a structure enables one to explore complex interrelationships and precisely defined flows of development in an orderly scientific process.

It is reasonable to assume that St. John's metaphor of the city four-square was understood at his time, and that this understanding became lost during the intervening centuries of the dark ages.  It is also reasonable to assume that The Apostle John's metaphor would not be recognized  until a new period of scientific development would occur, such as the scientific revolution that unfolded in the 19th century, especially in the revolutionary states of the New World. This is the environment in which Mary Baker Eddy grew up, in which she rediscovered the science of Christ Healing which Christ Jesus had exemplified.  On would expect, therefore, that St. John's metaphor would also be recognized again.  Indeed, this is what has happened, because every major work of Mary Baker Eddy is built on John's structure, as its foundation.

As a four-square structure, the city foursquare is made up of sixteen elements. Every one of Mary Baker Eddy's major works is accordingly divided into sixteen parts or multiple of sixteen parts. This did certainly not occur by chance. The Christian Science textbook, for instance, is made up of 16 chapters, the Church Manual is made up of 16 parts, Mary Baker Eddy's scientific presentation of the Lord's Prayer is made up of 16 stanzas, and her illustrated poem, Christ and Christmas, which is a major statement in metaphor, is made up of sixteen verses.  And all of this is just the beginning. The Platform of Christian Science is made up of 32 parts (2x16), and even the Glossary of the textbook follows this pattern, which contains 144 (9x16) definitions of terms.

Naturally, all of the above is related to the Christian Science Bible lessons.  The Bible lessons are made up of biblical citations, followed by correlative citations from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.  Since the 16 textbook chapters are an integral part of the 16 element foursquare matrix structure for scientific development, each textbook citation of the Bible lesson, therefore relates to a specific element of this 16 element structure.  By this correlation, the depth of meaning, of the selected citation, becomes greatly enhanced.

The Bible lessons, presented on this Web-site have the vital correlation included.  For the sake of simplicity, only three major structures are correlated within the Bible Lesson presentation. The format in which the specific elements are presented, as they pertain to a textbook citation, is shown in the example below.

 

Chapter 9: Creation
Divine Science understood and acknowledged.   

Christian Science Healing (2)

oooo
oooo
oooo
oo+o
Forever present, bounteous, free, 
Christ comes in gloom; 
And aye, with grace towards you and me, 
For health makes room. 

Give us this day our daily bread.

The first line, shown in red, presents the textbook chapter that a chosen citation belongs to. The text in the frame below presents the correlative element from Mary Baker Eddy's book, Christ and Christmas, and the correlative element of the Lord's Prayer.  From Christ and Christmas the correlative verse and the title of its associated painting are shown.  You may click on the title to see the painting itself.  These correlative texts link the textbook chapter, the metaphor from Christ and Christmas, and the Lord's Prayer, to each other.

Since these three structures are each made up of 16 parts, they must be deemed to pertain to the sixteen element matrix foursquare.  It becomes important, therefore, that one also identify which matrix position a specific citation belongs to.  The correlative matrix position is indicated to the left of the four line verse from Christ and Christmas. Click here for more specifics about the mapping.  This mapping is important, since Mary Baker Eddy has provided specific definitions for the matrix by defining each of the four horizontal rows, and the four vertical columns of the matrix.

The four horizontal rows represent the four 'cardinal points' which Mary Baker Eddy speaks about in her description of the biblical city foursquare in the last chapter of the textbook, called the Apocalypse. These 'cardinal points' or main points for exploration, are as follows (top to bottom): 
1. The Word of Life, Truth, and Love. 
2. The Christ, the spiritual idea of God. 
3. Christianity, which is the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ idea in Christian history. 
4. Christian Science, which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar. (see S.H. 577:13)
Since these four levels are easily memorized, their description is not included in the reference text as shown above.

A matrix, of course, can also be seen as a structure of vertical columns that represent specific types of development, or flow of upwards trending thought. Mary Baker Eddy gave a specific definition to each of the four rivers of Genesis 2 which may be correlated to the four major development flows of the development that the matrix represents when it is seen as four columns of elements. The four rivers are: (in their biblical sequence applied left to right) 
Pison: The love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality. 
Gihon: The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially. 
Hiddekel: Divine Science understood and acknowledged. 
Euphrates: Divine Science encompassing the universe and man;....
These rivers are included in the reference information shown above. You will find the definition for the applicable river directly below the textbook chapter title.

The format of the Bible lesson presentation also includes another correlation, when applicable. The chapter Recapitulation of the textbook is made up of 24 groups of questions and answers.  The 24 groups evidently represent the 16 element matrix and definitions for its columns and rows.  This correlation is not included in the reference text but is described in Volume 3 of the research series, Discovering Infinity.  It has been further recognized that these 24 groups of questions and answers do actually cover 26 topics, corresponding to the 26 topics that Mary Baker has provided for the Bible lessons.  It has been further recognized that the first part of the Glossary definition for the name Adam contains exactly 26 elements which uniquely match the 26 topics addressed in the chapter Recapitulation. This specific correlation greatly enhances the lesson text, and is therefore included as a heading in front of citations from the chapter, Recapitulation.

In addition to all this, Mary Baker Eddy's marginal headings, which she has assigned to paragraphs and groups of paragraphs, are also shown in front of the textbook citations.  These are enclosed in brackets.

The Bible lessons, themselves, begin with a short Golden Text from the Bible, followed by a section of biblical texts that are read alternatively from the desk and by the congregation during the Christian Science Sunday services.  The rest of the Bible lessons is divided up into up to eight sections.  Each section is made up of a number of biblical citations which are followed by correlative citations from the textbook. As indicated before, these correlative citations from the textbook furnish the link to the matrix foursquare which opens up a depth of meaning that enhances spiritual and scientific development and makes the Bible lessons constantly richer as this inner scientific development is taking place.

Go to the Bible Lesson Index