Bible Characters for Your Weekly Bible Study Compiled by Lt Gen C. Norman Wood, USAF (Ret), Burke, VA 22015
For week of April 27 – May 3, 2009 Knott, Mrs. Annie MacMillan (CSD, Lecturer, Assistant Editor, Associate Editor, Trustee, Bible Lesson Committee, and Director), "'Everlasting Punishment,'" EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.19 (25 November 1916), p. 251.
--…it is very important that children should not be taught anything which is contrary to our Master's instructions as spiritually explained in our Leader's writings, and Christian Science presents no easy concessions to error, although a good many outsiders suppose this to be the case.
• The Master himself was responsible for the term "everlasting punishment," but as it appears in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew we find in close connection therewith a promise of eternal life, and this does not mean an endless duration of misery but eternal unfoldment of the true consciousness of Life.
--The student of Christian Science soon learns that with the true understanding of cause and effect he must constantly keep in view divine realty, proceeding from God and giving eternal life to man as His idea, and at the same time he must remember the words of Scripture, "Whatsover a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
The Story of Jacob and Esau
TIME LINE AND AUTHOR: Ascribed to Moses, written after the Exodus (@1445 BC), but before Moses' death (@1405 BC). The events occurred @1950 BC.
Abram (Abraham) = Sarai (Sarah) (1st wife)
Isaac (2nd son) = Rebekah
Jacob = Leah
Esau = Judith (Canaanite)
= Bashemath (Canaanite)
= Mahalath (Ishmaelite)
Þ Hagar (Sarah’s handmaiden)
Ishmael (1st son)
= Keturah (2nd wife)
Lot = wife
Sarai (Abram’s half-sister and wife)
[Ī’şac] (Heb. “he laughed”)
Isaac is the only son of Abraham and Sarah, but the second son born to Abraham. "The principle stories about Isaac are found in Genesis 21-28. Isaac is a more shadowy figure than the other patriarchs, and little if anything can be said of him as a historical figure." (Oxford Guide to People & Places) “Abraham was ninety-nine years old when the Lord told him that his barren wife Sarah would bear him a son.” (Who’s Who in the Old Testament) According to the account in Genesis, Abraham laughed in his heart, and Sarah was also bitterly amused because she was ninety and long past child-bearing age. The son was called Isaac (Hebrew Yitzchak) meaning ‘he laughed.’” “This partially explains why they named their son Isaac.” (Who Was Who in the Bible)….
After the death and burial of his father he took up his residence at Beer-lahai-roi, where his two twin sons, Esau and Jacob, were born at his age of 60. "Isaac favored the burly outdoorsman Esau, while Rebekah favored the younger (by a few minutes) Jacob, who was physically frail but an intellectual powerhouse and a shrewd schemer." (All the People in the Bible) "The rivalry between Esau and Jacob casts a shadow over the relationship between Isaac and Rebecca." (Great Couples of the Bible) Esau, was a skilled hunter, and Jacob, Rebekah’s favorite, was a pastoralist. Rebekah tricked Isaac into blessing Jacob instead of Esau for his inheritance….
[Ruh bek’ uh] (“a noose” or “cow”)
Rebekah is the daughter of Bethuel (Abraham's nephew), the wife of Isaac, the mother of Esau and Jacob, and the sister of Laban.
The circumstances under which Abraham's "steward" found her at the "city of Nahor," in Padan-aram, are narrated in Genesis 24.
“’Rebekah’ was a complex character.” (Holman Dictionary) She can hardly be regarded as an amiable woman. When we first see her she is ready to leave her father's house forever at an hour's notice; and her future life showed not only a full share of her brother Laban's duplicity, but the grave fault of partiality in her relations to her children, and a strong will, which soon controlled the gentler nature of her husband.
“The final scene in which Rebekah appears is another well-known Biblical episode: Isaac blesses Jacob rather than Esau, the first to emerge from the womb and thus the recipient of the paternal blessing. This designation of Jacob as heir to the ancestral lineage, which will mean his becoming progenitor of all Israel, is orchestrated by Rebekah.” (Women in Scripture) "Knowing that Isaac and Esau would both be furious when the plot was discovered, Rebekah convinced Isaac to send Jacob to her brother Laban to seek a wife." (All the People in the Bible)
The time and circumstances of her death are not recorded, but it is said that she was buried in the cave of Machpelah.
The circumstances connected with his birth foreshadowed the enmity which afterwards subsisted between the twin brothers and the nations they founded. In process of time Jacob, following his natural bent, became a shepherd; while Esau, a "son of the desert," devoted himself to the perilous and toilsome life of a huntsman. On a certain occasion, on returning from the chase, urged by the cravings of hunger, Esau sold his birthright to his brother, Jacob, who thereby obtained the covenant blessing. He afterwards tried to regain what he had so recklessly parted with, but was defeated in his attempts through the stealth of his brother.
At the age of forty years, to the great grief of his parents, he married two Canaanitish maidens, Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Bashemath, the daughter of Elon. When Jacob was sent away to Padan-aram, Esau tried to conciliate his parents by marrying his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. This led him to cast in his lot with the Ishmaelite tribes; and driving the Horites out of Mount Seir, he settled in that region. After some thirty years' sojourn in Padan-aram Jacob returned to Canaan, and was reconciled to Esau, who went forth to meet him. Twenty years after this, Isaac their father died, when the two brothers met, probably for the last time, beside his grave. Esau now permanently left Canaan, and established himself as a powerful and wealthy chief in the land of Edom…..
[Jay’kuhb] (Heb. “supplanted”)
“JACOB. A corporeal mortal embracing duplicity, repentance, sensualism. Inspiration; the revelation of Science, in which the so-called material senses yield to the spiritual sense of Life and Love.” (S&H 589: 4)
“In its broadest reaches the Jacob story comprises half the book of Genesis. The account of his birth comes in ch. 25 and his burial in ch. 50.” (Interpreter’s Dictionary)
Jacob was the second twin son of Isaac and Rebekah. He is the father of Dinah and of twelve sons whose names are those of tribes. “The Bible presents Jacob in a double light. On the one hand, he is the revered ancestor of the people of Israel, and indeed the name Israel is said to have been given him by God after he had wrestled with God himself at Penuel; on the other, he is a trickster, who deceives his brother into parting with his birthright and his father into giving him the blessing of the firstborn that should have belonged to Esau.” (Oxford Guide to People & Places)
"Rebekah heard [Esau's threat to kill Jacob] and, to give time for Esau's wrath to cool, Jacob was sent away to her relatives in Haran, in Paddan-aram, where he could also obtain a wife." (Westminster Dictionary) As he passed through Bethel [Israel], God appeared to him at night and he dreamt he saw a ladder rising from earth up to heaven with angels going up and down a ladder. The Lord stood at the top and reaffirmed the promise to Abraham. "The vision at Bethel has all the pathos and intensity of a personal experience; the tender love for Rachel, lasting through the long years of a strenuous life, has little significance as a racial memory; but the names of the sons and the mimetic etymologies appear like the efforts of a later age to account for groupings, antipathies, and characteristics which antedated the historians memory." (Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary)….
[Lay’bihn] (Heb. “white”)
Laban was the son of Bethuel, who was the son of Nahor, Abraham's brother. He lived in the city of Nahor in Padan Aram where Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. His sister Rebekah became Isaac's wife. He “is introduced when he heard of the servant’s presence, saw the golden jewelry given Rebekah, and eagerly invited Abraham’s emissary into their home (Gen 24:29-60).” (Who Was Who in the Bible) Jacob, one of the sons of Isaac and Rebekah, fled to the house of Laban, whose daughters Leah and Rachel he eventually married.
"Laban's greedy nature and subsequent role in the patriarchal narratives are aptly foreshadowed in his first introduction into the story where his lavish and servile greeting of Abraham's servant was prompted by the sight of gifts (Gen 24:29-32)." (HarperCollins Bible Dictionary)
"Laban [eventually] went back to Haran, and he does not appear in any further stories in the Bible." (All the People in the Bible)
Selover, John (CSB; Director; and Manager, Pub Soc) “Ishmael and Isaac,” EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.102 (13 November 2000), p. 28.
--The division between Arab and Jew is traditionally traced to these half-brothers’ forced separation in the desert.
-- The rupturing of brotherhood in the desert thousands of years ago is ripe for healing.
--As this is written, hearts all over the world are full of tense hope over the Holy Land, Palestine, Jerusalem.
--…what is the fundamental foundation for healing among nations?
• God. The worship of God.
---The unity of humankind rests on this worship of God, and rests there with trust, hope, faith, and expectation.
--The political skills, lifted by spiritual acumen, are at hand to guide leaders and to pierce through pride to save children and their mothers and fathers and grandparents, and all the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac.
Leishman, Thomas L., “Rebekah, the Bride of Isaac,” Christian Science Journal, Vol.61 (February 1943), p. 103.
--Her first glimpse of her future husband came one evening after long weeks of travel.
• Isaac had gone out "to meditate in the field at the eventide" ([Gen 24:63], and it was there that his cousin was brought to him, heavily veiled after the eastern manner, "and she became his wife; and he loved her" (verse 67).
--Like her mother-in-law, Rebekah was at first childless, but in response to her husband’s prayers she bore him twin sons.
• As they grew up some of the less desirable traits in Rebekah’s resolute character came to the front.
---Her inordinate love for Jacob led her to conspire with him to outwit his aged father, that Jacob might attain the blessing which belonged to his brother Esau.
• It is only fair to note, however, that Rebekah’s intuition as to Jacob’s importance was eventually justified, for he won the significant name of Israel and gave it to the chosen people.
Williams, Paul Osborne, “Israel Thinks of Esau: Evening,” POEM, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.73 (25 September 1971), p. 1686.
After all my flight, my years away,
He thinks no ill of me. We both are blessed,
And not, as I once thought, by trickery,
But by the Lord alone. He gives and gives,
Laban surely taught me of disguise
In darkened tents. My own trick turned on me
Cost seven years of service at his hand,
As well as exile at my own. But now
I’ve learned so much about agreement with
The Truth, and Esau has his blessing, says
“I have enough.” Of course I should have known
And not have feared this morning when he came—
My brother, now you’re twin to Israel.
Greenwood, Samuel, “Restoration and Renaming of Israel,” Christian Science Journal, Vol.36 (September 1918), p. 267.
--The numerous prophecies recorded in the Scriptures of the ultimate restoration of the house of Israel have until recently aroused but little interest, for the simple reason that Israel as a nation, or as a distinct race, has for twenty centuries or more completely lost sight of itself.
--In the account of Jacob's struggle at Peniel we find the first mention of the name Israel, which was given to him because he had prevailed over the sense of evil in himself, and had "seen God face to face."
• The literal meaning of the word is "ruling with God."
---The word Israelite has, therefore, a higher meaning than the word Hebrew, as may be inferred from Jesus' salutation to Nathanael, "Behold an Israelite indeed."
SECTION I: God Protects and Prefers the People of Israel (Isa 43 1 now, 4 [to :)
TIME LINE AND AUTHOR: Written by Isaiah 700-681 BC.
"The only explanation for the ongoing existence [v.1 created thee…formed thee] of the nation of Israel is God's sovereign grace, which brought her into existence from nothing (cf. Deut 7:6-11) and sustains her." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
Cann, Winifred Mabel, "Security," POEM, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.43 (14 September 1940), p. 37.
Oh, sing for joy, blest child of Love's anointing!
Rejoice, fear not, cast all thy cares aside!
Thy God hath called thee, all the way appointing—
The light of Truth shall be thine angel guide.
He hath redeemed thee: sing aloud in gladness!
Thou art His child, upright, unfallen, free!
Life, Truth, and Love dispel all fear and sadness—
Rise up and greet this wonderous liberty!
The watery depth and dark, swift-flowing river,
The fiery heat of furnace, scorch of flame—
These things shall harm thee not—Love can deliver;
Truth is thy shield. God's power is still the same.
Lo, thou art fashioned for His praise and glory,
Found in His likeness, precious in His sight;
Let all the nations hear Truth's blessed story—
Man dwells in Love! Love is the only might!
Knowles, Evelyn Sylvester, "Redeemed," POEM, Christian Science Journal, Vol.25 (January 1908), p. 596.
One thought he hated me: I thought the same.
His looks were bitter, and his speech a flame
That seared my soul and turned its day to night;
In agony I sought relief in flight.
I wandered far, but still his eyes met mine;
I wandered long where towers the darkling pine,
Then in the deeps of southern forests found
My weary way. He trod the self-same ground.
How to escape his hatred's quenchless fire
Became my great, my one supreme desire.
One morning as I woke from troubled sleep
I saw the sun's slant rays pour down the steep;
The world was compassed with a golden flood
That gave sure promise of a richer good….
SECTION II: Isaac Promises Esau His Inheritance; a Counter-plot by Rebekah and Jacob (Gen 27: 1, 6, 7, 9, 10)
"Blind Isaac evidently thought he was near death (v.2)." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
"Here [vv.5-17] is the sequel to 'Like father, like son': 'Like mother, like son.' Jacob had objections and he feared that Isaac might curse him; but his mother said Upon me be thy curse. So Jacob was to dress like Esau and place a goodly raiment upon himself and skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and…neck, and Rebekah skillfully prepared a substitute meal." (King James Bible Commentary)
Carter, Bernice W., "'When thou shalt have dominion,'" Christian Science Journal (September 1921), p. 274.
--In reading the story of Jacob and Esau in the Bible it may sometimes seem hard to refrain from sympathizing with Esau.
• The craftiness of Jacob in bargaining with his famished brother, compelling him to swear away his dearest and most sacred rights for a mere dish of lentils, seems heartless, contemptible; and the climax of duplicity with which he deceived his father and secured for himself the blessing with which Isaac would have blessed his first-born, seems nothing short of criminal.
---In the light of subsequent history it is not difficult to understand why the type of thought represented by Jacob gained the blessing notwithstanding craftiness and duplicity.
• He valued the birthright.
Dixon, Frederick (CSB, Acting Editor), "Deception," EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.23 (2 April 1921), p. 608.
--A half-truth is worse than a whole lie.
• It is, to begin with, necessarily more deliberate, and while it lacks the courage of the flat lie, it assumes the pretense of truth.
---It is, in other words, deception in its most despicable and dangerous form.
• "A lie," Mrs. Eddy writes, on page 17 of "Unity of Good," "has only one chance of successful deception, to be accounted true. Evil seeks to fasten all error upon God, and so make the lie seem part of eternal Truth."
---A man who takes refuge in a half-truth, with the intent to deceive, really makes the attempt to extract two chances of deception from his action.
• He tries to get the full imaginary benefit of his lie by making a partial something instead of an absolute nothing of it. In other words, he seeks to give evil the hallmark of good, in the insane hope that he can make it real and eternal.
---It is, therefore, the very deliberation and calculation involved in the half lie that makes it so dangerous to its perpetrator, in the long run; for there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed.
SECTION III: The Plot is Carried Out by Jacob; Esau Returns to Be Blessed; Isaac's Prophecy Concerning Esau; Esau Vows to Kill Jacob (Gen 27: 11, 12 [to ;], 15, 16,18, 19, 30, 31, 35, 41 [to:], 42, 43)
In v.34 "Esau fully expected to receive the blessing, for he had identified himself to his father as the first-born (v.32). Anguished at losing this important paternal blessing and bitterly acting as the innocent victim (v.36), Esau shifted the blame for the loss of his birthright and blessing to Jacob and pleaded for some compensating word of blessing from his father (vv.36,38)." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
"To deliver Jacob from Esau's vengeance, Rebekah, expert at scheming, was obliged to deliver her favorite [son] over to her similarly talented brother Laban, and apparently died before it was propitious to recall Jacob." (King James Bible Commentary)
B, E.A., "Our Inheritance, " Christian Science Journal, Vol.5 (April 1887), p. 4.
--If we are awake to the dangers surrounding us, we may guard against them; but if we are deceived, we are indeed lost.
--It is through…belief in material law, that the grossest deception the world ever knew is practised upon the people. It is used to paralyze the spirit of the people, while the deceiver plunders them of their birthright,— the knowledge of their true nature in Spirit,— that he may substitute himself as monarch and his laws as immutable.
--The instruments of deceit are indeed carnal.
• The effort is to substitute vox hominis for vox Dei, and keep the deceived so occupied that they will not suspect the deception.
--[Some] think their happiness depends upon the intrinsic worth of possessions which have no more value than a vacuum.
Welz, Carl J., (CSB, Associate Editor, and Editor) “Today’s Blessings,” EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.76 (9 November 1974), p. 1959.
--Sometimes our anxiety is born of the past.
• Something we did or did not do suggests we have failed or missed an opportunity, and we fear we might fail or miss again.
---But we can correct whatever error we might have made, regardless of its apparent consequences.
--Christian Science reveals the fact that all that exists is the ever-intelligent divine Mind and its idea.
• The only error we can make in our lives is to have a false sense of ourselves apart from Mind and its idea.
---If we think of ourselves as material personalities, we identify ourselves in error.
---If we have made mistakes because of this false identification, the mistakes exist only in the error of believing ourselves to be what we are not; and this error is present thought, even though it may seem to identify itself as past events.
SECTION IV: Jacob Journeys to "the land of the people of the east." (Gen 29: 1)
Vv. 1-4: "Conveniently meeting at his destination, shepherds who knew both Laban and Rachel reflected the directing hand of God upon his life, just as promised (28:15)." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
"The scene is a rerun of the arrival of Abraham's servant at a well near Haran described in 24:10-49, but with some interesting differences which point up the distinctive character of the main actors. There it was Rebekah who ran to and fro, watering ten thirsty camels. Here it is Jacob who heaves away the massive stone single-handedly and waters his cousin's sheep." (Eerdmans Commentary)
Poyser, Mrs. Ruth H., “’As you journey,’” Christian Science Journal, Vol.82 (January 1964), p. 22.
--As we journey, the suggestion may come that even in the face of earnest prayer and applications of truths faithfully learned, failure, misunderstanding, and lack torment our every step.
• Error may even whisper that we have done our very best, but that our spiritual understanding is inadequate to prove dominion for ourselves, and that therefore we certainly cannot be a messenger of Truth to others.
--Whatever our spiritual understanding may be, it reflects the power of God, divine Love, and is practically demonstrable because it is supported by infinite, divine Mind.
• One right thought continuously entertained is a step toward fuller spiritual awakening and demonstration.
Bauman, Mrs. Helen Wood (CSB, Associate Editor, Normal Class Teacher, and Editor), “The Forgiveness of Sin,” EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.63 (2 December 1961), p. 2087.
--Penalties have no place in divine Mind’s realm, because sin has no place there.
• But this is no comfort to one suffering the penalties he has brought upon himself by expressing sin, unless he is ready to forsake sin.
---Penalties belong in the human realm of thought, and nothing but reformation can cancel them.
--Sin brings suffering because it is a contradiction of spiritual facts.
• One could not expect to contradict the facts of mathematics without entailing penalties, and he should not expect to contradict the facts of being without similar results.
---Forgiveness of sin, according to Christian Science, is the destruction of sin.
Jacob Escapes from Laban (Gen 31:3)
"Jacob's success provoked a jealous reaction from Laban's family, but it was a call that echoed the original call to Abraham (12:1-3) that really prompted him to move. However, his wives had to be persuaded to leave home, and he retells the history of his stay in such a way that it will lead them to agree." (Eerdmans Bible Commentary)
Bradley, Alice M., “Return to Thy Country,” Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.27 (30 May 1925), p. 767.
--At a Christian Science service one Sunday [a] vision of the true native land came with startling clearness, and the direction thither was pointed very definitely to one wayfarer.
• The Scriptural reading was from the thirty-second and thirty-third chapters of Genesis, relating Jacob’s separation from Laban and his fear of meeting his brother Esau.
---In his urgent need for guidance and protection Jacob turned to God in prayer for deliverance “from the hand of Esau,” and received that spiritual refreshment which enabled him to carry out God’s command to return to his native country, although in doing so he must face the brother he had wronged.
Corley, Luda F., “’I will be with thee,’” Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.43 (2 November 1940), p. 164.
--Fulfillment of the promise, “I will be with thee,” is realized when help is needed.
• According to the teachings of Christian Science, God is Mind, and Mind is expressed in ideas.
---God is ever present; therefore, the spiritual ideas needed to guide, protect, deliver are present wherever one may be.
--Mrs. Eddy writes (Miscellaneous Writings, p.263), “Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss.”
• To dwell in thought on the presence of divine Love excludes hospitality to erroneous suggestions.
---To accept right ideas, to recognize them as coming from God, is to entertain angels.
Jacob's Communion with God, and Plans for Reunion with Esau (Gen 32: 1, 3, 6, 9, 11, 13)
"After reporting the peaceful solution of Jacob's dispute with Laban (31:54-5) the story resumes the account of his relations with his brother Esau, from whose hostile intentions he had fled (ch.27)." (Oxford Bible Commentary)
"And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him [v.1]…Jacob began in obedience to God's command, and he was met by God's messenger to encourage him." King James Bible Commentary)
Verse 7 says that Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He “had sought reconciliation with Esau (vv.4,5), but the report of the returning envoys (v.6) only confirmed his deepest suspicions that Esau’s old threat against him (27:41,42) had not abated over the years, and his coming with force signaled only disaster (vv.8,11). (MacArthur Commentary)
“Preemptive defensive measures are followed by one of the longest prayers in Genesis. This consists in an appeal to God’s mercy (v.11) sandwiched between two reminders of his promises (vv.9,12).” (Eerdmans Commentary)
“This incident, which interrupts the account of Jacob’s concluding encounter with Esau, is of central importance in the story of Jacob, even more significant than Jacob’s experience at Bethel (28:10-22).” (Oxford Bible Commentary)
[Hovnanian], Mrs. Louise Knight Wheatley [Cook] (CSB and Lecturer), “Seeing Our Brother Right,” Christian Science Journal, Vol.31 (April 1913), p. 16.
--Material sense inverts the facts of being, and says that there is not only one kind of man, but two; and here old theology and Christian Science part company, for the belief in a dual creation would not only separate man from God, but would also separate a man from his brother.
• Jacob once had a experience which proved to him the fallacy of this mode of reasoning.
---His brother, Esau, with apparently just cause for wrath, was coming out against him with four hundred men; and when the news was brought to Jacob, he “was greatly afraid and distressed.”
• He immediately proceeded to do the very worst thing he could have done,--and we as Christian Scientists, may congratulate ourselves if we have never done likewise,--he divided his household “into two bands,” which may fittingly symbolize a divided consciousness.
WAGERS, RALPH E. (CSB, Lecturer, Associate Editor, Normal Class Teacher, and President), “’The footsteps of thought,'" EDITORIAL, Christian Science Journal, Vol.83 (June 1965), p. 318.
--The belief (of the five physical senses)…would induce us to devote ourselves to material rather than spiritual objectives, needs, and considerations.
--…angels come as intuitions leading us on and providing the strength and inspiration needed to overcome every obstacle.
• …every successful encounter with worthless materialism gives us added strength to go on.
--In the thirty-second chapter of Genesis we are told that, as Jacob went on his way toward a meeting with his brother, "the angels of God met him."
• And at a crucial point in his journey, as he was about to confront Esau, Jacob had a struggle so severe and so gloriously successful that it changed his nature and merited for him the new name of Israel.
---This angel message came to him, "As a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
• Even now, in this age, the effect of his struggle is encouraging others to seek their freedom from the claims of material sense that would enslave them.
God Redeems Israel (Isa 44: 1 [to;], 22)
TIME LINE AND AUTHOR: Written by the prophet Isaiah in the pre-Exilic period, 700-681 BC.
"Further reassurances of God's sovereign grace at work on behalf of Israel were given (43:25). God had blotted out their sins [v.22] written in His book against them (cf. Rev 20:12)." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
Price, Mrs. Naomi (CSB, Lecturer, President, and Associate Editor), “Do you hear God’s voice?,” EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.80 (3 April 1978), p. 543.
--The Bible contains many accounts of God’s voice being heard and changing the course of someone’s life.
--And today many can cite instances when thoughts have come to them unexpectedly, bringing the answer to some vexatious question.
--Mrs. Eddy says in Science and Health, “The Soul-inspired patriarchs heard the voice of Truth, and talked with God as consciously as man talks with man.” [p.427]
• People of Bible times occasionally sought God in quiet places where they could commune with Him uninterrupted.
---We too need periods of quiet prayer.
--[The] scientific explanation of how God’s guidance comes to us in no way weakens our trust in His power to direct us here and now. In fact, we can expect more evidence of God’s influence for good in our human affairs as we recognize His law of harmony and respond to it.
Wingert, Caroline B., “’I have redeemed thee,’” Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.53 (6 October 1951), p.1728.
--The human consciousness awakening to Truth is concerned with redemption, and rightly so.
• This concern should be a wholehearted desire to put God first in our everyday living.
--According to a dictionary, “redeem” means to liberate, or rescue from any liability to suffer by paying a price or ransom.
--The prophet Isaiah well knew the groundlessness of fear and expressed the true meaning of redemption in the following comforting words (43:1,11): “Now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine….I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.”
--“Thou art mine.”
• In this understanding of the oneness, or unity, of man and his Maker lies eternal redemption.
---Man is already perfect.
Christian Science is here to awaken mankind to this spiritual fact.
SECTION V: Jacob and His Mysterious Adversary (Gen 32: 24-30)
"This story has provoked extended commentary (the earliest being Hos 12:3-4 and Wisd of Sol 10:10-12)." (Eerdmans Commentary)
"The conflict [vv.25-32] brought to a head the battling and groping of a lifetime, and Jacob's desperate embrace vividly expressed his ambivalent attitude to God, of love and enmity, defiance and dependence. It was against Him, not Esau or Laban, that he had been pitting his strength, as he now discovered; yet the initiative had been God's as it was this night, to chasten his pride and challenge his tenacity." (King James Bible Commentary)
Jacob finally realizes that "he has been locked in a struggle with God, and has seen him face to face (pĕnī'ēl means 'face of God')." (Oxford Bible Commentary)
Knott, Annie Macmillan (CSB, Assistant Editor, Associate Editor, Trustee, Bible Lesson Committee, and Director), “Spiritual Wrestlings,” Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.11 (16 January 1908), p. 390.
--As we begin to recognize spiritual facts, we…see material conditions which have seemed very threatening to human sense, disappear before a dawning apprehension of Truth and Love.
--Such is the story of Jacob's experience at Peniel, when he wrestled with the angel and communed with God "face to face."
• Jacob had left his father's house many years before, because of the fierce anger of his brother Esau, but the time came when he was bidden to leave the idolatrous surroundings of Padan-aram and return to the land of his kindred.
---We read that he was pursued by Laban, his father-in-law and business partner, and that a treaty of peace was made between them after their differences had been settled.
• Then we are told that, as Jacob went on his way, "the angels of God met him," and helped to prepare him for another peaceful victory.
WAGERS, RALPH E. (CSB, Lecturer, Associate Editor, President, and Normal Class Teacher), “Children of Israel,” EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.62 (14 May 1960), p. 855.
--Perhaps most of us have assumed that the beneficiaries of some unusual promises in the Bible were a certain people who shared a common ancestry.
• But that is not the case.
---Such promises are for people who share a common spiritual experience, that of overcoming a false mortal sense of life through the power of Spirit.
--In the Glossary of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy refers to "Jacob" as "a corporeal mortal embracing duplicity, repentance, sensualism" (p.589).
--The term 'children of Israel"….appears in the Glossary (p.583): "The representatives of Soul, not corporeal sense; the offspring of Spirit, who, having wrestled with error, sin, and sense, are governed by divine Science; some of the ideas of God beheld as men, casting out error and healing the sick; Christ's offspring."
--On his way to make amends Jacob had an experience that not only changed his character, but established a precedent for those who would follow.
• What he went through is dramatically presented in the thirty-second chapter of Genesis.
Esau's Reunion and Reconciliation with Jacob (Gen 33: 1 [to 1st.], 4, 8-11)
"The reconciliation between Jacob and his wronged brother resolves the tension built up in 32:1-21." (Oxford Bible Commentary)
Vv. 5-11: "Family introductions (vv.5-7) and an explanation of the gift of 550 animals (vv.8-10; cf. 32: 13-21) properly acknowledged the gracious provision of the Lord upon Jacob's life (vv.5, 11)." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
"Do I have Enough?," FROM THE EDITORS, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.109 (7 May 2007), p. 28.
--When Esau and Jacob reunite, each says to his brother, "I have enough."
• On the surface they're describing their possessions.
---But more tellingly, their words acknowledge the inner growth they've experienced.
• Wasn't Jacob's actual gain the substance of humility and willingness to serve and glorify God!
---And Esau surely gained the blessings of forgiveness and grace.
• The growth in each brother's human well-being only faintly mirrored their true value in God.
--The lessons Jacob and Esau learned foretold one of Christianity's core messages: Seek God and your own spiritual identity first, and you'll have all you need.
Davis, Katherine K., “’The face of God,’” OF SPECIAL INTEREST TO YOUTH, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.47 (25 August 1945), p. 1335.
--“You know,” said Sally to her mother, “starting to high school in a new town isn’t easy.”
--“You remind me of Jacob,” said her mother. “You remember that because he stole Esau’s blessing he was afraid to meet him again. Jacob expected something much worse than a cold shoulder; he thought Esau would kill him. But that didn’t stop him; he went ahead and made all the preparations for the meeting. And that very night the angel came to him at Peniel.”
--“Just what was that angel?” asked Sally.
--“The Bible doesn’t say exactly, but it was some new thought about God.
• He must have caught a glimpse of the fact that God is Love, and that nothing else is real.
SECTION VI: Israel Restored Through the Promised Christ and Covenant (Rom 11: 26, 27)
RELATED SCRIPTURE: Isa 59: 20, 21
TIME LINE AND AUTHOR: Written by Paul to the church at Rome, 56 AD.
"All the elect Jewish people [v.26 all Israel) alive at the end of the Tribulation, not the believing remnant of Jews within the church during this church age." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
Knott, Mrs. Annie McMillan (CSB, Lecturer, Assistant Editor, Associate Editor, Trustee, Bible Lesson Committee, and Director), "The Prosperity of Zion," EDITORIAL, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.13 (8 April 1911), p. 630.
--All students of the Bible recognize the deep spiritual significance which attaches to the mention of Jerusalem, whose history is of such mighty import to Jew and Christian alike; the more so, that St. John, in telling us of the spiritual and permanent home of all God's children, calls it "new Jerusalem," and again, "the holy Jerusalem," that home of Soul in which is neither sickness, sin, nor death,—in other words, the ideal city, governed by God, divine Principle, and lighted by the glory of divine Truth and Love.
--…the peace and prosperity of Zion are linked close to that of the citizens.
• At this point it is well to consider the definition of Zion as given in Science and Health (p. 599): "Spiritual foundation and superstructure; inspiration; spiritual strength. Emptiness; unfaithfulness; desolation."
--The old material methods of thinking and doing have been found insufficient to meet our needs; therefore we must bestir ourselves and let the divine energies of Truth take entire possession of us, that we may prove, to ourselves at least, how truly alive we are in working out our salvation.
__________, "A Faultless Covenant," Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.11 (6 March 1909), p. 530.
--All through the Bible—both in the Old and the New Testament—we find frequent references to God's covenant with man….
--No one can deny that mortals have strayed very far from obedience to divine law, or fidelity to the divine covenant, and although they have suffered constantly for their wanderings, they have clung to error with a tenacity worthy of a better cause.
--In Christian Science we are brought face to face with the faultless covenant of Truth and Love, in which God's ever-operative laws of health and happiness, of purity and peace, are written upon human consciousness, transforming it from the first moment of our awakening to the demands of Truth.
• It is therefore of the utmost importance that we let go of the old mortal concepts of God and His law, which have failed to bring us either life or peace.
The Paralytic Healed and His Sins Forgiven (Matt 9: 2-7)
PARALLEL GOSPELS: Mark 2: 2-12; Luke 5: 18-26
TIME LINE: The Year of Popularity and Fundamental Principles (Jesus' 2nd year of ministry), 28 AD at Capernaum.
"a man sick of the palsy" This story is told in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Matthew and Mark it is called “The Sick of the Palsy;” in Luke it is called “The Paralytic.” “This conflict episode is the first of five conflict episodes (2:1-2; 13-17, 18-22, 23-28; 3:1-6).” (MacArthur Commentary)
"Jesus had been traveling throughout Galilee, preaching and teaching, and people keep coming to him to be healed and cured." (On Your Mark) His "entry into Capernaum was unknown by the public," but when "someone discovered his presence, the news spread like wildfire." (King James Commentary) "As Jesus arrives at Capernaum, some people carry to him a man who was unable to walk, presumably near the shore in the hope that Jesus will heal him ([Matt] 9:2-8)." (Eerdmans Commentary) "Brought to Jesus on a bed, the man's paralysis was severe. Jesus' words of forgiveness [v.2] may indicate that the paralysis was a direct consequence of the man's own sin." (MacArthur Commentary)
“The peculiarity of this miracle is that it was worked to prove a doctrine, and that in the face of opposition. There were present certain scribes and Pharisees, some of whom had doubtless come from Jerusalem expressly to oppose Jesus. Jesus at once threw them a challenge by saying to the man, ‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.’ The scribes understood this to mean that He claimed to forgive sins as only God can do. Instead of repudiating this suggestion, as a mere man would have done, Jesus accepted it, and proceeded to prove His claim by a miracle.” (Dummelow Commentary) "In response to the scribes' and Pharisees' questioning, Jesus claims that 'the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' ([Luke]5:24)." (Eerdmans Commentary) "It is certainly easier to claim the power to pronounce absolution from sin [whether is easier] than to demonstrate the power to heal." (MacArthur Bible Commentary)
"[Luke] alone mentions the glorifying of God by the paralytic [v.25], and the fear of the bystanders." (Peake's Commentary) "The audience was stunned again when Jesus healed the man of his paralysis [Matt 9:8]; and they marveled, (lit., they were afraid)." (King James Bible Commentary)
"More than in any other source the scribes are seen as a unified group in the NT, but this view may not be historically accurate. The Synoptic Gospel writers see the scribes as a group opposed to Jesus but say very little about their other characteristics." (Anchor Bible Dictionary) It is evident that in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions (Matt 23), thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles "scribes" and "lawyers" (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Matt 22:35; Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39, etc.). They were in the time of Jesus the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles (Acts 4:5; 6:12).
Heaton, Rose Henniker, [Untitled] POEM, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.15 (15 March 1913), p. 549.
"Be of good cheer," he said;
Yet well he knew
The way seems hard and weary, too,
And still he says this day to you,
"Be of good cheer!"
"Be of good cheer," he said,
O trembling one!
So much attempted and so little done?
Love will complete the work by you begun,
Be of good cheer!
Burnside, Glynard A., “God Glorified,” POEM, Christian Science Sentinel, Vol.60 (30 August 1958), p. 1514.
When we have set
And human pride,
Then our portion—
Will crown endeavor
With God glorified.
Dixon, Frederick (CSB and Acting Editor), "Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1921)," EDITORIAL, Christian Science Journal, Vol.39 (July 1921), p. 153.
--…Mrs. Eddy, slipping on the ice of a Lynn sidewalk, sustained those…injuries from which she was healed, when the doctor saw no hope, by reading her Bible: "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blas-phemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to for-give sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men."
--It was the sudden realization of what that passage meant that "opened" the Scripture to her.
• For twenty years she had been striving, in her own way, to solve the great riddle of the philosophers, the problem of causation.
---Now, lying on her bed, she gained her first clear conception of what Christ Jesus had meant that day on Olivet, and demonstrated in the streets of Capernaum.
• The human concept of the earth and of the skies had changed wonderfully in those eighteen centuries, but here was she, in a land of which the scribes and the Pharisees had never heard, reading the story of the healing of the palsied man in Capernaum, with a gathering spiritual realization of what it all meant.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Bible Translations King James Version (KJV). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 1611 (1955 ed.)
Metzger, Bruce M. and Roland E. Murphy (eds.), The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV). Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1991.
Moffatt, James, A New Translation of the Bible. Harper & Brothers Publishers: New York, NY, 1922 (1954 ed.)
New English Bible, The (NEB). Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1961 (1972 ed.).
New International Version (NIV): Student Bible. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 1986 (2002 ed.).
Schuller, Robert H. (ex.ed.), Possibility Thinkers Bible: The New King James Version (NKJV). Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, TN, 1984.
Scofield, Rev. C.I., D.D., The Scofield Reference Bible (KJV). Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 1909 (1945 ed.)
Thompson, Frank Charles (ed.), The New Chain-Reference Bible (KJV). B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co: Indianapolis, IN, 1964.
Today’s Parallel Bible (KJV, NIV, NASB, NLT). Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 2000.
Bible Paraphrased Interpretations Peterson, Eugene H., The Message. NavPress: Colorado Springs, CO, 1993 (2002 ed.)
Phillips, J.B., The New Testament in Modern English. Macmillan Publishing Co.: New York, NY, 1958 (1973 edition).
Barton, John and John Muddiman (ed.), The Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 2001.
Black, Matthew and H.H. Rowley (eds.), Peake’s Commentary on the Bible.
Van Nostrand Reinhold (UK) Co., Ltd: London, ENG, 1962.
Boring, M. Eugene, Revelation: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.
John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1989.
Boring, M. Eugene and Fred B. Craddock, The People's New Testament Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 2004.
Buttrick, George Arthur (comm.ed., et al), The Interpreter’s Bible. Abingdon Press: New York, NY, 1953.
Craddock, Fred B., Luke: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.
John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1990.
Creach, Jerome F.D., Joshua: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.
John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 2003.
Dobson, Edward G. (cont. et al), King James Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, TN, 1999.
Dummelow, The Rev J.R. (ed.), A Commentary on the Holy Bible. MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc: New York, NY, 1908 (1975 ed.).
Dunn, James D.G. (gen.ed.), Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.: Grand Rapids, MI, 2003.
Eiselen, Frederick C. (ed.), The Abingdon Bible Commentary. Abingdon Press: New York, NY, 1929.
Fretheim, Terence E., Exodus: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.
John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1991.
Gore, Charles, Henry Leighton Goude, and Alfred Guillaume (eds.), A New Commentary on Holy Scripture. The Macmillan Company: New York, NY, 1928.
Hare, Douglas R.A., Matthew: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.
John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1993.
Henry, Matthew, Commentary on the Holy Bible (in six volumes), 1706. Reprinted by MacDonald Publishing Co.: McLean, VA.
Laymon, Charles M. (ed.), The Interpreter’s One-volume Commentary on the Bible. Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN, 1971.
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, TN, 2005.
Matera, Frank J., II Corinthians: The New Testament Library. Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 2003.
Mays, James L. (gen ed.), HarperCollins Bible Commentary. Harper: San Francisco, CA, 2000.
McKenna, Megan, On Your Mark. Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY, 2006.
Newsom, Carol A. and Sharon H. Ringe (eds.), Women’s Bible Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1998.
Perkins, Pheme, First and Second Peter, James, and Jude: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1995.
Smith, D. Moody, First, Second, and Third John: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. John Knox Press: Louisville, KY, 1991.
Weiser, Artur, The Psalms: The Old Testament Library. Westminster Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1962.
Whiston, William (tr.), Josephus: The Complete Works. Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, TN, 1998 (reprinted). [100 AD]
Achtemeier, Paul J. (ed.), The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Harper: San Francisco, 1996.
Brownrigg, Ronald, Who’s Who in the Bible. The New Testament. Bonanza Books: New York, NY, 1980.
Butler, Trent C., Ph.D. (gen.ed.), Holmon Bible Dictionary. Holman Bible Publishers: Nashville, TN, 1991.
Buttrick, George Arthur (ed.), The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (in four volumes). Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN, 1962.
Comay, Joan, Who’s Who in the Bible: The Old Testament. Bonanza Books: New York, NY, 1980.
Freedman, David Noel (editor-in-chief), The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Doubleday: New York, NY, 1992.
__________, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids, MI, 2000.
Gehman, Henry Snyder (ed.), The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible. The Westminster Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1970.
Jacobus, Melancthon, D.D,, et.al (eds.), Funk and Wagnalls New Standrad Bible Dictionary. Funk and Wagnalls Co.: New York, NY, 1936 (Third Revised Ed.)
Losch, Richard R., All the People in the Bible. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.: Grand Rapids, MI, 2008.
Metzger, Bruce and Michael D. Coogan (eds.), The Oxford Guide to Ideas & Issues of the Bible. Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2001.
__________, The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible. Oxford University Press: New York, NY, 2001.
Meyers, Carol (gen.ed.), Women in Scripture. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.: Grand Rapids, MI, 2001.
Peloubet, F.N., Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary. The John C. Winston Co: Philadelphia, PA, 1947.
Smith, William, LLD, A Dictionary of the Bible. American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia, PA, 1893.
Who Was Who in the Bible. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN, 1999.
www.crosswalk.com, Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary.
www.crosswalk.com, Easton’s Bible Dictionary.
Handbooks Blair, Edward P., Abingdon Bible Handbook. Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN, 1975.
Bowker, John (ed.), The Complete Bible Handbook. DK Publishing, Inc: London, UK, 1998.
Halley, Henry H., Halley’s Bible Handbook. Zondervan Publishing House: Grand Rapid, MI, 1927 (1965 ed.)
Unger, Merrill F., Unger’s Bible Handbook. Moody Press: Chicago, IL, 1967.
Atlases, Maps, and Geography DeVries, LaMoine F., Cities of the Biblical World. Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody, MA, 1997 (2nd Printing Aug 1998).
Frank, Harry Thomas (ed.), Atlas of the Bible Lands. Hammond Inc.: Maplewood, NJ, 1990.
Isbouts, Jean-Pierre, The Biblical World: an illustrated atlas. National Geographic: Washington, DC, 2007.
Nelson’s Complete Book of Maps & Charts. Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, TV, 1996.
Then and Now Bible Map Book. Rose Publishing: Torrance, CA, 1997.
Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. G. & C. Merriam co.: Springfield, MA, 1949 (1963 ed.).
Whitney, Rev. George H., D.D., Hand-Book of Bible Geography. Phillips & Hunt: New York, NY, 1879.
Wright, Paul H., Holmon Quick Source Bible Atlas. Holmon Bible Publishers: Nashville, TN, 2005.
Time Lines Bible Time-Line. Christian Science Publishing Society: Boston, MA, 1993.
Bible Time Line. Rose Publishing Inc.: Torrance, CA, 2001.
Grun, Bernard, The Timetables of History. Simon & Schuster: New York, NY, 1975 (3rd ed.)
Miscellaneous Andruss, Bessie Edmond, Bible Stories as Told To Very Little Children. Coward-McCann, Inc.: New York, NY, 1937.
Asimov, Isaac, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: Two Volumes in One. Wings Books: New York, NY, 1969.
Baker, Mark (ed.), The Baker Encyclopedia of Bible People. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, MI, 2006.
Barber, Wayne, Eddie Rasnake, and Richard Shepherd, Following God: Learning Life Principles from the Women of the Bible, Book One. AMG Publishers: Chattanooga, TN, 2006 (13th printing)
Beebe, Mary Jo; Olene E. Carroll, and Nancy H. Fischer, Jesus’ Healings, Part 1. General Publications Bible Products, CSPS: Boston, MA, 2002
__________, Jesus’ Healings, Part 2. General Publications Bible Products, CSPS: Boston, MA, 2002.
__________, Jesus’ Healings, Part 3. General Publications Bible Products, CSPS: Boston, MA, 2002.
__________, New Testament Healings: Peter, Paul, and Friends. General Publications Bible Products, CSPS: Boston, MA, 2003.
Begbie, Harold (ed.), The Children's Story Bible. The Grolier Society: New York, NY, 1948.
Bible Through the Ages, The. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.: Pleasantville, NY, 1996.
Children's Bible, The. Golden Press: New York, NY, 1965.
Click, E. Dale, The Inner Circle. CSS Publishing Company, Inc.: Lima, OH, 2000.
Crossan, John Dominic, The Birth of Christianity. HarperCollins Publishing: San Francisco, CA, 1998.
Deem, Edith, All of the Women of the Bible. HarperCollins: San Francisco, CA, 1955.
Dewey, David, A User's Guide to Bible Translations. InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL, 2004.
Essex, Barbara J., Bad Boys of the New Testament. The Pilgrim Press: Cleveland, OH, 2005.
Feiler, Bruce, Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths. William Morrow (HarperCollins Publishers Inc): New York, NY, 2002.
Getty-Sullivan, Mary Ann, Women in the New Testament. The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, MN, 2001.
Great People of the Bible and How They Lived. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.: Pleasantville, NY, 1974 (3rd Printing).
Haag, Herbert and Dorothee Soelle et.al., Great Couples of the Bible. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN, 2004 (English Translation, 2006)
Hill, Craig C., Hellenists and Hebrews. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN, 1992.
Kee, Howard Clark, et al, The Cambridge Companion to the Bible. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 1997.
Keller, Werner, The Bible as History. William Morrow and Co.: New York, NY, 1964 (revised).
Kirsch, Jonathan, The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible. Ballantine Books: New York, NY, 1997.
Landis, Benson Y., An Outline of the Bible Book by Book. Barnes & Noble Books: New York, NY, 1963.
Lockyer, Herbert, All the Women of the Bible. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.
McBirnie, William Steuart, Ph.D., The Search for the Twelve Apostles. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.: Carol Stream, IL, 1973.
Miller, Madeleine S. and J. Lane, Harper’s Encyclopedia of Bible Life. Harper & Row Publishers: San Francisco, CA, 1978.
Murphy, Kathleen, The Women of the Passion. Liguori Publications: Liguori, MO, 2005.
Mysteries of the Bible. The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.: Pleasantville, NY, 1988.
Schmithals, Walter, The Office of the Apostle in the Early Church. Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN, 1969.
Smith, Wilbur M., D.D. (ed.), Peloubet’s Select Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons. W.A. Wilde Co.: Boston, MA, 1943.
Snipes, Joan Koelle, Bible Study for Children. Bible Teaching Press: Shepherdstown, WV, 1999.
Tosto, Peter (ed.), Found Volumes, Version 2007 (software). www.foundvolumes.com: Marietta, GA, 2007.
Trammell, Mary Metzner & William G. Dawley, The Reforming Power of the Scriptures: A Biography of the English Bible. The Christian Science Publishing Society: Boston, MA, 1996.
Trench, R.C., Notes on the Parables of Our Lord. Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, MI, 1948.
Willmington, Harold L., The Outline Bible. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.: Carol Stream, IL, 1999.
Zondervan Bible Study Library 5.0., Family Edition (software). Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 2003.
*The weekly Bible Lessons are made up of selections from the King James Version of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
CSDirectory.com weekly Bible Study resources http://www.csdirectory.com/biblestudy/nw-index.html