Playing false with the Bible

November 3rd, 2012

When I initially left the Christian Science church and received Christian baptism, years ago, I regarded Mary Baker Eddy as a well-intentioned spiritual seeker who got some crucial things wrong but was still in some ways a reliable spiritual guide. In time, however, I came to believe that she was willfully false to Scripture and no true disciple of Jesus Christ, hence not someone we should follow in any way.

Studying St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians last week, I remembered two striking examples of Mrs. Eddy’s apostasy. At the head of Chapter VII on p. 107 in her textbook, Science and Health, she quotes in reference to herself, Gal. 1:11,12: “I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Yet Paul in this very passage is warning against the attractions of “another gospel [which] would pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ” – and what is the Eddy teaching, with its denial of Jesus’ divinity and his atoning death, but exactly that?

The dishonest quoting occurs again on p. 478 of Science and Health, where she again claims the mantle of a modern-day Paul with these lines from Gal. 1:15,16: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, … I conferred not with flesh and blood.” Look closely at the words she omitted with those three dots: “to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen.”

What can we conclude, but that Mrs. Eddy did not see her mission as witness for the Son of God incarnate and preaching faithfully of that crucified and risen Lord? Rather it was her own quasi-biblical metaphysics that she sought to advance.

To say that Mrs. Eddy, in these and many similar passages from her writings, used questionable interpretations or played loose with the Bible, is too kind, I’m afraid. She played false with the Bible, which seems to me an utter forfeiture of our trust. How does it seem to you?

The author can be reached at

Comments are closed.