Chapter 17 — Glossary
From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy
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These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that
hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth;
and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold,
I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.
1 In Christian Science we learn that the substitution of
the spiritual for the material definition of a Scrip-
3 tural word often elucidates the meaning of the inspired
writer. On this account this chapter is added. It con-
tains the metaphysical interpretation of Bible terms,
6 giving their spiritual sense, which is also their original
ABEL. Watchfulness; self-offering; surrendering to
9 the creator the early fruits of experience.
ABRAHAM. Fidelity; faith in the divine Life and in the
eternal Principle of being.
12 This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create
trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of
15 ADAM. Error; a falsity; the belief in “original sin,”
sickness, and death; evil; the opposite of good, — of God
and His creation; a curse; a belief in intelligent matter,
1 finiteness, and mortality; “dust to dust;” red sand-
stone; nothingness; the first god of mythology; not
3 God’s man, who represents the one God and is His own
image and likeness; the opposite of Spirit and His crea-
tions; that which is not the image and likeness of good,
6 but a material belief, opposed to the one Mind, or Spirit;
a so-called finite mind, producing other minds, thus mak-
ing “gods many and lords many” (I Corinthians viii. 5);
9 a product of nothing as the mimicry of something; an
unreality as opposed to the great reality of spiritual ex-
istence and creation; a so-called man, whose origin,
12 substance, and mind are found to be the antipode of
God, or Spirit; an inverted image of Spirit; the image
and likeness of what God has not created, namely, mat-
15 ter, sin, sickness, and death; the opposer of Truth,
termed error; Life’s counterfeit, which ultimates in
death; the opposite of Love, called hate; the usurper
18 of Spirit’s creation, called self-creative matter; immor-
tality’s opposite, mortality; that of which wisdom saith,
“Thou shalt surely die.”
21 The name Adam represents the false supposition that
Life is not eternal, but has beginning and end; that the
infinite enters the finite, that intelligence passes into non-
24 intelligence, and that Soul dwells in material sense; that
immortal Mind results in matter, and matter in mortal
mind; that the one God and creator entered what He cre-
27 ated, and then disappeared in the atheism of matter.
ADVERSARY. An adversary is one who opposes, denies,
disputes, not one who constructs and sustains reality and
30 Truth. Jesus said of the devil, “He was a murderer from
the beginning, … he is a liar and the father of it.”
1 This view of Satan is confirmed by the name often con-
ferred upon him in Scripture, the “adversary.”
3 ALMIGHTY. All-power; infinity; omnipotence.
ANGELS. God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual
intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness,
6 purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality,
ARK. Safety; the idea, or reflection, of Truth, proved
9 to be as immortal as its Principle; the understanding of
Spirit, destroying belief in matter.
God and man coexistent and eternal; Science show-
12 ing that the spiritual realities of all things are created
by Him and exist forever. The ark indicates temptation
overcome and followed by exaltation.
15 ASHER (Jacob’s son). Hope and faith; spiritual com-
pensation; the ills of the flesh rebuked.
BABEL. Self-destroying error; a kingdom divided
18 against itself, which cannot stand; material knowledge.
The higher false knowledge builds on the basis of evi-
dence obtained from the five corporeal senses, the more
21 confusion ensues, and the more certain is the downfall
of its structure.
BAPTISM. Purification by Spirit; submergence in
We are “willing rather to be absent from the body,
and to be present with the Lord.” (II Corinthians v. 8.)
1 BELIEVING. Firmness and constancy; not a faltering
nor a blind faith, but the perception of spiritual Truth.
3 Mortal thoughts, illusion.
BENJAMIN (Jacob’s son). A physical belief as to life,
substance, and mind; human knowledge, or so-called
6 mortal mind, devoted to matter; pride; envy; fame;
illusion; a false belief; error masquerading as the pos-
sessor of life, strength, animation, and power to act.
9 Renewal of affections; self-offering; an improved
state of mortal mind; the introduction of a more spiritual
origin; a gleam of the infinite idea of the infinite Prin-
12 ciple; a spiritual type; that which comforts, consoles,
BRIDE. Purity and innocence, conceiving man in the
15 idea of God; a sense of Soul, which has spiritual bliss
and enjoys but cannot suffer.
BRIDEGROOM. Spiritual understanding; the pure con-
18 sciousness that God, the divine Principle, creates man
as His own spiritual idea, and that God is the only crea-
21 BURIAL. Corporeality and physical sense put out of
sight and hearing; annihilation. Submergence in Spirit;
immortality brought to light.
24 CANAAN (the son of Ham). A sensuous belief; the
testimony of what is termed material sense; the error
which would make man mortal and would make mortal
27 mind a slave to the body.
CHILDREN. The spiritual thoughts and representa-
tives of Life, Truth, and Love.
1 Sensual and mortal beliefs; counterfeits of creation,
whose better originals are God’s thoughts, not in em-
3 bryo, but in maturity; material suppositions of life, sub-
stance, and intelligence, opposed to the Science of being.
CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. The representatives of Soul, not
6 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
9 out error and healing the sick; Christ’s offspring.
CHRIST. The divine manifestation of God, which comes
to the flesh to destroy incarnate error.
12 CHURCH. The structure of Truth and Love; what-
ever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.
The Church is that institution, which affords proof of
15 its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the
dormant understanding from material beliefs to the ap-
prehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of
18 divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and
healing the sick.
CREATOR. Spirit; Mind; intelligence; the animating
21 divine Principle of all that is real and good; self-existent
Life, Truth, and Love; that which is perfect and eternal;
the opposite of matter and evil, which have no Prin-
24 ciple; God, who made all that was made and could not
create an atom or an element the opposite of Himself.
DAN (Jacob’s son). Animal magnetism; so-called mor-
27 tal mind controlling mortal mind; error, working out
the designs of error; one belief preying upon another.
1 DAY. The irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea
of Truth and Love.
3 “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
(Genesis i. 5.) The objects of time and sense disappear
in the illumination of spiritual understanding, and Mind
6 measures time according to the good that is unfolded.
This unfolding is God’s day, and “there shall be no night
9 DEATH. An illusion, the lie of life in matter; the un-
real and untrue; the opposite of Life.
Matter has no life, hence it has no real existence. Mind
12 is immortal. The flesh, warring against Spirit; that
which frets itself free from one belief only to be fettered
by another, until every belief of life where Life is not
15 yields to eternal Life. Any material evidence of death is
false, for it contradicts the spiritual facts of being.
DEVIL. Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality nor
18 mind; the opposite of Truth; a belief in sin, sickness,
and death; animal magnetism or hypnotism; the lust of
the flesh, which saith: ” I am life and intelligence in
21 matter. There is more than one mind, for I am mind, —
a wicked mind, self-made or created by a tribal god and
put into the opposite of mind, termed matter, thence to
24 reproduce a mortal universe, including man, not after the
image and likeness of Spirit, but after its own image.”
DOVE. A symbol of divine Science; purity and peace;
27 hope and faith.
DUST. Nothingness; the absence of substance, life, or
1 EARS. Not organs of the so-called corporeal senses,
but spiritual understanding.
3 Jesus said, referring to spiritual perception, “Having
ears, hear ye not?” (Mark viii. 18.)
EARTH. A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality,
6 which are likewise without beginning or end.
To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense,
it is a compound idea.
9 ELIAS. Prophecy; spiritual evidence opposed to mate-
rial sense; Christian Science, with which can be discerned
the spiritual fact of whatever the material senses behold;
12 the basis of immortality.
“Elias truly shall first come and restore all things.”
(Matthew xvii. 11.)
15 ERROR. See chapter on Recapitulation, page 472.
EUPHRATES (river). Divine Science encompassing
the universe and man; the true idea of God; a type
18 of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the
place of physics; the reign of righteousness. The atmos-
phere of human belief before it accepts sin, sickness, or
21 death; a state of mortal thought, the only error of which
is limitation; finity; the opposite of infinity.
EVE. A beginning; mortality; that which does not
24 last forever; a finite belief concerning life, substance,
and intelligence in matter; error; the belief that the hu-
man race originated materially instead of spiritually, —
27 that man started first from dust, second from a rib, and
third from an egg.
1 EVENING. Mistiness of mortal thought; weariness of
mortal mind; obscured views; peace and rest.
3 EYES. Spiritual discernment, — not material but
mental. Jesus said, thinking of the outward vision, “Having
6 eyes, see ye not?” (Mark viii. 18.)
FAN. Separator of fable from fact; that which gives
action to thought.
9 FATHER. Eternal Life; the one Mind; the divine
Principle, commonly called God.
FEAR. Heat; inflammation; anxiety; ignorance; error;
12 desire; caution.
FIRE. Fear; remorse; lust; hatred; destruction; afflic-
tion purifying and elevating man.
15 FIRMAMENT. Spiritual understanding; the scientific
line of demarcation between Truth and error, between
Spirit and so-called matter.
18 FLESH. An error of physical belief; a supposition that
life, substance, and intelligence are in matter; an illusion;
a belief that matter has sensation.
21 GAD (Jacob’s son). Science; spiritual being under-
stood; haste towards harmony.
GETHSEMANE. Patient woe; the human yielding to
24 the divine; love meeting no response, but still remaining
1 GHOST. An illusion; a belief that mind is outlined
and limited; a supposition that spirit is finite.
3 GIHON (river). The rights of woman acknowledged
morally, civilly, and socially.
GOD. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing,
6 all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle;
Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance;
9 GODS. Mythology; a belief that life, substance, and
intelligence are both mental and material; a supposition
of sentient physicality; the belief that infinite Mind is in
12 finite forms; the various theories that hold mind to be a
material sense, existing in brain, nerve, matter; supposi-
titious minds, or souls, going in and out of matter, erring
15 and mortal; the serpents of error, which say, “Ye shall
be as gods.”
God is one God, infinite and perfect, and cannot be-
18 come finite and imperfect.
GOOD. God; Spirit; omnipotence; omniscience; om-
21 HAM (Noah’s son). Corporeal belief; sensuality;
HEART. Mortal feelings, motives, affections, joys, and
HEAVEN. Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government
by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere
27 of Soul.
1 HELL. Mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred;
revenge; sin; sickness; death; suffering and self-de-
3 struction, self-imposed agony; effects of sin; that which
“worketh abomination or maketh a lie.”
HIDDEKEL (river). Divine Science understood and
HOLY GHOST. Divine Science; the development of
eternal Life, Truth, and Love.
9 I, or EGO. Divine Principle; Spirit; Soul; incor-
poreal, unerring, immortal, and eternal Mind.
There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or
12 Mind, governing all existence; man and woman un-
changed forever in their individual characters, even as
numbers which never blend with each other, though they
15 are governed by one Principle. All the objects of God’s
creation reflect one Mind, and whatever reflects not this
one Mind, is false and erroneous, even the belief that
18 life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and
I am. God; incorporeal and eternal Mind; divine
21 Principle; the only Ego.
IN. A term obsolete in Science if used with reference
to Spirit, or Deity.
24 INTELLIGENCE. Substance; self-existent and eternal
Mind; that which is never unconscious nor limited.
See chapter on Recapitulation, page 469.
1 ISSACHAR (Jacob’s son). A corporeal belief; the
offspring of error; envy; hatred; selfishness; self-will;
JACOB. A corporeal mortal embracing duplicity, re-
pentance, sensualism. Inspiration; the revelation of
6 Science, in which the so-called material senses yield to
the spiritual sense of Life and Love.
JAPHET (Noah’s son). A type of spiritual peace, flow-
9 ing from the understanding that God is the divine Prin-
ciple of all existence, and that man is His idea, the child
of His care.
12 JERUSALEM. Mortal belief and knowledge obtained
from the five corporeal senses; the pride of power and
the power of pride; sensuality; envy; oppression; tyr-
15 anny. Home, heaven.
JESUS. The highest human corporeal concept of the
divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing
18 to light man’s immortality.
JOSEPH. A corporeal mortal; a higher sense of Truth
rebuking mortal belief, or error, and showing the immor-
21 tality and supremacy of Truth; pure affection blessing
JUDAH. A corporeal material belief progressing and
24 disappearing; the spiritual understanding of God and
1 KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. The rein of harmony in divine
Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent
3 Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme.
KNOWLEDGE. Evidence obtained from the five cor-
poreal senses; mortality; beliefs and opinions; human
6 theories, doctrines, hypotheses; that which is not divine
and is the origin of sin, sickness, and death; the oppo-
site of spiritual Truth and understanding.
9 LAMB OF GOD. The spiritual idea of Love; self-im-
molation; innocence and purity; sacrifice.
LEVI (Jacob’s son). A corporeal and sensual belief;
12 mortal man; denial of the fulness of God’s creation;
LIFE. See chapter on Recapitulation, page 468.
15 LORD. In the Hebrew, this term is sometimes em-
ployed as a title, which has the inferior sense of master,
or ruler. In the Greek, the word kurios almost always
18 has this lower sense, unless specially coupled with the
name God. Its higher signification is Supreme Ruler.
LORD GOD. Jehovah.
21 This double term is not used in the first chapter of
Genesis, the record of spiritual creation. It is intro-
duced in the second and following chapters, when the
24 spiritual sense of God and of infinity is disappearing
from the recorder’s thought, — when the true scientific
statements of the Scriptures become clouded through a
1 physical sense of God as finite and corporeal. From this
follow idolatry and mythology, — belief in many gods, or
3 material intelligences, as the opposite of the one Spirit,
or intelligence, named Elohim, or God.
MAN. The compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spirit-
6 ual image and likeness of God; the full representation of
MATTER. Mythology; mortality; another name for
9 mortal mind; illusion; intelligence, substance, and life
in non-intelligence and mortality; life resulting in death,
and death in life; sensation in the sensationless; mind
12 originating in matter; the opposite of Truth; the oppo-
site of Spirit; the opposite of God; that of which immortal
Mind takes no cognizance; that which mortal mind sees,
15 feels, hears, tastes, and smells only in belief.
MIND. The only I, or Us; the only Spirit, Soul, divine
Principle, substance, Life, Truth, Love; the one God;
18 not that which is in man, but the divine Principle, or God,
of whom man is the full and perfect expression; Deity,
which outlines but is not outlined.
21 MIRACLE. That which is divinely natural, but must
be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science.
MORNING. Light; symbol of Truth; revelation and
MORTAL MIND. Nothing claiming to be something,
for Mind is immortal; mythology; error creating other
27 errors; a suppositional material sense, alias the belief
1 that sensation is in matter, which is sensationless; a be-
lief that life, substance, and intelligence are in and of
3 matter; the opposite of Spirit, and therefore the opposite
of God, or good; the belief that life has a beginning
and therefore an end; the belief that man is the off-
6 spring of mortals; the belief that there can be more than
one creator; idolatry; the subjective states of error;
material senses; that which neither exists in Science nor
9 can be recognized by the spiritual sense; sin; sickness;
MOSES. A corporeal mortal; moral courage; a type
12 of moral law and the demonstration thereof; the proof
that, without the gospel, — the union of justice and affec-
tion, — there is something spiritually lacking, since justice
15 demands penalties under the law.
MOTHER. God; divine and eternal Principle; Life,
Truth, and Love.
18 NEW JERUSALEM. Divine Science; the spiritual facts
and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven,
or reign of harmony.
21 NIGHT. Darkness; doubt; fear.
NOAH. A corporeal mortal; knowledge of the noth-
ingness of material things and of the immortality of all
24 that is spiritual.
OIL. Consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer; heav-
27 PHARISEE. Corporeal and sensuous belief; self-right-
eousness; vanity; hypocrisy.
1 PISON (river). The love of the good and beautiful, and
3 PRINCIPLE. See chapter on Recapitulation, page 465.
PROPHET. A spiritual seer; disappearance of mate-
rial sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth.
6 PURSE. Laying up treasures in matter; error.
RED DRAGON. Error; fear; inflammation; sensuality;
subtlety; animal magnetism; envy; revenge.
9 RESURRECTION. Spiritualization of thought; a new
and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence;
material belief yielding to spiritual understanding.
12 REUBEN (Jacob’s son). Corporeality; sensuality; de-
lusion; mortality; error.
RIVER. Channel of thought.
15 When smooth and unobstructed, it typifies the course
of Truth; but muddy, foaming, and dashing, it is a type
18 ROCK. Spiritual foundation; Truth. Coldness and
SALVATION. Life, Truth, and Love understood and
21 demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and
SEAL. The signet of error revealed by Truth
1 SERPENT (ophis, in Greek; nacash, in Hebrew).
Subtlety; a lie; the opposite of Truth, named error;
3 the first statement of mythology and idolatry; the belief
in more than one God; animal magnetism; the first lie
of limitation; finity; the first claim that there is an oppo-
6 site of Spirit, or good, termed matter, or evil; the first
delusion that error exists as fact; the first claim that sin,
sickness, and death are the realities of life. The first
9 audible claim that God was not omnipotent and that
there was another power, named evil, which was as real
and eternal as God, good.
12 SHEEP. Innocence; inoffensiveness; those who follow
SHEM (Noah’s son). A corporeal mortal; kindly affec-
15 tion; love rebuking error; reproof of sensualism.
SON. The Son of God, the Messiah or Christ. The
son of man, the offspring of the flesh. ” Son of a year.”
18 SOULS. See chapter on Recapitulation, page 466.
SPIRIT. Divine substance; Mind; divine Principle;
all that is good; God; that only which is perfect, ever-
21 lasting, omnipresent, omnipotent, infinite.
SPIRITS. Mortal beliefs; corporeality; evil minds;
supposed intelligences, or gods; the opposites of God;
24 errors; hallucinations. (See page 466.)
SUBSTANCE. See chapter on Recapitulation, page 468.
1 SUN. The symbol of Soul governing man, — of
Truth, Life, and Love.
3 SWORD. The idea of Truth; justice. Revenge;
TARES. Mortality; error; sin; sickness; disease;
TEMPLE. Body; the idea of Life, substance, and in-
telligence; the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of
9 Love; a material superstructure, where mortals congre-
gate for worship.
THUMMIM. Perfection; the eternal demand of divine
The Urim and Thummim, which were to be on Aaron’s
breast when he went before Jehovah, were holiness and
15 purification of thought and deed, which alone can fit us
for the office of spiritual teaching.
TIME. Mortal measurements; limits, in which are
18 summed tip all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions,
knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before,
and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal
21 disappears and spiritual perfection appears.
TITHE. Contribution; tenth part; homage; gratitude.
A sacrifice to the gods.
24 UNCLEANLINESS. Impure thoughts; error; sin; dirt.
UNGODLINESS. Opposition to the divine Principle and
its spiritual idea.
1 UNKNOWN. That which spiritual sense alone compre-
hends, and which is unknown to the material senses.
3 Paganism and agnosticism may define Deity as “the
great unknowable;” but Christian Science brings God
much nearer to man, and makes Him better known as
6 the All-in-all, forever near.
Paul saw in Athens an altar dedicated “to the unknown
God.” Referring to it, he said to the Athenians: “Whom
9 therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.”
(Acts xvii. 23.)
12 The rabbins believed that the stones in the breast-
plate of the high-priest had supernatural illumination,
but Christian Science reveals Spirit, not matter, as the
15 illuminator of all. The illuminations of Science give us
a sense of the nothingness of error, and they show the
spiritual inspiration of Love and Truth to be the only fit
18 preparation for admission to the presence and power of
the Most High.
VALLEY. Depression; meekness; darkness.
21 “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm xxiii.4.)
Though the way is dark in mortal sense, divine Life
24 and Love illumine it, destroy the unrest of mortal thought,
the fear of death, and the supposed reality of error. Chris-
tian Science, contradicting sense, maketh the valley to bud
27 and blossom as the rose.
VEIL. A cover; concealment; hiding; hypocrisy.
The Jewish women wore veils over their faces in token
1 of reverence and submission and in accordance with
3 The Judaic religion consisted mostly of rites and cere-
monies. The motives and affections of a man were of
little value, if only he appeared unto men to fast. The
6 great Nazarene, as meek as he was mighty, rebuked the
hypocrisy, which offered long petitions for blessings upon
material methods, but cloaked the crime, latent in thought,
9 which was ready to spring into action and crucify God’s
anointed. The martyrdom of Jesus was the culminating
sin of Pharisaism. It rent the veil of the temple. It re-
12 vealed the false foundations and superstructures of super-
ficial religion, tore from bigotry and superstition their
coverings, and opened the sepulchre with divine Science,
15 — immortality and Love.
WILDERNESS. Loneliness; doubt; darkness. Spon-
taneity of thought and idea; the vestibule in which a
18 material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense
unfolds the great facts of existence.
WILL. The motive-power of error; mortal belief; ani-
21 mal power. The might and wisdom of God.
“For this is the will of God.” (I Thessalonians
24 Will, as a quality of so-called mortal mind, is a wrong-
doer; hence it should not be confounded with the term
as applied to Mind or to one of God’s qualities.
27 WIND. That which indicates the might of omnipo-
tence and the movements of God’s spiritual government,
encompassing all things. Destruction; anger; mortal
1 The Greek word for wind (pneuma) is used also for
spirit, as in the passage in John’s Gospel, the third chap-
3 ter, where we read: “The wind [pneuma] bloweth where
it listeth… . So is every one that is born of the Spirit
[pneuma].” Here the original word is the same in both
6 cases, yet it has received different translations, as in other
passages in this same chapter and elsewhere in the New
Testament. This shows how our Master had constantly
9 to employ words of material significance in order to unfold
spiritual thoughts. In the record of Jesus’ supposed
death, we read: “He bowed his head, and gave up the
12 ghost;” but this word ghost is pneuma. It might be trans-
lated wind or air, and the phrase is equivalent to our
common statement, “He breathed his last.” What
15 Jesus gave up was indeed air, an etherealized form of
matter, for never did he give up Spirit, or Soul.
WINE. Inspiration; understanding. Error; fornica-
18 tion; temptation; passion.
YEAR. A solar measurement of time; mortality;
space for repentance.
21 “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years.”
(II Peter iii. 8.)
One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual
24 understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity.
This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Sci-
ence of being is understood, would bridge over with life
27 discerned spiritually the interval of death, and man
would be in the full consciousness of his immortality and
eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are un-
30 known. Time is a mortal thought, the divisor of which
1 is the solar year. Eternity is God’s measurement of Soul-
3 YOU. As applied to corporeality, a mortal; finity.
ZEAL. The reflected animation of Life, Truth, and
Love. Blind enthusiasm; mortal will.
6 ZION. Spiritual foundation and superstructure; in-
spiration; spiritual strength. Emptiness; unfaithful-