Robert Peel, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ‘…to gyve science & helthe to his puple…'”, in Ernest Frerichs, ed. The Bible and Bibles in America (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), 193-213.
From a chapter on the Christian Science textbook in a study on the place of the Bible in American culture:
“…The central place of the Bible in this worship system is notable, although often overlooked because of its linkage with Science and Health. In few if any other churches is one-half of the sermon composed of readings from the Bible and preceded by an additional scriptural reading. On the other hand, the authority given to Science and Health is also unmistakable and raises a question as to whether Christian Scientists give it equal authority with the Bible.
“Certainly it has for them an authority at least equal to that which traditional Christians give the great historic creeds. But like those creeds it claims only to be making explicit what is inherent in the Scriptures – and to derive its authority directly from the Scriptures. Science and Health itself contains more than seven hundred quotations from the Bible, plus innumerable other references to scriptural teachings, events, characters, figures of speech, textual and theological problems. Verbal echoes from the Bible abound throughout the book, often missed entirely by secular critics looking for influences of Mrs. Eddy’s writing….
“This biblical emphasis is possibly the aspect of Christian Science to which the least academic attention has been paid – an oversight helped along by a gnostic strain among some of Mrs. Eddy’s followers who tend to stress the letter of her teachings (i.e., its absolute metaphysics) at the expense of its Christian spirit and biblical roots….
“The world has been catapulted into a new age since the first edition of Science and Health appeared in 1875. Yet the woman who could write of the coming age, ‘The astronomer will no longer look up to the stars, – he will look out from them upon the universe’, cannot be simplistically written off as a nineteenth-century religious fanatic.”