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Publius Lentulus—a springboard

From the March 2013 issue of The Christian Science Journal

This article is a transcript from the Journal podcast series, “Mary Baker Eddy Mentioned Them.”

A diamond glows and sparkles with beauty and brilliance, bringing out a multitude of colors, as the light is reflected through the many facets cut in the stone. Outshining the brightest diamond is Mary Baker Eddy’s remarkable discovery of Christian Science, the Science that Christ Jesus taught and practiced—the Science that is made crystal clear through the countless facets that Mrs. Eddy fashioned to unfold its message in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

For example, she writes in both prose and poetry; she refers to historical incidents and persons; she clarifies deep spiritual truths through the use of familiar illustrations such as a court case and an actor’s dedication; she penetrates deeply into spiritual facts and then clarifies them with narrations, comparisons, and analogies; and she raises suppositions and then answers them. These are all ways that help to clearly impart and explain the revelation of divine Science, the law of Spirit that she discovered.

In one place in Science and Health (p. 29), she briefly refers to a letter by Publius Lentulus, a letter that surfaced in Italy supposedly dating from the first century a.d. during the reign of Tiberius Caesar and addressed to the Roman senate. At that time there had been increasing reports coming to Rome about the activity of a man called Jesus from the town of Nazareth. The reports claimed that he was stirring up the people and causing many to follow him. Now, Roman tradition was built on the elevation of Caesar as a vicegerent—or official deputy—of God. So it was natural for the authorities to want to hear more about this “Jewish upstart” who claimed allegiance to one all-powerful, supreme God!

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