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Did Jesus Teach Iridology?

Written by: Branch, Rick    Posted on: 04/25/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN

New Age Medicine                       Did Jesus Teach Iridology?                               Rick Branch                             Arlington, TX

Jesus said, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23).

In a parallel passage He explained, "The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

"Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" (Luke 11:34-35).

These two passages are often used by Christians who wish to participate in the unbiblical practice of Iridology as being proof that the Bible endorses the major premises of Iridology.

However, did Jesus really teach Iridology?  Is this the correct understanding of these two passages?

As with most passages in the Bible, when pulled from their context of the chapter and book, nearly any passage can be twisted to teach anything, hence the reason for the thousands of cults in the world today.

However, when left in the original context and understood from that perspective, these passages have no connection with the New Age practice of Iridology.  Matthew 6:22

The context for the Matthew passage begins in verse 19 and ends at verse 34.  The instructions are for Christians to place their eyes on the work of the Lord.  Christians are not to worry about what will happen in this earthly life but rather to place "treasures in heaven."

Iridologists explain that since verse 22 speaks of the eye as being the "light" and "single" that this means clear and healthy.  However, as one of the greatest Greek scholars to ever live has explained, it means something very different.

Dr. A.T. Robertson has stated, "Here and in Luke 11:34 the eye is called 'single' in a moral sense" (Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol. 1, p. 56, emphasis mine).

The context makes it very clear that the Christian is to be of one mind, not serving "two masters" and thereby defiling themselves with things of darkness.                                 Luke 11:34

Concerning the Luke passage, it too, has a context far removed from any New Age Iridology teaching.  Beginning in verse 29 and ending in verse 36, its context discusses the resurrection of Jesus which will bring light into the world.

In regards to this passage, I. Howard Marshall, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, has several very interesting insights.

He writes, "Jesus is like a light which illuminates those who enter a house.  There is nothing hidden about this light.  Any lack of illumination is due to the recipient: if he has a sound eye, the light will enter his whole being, but if his eye is evil, no light will enter.

"Let Jesus' hearers, then, beware lest the light they think they have within them is really darkness."  The light is not a reflective disorder from within the body shining outward through the eye as Iridologists would teach.  Rather, it is the teachings of Jesus, it is the light of the Gospel, being drawn into the life of the Christian.

Marshall continues in his discussion of Luke 11:34 by explaining, "Here it is stated that light is given to the body by the eye which acts as a lamp to the interior in the sense that light enters the body by it; the eye is thought of as receiving light from outside the body.

"The saying is not to be understood with crass literalness, since 'body' can mean the personality as a whole, especially in the phrase 'the whole body' in Aramaic..." It also cannot be taken in the strictest literal sense for to do so would be to forever bar the blind from seeing the Light of the world.

Marshall further states, "If the eye is healthy and lets in light, i.e. if the person is single-mindedly receptive to the light of the gospel, then his whole being will be filled with light..."

In summarizing the words of Jesus in verse 35, Marshall concludes with this admonition.  "The hearers are bidden to examine whether what they think to be light is really darkness" (New International Greek Testament Commentary: Commentary on Luke, pp.487 & 489).

This indeed, is good advice for Christians who have become involved in teaching or participating in the New Age practice of Iridology.

                          Light Goes In Not Out!

Finally, setting aside any contextual or grammatical interpretation, just the words of Jesus by themselves refute the very premise upon which Iridology is based.

That is, that the eye displays the physical well-being of the body.  Or as some have said, the eye is the mirror for the body.

However, Jesus said, "The light of the body is the eye."  In other words, the light comes into the body through the eye.  The light of the eye is not the body.

Iridologists twist these verses causing them to say the exact opposite of what Jesus is actually saying.

Thus, Iridology is both unbiblical and many who practice it have unfortunately and perhaps unknowingly fallen into the same twisting techniques that have been used by numerous other non-biblical groups throughout the centuries (2 Peter 3:16).

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