Did Jesus Teach Iridology?
Written by: Branch, Rick Posted on: 04/25/2003
Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics
New Age Medicine
Did Jesus Teach Iridology?
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"
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
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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