The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols: Understanding Their Meaning and Significance - eBook  -     By: Neil Wilson, Nancy Ryken Taylor
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The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols: Understanding Their Meaning and Significance - eBook

Baker Books / 2015 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9781441221889
ISBN-13: 9781441221889

Publisher's Description

How might our understanding of God's Word be deepened if we recognized the significance of the signs and symbols found within its pages--signs that would have been obvious to the original readers? From the tree of life to Noah's ark, from circumcision to animal sacrifice. From the feasts, the Passover lamb, and the manna in the wilderness to the furniture in the tabernacle and the visions of prophets. From the Lord's Supper to baptism and from the cross to the empty tomb.

Throughout the Scriptures, signs and symbols weave a consistent message of God's presence, grace, and faithfulness. This illustrated resource will help readers understand key biblical images that reveal God's purposes and truth. Each entry includes multiple illustrations, explanations, and key Bible passages. Sidebars, quotes, and photos make this guide approachable and engaging.

Author Bio

Neil Wilson is the author of several books, including Were You There? and The Handbook of Bible Application. A graduate of Aurora College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Neil has ministered in Youth for Christ and as pastor of a local church. He currently serves as a publishing project manager with Dr. James MacDonald's ministry Walk in the Word. He has also assisted in the development of major projects, such as the Life Application Study Bible. He lives with his wife, Sherrie, in rural Wisconsin.

Nancy Ryken Taylor is a freelance writer and editor who has worked behind the scenes on hundreds of books for many publishers, mainly in the areas of theology and Christian living. She has a degree in English and Christian Education from Wheaton College. Nancy lives with her husband and their five children in Illinois.

Product Reviews

4.5 Stars Out Of 5
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Quality:
5 out Of 5
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Value:
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
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  1. Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good Starter Reference, Good Coffee Table Book
    February 16, 2015
    Floyd Johnson
    Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    An interesting look at the symbology found in the Bible. At 288 page, only 272 having actual content, the book is a bit limited. The entries which are included are interesting, well-illustrated, and colorful. Each entry, with the accompanying images, take up a two page spread. Some entries are quite detailed (e.g. separate entries for eagle, quail, and Raven/Crow). Others are sparse (e.g. a single entry for tree, another for seed, but no room for the diversity of species which occur in the Middle East). The lack of an index means that finding sub-topics might be difficult. As an e-book, searching may be easier. The value of an e-book would also depend on how images are handled by the e-book publisher. In the paper version of the book, the images are heavily integrated into the text - to be of value in an e-book, the images would need to be set apart from the text allowing them to be viewed and shared separately from the text.

    This book is neither an encyclopedia or a dictionary, but a picture book that handles the topics it does discuss well; but, because of its condensed size, only handles a limited number of topics. I would like to have seen a larger, more comprehensive, volume built using the same editorial policies that went into creating this guide.

    The book will fit well on the coffee table for either the believers home or the pastors office. It will serve well as a beginning reference work for those topics covered, but will not become the go to reference work for many important topics or most pastors or scholars.

    ______________

    This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
  2. Medford, MA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good for a first book in your library or an addition
    February 14, 2015
    Second Book to the Right
    Medford, MA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.

    The book itself is gorgeous. Each Biblical symbol that is explained has two pages devoted to it with beautiful full color photographs on it. The authors take the time to explain the symbol as it is presented in its various contexts in the Bible, then follows up with a key verse from the Bible.

    Some symbols are combined with others (e.g. mountain and hill, eagle and vulture) where the original language translated can be construed either way depending on the context. Other symbols were left out, ones that I was looking for clarification on especially. I found the symbols and signs in the book that were presented were pretty comprehensive, at least for a lay person. This would be a book that you could refer to if you get stumped over why this particular symbol is used. However, the book is not presented as comprehensive nor authoritative. I find it to be a great jump-off point, and I would love to see a book further down the line with more signs and symbols of the Bible.

    Overall, this is a beautiful book to add to your Biblical library, but it definitely shouldnt be the only book in your library that you refer to for Biblical signs and symbols.
  3. Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Week of Signs and Symbols
    February 14, 2015
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Is there anything better than a book in the mail?

    The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols landed in my mailbox last Saturday, and I was immediately drawn by its glossy weight. Everything about the book, particularly its colorful images, said quality. Opening to the introduction, I learned that a symbols job is to represent while a sign points. Symbols are pictures that denote an object while signs are clues. The authors, Neil Wilson and Nancy Ryken Taylor, urge their readers to enjoy the book beside an open Bible. As I read through the Table of Contents, I thought, Yes, I could use this book, and thus began a week of signs and symbols in which I challenged myself to be conscious of the presence of biblical signs and symbols in my regular study not simply to go looking for items from the table of contents, but, instead, to bring an awareness of these clues and pictures, pointers and representations to my regular encounters with the Scriptures. I began immediately:

    Saturday Last minute details of preparation for my Sunday school class on Nehemiah led me to examine the entry for gate. All of Nehemiah chapter three is devoted to the rebuilding of the wall around the city of Jerusalem with special emphasis on its gates; and there on page 110 was a picture of the Eastern Gate. Jesus spoke of metaphorical gates, and described Himself as a Gate, the entrance to the heavenly city. Obviously, for Nehemiah and his stalwart crew of builders, gates represented a secure future for their nation-state.

    Sunday In the mini-van, on the way to church, I heard a re-broadcast of a 1987 sermon from Matthew 12 by Billy Graham. Ironically, the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign, and He gives them only the sign of Jonah. I also noted the use of three and was pleased to find it also had an entry. I learned that there are other parallels between Jonah and Jesus besides the three days and three nights which spell the believers deliverance. Here I also noted the presence of a significant quote in each entry that sheds further light on the sign or symbol. Philip Graham Ryken gave further clarification: Jonah was the illustration; Jesus is the resurrected reality.

    Monday My devotional reading of the Psalms of Ascent took me to Psalm 120 where the disgruntled and alienated psalmist informs the liars who have harmed him that their reward will be burning coals from the juniper tree. It turns out that the image of a tree being cut down is bad enough (being felled), but in this case the tree is reduced to charcoal.

    Tuesday Pulling my notes together for an evening Bible study on the life of Lydia (Acts 16), I found two symbolic items. Lydia was baptized in water, and, sure enough, there was a section on baptism in the entry for water. I learned that the symbolism of baptism harks back to the ancient thought of water as the abyss, a symbol of death. which certainly enhanced my understanding of the act of coming up out of the water being equated with new life. Paul and his team encountered Lydia and the other ladies worshiping on the Jewish Sabbath, fitting because the day was set apart to call to mind the promise God had made to preserve and save his people. Ironically, it was a Gentile woman who responded to Paul that day, entering into the promised rest of Jesus New Covenant.

    Wednesday Reading a book in preparation for Lent (A Glorious Dark by A.J. Swoboda), my focus was on Friday, the day of the cross. It was not until the 4th century that the cross became a symbol of Christianity. Each entry in the book also has a key verse, and I Peter 2:24 serves to remind the reader that the cross frees us from our sins. His wounds have healed you. It is a symbol of death, but also a powerful symbol of radical discipleship and a surrendered life.

    Thursday To enhance my understanding of the Psalms of Ascent, I turned to Isaiah 2:3 and 30:29 and found mountain in both verses. The presence of the mountains, visible for miles around, . . . reminded [Israel] of Gods presence among them and above them. The pilgrims ascending to worship on Mount Zion direct our minds to the future, where the mountain symbolizes redemption and communion with God.

    Friday Having mined all my teaching passages, my devotional reading, and even the radio, I wondered if I would find a sign or symbol for this last day in my Week of Signs and Symbols. At 5:30 a.m. I flipped the page in my 20+ year old daily calendar of Elisabeth Elliot wisdom, and knew that I was ready to finish the week. Featuring Proverbs 18:10, which is also the passage that the authors used for the key verse, Elisabeth delightfully fleshed out the symbolism of the tower: He is our Refuge when we are afraid, our Strength when we are weak, our Helper when we cannot cope. A tower offers protection and security here, but is also used in Scripture to symbolize careful planning, design, or even arrogance as in the Tower of Babel.)

    Having convinced myself of the usefulness of The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols, I was further encouraged by the authors humble spirit of caution in approaching the topic. Each of the biblical signs and symbols in the book (over 125 in all) are arrows to point out where God is at work and images to promote a greater intimacy with God and His unique Book.

    This book was provided by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my unbiased review.
  4. Midwest
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The perfect Bible reference book...
    February 11, 2015
    Jen Pen
    Midwest
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    SUMMARY:

    Full of simple yet complex signs and symbols commonly found throughout the Bible, Bible Signs and Symbols teaches, enhances and confirms time spent in the Bible. With common signs meant to point or draw attention to something while symbols represent, both are highlighted in this book (mountain, gold, locust, arm, door, meal). Each two-page layout contains a definition of the word, the meaning of the word as used in the Bible, several examples of scripture containing the word, a key verse, an extra interesting tidbit and beautiful pictures.

    A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:

    Amazing! Bible Signs and Symbols is such a beautiful book with the glossy pages, remarkable pictures and quick yet informative references. Perfect for the new believer, a Confirmation class, a Bible Study or anyone looking to delve deeper into the meaning of the Bible, Neil Wilson and Nancy Ryken Taylor definitely compiled a useful, descriptive source. Both tangible and spiritual meanings are explored as well as historic content translated to contemporary significance. Exceptional!

    RATING:

    5+ (out of 5) pennies

    *I received a complimentary copy of The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols from Baker Books for my honest review*
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