The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols: Understanding Their Meaning and Significance

The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols: Understanding Their Meaning and Significance


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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801014796
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/17/2015
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 465,627
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

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.

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The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs and Symbols: Understanding Their Meaning and Significance 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Rosemary_Pennington More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book through Goodread's First Reads. The book contains approximately 130 signs and symbols found throughout the Bible. It's goal is to explain their meaning and significance as it relate to God and his Kingdom. The book is filled with beautiful color photos on glossy pages. While the book is not complete or comprehensive, it does an excellent job of explaining the signs and symbols that were chosen for the book. Each subject is detailed with both photos and easily read explanations, but also contains both Biblical key verses and outside commentary by religious scholars and authors. What disappointment I had is due to the limited number of subjects. For me, the title was a bit misleading... A to Z simply means that the subject matter is alphabetical, not comprehensive. I do think that it is a good book to have among other reference books in my collection. It stands out among my collection for it's beautiful photos. It is a very good illustrative guide. If you are looking for an affordable reference book for a beginners interest, this book is perfect. If you have more comprehensive books already in your collection, I would pass on this. Happy Reading.
michelemorin More than 1 year ago
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 symbol’s 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 believer’s 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 God’s 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.