In a world of Biblical literature that is overflowing with reference books, you would think it would be a monumental task to produce a volume that is unique, informative, practical and just plain fun to hold in your hands and peruse. But not so with The A to Z Guide to Bible Signs & Symbols; Understanding their Meaning and Significance by Neil Wilson and Nancy Ryken Taylor and published by Baker Books.
Wilson and Taylor have endeavored to catalogue and explain 131 signs and symbols found within the sixty-six books of the Bible. All 131 are arranged alphabetically for ease of access. (Thus the lack of need for an index.) The book is printed on glossy paper with illustrations included for every entry.
Entries range from Altar to Zion/Jerusalem with items like Fire, Light and Salt sprinkled in between. Each entry also contains a short practical application/devotional just to get you thinking. There are even several “numbers” – forty, one, seven – that are included.
Sure they may have omitted one or two of your favorites but they do not claim the list to be exhaustive. This volume is not written for an ivory tower inhabitant who dabbles in the minutia of this fascinating topic, but rather for the busy pastor or the die-hard Bible student who seeks to glean all he or she can out of scripture.
And a note about format: You’ll want to get this is the paperback style. Baker Books is very adept at producing glossy books with great illustrations – Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary/Dictionary/Handbook. This one you’ll want to hold in your hands to more easily enjoy the layout of the book and the illustrations.
The end of the matter is this: if you are at all serious about Bible study, this book will enrich your endeavors.
(This review was originally published on 2.20.2015 at Eye on Christianity.)