Book Jacket

 

rank 1377
word count 21536
date submitted 02.07.2011
date updated 02.03.2014
genres: Instructional, Christian, Religious...
classification: universal
incomplete

The Second Symbol: Understanding Bible Symbolism and the Parables of Jesus

Eric Anderson

The Bible can be read either literally or symbolically, and as in Genesis, the difference is like night and day.

 

Christianity, since its beginning, has been divided by dogmatic disputes into many Churches, and according to Jesus, a house divided cannot stand. Is the traditional preference for a literal understanding of the Bible responsible for these disagreements, considering that the Bible sometimes says different things? And again, how can we hope to understand the Bible literally, when Jesus frequently spoke in symbolic parables? “The Second Symbol” will resurrect the long-dead language of Bible Symbolism, so that people living today can go back to the beginning for themselves, and hear the Lord’s Word unblemished by dogma.

“There are quite a few religious texts on authonomy, but this is by far the most unique, passionate, and market-ready I've come across. . . . If you're looking for a book that makes you think, I recommend this one. . . . It's quite brilliant.” -- Joshua Jacobs, two-time Editor’s Desk

“I found myself with a much better understanding of the verses quoted. . . . This novel would be a best-seller in Christian book stores, and should garner a descent following in the mainstream.” -- John Breeden II, Editor's Desk for “Old Number 7”

 
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, apostles, bible, bible study, christian living, christianity, church, church history, criticism, end times, father, holy ghost, jesus, judas, manusc...

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JB Wilson wrote 464 days ago


A good and great read. Very entertaining and rewarding, presented in a unique way and in a voice the like of which I have never encountered before. 6 stars and backed. And perhaps the greatest accomplishment here is that this is simply a book about how to read another book!

A little miracle.

Lcamp wrote 829 days ago

What a unique style of narrating! Very different. The way you weave the Scriptures between the gems of information has a great effect. This is truly an interesting read. I put this on my watchlist and plan on reading the rest of it. When I am done I will give you more comment.
Stay Blessed,
Lynn - "The Chair"

Sheena Macleod wrote 351 days ago

Eric, congratulations on a worthy addition to the genre. This is extremely readable and easy to follow. You have a way of taking the reader on a personalised journey. It is very well constructed and applicable to most ages.
I particularly liked the mountain in the second section.
You use a clever teaching style; taking the reader from the known to the unknown, and all at the readers own pace.
If only this style was adopted in school or church, many more people would be able to explore the scriptures.
I stopped at chapter four, but will read on. This is not a book to be rushed.. I will enjoy it at my own pace.
Sheena
The Popish Plot

Blancherose wrote 539 days ago

There is some amazing stuff happening here, but I have to admit, I am going to have to read it over. That is OK, that is how I also read Scripture! I will read and read and rate! Blessings!
Roslyn
Scribe-Lings, for your child like heart
"I Am" Through the Ages, for your seeking heart

Joshua Jacobs wrote 989 days ago

My first impression of this was that you're a talented writer. A preface is often necessary for a book like this, and it's about as compelling of a start as it can be. I loved your first paragraph as it established two things: this will be a book filled with passion and one for thinkers. Sadly, these rarely come together. I'm excited to see if you can pull this off. So far, so good.

I'm fascinated by the voice in this. It's unique and interesting, which is essential for this type of book. I love that the narrator, in essence, is the book itself. It's a voice that makes you think and one that has a nice subtle sense of humor. I loved, "it's one of the few selling cheap" in reference to the name Judas. I actually disagree with James, and I love the conversational voice. I've read too many religious books that talk down to me. For me, your approach works.

I loved, "You must become again like little children, by having fun when you enter the Bible, and by playing along with its colorful symbols and stories." Great approach. Very Biblical to.

There are quite a few religious texts on authonomy, but this is by far the most unique, passionate, and market-ready I've come across.

I assume there's more after the second preface? It's a great opening that promises an intriguing read.

Suggestions: I'd cut "really" from "really real clouds." Have you considered trimming the first preface? It does feel rather long, and I feel like less might be more in this instance. I also agree with James that you divide this into sections to make it more accessible. I think my biggest concern is your target audience. Sadly, this will go over the head of a lot of readers, which limits its appeal. However, to best honest, I don't care. I think it's brilliant. Sure, you have a select audience, but it works, it's compelling, and it's deep.

Typos: Make sure you put your punctuation inside the quotations. For example, "...the Parables of Jesus," since that's one of... I think you have an extra word with, "with as if they'd had something to say." "Long-winded" is hyphenated.

If you're looking for a book that makes you think, I recommend this one. If it were available today, I'd buy it. It's quite brilliant. Highly rated!

ssurfer wrote 224 days ago

I applaud all efforts to bring the Bible into a more clear light than what is offered in the mainstream today. I agree that we have lost much through translations that have been watered down. The more we are able to understand their original intentions, the deeper we will be drawn in love for the love shown to us on a cross at Calvary. You are on my watch list and I look forward to what you have to offer in my further reading!

God bless!!!
Pete

KathrynW wrote 272 days ago

I have read up to chapter 8. Now I have to go and put the dinner on. Before I do however . . .

This is post modernism at its most extreme. My truth is true for me and your truth is true for you. We can all create our own subjective kingdom of God, in our own imagination. Of course all words are symbols, mutually agreed substitutes for the things themselves so that we can have some kind of understanding and communication. But taken to its logical conclusion, you seem to be saying that we can all create our own world Inside ourselves and can assign new meanings at will. We become the creator of our own god, if you like. Why is your symbolic interpretation any more valid than mine or anyone else's in this scenario? We will all end up with our own subjective interpretations and meaning will be lost among the relativities.

For me, this is like the difference between numbers (facts) and value (something that can change, something which is subjectively assigned and differs from person to person.). God exists as the moral absolute, the black and white truth. We exist in a world of greys, struggling to find the truth amid the swirling 'clouds' of this sinful life, unable to break out of our own narrow subjective viewpoint. We might indeed all be ideas inside the mind of God as bishop berkeley suggested, but I don't think the kingdom of God is an idea inside of me. It is a reality in which I can participate, not something I create.

You are a good writer. I'm not convinced by your argument. I am not a literalist. The bible can be understood on many levels. It does not need to be tampered with as it already contains everything we need to know, and comes from God.The point of stories is not to convince us that dragons exist, but to teach us that evil can be defeated.

No doubt you are stimulating some interesting discussions.

Kathryn
Waters of Grace




RGillett wrote 289 days ago

I haven't read it all but what I read I liked, sort of. The humour and style is intoxicating. you have a deceptive knowledge under your banter. Your presentation of Scripture is deliberately obtuse and tongue in cheek and therefore sort of acceptable. I am not keen of disection and editing of scripture but if people re-read the Bible using your substitutions they will certainly learn something: whether is is 100% what God intended is open for debate but I, like you, think the the Bible is a thinking "mans'" (Forgive genderism) book and not to be just read literally or quickly.
I must congratulate you on a unique approach to a very difficult subject. You have successfully muddied the waters and by paradox made things clearer. I cannot say I totally approve of your ideas or interpretations but then again I am not sure I fully understand them, even reading and re-reading as you suggest.
I will have to read it more.
Thiis book should be published and discussed.

Richard Gillett

Kathy K G wrote 319 days ago

Mea culpa. Here are my long overdue thoughts about your work.

This is very well written. Your style is easygoing, playful, and yet knowledgeable. Your command of and familiarity with scripture is admirable. With every word you display your love of the Bible and sincere desire to teach others the good news you have found within it. And yet, after reading all but two of the chapters posted here, (8 and 14 wouldn't load) I was left wondering when I would truly learn how to decipher the symbolism of the Bible and the teaching behind Jesus' parables. I think, perhaps, I misled myself with the title of your book, expecting to find a more linear form of instruction. For me, this read more like a series of personal revelations than an explanation of Biblical symbols. However, it was an intriguing read and though I might not agree with every thought or assertion, I enjoyed reading it. You have impacted my view on how to read the Bible and your words and thoughts will linger with me.

Kathy

Sheena Macleod wrote 351 days ago

Eric, congratulations on a worthy addition to the genre. This is extremely readable and easy to follow. You have a way of taking the reader on a personalised journey. It is very well constructed and applicable to most ages.
I particularly liked the mountain in the second section.
You use a clever teaching style; taking the reader from the known to the unknown, and all at the readers own pace.
If only this style was adopted in school or church, many more people would be able to explore the scriptures.
I stopped at chapter four, but will read on. This is not a book to be rushed.. I will enjoy it at my own pace.
Sheena
The Popish Plot

Andrew Esposito wrote 411 days ago

The Second Symbol: Understanding Bible Symbolism and the Parables of Jesus is a refreshing take on what can be a deeply subjective topic. The narrative is bordering on satire and I'm sure it will divide readers which is a shame given the intentions of the author to provide clarity to the entwined meanings of the Bible. When I saw the Table of Contents, I was compelled to start with Part II, due to the promise of intriguing subject matter. Unfortunately the bulk of writing available on authonomy is Part I, a bit if an instructional guide on understanding symbolism with a thick lick of humour. Asking readers to 'read slowly' will also probably lose a lot of the audience as, rightly or wrongly, the interpretation will be that it will be a chore to proceed.

Eric, I think you run the risk of losing most of your readers within a short period if this manuscript remains in its current format. As much as I am sure you see it in its completeness, your goal of sharing The Word and broadening the understanding of Biblical literature will be lost. I would humbly recommend that you start with Part II and weave the Symbolic interpretations in Part I into the narrative.

The humour could be deemed condescending, so a rethink on some of the more pointed insinuations might be warranted. The thoughts on Judas, his motive and role is possibly controversial - and this is a good thing. In the end, the enormous amount of knowledge and research displayed in The Second Symbol will be lost if it is not delivered in a compelling style that will attract believers and maybe convert some new ones. Eric, I will keep your novel on my WL as it shows great promise and look forward to its development over time. Best regards, Andrew Esposito / Killing Paradise

Truth One Note In wrote 435 days ago

A very interesting read.
You did a lot of research into this book, it is clear to see it. You also show it with a passion of your beliefs.
The things you write are well put and described.
I am impressed with how well you write this book. It isn't overbearing either, it is Scuttle but strong.
The title is fitting and catching and the pitch has a good touch of interest to it.
Fabo work.
Toni [Cavern of Time]

Sneaky Long wrote 463 days ago

Hi Eric,

I have read through Chapter 3 and I am confused and frustrated. Possibly a good thing. Your writing is good, I noticed only a couple of typos. Your MC voice is a little disconcerting. The fact you named it Judas is a little puzzling. The MC claims to be the voice between the Word and the people of the world, which appears to be somewhat arrogant. But it is very possible that I just don't get it. This approach to understanding the teachings of the Bible is very unique and different, to say the least. It seems the MC has put himself above the rest of us in his ability to read and interpret the lessons of the Bible. Yet, the great teacher makes glib remarks along the way, which makes us doubt his sincerity or his wisdom.

I was willing to give Judas the benefit of the doubt until you quoted Matthew 18-3. where Jesus says in the KJV, "Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." This passage is not about children but is about the behavior of adults. A child trusts and has an unwavering belief in their parent's ability to protect and comfort them under any circumstances or situations which might trouble them. Anyone who has had a child and had that child become fearful, whether warranted or not, has witnessed that child running headlong to their parent, wrap their arms around the parents leg and look up at the parents for guidance and comfort. Should they be afraid or not; is their question? God wants the same blind faith from us. We have to be like the child who looks up at their parent without any doubt that the parent can protect and comfort them. God is saying if we don't go to him with the same kind of love and blind faith that a child shows to his parent; then he doesn't want us with Him. If we don't go to Him as a child, then we're not his true child.

The next verse in Matthew 18-4 proves up this point. "Whoever therefore shall humble himself like this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." In other words, whoever believes the most in God with unquestioning and unwavering faith, that is the person God wants closet to Him.

I hope I have not been too critical. It may just be me. In that case, please forgive for not understanding your writing.

Good luck with this.

Sneaky

JB Wilson wrote 464 days ago


A good and great read. Very entertaining and rewarding, presented in a unique way and in a voice the like of which I have never encountered before. 6 stars and backed. And perhaps the greatest accomplishment here is that this is simply a book about how to read another book!

A little miracle.

ibholdvictory wrote 464 days ago

Dear Eric
This is certainly mind bugging. I read up to Chapter 3 and I have to go somewhere else. I am just giving a brief comment to have a taster of what I think you have done. It is justice to those who could not make out our Father's messages. I enjoyed the book up to the point I got to. A very new way of telling the story of the Bible. It is so deep and captivating. As I read, I just want to go on and on as the writing is revealing Gods miracle words piece by piece. I see here that you are demystifying the Great Book. We have to pay great attention to what we are taught. Its fun, enjoyable and easy to follow, whenever. Very good. and it is worth reading. I shall come back to read some more. Thanks for introducing this new explanation of the Bible. It goes on my WL.

God bless you.

Catherine
If Only You Could Tell.

billetem wrote 495 days ago

I would get rid of the copyright material which we find right at the beginning. I say we are free to quote as much of the Bible as we want without having to beg permission from publishing companies.

I think it's best to put your main material right at the beginning. This book is in part a defense of Judas. I would put the material in Chapter 9 in Chapter 1, not that I agree with everything in chapter 9. Don't fall for every bit of propaganda from Enviromentalists. I can't agree that `Drill, baby, drill' is evil. You work as a truck driver. Trucks run on diesel, which is refined from petroleum, which is drilled out of the earth. The trucking industry spews much pollution into the air and into people's lungs every year. But we all have to make a living in an honest way, and you're working an honest job, even though it's a polluting job. If `drill, baby, drill' is evil, then, by this logic, people who drive cars and trucks are evil. It's best that oil is drilled in the USA or Canada or similar nations, because, we have high enviromental standards. Who knows what sort of pollution and spills happen in places like Mexico and Brazil, Congo and Venezula, nations which have lax enviromental laws. BP blew it in the Gulf, but China is drilling off of Cuba. It's better to buy oil from BP than from China. Britain has stringent enviromental laws whereas China does not. Therefore, it is wise for nations with strict enviromental standards to drill. Now unless you want everyone to ride bicycles...

The Bible is a little ambiguous about how we are to judge Judas. I did a study of this years ago. I came to the conclusion that the Bible seems to indicate that he might not be eternally damned. At one point Jesus called Judas a devil, but then Jesus also once said to St. Peter, `Get behind me, Satan.' Judas killed himself out of remorse for what he had done in betraying Jesus. Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him `they know not what they do.' Hence, perhaps, Judas is forgiven. One theory holds that Judas wanted to force Jesus' hand, to make Him reveal Himself as the Messiah, and expedite the process by which the Messiah would overthrow Roman rule and conquer the world. Suicide is generally seen as a mortal sin, but you can't be too dogmatic about particular cases, i.e. deny Divine mercy to every suicide.

I oppose any philosophy which says the literal meaning of scripture is to be ignored in favor of a figurative interpretation. Jesus spoke in parables, and therefore, for instance, the account of the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark may also be parables - fictions which teach spiritual truths - but I believe in the literal truth of John 14. 23-26, where Jesus says that those who love Him keep His words. Jesus and St. Paul give us many harsh words about sinners going to hell. In Matthew 5 Jesus gives us the Beatitudes as well as a discourse on hell. The hellfire scriptures are balanced, but not invalidated, by scriptures such as I Peter 4. 8 - love covers a multitude of sins. The Bible says that everyone will be judged. Some will go to heaven. Some won't. The Bible is fairly clear about how people will be judged. Recall St. Paul's words about love in I Corinthians 13. Jesus is terribly clear in Matthew 25. 31-46. I think it is all wrong to reject the literal meaning of these scriptures and scriptures like them - Galatians 1. 8, II Thess 1. 8 etc.

Dianna Lanser asked you what the bottom line was. It's best to put our most controversial material, and the defense of this material, in plain and simple language right at the beginning of our books.

Blancherose wrote 539 days ago

There is some amazing stuff happening here, but I have to admit, I am going to have to read it over. That is OK, that is how I also read Scripture! I will read and read and rate! Blessings!
Roslyn
Scribe-Lings, for your child like heart
"I Am" Through the Ages, for your seeking heart

Peter B wrote 539 days ago

My, you have done an elaborate job here. I'm fairly familiar with the Good Book, and you have a fresh take on a few things. You will surely enjoy our Bible study book as well, "The Bible I Thought I Knew" Nice job, Peter B.

Norman99 wrote 590 days ago

I see a lot of imagination, but little in either explained reasoning or scholarship. If this is intended as a satire, I guess I miss that as well.

Chancelet wrote 591 days ago

I’ve read chapter 2 and reread your pitch. I do understand what you’re doing, I believe, but am not sure if I’m getting much from it in regard to how I read the Bible. It seems almost like Creative Visualization for Bible reading. I do find it interesting, and would probably get more out of it if I went to the scripture while reading your book to see how you’ve linked the context.

N. LaRonda Johnson
Anticipation of the Penitent

Chancelet wrote 593 days ago

I’ve read the 1st chapter so far. The first paragraph after the Bible quote is confusing. Here are a couple of reasons, but there are more:
“I’ve come before the rest this Book…” Do you mean “the rest of this Book”? Unsure of the phrasing.
“When my book came and saw…” Should be “and I saw…”
I can tell what you’re getting at. The most difficult thing is that you seem to be writing the way you talk or think, which doesn’t always translate into written language so easily. I do like what you’re saying though, to give everyone a benefit of worthiness, as God created us all from the beginning of his word, which was the beginning. I truly believe that’s the way we are meant to live – which is the basis of my book. I’ll continue to chapter 2 tomorrow.

N. LaRonda Johnson
http://authonomy.com/books/45790/anticipation-of-the-penitent/

HGridley wrote 596 days ago

I've returned to read the second section. In my opinion, it flows much better than the first does. I think if you "introduce" your narrator a bit better in the first chapter, there'll be very little that needs to be done in the second one. I would recommend that you study the "voice" of your narrative in this chapter, pondering the rhythm of it, and then just rewriting the first chapter off the top of your head, from memory, trying to stay in a similar tone. What you get from this, combine with the first chapter you have already written, and you may be able to eliminate some "bumps in the prose". :)
~Hannah

Scott Toney wrote 600 days ago

{The Second Symbol}

Eric,

I'm sorry it took so long to get in and read! I was on vacation for two weeks but I just got back a few days ago and am glad that I finally have some time to do some reading of your work! I've just finished with the Preface and am quite intrigued. You've clearly thought this out well and have done your research in The Bible to put together a good and enjoyable read. Like I said, I'm intrigued, and I think this has great potential to be a very enjoyable read. I'm glad that you've embarked on this writing and I'll return to read and comment more!

Starred highly!

Have a blessed day!

- Scott, Eden Legacy and Lazarus, Man

HGridley wrote 603 days ago

Well, I did read the first chapter several times, but I never did really "get" it. The changing of Scripture bothered me; adding words that aren't there in the brackets seemed odd. Brackets are supposed to only be used to clarify words that are there, not to use new ones. I'm not sure how you could rewrite it to seem less confusing; your prose was well-written and interesting, but I didn't get the connection between that and the verses. Perhaps you could just use one in each spot, instead of the ones you changed? I think that would make things more clear. Then I don't have to wonder what you're trying to do by changing things, but only wonder how you're going to tie each point together. That's the kind of question you'd rather your readers have.
There is a technical correction you could make, also:
Etiquette of verse quotations: When you’re quoting part of a verse, don’t say “John 1:1” as though it were the whole verse. Say “John 1:1a” –or b or c or d, as the case may be—but just be very specific. Also, follow each reference with a version abbreviation, so we know which one you’re using, since you gave us three to pick from.
John 1:14: I don’t understand the insertion of “a book” and the deletion of “flesh”. The Word is Jesus, not a book. And why say clouds instead of earth? Perhaps you could show your point first, then show the scriptures. Then we'd know what to look for, without the stray words.
I'd like to see this chapter expanded a little. There's just enough of you in it to give me glimmers of what you mean. Add twice as much of you. Introduce your narrator a little more. I like the energy of his speech, even though I only begin to get the gist of what he's saying. Perhaps do one verse at a time, not changed, or show the original version of the verse and say, "but I'd like to think of it as ___". This may leave less people's minds spinning.
So, although I only got through the first chapter, I can definitely see you have talent as a writer. What you're trying to be is a teacher, and this is the area you need to work on. Feel free to ask me for any clarification, as I feel I'm having a hard time expressing myself to you, and do let me know if you revise it; I'd be willing to take another look.
~Hannah

Abby Vandiver wrote 605 days ago

i think that this is good. To break down the word and make them in a dialogue form. I don't know exactly what point your are trying to get across or why you picked the verses that you did. Perhaps a little introduction on what you want to teach. I take it the "I" here is Jesus. You are Jesus, right? I think that when you look a verse in the Bible it means different things to you at different times. But I do like what you have done.

God Bless.

Abby

Henry E Allan wrote 625 days ago

Hi, Eric. Henry Allan again. When I speak, I try to speak from my heart without embelishing things that leaves the recipient to believe that I am only trying to tell him what he wants to hear.
First, I spent more time reading your book than I ever spent on a book of the same length and at some time I intend to read it again. The next time I open the Bible I will read it with a different prospective. Thanks to you.
At this time I have to do some sole searching on the "Second Symbol". Four Stars for now.
May God Bless and guide you in your endevor.
Your friend, Henry Allen:

Stark Silvercoin wrote 653 days ago

The Bible, for all its good advice, was a tome written thousands of years ago and aimed at a fearful people largely ignorant of science and the natural world. Modern readers can feel disconnected from the text at the best of times, and dismiss it as a fairy tale at worst. The book “The Second Symbol: Understanding Bible Symbolism and the Parables of Jesus” is an attempt to make sense of all the symbolism contained within.

Author Eric Anderson has taken a conversational, almost humorous take at explanation, and it works extremely well. Told in a sort of pop-up-video style, long Bible verses are quoted and then the narrator explains what it all means. While the easygoing style is fun to read, it’s also is quite informative. I found myself with a much better understanding of the verses quoted, and think that if the rest of the Bible could be similarly explained, it would lead a lot more people to admire and understand the wisdom within it.

This novel would be a best-seller in Christian book stores, and should garner a descent following in the mainstream for people who want to be less confused about the Bible. One thing I would change for this book is that the long pitch goes into a lot about church controversies and different dogmas. That could be a turnoff as it speaks to some political agenda. I would de-emphasize that side of things all-together and promote the fact that this is an enjoyable way to learn more about the Bible.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

SteveSeven wrote 661 days ago

Hello Eric,

I have had this book on my watchlist for a few days and am glad that I have finally been able to find the time to read enough of it to make an informed comment. This is a great subject and you handle it with the wisdom and sensitivity that it deserves. I agree with you that Biblical symbolism is a personal matter and it is also practical. The way that you show the miracles that can come to an individual by understanding under the words is really the key to my understanding of the texts. I am a firm believer that God has given us a mystery in the texts and there is a great need for more books that explain what lies in a simple image of a fish or walking in water. Great work. I will support this book! kind regards, Steve

Adam Thurstman wrote 678 days ago

A quite poetic and refreshing twist on your avarage Bible tretise, reminding us how important symbolism is in man and God's attempt to understand one another.

Good work and well written.

Adam DeThurstman
IS ISRAEL REAL

grahamwhittaker wrote 680 days ago

Fascinating! I will need to read this several times I think. Religions are a lifetime study for me, and I became an 'accidental buddhist" after we adopted our two Chinese daughters and spent time in China. I regularly visit the temple in Xiamen. (A wondrous place, where there is a sense of peace I found lacking in my life.) Learning that Buddhism is a philosophy rather than a "religion" gave me a clue about Christianity. It has always concerned me that blind adherence tends to garner rather hateful commentary. I don't think that was the intention of J.C and it's rather sad. I will read with an open mind... and heart. The style is unique and I hope you don't take the blind dogmatists to heart. Thank you for an inspiring and thought provoking read. I'm WL'ing this and when I've got room on the bookshelf (shortly) I'll back it. Thanks again

Kate LaRue wrote 694 days ago

Eric,
Here for a read as a thank you for shelving my book. I have only read through the first chapter, or introduction as it seems to read. To me it is quite dense and hard to follow as an introduction. I'm not sure if your intended audience consists of people who are intimately familiar with the Bible or those who are just beginning a spiritual journey with Christ. It might be helpful to have this information in the introduction, and perhaps something about why you, as the author, are qualified to guide the reader through the Bible. Why should we listen to your interpretation over someone else's? I think this is a fair question, and the place to address it would be the introduction.

Best wishes
Kate
Fade

Jane Catherine wrote 731 days ago

Wow, what a creative way to encourage the reader to seek spiritual knowledge. I see symbolism as a language between me and God during my mundane activities of living, and I like to perceive truth outside the box, so your style appeals to me. The two uploaded chapters are well written but after a thorough reading, I hesitate to guess where you want to take the reader. I may really like your message or I may not like it at all! Analyzing symbols is intriguing. However, but filtering out your use of non-important symbols would only make your signposts stand out clearly on the horizon.

You may want to consider:
*the use of only one highly relevant scripture in between the clouds blowing by; too many images and symbols are jumping out at us from the many scriptures you use.
*Eliminate the use of some of your personal symbols so that the pertinent ones are left to shine in the sunlight (son-light). For example, the male/female = gentile/christian analogy doesn't benefit the message but just muddies the water (you don't want a gender argument here).
*Determine what persona you are taking on as the author. Are you "the book", are you Judas, or are you part of the living spirit of Christ? I loved your book speaking to me to stop and consider the things between its pages!
I hope you post more so we can better evaluate it.
Jane>The Celestial Proposal

Margaret0307 wrote 757 days ago

This book has been written in quite a unique way - the style of the writing is admired, even if I don't find it possible to agree with many of the things written! I believe the Bible is the Word of God and I also believe we meddle with it at our peril. Whilst symbolism is used in the Bible we must be careful to be guided by the Holy Spirit and not by our own imagination - or who knows where we could end up!

I do agree with your comment that we must be as children - I agree with this because the Bible tells us that such will enter the kingdom of God! You obviously know your Bible well Eric - can I respectfully, and in love, suggest you let the Word speak to you, rather than you try to speak to, or change, the Word? :)

May God Bless you as you seek Him
Margaret Weston - How do I know I know God?

J. Owen wrote 802 days ago

Hey Eric,

Well, this is a refreshingly modern take on the bible. Symbols and imagery are what the human brain assimilates the best, so what you are doing with this new look is great! The writing is suggestive, intelligent and thought provoking. My main comment would be: consider splitting the chapters down. 14K words in two chapters is a lot to swallow. As mentioned below, with the devotional ‘daily chunks’, one per day maybe. I would suggest limiting it to 1 or 2K per chapter, which is probably between 2 and 4 main paragraphs inc. the bible quotes.

High stars, and already on my WL!

Best Wishes for the ED,
J.

earthlover wrote 814 days ago

Read the first chapter and scanned over the second. This is well written. I like the word paintings, the fish, the flame, all very creative elements! Although I agree that words can have more than one meaning and that the Bible is loaded with symbolism, I don't get word substitution as any type of technique for understanding the meanings behind scripture or understanding symbols in the Bible.
But it's okay if we disagree....it's still a good book and I'm glad I read it. Good luck!
Georgia
The Woman From E.A.R.L.

Samie wrote 818 days ago

Eric,
This is incredible and fantastically creative. I have put you on my bookshelf and have rated you at six stars. How did you ever come up with this? All I can say is if they had taught this in sunday school I would probably be a religious person today. As it is I am going to read Matthew and John as you suggested and look for a lot of this stuff on my own. Do you plan to post more chapters? I hope so. Keep up the good work, as I'm sure you will get discovered and get published!!!
Best regards,
Samie

MaryBe wrote 818 days ago

Eric,
You seem to be starting your own religion and inviting people to believe with you. The church were I learned to read the Bible believes that a person must believe in a more literal interpretation to take the Word of God seriously. Sure there is symbolism in the Bible but it is highly related to the literal meaning of the ideas presented in the Bible. Did your learn your ideas of Bible symbolism from a religious group?
MaryBe

Dianna Lanser wrote 819 days ago

Hi Eric,

I have carefully read through the two chapters you have downloaded here and even reread as you suggested. I think I must be dim. I'm not quite understanding what you are trying to say,. It seems everyone else is getting it though. With all respect, Eric, what is the bottom line? Maybe you could state that clearly at the beginning for the slow of mind like me because what I am sensing is a man putting words in the mouth of God. I hope that is not your intention. :-)

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

heckster wrote 825 days ago

Different than any other perspective on the Word I have seen, it reaches out to everyone and makes it real. So refreshing to see the honesty coming at you line by line.

Biblesleuth wrote 826 days ago

Thank you, Jim. I've revised it to add a few devotional-type breaks, but maybe not into small enough sections. Perhaps future readers could advise me if the daily chunks I've given are still too big to chew.

Jim Darcy wrote 826 days ago

I like the idea of this as a devotional -type format with divisions into nuggets of thoughts, perhaps interspaced with appropriate photos. Plenty to tickle the brain cells and deliver to a study group or refer to in a sermon. I really enjoy teasing out the symbols and forgotten meanings myself; such as the similarities between Jesus and buddha, or with Diogenes and the Stoics etc. Thank you for an hour well spent :)

D. S. Hale wrote 828 days ago

Very interesting, and full of gems. I love what you are doing here, tho I have to admit your style, or maybe voice, is hard to follow. I like the way you are teaching, but it is almost too much for the reader. Too much meat to a babe and he will choke! Perhaps break this down into a devotional style book. Each day is dedicated to one subject. Thoroughly explain the subject, then that would end the day's study. The reader can meditate on what he has read, thoroughly digested it, and be ready to delve into more of the study the next day. it is much too much to digest in one setting, which is what I did, and it has overwhelmed me. I am putting you in my WL and giving you 6 stars. I want your writing to be seen, to be discovered, and get published! I will do what I can to make your work visible, but please consider my suggestion of making each chapter a small chunk of meat, or the reader will be turned off and quit reading, especially if they are babes. Great work!!!!!



Sincerely,
D. S. Hale
Jessup and the Teleporter

Lcamp wrote 829 days ago

What a unique style of narrating! Very different. The way you weave the Scriptures between the gems of information has a great effect. This is truly an interesting read. I put this on my watchlist and plan on reading the rest of it. When I am done I will give you more comment.
Stay Blessed,
Lynn - "The Chair"

Joshua Jacobs wrote 989 days ago

My first impression of this was that you're a talented writer. A preface is often necessary for a book like this, and it's about as compelling of a start as it can be. I loved your first paragraph as it established two things: this will be a book filled with passion and one for thinkers. Sadly, these rarely come together. I'm excited to see if you can pull this off. So far, so good.

I'm fascinated by the voice in this. It's unique and interesting, which is essential for this type of book. I love that the narrator, in essence, is the book itself. It's a voice that makes you think and one that has a nice subtle sense of humor. I loved, "it's one of the few selling cheap" in reference to the name Judas. I actually disagree with James, and I love the conversational voice. I've read too many religious books that talk down to me. For me, your approach works.

I loved, "You must become again like little children, by having fun when you enter the Bible, and by playing along with its colorful symbols and stories." Great approach. Very Biblical to.

There are quite a few religious texts on authonomy, but this is by far the most unique, passionate, and market-ready I've come across.

I assume there's more after the second preface? It's a great opening that promises an intriguing read.

Suggestions: I'd cut "really" from "really real clouds." Have you considered trimming the first preface? It does feel rather long, and I feel like less might be more in this instance. I also agree with James that you divide this into sections to make it more accessible. I think my biggest concern is your target audience. Sadly, this will go over the head of a lot of readers, which limits its appeal. However, to best honest, I don't care. I think it's brilliant. Sure, you have a select audience, but it works, it's compelling, and it's deep.

Typos: Make sure you put your punctuation inside the quotations. For example, "...the Parables of Jesus," since that's one of... I think you have an extra word with, "with as if they'd had something to say." "Long-winded" is hyphenated.

If you're looking for a book that makes you think, I recommend this one. If it were available today, I'd buy it. It's quite brilliant. Highly rated!

JamesRevoir wrote 997 days ago

Hello Carl:

I read through your book and it is clear that you have a passion for your subject. As I was reading through it though, it did sometimes tend to come across as a stream of consciousness and it was difficult to follow your train of thought.

I do have a couple suggestions:
1. For your own benefit in organizing your thoughts and for the benefit of helping your readers to follow your message, you may want to create a rough chapter outline and divide the uploaded, single mega-chapter into smaller, more digestible chapters.

2. This book carries a highly informal, conversational tone. While I am sure that the purpose of this is to better connect with your readers, it tends to go too far because it makes your writing style come across as unprofessional. You may want to delete exclamations or conversational fillers like "Hey," "Um," and "Like." While they may resonate with an audience of your own generation, they tend to create communication barriers for older generations.

3. Sometimes writing is just as much about what you do not say as it is about what you do say. I think this book tends to attempt to tackle too many subjects which can comprise a book in and of themselves. One such theme in this book which warrants its own treatment in a separate book is that of environmentalism.

4. There does tend to be some angry, accusative language directed at Christians. Watch the emotionalism in your writing.

5. Shorten the title.

Keep on practicing and keep on writing!

James Revoir

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