Good and Evil Serpent

How a Universal Symbol Became Christianized
by James H. Charlesworth

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Pub Date: 2010
Format: Hardback
Pages: 719 pp.
Size: 6.25 x 9.50 inches

ISBN: 9780300140828
TB Code: 1705155
Availability: 41 in stock

In a perplexing passage from the Gospel of John, Jesus is likened to the most reviled creature in Christian symbology: the snake. Attempting to understand how the Fourth Evangelist could have made such a surprising analogy, James H. Charlesworth has spent nearly a decade combing through the vast array of references to serpents in the ancient world—from the Bible and other religious texts to ancient statuary and jewelry. Charlesworth has arrived at a surprising conclusion: not only was the serpent a widespread symbol throughout the world, but its meanings were both subtle and varied. In fact, the serpent of ancient times was more often associated with positive attributes like healing and eternal life than it was with negative meanings.