The Serpent and the Serpent Slayer by Andrew David Naselli–Book Review

This is a book to warm the heart of any English major.  It is one in a series published by Crossway entitled, “Short Studies in Bible Theology.”  Each volume takes a theme and traces it through the entire Bible.  This particular one studies snake and dragon symbolism.  The author starts with the following premises:

  • The Bible is entirely true and our final authority
  • Any part of the Bible must be read in light of the whole Bible.
  • Biblical theology studies how the whole Bible progresses, integrates and climaxes in Christ

All of this lines up with my training as a conservative Lutheran.

Naselli begins by listing some of the famous dragon-slaying stories which are familiar to many of us.  They all echo the Greatest Story of the Bible, and include the following characters:

  • The serpent, or villain (in the Bible–Satan)
  • A damsel in distress (in the Bible–the people of God)
  • The serpent slayer, our hero (in the Bible–Jesus)

Although snakes occasionally symbolize good, in the Bible they are overwhelmingly negative.  The enemies of God are portrayed as serpents or dragons who deceive and devour.  We are led through a number of references from Genesis to Revelation that support this view.  The author touches on some other biblical themes as well — exodus/exile and the temple.

The book ends with some conclusions about how we should live in light of the story of the Serpent and the Serpent Slayer:  


  • Don’t imitate the serpent (i.e. don’t murder, reject the truth or lie)
  • Don’t let your guard down — be aware of the serpent
  • Fight the serpent in a variety of ways — avoiding immorality, excommunicating false teachers, serving in the church
  • Rejoice in and trust the Serpent-Slayer (Christ)
  • Enjoy good serpent-slaying stories as echoes of the Bible story

There is an appendix at the end which traces all mentions of the serpent by listing all the relevant Bible verses.

VERDICT:  5 STARS.  If you are of a literary bent, you’ll enjoy this study.  It was also clear and biblically sound.

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-book in return for a fair and honest review.  Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

For more book reviews on Crossway publications see:

Heaven is a World of Love by Jonathan Edwards — Book Review

Competing Spectacles by Tony Reinke–Book Review

Stott on the Christian Life by Tim Chester –Book Review



1 thought on “The Serpent and the Serpent Slayer by Andrew David Naselli–Book Review

  1. Pingback: Divine Blessing and the Fullness of Life in the Presence of God by William R. Osborne–Book Review | Lutheran Ladies Connection

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