Willie J. Alexander firmly believes that the Bible is a “reality-based primer” in which virtually every life lesson can be learned—with a caveat: “The more educated humans become, the less likely they are to believe the literal biblical messages coming from the pulpit.”
Among the Bible stories he cites are those of Eve and the talking snake, the parting of the Red Sea by Moses, and the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. Alexander suggests that his “defined word approach” and substituting metaphors for literal interpretations better reveals the true meaning of scripture. “Fundamentally, these are stories about real people in real-life situations,” he writes.
Alexander was the Houston Oilers’ starting defensive back from 1971 to 1980 and is currently president and founder of Houston-based W. J. Alexander & Associates, PC, an employee benefits consulting company and insurance brokerage firm.
This is Alexander’s second book; his first, Entering the Promised Land, sought to make sense of the ways in which embedded social biases affect business success, and it was during his research for this first book that the author, a trained religious scholar, discovered what he suggests is a new method of interpreting the Bible.
Based on his belief that “every word contains a story,” Alexander’s “defined word approach” defines the classical Hebrew words in which scripture was originally written. When applied to the story of Creation, his method offers a novel interpretation: rather than offering a literal description of the creation of the world, Alexander writes, the story is really about “male and female bonding for purposes of creating a family.”
It is suggested that readers reference the “Addendum” and “Glossary” early in their reading to become familiar with the definitions that Alexander is using, as they are certainly not those commonly used by mainstream Christianity. For example, he defines the biblical “bone of my bone” as meaning “a male and female engaged in coitus;” the word “created” refers to the “marriage of an adult female and male;” “earth” is “an adult female,” and “heaven” is “an adult male.” The infamous serpent, Alexander writes, is actually “a crafty and deceitful adult male.”
While the text is not without errors in grammar, syntax and spelling, the book is graced with a beautiful cover photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, and the well-designed and informative back cover complements it well. The copyright page and table of contents are informative and easy to follow. The addendum and glossary are especially helpful, both providing clear and concise instructions for following the author’s method. Ample references facilitate further research.
The author’s stated intent for The Real Story of Creation was to point out how translation affects meaning, and to energize religious study and understanding among Christians; while the case for his particular take on the possible multiple meanings, or meanings that may change due to context, may be open to question, he has followed his own particular logic devotedly in support of his conclusions.
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