There are several points I’d like to discuss with regard to the kind of comparison and analysis of Bible passages that I did in the last post, based on my own experiences with trying to get a handle on material of that sort. Hopefully this information will be useful to those persons who would like to engage in the interpreting or “decoding” or “deciphering” of the Bible for anti-esotericist purposes, but have never yet made the attempt to do so.
The first point is that you’ll notice from the comparison that the authors of the Bible do not necessarily use their symbols in a consistent manner. This is one of the things that I find most exasperating about the Bible, and about esoteric religion in general. In Hebrews 4:12, the “Word of God” is described as being a “sword.” However, in 2 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul implies—I believe—that Jesus (i.e., the “Word of God”) would use the “sword of Spirit” to “kill” the “Lawless One.” Similarly, in Revelation 19:11-16, the “sword” is described as coming out of the “Word of God” (i.e., Jesus). So the metaphor has been changed somewhat. And I get the sense that esotericists are generally pretty okay with that sort of thing. (I, on the other hand, being a non-esotericist and indeed an anti-esotericist, am not at all okay with it, because it causes confusion, and makes it more difficult to figure out what an author’s point is.) This fact needs to be recognized from the outset, since defenders of esoteric religion will likely criticize you for inconsistencies in and among your various theories and hypotheses, even though that very inconsistency may well be due entirely to the inconsistencies in thinking indulged in by the authors of the Bible whose meaning you’re trying to determine. So always remember: It’s not your fault. As long as you make sure that you’re no more inconsistent than the authors were themselves being in their own minds, that will be sufficient.