Every Bible reader, especially every teacher and pastor, needs a solid Bible encyclopedia that does its best to tell us what we need to know about history and theology and archaeology as well as sketch each book of the Bible. Some today entrust their minds to Wikipedia, which is a mixed bag of excellence and, well, not so excellent, so it is wise — if not necessary — for the student in college or seminary, or the young pastor or teacher, or the Sunday School teacher, and every church library needs to have one encyclopedia.
There’s a problem of course: they get dated. When in college I bought the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia and years later that set was updated and I got rid of the old one and bought the new one. In the mid 70s, and I remember the days, Zondervan produced a magnificent encyclopedia and it has now been thoroughly updated under the guidance of Moises Silva: The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible: Revised Full-Color Edition
The new edition is much more readable, filled with color pictures and charts and maps, and it is one that I would recommend for evangelical Christians to purchase and rely upon. There are hundreds of new articles, revised articles, new framings of old articles … in other words, a thorough revision. Not the sort of thing where they’ve added new pictures to old articles … fresh and updated bibliographies.
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