Reader Appeal: Pastors, Bible teachers Genre: Commentary FBSN Rating: B+ It seems strange that asking a theologian to write a Bible commentary would be considered, well, strange. But in the “academic silo” world we live in, the fact is that theologians don’t typically write commentaries. Professors of biblical studies write commentaries, while theologians write, […]
Reader Appeal: Small group leaders, Sunday School teachers, Pastors
Genre: Bible Dictionary
FBSN Rating: A-
OK, yes, this is the “New and Enhanced Edition” of Herbert Lockyer’s 1986 original, and an update of the 1995 update of the same book. And sure, not much has changed in the Bible since 1995, so one could argue that a “New and Enhanced Edition” is unnecessary.
Of course, anyone who would argue that is probably not a Bible Study Nerd, so let’s ignore that guy and get on to the good stuff.
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (New and Enhanced Edition) is a lot of fun for nerds who, Biblically speaking, want to have it all, in concise format and at your fingertips. The sheer breadth of knowledge in this heavy tome is invaluable There are over 7,000 entries from A to Z here, covering biblical topics in near-comprehensive scope, including Bible doctrine, Bible peoples and history, Bible places and society, word studies, and so on. Outlines of every Bible book are included, and helpful (especially when preparing sermons or Sunday School talks), as is an extensive cross-reference system that actually acknowledges different translations instead of grounding itself in one exclusive Bible version.
The “illustrated” part of the book is also nice, with over 500 full-color photographs that help facilitate better understanding of topics discussed. As expected, the book also includes tons of maps, charts, and a Bible history-at-a-glance “Visual Survey” that might come in handy.
The publisher promises that “Every entry in the dictionary was reviewed, revised, corrected, replaced, rewritten, and updated as needed to provide the most comprehensive, current, and dependable Bible dictionary available.” To which I can only say:
Dude, you had me at hello.
So, yes, it’s basically a third edition of a 1986 Bible reference book, but you know what? I’m excited about it, and I think any Bible Study Nerd who actually looks at this one will share my enthusiasm. My advice? Go ahead and add Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, New and Enhanced Edition to your bookshelf; it’s worth it.
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, New and Enhanced Edition by Ronald F. Youngblood, general editor
(Thomas Nelson Publishers)
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