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Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books (The IVP Bible Dictionary Series) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1084 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; Student edition edition (November 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830817824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830817825
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.7 x 2.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Quite simply, this is an excellent work of reference. Its list of articles has been carefully chosen, and includes all the important ones for understanding the Historical Books of the Old Testament in a wide range of perspectives: methodological, literary, geographical, archaeological, historical, religious, major personalities. Equally well chosen are the authors of the articles, who represent among the best in contemporary biblical scholarship internationally, many of them already well known for their work on the topics they here write about. The articles themselves are concise and yet comprehensive, presenting in lucid fashion the information about their topics, with very helpful bibliographies of relevant scholarship. But more than the presentation of information, the articles dig seriously into the problems of how that information has been and can be interpreted. They offer, thus, a real exposure to the challenges and debates that have made up the study of the Bible in the past and the present." (Peter Machinist, Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)

"The publisher of DOTHB, the latest volume in the comprehensive series on the Old and New Testaments and their backgrounds, is to be commended on this magnificent achievement. The editors have distinguished and well-deserved reputations in biblical studies, while the authors, some better known than others, are uniformly well-qualified and in the forefront of our field. The list of contributors and articles is comprehensive, if not exhaustive, and those read by the present writer, across the spectrum of history, archaeology and theology, are first-rate both in terms of fair-minded scholarship and reader-friendly literary quality. Authors and editors alike are to be congratulated for a stellar accomplishment. As a person with some experience in the reference work business, I can recommend the new arrival with utmost enthusiasm." (David Noel Freedman, Editor-in-Chief, The Anchor Bible Project)

"One of the best dictionaries I have encountered, this volume on the Historical Books of the Old Testament is a veritable gold mine of information, clearly and competently presented. The treatments are rich and complete, accessible to any reader. Some of them provide as fine a concise guide to the topic under consideration as can be found. Not only does the volume take up obvious and important topics, such as the main historical figures, historical issues and biblical books; it also engages hermeneutical, theological and linguistic matters. In some cases, while the essay is focused on the Historical Books, it will serve as a way into the topic within the whole of Scripture. The authors come from a wide spectrum of points of view, but they all work to present a broad and full picture of the issues under discussion. A valuable reference tool for anyone working in the Scriptures." (Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary)

"It is quite a testimony to a dictionary to say I could hardly resist the temptation to read it through from "Aaron" to "Zerubbabel." History, archaeology, everyday life, theology, religion, geography, critical theories, hermeneutics--it's all there, in articles written by a very wide range of top scholars and younger experts. It is a marvelous volume." (John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary)

"With entries ranging from 'agriculture' to 'Zion traditions,' DOTHB attempts a 'total context' treatment of the Historical Books of the Old Testament. Since these books are concerned with much more than 'history,' this approach is absolutely right, and is admirably carried through. I am particularly pleased to see the level of awareness of recent developments in biblical and archaeological study in many of the articles. This is a very valuable addition to the IVP dictionary series." (Robert P. Gordon, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge)

"An invaluable guide to the Historical Books which sums up current thinking on all the major issues. Readers can rely on this work for the best in today's scholarship." (John Barton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford)

"Given the dramatic developments in the study of ancient Israelite history and historical writing over the past two decades, the publication of an up-to-date dictionary is a most welcome development. Arnold and Williamson have assembled a well-respected international team of scholars to provide readers with clear, concise and helpful overviews of a variety of relevant topics." (Gary N. Knoppers, Head, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University)

"This dictionary clearly recognizes the distinction between history as what happened in the past and history as a written record of the past, and gives sustained attention to each. Students will profit immensely from concise statements of the historical issues and from the fair presentation of all major points of view. The bibliographical references should stimulate those who want to dig deeper, and the dictionary format will surely please those who want to and/or need to focus their reading. At a time when so many issues in Israel's history are contested, this dictionary provides a reliable and competent guide." (Ralph W. Klein, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is an outstanding resource book for the novice or the scholar.
The Teacher
Articles are well written (and can be a bit dense), very informative, and contain a select bibliography for further study.
S. Bachmann
Also, each entry provides a bibliography referencing a wide range of sources for further study.
William White

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By LOTR Librarian on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Over 150 articles comprise the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, which covers the books of Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

Each entry is concluded by an extensive bibliography and useful cross-references to other articles in the Dictionary Of The Historical Books.

A unique feature that enhances the readability and usefulness of this dictionary is that the entries are in reality "macro-essays" on larger categories or topics instead of separate smaller essays on the component parts. For example, "Absalom" will be found in the discussion
of "David's Family," and "Anat" under "Canaanite Gods and Religion."

The entries discuss and evaluate many of the key interpretative problems and the relevance of comparative data from literary, cultural, and archaeological sources that pertain to these biblical texts. Archaeological studies are used extensively throughout the entries, with numerous sites being treated separately in addition to their citation within other contexts.

With a wide range of backgrounds and points of view among the 120 contributors, this dictionary contains fairly even and well-balanced entries that provide a panoramic view of the present landscape in this segment of scholarly research on the historical books. It must be noted, however, that the contributors to the dictionary do not merely present but also evaluate data. While some readers no doubt will take issue with some of the interpretations of the various contributors, the entries articulate the state of the question for these issues and topics and offer new directions and interpretative possibilities for the future.

The volume concludes with three indexes: Scripture, subjects,
and articles. Whether you are a scholar, a graduate student, or a layman looking for a summation of scholarly opinion, this volume is for you!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Commentary Surveyor on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Editors Bill Arnold and Paul Williamson have enlisted an international cast of scholars; each addressing topics within their specialties. In the past twenty years a burgeoning list of titles addressing the historicity of the OT has appeared, thus making it necessary for a dictionary that addresses these particular concerns. With entries ranging from "agriculture" to "Zion traditions," DOTHB packs competently presented information cover-to-cover. One of the best dictionaries I have encountered.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William White on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
IVP (InterVarsity Press) has a reputation for publishing quality scholarship in the fields of Theology and Biblical Studies. The IVP Bible Dictionary Series is no exception. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books is the second of IVP's series on the Hebrew Bible (the first: Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentatuch). IVP mostly utilizes conservative Christian scholars for the articles that comprise their dictionaries. However, often material is gathered for those articles from sources throughout Christian and Judaic scholarship. Also, each entry provides a bibliography referencing a wide range of sources for further study. Those who are interested in New Testament studies should also check out IVP's New Testament volumes in this same series, The IVP Dictionary of Theology, and Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. I personally own all of these and am awaiting the remaining, yet to be published, volumes in the Hebrew Bible series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Bachmann on December 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Contains a wealth of solid and in-depth information aimed at scholars and educated lay persons. Articles are well written (and can be a bit dense), very informative, and contain a select bibliography for further study. An indispensible tool for any serious student of the Bible.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Teacher on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding resource book for the novice or the scholar. It is well written and very easy to understand. Arnold covers the Old Tesatment thoroughly. You will not be disappointed.
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