Most helpful positive review
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Superior to the original unabridged set!
on January 15, 2007
This is not a kiddie version of the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (DNTT). I think in many respects, this is superior. Actually, when you consider the superior factors and then look at the price difference from the original, I think you'd find it hard to justify ever buying the four volume set.
First off, this is more well organized and easier to use. The editors of this abridged edition (DNTT-AE) noticed that while the original grouped the Greek words by English words (e.g., two, three, or more words could be grouped under an English word), there was little discussion of the similarities and differences between the Greek words grouped there. So they decided to list all words by Greek word order, not English. This makes finding the word you want a breeze. However, they've helpfully listed the other related words grouped in the original DNTT at the end of the entry for comparisons.
Second, they've included the Goodrick-Kohlenberger numbering system, which is now used in so many other NT resources. This allows those who can't read Greek to more easily benefit from this book.
Third, they retained almost all of the important stuff. They made it shorter by 1) deleting those extensive bibliographies after each entry, many of which are now dated and half of which were in German. Most pastors wouldn't use that information anyway. 2) Gone are the full length articles on specific topics that were more in the category of Systematic Theology rather than what you expect to find in a theological dictionary (e.g., articles like "Revelation in Contemporary Theology"). 3) When lengthy arguments were made for alternative interpretations, these were abridged or eliminated, instead just describing the conclusions. 4) Discussion of the use of a word in classical Greek was abridged and only the relevant information kept. 5) Duplicate discussions of the same information was intergrated to save space. Aside from that, you have everything from the DNTT but in a more organized, easy to use fashion! How did they cram four volumes into one? Well for one thing, volume four is only an index. They crammed three volumes of information into one volume by doing three things. First, they shrunk the type. My eyes are getting weak, but this smaller type is very readable for me. It's plenty big. Second, they moved from a single column to double column format. Finally, they increased the height and width of the book to make the book larger. It is a full inch taller, and about two inches deeper than the original. And it is only about as thick as volume 1 of the original set.
As a result, you are getting virtually all you need from DNTT for $23. You save money over the four volume set, which is $93 here at Amazon. You save a chunk of shelf space. You also save time reading through irrelevant classical Greek information that actually has no exegetical value in the NT (remember, they kept the information about Classical Greek that's relevant for NT interpretation), and skimming past extensive bibliographical information you'll never track down. If I didn't need the full DNTT for a project I'm working on, my set would be on eBay in no time! I own and routinely use TDNT, DNTT, the Exegetical Dictionary of the NT (EDNT), and Spicq's Theological Lexicon of the NT (TLNT). I originally got this DNTT-AE as a fluke, to look it over for a friend just getting into learning Greek. I gave him many Greek resources, but kept this one. It's more practical and user friendly than the original.
One last comment. In using all of the four standard theological dictionaries, I find that Spicq's TLNT provides superior insights to the others. I recommend it more highly than the others, but due to some problems of consistency and completeness, it is not good all by itself. Read my review of it here on Amazon. I think that this DNTT-AE and Spicq's TLNT are a super combination and may be all a pastor or educated lay person would need by way of theological dictionaries of the NT. Most pastor's that have TDNT never use it. The same could be true of DNTT, but DNTT-AE makes it easier to use, and you don't have to wade through so much like you do in TDNT. There's no wading through Spicq's TLNT either. DNTT-AE and Spicq's TLNT are a great combination.