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Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms Paperback – November 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1 edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664255116
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664255114
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nearly 6,000 terms from disciplines such as the Bible, church history, ethics, ministry, spirituality, theology, and worship are defined here by McKim, a professor at Memphis Theological Seminary. He describes his work as not deep but broad in its coverage. Definitions are usually just two or three sentences long. He provides etymologies for many words, usually from Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. Many entries make reference to the Bible, noting book, chapter, and verse. Pronunciation would have been helpful for some words (e.g., exegesis, hermeneutics). Although published by the Presbyterian Church, this dictionary can be used by members of other Protestant denominations and Roman Catholics. McKim notes when a word is used only in a specific tradition or if faiths differ in their use of a term. For example, in sacrament, he notes that the Roman Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments and Protestants, two. Definitions are accessible to lay Christians.

There are many specialized dictionaries of theological terms, such as the Dictionary of Feminist Theologies [RBB Ag 96] and the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics (1986), but this new work will be especially useful in academic and public libraries that need a general dictionary with broad coverage. Sandy Whiteley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Westminister Dictionary Of Theological Terms is a comprehensive volume which includes nearly 6,000 theological terms. Its brief and concise definitions capture a broad range of theological and related disciplines: biblical studies, church history, ethics, feminist theology, liberation theology, ministry, philosophy, social sciences, spirituality, worship, Protestant, Reformed, and kRoman Catholic theologies, and more. No other single voluem provides such easy access to so many theological definitions. Both the novice student and the theologically literatre reader will find the Westminister Dictionary Of Theological Terms to be of immense benefit in their studies, sermons, and writings. -- Midwest Book Review

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Customer Reviews

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The pages of the book are now dog-eared from carrying it everywhere.
M HEIL
A great addition to any library for the person who loves study of the Bible and for the student in theological studies.
Mack White
Most of the definitions and descriptions are short and to the point and very helpful.
Daniel M. Hixon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Daniel M. Hixon on October 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most valuable tools for my time in seminary. It is small enough to carry everywhere, but very broad, it seems as though every topic in the realm of Christianity is touched upon (who knew that Mardi Gras was also known as 'Pancake Tuesday' and 'Shrove Tuesday' - I didn't and I am from Louisiana!) Most of the definitions and descriptions are short and to the point and very helpful. This is a great one volume reference work that will be more useful to you than some multi-volume desk sets will be! This is a must-have for anyone interested in studying theology at any level.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have found this book indispensable for my seminary education. It is clear and concise.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike Robinson on July 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Theologian Charles Hodge noted: "Original sin is the only rational solution of the undeniable fact of the deep, universal and early manifested sinfulness of men in all ages, of every class, and in every part of the world." And thus we need God's word and His saving grace to rightly understand our world. And to assist the believer in learning God's word, one needs to understand scriptural doctrines and truths. Moreover in "Westminister Dictionary Of Theological Terms" the reader finds the proper definition of numerous biblical terms as well as doctrinal expressions employed by Christian scholars. Large yet not massive (310 pages), this excellent resource contains over 5000 Theological topics, subjects, and terms.

Within this outstanding book one finds terms and definitions from:

- the Bible
- church history
- the field of ethics
- pastoral ministry
- systematic theology
- biblical theology
- and a host of necessary and useful terms.

McKim (professor Memphis Theological Seminary) offers etymologies of numerous essential vocabulary words (Hebrew, Greek, Latin). Words and doctrines such as exegesis, justification, imputation, salvation, and countless others are furnished in this easy-to-read volume. The writing is so clear, powerful, and simple it almost makes for a devotional read. It may not be that, but it is a potent and very useful tool for the devout believer, seminary student, or minister; a superb single-volume source that provides the student straightforward access to scores of theological definitions. Also makes for a fine Home School resource.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M HEIL on October 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Upon entering seminary,(after an 18 year absence from academia)finding this book was a God-send! The pages of the book are now dog-eared from carrying it everywhere. I have recommended it to several other students.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex S TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book in my first year of seminary and have referred to it on many occasions in the ten years I have owned it. Whether you are checking out terms your professors use, checking out meanings from the books you read, or just trying to uncpderstand a concept, this small book is a very useful guide.

Why is a funereal song called a dirge, and where did the word come from?

What is Modalism, and should you incorporate it or take a stand against it?

What is Process philosophy, theism, and theology?

What is redemption, and how does this word come out of the early theology of devil ransom?

For those not attending seminary, this book is a handy reference for moments when your Christian friends ask about stuff you don't know. Each definition is only a short, simple paragraph, so within a minute you can grab the book and look up an answer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Arundel on November 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a slim volume but it is unexpectedly thorough for Christian readers whose theological study is grounded in the Reformed tradition. It's been a terribly handy resource for me to get a handle on commonly thrown about theological terms as well as references to sects and heresies for which one not only ought to be watchful but ought to be able to give a name to.

On reading an article by a leading Reformed theologian(Dr. Michael Horton), for example, I encountered this paragraph:
"Like Luther, Calvin challenged the identification of the Good News as "a new law" and Christ as a new Moses. However, he introduced (with Melancthon's help)
some critical nuances. While Luther disagreed sharply with Aquinas' characterization of the gospel as a "new law," he often perpetuates the tendency to treat
law and gospel as equivalent to Old and New Testaments. The Anabaptists pushed this further toward a Marcionite antithesis. In Calvin's treatment, there is
much greater nuance."

I looked up: Melancthon, Anabaptists, Marciontite. Here's the entry for "Marcionism/Marcionites":
"The teachings of Marcion (d. c. 160), which featured a sharp distinction between the 'God of wrath' of the Old Testament and the 'God of love' of the New Testament
and the view that Christ never became flesh. In Marcionism, Christianity replaces Judaism. Its canon was Luke's Gospel and ten Pauline letters."

The dictionary gave me just enough of an explanation to make heads or tails of the use of other such terms as well. I heartily recommend it for those who desire more than a passing knowledge of theology and less than a doctoral degree in divininty.
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