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Dictionary of Biblical Imagery Hardcover – December 2, 1998
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About the Author
Leland Ryken (Ph.D., University of Oregon) is Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of more than one hundred published articles and essays, and he has written, edited or contributed to more than twenty-five books. His books include The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation (Crossway), The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing (Shaw), Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (InterVarsity Press), The Discerning Reader: Christian Perspectives on Literature and Theory (Baker) and A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible (Zondervan).
James Wilhoit is Scripture Press Professor of Christian Education at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered, coeditor of the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (IVP Academic) and coauthor, with Leland Ryken, of Effective Bible Teaching.
Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is also visiting professor of Old Testament at Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lectures regularly at Regent College in Vancouver and the Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary. Longman is the author or coauthor of over twenty books, including How to Read Genesis, How to Read the Psalms, How to Read Proverbs, Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament Essentials and coeditor of A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He and Dan Allender have coauthored Bold Love, Cry of the Soul, Intimate Allies, The Intimate Mystery and the Intimate Marriage Bible studies.
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Because of this issue I have returned the book for a refund and rated it one-star. Please add a functional, helpful TOC and I will gladly re-purchase the book and alter my review.
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So often we approach the Bible from a theological point of view, but God, in His multi-faceted wisdom and creativity, has given us His truth wrapped in dazzling layers of imagery, metaphor, and symbols that engage our affective, emotional faculties as well as our cognitive. He uses story and all its literary conventions to present situations to which our human spirits can relate and experience the lessons therein.
His Word is replete with metaphors and motifs that appeal to our image-making faculties. Although aware of the power of pictures, most of us have only a cursory understanding of the layers of meaning they convey, whether universal or contextual. How is my body like a tent? My daughter like a corner pillar? My prayer like an arrow?
We have many theological resources available to us, but until now, have had little to open the doors to the literary treasures of the Bible. Editors Ryken, Wilhoit, and Longman have provided us with an informative, engaging, and much needed biblical tool that "explores the patterns that the biblical writers have imposed on life, with a view toward understanding what those patterns clarify about life."
This ambitious work speaks to a large audience. Clearly written, The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, will appeal to the lay reader, as well as the scholar. It will help preachers to enrich their presentations of the literal biblical text with a deeper understanding of the concrete images, themes and archetypes common to the human experience. And--a particular bonus to writers-- the treasure trove of plot structures, motifs, metaphors, and archetypes contained within these pages will provide writers with enough information and inspiration to sit right down and crank out that elusive masterpiece.