- Hardcover: 1480 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans (October 23, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802824005
- ISBN-13: 978-0802824004
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 2.3 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible 0th Edition
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A useful companion for scholars, students, and anyone seeking to learn more about the Bible, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible presents a comprehensive critical approach to reading and studying that is detailed and easy to use. Replete with 134 illustrations, 16 color maps, and nearly 5,000 alphabetically ordered articles compiled from 600 sources, this reference offers an excellent core of up-to-date knowledge. The density of each entry is impressive; explanations of historical questions, canonical criticism, and cultural settings are rich and informative. The length of each entry is proportional to the subject. For example, the entry for Dead Sea Scrolls comprises four small-print pages and explores matters such as the discovery, physical description, biblical context, and relation to Judaism, while the definition for Consecrate is nicely contained within one sentence. While most Bible concordances exhaust definitions and descriptions, this single-volume dictionary is intended as a practical "rapid-response reference work" for reading and studying the Bible. Nevertheless, it supplies ample information regarding books (including Apocryphal), persons, places, events, and definitions in a succinct manner. The text is based on the New Revised Standard Bible except where otherwise noted, and bibliographical sources are peppered throughout. --Jacque Holthusen
From Library Journal
With this new dictionary (EDB), Freedman (Hebrew biblical studies, Univ. of California, San Diego) repeats the success of his Anchor Bible Dictionary (ABD) on a smaller scale. Like the ABD, this one-volume dictionary includes contributions from an international, interconfessional team of nearly 600 established and up-and-coming scholars. Around 5000 articles treat the books of the Bible (including the Apocrypha, or Deuterocanonicals) and the persons, places, and many of the significant terms found in them. There are also entries for related subjects, such as noncanonical writings and terms one will encounter in the secondary literature (for example, "Elohist" and "Hebrew, Biblical"). In fact, though it is less detailed, this work covers much the same ground as the ABD. It far surpasses such comparable works as The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (LJ 2/15/97) and New Bible Dictionary (InterVarsity, 1996. 3d ed.) in the number of contributors and of articles, and it ranges more broadly across the theological spectrum. Up-to-date, comprehensive, and well written, the EDB is highly recommended. However, because Freedman only partially achieves his goal of providing "balanced discussions reflecting different viewpoints," it should join the aforementioned dictionaries rather than supplant them.ACraig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Birmingham
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Freedman explains something of the scope of this book in the preface, by beginning the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible by defining both the terms 'bible' and 'dictionary' -- for Bible, the works referenced in this volume include the Hebrew Bible, the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical books, and the New Testament. For Dictionary, Freedman describes the different kinds of dictionaries of the Bible available -- multi-volume sets such as the Anchor Bible Dictionary, and single-volume editions such as the subject of this present review. The multi-volume sets, Freedman states, should more appropriately be called encyclopedias. 'A one-volume Bible dictionary is intended to be a rapid-response reference work.' Containing much the same information in briefer form, this kind of text serves most needs handily.
Another important use of one-volume Bible dictionaries is to provide a guide to further research by bibliographic information. As the majority of people cannot afford the multi-volume sets, one-volume dictionaries such as the 'Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible' fill an important, affordable role for the 'average' person, who is unlikely to invest in the more expensive works.
This dictionary represents scholarly views from all major denominational and scholarly viewpoints in Judaism and Christianity. Published in the year 2000, it provides up-to-date research and scholarship, drawing on the latest archaeological finds and interpretations from literary, historical, sociological and linguistic sources.
This dictionary has approximately 5000 entries. Among them, one will find all persons and places named in the Bible, as well as political, cultural, language and natural topics that relate to biblical stories and narratives. Additionally, specific and significant articles on archaeology, theology, the history of the Bible, extra-biblical writings beyond the apocryphal/deuterocanonicals, and particular developments within ecclesiastical traditions fill out the articles in the text. Each article is signed by the contributor, and the list of contributors is in the front of the book, with basic biographical information. All major articles include bibliographic information that includes pertinent books, articles, and journals for further research.
A few examples of how entries are treated will show how they are developed in this volume. I have selected a biographical entry, a geographical entry, and a topical entry.
The entry for Aaron
This entry begins with basic biographical information -- descendant of Levi and brother of Moses (with the appropriate biblical citations for source -- Exod. 6.20; Num 26.59; 1Chr 6.3). The article then proceeds to speak of Aaron's role as High Priest (in Exodus-Numbers, and in Chronicles). Following this, references to Aaron beyond these in the Hebrew Scriptures is developed, both in priestly and non-priestly portrayals. Then, Aaron as figure referenced in the New Testament is explored. Finally, the entry gives a summary of the character of Aaron, and concludes with bibliographic information which includes three books and one article.
The entry for Chaldea
This entry begins with basic geographical information -- where is Chaldea? This is a region in southern Babylonia near the Persian Gulf; the word 'Chaldea' became synonymous over time with 'Babylonia' after a Chaldean royal family took over Babylon. The entry for Chaldea then has two major sections -- one that describes the Land and People and one that describes the History of the land. Part of the discussion of the Land and People includes an etymological exploration of the names of the people and places in Chaldea. The History of Chaldea is described as falling into two major periods, which includes the connections Chaldeans have had with the story of the development of Israel. This entry also concludes with a bibliography, which includes reference to five books.
The entry for Lord's Supper
This entry begins with the basic information -- 'a meal celebrated in honour of Jesus Christ commemorating his last meal with his disciples'. A discussion of the terms 'communion' and 'eucharist' is included in the introduction to this topic. The major headings for the development of this entry include Paul (for his writings are the earliest in the New Testament, and from which the standard wording of communion/eucharistic prayers are derived), Synoptic Gospel traditions, other traditions, and a conclusion. For those who think there is a consistent picture of the way communion is done in the New Testament, articles such as these are indeed an eye-opener; the diversity present in the New Testament helps to explain the different practices among denominations.
Included among the articles are dozens of charts and photographs, which include paintings, sculptures, artifacts, people and places. Throughout there are black-and-white maps, and at the back, the book includes colour maps, with maps of all the major periods in biblical history, as well as modern maps showing the current geography of the area, as well as one that highlights major archaeological sites. The end-plates include transliteration tables for Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, to aid with pronunciation.
I have the 'Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible' at home on the shelf next to the 'Harper Collins Bible Dictionary', another one-volume ready-reference of comparable quality and scope. (My six-volume Anchor Bible Dictionary is kept in my office at the seminary.) Either of these volumes will serve well as a companion to reading the Bible. The Eerdmans, being more recently published, is somewhat more up-to-date, but I have found the combination of the two volumes provides most of my needs when reading and preparing for homilies and presentations.
Many recommend the Anchor-Yale Bible DictionaryThe Anchor Bible Dictionary 6-Volume Prepack: (contains one copy of each volume The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary) as the premiere Bible dictionary (it is in 6 volumes and it is much more an encyclopedia than a dictionary). The AYBD is wonderful (again, for serious study), but this Eerdman's one volume dictionary is EXCELLENT, and it is much more accessible and more concise than AYBD. The price is great... but there are some used volumes that are a steal (poor figure of speech!).
Yes, the print is not as large as I would like, but at the same time, I wouldn't want the dictionary to be significantly larger than it already is. You are not going to be disappointed in this dictionary, unless you were looking for an entry level dictionary like Unger's or Zondervan's. Just make sure you are getting the right dictionary for your needs.
If you are interested in getting a better understanding of the Bible, a good Bible dictionary is a must -- and this is the best one to have.