- Hardcover: 4561 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co; Revised, 4 Volume edition (March 1, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802837859
- ISBN-13: 978-0802837851
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.2 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 18.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: 4 Vol. Set Revised, 4 Volume Edition
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It is packed with loads of information not only in the form of Biblical commentary but also in terms of information about people, places, things, and events in the Bible. Also, while Bromiley tends to be on the Evangelical side of things in terms of exegesis (he's from Fuller after all, as are some of his co-editors, one of whom is from Wycliffe), he at least mentions the many interpretations that various passages of scripture have (including neo-orthodox and liberal). He also provides numerous, though at times cryptically short, references for those with the desire to look them up in a good reference library.
One criticism I have is his writting style, particularly in some of the exegetical sections, is a little terse, and more explaination of the Hebrew/Greek would be helpful.
Earlier printings are available used for about the same price, with dust jackets and some of them (not all) have a far-superior sewn binding. It's nice not to worry about pages coming loose, and to have a book that lays open flat. The ISBN does not tell you what you are getting. For example, the May 1993 reprint of Vol 4 has a sewn binding, but the otherwise identical November 1988 printing does not. Maybe there were complaints about the earlier printing coming apart, I have no idea. I don't know whether the set Amazon sells for $176.40 has a sewn or glued binding; my advice is to call Eerdmans and find out before buying. The text is always identical, as long as it's the "Fully Revised" version; I believe the last volume, Vol 4, was first issued in its fully revised version in 1988, the other volumes earlier than that. The first printings of fully revised Vol 4 have 1211 pages, later printings have 1240. The difference is a set of errata pages, which you can photocopy from a library.
The ISBE contributors represent various evangelical positions. The set often includes articles that are barely evangelical, contributors frequently holding to inspiration but not inerrancy. Though I find myself more conservative than many of the contributors, I find the insights invaluable and the thinking scholarly. There's not a lot of the same old same old surface info, but depth and even some original thinking.
Highly reommended for students of the Word, with a note of caution to those of us on the conservative end of evangelicalism.
But ISBE itself is a cheap knockoff of Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible.
It's full of errors. It's bloated with irrelevant material, and often short on material relevant to Biblical history.