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New Dictionary of Theology Hardcover – March 26, 1988

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Some 200 theologians from around the world have contributed entries to this work, though it betrays its British origin. The preface states that "while the common standpoint . . . is allegiance to the supreme authority of the Scripture . . . no attempt has been made to exclude or minimize diversity of interpretation." The coverage is comparable to The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology ( LJ 3/15/84), but it also includes biographical entries; and the definitions are more extensive than those in Peter A. Angeles's A Dictionary of Christian Theology ( LJ 4/15/85). Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., Cal.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"The values of this work are many. The philosophical articles are most helpful, as are the ones on different heresies which have plagued the Church for the past two thousand years. The text is readable, and even a casual perusal of this work will enrich the reader's understanding of his/her heritage." (Journal of Psychology and Theology)

"Recommended for students, teachers and ministers. . . . A worthy addition to any library." (Christian Scholars Review)

"The contributors should be applauded loudly. They have condensed often arcane and bewildering terminology into easily understandable terms . . . [with] sound, no-nonsense scholarship and laudatory lack of trendism." (Philosophy & Religion)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 757 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; First Edition first Printing edition (March 26, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830814000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830814008
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rev. Thomas Scarborough on October 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
By way of introduction, Christians will sometimes confuse a Dictionary of Theology with a Bible Dictionary. A Dictionary of Theology describes how theologians have thought about Biblical themes during the past 2,000 years. A Bible Dictionary merely describes such themes (and names and places) as they appear in the Bible. So, for instance, "Benedict" would not appear in a Bible Dictionary, while "Rome" might not appear in a Dictionary of Theology.

I found that there was, generally speaking, great clarity of writing, a healthy avoidance of overly technical language, and little if any sacrifice of content in the process. The Dictionary is encouragingly up to date, while not overlooking older subjects, such as Arianism. Yet there are some puzzling omissions, such as Postmodern Theology. However, the book clearly needed to make choices, and, by and large, they would seem to have been the right ones. The Dictionary often includes characteristic quotations of theologians through the ages. It also contains vital bibliographies at the end of each entry, and it is cross-referenced throughout. It can rarely be said to favour a particular point of view, although there are a few amusing exceptions by seemingly irritated contributors, such as a reference to "much faddishness" in Contemporary Theological Trends.

Upon opening the book, it is immediately obvious that the publishers have decided to give a thorough treatment to just a few select topics. By "a few", I mean between six and seven hundred. Thus the range of topics is inevitably limited, and there surely would be no perfect selection. What I did miss was an index at the back. For instance, Gustavo Gutierrez appears in the book, but only under Liberation Theology.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent resourse! One of the very best, single volume theological dictionaries available. For the size, one of the most concise packages of information. If your interest is in theology, this would be an excellent choice!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you study the Bible regularly, you probably already have a Bible, a Concordance, a hymnal, and a Bible Dictionary. Those items are indispensable (granted, a concordance can be had online from sites like BibleGateway, as well as other sources). In fact, you can probably suffice with all four of these items with their free online counterparts. However, a dictinary of theology is not readily available online, certainly not a good one.

While a Bible Dictionary is very valuable (see below for possible selections there), a Dictionary of Theology is fantastic for tracing historical ideas, various "-isms", philosophical movements and concepts, historical people (such as Jacob Arminius, John Hus, or Leo Tolstoy), Biblical themes (Atonement, the Holy Spirit, Sacrifice, etc), and theological concepts. It is here that the New Dictionary of Theology excels. While Bible Dictionaries clarify points related to biblical events, stories, and themes, they simply can't focus much attention to broader (more pertinent) information about theology, philosophy, and historical perspectives. That is why you want a good theological dictionary like this one.

Is the New Dictionary of Theology biased in any way?
Of course. All dictionaries and theologies are to one degree or another. The NDoT is edited by Sinclair Ferguson, David Wright, and JI Packer... and that means that it is going to be within the larger reformed movement of protestant thought. Though, I think the articles are fairly written and very accessible to people of all persuasions. No theological dictionary is going to be free from their own theological leanings, so the key is to find one that deals fairly with all the issues, and the NDoT does this well.

Short-comings?
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Format: Hardcover
I am a former graduate from a Christian University. Throughout my tenure there I took several theology courses, a half dozen bible courses and even more ministry courses as my degree was in Church Education. There are so many theological terms and research one would be forced to do at college, that are often absent from a hands on position in a local church. This all depends on the church and denomination. Fundemantalists generally value theology, while some of the mainline charismatic churches value practice over theology.

I can say that this theological reference as been a great asset to me to aid in my online debates with Atheists, cults and the like [...]. It also has been a great asset to my website where I am creating a bible curriculum ([...]

Previously to owning this book I only had a Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. Such a reference was useful only for simple definitions of huge terms. But know since owning the New Dictionary of Theology I can gain far more depth on these and many more terms, that are absent from bible dictionaries and the simple pocket theological dictionaries.

Sabellianism
Systematic Theology
Pantheism
Transubstantiation
The theological views of some of the mainline denominations
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very helpful for my work as a pastor and student of theology. I'm about to begin a postgraduate degree in historical theology and this will be an invaluable tool for that course of study. Well worth the purchase price.
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