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New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties Hardcover – August 5, 2001

3.9 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Did God approve of Rahab's lie? Why are many of the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament not literal? Does the Bible class abortion with murder? Where did Adam and Eve's sons get their wives? Does 1 Corinthians 7:10--16 authorize divorce for desertion? What do you make of the difficult areas in the Bible---those puzzling passages that make you stop and scratch your head? The seeming contradictions and inconsistencies of Scripture actually have sound explanations. But unless you're a Bible scholar, you probably don't know about them. That's why you need the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. It gives you informed answers to your most troublesome questions. Some of the solutions seem obvious---after you've read them. But most include an eye-opening look at linguistic, cultural, numerical, relational, and other considerations of which most Bible readers are unaware. Referencing both the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible, this helpful resource makes scholarly insights accessible to everyone. Whether you're a student, pastor, everyday Bible-lover, or even a skeptic, the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties will show you why the Bible is believable and dependable, with a message you can live by. Zondervan's Understand the Bible Reference Series This six-volume series supplies users of today's most popular modern Bible translation, the New International Version, with scholarly, economical, and uncompromisingly evangelical study tools. It includes the New International Bible Commentary, New International Bible Dictionary, New International Bible Concordance, and New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words, New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, and the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Characters.

About the Author

Gleason Archer Jr. received a PhD in Classics from Harvard University, an LL.B from Suffolk Law School and a Bachelor of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Early in his career, Archer served as assistant pastor at Park Street Church in Boston. In 1948 he became Professor of Biblical Languages at Fuller Theological Seminary in California and in 1965 Professor of the Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, where he later became an emeritus faculty member in 1989. He spent the remainder of his life researching, lecturing and writing.
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Product Details

  • Series: Zondervan's Understand the Bible Reference Series
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Supersaver ed. edition (August 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310241464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310241461
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author - Gleason L. Archer Jr. (1916-2004 - B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University; B.D., Princeton Theological Seminary; L.L.B., Suffolk Law School) was a biblical scholar, theologian, educator, and author. He served as an assistant pastor of Park Street Church in Boston from 1945 to 1948. He was a Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary for 16 years, teaching New Testament, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic. From 1965 to 1986 he served as a Professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. He became an emeritus faculty member in 1989. He also served for many years as a minister of the Evangelical Free Church of America. The remainder of his life was spent researching, writing, and lecturing.

Legend has it, (I have not been able to verify whether this is 100% true or not) that he was so gifted in languages that for fun (and as a challenge) he would study the Bible in a different language every year to continue to grow and develop mentally.

Archer served as one of the 50 original translators of the NASB published in 1971. He also worked on the team which translated the NIV Bible published in 1978. I give this introduction, because many people are not familiar with Archer (unfortunately), but he was a brilliant Christian scholar who could have excelled as a lawyer (his father was the founder and president of Suffolk Law School), and chose to use his exceptional gifts to defend the inerrancy and integrity of the Scriptures over the span of his entire adult life. I would say that along with Bruce Waltke and Walter Kaiser Jr., he was one of the most elite and influential Old Testament Evangelical Scholars at the end of the Twentieth Century.

As for this book - it's simply outstanding.
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Format: Hardcover
The author has an encyclopedic knowledge of Biblical languages and culture, and his book is most informative about a wide range of topics. Archer is also a trained lawyer, so can cut through the illogicality and special pleading of the arguments for "contradictions". By comparison, among those who argue for contradictions are such blatantly unqualified misotheists such as Barker, Ingersoll, McKinsey and Paine who haven't a clue about the original languages or culture, and are blatantly chronologically chauvinistic.
One important consideration in the Gospels is what the New Testament scholar N.T. (Tom) Wright pointed out, that most of the things Jesus said, he most likely said many times, and with many minor variations.
I didn't give this book five stars, because Archer is unnecessarily intimidated by old-Earth propaganda, but does believe in a global Flood that actually wipes out alleged geological evidence for age. But since this occupies only a small fraction of the book which is otherwise excellent, only a one-star deduction is warranted.
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Format: Hardcover
This volume is a good addition to the Biblical expositor's reference library. But the first step is to become familiar with the Bible by actually having spent time reading and studying it. Many questions become answered once you understand the entire Bible in context. Then reference books such as this become useful in understanding cultural references, difficulties in the English translations of the original autographs, etc.
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This book has to be the standard in this category. Clearly presents understandable explanations to clear up what appear to be controversies. Most of us do not have the academic or language background to research or reconcile all these issues. Thank God for learned and dedicated folks like Gleason Archer Jr. Though I was able to read it, I wish they had used a slightly larger font as I have some eye/reading issues.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I preach part-time and Archer's book is very helpful when I come to a rather difficult passage. Archer knew approximately 23 languages during his lifetime, and while his knowledge of the Biblical languages is helpful at times, at other times it can be overwhelming.,
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This book has a few good points, but when Dr. Archer interprets the warning passages from Hebrews (Hebrew 6:4-8 and Hebrews 10:26--31) as being only applicable to false believers, I believe that he does sound hermeneutics a great injustice. When Hebrews 6 speakings of those "having fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance," one must realize that you can not fall away from something that you have never possessed (that is, you can not fall away from salvation unless you have possessed it), and likewise, you cannot be renewed "again" unto repentance unless you have truly repented in the first place. In order to change the clear meaning of the passage, Dr. Archer resorts to "straining out the gnat," by twisting the plain meaning of words in Hebrews 6, thereby "swallowing the camel," (overlooking the clear meaning of the passage). Sad, but often true that "learned scholars" are more willing to accept the teachings of John Calvin and his teachings on predestination than just accepting what the the Bible teaches. Cf. Matthew 11:25, "Jesus declared, 'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things (of the Kingdom of God) from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.'"
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