I purchased two of these, one for my library and one as a gift to a new Elder in our church. Both of us have been pleased with the information in the book and will certainly be able to use it as a reference for my teaching and his teaching and preaching. Good format, easy to find information and great pictures.
Although the book was nicely illustrated, I found little else about it to recommend. There are some interesting facts, but none of them are backed up by any sort of bibliography - which no reputable publishing company should allow. The majority of the Scripture verses referenced were either completely unrelated to the point he was making or taken entirely out of context. The author inserted many personal interpretations and assumptions that cannot be supported by any type of literal, Biblical interpretation. I felt that the author's text was unscholarly and un-researched and is a poor representation of Biblical study. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, because the few interesting bits of common knowledge are overshadowed by the many erroneous and illogical statements that permeate the book.
This has been one of my favorite reference books for a long time. I'm glad to have the updated version. There are so many great cultural references that enhance Bible understanding. I recommend this book for every serious student of the Bible!