"Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary" is a Bible reference book intended to help you study your Bible. They suggest that you read a passage in the Bible and then read the entries in the dictionary for the names, places, and things mentioned in the passage. The entry briefly explained that word and pointed out where it's mentioned in the Bible. While the entries did give enough information to help you better understand a passage, it usually just gave information that you could pick up from reading the whole Bible on a regular basis.
Some entries did have more detail, especially those that contained controversial topics. They'd give their take on the issue but didn't usually explain the other positions. For example, under "Chronology, New Testament," they gave a couple popular dates for Jesus birth and death but only give some brief supporting reasons for their own choices.
Under Genesis, they tried to side-step controversy by saying that Genesis 1 is mainly theological and is highly poetical rather than giving scientific details. Under the Flood entry, they acknowledge that the Flood was "not simply a downpour of ordinary rain," yet under "Chronology, Old Testament" they suggest the Flood happened at a time where it couldn't have been a world-wide flood. They suggest that Genesis was heavily influenced by Sumer rather than Sumer being influenced by the earlier, real history that is recorded in the Bible. They suggest that the years given in the genealogies in Genesis can't be taken at face value. Basically, they have their biases but it shows up more in implied assumptions than by taking a hardline stance on an issue.
There were full-color pictures on about every other page--a picture of some coins near the entry for money, for example, or someone playing a flute for "flute." There were charts and maps for certain events. If you don't have a study Bible and want help understanding who various people are and what is going on (what is a tent maker? a shekel?), then you will probably find this Bible dictionary fairly useful.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through BookLook.
This Bible dictionary is more than I could have hoped for! It is overflowing with cross-references, numerous entries, fabulous photographs, and informative illustrations. Not only is it a new favorite Biblical resource for me, but my children are enjoying it as well.
As a dictionary, it has limitations. It is not a comprehensive source for every interpretation or nuance of each entry. This would not be practical in a bound book. However, it is a great place to start researching and learning more about a particular topic.
Honestly, I have always wanted a Bible dictionary, but I could not justify spending the money for something we may or may not use. I didn't realize how helpful it would be and how much we would want to use it. Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary has become a favorite resource in our household.
I did receive this dictionary from the publisher for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Nelsons Illustrated Bible Dictionary, New and Enhanced Edition, edited by Ronald F. Youngblood with consulting editors F. F. Bruce and R. K. Harrison, is a current source of Biblical information that is thorough and easy to understand. First published in 1986 then revised in 1995, this latest revision contains more than 7,000 entries regarding people, places, things, and doctrines of the Bible in a single volume.
The many features of this Bible dictionary are quite impressive. Key words are based on the New King James Version of the Bible, but variant names from five other versions (KJV, NASB, REB, NIV, and NRSV) are fully cross-referenced to this. It also contains more than 500 updated or enhanced full-color photographs to illustrate Bible subjects, outlines of the books of the Bible to aid teaching, a map index and full-color maps, articles to address special topics, charts, tables, and The Visual Survey of the Bible. The enlarged print makes it easier to use than many other Bible dictionaries with small fonts.
I was impressed with this Bible Dictionary. I especially liked the hard cover and larger type print. The entries are well-written and easy to understand. The lettered index tabs make it easier to locate words quickly, and the maps were clear and simple to use.
I would recommend this resource for anyone attempting to understand the Bible more fully.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
How exactly do you a review a dictionary? Especially a Bible dictionary which is really more of a one volume encyclopedia. I mean, its not like anybody is going to wait for me to read this thing cover to cover. And then what? Review each entry? I dont think so.
What I decided to do was incorporated this particular Bible Dictionary into my regular studies and see if it was a tool that I could use. Turns out, it is something I can use and enjoy using.
Heres the basics; its easy to read and easy to find stuff. Without those two elements a dictionary is useless. Likewise, the entries are well written and informative with plenty of cross-references to keep you flipping pages to find out more.
Some of the added bonuses are nice; Teaching outlines for every book of the Bible, maps, a visual survey of the Bible that is easy to follow and packed with information, graphical historical surveys for Old Testament, New Testament, and the world at large, and finally a helpful guide on how to incorporated the dictionary into your regular study. Not to mention the maps, surveys and pictures are all in color which really does help make them easier to understand.
The hardcover edition is also solid as a brick and weighs a little over 5 pounds. So, if youre ever attacked while studying the Bible it becomes a handy weapon. Gods Word may be a two-edged sword, but this dictionary could definitely cause some blunt force trauma.
Its not entirely perfect though. During my study I was looking into the Lords Supper. This dictionary erroneously defines consubstantiation as a view of the Lords Supper developed by Martin Luther. Unfortunately, Martin Luther actually repudiated this view, but, for whatever reasons, those outside Lutheranism continue to use this label to describe the Lutheran view. You cant winem all, I suppose.
Overall, this dictionary is worth the price and a great tool to aid any student of the Bible.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.