A must-have for any serious about studying the Bible!
March 18, 2017
IVP Academic's "Dictionary of Biblical Imagery" really is a unique find and such a valuable resource. It was in the Book of the Year list from Christianity Today in 1999. It is not your typical Bible dictionary that covers more of the basics of what specific places, people or things are about. Instead, this information-packed book goes into more of the behind the scenes part of Scriptures and looks at the images, metaphors, figures of speech, literary patterns and symbolism used in the Word of God. If you are someone who has any interest in studying the Scriptures in addition to reading them, then I would classify this book as a must have. Keep in mind, this will not replace the typical Bible Dictionary that you need, however, this will supplement it so nicely. Highly recommended! This one is yet another IVP book that I will reference quite often in my personal library. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from IVP and all opinions are my own.
Unger's Bible Dictionary and Handbook DO contain slanted theology. In fact, it is erroneous slanted theology of Dispensationalism. "Replacement" theology is incorrect. It is "expansion" theology, and Expansion/Reformed theology is the ONLY biblical theology. Try reading Romans 11 and pay VERY close attention to what Paul is saying. Compare it to what he says in Romans 2 and 9 and Galatians 3 and Ephesians 2. He divides national Israel into two--believing and unbelieving. Romans 2 says "He is not a Jew who is one outwardly" while Romans 9 says "Not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel." THEREFORE, the unbelieving Jews (the broken off branches) are NOT true Jews NOR do they belong to Israel. Jesus is the TRUE Israel and whoever is in Him are TRUE children of Abraham (Gal. 3). Romans 11 makes it clear that Gentiles who believe (you and me) are grafted IN WITH the believing Jews, who ARE true Jews and ARE true Israel. We are grafted INTO Christ, INTO Israel, and INTO Abraham. THEREFORE, we (Gentile believers) are TRUE Jews and TRUE Israel because the TRUE Israel is the church and the TRUE church is Israel. THEREFORE, we see EXPANSION theology, of which the Old Testament prophets prophesied by the Gentiles INCLUSION.
Dispensational theology is less than 200 years old and is nothing more than revived Judaism. It reads the Bible the same way the Pharisees did, which, if one pays close attention, Jesus is CONTINUALLY rebuking and correcting their interpretation of Scripture. Dispensational theology CANNOT be found in or supported by the Bible ANYWHERE.
This book shows you the many pictoral images used throughout Scripture, of which we find the book of Revelation teeming with. In order to rightly understand Scripture, you need to rightly understand these images. Dispensationalists claim to interpret the Bible "literally," but they only do so when it suits them. Anything that should clearly be taken literally, they explain away. The things they try to take literally make absolutely no sense (especially when scripture is compared to scripture), yet they don't care. This book is well needed to teach people to rightly interpret the Bible rather than isolate verses and try to force an erroneous theology onto them when the full context doesn't support such a thing.
That this book was a Christianity Today's "book of the year" is enough to be suspicious of it. That, combined with the haughtiness of the seminary student reviews pretty much confirms its a bad choice. By all means, get an original Haley's Handbook or anything my Unger instead.
I enjoy the symbolism this reference offers. It helps to put into context the meaning of biblical pictorial language. Gaining understand and insight helps me apply spiritual principles to everyday living . This has become one of my favorite resources.