High pricing of The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible

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William Norman | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, May 14 2011 7:43 AM

I notice that The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible is in pre-pub for $400.

When I look at other major bible dictionaries, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary sells for $270.00, the ISBE sells for $130 and Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible sells for $225.

 I have the original Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible in print.

Is the new version that much superior to the original version?

Is The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible superior to the other three major works that I listed? 

If it is not superior shouldn’t the price be closer to the range of the other major works?

 

 

 

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2011 7:51 AM

William Norman:
If it is not superior shouldn’t the price be closer to the range of the other major works?

And ISBE (rev. 79-95) is even less ($130). Apparently the market agrees with you, as this work is still in the pre-pub 'gathering interest' stage. Maybe it actually is worth the $400, but that doesn't mean buyers will pay that much.

FYI, the price for such things are often set by the publisher, or by the publisher in negotiation with Logos. Perhaps an email to Abingdon is in order.

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2011 3:01 PM

I'd suggest reporting them to the authorities!!!   :-} 

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2011 7:23 PM

Richard DeRuiter:

William Norman:
If it is not superior shouldn’t the price be closer to the range of the other major works?

And ISBE (rev. 79-95) is even less ($130). Apparently the market agrees with you, as this work is still in the pre-pub 'gathering interest' stage. Maybe it actually is worth the $400, but that doesn't mean buyers will pay that much.

FYI, the price for such things are often set by the publisher, or by the publisher in negotiation with Logos. Perhaps an email to Abingdon is in order.

I suspect that there is no prepub discount on this set which will likely therefore be $400.00 even after it comes off prepub.  Considering the fact that I have quite sufficient on my prepub plate already, I'm waiting.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2011 8:25 PM

William Norman:
If it is not superior shouldn’t the price be closer to the range of the other major works?

These two products are published by Abingdon Press. They are a publishing house associated with the  Methodist Church.  They already publish CD-ROM versions of both of these titles and other similar works. They have had no problem selling them for these same prices for years. Even used CDs bring close to the retail price on the rare occasions they are offered for sale.  I can not tell you if they are really that good in comparison to the other works you cite but they are certainly that desirable to a number of Methodists.

I believe Abingdon has agreed to publish them in Logos format for the extra benefits that can be realized. The Pre-Pub price is likely the retail price and is probably set by Abingdon and will not be discounted soon, if ever.

I am aware of other third party denominational publishers who also fix their prices in Logos. Someday, I hope to buy The Northwestern Publishing House Electronic Library: Collection One. When I have the funds I will ask my salesman for the best deal he can give me. I really don't expect him to have any freedom to lower their prices either. Baker Academic is marketing their Pre-Pubs the same way. Having them available, even if fixed at a high price by the publisher, is better than not having the choice at all.

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Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 4:21 AM

Matthew C Jones:

Having them available, even if fixed at a high price by the publisher, is better than not having the choice at all.

I'm not sure I agree with that. In some cases perhaps but on the whole if it distracts Logos from producing other more reasonable books it's not good. Even if it costs Logos nothing in time or money it gives them a bad reputation. People look at the physical book price and compare it to the digital Logos book price and are turned off of digital Logos books. In this case there is about a $150 "digital premium" and while some Methodists might pay that most Logos customers will not when there are the other mentioned dictionaries that are as good or better and much cheaper. Before you tell me how much better it is to have a digital copy consider that you can buy the paper volumes and previously mentioned AbingdonCD together as a set so you get both worlds. Their CD is not nearly as nice as Logos, of course, but any Methodist considering the set might not know that unless they use Logos already. And they still need to consider the cost.

Tom

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 1:33 PM

Tom Reynolds:
Even if it costs Logos nothing in time or money it gives them a bad reputation.

The works of John Henry Newman are already available in digital form from a Catholic publisher for a price lower than the Logos version. By your reasoning they should not be published in Logos because it will hurt their reputation to offer a superior version for a higher price. I know Catholics who already own the cheap version who want the Logos version. The users who won't buy the Logos version probably will never buy the cheap version either. The pricing is not the real issue.
I say let the

  1. Methodists choose between Abingdon's hardback set with inferior CD or Logos' superior and more versatile version.
  2. Catholics choose between Faith Database (PC only) or Logos' superior resources (PC & Mac)
  3. Lutherans (who else wants the quarterly?) have access to the Northwestern Publishing Collection
  4. Everyone choose between the Pradis format or Logos release of Zondervan's titles.
  5. The Anabaptists are pleading to buy their books in Logos, as are many others.

 

Tom Reynolds:
while some Methodists might pay that most Logos customers will not
I presume Logos and Abingdon both believe there are enough willing to pay the asking price to proceed with the project. I will agree with you the price of a resource does not always reflect it's value. Almost everyone agrees the IVP Essential Reference Collection 2  is a good deal for the price. But how many will buy Barth's Church Dogmatics? A lot of users sthink Platinum is a better package than Portfolio when comparing book per dollar. I think Word Biblical Commentary is a better per dollar investment than Anchor Yale Bible

Tom Reynolds:
People look at the physical book price and compare it to the digital Logos book price and are turned off of digital Logos books.
Bob Pritchett addressed digital book pricing here. Some people prefer the unproductive nature of hardback books. Devil
My brother is a pastor who no longer uses digital books for sermon prep. His church does use worship presentation software & digital hymnals. Confused

I would much rather have a choice to pass on the Oxford Latin Dictionary than have the option of buying it removed from the table.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 3:48 PM

Matthew C Jones:
Catholics choose between Faith Database (PC only) or Logos' superior resources (PC & Mac)

Not for Newman but I chose Biblia Clerus while Logos ramps up for more Catholic offerings.

Matthew C Jones:
But how many will buy Barth's Church Dogmatics?

Far more interesting to me.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 6:58 PM

MJ. Smith:

Matthew C Jones:
But how many will buy Barth's Church Dogmatics?

Far more interesting to me.

It took me years to finally cough up the money for Barth and then only after Logos offered it at a big discount.

I have seen the hardback sets of Interpreter’s Bible and the Dictionary and liked what little I saw but not $1200 worth. I can make that amount of money go a lot further in other areas of the Logos catalog. Now if Abingdon saw fit to drop the prices drastically in the future I may someday get to own these sets. Fortress Press did that with Hermeneia Commentary by dropping the price and adding value with the Continental Commentary.

 

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Rev Chris | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 8:35 PM

I agree Abingdon should drop the price ... but I'm also willing to still spend what Logos is asking on both NIB and NID so my supply/demand ratio wouldn't suggest they do so.

Why would I be willing to spend $1200 on these two resources?  Well I too have them both in print and love them, but they don't get near the use they should because it's a lot of work to pull heavy books off my shelf.  I got the NID cd-rom with the set when it came out, but promptly sold it online because A) at that time I didn't see the point in electronic resources when you could have a shiny hard-cover book instead (I've since changed my mind on that!); and B) the crappy cd-rom that Abingdon issues is for Windows only - and I have a mac.  To my knowledge, Logos is still the only way to use NIB and NID on a mac computer without running Windows through parallels (which to me is just as time consuming and hasselsome - or moreso - than pulling the book off the shelf).

Note that once Logos comes out with these resources I will be promptly selling my hard-back copies, so the price won't quite be $1200 to me.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 9:28 PM

Rev Chris:
I agree Abingdon should drop the price ... but I'm also willing to still spend what Logos is asking on both NIB and NID so my supply/demand ratio wouldn't suggest they do so.

Thanks for sharing that. You obviously have a lot more experience with these sets than I do. Can you give a comparison with the other titles mentioned in the original post?   Anchor Yale Bible DictionaryZondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, and the 1979~1995 edition of the ISBE

I do have all three of these titles but I don't have the Interpreter's works to make the comparisons. I like all three and listed them above in the order of my preference. Tell us why the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible is worth $400. And what does it offer that these other three do not?

New Interpreter's Bible has some contributors I am familiar with and respect. I wish there were some sample pages to see how it is all presented. I see it uses RSV and NIV. I've gotten used to gleaning from Zondervan and College Press NIV works so it isn't a big drawback to me personally. I would also be curious how it stacks up next to Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (INT) (43 vols.) by John Knox Press. They sound very similar.

 

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Rev Chris | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 9:38 PM

Matthew C Jones:

Thanks for sharing that. You obviously have a lot more experience with these sets than I do. Can you give a comparison with the other titles mentioned in the original post?   Anchor Yale Bible DictionaryZondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, and the 1979~1995 edition of the ISBE

I do have all three of these titles but I don't have the Interpreter's works to make the comparisons. I like all three and listed them above in the order of my preference. Tell us why the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible is worth $400. And what does it offer that these other three do not?

New Interpreter's Bible has some contributors I am familiar with and respect. I wish there were some sample pages to see how it is all presented. I see it uses RSV and NIV. I've gotten used to gleaning from Zondervan and College Press NIV works so it isn't a big drawback to me personally. I would also be curious how it stacks up next to Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (INT) (43 vols.) by John Knox Press. They sound very similar.

Well, the only title you listed that I have is Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.  I plan on getting the AYB Dictionary once my book budget allows me to (hopefully in the next few months), so I'll be able to provide that comparison then.

As for the Interpretation commentary, I find it very useful for preaching as it writes in accessible and theological language.  NIB tends to be more exegetical and academic (and therefore somewhat esoteric), so both are useful in their own right.  When I craft a sermon, I generally like to read the academic writings first (such as NIB or scholarly journals) and then the theological (such as Interpretation).

As far as dictionaries go, I like the NID because it uses accessible language but is from fairly reputable scholars (I think there's a thread somewhere on this forum where someone disagrees with that, but to each their own).  Also, with 5 thick volumes you get a pretty decent commentary of each topic, which is where many dictionaries fall short - the commentary becomes so brief that it leaves you a bunch of questions and a whole lot more research work on your hands!)

Also, I'm Methodist, so I have a bias toward Abingdon :)

 

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 15 2011 11:22 PM

I like the NIDB but it isn't as good a work as Anchor, it is very nice but a little brief, it has a wide range of articles of a theological nature and is very current. I don't think it s worth the price, I do think a vast majority of mainline protestants desire it and not just some Methodists (raised lutheran, Anglican now). As for comparing interpretation to NIB, it's the exact opposite Interpretation is a good commentary some volumes are very good but most ate just ok. Page count shows you a lot the 43 volumes of smaller pages run i think it;s 9000 the close to full letter size pages of NIB are over 12000. NIB has weak points in it too but over and over again it tends to be outstanding and worth every penny. I use both most every day for my devotions, and half the time or less I find something good in Interp. in the NIB I would say 85-90% i find something that really deeply speaks to me. The original IB was highly valued by most mainline seminaries for close to 50 years and I have little doubt NIB will find a place in the hearts and library's  of many Christians for many decades too. The addition of the alexandrian cannon books (All books found in roman catholic Bible), broadens this set out to reach not only protestants but also catholics, there are even a few top evangelicals  who have contributed, like Wriight's Romans or Leviticus by Kaiser. This commentary will not be the one to best serve every Christians, especially if your theology, is very rigid, but I know even when i disagree with an authors conclusion I find having wrestled it over in my mind I can better say, "This is what I believe and why." I hope I can one day own the NIB in Logos, if I can't that is ok, but I feel it is a valuable loss to a fine library that is Logos. After seeing the NIB be nearly completely ready to go to contract and then seeing it fall down to what I am guessing is 80% there I am not sure it will ever make it but I do know the full retail price is the likely biggest reason it's not currently in production. God willing perhaps one day it shall, but until then I have my hard copy and my old cdrom version of it. It is no Logos but it functions adequately for my needs. 

-dan

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Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 16 2011 6:34 AM

the original interpreters commentary is being offered by another popular bible software program and to me it is worth having. I read both the original and the new NIB and find them both to be very good together.

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