Purchase advice: Encyclopedia of Christianity volume 5 vs new ISBE

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Posts 885
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Sep 19 2011 9:33 AM

The two costs similarly. Would it be wise to complete the former collection or to spend that money on an extra one (ISBE)?

Thanks.

Posts 9109
Forum MVP
Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 19 2011 9:50 AM

Kolen,

This is a hard question for others to answer. Having a complete encyclopedia always sounds like a good idea, but it depends on which you need more: a  encyclopedia of the Bible (ISBE) or one oriented to world Christianity (EoC).

Here are screen shots of the table of contents of the fifth volume of EoC so you'll know what you'd be getting or missing:

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 29
RMC | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 19 2011 11:19 AM

If you've bought the the first 4 EoC volumes separately, I wonder if you could call Customer Service and see if you can get a price break on the 5th, since they do sell all 5 together as a bundle.   I've never done this myself, but I see from a number of posts on the forum that sometimes calling before you purchase can get you a discount, and this seems like it could be one of those cases.   

Posts 885
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2011 2:22 AM

The first 4 are included in the base package. And I wonder if I should upgrade it to include the whole collection.

I also have New Bible Dictionary and other works from the IVP Essential Collection 3. So might be I should buy the Vol. 5 and save the ISBE for buying it later.

Does it make sense?

Posts 885
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2011 2:33 AM

In order words, is the Encyclopedia of Christianity worth looking at as the first reference resources (among similar resources)? Or should I spend the money on other better resources?

Posts 10339
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2011 7:04 AM

If all you had was $100, ISBE would of course be your best choice. With Logos and its ability to connect up resources, another decent resource is going to help you.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity (as you've probably noticed) essentially takes the 'top cut' of various subjects, pursuing a somewhat conservative point of view, but rarely going into much depth. It's coverage of the various countries around the world is sometimes helpful.

I got it primarily just to fill in some gaps on other stronger resources. Looking back, I'd of happily traded it for more 'hard' resources.


Posts 885
Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2011 7:11 AM

Thanks. I think I'll go for the ISBE then.

What's the hard resources in your mind? Anchor?

Posts 10339
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2011 7:53 AM

Regarding 'hard' resources, my description is strictly my own opinion(!).

I'd include Anchor in that category ... resources that 'describe' but don't 'join the battle'.

I never did find a good across-the-board theology resource. 'Dictionary of Historical Theology' was a close as I got (Anchor also being good).

 


Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 20 2011 9:54 AM

Denise Barnhart:

If all you had was $100, ISBE would of course be your best choice. With Logos and its ability to connect up resources, another decent resource is going to help you.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity (as you've probably noticed) essentially takes the 'top cut' of various subjects, pursuing a somewhat conservative point of view, but rarely going into much depth. It's coverage of the various countries around the world is sometimes helpful.

I got it primarily just to fill in some gaps on other stronger resources. Looking back, I'd of happily traded it for more 'hard' resources.

Personally, I would never buy only part of a resource.  I wouldn't buy the first half of Calvin's Institute and skip the second book (print edition).  You can always buy a different complete encyclopedia later, but I would want to complete a series ASAP.  You can buy 1 or two or even more of a commentary series and not feel you are necessarily missing anything since there are different authors and varying levels of expertise, but there are internal links in the EoC which you won't be able to access should you wish to and failed to purchase.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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