Bible Dictionary Recommendations?

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Posts 1341
PL | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, May 13 2016 8:34 AM

Hi all,

I'm considering investing in a multi-volume, academic-grade Bible dictionary (set).

May I have your comments or feedback on the following three choices?

1) IVP Bible Dictionary Series (8 vols) - https://www.logos.com/product/37742/the-ivp-bible-dictionary-series

2) Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (6 vols) - https://www.logos.com/product/1660/anchor-yale-bible-dictionary

3) New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) - https://www.logos.com/product/8801/new-interpreters-dictionary-of-the-bible

Thanks!

Peter

Posts 555
John Kaess | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 8:55 AM

I have both #1 and #2 and they are both excellent. I tend to use #1 more often.

These are the more recent and most comprehensive Bible Dictionaries I use in the order i make use of them:

IVP 8 volumes
Anchor Bible
ISBE revised
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible

Posts 1973
Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 8:58 AM

I personally use all three, but I would pick 1 and 2 over 3.  Between 1 and 2, 1 is more "conservative" and 2 is more "critical."  I don't mean those as negatives, but those are the labels generally applied to them.  The IVP dictionaries are more up to date, but the Anchor Bible dictionaries seem to go more in depth into Ancient Near Eastern background and comparative literature.  That would be my quick assessment.  I would probably pick them in the order you numbered them, but I would struggle a little between 1 and 2.

Disclaimer:  I hate using messaging, texting, and email for real communication.  If anything that I type to you seems like anything other than humble and respectful, then I have not done a good job typing my thoughts.

Posts 10177
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 9:04 AM

Academically, Anchor hands-down.  Too many articles point to Anchor.

But I also enjoy the IVP specialty dictionaries, and the Hastings group (older but have interesting areas of depth).

I liked Interpreters, but Logos took too long to produce ... Dan would have to comment Anchor vs Interpreters.


Posts 611
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 9:07 AM

Denise:

Academically, Anchor hands-down.  Too many articles point to Anchor.

But I also enjoy the IVP specialty dictionaries, and the Hastings group (older but have interesting areas of depth).

I liked Interpreters, but Logos took too long to produce ... Dan would have to comment Anchor vs Interpreters.

I know its all about personal preference but I do agree with Denise on this. Both are good but for me I use them for different things. AYB was my first "proper" dictionary and I do still love it but the IVP does go into some great detail  but what seems to be on less topics

Posts 482
Rodney Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 9:19 AM

Thanks for this post and Timely for me as I too had this question..   

Posts 5249
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 9:49 AM

I do like the NIDB, what it has going for it is it is newer has a few more recent theological topics in it... That said ABD is more in depth and a more valuable to have. I do tend to go to NIDB first and only then move on to ADB if i need more depth (on the rare occasion NIDB will actually offer the better article as far as comprehensiveness goes). I do have the IVP ones as well and they are very good but too limited in their scope to consider being a replacement for an encyclopedic dictionary (in my mind anyway). NIDB is a wonderful supplement to ABD but I still think of ABD as more important to own. I do know of some who prefer the NIDB for seemingly no other reason than it is a few decades newer. It is very true that archeology has progressed but generally I would argue we do not have a significantly greater knowledge in the field of Biblical studies now then when ABD was released. That is not to say that I in anyway do not appreciate the new insights and theological methods one will find in NIDB, just that I see ABD as a more in-depth base that I do not see as outdated. Indeed ISBE is 10 years older than ABD and still a very fine choice I would also not see as too outdated.

-Dan

Posts 666
James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 10:17 AM

I'm gonna be another vote for 1 or 2. I wouldn't like to pick out a preference between the two overall, but I'd probably choose Anchor first for it's breadth.

I really didn't get along with the NIDB when I owned it previously, but I probably read less than 100 pages of it in total before getting rid of it out of frustration, so I'm not fit to comment.

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 10:29 AM

Denise:

Academically, Anchor hands-down.  Too many articles point to Anchor.

But I also enjoy the IVP specialty dictionaries, and the Hastings group (older but have interesting areas of depth).

I liked Interpreters, but Logos took too long to produce ... Dan would have to comment Anchor vs Interpreters.

I agree with Denise.  Though Hastings is over 100 yrs old and thus needs much correction, it has signed articles by many of the luminaries of that age.  

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 263
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 11:17 AM

The ISBE revised is my personal favorite and certainly academic-grade. The IVP dictionaries are great as well. The Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible is also very good.

Posts 1363
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 13 2016 12:22 PM

I agree with most of the comments above. 
Really depends on your orientation and needs. I use both #1 and 2. ABD is more academic, IVP is more up-to-date and Protestant-oriented. I tend to use both in tandem. No experience with #3. 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 1341
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2016 2:55 AM

Thank you very much for all of your input!

Peter

Posts 240
Alexxy Olu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2016 4:42 AM

Quite a helpful thread.

Thanks.

Posts 824
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2016 6:03 AM

Ben:

I agree with most of the comments above. 
Really depends on your orientation and needs. I use both #1 and 2. ABD is more academic, IVP is more up-to-date and Protestant-oriented. I tend to use both in tandem. No experience with #3. 

Likewise. The only thing I'd add is that ISBE Revised is likely to appeal more to evangelical readers than ABD. I do use both, but have now prioritised ISBE above ABD. They each have their own uses. My priority settings are: 

1. IVP New Bible Dictionary (I set this as the top one as the articles are briefer, so for a quick lookup it's often the most helpful). 

2. Lexham Bible Dictionary. Didn't used to use this much, but it is becoming more useful as time goes by and it gets expanded. 

3. IVP black dictionaries.

3. ISBE Revised

4. Anchor Bible Dictionary - I tend to use this for academic work or more heavy-duty study, but not too much for day-to-day work. 

5. IVP Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. I've had this for a long time, and basically ignored it but found a number of helpful insights from it lately.  


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Posts 2054
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2016 9:32 AM

I would duplicate Greg's post above.

Posts 6401
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2016 12:26 PM

I sold my AYBD and settled for the IVP Dictionaries along with the ISBE older and "Newer" editions and other dictionaries.  I find them more suited for pastoral work. AYBD is more for academic but if I ever need  someday I might just buy it again. 

DAL

Posts 176
Al Het | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 14 2016 5:02 PM

You've gotten a bunch of good input already, as to where these references land.  Good scholars here. 

I've used the IVP a fair amount, and find it excellent.  When I was in Seminary, it was only partially completed, and so I used the Anchor some, as well as the New Interpreter's.  I agree with all that was said about them, good resources, helpful, Anchor is probably the most scholarly, etc.  However, I never found them as quickly, directly, and clearly useful as I find the IVP series in it's current form.  Might just be individual preference for how it is written, not sure.

At this point, I mostly use the IVP, and the ISBE (Bromiley) (and occasionally supplement with Google) unless I'm digging pretty deeply into a topic, in which case I tend to use fuller resources.

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