Care to comment on this?

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DAL | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 8 2017 5:17 PM

Can anybody comment on this resource: 

New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words 

It looks good but I cannot find any reviews. Any information besides the sample pages will be greatly appreciated.


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Garrett Ho | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 8 2017 5:25 PM

I have it but I prefer other theological dictionaries for study and sermon prep. So, it depends on your use case. I think it would be an excellent resource to quote from or invite church members to reference, since it is concise and approachable.

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Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 8 2017 11:17 PM

I cannot find any reviews.

There are 19 reviews over on the Amazon listing for this book. 

There appears to be a newer edition of this book, but I do not know how much difference there is between the two: 


Posts 9090
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 9 2017 11:54 AM

I went ahead and got it. Looks basic and not all words get long treatment, but it's a good resource over all.


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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 9 2017 2:53 PM

Well done for what it is but it is very very basic.

See example of one of the longer articles below.


We often find the phrase “from the beginning” in the OT and the NT. What does the phrase mean? And what ideas are communicated in our Bible about beginnings?

OT 1. Beginnings in OT thought

2. The beginning of the world

3. The beginning of wisdom

NT 4. Beginnings in NT thought

5. Jesus as existing from the beginning

6. The beginning of salvation

7. Summary

OT — 1. Beginnings in OT thought. The translators of the NIV and NASB usually translate two Hebrew words as “beginning.” Re’sit  occurs fifty-one times in the Hebrew Bible. It indicates the first, as the beginning of a series. When used of a principle or concept, it affirms that this “beginning” principle is foundational, a necessary condition for what is being discussed. Tehillah, likewise, indicates the beginning in a series or a first principle. It is also used of a beginning of a specific time, such as harvest time or the beginning of a year.

The way these words are used as well as their meaning tells us something important about the OT view of history. Events are never seen as random happenings. History is no boiling cauldron of random ingredients. Instead history moves in a measured way through a sequence of events that had a definite beginning and move toward a determined end. History is under God’s control, and it is his active involvement as much as the operation of cause and effect that links events into a unified whole. Because history is purposive and God exercises his moral control in man’s world, the Lord is able to make known the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10). The past marches into the future with a measured tread from the beginnings God has initiated.

2. The beginning of the world. “In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,” the psalmist affirms, “and the heavens are the work of your hands” (Ps 102:25). This is, of course, the affirmation of the opening words of the Bible: “In the beginning [re’sit] God created the heavens and the earth” (Ge 1:1).

But the purposive aspects of creation preceded the beginning. God’s purposes have unfolded as history has progressed. Wisdom gave birth to God’s grand design “from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began” (Pr 8:23).

The portrait of God as creating a universe within which history unfolds according to his purpose and plan is seen also in Isa 40 and 41. There the prophet calls on Israel to consider and honor the Lord, “who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning” (Isa 41:4). The earth was founded by God (40:21), but God’s hand did more than create the stage on which history plays. The hand of God has also created history (41:20), and the end is so surely woven into the beginning that God is able with unerring accuracy to tell us the future (41:26).

The beginning of the world was not simply God’s creating and forming the elements that our universe consists of. Rather, the beginning of the world was his setting in motion a sequence of events that move inexorably toward his intended end.

3. The beginning of wisdom. The OT speaks several times of the fear of the Lord as a beginning. It is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10; Pr 9:10) and the beginning of knowledge (Pr 1:7). This use of “beginning,” noted in 1 above, identifies the fear of the Lord as an absolutely necessary ingredient if a person is to gain wisdom or knowledge. We cannot guide our own life or have a penetrating insight into the real nature of things unless we know God and take him seriously. Reverential awe, which takes the existence of God and his active involvement in human affairs into constant account, is necessary for a person to be truly wise or knowledgeable.

NT — 4. Beginnings in NT thought. Where English versions read “beginning,” the Greek word is arche. This is an important word in Greek thought, with roots in every philosophical tradition. The NT usage of the word is in harmony both with Greek thought and the OT view of beginnings as the initiation of a sequence of events.

Arche is often rendered “rule” or “authority” in the NT. The relationship between this translation and that of “beginnings” is found in the idea of priority. Arche implies that something is first, or has priority. In time, that which is first either is the beginning of a sequence or the starting point of a phenomenon. At times the word is used to move beyond time to affirm the first cause, or basic principle, that underlies and infuses the laws of the universe in which we live. In terms of relationship with others, to have priority is to have authority or power.

Where arche is translated “beginning” or “first,” it has a temporal force. The common use, identifying the commencement of a series of events or a period of time, is seen in phrases like “the beginning of birth pains” (Mk 13:8; cf. Lk 1:3; Jn 15:27; Ac 26:4). In each case, just what series a particular event commences is clear from the context.

Arche also can indicate the absolute beginning. In such uses it carries us to the beginning, before time was, to introduce God as originator and first cause. Many passages that speak of Jesus use arche in this sense.

Three passages help us see what the recognition of God as originator of the universe implies. In Mt 19 and Mk 10, Jesus refers to the beginning in his discussion of marriage and divorce. When God created Adam and Eve and initiated the marriage relationship, his intention was for marriage to be a lifelong union between one man and one woman. This principle, implicit and explicit in the beginning framed by God, continues on through all time as the governing principle that establishes the ideal. The meaning and intended course of the marriage relationship was established for all time by and in its beginning.

This argument seems to be turned against the believer by the scoffers of 2 Pe 3:4. They reject the idea of coming judgment, because “ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” Peter responds by declaring that these scoffers are deliberately forgetting that God has already intervened in the course of natural events. They must go back beyond remembered history (their fathers) and remember the cataclysmic judgment of the Flood. God who himself was the beginning of creation continues to exercise active control over the universe. We can understand beginnings only by looking beyond a supposedly eternal natural world to the person who gave nature its origin and continues to subject it to his purposes.

5. Jesus as existing from the beginning. John quotes Genesis 1 in the opening phrase of his Gospel: “In the beginning.” These words return us to the era before creation, when Jesus existed as God and with God. John goes on to show that the eternal Word, through whom God has ever expressed himself, took on human flesh and entered the world that he had made (1:9-10). (See WORD)

The writer of Hebrews also identifies Jesus as the one who “in the beginning” as Lord “laid the foundations of the earth.” He will continue long after the universe is gone (Heb 1:10).

Other statements that present Jesus as the preexisting first cause in creation include 1 Jn 1:1; 2:13-14; Rev 21:6; 22:13; and possibly Col 1:18.

6. The beginning of salvation. We have seen that most NT passages with the word “beginning” call attention to the commencement of events and that others present a preexistent Jesus. Some show us that God establishes principles in the beginnings he initiates and that he remains in full control of history. Three passages make statements that relate to our salvation and raise theological questions.

Paul speaks of God’s calling of his people to a holy life and says that “this grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Ti 1:9). Eternal life was “promised before the beginning of time” (Tit 1:2) and brought to light at God’s appointed time (1:3). Although these verses have been used to argue for predestination, it seems that they need only be taken to locate the origin of God’s grace and his promise in eternity, making it a feature of his eternal plan established before the era of time.

A third passage, 2 Th 2:13 may be taken in one of two ways. The passage speaks of the brothers at Thessalonica as “brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose [them] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” The interpretation of this verse depends on whether the beginning referred to is the point at which these brothers believed or whether it is some “point” in “eternity past.” If the former, arche is used in the sense of commencement of faith; if the latter, it is used in the sense of the ultimate beginning. (See PREDESTINE)

7. Summary. The Bible locates the beginning of all things in God. He is the originator and the controller of events. Because of God’s involvement, events are not random, and history is no cauldron of random ingredients. The end is known to God from the beginning, and all history moves along its intended path to the end he determined long before the world began.

New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words

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