Anchor Bible Dictionary

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mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2019 3:42 PM

I use it a fair amount of the time. It is very decent. The point made about the fact that it is getting old is something that needs to be addressed and you might not like the stance it takes. 

I believe you should have at least two such resources. You might also run a search in your library to see if you get any additional evidence or insight. Those with good journal sets are likely to find more info. 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 275
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2019 8:50 PM

mab:

I use it a fair amount of the time. It is very decent. The point made about the fact that it is getting old is something that needs to be addressed and you might not like the stance it takes. 

I believe you should have at least two such resources. You might also run a search in your library to see if you get any additional evidence or insight. Those with good journal sets are likely to find more info. 

Good idea mab.  Didn’t think about this.  And I completely agree about the exhaustive nature of journals.  IMO, peer reviewed journals is the apex of cutting edge academia based upon the latest data.  I guess having written several journal papers myself I realize how laborious and fine-tuned they become when you present your paper in an open forum of scholarly men and women.  

Thanks👍!

Posts 275
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2019 8:51 PM

DAL:

One of the best if not The Best dictionary! I would love to see a revised edition of the Anchor Dictionary updated with the latest research on all the topics!

DAL

I agree DAL.  I ALWAYS check the publication dating - and look for revision dates as well when buying a resource.

Posts 275
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2019 8:56 PM

Ted Weis:

I agree with the comments above--recognizing its point-of-view, ABD is an excellent dictionary. I would add though that if you own the Lexham Bible Dictionary, you already have a comparable resource.

ABD was published in 1992. LBD was first published in 2011, then last revised and expanded in 2016. ABD has 6,200 entries, while LBD has more than 7,000. The entry on "Aaron" in ABD has 5,917 words compared to 2,484 in LBD. "Apocrypha, Old Testament" has 1,662 words in ABD, while LBD has 3,481.

If you already have LBD, you don't have a gaping hole in your library. ABD frequently goes on sale. When it does, I would recommend buying it.

I COMPLETELY forgot about LBD.  I do have it in my subscription, but would rather just buy it outright just in case I have to let my subscription go one day.  Pulled it up immediately after I saw this and will run through it tonight—but this is EXACTLY the kind of info. I am looking for (dating, revisions, etc.).

Much appreciated.

Posts 275
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2019 9:06 PM

BillS:
I have it, but the few times I've used it I've either not found what I'm looking for, or what it has suffers from a theological bent that masks itself as scholasticism (aka scholarly). I find there to be a vast divide between scholars who do believe in the possibility of miracles & prophecy of the far future, & those who don't. ABD & the AB itself (which I used to own in paper copy) both come from the group that does not believe in the possibility. I believe that to be a theological difference worth noting. It isn't that I won't use resources from the group that includes ABD, but I am on guard constantly in their theological interpretations or their reconstructions of Scripture based on their disbelief. To the extent I can find what I'm looking for in ABD & that it sticks to the historical facts (not its reconstructions of what the facts should've been), I find it useful.

To illustrate the difference, I find NICOT's 2-volume set by John Oswalt, though he obviously believes in the possibility of prophecy of the far future, to be every bit as scholarly as the scholarly works that don't (no quotes around the word scholarly deliberately, as they ARE scholarly... it's the theological stance that divides them, not their degree of scholasticism). 

As always, YMMV (your mileage may vary)... that's just my $.02.

Really!?  I was not aware that ABD & AB are cessationists.  Yea, that’s a biggie for me also & I am glad you told me this.  Indeed, as I read your post I thought “And that’s EXACTLY what has turned me off of theological works—and on to exegesis for the last 8 years!”  I.E., if I want theology I can merely grab that venerated Apostle, Matthew Henry 🤪.  I cannot tell you how many times I have read a work that militates against the very thing they just quoted from Scripture!  Drives me batty (not a very far trip sometimes!).

In fact, without being specific, in the last 5 years I personally got off of a study Bible committee that just came out for this very reason.  Suffice it to say that the lead editors were not happy w. me.  But I refuse to have my name connected w. research works that state the polar opposite of God-breathed Scripture.

Ok, I feel better 😳☝️.

Posts 275
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2019 9:49 PM

Francis:

You're right BillS in that NICOT is a confessional resource whereas ABD is not. There are pros and cons to both (being confessional or non-confessional). Confessional resources are more faith-friendly but can be theologically biased to the detriment of the a more objective presentation of information. On the other hand, non-confessional often hardly means neutral and often adopts a skeptic stance. So the question is not whether the authors are more or less scholarly (or even the articles). 

A steady diet of skeptic scholarship can take a toll over time as speculation and views are often stated as fact and the consensus view of scholars today. Confessional resources are good to explore other ways to approach the data as long as this is done credibly.  On the other hand confessional resources can be confined to a conceptual world which constrains its analyses as well (especially where data seems to theaten cherished interpretations). So resources like ABD are also good to offer a less theologically slanted approach to the issues.

You raise some good, even-handed, points here Francis that I had not considered before.  I almost always sprint away from confessional works for reasons I have already stated—but, then again, I am a sola and tota scriptura kinda’ feller.  Appreciate the thought provoking input.

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