Poll: What are your five favorite Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and lexicons?

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Oct 5 2013 7:46 PM

I'm tweaking some of my prioritized Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and lexicons. What are your top 5 favorites? I'm curious to some of your favorites. 

Thanks! 

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 1523
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 5 2013 8:25 PM

Top lexicons: BDAG, Louw-Nida, TLNT, HALOT, BDB

Top dictionaries: ISBE, Holman's Illustrated, IVP's "pocket" dictionaries, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery

Top commentaries: NAC, Expositor's, Baker Exegetical, Tyndale, UBS Handbooks

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 6 2013 2:27 AM

Top lexicons: LSJ (unabridged of course, with 1996 supplement). BDAG. Louw-Nida or use whatever lexicon from the Original Languages base-package or Accordance Starter. (I don't do Hebrew.) I'm going to buy the next Edition after BDAG, probably in Accordance to use with NA29 in order to not be so distracted when doing NT studies (I have few resources there). Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009) by Danker: Re: Lexicons.

Top dictionaries: The one I use mostly and definitely prefer, is: New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (I have it in print as well as a Logos pre-pub order in two accounts that I've created, one for myself and the other for a friend). For convenience I sometimes use Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. For the same reason I sometimes use Eerdmans Bible Dictionary in Accordance. Those two are included in the basic base-package/collection.

Top commentaries (not necessarily whole sets):

  1. Baker New Testament Commentary (HK) see discussion:

    How good is Kistemaker on 2 Cor 1-9 in Baker NT Commentary (1997)?

  2. Hermeneia,
  3. Interpretation, (I'm not sure how I rate all of these as they are newly acquired, the one I read by Pheme Perkins seemed quite good),
  4. Believer's Church Bible Commentary,
  5. UBS Handbook NT and Upgrade (not really a commentary),
  6. ICC,
  7. EDIT: Of course Paideia. I have Ro and Upgrade (4 vols.). (Ro is VERY good, although one user (who has both L5 and Accordance) is recommending the Interpretation volume instead: I have the Interpretation...),
  8. James (1999) by Richard Bauckham (printed matter),
  9. The Gospel According to John A Theological Commentary (1978) by Pheme Perkins (printed matter),
  10. EDIT2: 2 Peter Jude by Peter H. Davies: www.accordancebible.com/store/details/?pid=PNTC-2Peter+%26amp%3B+Jude (I use it only for Jude, really good),
  11. Companion God A Cross-Cultural Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew by George T. Montague (printed matter),
  12. Berit Olam Genesis,
  13. Continental Commentary Isaiah 1-39 for textual matters.

Right now I'm evaluating Baker NT Commentary (HK) (probably keeping it), Interpretation (4 vols.) and a couple of Believer's Church Bible Commentary volumes. I have two Believer's Church Bible Commentary volumes since before and they are really good. I evaluated a third volume which I found bad and returned (by Ivan D. Friesen).

I have other commentaries also which are not advanced enough to be listed here, some of them are really good, like the ones on 1 Clem that I have (You can find me mentioning one of them if You do a search, the other is Worship in the Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources, the latter only has a very brief introduction). I also have Studies in the Form of Sirach 44-50 by Thomas R. Lee (Ph.D. thesis 1979, published by SBL in 1986).

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Posts 171
Adam Rao | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 7 2013 6:39 AM

Bible Dictionaries: Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (for quick reference); Anchor Bible Dictionary (for further study).
*I'd add The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible into this mix if it was available.

Commentaries (OT): Interpretation; Hermeneia / Anchor Bible / Continental (depending on which book I'm looking at).
*Interpretation is particularly good for the OT. Almost every volume is worth having. The Westminster Bible Companion OT volumes are quite good, too.

Commentaries (NT): For Everyone by N.T. Wright; Interpretation; Hermeneia / Anchor Bible / Word Biblical Commentary / NIGTC (depending on which book I'm looking at; e.g., if I'm in Colossians, Dunn's NIGTC volume is where I'd go first).
*I've assumed you wanted a list of series, not individual volumes for each book of the Bible. And, just so you know, I'd add The New Interpreter's Bible into the mix for both OT and NT if it was available. Same goes for The Old Testament Library/The New Testament Library.

Lexicons (OT): BDB; HALOT

Lexicons (LXX): LEH

Lexicons (NT): BDAG; Louw-Nida; TDNT (assuming you think of it as a lexicon!)

Posts 2938
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 7 2013 7:21 AM

Bible Dictionaries:

   1.  The Inter-Varsity Press Dictionaries  (Dictionary of the Old Testament:  Historical Books, Dictionary of the Old Testament:  Prophets,  Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, etc.)

   2.  The New Bible Dictionary - still the best one volume Dictionary for a quick look up.

   3.  The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary

Commentaries:

   1.  The New International Commentary OT / NT  (hands down the overall best)

   2.  Word Biblical Commentary

   3.  Pillar

I have listed Commentary sets.  All sets are inconsistent, and the best commentary on a particular book may be in another set not listed, or not a set at all.  For example, I would rank Cranfield's Romans in the ICC as the absolute best work done on the Book of Romans.  But the ICC set as a whole is too dated to be in my top 4 or 5 sets.  Though most of the newer ICC volumes would be.

Lexicons:

    1.  BDAG

    2,  HALOT

    3.  Louw-Nida

    4.  Enhanced Brown Driver Briggs

    5.  NIDTT - Colin Brown

   

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 7 2013 9:29 AM

I forgot to mention that I very much prefer: Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (3 vols.):

Adam Rao:
TDNT (assuming you think of it as a lexicon!)

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Posts 600
Nick Steffen | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 9 2013 2:40 AM

Recently, I've been happy to make good use of BDAG, Anchor Bible Dictionary, IVP black dictionaries, Hermeneia, and JPS Tanakh commentaries, 

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 18 2013 5:36 PM

Thanks for all the feedback! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Internet was out for over a week and finally got it back on recently. I've taken some of the feedback here and fine-tuned my list of prioritized books. It's been a huge help!

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 9797
Forum MVP
Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 18 2013 8:18 PM

Nathan Parker:
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Internet was out for over a week and finally got it back on recently.

Wow Nathan, that must have been frustrating not to be connected. Glad you have returned.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 1523
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2013 6:58 AM

Nathan Parker:

Thanks for all the feedback! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Internet was out for over a week and finally got it back on recently. I've taken some of the feedback here and fine-tuned my list of prioritized books. It's been a huge help!

Some other resources that I have prioritized (and find very useful) are:

Bruce Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, the NET's textual notes, and IVP's Bible Background commentaries.

Edit: How could I forget to mention the Commentary on the NT use of the OT! It, too, is very good to have prioritized.

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2013 12:50 PM

Bruce Dunning:

Nathan Parker:
Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Internet was out for over a week and finally got it back on recently.

Wow Nathan, that must have been frustrating not to be connected. Glad you have returned.

It's been a nightmare but I think I'm finally getting somewhere. Found a better ISP here.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 19 2013 12:51 PM

Josh:

Nathan Parker:

Thanks for all the feedback! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. Internet was out for over a week and finally got it back on recently. I've taken some of the feedback here and fine-tuned my list of prioritized books. It's been a huge help!

Some other resources that I have prioritized (and find very useful) are:

Bruce Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, the NET's textual notes, and IVP's Bible Background commentaries.

Edit: How could I forget to mention the Commentary on the NT use of the OT! It, too, is very good to have prioritized.

Forgot about those. I'll check out those as well and see if I want to prioritize any.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 270
KJ Niblett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 20 2013 4:35 AM

My Prioritization is;

Lexicons

DBL Greek

DBL Hebrew

BDAG

DBL Aramaic

LSJ

Louw Nida

EDNT

Dictionaries

Concise Oxford Dictionary (Speeds up Logos being the first dictionary as entries are short)

MW Collegiate Dictionary 11thEd Merriam Websters

LBD Lexham Bible Dictionary

Easton's Bible Dictionary

NNCD Nelsons New Christian Dictionary

Nelsons New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Harpers Bible Dictionary

Eerdmans Bible Dictionary

Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

(then I have the dictionaries with more substantial entries I use when I want to do some deeper research)

Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

New Dictionary of Biblical Theology

New Dictionary of Theology

IVP Dictionaries

Commentaries

(I own and regularly use NICNT/OT, WBC, Pillar, Tyndale and UBC in exegetical work, but I have my devotional commentaries prioritized higher as I use these to find sermon illustrations and insightful quotes once I have near finished my sermons. I find that the commentaries in the middle of my prioritization list such as NICNT/NICOT I seek out deliberatley and spend time in wheras I skim the higher listed commentaries for specific items. The exception is Baker which I have found usefull for the first point of entry into my days textual studies)

 

Baker New Testament Commentary

NIV Application Commentary

Preaching the Word

Boices Expositional Commentary

Life Application Commentary

Life Application Bible Commentary

Welwyn Commentary Series

A Bible Commentary in the Weslayan Tradition

Wiersbe's 'Be series'

Synonyms of the NT

Posts 8939
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 20 2013 9:18 AM

Dictionaries: 1) IVP Black Dictionaries, 2) Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 3) New Bible Dictionary, 4) Vine's Dictionary, 5) Diccionario Teologico Ilustrado (Spanish).

Commentaries: 1) College Press, 2) PNTC, 3) Exegetical Summaries, 4) NAC, 5) Comentario Biblico Mundo Hispano (Spanish)

Lexicons: 1) Louw-Nida Lexicon, 2) Analytical Lexicon of the Greek NT, 3) Lexico Tuggy (Spanish), 4) Complete Word Study Dictionary OT & NT (Tagged as a lexicon in Logos Database), 5) Theological Lexicon of the OT & NT

I had to tweak my list too since my package changed, but if things go well I may have to re-tweak sometime next year :-)

DAL

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 20 2013 10:33 AM

So far after tweaking here's my list:

Commentaries:

Life Principles Bible (Let's me see Charles Stanley's notes at a quick glance)

Analytical Bible Expositor (since I love consulting Butler)

FaithLife Study Bible (so I have a Study Bible in the mix that's going to be always up-to-date)

UBS Handbooks (Seems people on here like them, and Morris Proctor recommends them in his Academic Training. I'm wanting to dig into them more. I do need to purchase the UBS Handbook Upgrade though).

NIGTC (Seems like a good one to add for the NT)

Metzger's Textual Commentary NT

NAC (so that if I'm studying in the OT I still have another Prioritized set of commentaries to consult)

Once I purchase the entire Word Biblical I'll probably add it. I only have a handful of them right now.

Dictionaries:

AYBD (The biggie)

Eerdmans (Lots of people on here seem to like it as well)

New Bible Dictionary (got good response on here as well)

ISBE

Specialty Dictionaries:

IVP OT

IVP NT

IVP Pocket

Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names (Morris Proctor recommends it)

That's Easy for You To Say (Again, Morris Recommended)

English/Spanish Dictionaries:

Webster's 11th

Webster's Thesaurus

Webster's Spanish English

Lexicons/Word Studies:

TLOT

TWOT

TDNT

BDAG

Vine's 

L-N

LEH LXX

Some of these I took from the Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew vids.

Question: Do I need to Prioritize and German or Latin dictionaries when I begin studying those?

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 1523
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 20 2013 2:29 PM

Kelvin Niblett:

NIV Application Commentary

The more I read these, the more I like them. I'm just not sure about the format.

Posts 5321
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 20 2013 3:15 PM

mike:

The first 9 volume set is lexical dictionary…meaning it focus is on word meanings. While ISBE has some lexical value it is mostly a standard Bible dictionary…. both are considered top of or at least close to top of the pack in evangelical circles.  So you question is almost like asking which is better  a potato or a tomato…. both members of the nightshade family (both books on Bible study), but while one is a juicy fruit the other is a starchy vegetable. But french fries with ketchup are yummy.

-Dan

-Dan

Posts 8939
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 20 2013 5:01 PM

Josh:

Kelvin Niblett:

NIV Application Commentary

The more I read these, the more I like them. I'm just not sure about the format.

The format was a turn off for me.  If I ever have extra cash to spare I'll probably go with NICOT/NT instead; though if I was rich I'd get the whole bundle of NIVACOT/NT ;-) Even though, I see some of the bridging and application somewhat redundant in some cases.

DAL

Posts 2002
mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 21 2013 12:05 AM

Dan Francis:

mike:

The first 9 volume set is lexical dictionary…meaning it focus is on word meanings. While ISBE has some lexical value it is mostly a standard Bible dictionary…. both are considered top of or at least close to top of the pack in evangelical circles.  So you question is almost like asking which is better  a potato or a tomato…. both members of the nightshade family (both books on Bible study), but while one is a juicy fruit the other is a starchy vegetable. But french fries with ketchup are yummy.

-Dan

-Dan

so in plain un-allegorized, the 9 vols is better than? cuz it seems juicy fruit is healthier.

I just don't want to regret my purchase..

last question, how low have you seen the 9 vols. go down to?

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