Biblical Archaeology Review 12:6, November/December 1986

What Is a Good Bible Dictionary?

By Walter Harrelson

Since the 1960s Bible dictionaries have been appearing in record numbers. In 1985 the Society of Biblical Literature joined with Harper & Row in the production of one of the handsomest. The venture itself was noteworthy: A scholarly society worked out terms with a commercial publisher to share the production and the proceeds of a scholarly work, the entire contents of which the society and its members contracted to provide.

This year, one of the world’s largest producers of Bibles, Thomas Nelson Publishers, put together a very attractive and comprehensive Bible dictionary, the product of the labors of five editors and 80 other scholars.

Also in 1986, one of the major publishers of religious books, Abingdon Press, published a new form of Bible dictionary—straining the genre, in fact—a dictionary of Bible and religion, covering subjects not normally treated in works of this type.

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