The question that is posed by this volume is this: How is your knowledge of all things biblical?
Let’s face it, the study of the Bible requires knowledge of a highly specialized vocabulary and unless one is an ivory tower biblical scholar, we have all been scrambling to define a term or gather more information on an unknown subject. The Baker Compact Dictionary of Biblical Studies will likely solve the problem. While it is not all inclusive or detailed in its treatment, it does contain over 500 definitions and pieces of information.
The title aptly describes the challenge posed by the initial question. It is published by Baker Books, a prolific publishing powerhouse. The book is compact – 41/4 x 7 x ½ – but you’ll be amazed by how much information can be squeezed into 209 pages and still have the print at a readable size. It is certainly a dictionary, containing entries from A to Z. And, finally, it includes definitions and explanations of all things biblical. It includes entries on an incredibly wide variety of subject areas – names, people, places, events, Bible translations, archaeological finds, grammatical terms (simile, metaphor, etc.), theology, history, just to name a few.
The authors are Tremper Longman III (OT) and Mark L. Strauss (NT), both PhD’s, Yale and University of Aberdeen, respectively. Both are respected scholars in their fields.
Primarily, this is not a volume to be read through at a casual reading sit-down, although a perusal may prove to be interesting. A simple thumbing through the pages will certainly get one’s attention. Rather, it will most frequently be used as a reference resource referred to repeatedly.
I would imagine that every serious Bible student would want to have this book readily at hand when doing some serious biblical study. In fact, it is recommended that every Bible student have this close by. It’s definitely worth the $10 or so.
Disclaimer: This volume was provided to me by Baker Books for a fair and honest review.