In a 20-year period InterVarsity Press has produced a top notch series of dictionaries on the Old and New Testaments. The series of large volumes in black have been completed with the latest volume just out, dealing with the prophets and prophetic writings.
So now we have eight magnificent volumes available, and this really is a superb set. I have been buying each one as they have appeared, and as it is now a complete set, I am wondering if they will be selling them as a set at a reduced set price.
However, whether you buy them individually or as a group, these eight volumes are a must addition to any serious theological library. Many hundreds of expert articles penned by leading OT and NT scholars, theologians, historians, and Bible scholars are laid out over many thousands of pages.
All the important issues you may wish to study are found in these terrific volumes. Let me lay them out here in biblical order, with authors, date, and page numbers:
–Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. David W. Baker and T. Desmond Alexander, eds., 2002, 954pp.
–Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Bill Arnold and H.G.M. Williamson, eds., 2005, 1060pp.
–Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry and Writings. Tremper Longman and Peter Enns, eds., 2008, 967pp.
–Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. Mark Boda and J. Gordon McConville, eds., 2012, 965pp.
–Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Joel Green, Scot McKnight and I. Howard Marshall, eds., 1992, 934pp.
–Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. Gerald Hawthorne, Ralph Martin and Daniel Reid, eds., 1993, 1038pp.
–Dictionary of Later New Testament and Its Developments. Ralph Martin and Peter Davids, eds., 1997, 1289pp.
–Dictionary of New Testament Background. Craig Evans and Stanley Porter, eds., 2000, 1328pp.
That is some 8535 pages worth of hard core theological and biblical material. Roughly speaking each volume contains around a hundred (or a bit more) articles, perhaps averaging around 10-12 pages each. First rate scholars have been part of this for the past two decades. Just a few names of many can be cited here:
So obviously these volumes represent the best in mainly conservative, evangelical thought. And with around a thousand different articles, all the important topics are covered. Also, each article features an extensive bibliography for further reference.
Consider the most recent volume on the prophets as an example. In it are 115 articles by 94 different scholars, ranging from ‘Abrahamic Covenant’ to ‘Zion’. In addition to articles on all the prophets and their writings, there are pieces on such subjects as:
Blessings and curses
Day of the Lord
Honour and shame
Marriage and divorce
Sacrifice and atonement
True and false prophecy
Between these eight volumes you will likely find something on just about any biblical topic or theme you are interested in. A whole generation of great biblical experts are found here in one place, bringing us the most up-to-date scholarship and research on a huge amount of subjects.
If you have the money and the book shelving, these eight volumes are a must purchase. Of course given that I bought each one as they appeared over a twenty year period, I probably got them much cheaper than someone wishing to purchase the whole set now.
It depends on where you get them from, but they may cost at least $35 each, and on up to $85 each. If you live in Australia Koorong Books has all eight books available. Wherever or however you get them, make sure you avail yourselves of this goldmine of top-rate scholarship on all things biblical.