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The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary

, 1987
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Digital list price: $32.99
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This comprehensive reference tool provides a helpful and reliable guide for reading and studying the Bible. Nearly 5,000 entries identify every person and place named in the Bible, examine the contents and background of each biblical book and related writings, describe the physical and cultural aspects of the world of the Bible, and explain and interpret important focuses of biblical theology—matters that the Bible student may encounter in reading and discussion. Although primarily evangelical in focus, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary addresses objectively the broad spectrum of interpretation.

"Every lay Christian should have next to his or her Bible a good Bible dictionary. This new work from Eerdmans...fills the bill admirably...I commend it enthusiastically.” —W. Ward Gasque, Regent College

The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary is based on a translation of the 1975 edition of the internationally respected Bijbelse Encyclopedie, edited under the direction of W. H. Gispen. This English revision reflects recent archaeological discoveries and the breadth of current American biblical scholarship, including insights from critical analysis of literary, historical, and sociological issues.

A valuable tool for practical use, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary is based on the Revised Standard Version, with attention to alternate readings and nuances in the King James, New International, and other versions.

Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Nearly 5,000 entries plus 650 cross-reference entries—some 1,150,000 words—identify every person, place, and object named in the Bible. 
  • Extensively revised and updated, this English edition—more than 40 percent larger than the prior edition—features 286 entries on topics not previously treated. 
  • Entries reflect recent archaeological discoveries and the breadth of current American scholarship. 
  • Evangelical in focus, the dictionary displays sensitivity to the broad spectrum of interpretation, presenting divergent viewpoints as objectively as possible. 
  • Articles feature pronunciations and, in transliteration, the relevant terms in Hebrew, Greek, and other ancient languages. 
  • Bibliographies direct the reader to significant works reflecting various viewpoints. 
  • Based on the Revised Standard Version, the dictionary notes alternate readings and nuances in the King James Version, New International Version, Jerusalem Bible, and other modern English translations. 
  • Supplementary aids include lists of abbreviations, pronunciation guide, and transliteration key.

Top Highlights

“Grace. †God’s unmerited favor toward humanity and especially his people, realized through the covenant and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.” (Page 437)

“Worship (Heb. verb ˓āḇaḏ, noun ˓aḇōḏâ; Gk. proskynéō; Saxon weorthscipe ‘worthship’).† To pay homage to or, literally, to ascribe worth to some person or thing, hence, worship embraces the whole of the reverent life, including piety and liturgy.” (Page 1067)

“The key to the biblical concept of obedience is Heb. šāmā˓, which means both ‘listen to’ and ‘act upon, obey.’ The term occurs in (and gives its name to) the Shema, Israel’s confession of faith: ‘Hear, O Israel’ (Deut. 6:4; cf. Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). True ‘hearing,’ or obedience, involves the physical hearing that inspires the hearer, and a belief or trust that in turn motivates the hearer to act in accordance with the speaker’s desires.” (Page 775)

“the sinful perversion is based on the belief that one is entitled to something to which one has no natural right.” (Page 556)

“The raising from death to new life, in biblical usage specifically a raising of the righteous of all ages at the end of earthly history.” (Page 881)

Praise for the Print Edition

This Bible dictionary is first-rate. It is wide-ranging and contains dozens of articles on subjects not usually found in one-volume dictionaries....The discussions of persons and institutions in the Bible supply the reader with theological insights as well as factual details. Pastors, students, teachers, and the laity in general will find the volume a veritable mine of information in concise format.

—Bruce M. Metzger, Princeton Theological Seminary

A welcome new work of reference for Bible students. Its entries are concise, factual, and reliable...I have pleasure and confidence in commending it.

—F. F. Bruce, University of Manchester, England

The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary has no peer among one-volume Bible dictionaries currently available. It is balanced, up-to-date, accurate, well-written, and compresses an enormous amount of useful information into a relatively brief but attractive format. This important reference work is a must for all serious students of the Bible.

—David E. Aune, St. Xavier College, Chicago

The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary is accurate, critical, and comprehensive.... The work is the product of an international team of scholars and shows the merit of such international collaboration.

—Walter Harrelson, The Divinity School, Vanderbilt University

The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary brings to English readers a classic work from the Dutch language. This edition, however, is much more than a translation. It has absorbed new scholarly insights and updated the bibliography from English language works. Throughout we find an exceptionally clear exposition and a calm respect for differences among scholars or among the churches.

—Carroll Stuhimueller, Catholic Theological Union at Chicago

The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary will quickly make a place for itself on the reference shelves of pastors and Bible students. Readers will appreciate its clear and attractive format.

—R. Alan Culpepper, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

This comprehensive dictionary of the Bible is practically a one-volume encyclopedia. In some 5,000 entries, every person and place in the Bible is identified, as are plants, animals, and objects. Major articles examine all books of the Bible and important people, events, and concepts. Based on a translation of the respected Bijbelse Encyclopedie, the dictionary includes over 280 new articles and has been extensively updated and revised. Good cross-referencing and up-to-date bibliographies are included. Though Eerdmanns has an evangelical flavor, efforts have been made to present a broad viewpoint: Contributors include Jews and Roman Catholics as well as a wide range of Protestants. Entries reflect modern biblical scholarship and archaeological research. An excellent and inexpensive study aid, recommended for most libraries.

Library Journal

Product Details

  • Title: The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
  • Editors: Allen C. Meyers, John W. Simpson, Jr., Philip A. Frank, Timothy P. Jenney, Ralph W. Vunderink
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1987
  • Pages: 1,094

The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary is now out of print. We are breathing new life into this classic reference work by making it available electronically! This is a tremendous value for a full-length, complete Bible dictionary!

The Logos Bible Software edition does not include any of the photos that are part of the print edition, but it does include the maps! It's also fully searchable by word, phrase, topic or Bible reference. In fact, you can promote the dictionary in your KeyLink preferences so that a double-click on an English word anywhere in your digital library will go straight to the corresponding entry in The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Then if you are reading along in, say, Acts 17 and come across mention of the Epicureans...you can just double-click the word Epicurean in the Bible text and your Bible dictionary will open to the entry for Epicureans. It's that easy!

Eerdmans Bible Dictionary also shows up in the Topics section of Passage Guide along with other dictionaries, encyclopedias, and topically-organized references you may own. If you run a Passage Guide on John 16, for example, you will see the topic persecution listed and a link to the article on persecution in Eerdmans Bible Dictionary. Just click to open the dictionary and read!

Please note: Logos Bible Software recently published an electronic edition of  Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible  (print edition copyright 2000).  The dictionary is newly written by a different team of contributors and editors. These two dictionaries, while similar in name, are not the same thing. The dictionary you are looking at right now was published in 1987 and is based on a Dutch encyclopedia.


8 ratings

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  1. sambukere trésor
  2. William Pankey
  3. David Istre

    David Istre


    This dictionary was my first Bible Dictionary in seminary and has remained one of my key Bible dictionary resources. There are undoubtedly other dictionaries equal and/or better, but Eerdman's never fails to deliver relevant and useful information. If your plan is to have only one Bible dictionary in your library, then you may want to consider another resource like Baker's Encyclopedia or the Lexham Bible Dictionary, but if you plan on having multiple Bible Dictionaries in your library, this needs to be part of your starting lineup!
  4. George T Barnes
  5. Debra W Bouey
  6. Terri Blankenship
  7. David Medina

    David Medina


  8. Collin A Barth


Digital list price: $32.99
Save $7.00 (21%)