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Dictionary of Biblical Imagery

, 1998
ISBN: 9780830867332

Digital Logos Edition

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Digital list price: $69.99
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Every reader of the Bible has encountered the powerful, comforting, and sometimes puzzling imagery of Scripture. These concrete pictures with their hidden force have struck sharp and lasting impressions on our minds. Their imprint has etched itself on the language and grammar of Christian faith and Western culture.

Dictionary of Biblical Imagery is the first contemporary reference work dedicated to exploring the images, symbols, motifs, metaphors, and literary patterns found in the Bible. More than that, it examines the Bible’s universal archetypes or master images—including the plot motifs and character types that recur throughout life, literature, and the Bible.

This unique dictionary explores the dazzling variety in which the Word of God comes dressed in clothes of everyday life. It traces the trail of images from Eden to the New Jerusalem, captures the plotted patterns of biblical narrative, and surveys the imaged texture of each book of the Bible. In short, Dictionary of Biblical Imagery is an inviting, enlightening, and indispensable companion to the reading, study, contemplation, and enjoyment of the Bible.

Resource Experts
  • Offers hundreds of articles on images, similes, metaphors, and motifs of Scripture
  • Covers many topics not found in ordinary Bible dictionaries
  • Includes entries on all the important images essential to biblical and contemporary cultural literacy
  • Helps you understand the significance of the Bible’s imagery

Top Highlights

“Repentance is signaled by a new desire for and experience of the presence of God.” (Page 705)

“When we encounter an image in the Bible, therefore, we need to learn to ask two questions: (1) What is the literal picture? (2) What does this image evoke?” (source)

“The essential quality of hope is that it is oriented to something in the future that one expects but does not yet possess (Rom 8:24–25).” (Page 399)

“A motif is a pattern that appears in a written text.” (source)

“The good fathers we encounter in the Gospels look to Jesus for their children’s needs, especially physical ones (Mt 17:14–18; Lk 8:40–56; Jn 4:43–54). It would be unthinkable for such a father to give his children stones or snakes (Mt 7:9–11).” (Page 274)

People think with pictures in their heads. The Bible is God’s picture book even though it is all in words. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery helps us to see the verbal pictures that we may have missed and then helps us to make sense of them. The Dictionary is a helpful tool for Bible study—and it’s even fun to read.

Haddon Robinson, Harold John Ockenga Professor of Preaching, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery is a creative and usable reference tool that will enable a wide range of Bible students to read the Word of God with fresh insight and new understanding. This informative and imaginative dictionary—unique in its purpose and approach—will prove to be immensely helpful for scholars, pastors, teachers, and laypeople alike.

David S. Dockery, president, Union University

Leland Ryken is a Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He received a PhD from the University of Oregon.

James C. Wilhoite is a professor of Christian education at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

Tremper Longman III is a Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, visiting professor of Old Testament at Mars Hill Graduate School, visiting professor of Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary, and an adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He earned his PhD from Yale University.


22 ratings

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  1. Michael Wert

    Michael Wert


    Best explanation of Atonement and why I have read.
  2. Ken McClurkin

    Ken McClurkin


  3. Philip Leatherbury
  4. Billy Avery

    Billy Avery


  5. Molly Scott

    Molly Scott


  6. Stephen Taylor
  7. Robert J Richardson
  8. Gregory Gipson
  9. Rev. Don Godwin
  10. Joe Marshall

    Joe Marshall



Digital list price: $69.99
Save $30.00 (42%)