The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible is the single major work of reference on the gods, angels, demons, spirits and semi-divine heroes whose names occur in the biblical books. First published in 1995 and chosen by Choice as Best Reference Work of 1996, it is now republished in a new extensively revised edition.
30 entries appear for the first time in the new edition, while more than 100 others have been brought up to date with the latest state of research. Arranged in the order of the Latin alphabet, the more than four-hundred names are those found in the books of the Hebrew and the Greek Bible, Old and New Testament, including the Apocrypha. There are entries on divine names recognized as such by the biblical authors; divine names in theophoric toponyms and anthroponyms; secular terms which occur as divine names in neighbouring civilizations, conjectural divine names, at times based on textual emendation, proposed by modern scholarship; and humans who acquired a semi-divine status in tradition.
A typical entry contains a discussion of the pertinent name, its meaning, the religio-historical background, relevant biblical passages and an up-to-date bibliography. Owing to the comprehensive coverage of names and its religio-historical emphasis, the Dictionary of Deities and Demons provides crucial information concerning the spiritual world in which the Peoples of the Book have lived. Extensive indices and cross-references provide easy access to the rich information of the dictionary.
Dictionary of Deities and Demons is the fruit of a common effort of a group of more than a hundred international scholars from a variety of traditions. Chosen for their special competence, the contributors write about those deities or demons for which their research makes them eminently qualified. Acting as advisors are Hans Dieter Betz (Chicago), André Caquot (Paris), Jonas C. Greenfield (Jerusalem), Erik Hornung (Basel), Michael Stone (Jerusalem), and Manfred Weipert (Heidelberg).
“Beginning in the second millennium Assur was given a theological personality by regarding him as the Assyrian Enlil, Enlil being the god of Nippur and one of the most important figures in the pantheon of Babylonia.” (Page 108)
“A third group of deities consists of gods mentioned in the Bible, but not in their capacity as gods. They are the so-called demythologized deities.” (source)
“The geographical indication Bashan functions as the depiction of the divine abode in Ps 68:16 and Deut 33:22, also without article, related possibly to Canaanite mythology which places here the heavenly/infernal dwelling place of its deified dead kings, echoed in the Biblical geographical tradition mentioned in bāšān I a) and probably in b).” (Page 161)
“It should be stressed that the Egyptian gods are not eternal, not all-seeing and all-knowing, and not all-powerful.” (Page 354)
“Although Behemoth is not mentioned in the NT, Rev 13 patently is informed by the Leviathan-Behemoth tradition. In this pericope two kindred beasts rise up in united opposition to the righteous, the one beast ‘from the →Sea’ (13:1) and ‘another beast which rose out of the →Earth’ (13:11).” (Page 166)
This unique source is a grand scholarly achievement whose depth, breadth, and contemporaneity will make it useful to scholars and graduate students in religion and ancient cultures. Highly recommended for any library supporting programs in religion.
—D. Bourquin, Choice, 1996
...this is a fine work, and DDD will not fail to become a household term of scholars. The editors - and not to forget the publisher - can be congratulated on their achievement.
—Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete, 1995
...an excellent resource on the religious background of the Bible...an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the religious background of the Bible.
—Rich Johnson, Southwestern Journal of Theology, 1998.
It is an authoritative resource, an exhaustive catalog of super-natural beings whose names appear in the Bible (that is, the Hebrew Bible, The Septuagint, and the New Testament)...Recommended for academic collections...
—Craig W. Beard, Library Journal, 1999.
Every serious student of the Bible and its ancient setting must have this important tool near his or her desk.
—Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete, 1999.
…magnificently produced…This work is invaluable for the beginning and competent reseracher.
—Linda L. Lam-Easton, American Reference Books Annual, 2000.