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IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle (2 vols.)

by 4 authors Williamson, H. G. M., Arnold, Bill T., Alexander, T. Desmond, Baker, David W.

IVP 2003–2005

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IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle (2 vols.)
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Overview

This 2-volume bundle includes the award-winning Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch and the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, both from InterVarsity Press. These dictionaries bring together hundreds of top Old Testament scholars under the editorship of T. Desmond Alexander, David W. Baker, Bill T. Arnold, and H. G. M. Williamson.

Key Features

  • In-depth encyclopedia-length coverage of major themes and issues
  • Focuses on both the biblical text and the conversation among contemporary scholars
  • Informs and challenges with authoritative overviews, detailed examinations and new insights from the world of the ancient Near East
  • Includes hundreds of cross-references, extensive bibliographies, subject and Scripture indexes
  • Represents the best of evangelical scholarship today
  • Introductory articles on ancient Near Eastern written sources pertinent to history of Israel
  • Articles on Hebrew, Aramaic and Linguistics as well as interpretive methods, hermeneutics and preaching
  • Critically engages the current scholarly quest for the historical Israel
  • Valuable, up-to-date bibliographies on all topics

Individual Titles

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch

  • Editors: T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: xxii, 954

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The first five books of the Old Testament lay the foundation on which the rest of Scripture stands. Its great themes, epochal events and towering figures set the stage on which the biblical story is played out. The very shape of the rest of the Old Testament would collapse were the Pentateuch to be removed. The structure of New Testament thought would be barely intelligible without it.

Here we meet the great ancestral figures of Israel—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and the towering figure of Moses, whose presence dominates four of these five books. The creative act of God, the paradisal garden, the exile of Adam and Eve, the judgment of the great flood, the call of Abraham from among the nations, the covenant of Abraham, the exodus from Egypt, the giving of the law at Sinai, the plan of the tabernacle, the varied experiences of Israel in the wilderness, and the announcement of the covenant blessings and curses—all of these and more contribute to a work of world-formative power. This dictionary explores the major themes and contours of the Pentateuch.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch is the first in a four-volume series covering the text of the Old Testament. This encyclopedic work is characterized by its close attention to the text of the Old Testament and the ongoing conversation of contemporary scholarship. In exploring the major themes and issues of the Pentateuch, editors T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker, with an international and expert group of scholars, inform and challenge through authoritative overviews, detailed examinations, and new insights from the world of the ancient Near East.

Your first stop in the study and research of the Pentateuch!

Behind and beneath the grandeur of the Pentateuch are issues of historicity which have both puzzled and beckoned. But whereas in the mid-twentieth century many English-speaking scholars were confident of archaeological support for the patriarchal accounts, the climate has now changed. In the most extreme cases, some contemporary scholars have radically challenged the antiquity of the ancestral stories, arguing for their final composition even as late as the Hellenistic era. This dictionary examines and weighs the historical issues and poses possible solutions.

The documentary hypothesis—the former reigning critical consensus—is now widely rumored to be on life support with no heir apparent. Meanwhile, conservative scholars reconsider what indeed a claim to Mosaic authorship should entail. This dictionary offers an assessment of the array of questions surrounding these issues and considers some possible ways forward for evangelical scholarship.

At the same time, there has been a fruitful turning to the nature, message, and art of the received text of the Pentateuch. Literary studies of brief episodes, sprawling sagas, complex narrative, and even the fivefold composition of the Pentateuch itself have delivered promising and exciting results. This dictionary offers both appreciative panoramas and close-up assessments of these developments and their methods.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch is designed to be your first stop in the study and research of the Pentateuch, on which the rest of the Bible is built.

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch was a A Gold Medallion Award Finalist (Evangelical Christian Publishing Association, 2003) and a Logos Book Award Winner (Association of Logos Bookstores, 2003)

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch contains a wealth of important information for all students of this foundational portion of Scripture. The articles are all written by leading scholars in the field under the guidance of two preeminent Old Testament interpreters well known for their own work on the Pentateuch. This dictionary is not only informative but also readable. I highly recommend it.

—Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

By focusing on a single main section of Scripture, the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch allows for greater scope and in-depth handling of individual topics. Well researched and comprehensive in treatment, it will be a good addition to the library of students, pastors, scholars and laypeople.

—Christopher R. Seitz, Professor of Old Testament and Theological Studies, University of St. Andrews

I like the idea of a Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, and the decision to focus on major topics is well judged. There is a great deal of very useful discussion and analysis in the volume. It should open up the study of the Pentateuch in new ways for many a reader, and I welcome the project most warmly.

—Robert P. Gordon, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge

A fine resource for reference and research.

The Bible Today

One of the main things that I love about [this volume is] the bibliographies at the end of each entry. I also appreciate the manner in which the articles are written, i.e., they're substantial enough for scholars but simple enough for motivated non-scholars. I suggest that if you don't have the books in this series that you go out and get them, soon!

—Nick Norelli, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

T. Desmond Alexander is director of Christian training at Union Theological College in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From 1980 to 1999, he was lecturer in Semitic studies at the Queen's University of Belfast. His main field of research is the Pentateuch, about which he has written extensively in academic journals and books. Alexander also has a special interest in the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He is the author of From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Main Themes of the Pentateuch and Abraham in the Negev, and he is a coeditor (with Brian S. Rosner) of the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (IVP, 2000), available from Logos as part of The Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 3.

David W. Baker is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He serves as editor for the Evangelical Theological Society Dissertation and Evangelical Theological Society Studies series as well as for Sources for Biblical and Theological Studies (Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake). He is coauthor (with Bill T. Arnold) of The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. In addition, he has written many articles, essays and commentaries.

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books

  • Editors: Bill T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 1,060

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Edited by Bill T. Arnold and Hugh G. M. Williamson, the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books is the second volume in IVP's Old Testament dictionary series. This volume picks up where the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch left off—with Joshua and Israel poised to enter the land—and carries us through the postexilic period. Following in the tradition of the four award-winning IVP dictionaries focused on the New Testament, this encyclopedic work is characterized by in-depth articles focused on key topics, many of them written by noted experts.

The history of Israel forms the skeletal structure of the Old Testament. Understanding this history and the biblical books that trace it is essential to comprehending the Bible. The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books is the only reference book focused exclusively on these biblical books and the history of Israel.

The dictionary presents articles on numerous historical topics as well as major articles focused on the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah. Other articles focus on the Deuteronomistic History as well as the Chronicler's History, the narrative art of Israel's historians, text and textual criticism, and the emergence of these books as canonical. One feature is a series of eight consecutive articles on the periods of Israel's history from the settlement to postexilic period.

Syro-Palestinian archaeology is surveyed in one article, while significant archaeological sites receive focused treatment, usually under the names of biblical cities and towns such as Jerusalem and Samaria, Shiloh and Shechem, Dan and Beersheba. Other articles delve into the histories and cultures of the great neighboring empires—Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia and Persia—as well as lesser peoples, such as the Ammonites, Edomites, Moabites, Philistines and Phoenicians. In addition, there are articles on architecture, Solomon's temple, agriculture and animal husbandry, roads and highways, trade and travel, and water and water systems.

The languages of Hebrew and Aramaic, as well as the study of linguistics, each receive careful treatment, as well as the role of scribes and their schools, and writing and literacy in ancient Israel and its environs. The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books also canvases the full range of relevant extra-biblical written evidence, with five articles focused on the various non-Israelite written sources as well as articles on Hebrew inscriptions and ancient Near Eastern iconography.

Articles on interpretive methods, on hermeneutics, and on preaching the Historical Books will assist students and communicators in understanding how this biblical literature has been studied and interpreted, and its proper use in preaching. In the same vein, theological topics such as God, prayer, faith, forgiveness and righteousness receive separate treatment.

The history of Israel has long been contested territory, but never more so than today. Much like the quest of the historical Jesus, a quest of the historical Israel is underway. At the heart of the quest to understand the history of Israel and the Old Testament's Historical Books is the struggle to come to terms with the conventions of ancient historiography. How did these writers conceive of their task and to whom were they writing? Clearly the Old Testament historians did not go about their task as we would today. The divine word was incarnated in ancient culture.

Rather than being a dictionary of quick answers and easy resolutions readily provided, the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books seeks to set out the evidence and arguments, allowing a range of informed opinion to enrich the conversation. In this way the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books will not only inform its readers, but draw them into the debate and equip them to examine the evidence for themselves.

The publisher of Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, the latest volume in the comprehensive series on the Old and New Testaments and their backgrounds, is to be commended on this magnificent achievement. The editors have distinguished and well-deserved reputations in biblical studies, while the authors, some better known than others, are uniformly well-qualified and in the forefront of our field. . . . As a person with some experience in the reference work business, I can recommend the new arrival with utmost enthusiasm.

—David Noel Freedman, Editor-in-Chief, Anchor Yale Bible (84 Vols.)

This dictionary clearly recognizes the distinction between history as what happened in the past and history as a written record of the past, and gives sustained attention to each. Students will profit immensely from concise statements of the historical issues and from the fair presentation of all major points of view. The bibliographical references should stimulate those who want to dig deeper, and the dictionary format will surely please those who want to and/or need to focus their reading. At a time when so many issues in Israel's history are contested, this dictionary provides a reliable and competent guide.

—Ralph W. Klein, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Given the dramatic developments in the study of ancient Israelite history and historical writing over the past two decades, the publication of an up-to-date dictionary is a most welcome development. Arnold and Williamson have assembled a well-respected international team of scholars to provide readers with clear, concise and helpful overviews of a variety of relevant topics.

—Gary N. Knoppers, Head, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, The Pennsylvania State University

An invaluable guide to the Historical Books which sums up current thinking on all the major issues. Readers can rely on this work for the best in today's scholarship.

—John Barton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford

With entries ranging from 'agriculture' to 'Zion traditions,' Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books attempts a 'total context' treatment of the Historical Books of the Old Testament. Since these books are concerned with much more than 'history,' this approach is absolutely right, and is admirably carried through. I am particularly pleased to see the level of awareness of recent developments in biblical and archaeological study in many of the articles. This is a very valuable addition to the IVP dictionary series.

—Robert P. Gordon, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge

It is quite a testimony to a dictionary to say I could hardly resist the temptation to read it through from "Aaron" to "Zerubbabel." History, archaeology, everyday life, theology, religion, geography, critical theories, hermeneutics—it's all there, in articles written by a very wide range of top scholars and younger experts. It is a marvelous volume.

John Goldingay, David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

One of the best dictionaries I have encountered, this volume on the Historical Books of the Old Testament is a veritable gold mine of information, clearly and competently presented. The treatments are rich and complete, accessible to any reader. Some of them provide as fine a concise guide to the topic under consideration as can be found. Not only does the volume take up obvious and important topics, such as the main historical figures, historical issues and biblical books; it also engages hermeneutical, theological and linguistic matters. In some cases, while the essay is focused on the Historical Books, it will serve as a way into the topic within the whole of Scripture. The authors come from a wide spectrum of points of view, but they all work to present a broad and full picture of the issues under discussion. A valuable reference tool for anyone working in the Scriptures.

—Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary

Contains fairly even and well-balanced entries that provide a panoramic view of the present landscape in this segment of scholarly research on the historical books, the history of Israel, and relevant archaeological evidence. The contributors to the dictionary, however, do not merely present but also evaluate data. . . . This affordable reference work can benefit all who desire to gain something from its clear presentation of the material, whether undergraduates, graduate students, or scholars.

—Steven J. Schweitzer, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 69, 2007

. . . This volume provides up-to-date scholarship not only on all the historical books but also world studies relevant to the material covered. An excellent companion for study of a section of the Old Testament canon often neglected.

—Arie C. Leder for Calvin Theological Journal, November 2007

Bill T. Arnold is Director of Hebrew Studies and Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, including 1 & 2 Samuel, Encountering the Old Testament, and (with John H. Choi) A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. He co-edited The Face of Old Testament Studies.

H. G. M. Williamson is Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University, on the faculty of The Oriental Institute and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the Old Testament, including commentaries on 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as The Book Called Isaiah and Studies in Persian Period History and Historiography.

Product Details

  • Title: IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle (2 vols.)
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Editors: T. Desmond Alexander, David W. Baker, Bill T. Arnold, and H. G. M. Williamson
  • Volumes: 2
  • Pages: 2,014