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New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols.)
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New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols.)


Abingdon Press 2006–2009

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The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible in five volumes provides the best quality in contemporary biblical scholarship on a comprehensive range of topics, including the Old and New Testaments, the Deuterocanonical books, and contextual studies of the ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman worlds, and their literatures. The dictionary contains maps, charts, and illustrations to further clarify the written material. The biblical text used is the NRSV translation.

A diverse group of 900 scholars from 40 countries have contributed 7,100 fresh new articles with 8,400 entries including persons, places, things, theological concepts, and much more. These contributors were selected by the editorial board for their expertise in their field and for the quality of their scholarship in publication. Special care was taken to select authors who could provide a variety of perspectives from different theological traditions (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish), diverse theological trajectory (conservative and liberal), and from the social locations of gender, ethnicity, and race.

Topics are listed in alphabetical order from A–Z and evenly divided among the five volumes. The main entry includes a pronunciation guide. Hebrew and Greek origins of the entry follow, with transliteration. Longer articles contain an introduction that summarizes the topic and include a helpful outline to guide the reader. Articles conclude with a short bibliography and cross references to related articles. In each definition, authors strive to incorporate as many biblical instances of the term as possible in the given amount of space, and to discuss the theological, social, or ecclesial implications of the topic, so that the definitions are practical aids to the tasks of preaching, teaching, and study of the Bible.


  • The dictionary is a comprehensive aid to biblical studies in five volumes with a wider scope than a commentary. Pastors, teachers, and students can start with the dictionary for an in-depth introduction to a topic
  • Readers exposed to inclusive and diverse interpretation, while high standard of scholarship is maintained
  • More than 50,000 cross references expand coverage of each topic by leading to related articles
  • Emphasis on biblical and theological relevance of each topic provides a practical aid to preaching, teaching, and Bible study
  • Biblical languages for academic audiences, and transliteration for non-academic audiences allow all readers to study the nuances of terms in their original languages
  • Readers can skim long articles for relevant information
  • Readers will have a list of recommended resources for further reading
  • Readers can easily find useful visual aids which clarify written text

Key Features

  • 8400 entries in five volumes, including 1,300 cross references
  • 7,100 new articles
  • 900 scholar contributors from 40 nations
  • A–Z alphabetical order
  • Main entries with Hebrew, Greek, Transliteration Fonts
  • Summary introductions for long articles
  • Helpful outlines for long articles
  • Bibliographies
  • List of abbreviations for each volume
  • Index of maps, charts, photos, and illustrations
  • Peer reviewed by congregational leaders

Praise for the Print Edition

The New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary combines the latest biblical scholarship with the practical needs of pastors, teachers and students in a way that will deepen their understanding and enliven their experience of the living Word in Scripture.

—Rev. Jim Harnish, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Tampa, Florida

I’m looking forward to The New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary so I may continue with the work of the church. I’ve read many articles already, and it is very helpful when you are working on a sermon, a presentation, or preparing for a Bible study class.

—Rev. Evelene “Tweedy” Navarrete-Sombrero, Holbrook United Methodist Church, Holbrook, Arizona

Product Details

  • Title: New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible
  • Editor: Katharine Doob Sakenfeld
  • Publisher: Abingdon
  • Volumes: 5
  • Pages: 4,753

Individual Titles

New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 1

  • Publisher: Abingdon
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 843

Volume 1 covers A–C.

New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 2

  • Publisher: Abingdon
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 1,012

Volume 2 covers D–H.

New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 3

  • Publisher: Abingdon
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 936

Volume 3 covers I–Ma.

New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 4

  • Publisher: Abingdon
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 950

Volume 4 covers Me–R.

New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 5

  • Publisher: Abingdon
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 1,012

Volume 5 covers S–Z.