Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 132:528 (Oct 1975)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Edited by Merrill C. Tenney. 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975. $79.95.

How does one go about reviewing a five-volume set consisting of about 7,500 articles (some of them the size of a small book) spread over more than 5,000 pages? The book jacket contains this statement: “Drawing upon the best in current evangelical scholarship,” this encyclopedia provides “Bible students everywhere with a comprehensive and dependable library of biblical information.” Can this claim be supported?

Reliability of the General Editor (Merrill C. Tenney), and Associate Editor (Stephen Barabas) has been demonstrated by the reception of The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary, which they edited in 1963. It should be mentioned that the Encyclopedia (which contains highly specialized and exhaustive articles) is an entirely new publication, in no way a revision of the Dictionary. That the work is theologically conservative is evident from the identity of the editors, consulting editors, list of contributors (238 evangelical scholars from nine English-speaking countries) and the publisher. Consulting editors were Gleason L. Archer and R. Laird Harris (Old Testament), Harold B. Kuhn and Addison H. Leitch (Theology), and E. M. Blaiklock (Archeology). Contributors include four Dallas Seminary faculty members (Kenneth L. Barker, Harold W. Hoehner, Bruce K. Waltke, and John F. Walvoord) and ten alumni.

This encyclopedia rates high when compared with other Bible encyclopedias. In some respects it might be considered the evangelical counterpart to the four-volume liberal Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. It is obviously more up to date (and no less exhaustive) than the older International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (five volumes). The only other comparable set is the new Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia (two vols: Moody Press) which is less exhaustive than Zondervan’s.

The five volumes are well bound in distinctively designed covers. The last volume closes with a section of 32 pages of the standard Rand McNally Bible maps with the inclusion of one on modern-day Israel marking the territory added in the 1967 war. Illustrations, charts, graphs, and outline maps are present throughout the five volumes. A section of colored photographs is included in each volume.

A good point that characterizes most of the articles is a pertinent bibliography for further study on each topic. However, this reviewer found annoying the absence of any cross references between articles. For example, there are separate articles on “Christ, Temptation of” and “Tempt...

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