Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 42:2 (Jun 1999)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Edited by Willem A. VanGemeren. 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997, vol. 1: li + 1156 pp., vol. 2: xlix + 1152 pp., vol. 3: xlix + 1296 pp., vol. 4: xlix + 1322 pp., vol. 5: vii + 834 pp., $199.99.

Biblical lexicographers are enjoying the publication of a number of new and important dictionaries over the past several years with more to appear on the horizon. David Clines’ Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, begun in 1993, continues to appear steadily, with vol. four (yodh-lamedh) now available. The German third edition of Koehler and Baumgartner is now complete with most of the volumes in English translation already available. Volume nine of Botterweck and Ringgren’s Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (mārad-nāqâ) is the series’ most recent release, and Mark Biddle has translated Jenni and Westermann’s classic work Theologisches Handbuch zum Alten Testament (1997). Lust, Eynikel and Hauspie completed their Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint in 1996. To these may be added the forthcoming Princeton Classical Hebrew Dictionary, edited by J. J. M. Roberts, and most significantly the Old Testament Dictionary of Semantic Domains under the guidance of J. P. Louw and sponsored by the South African Bible Society. It is in this context of lexicographical ferment that the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (hereafter referred to simply as “the Dictionary” appears.

The Dictionary is a major accomplishment in itself and one is hard put to criticize a work of such scope and magnitude. More than two hundred scholars from more than 25 countries and 100 institutions contributed to roughly 3000 lexical and topical/subject entries. This five-volume work of approximately 1200 pages each took eight years, one general editor, six associate editors and six consulting editors to complete.

The Dictionary is presented as the OT counterpart to Colin Brown’s New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, completed 20 years ago. Its scope and conception, however, are quite different. In chiastic fashion, the main body of the work—the lexical dictionary—is preceded on the one hand by introductory, methodological essays and followed on the other by a dictionary of topical/subject studies. The introductory essays are ten in number and total more than 200 pages in themselves. Compiled together as a “Guide to Old Testament Theology and Exegesis,” the essays cover a wide variety of subjects from textual criticism to linguistics and theology. The inclusion of these essays greatly enhances the value of the set. Immediat...

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