Ronald F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, and R. K. Harrison, ed. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: New and Enhance Edition. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2014. 1280 pp. $49.99
There are several tools indispensable for every serious student of the Bible, one of which is a quality Bible dictionary. For the academically inclined layperson or pastor as well as seminarians and scholars, IVP Academic’s 8-volume black dictionary set is as good as it gets. But that’s an expensive investment, and so most Christians will probably begin with the best one-volume Bible dictionary they can find, and possibly build up to a full set over time. One of the most comprehensive and trustworthy one-volume Bible dictionaries is Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary. In this new edition, every entry of the 1986 original was reviewed, updated, or replaced as necessary. Original features such as hundreds of color photographs, a study and teaching outline for each book of the Bible, and extensive charts, tables, and diagrams, were retained. This Bible dictionary also features a helpful visual survey of the Bible before the dictionary proper. In addition, the dictionary utilizes an extensive cross-referencing system.
With plenty of pictures, large typeface, and generally short articles in accessible language, this is probably the best one-volume dictionary for the beginning Bible student (e.g. new believers or Christians just starting to study the Bible seriously). For the more advanced, the best one-volume Bible dictionary is still IVP Academic’s New Bible Dictionary edited by I. Howard Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, and D. J. Wiseman.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.