Posted by: nancyisanders | October 23, 2014

Book Review: Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary


Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: New and Enhanced Edition
General Editor: Ronald F. Youngblood

The Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: New and Enhanced Edition (NIBD) is a one-volume A to Z dictionary of words and terms found in the Bible. Full color photographs are scattered throughout of Bible-land scenes, archaeological discoveries, and models of ancient cities or biblical items. Nine maps and a map-index conclude the volume.

Some of the features I appreciate in the NIBD include:
* Five Steps To Better Bible Study Using the NIBD. This is an amazing section in the front that shows us how to use the NIBD to understand a Bible passage in a much more thorough way. Great tool for digging deeper into the Scriptures.
* Visual Survey of the Bible: Amazing charts and timelines show visually how the books of the Bible are related with each other, with people in the Bible, with eras of history, and with God’s eternal plan of redemption through Jesus.
* Pronunciation guide: I am currently writing scripts for biblical characters for our church and find this invaluable, especially since the director of the event asked me how to pronounce some of the names and I wasn’t sure until I looked them up here.
* Definition of biblical names: I wish I had this when I was writing a manuscript last month that required this. I had to look this up in different sources and it was so tedious. Now I have this handy in the NIBD for the next time this happens.

As a writer, this Bible dictionary is very helpful. It provides solid and reliable references to my research on the Bible and Bible times. As someone who likes to read and study the Bible each day, this dictionary is a ready resource that helps answer questions I have about the different books of the Bible as well as historical context of the passages I’m reading. As a person who serves in ministry at our church, this Bible dictionary is very handy to use for digging up details that help prepare faith-based activities for families or seasonal events such as a live nativity at Christmas. This is also a reliable resource for students in homeschooling families or Christian schools to use when writing school reports or working on various projects.

Of course, you can’t get as thorough of details in a one-volume reference as you could in a multi-volume Bible encyclopedia, but the entries in this book give a succint overview and basic understanding of each topic. The cross-references seem very thorough and many definitions are supported with a reference to Scripture (such as the entry: SIN) so that the reader can look up what the Bible says.

The approach this dictionary takes is non-denominational in that it tries not to support one church’s doctrine over another. In general, most topics are explained using the Bible as the source for the definitions. On some topics that various denominations differ on, (such as the entry: THE MILLENNIUM) the NIBD is careful to point out that there are several different positions regarding that issue as well as briefly explains each one.

The NIDB has useful groupings of general topics such as ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE, OCCUPATIONS AND TRADES, and PLANTS OF THE BIBLE. I like how in the section on WEIGHTS/MEASURES OF THE BIBLE, it compares the measurements to modern standards as well as lists the different word it’s referred to in different versions of the Bible.

The abundance of archaeological photographs and textual evidence makes this a good tool for high school and college students (and adults!) to use to defend their faith. This information shows our faith is based on facts and actual historical events, not just a fairy tale or myth.

-Thanks, BookLook Bloggers for another wonderful free book in exchange for my honest review!

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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