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Anchor Dictionary - to buy or not to Buy


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#1 fmcfee

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:15 PM

Hi,

 

I am a conservative person.... but I am studying the points raised by scholars like Bart Ehrhman, he cites: Raymond Brown among others...my question is would "the Anchor dictionary" help me understand the "historicity" issues ....concerning manuscripts like the Nag Hammadi, etc compared to the Bible ....

 

OR.....Would I be better off to buy hard copies of specific references..commentaries,etc (I have searched and Accordance does not offer any of the documents referenced)....

 

So what I am asking is for someone is familiar with "Anchor Bible Dictionary" to help me decide....I appreciate any feedback positive or negative...

 

I know this is a some what subjective question...

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Frank



#2 Ken Simpson

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:38 PM

Hi Frank.

that's a tough question because it's all about relative worth and usefulness.

 

On a personal note, I bought AYBD many years ago now in Accordance and have not once regretted the purchase. While, like you, I am quite conservative theologically I find the alternative viewpoint stimulating and challenging. AYBD gives a great summary of where things were at twenty-five years ago. Despite it's increasing age, it is still a wonderful resource.

 

However, as with any Bible dictionary, it is really just the jumping off point for serious study, so you will probably find yourself using AYBD as an informed bibliography (a very well informed one mind you) in order to hit the library for the particular discussions.

 

I think it's a great resource. I use it regularly, but you need to weigh your intended particular usage of any such module.


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#3 fmcfee

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:47 PM

Hi Frank.

that's a tough question because it's all about relative worth and usefulness.

 

On a personal note, I bought AYBD many years ago now in Accordance and have not once regretted the purchase. While, like you, I am quite conservative theologically I find the alternative viewpoint stimulating and challenging. AYBD gives a great summary of where things were at twenty-five years ago. Despite it's increasing age, it is still a wonderful resource.

 

However, as with any Bible dictionary, it is really just the jumping off point for serious study, so you will probably find yourself using AYBD as an informed bibliography (a very well informed one mind you) in order to hit the library for the particular discussions.

 

I think it's a great resource. I use it regularly, but you need to weigh your intended particular usage of any such module.

Ken,

 

Thanks so much for your response......I decided to buy it and it does appear to contain a lot of the information I was looking for....SO I really appreciate your reply..

 

Frank


Edited by fmcfee, 17 September 2013 - 05:25 PM.


#4 Fr. Rich

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:25 PM

There was a time when my only electronic resources were a couple of Bible translations and the AYBD. Fortunately, my resources have expanded considerably but the AYBD was very valuable in preparing to teach and preach. I am probably more liberal than either you or Ken but not as liberal as you might think. I have never regretted my purchase of the AYBD. I think though that Ken is right to note its age. We have actually learned some stuff in the past 25 years! Still AYBD gives you that "very well informed bibliography" of which Ken speaks.


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#5 Dan Francis

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:11 PM

Ken,

 

Thanks so much for your response......I decided to buy it and it does appear to contain a lot of the information I was looking for....SO I really appreciate your reply..

 

Frank

 

I don't think you will ever regret it. And as liberalness i know back around it;s release it was criticized a lot for it's liberalness but time has seemed to make it a favourite among all stripes.

 

-Dan 



#6 Ken Simpson

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:39 PM

Good to see I have some agreement! I have found it invaluable as a resource and a counterpoint. Always stimulating, always interesting. I don't think you will regret it even if it is a little off the pace of current scholarship.


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#7 Joe Weaks

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:00 AM

It is the singlemost useful reference tool for biblical topic survey in my 20 years in congregational ministry.


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#8 fmcfee

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:03 PM

Thanks Everybody for your replies!

 

I appreciate the input and I am impressed with the "vastness" and the bibliography of AYBD....I appreciate "honest" scholarship even when I may not agree...getting different opinions helps me to understand other's viewpoints....but I always "do my own homework and come to my own conclusions"....

 

Frank



#9 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:38 PM

I am also biblically conservative, but find AYBD very helpful in bringing me up to speed with the larger discussions in biblical studies, including views I may not normally hear. It is THE standard Bible dictionary in university circles, to such an extent that those that do not consult it are considered ill-informed. Those who wish to engage the larger scholarly community in discussion need to consult it regularly.


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#10 fmcfee

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 01:06 PM

I am also biblically conservative, but find AYBD very helpful in bringing me up to speed with the larger discussions in biblical studies, including views I may not normally hear. It is THE standard Bible dictionary in university circles, to such an extent that those that do not consult it are considered ill-informed. Those who wish to engage the larger scholarly community in discussion need to consult it regularly.

Dr. J,

 

Thanks for taking the time out to answer my post.....I appreciate your input...I don't know if you have heard about the Green Scholars Initiative...they purchase Biblical and non-Bibilcal historically significant texts and do research with several universities...they also have world class scholars (mostly conservative) give lectures that defend the Bible from a historical, text critical, etc viewpoint (it is not a debate forum)....they try to be non-denominational and have had an exhibit at the Vatican...the website  if you are interested is:

http://www.greenscholarsinitiative.org

 

This website shows a little of their display which has traveled around the US and also store for DVDs, etc 

I have purchased a lot of their DVDs and have learned a lot...it not often "a non-scholar" but serious student of the Bible has the opportunity to hear "reports" from scholars on topics they are researching or "experts"in....

This website shows a little of their display which travels and a store for DVDs, etc 

http://www.explorepassages.com

Thanks Again!

Frank


Edited by fmcfee, 19 September 2013 - 01:13 PM.





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