Reviews by David Stein
September 23, 2013  |  3:51 AM  |  Okay (3)
The dictionary itself warrants 4 stars, as dictionaries go. Like most of them, for the sake of ease of use it does not locate words within native (Israelite) semantic or cognitive domains -- which I view as a sad compromise. [With all due respect to lexicographers, whose work is extremely difficult and exacting, I don't know of any dictionary that I could award 5 stars to.] All things considered, the Concise DCH was still the one dictionary that I required my seminary students to purchase. ...
The dictionary itself warrants 4 stars, as dictionaries go. Like most of them, for the sake of ease of use it does not locate words within native (Israelite) semantic or cognitive domains -- which I view as a sad compromise. [With all due respect to lexicographers, whose work is extremely difficult and exacting, I don't know of any dictionary that I could award 5 stars to.] All things considered, the Concise DCH was still the one dictionary that I required my seminary students to purchase. Meanwhile, however, this digital edition presently suffers from an unusually high rate of production-related errors, which costs it another star in my rating.

OVERALL DESCRIPTION. The Concise DCH is a greatly abridged version of the recently completed 8-volume Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, which by the way was created using Accordance. This edition seems meant for quick reference and as a handy guide for word studies of one's own. It includes words used either in the Hebrew Bible, Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus), the Dead Sea Scrolls, or ancient Hebrew inscriptions.

Like most biblical dictionaries, each entry starts with an English gloss and then cites the most telling instances of the word in its extended or alternate meanings. In so doing, it quotes the relevant Hebrew phrase in which the word appears, allowing users a rough idea of how the word is used in various contexts. Unlike most dictionaries, its analyses of word meaning are original; for better or worse, it does not merely reproduce any (Jewish or Christian) chain of lexicological tradition.

(There's much more! Perhaps OakTree ought to post online the dictionary's Introduction, so that prospective buyers can read what the editor has to say about what makes this work distinctive.)

ERRORS. Unfortunately, this digital edition was created from the print edition via a method that (for the time being) impairs the dictionary's usefulness to scholars of biblical Hebrew. Specifically: in the abovementioned quotations of Hebrew phrases, the words often appear out of order. (In the entry for one common noun that I spot-checked, 9 out of 31 quotations were garbled.) Such garbling of the biblical text means that those quotations do not fulfill their promise of providing users with a quick overview of how the word was used.

OakTree promises to fix those relatively widespread errors eventually. Meanwhile, users of this module can "mouse-over" each verse citation, which will display that entire verse in Hebrew (if your Instant Details preferences are set to do so).
  [ FULL REVIEW ]

Back