This week, we are pleased to announce two new additions for the Accordance Library from Baker books.
Although the field has been growing, there have only been a handful of truly useful theological dictionaries in recent years, and even fewer have seen second editions. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter Elwell, has proven itself to be not only useful, but also one of the most respected of these kinds of works.
In a way, the previous edition was already a second attempt because it was adapted, and greatly honed down, from the much larger Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, a standard reference tool for many pastors and academics from over a generation ago. Now, in an official second edition, The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology has proved itself as a mature and fine-tuned theological reference of the highest quality.
The first edition contained 1200 articles; and in the second edition, 215 articles were added, and 100 less-relevant articles were deleted. One of the newest features of the second edition is the decision to add living theologians—such as James Cone, George Lindbeck, J. I. Packer, Wolfhart Pannenberg, and Rosemary Reuther—to the volume. In addition to these, Elwell notes in the preface to the second edition that
We also wanted to include some of the newer theological trends that have risen in prominence since the first edition, such as Canonical Criticism, Empirical Theology, and Postliberal Theology, as well as some of the more controversial topics of interest, such as the Jesus Seminar, Deconstructionism, and Spiritual Warfare. Significant articles were updated or sometimes rewritten where it was deemed necessary, such as Church Growth Movement, Evangelicalism, and Dispensationalism. Bibliographies were updated, cross-references were upgraded, and articles were added where needed to balance out some of the older categories, such as Cloud of Unknowing, History of Religion School, and Religious Language. We also added some articles that should have been in the original edition, but for one reason or another weren’t, such as Sociology of Religion.
Click on the image above for larger view of The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology
Of course, theological dictionaries are rarely the end of research, but rather a means to quickly get acquainted with a particular subject. No doubt, for many, The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology will become a first-stop reference when researching a topic. Accordance users will be glad to know that our developers have carefully examined the entire text of The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology and have tagged all content according to the following fields: English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Manuscripts, Bibliography, Authors and Page Numbers. This allows readers to quickly find the exact information sought after during study and research.
The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology will normally sell for $59.90, but through June 22, Accordance users can obtain this work at the introductory price of $44.90.
“Furthermore, of these, my son, be warned. There is no end to the making of many books!”
While there is almost always some value in almost every series, many of them suffer from being uneven. And with 66 books in the Protestant Bible alone, this is hardly to be unexpected; inevitably, some volumes will be better or worse than others.
Perhaps this issue is where the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms can offer a bit of distinction. I find this series to be consistently good throughout in what I’ve read of it so far, and I believe that comes from the fact that the writers did not try to concentrate on the entire Bible, but rather they focused only on one part of it, Psalms and wisdom literature.
Moreover, the narrowed focus of this series utilizes some of the best Evangelical writers already known for their familiarity with these specific texts of the Old Testament:
Job – Tremper Longman III
Psalms – John Goldingay
Proverbs – Tremper Longman III
Ecclesiastes – Craig G. Bartholomew
Song of Songs – Richard S. Hess
What is the target audience for the Baker Commentary of the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms? Longman also explains this in the series preface:
We believe the primary users of commentaries are scholars, ministers, seminary students, and Bible study leaders. Of these groups, we have most in mind clergy and future clergy, namely, seminary students. We have tried to make the commentary accessible to nonscholars by putting most of the technical discussion and interaction with secondary literature in the footnotes.
The commentary alone in this series is excellent, but each volume also includes an index to ancient literature referenced, divided into these categories: Babylonian Prayers (in the Psalms volumes), Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic Writings, Apostolic/Church Fathers, Mesopotamian Writings, Classical Writers, Egyptian Instructions (in the Proverbs volume), Josephus, and other Ancient Near Eastern Sources.
Click on the image above or a larger view of
the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Wisdom & Psalms
The value of The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms comes from its detailed content tagging. Accordance developers have examined the content of all seven volumes and applied the following fields to this series: Reference, Titles, English Content, Scripture, Greek Content, Hebrew Content, Transliteration, Translation, Manuscripts, Bibliography, Authors and Page Numbers. This allows the reader to perform very specific searches of the content which saves time when researching topics.
The Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Wisdom and Psalms will normally sell for $299 for the Accordance Library, but through June 22, Accordance users can obtain all seven volumes for the introductory price of $249.