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Biblical Studies Resources

An orientation to selected resources in Harvard Divinity School Library and in online resources licensed by the Harvard Library for the study of the Bible

Bible Dictionaries

The Anchor Bible Dictionary

This dictionary is both accessible to a general audience and faithful to current scholarship. Entry topics range from archaeological sites, proper names, and historical events to the individual books of the canonical Bible, as well as Apocryphal texts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Nag Hammadi codices. It tends to more thoroughly cover cultural history, social institutions, and methodology, paying less attention to topics such as word studies and commentaries than previous dictionaries like Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament or The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. Helpful bibliographies are included with most entries. Organization is sometimes confusing, due to the lack of an index, but cross references are provided in entries.

The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (Print Only)

While in large measure superseded by The Anchor Bible Dictionary, this resource is a source of sound scholarship and superior organization. Like most Bible dictionaries of its time, it is less interested with methodological concerns than with compiling facts and attempting to reach a theological synthesis. Occasionally, articles that cannot be found in The Anchor Bible Dictionary can be found here. Bibliographies are included with some articles, but the bibliographies found in The Anchor Bible Dictionary are by far more current.

The New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (Print Only)

This five-volume set includes over 7,000 entries that cover personal and geographical names, the Near Eastern and Greco-Roman context of the biblical world, methods of biblical interpretation, and theological and ethical concepts. It is not a revision of the older Interpreter's Dictionary, but a completely new work by scholars from around the world who represent a variety of perspectives from different theological traditions (Protestant, Catholic, Jewish), diverse theological trajectories (conservative and liberal), and the social locations of gender, ethnicity, and race.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible (Harvard Login)

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible  contains almost 150 in-depth entries, ranging in length from 500 to 10,000 words, on each of the canonical books of the Bible, major apocryphal books of the New and Old Testaments, important noncanonical texts, and thematic essays on topics such as canonicity, textual criticism, and translation. This title is also available in print.

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Print Only)

This multivolume work is a translation of Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament (Print Only), a collaboration of German scholars that began publication in 1932. It includes articles on "theologically significant" words in the contexts of secular Greek background, Septuagint and Hebrew Old Testament, New Testament, apostolic works (less frequent), and rabbinic and other Jewish literature (less frequent). The index includes English and Greek keywords, Hebrew and Aramaic words, biblical references, and an index of contributors. The dictionary employs the somewhat controversial method of equating theological concepts with words, thus applying those concepts to every usage of the word.

Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament

This multivolume work is a translation of Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Alten Testament. The articles in this resource cover the fundamental concepts of "theologically significant" words from the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. Careful attention is paid to the nuances of meaning throughout different traditions. Earlier volumes are less likely to treat Qumran, pseudepigrapha, and rabbinic materials than later volumes. Near Eastern languages outside of Hebrew are consistently utilized for purposes of explication. Bibliographies and citations are extensive.

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