Category Archives: Study Tools

Noteworthy Book – The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary

One of the most helpful tools that any student of the Bible can own is a good Bible dictionary. While there are a number of different ones available, there has been a recent addition that is worth noting: The Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary, edited by Tremper Longman III.

Weighing in at a hefty 5.6 pounds, this reference work contains over 5,000 articles in its 1,700+ pages. Complementing the articles are over 400 full color illustrations, maps, and pictures to further enhance the content. Colored tabs on the edge of the pages makes it easy to find a subject quickly. Despite its girth this dictionary uses readable font and is attractively laid out. More than 100 different scholars contributed articles.

I had the privilege of contributing the following articles: citizen/citizenship, Clement, courier, fellowship, fulfill/fulfillment, impute/imputation, inheritance, new birth, paraclete, priesthood of believers, reconciliation, regeneration, salvation, and sin.

If you are interested in taking a sneak peek inside the dictionary, you can follow the link above to the Amazon page and click on the image of the book. I highly recommend this resource as a companion for your own reading and study of the Bible.

Noteworthy Book – NA28 & ESV NT Diglot

Earlier this Fall the German Bible Society released the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graeca 28th edition, the latest version of the critical text of the New Testament. It includes  34 changes to the text, all of which are in James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude. And they even revised the critical apparatus to include more witnesses and make it easier to read.

But I am most excited about this particular edition: The Greek-English New Testament: Nestle-Aland 28th Edition and English Standard Version published by Crossway. It has the complete text of the NA-28 (including introduction and appendices), but in a much larger format to make it easier to read. On each facing page is the ESV translation, usually with half a page of blank space at the bottom of each page (great for notes!). The cloth-over-board binding seems solid and lays open nicely as it rests upon my desk.

I only have two small quibbles that I think would have made this version even better. First, there are no cross-references included for the ESV. This is disappointing, as I thrive on being able to use these. True, the NA28 has its own set of cross-references, but they are not as extensive as those included in the ESV. Second, there are no bookmark ribbons. Its just nice to be able to open immediately to the exact place you want.

Even with these two quibbles, I warmly commend this tool as a way of combining your love for the Greek text of the New Testament with the best English translation available.

Free Trial of Sage Journals

Until October 31, Sage Journals is offering a free trial that allows you access to all of their journals, including free downloads of pdf copies of the articles since 1999. This is relevant to you because their journals include: Journal for the Study of the New Testament (JSNT), Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (JSOT), Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, and Expository Times.

You can sign up for your free trial here.

Google Books – Use It

I am guessing that at least some of you are already familiar with this tool, but some may not be: Google books. This tools allows you to search for and view pages from an astonishing number of books. Ihave found this especially helpful as I work on revisions for my dissertation. I come across a book that is referenced and I want to look at it, but my school’s library does not have a copy. I could use Interlibrary Loan and wait for several days for the book to arrive. Or, I can search for it in Google Books, find the relevant section, and get what I need in a matter of seconds.

The only downside is that for copyright reasons some pages/sections of some books are omitted. So sometimes the section I want is not available. But in most cases it is. An additional advantage is that if I know that a book is available on Google books I do not need to take the hard copy with me when I travel, thus lightening the load.

If you are familiar with other helpful tools available on the web, feel free to leave them in the comments.