Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Review :: Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary (New and Enhanced Edition) by General Editor: Ronald F. Youngblood, Contributors: F. F. Bruce and R. K. Harrison

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary (New and Enhanced Edition) is a great resource to keep on hand. This is a new/enhanced edition. (A complete revision was done in 1995 - this version includes © dates of 1986, 1995, and 2014.) 

The Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary lists and defines key words based on the NKJV, but also has variants from 5 other translations - KJV, NASB, REB, NIV, and NRSV. The inclusion of all these variations will make this edition easily compatible with pretty much whatever Bible version you have on hand.
The Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary does not only include words found in the Bible - it also includes related themes and ideas, such as "Archaeology of the Bible", "Bible, Interpretation of the", "Bible Versions and Translations", etc. There are also entries for each book of the Bible that include "A Study and Teaching Outline", which are great for a quick overview and reference of each book. There are also a variety of study helps included in the Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pages x through xxxviii). The entries range from a single line to multiple pages (there are 12 pages for the entry "Jesus Christ"). 

As the title implies, the Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary includes illustrations (some drawn, some photos) throughout. I must admit that I had higher hopes for the illustrated portion of this Bible dictionary. With "Illustrated" being obviously highlighted in the title, I hoped to see more images (and more prominent images) among the dictionary entries. There are over 1200 pages with over 500 images - I just had hoped the ratio would be weighted a bit more on the illustration side. Even so, the images are definitely a welcome addition to the informative text and will be especially appreciated when using this with a family. I especially appreciate the topographical illustrations which show the surface structure of the land. 
In addition to the photos and illustrations, there are 9 maps in the back of the Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, similar to those you will find in the back of many Bibles. 

The Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary includes the "Fan-Tab™ Thumb Index Reference System" (which I believe is just a fancy term for the index color being visible on the closed page edges - making it easy to find which letter you are looking for). 

All in all, I am happy to have the Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary on our bookshelf and I think it will be a handy resource for our family. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

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