We have been very greatly encouraged by the continuing and consistent demand for the New Bible
Dictionary since it was first published in 1962 and revised in 1982. The major part of this reference
work still stands and has required little or no modification to maintain its claim to be ‘New’ and
up-to-date. Recent research, however, especially in the cultural and archaeological areas, needed
to be incorporated. This has been done in this third edition wherever possible, subject to the limits
imposed by the existing format. The opportunity has been taken to update the bibliographical entries
and to make them more relevant for the reader of today. Also the work now makes reference to the New
International Version of the Bible and other more recent translations in addition to the Revised
The revised volume reflects the same evangelical viewpoint as the previous editions
and continues to embody loyalty to Holy Scripture as God’s Word to humankind. The contributors are
drawn largely, but not exclusively, from the membership of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical Research,
part of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (formerly Inter-Varsity Fellowship).
Individual authors and revisers are responsible only for their own contributions and do not necessarily
endorse all the opinions expressed by their colleagues; no attempt has been made to impose any rigid
uniformity upon the work as a whole or to exclude the expression of different opinions within the
bounds of our basic understanding of Holy Scripture.
We are grateful to many academic colleagues for their helpful co-operation. In most cases
the original authors of articles have been responsible for updating their entries. Where this has not
been possible, other contributors have made the necessary revision. In addition, a number of fresh
entries have been written for this volume.
We are indebted above all to Derek Wood for undertaking the hard task of organizing this
revision; also to Philip Hillyer and Andrew Warren for their painstaking work on the bibliographies,
to Steve Carter for patient labour on both the bibliographies and the index and to Lyn Saville for
checking both manuscripts and proofs.
This new edition of the New Bible Dictionary builds on the foundations laid by
the editors of former editions and we gratefully acknowledge our indebtedness to J. D. Douglas, the
Organizing Editor of the original work and Norman Hillyer, Revision Editor for the second edition. We
remember too with gratitude the masterful work of our late colleagues R. V. G. Tasker (first edition),
F. F. Bruce and Donald Guthrie (first and second editions). The patient care, consistent labour and wide
understanding of these and other fellow-labourers have ensured a continuing life for a volume that is
still, we believe, much needed for on-going Christian witness in the church today.
Our desire and prayer is that this new edition will, like its predecessors, enable all
its users, teachers and students of the Bible alike, to reach a fuller understanding of the Word of
God and its message for us today.
I. H. M., A. R. M., J. I. P., D. J. W.
"The text is clearly written, up to date, cognizant of critical theories, yet true to the Bible
as God’s Word and replete with helpful information. This work is destined to become a standard that will
be turned to often by students and ministers alike." Christianity Today