The New Bible Dictionary: Preface

Authors' Bias | Interpretation: conservative

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 Standard Version.

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

"It is a marvel of comprehension and a compendium of knowledge. It will take its sure place as a constant companion for this generation." George A. F. Knight

"I doubt if there is any better value for the money today. As a basic book for every thinking Christian's library, it is indispensable." John Stott

Taken from "The New Bible Dictionary" edited by Howard I. Marshall, A.R. Millard, J.I. Packer, and D.J. Wiseman. ©1996 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/UK. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, 38 De Montfort St., Leicester, England, United Kingdom. (

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