The cordial reception given to the publication of The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible
in 1963 revealed the need for a more extensive work that would deal in greater detail with the technical
aspects of Biblical backgrounds and interpretation. The previous volume, as stated in its Introduction,
"was gauged for the use of pastors, Sunday-school teaches, Bible class leaders, and students who desire
concise and accurate information on questions raised by ordinary reading." Because of the necessity
of restricting its contents to one volume, it was not possible to include much information that would have
been useful and illuminating.
The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible is intended to include a larger
body of material, and to supply more detail for scholarly study. Many of the articles are highly specialized
and more exhaustive than those appearing in the Dictionary. None of these is, however, merely an
expansion of the articles in the Dictionary; each of them has been specially composed for this
immediate publication. All of them are written by experts in their respective fields, and some of the
articles are monographs written exclusively for the Encyclopedia. From cover to cover the work is
new; it is not reedited from its predecessor.
The scope of this Encyclopedia is intended to cover directly or indirectly all
persons, places, objects, customs, and historical events and major teachings of the Bible. Not all are
treated separately; some will necessarily be subsumed under larger topics. It is, however, designed to
be a comprehensive survey of general Biblical and theological knowledge.
The critical and theological position of this work is conservative. All viewpoints of
Biblical scholarship are mentioned and are given fair representation, but the emphasis is that of historic
Christianity. Allowance has been made for varying opinions within this framework, and in some cases more
than one article on a given theme has been included in order to represent fairly differing doctrinal
interpretations. Occasionally one may find discrepancies between articles on historical and chronological
topics. These are often indicative of ambiguity in the original records, on which no final judgment is
easily attainable. Authors of articles have been accorded liberty to state their conclusions, provided
these conclusions are founded on a fundamental conviction of the veracity of the Biblical record.
The free use of pictures, diagrams and maps is intended to enhance the explanatory value
of the articles and to illustrate their meaning. The pictures are up-to-date, and have been supplied by
scholars who have traveled in Bible lands.
The Bible translations generally used as the basis for study include the Revised Standard
Version, the King James Version of 1611 and the American Standard Version of 1901. Authors of some articles
have provided original translations where they deemed such renderings to be helpful. Such changes or
comparisons have been noted in the respective articles.
A complete list of abbreviations is given to facilitate the understand of their use in
the articles and the references for further research. Contributors are identified by the brief vitae
listed in alphabetic order. Hebrew (in unpointed text) and Greek words are given wherever they underlie
the terms covered in articles, and their transliteration into English is included when necessary. The more
extensive articles are accompanied by bibliographies for the use of the reader, given in order of
publication so that the recent works will be more accessible.
We acknowledge gratefully the cooperation of those who supplied photographs and illustration,
including Dr. Gleason Archer, Dr. Martin Heicksen, Dr. Baastiaan Van Elderen, Mr. Eric Matson, and others
(see pages xxv and xxvi for list of sources).
Special thanks are offered to Dr. Steven Barabas, Associate Editor, who aided greatly
in the formulation of plans for the Encyclopedia and who contributed a large number of the articles;
to Drs. Gleason Archer and R. Laird Harris who assisted in the editing of contributions to the Old Testament
field; to Drs. Harold B Kuhn and the late Addison H Leitch, who reviewed theological articles; and to Dr.
E. M. Blaiklock, who contributed so greatly to the historical and archeological content. Grateful acknowledgment
is due also to Mrs. Helen J. Tenney for orthographical and rhetorical correction of the typescript, and
to Mrs. Dorothy Shaw for competent secretarial assistance. To Dr. Robert K. DeVries, Executive Vice-President,
Book Division, Mr. T. A. Bryant, Managing Editor, Mr. Edward Viening, Project Editor, and the other members
of the staff of Zondervan Publishing House, the Editor wishes to express his appreciation for their constant
support and courteous cooperation, as well as to all the scholars who have lent their effort, time, and
learning to the production of this work.
Merrill C. Tenney, Ph.D