The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 1

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 1

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 1

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The purpose of this encyclopedia is to define, identify, and explain terms and topics that are of interest for those who study the Bible. Thus it is like the 1915 ISBE in combining the defining function of a dictionary with the encyclopedia's presentation of more comprehensive information, summarizing the state of knowledge about each of its topics and leading the reader to further sources of information and insight.

The entries are of several types. Every name of a person or place mentioned in the Bible has an entry here. Often a person is mentioned only once in the Bible, and the little that can be said about him or her will take only a few lines. Yet it may be helpful simply to know that a passage in question has the only mention of this person, or that the same name in another part of the Bible does refer to a different person. Other persons, however, are more frequently mentioned and have more importance in the biblical story of salvation. In such cases the articles about them are much longer, and may have to gather information from widely scattered parts of the Bible (or even from sources outside the Bible) and summarize the story of that person's life and meaning.

The same is generally true of the names of places. Some remain unidentified, while others have long been known and have been studied by archeological investigation. Some are of little importance, while others played significant roles in the story of God's redemption of His people. Generally, the length of the article reflects the relative importance. But sometimes a site receives little space because little is (yet) known about it, while a site of lesser importance may receive longer discussion because of division of scholarly opinion about it, or because archeological study of it gives us information about other sites or about passages in the Bible which do not even mention it. The article on Debir, for example, is longer than its relative importance in the Bible might warrant . . .

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