Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Second Edition): Preliminary Observations Part I

Well, Christmas came early for me as I received the highly-anticipated second edition of the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels in the mail yesterday. Thanks to Adrianna Wright and the good folks at IVP Academic for sending a review copy along!

I plan on doing a series of posts on this fine resource, but for now, I have only been able to take a cursory look. What I can tell you may sound like "Mr. Master of the Obvious," but I'll say it anyway, this volume is impressive. Quite simply if you are a NT student/scholar, you need to find room in your budget and bookshelves and get this volume. With SBL coming up, there will be a healthy discount, but even at full price, $60.00, this volume is a steal.

Just some quick stats that I had a chance to compile, comparing the first and second editions:

Page Count (1st edition): 896 (without indices), 933 pp. total
                    (2nd edition): 1,023 (without indices), 1088 pp. total

Number of Articles (1st edition): 176
                                 (2nd edition): 173

Number of Contributors: (1st edition): 95
                                          (2nd edition): 128

From the above stats, it becomes quickly apparent that the second edition is substantially bigger and more contributors participated in writing dictionary entries. I was a bit surprised that the number of entries was slightly less in the second volume. However, a caveat is in order, as I believe (this point still needs confirming), that many entry topics were combined in the second edition. Moreover, it appears the second edition has expanded its coverage as I saw entries for Post-Colonial, African-American, Latin, and Feminist Criticism(s) of the Gospels to name a few.

For all intents and purposes, the second edition is a near stand-alone from the first edition. For that reason, I recommend keeping the first if you do own it. It can be said, and this is saying a lot, that the second edition more than lives up to the standard of the IVP "Black Series" of Dictionaries. I cannot wait to dig in!

More to come...


Unknown said...

You mentioned 60 dollars as the price. CBD price is around 37bucks, minus shipping. I would advise your readers to purchase from them. I pre-ordered this from CBD months ago and am eagerly awaiting its arrival in a few days. I was planning on giving my old copy away but based on what you have said, I think I will hang on to it.

Unknown said...

Sixty bucks is a hefty price. I suggest your readers order from CBD, although I suspect most of them already know to do that. I pre-ordered my copy months ago. The price is around 37 dollars minus shipping.