— Biography and Sources —
HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, written by 46 contributors and edited by R. Laird Harris, Gleason J. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke. Published by the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago in 1980. Pleasantly written and conveniently organized. An excellent dictionary for beginning students of Biblical Hebrew. Sadly though: this dictionary omits almost all Biblical names.
BDB Theological Dictionary
The globally recognized standard dictionary of Biblical Hebrew: A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Francis Brown, S. R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs. Based on William Gesenius brilliant work. Published first in 1906 by the Oxford University Press and reprinted time and again. This dictionary contains nearly all Biblical names but offers an interpretation only rarely. Very helpful, however, is BDB's propensity to list Biblical names under the root they are suspected to derive from.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List
The New Open Bible Study Edition. Based on the 1960 New American Standard Bible and published in 1990, this study Bible was among the first of its kind. Its 'Topical Index to the Bible' also contains almost all the names that occur in the Bible, accompanied by an unargumented and sometimes inexplicable or easily refutable translation.
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names
First published in 1856 by Samuel Bagster, the famous onomasticon of Alfred Jones draws heavily from the work of William Gesenius and explains names usually according to their textual context, preferable the context perceived by Jones' unstoppable enthusiasm. Most of Jones' methods are presently considered outdated and ultimately incorrect.
Additional Hebrew Language
Klein's Etymological dictionary of the Hebrew Language; A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary Of The Hebrew Language Ernest Klein, 1987, Carta Jerusalem, The University of Haifa.
Botterweck's Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament in 11 volumes; 1974, William Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Fuerst's Hebrew & Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament; 1867, Julius Fuerst, Samuel Davidson, Williams and Norgate, London.
Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary); The Complete Wordstudy Dictionary - New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, 1992, AMG International, Inc. D/B/A AMG Publishers.
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Walter Bauer), William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, 1957, The University of Chicago Press.
Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon; online at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu
Here at Abarim Publications we love scrounging around used book stores in search of decades-old Bible commentaries. Of course, Biblical criticism has changed drastically over the last century, but for some reason, older commentaries seem to handle Biblical material with a kind of reverence that newer works rarely display and even at times condemn. Scholars of the previous century seem to focus much on the humanity of the characters of Biblical stories, whereas modern scholars appear to be predominantly interested in the motivations and cultural context of the author(s) and/or editors of the stories. To us here at Abarim Publications, both are interesting. Here's a list, from new to old, of thoroughly worn-out and dog-eared works we frequently consult:
T&T Clark Handbook of the Old Testament, Jan Christian Gertz, Angelika Berlejung, Konrad Schmid, Markus Witte, 2012, T&T Clark, New York, London
The Oxford Guide to Ideas & Issues of the Bible, Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, 2001, Oxford University Press
The Oxford History of the Biblical World, Michael D. Coogan, 1998, Oxford University Press
An Introduction to the Old Testament, Raymond B. Dillard, Tremper Longman III, 1994, Zondervan Publishing House, Michigan
The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, 1993, Oxford University Press
The Oxford Study Bible, A complete guide to the world of the Bible; revised English Bible with the Apocrypha, M. Jack Suggs, Katherine Doob Sakenfeld, James R. Mueller, 1992, Oxford University Press
The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament in 4 volumes, Jay P. Green, Sr; 1976, Hendrickson Publishers, Massachusetts
The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible, P. R. Ackroyd, A. R. C. Leany, J. W. Packer, 1965, Cambridge At The University Press
A Companion to the Bible, second edition, H. H. Rowley, 1963, T&T Clark, Edinburgh
An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, S. R. Driver, 1957, Meridian Books, New York
De Boeken van het Oude Testament & De Boeken van het Nieuwe Testament in 24 volumes, various authors and editors, 1950-1973, J. J. Romen & Zonen, Roermond and Maaseik.
The Bible Handbook of Difficult Verses, a complete guide to answering the tough questions, Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell, 2013, Harvest House Publishers, Oregon
The Transformation of Biblical Proper Names, Joze Krasovec, 2010, T&T Clark, New York, London
In The beginning; A short history of the Hebrew language, Joel, M. Hoffman, 2004, New York University Press
In Search of Paul, John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed, 2004, Harper San Francisco
What did the Biblical writers know & when did they know it?, William G. Dever, 2001, Eerdmans Publishing, Michigan
The Book of Revelation, G. K. Beale, 1999, Eerdmans Publishing, Michigan
Liberating the Gospels, John Shelby Spong, 1996, Harper One
The Historical Jesus, John Dominic Crossan, 1991, Harper San Francisco
The Times Atlas of the Bible, James B. Pritchard, 1987, Times Books, London
Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, Fred H. Wight, 1953, Moody Press, Chicago
Secular and Sideways
Here at Abarim Publications we seriously doubt that anyone is going to grasp the whole width and depth of the Bible anytime soon. Academic studies of the Bible become more and more comprehensive and the methods scholars devise to do so become more and more ingenious. Still, we've only seem to have scratched the surface of this inexplicable, enigmatic set of texts that was handed to us by antiquity.
The Bible dwarfs and darkens the Giza Plateau, the Nazca Lines and Stonehenge in compass and complexity. It contains information that we thought we didn't have until the twentieth century, and it stands to reason that the Bible contains information that we don't even know about yet. The Bible has baffled the intelligentsia of every age, and still manages to comfort even the most modestly capable reader.
People ask what the Bible is about. The answer is: everything. But what's the main objective of the Bible? The answer is: the preservation of life.
Trying to understand the Bible requires no less than an avid interest in everything else. We'd like to thank Heinz Pagels, James Gleick, Stephen Hawking, Stanislaw Deheane, Karen Armstrong, Steve Jones, Malcom Gladwell, Calvin C. Clawson, Gordon Hugenburger, Paul Hoffman, Robert Kanigel, James Surowiecki, Jack Miles, Dean Hamer, Susan Cain (ssst), Anthony Flew, Jacob Needleman, Bogoljub Sijakovic, Harold Bloom, Tony Attwood, Daniel Radosh and many other fine and encouraging authors. Thank you Richard Dawkings for pointing out what to look for. Thanks Bill Bryson for showing that we can be very serious by not being serious at all. Thank all of you who continuously report to have been touched by something that can't be touched, and describe something that can't be described.
Finally: Father God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit; Whoever You are, whatever You are... Thank You for the journey. Lead us on, and see You when we get there!