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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly indispensable for New Testament study, 7 Aug. 2009
By 
Chris Of The OT (South West of England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship) (Hardcover)
IVP's `Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels' (DJG) is a fabulous, `must have' resource for studying Jesus himself as well as the Gospels. IVP have long been ardent supporters of biblical and theological study, offering a plethora of excellent books, and some software. DJG is just one of these titles.

Remembering that this dictionary focuses quite specifically on `Jesus and the Gospels', it's 900-page, large format size alone shows the breadth of modern scholarship available. (The list of contributors stretches to well over two pages.) However, since this is a dictionary it does not need to be read cover-to-cover, it can be just dipped into it whenever it's needed.

Although the scholarly input is dizzyingly enormous, none of the vast array of articles are "dry academia", they are all vibrant and modern (even though this is now 17 years old - gasp!) whilst still covering all the theological angles. This means you get the meat of the theology but can still follow the arguments; no mean feat and hugely important.

For instance: if you look up `Gospel', you may be surprised to find three entries: `Gospel (Genre)', `Gospel (Good News)' and `Gospels (Apocryphal)'. The first looks at what `category or type of literature [a Gospel is], such as biography or novel'. A five page investigation reveals that the Gospels are closely linked to a type of literature called `Greco-Roman... biography, but they also form a distinctive group [of their own]'. In other words, a Gospel is contemporary with its time but is also quite unique. Hurrah!

Following each article there is a `See also' note which lists other especially relevant articles within the dictionary, as well as a (usually) massive bibliography.

If you are serious about understanding Jesus, his life, death and resurrection, as well as about the four Gospels of the New Testament, this dictionary is indispensable: I cannot recommend it enough. If you have more cash and want to go further (within the superb IVP family of dictionaries), these are just as good and as valuable:

Dictionary of Paul and his Letters
Dictionary of New Testament Background
Dictionary of the later New Testament and Its Developments

All of these are also available digitally, as part of the stunning and wonderful Essential IVP Reference Collection CD-ROM (or on download from Logos Bible Software). This digital collection represents fantastic value for money - and if you get the an older version of the collection, it may be even cheaper.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference source, 25 July 2001
This review is from: Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship) (Hardcover)
I agree with the previous reviewer that this is more of an encyclopedia than a dictionary. The articles are in-depth focusing on major topics in the Gospels, with up to date referenced articles by experts in the field. However, the articles are still usable by those of us with no formal theological training. I use it for background information when preparing Bible Studies. The book on Paul and the Letters is of a similar high standard. I'm off to buy the latest two. And by the way, the International Bible Standard Encyclopedia is an old stalwart - great if you could find a cheap copy second hand.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent refference and background reading., 17 Feb. 2001
This review is from: Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship) (Hardcover)
An easyly accesable sourse of in deapth information. More an encyclopedia than a dictionary, as most articles take up several pages. It is well presented, and clear. Useful for me as a reader and for my daugter doing A level R E. Very good value.
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Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship)
Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship) by Joel B. Green/Scot McKnight/I. Howard Marshall (Hardcover - 23 Mar. 1992)
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