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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative companion to commentaries and bible dictionaries, 15 Nov 2003
This is a terrific book. It is different from any other biblical studies resource I have seen. It covers ground that is not really treated in such depth in other aids.
You do still need to use standard bible dictionaries and commentaries, in my opinion. But, used in conjunction with them, it is going to really open up the Bible for you.
I am disappointed that the editors decided that they would not let you know who wrote the various articles. Their argument is that their editorial work has not left the research done by the various contributors unchanged, and that it would be misleading to append a given contributor's name to an entry, when they have often extensively revised that entry. I feel they should have let us know about their editorial work, AND shown the contributors' names at the end of each entry.
The articles dealing with the imagery in each biblical book are very helpful. Here is an example of what you will find:
The article on Colossians gives some insights into the purpose of Paul's letter, the image of the cosmic Christ, the motifs of knowledge and fullness in Colossians and the metaphorical use of circumcision.
Many of the images referred to in each article on Bible books are also given more in-depth treatment in individual articles.
This book is one of the most interesting aids to biblical study I have seen. Highly recommended.
If you would like to purchase the work at a bargain price, Amazon also sells the Essential IVP Reference Collection CD ROM, which contains this great work, and 17 other helpful biblical resources. In some ways, the electronic version is more useful than the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality, often surprising, always hugely useful and interesting, 10 Oct 2009
By 
Chris Of The OT (South West of England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopaedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech, Literary Patterns and Universal Images of the Bible (Hardcover)
IVP's `Dictionary of Biblical Imagery' is a surprisingly useful and interesting reference source. The idea of focusing specifically on the images used in the Bible may not seem immediately helpful (it wasn't to me), but it really is!

The Introduction emphasises that this 1000 page dictionary `explores the fascinating and varied world of [biblical] imagery... [because] the Bible speaks largely in images.... The stories, the parables, the sermons of the prophets, the reflections of the wise men, the pictures of the age to come, the interpretations of past events all tend to be expressed in images which arise out of experience.'

The Introduction also notes that some images and motifs are universally recognised and accepted, like the image of light (light=truth, light verses darkness, etc.). But many biblical images are not nearly so easy to understand and it gives the example of left-handedness (e.g. Ehud in Judges 3:15-30). The article `Left, Left-Handed' begins:

The left side and left-handedness play a distinctively negative role in many languages. The word "sinister" derives from the Latin term that means "on the left side..." In the Bible we find both neutral and negative uses.

This all helps to emphasise what a wonderful and original concept this dictionary is built on. The execution and presentation are also excellent, with clear, well written and usually concise articles which are easy to read and understand. There is the usual high standard of IVP cross-referencing with links to many other relevant articles; in the digital version these are all red-highlighted hyperlinks.

This dictionary really helps you unpack the Bible by illuminating hidden (but essential) meanings and nuances. IVP are a great and loyal source of biblically related literature and this title only adds to that wonderful heritage. While it is not directly related to the superb IVP family of dictionaries listed below, it is in the same style and certainly compliments them:

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

All these amazing titles, including the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, are available digitally, and more cheaply, as part of the fantastic new edition of The Essential IVP Reference Collection CD-ROM (or on download from Logos Bible Software).

These are also in the wonderful IVP `Dictionary...' family, and are (or will be) available digitally:

Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry and Writings
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've bought, 23 Oct 2009
By 
M. Godbold - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopaedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech, Literary Patterns and Universal Images of the Bible (Hardcover)
After recently starting a theology degree we had a theological reflection assignment set. This book was recommended by another book that we were advised to use, the scm studyguide to theological reflection by Judith Thompson(which incidently is also an excellent book). I found the book extremely easy to use with a wealth of reference and information. It certainly helped with my assignment and I'm sure will be a book I shall use again and again. Absolutely brilliant sound investment for anyone studying theology or just wants to get a deeper understanding of the bible. I can't reccommend highly enough!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary Biblical Imagery, 2 Aug 2009
By 
Mrs. S. Fisher "theological student" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopaedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech, Literary Patterns and Universal Images of the Bible (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book for preacher students or any who is doing a theological degree. Clear explanation. Covers a vast number of imagery, symbols ect. A must for all who want a deeper knowledge.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If your interested in dreams imagery, the Bible and enjoy reading this is for you., 22 Jun 2013
By 
L. M. CARTER "Lover of the word" (Nottelling) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopaedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech, Literary Patterns and Universal Images of the Bible (Hardcover)
If your interested in dream imagery, the Bible and enjoy reading then this is for you.
I say enjoy reading because it is a big, heavy book with lots of references/ cross-references and smallish font.
Also, it's not cheap so you do need to have more than a passing interest in the subject. If your wanting a quick fix type ...tell me what my dream means ...don't buy it, it's not the right book for you.
A great resource for any bible detectives.
Fascinating snippets pop up all over the place.
It is in alphabetical order and has 1058 pages.Heavy duty hard backed.I am not doing a degree,or thinking of doing any preaching
and I can understand it very well. Read page 160- Comedy as Plot Motif-...loved it... hadn't thought of the Bible quite like
that before. Enjoy.
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Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopaedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech, Literary Patterns and Universal Images of the Bible
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: An Encyclopaedic Exploration of the Images, Symbols, Motifs, Metaphors, Figures of Speech, Literary Patte... by James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman III (editors) 'Leland Ryken' (Hardcover - 30 Nov 1998)
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