Zondervan has recently completed two full-color, five-volume reference works, and they look superb.
1. Revised Bible Encyclopedia
Merrill C. Tenney, ed. Moisés Silva, revision editor. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. Revised ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. 5,616 pp. $279.99 retail.
Tenney edited the first edition in 1975: the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. “The present revised edition,” edited by Moisés Silva, a first-class biblical scholar, “seeks to preserve the original contributions as much as possible while at the same time updating the material to serve a new generation” (p. v).
- over 250 international contributors
- over 7,500 articles on the Bible’s history, literature, and theology
- nearly 2,000 colorful maps, illustrations, charts, and graphs
The introduction explains what’s new:
- “Hundreds of brief new articles have been added.”
- “Some twenty new in-depth articles have been commissioned, including ‘Apologetics’ (William Edgar), ‘Cartography, Biblical’ (Barry J. Beitzel), ‘Ebla’ (Richard S. Hess), ‘Deuteronomic History’ (J. Alan Groves), ‘Ethics in the Old Testament’ (Alexander Cheung), ‘God, Biblical Doctrine of’ (John M. Frame), ‘Land, Theology of’ (Carl G. Rasmussen), ‘Pseudonymity’ (Stanley Porter), ‘Type, Typology’ (Grant R. Osborne), ‘Union with Christ’ (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.), ‘Warrior, Divine’ (Tremper Longman III), ‘Wars, Jewish’ (J. Julius Scott, Jr.).”
- “Various existing articles have been totally rewritten (e.g., ‘Greek Language,’ ‘Septuagint’).”
- “Others have received substantive updating, such as ‘Archaeology’ (Richard S. Hess), ‘Biblical Criticism’ (Grant R. Osborne), ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ (Martin G. Abegg, Jr.), ‘Versions of the Bible, English’ (Mark L. Strauss).”
- “All other articles have been carefully reviewed and, when necessary, corrected; frequently, new material has been added alerting the reader to developments in the field.”
- “Special effort has been expended to make bibliographic references more current. Many hundreds of new titles have been included, with emphasis on publications from 1990 through 2007.”
- “All biblical quotations, unless otherwise noted, come from the NIV.”
- “A special effort has been made to bring about greater consistency among the articles” in both format (e.g., “a standard outline system”) and content. “Except in the case of articles that bear a new signature, all differences between the original and revised editions of this work are the responsibility of the revising editor.”
The target audience for this encyclopedia is wide: families, pastors, teachers, and students, both libraries and individual study.
2. OT Backgrounds Commentary
John H. Walton, ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament. 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. 2,928 pp. $249.95 retail.
Walton’s OT set is the counterpart to Clint Arnold’s NT set:
Clinton E. Arnold, ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: New Testament. 4 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002. 1,924 pp. $159.95 retail.
Some features of the OT set:
- thirty international authors
- commentary on the entire OT in light of archeology, history, geography, and manners and customs
- over 2,000 photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams, and charts
- 12,000 endnotes
The target audience for this set is also wide. It’s definitely geared more for laypeople than Bible scholars.
Here are the books (in the order listed in the series) and commentators:
- Genesis: John H. Walton
- Exodus: Bruce Wells
- Leviticus: Roy E. Gane
- Numbers: R. Dennis Cole
- Deuteronomy: Eugene E. Carpenter
- Joshua: Richard S. Hess
- Judges: Daniel I. Block
- Ruth: Dale W. Manor
- 1 Samuel: V. Philips Long
- 2 Samuel: V. Philips Long
- 1 Kings: John Monson
- 2 Kings: Iain Provan
- 1 Chronicles: Simon Sherwin
- 2 Chronicles: Frederick J. Mabie
- Ezra and Nehemiah: Edwin M. Yamauchi
- Esther: Anthony Tomasino
- Isaiah: David W. Baker
- Jeremiah: Steven Voth
- Lamentations: Paul W. Ferris Jr.
- Ezekiel: Daniel Bodi
- Daniel: Ernest C. Lucas
- Hosea: J. Glen Taylor
- Joel: Mark W. Chavalas
- Amos: Philip S. Johnston
- Obadiah: Alan R. Millard
- Jonah: John H. Walton
- Micah: Daniel M. Master
- Nahum: Alan R. Millard
- Habakkuk: Victor H. Matthews
- Zephaniah: Mark W. Chavalas
- Haggai: Kenneth G. Hoglund
- Zechariah: Kenneth G. Hoglund and John H. Walton
- Malachi: Andrew E. Hill
- Job: Izak Cornelius
- Psalms: John W. Hilber
- Proverbs: Tremper Longman III
- Ecclesiastes: Duane Garrett
- Song of Songs: Duane Garrett