Saturday, November 15, 2014

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

When I first looked at Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary I was quite impressed.  It is very nicely bound, and quite "fancy".  It has several maps, modern pictures of the places being described, pictures of various archaeological finds and many other illustrations.  Much of the information it gives seems quite good. For instance, in their definition of Agape love, they explain that the term "unconditional love" is not the right definition, Agape love is:  "primarily a love of the will rather than the emotions.  The New Testament never speaks of God loving unbelieving human beings with emotional love…He loves with His will…". I loved a lot of their entries on particular people in the Bible, in a nice condensed summary of who they were and the events in their lives, I also really like the descriptions of various Biblical places, where they were located, what happened there...etc.

But, sadly, the negatives outweigh the positives so that I can't recommend this dictionary.  The primary reason is that some of the illustrations were extremely inappropriate(completely unclothed people), they are absolutely unnecessary and would prohibit children(or even adults like me) from being able to use the dictionary until the pictures are blotted out. The only ones I can think of right now were drawings and hieroglyphic type of pictures, but I don't think that makes it any more decent.  I would have rated it higher if it weren't for these pictures.  Also, some of the entries are biblically inaccurate.  Their view of the creation account in Genesis is appalling, "Skeptics have ridiculed the creation story in Genesis because it reports that the creation occurred in six days.  But the indefinite meaning of 'day' takes care of this objection.."  A "day" with an evening and a morning is not indefinite!!! It means one 24-hour day!  Who cares what the Skeptics think, we should care about what God SAYS happened, not disregarding His Word simply because some people doubt it.   But if it weren't for the bad pictures, I'd still have recommended it highly because of the information on the Biblical places, people, and things.

I received a free review copy of this book from the Booklook blogger program in exchange for my review which did not have to be favorable.

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