Bible Dictionary


HarperCollins Bible Dictionary
Edited by Mark Allan Powell

Four years and four thousand entries later, the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, revised, updated, and edited by Trinity Professor Mark Allan Powell, was released March 8. Copies can be found in the Steeple People Bookstore on campus.

Dr. Powell is the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament Studies and the author of some 20 other books, including Fortress Introduction to the New Testament, Loving Jesus, and the exhaustive Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music.

Four years ago Dr. Powell was contracted to serve as General Editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. This was officially a revision and update of a book that was published in 1985, edited by Paul Achtemeier. A "second edition" of that book came out in 1996, but only contained new entries without revising any of the existing ones. In this new edition, everything has been updated.

Dr. Powell assembled a team of ecumenical scholars – liberal, conservative, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish – who helped to rewrite the various entries. In addition, Dr. Powell rewrote nearly half of the dictionary’s entries. This third edition was updated and revised under the direction of the international scholarly body, the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). A labor of love on the part of the contributing scholars, all royalties for sale of the dictionary go to the SBL.

Filled with explanations of biblical beliefs, language, and insights into the culture and customs of the people who lived in biblical times, this resource will help anyone interested in scripture to more fully appreciate the meaning and message of the Bible. The 2011 edition gives attention to a more ecumenical and reader-friendly vocabulary. Editors drastically reduced the use of academic jargon and added content to define terms and explain concepts that would not be familiar to a non-specialist.

The biggest difference between this edition and previous editions is its strong focus on the Bible itself, rather than on the processes of interpretation or the history of ancient civilizations. Whether you are a pastor, layperson, or a student of scripture, you will find every important name, place, and subject that makes Bible study come to life. From Aaron to Zurishaddai, here are all the people, events, and ideas of biblical times.

More than half the articles in this book are new, and several dozen charts and tables have also been added as well as updates on recent archaeological discoveries.