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General Reference Works

General Reference Works

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Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman L. Geisler

If you want to be able to answer people's questions about Christianity, this book covers everything from absolute truth to Zen Buddhism. Perhaps beyond the understanding of a large number of readers, but Geisler's work is thorough, rational, and aimed at those who are more academically inclined.

The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates

A very helpful book on the meanings of Greek words found in the New Testament. There's an English index at the front and the words are listed in order of their Strong's Concordance number.

Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words by W.E. Vine

For anyone interested in the meanings of the original Greek words in the New Testament, this book is often their first purchase. Although not as in-depth as some of the multi-volume sets, it's still a storehouse of good information, and a worthy addition to the library of any Bible student.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (4 volumes) (General Editor Geoffrey W. Bromiley)

This is a must-have set of reference works. You know what an encyclopaedia is, so I don't need to explain it to you, except to say that it would be hard to find better.

Manners and Customs of the Bible by James M. Freeman

At two or more thousand years distance from the events of the Bible, it's not always easy to understand exactly why they did what they did. Manners and customs have changed enormously, and the purpose of this book is to explain them. Although it deals with the issues as they arise in Biblical order, there is also a textual index as well as a topical index.

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (4 volumes) (Editor Colin Brown)

If you like to delve into the original Greek to find out the original meanings of New Testament words, these are a great addition to your library. Thousands of pages of information and you don't have to be able to read Greek to understand it. There are two important indexes, one for English words and one for Greek (using the English alphabet).

New Testament Commentary Survey by D.A. Carson

D.A. Carson, who is himself a first-rate New Testament commentator, has written a very handy little manual on New Testament commentaries. If you are trying to put together a decent library, this is a good starting point. Use this book for recommendations on what commentaries to stock your shelves with.

Old Testament Commentary Survey by Tremper Longman III

Similar to Carson's survey on New Testament commentaries, Longman's survey is equally handy when it comes to assessing Old Testament commentaries. One advantage it has over its New Testament counterpart, however, is that it has a rating system rating commentaries on a 1 to 5 star basis. In addition, it uses abbreviations (L,M, and S) to indicate whether a work is suitable for the layperson, the minister, or the scholar.

Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Editor R. Laird Harris) (2 volumes)

A very helpful reference work on the meanings of Hebrew words used in the Old Testament. For some strange reason it has its own numbering system for the Hebrew words, but there is an index whereby you can look up the Strong's Concordance number and it will tell you their number. It's a cumbersome system, but it doesn't detract from the value of the books.

Word Studies in the Greek New Testament by Kenneth S. Wuest

This is a set of four volumes, the fourth volume being Wuest's own translation of the New Testament. Although all the books of the New Testament are not covered, it's well worth having and he draws some great lessons out of the original Greek text.

The Word Study New Testament and Concordance by George V. Wigram & Ralph D. Winter

For those interested in doing word studies in the original Greek language, this two volume set is worth having. The New Testament (KJV) has a Strong's Concordance number under every word (not including unimportant words like the, and, etc.). You then look up that number in the concordance and it gives you every verse in the New Testament where that Greek word is used.