Book Review: Dictionary of Biblical Imagery

Edited by Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III (InterVarsity, 1058 pp.)

Powerful preachers, like Jesus, excel in the use of images. With too many homiletics texts offering too little instruction in such usage, this dictionary is a step in the right direction. Though the editors claim laypeople as the target audience, its main attraction will probably be to preachers trying to relearn the art of narrative preaching and unforgettable imagery.

Featuring about 850 articles from “Aaron’s Rod” to “Younger Child,” this volume includes an introduction to the literary nature of the Bible as well as abundant biblical and topical indexes that make it convenient for sermon preparation.

Pentecostals will be disappointed with the limited treatment of vital biblical images as Spirit-baptism, spiritual gifts, healing, and miracles. Occasionally important theological categories like “Incarnation”—certainly not a biblical term but a biblical concept always in need of artful explication—are hidden away and inadequately treated in “Birth Story” or “Nativity of Christ.” Many articles are not that different from what one might find in any Bible dictionary. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, however, is a useful tool and can take its place alongside the other resources on the preacher’s shelf.

—Reviewed by Edgar R. Lee

This article was published in Enrichment, Summer 2001. Used with Permission.

Updated: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM


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