From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

The Editor’s aim has been to provide a complete and independent Dictionary of the Bible in a single volume and abreast of present-day scholarship.

1. Complete. The Dictionary gives an account of all the contents of the Bible, the articles being as numerous as in the largest dictionaries, but written to a different scale. The Index of the Dictionary of the Bible in five volumes by the same Editor has been taken as basis, and such additions made to it as the latest research has suggested. The persons, places, and important events in the Bible are described. There are articles on the Biblical theology and ethics, on the antiquities, and on the languages English as well as Hebrew and Greek. The books of the Bible are carefully explained in their origin, authorship, and contents; and full account is taken of the results of literary criticism and archæological discovery.

2. Independent. The Dictionary is not a condensation of the five-volume Dictionary. It is not based upon it or upon any other dictionary. It is a new and independent work. All the signed, and most of the unsigned, articles are written afresh, and (with few exceptions) by different authors from those who treated the same subjects in the larger Dictionary. Even when the wording of the large Dictionary has been retained, as in the case, for example, of proper names of minor importance, every statement has been verified anew. The single-volume Dictionary will thus be found as fresh and full of life as the largest dictionaries are.

3. In a single volume. This is to bring the contents of the Bible, in accordance with present scholarship, within reach of those who have not the means to buy or the knowledge to use the Dictionary in five volumes. This Dictionary contains no Hebrew or Greek except in transliteration. It is however, a large volume, and it would have been larger had not the utmost care been taken to prevent overlapping. For the great subjects are not treated with that excessive brevity which makes single-volume dictionaries often so disappointing. The space has been so carefully husbanded that it has been found possible to allow 24 pages to the article on Israel; 23 pages to the article on Jesus Christ; and half that number to a further article on the Person of Christ. There is another way in which space has been saved. The whole subject of Magic Divination and Sorcery, for example, has been dealt with in a single article. That article includes many sub-topics, each of which is found in its own place, with a cross-reference to this comprehensive article; and when the word occurs in this article it is printed in black type, so that no time may be lost in searching for it.

4. Abreast of present Scholarship. That is to say, of the average scholarship of its day. There are many reasons why a Dictionary of the Bible should not take up an extreme position on either side. But the reason which has proved to be most conclusive, is the impossibility of getting the whole of the work done satisfactorily by either very advanced or very conservative scholars. They are not numerous enough. And there could be no satisfaction in entrusting work to men who were chosen for any other reason than their knowledge of the subject.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [2]

This book, like most of my books, began life in the Thai language when I lived with my wife and family in Bangkok. The aim was to produce material that would be a credible aid to biblical knowledge, but in an easy-read non-technical style that any Christian could understand.

First came a series of mini-commentaries that later appeared in English as the eight-volume Bridge Bible Handbooks (now combined into the one-volume Bridgeway Bible Commentary). Only after a commentary was available on the whole Bible did I think about writing a Bible Dictionary. I am convinced this is the best sequence to follow, not just in publishing but in Bible study in general. We need first to understand the biblical books if we are to have confidence in using material from those books to study biblical topics.

The original English title of this book used the word Directory rather than Dictionary, partly to appeal to readers who may not want a book that sounds academic, and partly because the book does not, like a ‘proper’ dictionary, deal with all the words and names in the Bible. But over the years I have found that people refer to the book as a dictionary anyway, so this edition has changed the title to Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. The ‘bridge’ element in the title reflects the aim of all Bridgeway books, which is to bridge two gaps at once – the gap between the word of the Bible and the world of today, and the gap between the technical reference works and the ordinary reader.

God’s Word gives meaning to life, but only if people read and obey it. The trouble is many do not read it as they should, the reason often being that they do not understand it. My desire is that this book will help give the kind of help that will encourage people to read and enjoy the Bible. And when that happens, they will soon find that the Bible has its own way of making itself relevant to them.

Don Fleming

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( v. t.) To introduce by a preface; to give a preface to; as, to preface a book discourse.

(2): ( v. i.) To make a preface.

(3): ( n.) The prelude or introduction to the canon of the Mass.

(4): ( n.) Something spoken as introductory to a discourse, or written as introductory to a book or essay; a proem; an introduction, or series of preliminary remarks.