'...An encyclopedic exploration of the images, symbols, motifs, metaphors, figures of speech and literary patterns of the Bible.'' The cover description isn't exactly a subtitle, but it does serve as a quick summary of the contents of this hefty reference work. Without neglecting literal meaning, it moves into a more difficult-to-define category of reference than a standard Bible dictionary, offering something more: a guide not just to the bare definition of words and names, but to their imaginative trajectory, symbolic dimension, and range of connections with other terms and families of terms. A feast for anyone concerned to encounter the underlying sense of biblical texts. 1058 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
A Christianity Today 1999 Book of the Year Every reader of the Bible has encountered the powerful, comforting and sometimes puzzling imagery of Scripture. These concrete pictures with their hidden force have struck sharp and lasting impressions on our minds. Their imprint has etched itself on the language and grammar of Christian faith and Western culture. Why then do traditional Bible dictionaries and reference works offer so little help to explorers of the Bible's galaxy of verbal pictures? They excel in describing the climate, borders and location of Galilee or Sinai. But they are often blind to the artistic expressions and deaf to the musical meanings that echo from within the world of the biblical text. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery is the first contemporary reference work dedicated to exploring the images, symbols, motifs, metaphors and literary patterns found in the Bible. More than that, it examines the Bible's universal archetypes or master images--including the plot motifs and character types that recur throughout life, literature and the Bible. This unique dictionary explores the dazzling variety in which the Word of God comes dressed in clothes of everyday life. It traces the trail of images from Eden to the New Jerusalem. It captures the plotted patterns of biblical narrative. It surveys the imaged texture of each book of the Bible. In short, The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery is an inviting, enlightening and indispensable companion to the reading, study, contemplation and enjoyment of the Bible.