Any good Bible study library must contain Bible dictionaries. Inevitably you will come across something you don’t completely understand. And inevitably, your study Bibles or commentaries will miss a thing or two. Bible dictionaries fill this void with their wealth of knowledge on a myriad of biblical subjects. In this post, we’re giving you an inside look at the IVP Dictionary Series.

What is the IVP Dictionary Series?

The IVP Dictionary Series is an unique set of reference works. It bridges the gap between scholars and those pastors, teachers, students and lay people desiring in-depth treatment of select topics in an accessible format.

What makes it unique?

When you look at Bible dictionaries published today, they are typically a single volume. They may or may not contain information on your desired topic of study. Given their single volume nature, publishers decide what to eliminate for the sake of page count. This is not the case with the IVP Dictionary Series.

Instead, you get eight individual dictionaries that target specific areas of Scripture. Whether it be the Old Testament prophets or Paul and his epistles—it’s got it. The articles cover traditional and contemporary topics alike. Some topics include: cross-sectional themes, methods of interpretation, significant historical or cultural background, and each Old and New Testament book as a whole.

The best thing about having individual dictionary volumes is the ability to get an in-depth look at the subject. More specifically, you get an in-depth look at how the topic relates to the passage you’re reading. This is opposed to getting a broad overview that covers the subject over the entirety of the Bible.

Here’s an example.

How it works.

I’m in the gospels studying Jesus’ cleansing of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. As I read, I’m going to do more study on the subject of miracles and faith. It seems like an important topic in this passage.

The Resource Guide makes it easy to study these topics, suggesting them to me. So, I click on faith.

IVP Dictionary

As I peruse my list, I find many dictionaries in my library that discuss the subject of faith. Notice that the IVP Dictionary Series is in my list, and, of the 8 volumes, 6 have entries for faith. Since I’m in the gospels, I’ll look at the entry in the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.

IVP Dictionary 2

Looking through the article, I immediately discover how important faith is in the gospels, and the New Testament in general. I also see a quick outline of the entry, before drilling down into the subject. After reading, I have a greater understanding of how faith relates to the gospels and Jesus’ ministry. Now, if I want to expand my study beyond the gospels, I can read the other IVP dictionaries. That will help me understand how faith is seen other parts of Scripture, such as the Pentateuch.

IVP Dictionary 3

Interested in trying it yourself?

IVP Dictionary Series

There are many ways you can utilize these dictionaries in your studies. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, just open up the dictionary and navigate to your subject. Alternatively, if you’re reading the Bible and find a word you want to study, tap it. Then. use the Lookup feature to find articles in these dictionaries. How you use them is really up to you.

Purchase the IVP Dictionary Series today and start using these dictionaries in your own studies. This is one set of dictionaries you will not regret owning!

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