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Thread: Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament

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  1. #1
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    Default Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament

    I am considering purchasing the 15 volume Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament.

    My wondeful wife says to "go ahead", but I have my reservations.

    I currently own the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis by VanGemern, as well as the Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament by Jenni and Westermann. I also own Koehler & Baumgartner and, for good measure, the 8 volume Dictionary of Classical Hebrew. (Not everything I had expected, but when they published only one volume every 2-3 years, the price didn't hurt so much)

    Would TDOT be of that much extra benefit to justify the cost (some $1100 or so)?

    Could those who have used it please give their comments.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by jimofbentley; 10-25-2012 at 09:18 PM.

  2. #2

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    I haven't used it at any length and won't have an opinion, BUT I bet it will help others answer if you explain the use to which you'd put it. Are you an academic, looking to write journal articles? Semi-academic, writing books? Pastor, preparing sermons?
    Dan Phillips
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    s `jP'(v.miW qxo laer"f.yIB. dMel;l.W

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
    I haven't used it at any length and won't have an opinion, BUT — I bet it will help others answer if you explain the use to which you'd put it. Are you an academic, looking to write journal articles? Semi-academic, writing books? Pastor, preparing sermons?
    Pastor, preparing sermons, Bible studies, and following my own general curiosity about what words mean.

    In Bible studies we take our time. I think it took a year to do 1 Peter, eighteen months to do Colossians. Words. Meaning, and depth.

    Sunday morning messages are similar, but "different" as they need to be because of the different context. In the OT I have preached through Leviticus, Samuel, Chronicles - Numbers or one of the prophets is on the future agenda. I tend to alternate between an OT and NT book.

    My desire is for aids which can help me with a more full and complete meaning so that I can best understand the text and relate it in a meaningful way.
    Last edited by jimofbentley; 10-26-2012 at 08:42 PM.

  4. #4
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    I own all 15 current volumes of TDOT and plan to buy the last volume in English, if it is ever translated. I also own Jenni-Westermann and Koehler-Baumgartner. I bought TDOT volume by volume as it came out, but I never paid full price for a volume. I bought it through Christian Book Distributors, and even got the first couple volumes on sale. I was working on my master's in OT when I started to purchase TDOT, and I already had TDNT, so I wanted to "complete the set" and be "up to date" on the latest scholarship.
    Was it worth the price? No. I hardly ever used it for my studies. I almost never use it now. I get enough information from HALOT and BDB within BibleWorks to give me a good idea about what the Hebrew words mean. I learn more by doing my own word studies after doing a lemma search in BW and actually reading the passages. Before BW it was a definite help for someone else to have looked up all the passages for a given lemma and laid them all out on a few pages. But now I can do that myself. If I were interested in cognate languages to Hebrew, TDOT would be the place I would check. But for sermon and Bible study preparation that has never been necessary. (Most of my people think I alread go into too much detail.) Even when I was doing my master's thesis, I found Jenni-Westermann (in German, before it was translated) more helpful than TDOT. J-W is more concise. I also do not have much heart any more to subject myself to lots of things I know will be wrong, since TDOT is higher critical through and through. I just cannot swallow all the speculation, e.g. about "late" Hebrew in the Pentateuch, alleged multiple authors of the prophets, etc. I prefer to learn from my reference books, not argue with them.
    My 2 cents' worth.
    Mark Eddy
    Last edited by Mark Eddy; 11-01-2012 at 12:01 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    I own all 15 current volumes of TDOT and plan to buy the last volume in English, if it is ever translated. I also own Jenni-Westermann and Koehler-Baumgartner.

    Was it worth the price? No. I hardly ever used it for my studies. I almost never use it now.

    I found Jenni-Westermann . . . more concise.

    TDOT is higher critical through and through. . . . I prefer to learn from my reference books, not argue with them.

    My 2 cents' worth.
    Mark Eddy
    Mark, thank you for your reply. It was most helpful.

  6. #6
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    Yes Mark, thank you. I've been keeping an eye on this thread to see what responses it would get. I had thought very seriously about getting TDOT in the past, decided not to do so, and am okay that I didn't.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

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