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Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery


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Biblical authors seized imagery drawn from everyday life and redeployed it in the service of divine revelation. But today's readers are not familiar with many of these once-common illustrations. The distance in time, place, and culture between the Bible's first recipients and people today often mutes the rhetorical impact of such images. Students of the Bible need someone to explain both the meaning and significance of the imagery found in the biblical text.

The Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery provides the kind of assistance today's readers need. Entries explain images that correspond to a cultural artifact from the biblical world (such as arrow or sandal), a component of natural history (such as fox or fig tree), a named place (such as Mount Sinai or Nazareth), or a component of the Promised Land's physical geography (such as mountain or wilderness). Each entry contains a description of the element or image, examples of how the image is used in the biblical text, and appropriate black and white photographs and maps that further illustrate the ideas presented.

Students of Scripture will find the Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery a fascinating and inspiring portal to the biblical world.


For each entry, the Zondervan Dictionary of Biblical Imagery provides background on the imagery used in the Bible with articles that each include:

  • A B&W photo, map or illustration
  • A description of the element or image including appearance and distinctive characteristics
  • Examples of how the image is used in the biblical text

From the Preface

...Just as the ancients knew nothing of iPhones and airplanes, modern readers are likely to know next to nothing about threshing sledges and desert locusts. What is more, we are in the dark about the connotations that attend such cultural images. What did a threshing floor look like, and how did it function? What habits of the fox distinguished it from other predators? What is it like at the Dead Sea or in the Jezreel Valley? The biblical authors knew the answers to such questions, and they presumed their readers did as well. To the degree that we have lost touch with the culture, natural history, and landscape of Bible times, we will miss some of what God wishes to share with us in his Word. This dictionary attempts to fill that gap in our understanding.

As you take time to learn about ancient culture, your Bible reading will radically change. You will know why God's people kept goats and why the goat became the symbol of the lost. You will know why Jesus called Herod a fox and how the Mount of Olives contributed to Jesus' struggle in prayer. You will know why people mixed salt with manure and appreciate why Jesus called for us to become the salt of the earth. Expect new insights each time you turn the page in this book insights that will forever change the way you interact with the pages of your Bible.

About the Author(s)

John Beck earned his ThM and PhD from Trinity International University and is currently an adjunct instructor for Jerusalem University College. His passion to aid others in their Bible reading has led to the publication of a variety of books, including The Land of Milk and Honey, God as Storyteller, and A Visual Guide to Bible Events.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 21.375 MB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later. Download size: 21.375 MB. Android Requires Android OS 2.2 or later. Download size: 21.375 MB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 21.375 MB. Windows Store Download size: 21.375 MB. Windows PC Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, or later. Download size: 15.875 MB. Mac OS X Requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later. Download size: 21.375 MB. Windows Mobile Requires Pocket PC / Windows Mobile version 6.5 or earlier. Download size: 15.625 MB. Palm OS Requires Palm OS 5.0 or later. Download size: 15.625 MB.

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