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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


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Originally published in five volumes, the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) is arguably the most comprehensive encyclopedic reference book we offer. It was written in response to both a growing knowledge of biblical antiquity around the turn of the twentieth century and an increase in "remorseless and revolutionary criticism" of the Bible. Statements which in prior years "would have been condemned as subversive of all faith" were becoming commonly accepted among scholars, and those who questioned them were criticized and ostracized. These factors led to a rapid growth in the production of new Bible reference material to meet the needs of "ministers, teachers, and the rank and file of students of the Bible" who were looking for an approach that respected the authority and integrity of the Bible.

The authors of ISBE rejected the disdain for the supernatural that had begun to pervade the culture and sought to create a work that reflected a "reasonable conservatism" — resting on the Bible as God's revelation of himself in history and in Christ. It took a constructive approach to what were at the time new ideas regarding the Old and New Testament texts, welcoming those that brought a better understanding of the Word while declining those that did not. It attempts to treat fairly those subjects "on which marked differences of opinion prevail, and in such cases (e.g. baptism, the eucharist, questions of church government, theories of criticism, etc.)" presenting "separate articles, each article being prepared by a leading exponent of the view set forth therein."

The authors attempted to provide an article on every word in the Bible with a unique meaning. It covers a vocabulary of about 12,000 words in 9300 articles. Its biblical scope includes the Old and New Testaments along with the Apocrypha and covers "all related subjects of language, text, literature (apocalyptic, apocryphal, sub-apostolic, etc.), archaeology, historical and religious environment — whatever, in short, may throw light on the meaning and message of the sacred Book." The goal was to omit nothing. "History of peoples and religions, ethnology, geography, topography, biography, arts and crafts, manners and customs, family life, natural history, agriculture, war, shipping, ritual, laws, sects, music, and all else pertaining to the outer and inner life of the people of the Bible and therefore throwing light upon the meaning of the original writers, are amply and minutely treated. Proper names are explained and their occurrences in the Bible and Apocrypha noted. Large space has been devoted to the meanings and uses of the more ordinary, as well as of rarer and obsolete, English words with special reference to their Hebrew and Greek originals and to the variations of usage.... Careful attention has been given to the figurative uses of words in connection with all subjects where such uses occur."


  • Over 9300 articles define and discuss over 12,000 biblical terms.
  • Every word in the Bible and the Apocrypha having a distinct scriptural meaning is covered.
  • Covers all the doctrines of the Bible, the principal terms of biblical criticism and related subjects of history, biography, geography, social life of the peoples, and the industries, sciences, literature, etc.
  • Uniformity of headings and subheadings make it easy to skim longer articles for the desired information.
  • Extensive cross-references to related articles are provided.
  • Phonetic pronunciations of proper names are included.
  • A number of sources for the original 1915 ISBE text were used to identify and rectify the shortcomings of any one source. The digital text was compared to the print edition to resolve ambiguity and differences.

System Requirements

Installed size (unless otherwise indicated): Approximately 21.125 MB. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running latest version of iOS. Download size: 21.125 MB. Android Requires Android OS 4.0 or later. Download size: 21.125 MB. Windows Phone Requires Windows Phone 7.5 or later. Download size: 21.125 MB. Windows Store Download size: 21.125 MB. Windows Desktop Requires Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10 or later. Download size: 16.125 MB. Mac OS X Requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later. Download size: 21.125 MB.

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Copyright © 2010-2019 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Laridian and PocketBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, MyBible, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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The Fine Print

Copyright © 2010-2019 by Laridian, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Laridian, PocketBible, and MyBible are registered trademarks of Laridian, Inc. DailyReader, Memorize!, PrayerPartner, eTract, BookBuilder, VerseLinker, iPocketBible, DocAnalyzer, Change the way you look at the Bible, and The Bible. Anywhere. are trademarks of Laridian, Inc. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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