Publication details [#9557]

Ryken, Leland, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Longman. 1998. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press. 1058 pp.
Publication type
Book – monograph
Publication language


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. Traditional Bible dictionaries and reference works offer 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. The 'Dictionary of Biblical Imagery' explores the dazzling variety in which the Word of God comes dressed in the 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. Here is a Bible dictionary with a difference - an inviting, enlightening and indispensable companion to the reading, study, contemplation and enjoyment of the Bible. Praise for the 'Dictionary of Biblical Imagery': "The human mind is a picture gallery, and we live by the images found in it. This massive and careful work can aid us all in glimpsing the multitudinous pictures that are given us in the Scriptures to transform our lives." Elizabeth Achtemeier, writer, lecturer, preacher "People think with pictures in their heads. The Bible is God's picture book even though it is all in words. The 'Dictionary of Biblical Imagery' helps us to see the verbal pictures that we may have missed and then helps us to make sense of them. The 'Dictionary' is a helpful tool for Bible study - and it's even fun to read." (Review by Haddon Robinson, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)