Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $26.04
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 56%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $26.04   
  • New (4) from $37.88   
  • Used (7) from $26.04   


2009 Christianity Today Merit Award winner!

2009 ECPA Gold Medallion (Bible Reference & Study)

The Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry carry themselves differently from those of the Pentateuch, the histories or the prophets. The divine voice does not peal from Sinai, there are no narratives carried along by prophetic interpretation nor are oracles declaimed by a prophet. Here Scripture often speaks in the words of human response to God and God's world. The hymns, laments and thanksgivings of Israel, the dirge of Lamentations, the questionings of Qohelet, the love poetry of the Song of Songs, the bold drama of Job and the proverbial wisdom of Israel all offer their textures to this great body of biblical literature. Then too there are the finely crafted stories of Ruth and Esther that narrate the silent providence of God in the course of Israelite and Jewish lives.

This third Old Testament volume in InterVarsity Press's celebrated "Black Dictionary" series offers nearly 150 articles covering all the important aspects of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. Over ninety contributors, many of them experts in this literature, have contributed to the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. This volume maintains the quality of scholarship that students, scholars and pastors have come to expect from this series.

Coverage of each biblical book includes an introduction to the book itself as well as separate articles on its ancient Near Eastern background and its history of interpretation. Additional articles amply explore the literary dimensions of Hebrew poetry and prose, including acrostic, ellipsis, inclusio, intertextuality, parallelism and rhyme. And there are well-rounded treatments of Israelite wisdom and wisdom literature, including wisdom poems, sources and theology. In addition, a wide range of interpretive approaches is canvassed in articles on hermeneutics, feminist interpretation, form criticism, historical criticism, rhetorical criticism and social-scientific approaches.

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings is sure to command shelf space within arm's reach of any student, teacher or preacher working in this portion of biblical literature.

Tremper Longman III and Peter E. Enns edit this collection of 148 articles by 90 contributors on Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Patrick D. Miller
"A stellar cast of younger and senior scholars has put together a handbook for the study of the writings of the Old Testament. While one will find easy access to the expected and necessary basic information on the various books of wisdom and poetry, there will be some interesting surprises for readers as the authors take up theological, rhetorical, metaphorical and sociological dimensions of this literature. An important sign of the times is the fact that for each biblical book, major attention is given to the history of its interpretation."
Craig Bartholomew
"This volume in the acclaimed InterVarsity Press Bible dictionaries will serve to further enhance the reputation of the series. Longman and Enns have brought together a great team of authors to cover wisdom, poetry and writings of the Old Testament. This volume is comprehensive and up to date as, for example, the articles on history of interpretation and intertextuality indicate. This volume will be an invaluable resource for students, pastors and scholars as they seek to hear God's address through these biblical books. The Wisdom and poetic books have not always received the attention they deserve, and this volume will play a significant role in addressing that imbalance. Highly recommended!"
Katharine J. Dell
"At last, a fully comprehensive, fascinating compendium of information about Psalms, Wisdom literature and other writings of the Old Testament! From characters such as Ruth to major Wisdom books such as Job, from scholarly method to major theological themes, this volume gives us articles of real depth and substance. Its broad and thorough remit includes contributions on Jewish and Christian tradition, festival worship, ancient Near Eastern background and Hebrew language from a range of highly qualified experts in the field. An essential reference book for all serious-minded students of the Hebrew Scriptures."
Luke Lin
"Every student serious about pursuing biblical studies and every pastor committed to solid exegetical work should keep a copy of this indispensible volume within arm's reach."
Paul J. Kissling
"Editors Longman and Enns have assembled a truly outstanding team of both senior and junior scholars who present up-to-date research with current bibliographies on all the major issues confronting the interpreter of these important books. If you are only going to buy one encyclopedic dictionary on the Bible, this is the one I would recommend."
International Review of Biblical Studies
"Authors and editors have taken great care to make the articles both scholarly and readable, and one can say that they have succeeded in producing a work that supplements all existing biblical reference works."
James Chukwuma Okoye
"Students and professors of Scripture have, in this volume, a precious and incredibly up-to-date resource."
Charles Telfer
"The Dictionary offers a lot of helpful, accessible material at a reasonable price."
P.C. Beentjes
"A beautiful accession to the series, and its price is unbelievable!"
Scott C. Jones
"The volume covers much ground and covers it well. Well worth the price for any layperson, student, or scholar who wishes to engage the varied corpus that this dictionary covers."
J. McKeow
"An excellent resource for students and others who require accessible overview of the study of biblical books and general topics in the wisdom and poetry category."
Philosophy and Religion
"This Dictionary should be in the collection of any library covering Biblical studies regardless of religious affiliation. Once again IVP has done the scholarly community a great service."
The Revd Dr Derek J Fraser
"Worth a read as it is up to date and gives a flavour of recent studies in wisdom literature."
J. McKeown
"This useful addition to this series of dictionaries provides an excellent resource for students and others who require an accessible overview of the study of biblical books and general topics in the wisdom and poetry category."
Margaret Daniels
"As in preceding volumes, a long article is devoted to each biblical book; this dictionary, however, also contains an article focusing on each book's ancient Near Eastern background and history of interpretation. An impressive work of reference."
Celucien Joseph
"A compendium of contemporary biblical scholarship with the inclusion of the contributed effort of the best scholars and critics in their respected fields. A great achievement, comprehensive in scope and provides substantial insights in understanding the text and world of the Old Testament. This is an outstanding text, an indispensable reference for individuals working in the discipline of Biblical Studies. It is unimaginable that students and scholars, and even interested laymen of the Hebrew Bible would defer the purchase of a reference copy of this volume."
James A. Cox
"A series whose every volume is worth waiting for and worth owning. Written in a scholarly but accessible style. Very highly recommended."
David Wenkel
"This volume on wisdom, poetry, and writings covers over 100 topics like acrostic poetry, Old Testament ethics, Psalms of lament, Messiah, retribution, rhetorical criticism, and worship. The articles are scholarly but accessible and unintimidating. Both pastors and laymen will be able to profit from this dictionary without having to know or read Hebrew."
Pius Charles Murray
"Having access to recent contemporary scholarship on the biblical canon in a dictionary format is extremely helpful to professors, graduate students, upper level undergraduate students, and informed members of the public with an interest in remaining au courant with the best of recent thinking on biblical issues. IVP Academic Press is publishing such a series of dictionaries on the entire biblical canon in a number of volumes. It is a series whose every volume is worth waiting for and worth owning. The seventh volume examines the Wisdom, Poetry and Writings sections of the Hebrew Bible. It is written in a scholarly but accessible style. Very highly recommended."
Johnny Cisneros
"[A] must have for anyone who wishes to do in-depth Bible study."
Chris Tilling
"Whatever your academic standpoint, at 1,000 pages this volume will need to be a to-hand resource for anybody working on the field of Wisdom, Poetry or Writings. I am very glad to have [this book] on my shelf and I will make regular use of it."
Jason Button
"Not only is this a very attractive dictionary, but it is also chock-full of the technical data a researcher requires. Each article is clearly outlined, long enough to adequately cover the subject, and short enough to be read in one sitting. It must also be mentioned that these articles are not limited to either lexical, exegetical, historical or theological matters; but rather to all of these matters."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830817832
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 6/6/2008
  • Series: The IVP Bible Dictionary Series
  • Pages: 991
  • Sales rank: 485,449
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He is also visiting professor of Old Testament at Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and adjunct of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lectures regularly at Regent College in Vancouver and the Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary.

Longman is the author or coauthor of over twenty books, including How to Read Genesis, How to Read the Psalms, How to Read Proverbs, Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation, Old Testament Essentials and coeditor of A Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He and Dan Allender have coauthored Bold Love, Cry of the Soul, Intimate Allies, The Intimate Mystery and the Intimate Marriage Bible studies.

Peter Enns is professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University (St. Davids, PA). He is the author of numerous books including Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament and The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesńt Say about Human Origins.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

How to Use This Dictionary
List of Contributors
Dictionary Articles
Scripture Index
Subject Index
Articles Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2011

    Highly recommended

    Good reference book for bible study

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)