October 16 — birthday of famed lexicographer Noah Webster, born this day in 1758 — is designated Dictionary Day, a day to appreciate dictionaries and learn new words.

While Eerdmans doesn’t publish many dictionaries of the sort penned by Mr. Webster, we can’t resist taking this opportunity to celebrate a few of our more noteworthy dictionaries on this special day.

The Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible

The Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
David Noel Freedman, editor

The Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible gathers nearly 5,000 alphabetically ordered articles that thoroughly yet clearly explain all the books, persons, places, and significant terms found in the Bible. The Dictionary also explores the background of each biblical book and related writings and discusses cultural, natural, geographical, and literary phenomena — making it an excellent tool for practical Bible use.

Features of the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible:

  • Nearly 5,000 entries explain every book, person, place, significant event, and distinctive term or expression found in the Bible
  • Written by nearly 600 respected authorities in the field of biblical scholarship
  • Includes 112 informative charts and photos and a 12-page section of color maps
  • Supplementary aids include lists of abbreviations, pronunciation guide, transliteration key, and concise bibliographies to guide further research
  • Entries cover the Deuterocanonicals as well as the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures
  • Based on the New Revised Standard version of the Bible, with attention given to alternate readings in other major translations

The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism

The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism
John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow, editors

This comprehensive and authoritative volume is the first reference work devoted exclusively to Second Temple Judaism.

A striking and innovative project, it combines the best features of a survey and a reference work:

  • 13 major essays synthesizing significant aspects of Judaism in the period between Alexander the Great and the Bar Kokhba Revolt
  • 520 alphabetical entries, many with cross-references and all with select bibliographies
  • 130 illustrations, including photos, drawings, and plans
  • 24 maps
  • 270 authors from 20 countries

The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism is ecumenical and international in character, bringing together the contributions of a superb group of Jewish, Christian, and other scholars. With equal attention paid to literary and nonliterary (archaeological and epigraphic) evidence, this substantial volume is an invaluable resource for scholars, students, and general readers alike.

A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English LiteratureA Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature
David Lyle Jeffrey, editor

Offering an extraordinary window on centuries of dialogue between the Bible and literature, this superb, unprecedented, and award-winning reference work is designed to help the modern reader understand how biblical motifs, concepts, names, quotations and allusions have been transmitted through exegetical tradition and used by authors of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present. The book includes several hundred encyclopedic articles (more than a million words) written by a distinguished international roster of more than 160 contributors representing the disciplines of biblical studies, theology, patristics, and literary studies.

Which dictionaries — Eerdmans or otherwise — are you celebrating this Dictionary Day?