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EDITED BY THE
REV. CHARLES RANDALL BARNES, A.B., A.M., D.D.
(New York University)
ILLUSTRATED BY NEARLY Four HundreD ENGRAVINGS,
Maps, CHARTS, ETC.
NEW YORK: EATON & MAINS
MHE present is emphatically an age of Bible study. Not only is this true
of the theological school, college, and the preparatory institutes, but of very many of the people in their homes. Nor is such study confined to the Theology of Scripture; it includes the fields of Geography, History, Ethnol. ogy, and Archæology. There has never been a time when so much material has been available for the illustration and vindication of that wonderful book. From library, monastery, ancient tomb, and ruined city the diligent searcher has brought forth long-hidden lore. Very much of this information has been made available to the Bible student by special treatise and magazine and newspaper article.
The present is also the age of the encyclopedia, in which all this varied information may be preserved and arranged for reference. In the making of this encyclopedia thought has been constantly had of the people, the general Bible-studying public. To the professional student the encyclopedia may be rather a convenience than a necessity, as he is likely to possess many books containing the desired information. But to the general Bible student the encyclopedia is a necessity, for his library is usually limited and his time occupied in other pursuits. He requires that material shall have been carefully prepared and is instantly available. For both classes the present work has been prepared, and it is believed that it will prove a convenience and a necessity.
A good encyclopedia must possess the following features :
I. FULLNESS AND Accuracy. Every Bible topic should receive these two considerations, and all reliable information respecting it recorded. The range of strictly Bible topics in this encyclopedia is even more extensive than in the twelve-volume work of McClintock and Strong.
To secure accuracy the works of distinguished and recent writers have been consulted by the editor. Specialists in different lines have happily been secured; thus, Dr. H. A. Buttz, President of Drew Theological Seminary, contributed the article on Manuscripts; Dr. R. W. Rogers, the eminent
Assyriologist, a number of articles, as, Assyria, Babylonia, Chaldeans, Nineveh, etc.; Dr. J. F. McCurdy, of Toronto, articles on Old Testament Chronology; Cyrus, Darius, and Egypt; Dr. S. L. Bowman, formerly of De Pauw University, articles on New Testament Chronology, Gospels, Jesus Christ, Herod, etc.; Dr. E. McChesney, of Syracuse University, the series of articles on Bible Theology; Dr. George E. Post, of Beirut, Syria, articles on the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms and Palestine ; Dr. A. H. Tuttle, articles on the Bible and Literature of the Bible; Rev. W. Haskell, of Yale Library, articles on Music and Bible Nationalities; Professor D. S. Martin, formerly of Barnard College, New York, articles on Mineral Kingdom and Precious Stones; and Rev. H. M. Simpson, the Glossary of Obsolete and Archaic Words.
II. EASE OF REFERENCE. Frequently one consults an encyclopedia to find information on only a single point, and does not care or has not time to read an entire article. To aid in this matter of ready reference a systematic and uniform division of articles has been adopted. Thus a person consulting the article “ Isaac” will find the following divisions : Name and Family, Personal History, Character, Note (in which special attention is called to difficulties of interpretation, alleged discrepancies, etc.). The same divisions will be found in all biographical articles. Whenever the editor has found a figurative use of a word in the Bible such use has been given in the last division of the article, viz., Figurative. Thus, if one desires to consult this encyclopedia, he will find the divisions following the same order in all the articles and indicated by prominent type.
III. PROPER CONDENSATION. This edition of the People's Bible Encyclopedia is prepared in style and form as a companion to the Teacher's Bible. While a Bible encyclopedia is desired that is small in size and comparatively inexpensive, it should be equally accurate with those more costly and cumbersome. It must not suffer by a too rigid condensation. While an equally extensive field has to be traversed as by editors of the larger encyclopedias, space must be carefully economized. This lias been accomplished by avoiding mere discussion and the repetition in several articles of the same material. But the material is made available by cross references.
IV. IllusTRATIONS. The large amount of valuable material and the need of economizing space have led the editor to be careful in the selection of illustrations. Cuts have been used not for padding, but only as they served