The Dictionary of the Bible, ed. by H.B. Hackett

| Updated: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 | Tagged: bible, dictionary.

There are a large number of bible dictionaries from the 19th century on, and it is difficult to know how much value they retain.

Brevard Childs believed that the four-volume set edited by H.B. Hackett was still worth consulting. He described it in these terms:1

A set that I prize highly is William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, edited by Horatio B. Hackett. Not only are there superb articles on such subjects as “canon,” “tabernacle,” and “Bible,” but each article is concluded with an elaborate bibliography of the history of exegesis.

A brief dip into the “canon” article bears out this impression. It covers 20 closely-packed, double-column pages in which the erudition is plain to see. It also just happens that the author is Brooke Foss Westcott.

The full bibliographic information is: H.B. Hackett (ed.), Dr. William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible Comprising Its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History. 4 vols; Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1889.

There are other scattered copies also available, but this is the only full set.

  1. B.S. Childs, Old Testament Books for Pastor & Teacher (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1977), p. 20.