Book Reviews


THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, Vol. I, edited by G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren; translated by John T. Willis; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. 479 pp., $18.50 (cloth). [Reviewed by Prof. H.C. Hoeksema] 

This is the first volume of what promises to be a very ambitious project on the Old Testament similar to the recently completed series, <=”” i=””>, also published by Eerdmans. This Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament is also a translation from the German language. There is no question about it, in my opinion, that for those who can afford these expensive volumes, they will prove to be valuable helps in the study of the Old Testament. A work of this’ kind is intended, of course, only for those who are at home in the Hebrew language. However, the translators have made a concession: “This English edition has attempted to serve the needs of students of the Old Testament who do not have the linguistic background of more advanced scholars, without sacrificing the needs of the latter. Not only are Hebrew words transliterated, but wherever a precise technical scheme is not necessary, a simpler, more readable transliteration is employed, to enable the reader to sound out and thus become familiar with the word discussed. Meanings of foreign words are given even where they are obvious to advanced scholars. And where the Hebrew text versification differs from that of English bibles, the English verse is given in parenthesis. Such features will help all earnest students of the Bible avail themselves of the manifold theological insights of this monumental new work.” While this will undoubtedly prove to be a convenience for many students, it is nevertheless a sad commentary on the inability of far too many students of Scripture to make use of the Hebrew language.

The present volume covers the words from abh to badhadh.

While there is much valuable material to be found in this volume, I must needs add a word of caution to my recommendation. The reader is informed already on the dust jacket as follows: “The emphasis, though, is on Hebrew terminology and on biblical usage. Besides philology, form-critical and traditio-historical methods are employed, with the aim of understanding the religious statement in the Old Testament.” This means, of course, that one cannot simply accept all that is offered in this volume: for the authors are addicted to the viewpoint of higher criticism. In perusing this first volume, I discovered that in many instances this is very obvious. In other instances, however, this critical approach to Scripture is more subtle. Hence, the believing Reformed scholar must be warned to be very discerning when he makes use of a volume like this in his research. However, as anyone at home in this field will know, this is true even of some lexicons. Hence, this is no reason why I should not recommend this book as a valuable addition to one’s Old Testament library.

THE CORINTHIAN CATASTROPHE, by George E. Gardiner; Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich.; 56 pages, $.95, (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema]

The author of this little paperback is pastor of Calvary Undenominational Church in Grand Rapids.

This is a book about the Charismatic movement. The author is an avowed foe of this movement, although, as he informs us in the Introduction, he had his training in a Bible School which was Pentecostal. In answering the question why he wrote another book on this subject in a day when the market is flooded with books on this subject, he states: “Because if someone had shown me the clear warnings, the logical pronouncements and the spiritual patterns in Paul’s epistle when I was a young Christian, seeking to know and please my Lord, I could have been spared years of bondage, disillusionment and despair. I can only pray that God will use this writing to spare others the same.” Certainly, part of the value of this book lies in the fact that it is written by a convert from Pentecostalism.

While one could not expect from a book of this size a detailed expose of Pentecostalism, nor a thoroughgoing exposition of the pertinent Scripture passages, nevertheless this is basically a Scriptural approach; and it is clearly and rather crisply written.