Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary Review

I received a Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary for purposes of evaluation. Thoughts are my own.

I love getting new books that can help me understand the Bible better. Because I lead worship and devotions at church, it’s important for me to not just read through the verses and take it the way I understand it. I know I need to dig a little more and know the context surrounding the passages so that I can get a deeper understanding.

To do that, I check other Bible versions (KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, NASB and AMP are the usual versions I look up) to see other wordings. I also check the internet for Bible commentaries and dictionaries. But now that I have an actual Bible dictionary here at home, I won’t need to have internet connection if I need to look something up.

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is the most comprehensive and up-to-date Bible dictionary available. With a fresh new look and updated photographs, this new and enhanced edition is a wealth of basic study information with more than 7,000 entries plus more than 500 full-color photographs, maps, and pronunciation guides.

Features include:

  • Cross-references to major translations
  • More than 7,000 up-to-date entries
  • More than 500 full-color photographs and maps
  • Enlarged type size for easier reading
  • Visual Survey of the Bible from The Open Bible

About the Editor and Contributors

  • Ronald F. Youngblood is Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew Emeritus, Bethel Seminary San Diego.
  • F.F. Bruce (1910-1990) was Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis, University of Manchester in England.
  • R.K. Harrison (1920-1993) was Professor of Old Testament at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

As a visual learner, I appreciate the many pictures, charts and maps on this Bible dictionary. There are so many illustrations here that can help readers get a better grasp of the history, timeline, as well as differences between the concepts being explained.

I love that they included 5 Easy Steps to Better Bible Study using Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary. I admit at first I just read the passages then referred to the Bible dictionary when there are terms or words I want to check. But the 5 steps definitely helped me learn how I can use this Bible dictionary in my everyday reading so I can understand the Bible verses on a deeper level.

For the entries of each book of the Bible, you will find a helpful study and teaching outline which helps you organize each book according to theme or event.

But what I loved the most about this Bible dictionary are the first few pages where they presented a Visual Survey of the Bible from the Old to the New Testament. There’s also a History of the World and a History of Israel (the People, the Land, the Kingdom, the Remnant). It also shows charts on the Poetic Books, the Prophetic Books, the Life of Christ, History of the Early Church, Writings of the Early Church, and Themes of the New Testament Letters.

This is only a Bible dictionary and not a commentary, so not all entries are discussed in depth. I still think it’ll be nice to have a Bible commentary in addition to a Bible dictionary. But this will do for now since I’m only just really doing weekly devotions with a small group at church, and if a difficult question is raised, I can always park that question and consult our Pastor so he can answer in detail.

All in all, I think this is a good Bible dictionary. This is going to be especially helpful for me as I go through our church’s School of Leadership where we discuss doctrinal truths. I can use this to complement our discussions in class, and I’ll have something to refer to or check should I want more information.


BUY IT! Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is available for purchase at and

I received a Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary for purposes of evaluation. Thoughts are my own.


Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary Review — 54 Comments

  1. Thanks for the Fantastic Review of Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary! I know that you have an awful lot of different type of Bibles, because I read your reviews on an awful lot of them! This Illustrated Bible Dictionary sounds terrific. It sounds like you really do like it. I bet it’s a terrific resource for you for your readings at Church! Thanks so much for the review and for all the information you provided us! I honestly appreciate it! Thanks again, Michele 🙂
    Michele Ash recently posted..Canon EOS Rebel T5i Promo At @BestBuy! #CanonatBestBuy #HintingSeasonMy Profile

  2. What a wonderful help this has to be. I will be very interested in the Bible Dictionary. It would help answer a lot of questions for my daughter who needs to look at the passsages and wants a deeper undertanding of what she read. Thanks for the post.
    Carol L

  3. I have a very good Bible Commentary that helps shed light on difficult passages. I like this Nelsons Bible Dictionary. It looks like a great product to use! I need to get one!

  4. I love this idea for helping us with teaching our children about the bible. Sometimes, there are passages in the bible that I have a hard time wrapping my head around so to explain it to my 11 and 13 year olds is tough.. this sounds like it would be the exact tool that we need to accompany our bible studies.. Thanks so much for the review.

  5. At all my bible study groups there is always a situation where we talk about wanting a picture of a particular item or geographic area. This looks like a really neat tool

  6. Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary sounds perfect, this is definitely an item that I would purchase. Thank you for sharing this review.

  7. I am new to Bible study, well I am about 2 years in. I still have trouble grasping all the stories, and people. I think the visual component would be really helpful. I will look into this resource. Anything that will aid me in forming a better understanding, and hence a better relationship with God is something I want to do. Thank you very much for sharing.

  8. Thank you for the great review, I often order books direct from Amazon so don’t really get to look over the books. This would be a great bible to replace my current copy, which I have had since elementary school.

  9. Bible dictionaries are often overlooked – including illustrated. I’ve seen them and think it would be nice to have one. It would make a nice gift, too.

  10. I would love to have this Bible dictionary. I could really use it when reading my KJV Bible.

  11. I would love to buy or better yet win (I know this article/review is not a giveaway)this illustrated Bible so VatiCan explain more about the. Bible so that my son can understand what I am reading to him.

  12. Thank you for the review. I am the coordinator for our third grade religion classes at our church and I am always looking for great ways to teach the kiddos and our teachers. This book may actually have more than I need but it sounds awesome.

  13. Thank you for your in-depth review. I think this would definitely help me understand the Bible more and I love that it’s illustrated!

  14. This is a great review of a book that I think would be so very helpful. I appreciate your honesty about it and you have me intrigued. I am going to have to look into purchasing this. Thank you!

  15. I had no idea such a thing existed! This looks very informative and useful. I’ll check in to it! Thanks for the review.

  16. Something such as this would be very beneficial for bible study! Thanks for the review!

  17. Thank you for this review. I have dyslexia and learning is hard for me. I think with the illustrations, this book would be perfect. I have an understanding of the Bible of course, but to be on a deeper level, the level at which I wish I was on, this is what I think I need to achieve that!! So thank you so much for this review!!!!!

  18. I think this book would be a great help in understanding the bible no matter what your religion is. I love books that help you understand the bible.

  19. This would be great for my grandchildren so when they are older I can help explain and answer their questions better.

  20. I liked your review of the Nelson Illustrated Bible Dictionary. I also liked that they presented a Visual Survey of the Bible from the Old to the New Testament. This would be a great reference to help put everything together!

  21. Thanks so very much for the Fantastic Review on Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary Review! It seems like this is a really terrific book which helps when there is something that you don’t quite understand. This is something that I’ve never heard of before a Bible Dictionary! I love it! I’m sure this is going to be a great help to you with your classes and lectures at church. Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic review and all the information on the Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary with all of us! I truly do appreciate it! Thanks again! Michele 🙂
    Michele Ash recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day $50 Target Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

  22. I think my mother would love this! I love that is illustrated and has so much info in it!

  23. This is great for looking up information on the Bible. It looks very informative.

  24. The Bible is God’s letter to us & I agree sometimes it is hard to understand some of the verses. It was written thousand of years ago, but it has made it through all the tribulations of time!! You are right!! To teach something & have someone else learn, you have to understand it yourself!! I also like learning about the areas/maps at that time back then. Plus, I like pronunciation guides. I still don’t know if I am saying the verses right. I have a book that I really like called THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BIBLE PROMISES – BY: J. STEPHEN LANG
    It’s encouragement for everyday life from the New Living Translation.
    I need encouragement every day – we all do!!

  25. Me too!! I feel awful but the Bibile can be so confusing!! Sometimes I just get so lost!! What a big help this would be!

  26. This illustrated Bible Dictionary sounds like an informative reference! Thanks for the review!