Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, abridged [by J. Taylor,] from the larger work by J. K.
Delmarva Publications, Inc., 1849
This Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature is a 6 volume set in 1 book. It has over 2,300 entries and more than 300 illustrations. It also has a linked table of contents and a full word index at the end of the volume. This Encyclopedia was designed to furnish a Dictionary of the Bible, not framed, as others had been, out of old materials, but embodying the products of the best and most recent researches in Biblical Literature, in which the scholars of this country and of the continent had been engaged. That work—the result of an immense labor and research, and enriched by the contributions of writers of distinguished eminence in the various departments of Sacred Literature—has been, by universal consent, pronounced to be the first work of its class, and the one best suited to the advanced knowledge of the present day, in all the studies connected with Theological Science. But although that Encyclopedia is regarded as indispensable to the libraries of all Ministers and Theological Students, it has been concluded that a Compendious Abridgment of its contents, embracing all the matter suited to popular and general use, might be acceptable to very many whose studies have not created a need for the larger work, or whose means do not enable them to secure the possession of it. In the present volume an attempt has, therefore, been made to supply this want, by providing such a popular Abridgment of the Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature as may be suited to the use of the great body of the religious public, and which may be expected to be of essential service to parents and teachers in the important business of Biblical Education, while to many young persons it may serve as an introduction to the more extensive work.
The original publication is above twice the size of the present. The Epitome now offered for popular use has been prepared with much care and solicitude, by the condensation of most of the matter in the original work, and by the entire omission of some articles which were supposed to be of less interest to the general reader than to the Clergyman and the Theological Student. In the work, as it here stands, is offered such an exhibition of the results of large research, without the details and authorities, as could not, it is believed, have been produced, had not the larger Encyclopedia previously existed, and its valuable materials been made available for this service. Drawn from such a source, it is believed that this Abridgment will possess the same superiority over Popular Encyclopedias of this class, as the original work confessedly does over those which aspire to higher erudition.
In the Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature the initials of the writers are annexed to their respective contributions. This has not been deemed necessary in the present Abridgment; but a list is given of all the writers who cooperated with the editor in the production of the original work, from which the present Compendium has been formed.
Many articles in the larger Encyclopedia, more especially in the department of Natural History, are treated under the Hebrew or Greek form of a word: but, in the present popular Compendium, it has been judged better that these articles should appear under the names by which they are represented in the authorized version of the Scriptures, and take their place in the alphabetical position they hold under these names.
It remains only to be added, that although the editor has taken some part of the labor, and has supervised the whole operation, the substantial work of the Abridgment has been executed by the careful hands of the Reverend James Taylor, D.D., of Glasgow.