Logos Research Systems $360, available in bookstores or from Logos, (360) 679–6575; http://www.logos.com
The highly regarded Anchor Bible Dictionary (ABD)a is now available in CD-ROM form. Traditionalists may prefer the six hefty volumes of the printed version, but for those comfortable with electronic media, the choice will prove a “no-brainer”: The CD-ROM can’t be beat for speed and utility. All the articles from the original appear on a single disk, together with the extras you would expect. Related articles are highlighted within an entry and can be called up with a click of the mouse. Passages can be “bookmarked” for later reference or highlighted and copied into the user’s own notes, and Bible passages can be looked up quickly thanks to the inclusion of the King James and New Revised Standard versions. The CD, of course, is a great space saver (one thin disk compared to the one and a half cubic feet taken up by the printed set), but there is no cost saving—both versions are $360.
A couple of quibbles: The graphics are awkward to use. For most, the user will need to scroll up and down and sideways to see the entire picture. The whole point of graphics is to allow viewers to apprehend many pieces of information at once. More significant, the CD contains no new material. Though first published in 1992, the ABD consists of entries written in the late 1980s (David Noel Freedman’s editor’s preface is dated 1990). Those entries, in turn, rely on earlier scholarship (the bibliography for the Jerusalem entry, for example, lists only one item—another bibliography—later than the mid-1980s). So the ABD CD-ROM has enshrined scholarship that is a good dozen years out of date. In its defense, though, a good Bible dictionary, which ABD certainly is, cannot be expected to provide the most up-to-date information but should rather serve as a basic reference for an entire generation of users. By that standard, the ABD CD-ROM succeeds admirably and will reach a whole new generation of computer-literate users.
The Anchor Bible Dictionary on CD-ROM
Logos Research Systems
$360, available in bookstores or from Logos, (360) 679–6575; http://www.logos.com
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