Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries.

1. The 1st encyclopedias were works of 1 author and were designed to summarize the knowledge and thinking of the time. Aristotle* wrote many encyclopedic treatises. The Historia Naturalis of Pliny the Elder, dating from AD 77–79, the oldest encyclopedia in existence, is regarded by many as the 1st encyclopedia because of its method of compilation. Isidore* of Seville, Vincent* of Beauvais, and R. Bacon* tried to cover every branch of knowledge. In 1630 the 1st modern encyclopedia (one of the 1st to bear the title Encyclopaedia) was pub. by J. H. Alsted.* The 1st notable alphabetic Eng. cyclopedia was issued 1704 by John Harris. Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia 1st appeared 1728 in 2 vols. The Encyclopedia Americana, 1st pub. 1829, was the 1st successful venture of its kind originating in Am.

2. By derivation, encyclopedia means instruction in the circle of arts and sciences regarded by the Gks. as essential to a liberal educ. Classical Gks. understood enkyklios (“in a circle”) paideia (“learning”) as referring to a complete system of instruction. Apparently Enkyklopaideia was not used in book titles till the 16th c., when it usually designated philos, or pedagogical works rather than comprehensive compilations.

3. In the 14th–16th c. the encyclopedia developed in 2 ways: 1. a combination of different modes of organizing knowledge; 2. the separation of the function of the encyclopedia from biographical, hist., lexicographical, philos., philol., and pedagogical works.

4. Modern encyclopedias purport to be repositories of information on one or more branches of knowledge. They are usually organized alphabetically for rapid and easy use.

5. Earliest important Christian dictionary was the Onomasticon of Eusebius* of Caesarea, a geog. dictionary of the Bible. Jerome* (d. ca. 420) wrote De nominibus Hebraicis and De viris illustribus. Many dictionaries and cyclopedias have been compiled in recent cents.

6. Gen. religious encyclopedias: Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, ed. J. J. Herzog and A. Hauck, 3d ed., 21 vols. plus index vol. and 2 supplementary vols. (Leipzig, 1896–1913); The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge [based on Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche, ed. J. J. Herzog and A. Hauck], ed. and tr. P. Schaff et al., 12 vols. plus index vol. (Grand Rapids, Michigan, reprint 1949–53); Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge [extension of The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, ed. and tr. P. Schaff et al.], ed. L. A. Loetseher (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1955); Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. J. Hastings, 12 vols. plus index vol. (New York, 190826; 4th impression 1956–60); J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, 3d ed., 11 vols. plus index vol. and supplementary vol. (London, 1907–15, 1937); A Dictionary of Religion and Ethics, ed. S. Mathews and G. B. Smith (New York, 1921); An Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. V. Ferm (New York, 1945); A. Bertholet and H. v. Campenhausen, Wörterbuch der Religionen (Stuttgart, 1952); Nordisk teologisk uppslagsbok för kyrka och skola (Lund and Copenhagen, 1952–57); F. König, Religionswissenschaftliches Wörterbuch (Freiburg, 1956); Weltkirchenlexikon, ed. F. H. Littell and H. H. Walz (Stuttgart, 1960); Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. K. Galling, 3d ed., 5 vols. plus index vol. (Tübingen, 1957–65).

7. Christianity—for. works: Encyclopédie théologique, ed. J. P. Migne, 3 series, 168 vols. in 170 (Paris, 1845–66); Kirke-leksikon for Norden, ed. F. Nielsen, 4 vols. (Copenhagen, 1900–29); Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. A. Baudrillart, vols. 1–17 (Paris, 1912–71, in progress); Dictionnaire pratiqae des connaissances religieuses, ed. J. Bricout, 6 vols. plus supplement (Paris, 1925–29); Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétiqae et mystique, doctrine et histoire, ed. M. Viller, et al., 7 vols. (Paris, 1932–71, in progress); Enciclopedia ecclesiastica, ed. A. Bernareggi, vols. 1–6 (Milan, 1942–55, in progress); Theologisch Woordenboek, ed. H. Brink, 3 vols. (Roermond, Neth., 1952 to 1958); The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross (London, 1957; 2d ed. F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, London, 1974); Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon, ed. H. Brunotte and O. Weber, 3 vols. plus index vol. (Göttingen, 1956–61).

8. Christian antiquities: A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, ed. W. Smith and S. Cheetham, 2 vols. (Hartford, Connecticut, 1880); A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines, ed. W. Smith and H. Wace, 4 vols. (London, 1877–87); A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century AD, with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies, ed. H. Wace and W. C. Piercy (London, 1911); Dictionnaire d'arcachéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. F. Cabrol, H. Leclerq, and H. Marrou, 15 vols. in 30 parts (Paris, 1903–53); Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, ed. T. Klauser, F. J. Dölger, H. Lietzmann, et al., vols. 1–7 (Stuttgart. 1950–69. in proggress).

9. Bible: A Dictionary of the Bible, ed. J. Hastings, 4 vols. plus extra vol. with indexes (Edinburgh, 1898–1904); Encyclopaedia biblica, ed. T. K. Cheyne and J. S. Black, 4 vols. (New York, 1899–1903); A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, ed. J. Hastings, 2 vols. (New York, 1906–08); The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, ed. J. Orr, 5 vols., rev. M. G. Kyle (Chicago, 1930); Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, ed. J. Hastings, 2 vols. (New York, 1916); J. D. Davis, A Dictionary of the Bible, 4th ed. (Philadelphia, 1924); A New Standard Bible Dictionary, ed. M. W. Jacobus et al., 3d ed. (New York, 1936); J. D. Davis, The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible, rev. H. S. Gehman (Philadelphia, 1944); M. S. Miller and J. L. Miller, Encyclopedia of Bible Life, rev. ed. (New York, 1955); Dictionnaire de la Bible, ed. F. G. Vigouroux, L. Pirot, et al., 5 vols. plus 8 supplementary vols. (Paris, 1895–1912; 1928–72, in progress); Encyclopaedia Biblica [Entsiqlopediyah Miqra'it], 6 vols. (Jerusalem, 1954–71, in progress); A Theological Word Book of the Bible, ed. A. Richardson (New York, 1950); Bibel-Lexikon, ed. H. Haag, 8 parts (Einsiedeln, Switz., 1951–56); Encyclopedia of Biblical Interpretation, ed. M. M. Kasher, 8 vols. (New York, 1953–70, in progress); Biblisch-theologisches Handwörterbuch zur Lutherbibel und zu neueren Übersetzungen, ed. E. Osterloh and H. Engelland (Göttingen, 1954); J. E. Steinmueller, Catholic Biblical Encyclopedia (New York, 1950); M. F. Unger, Unger's Bible Dictionary (Chicago, 1957); J.-J. v. Allmen, Vocabulaire Biblique, 2d ed., Eng. A Companion to the Bible, tr. P. J. Allcock et al. (New York, 1958); W. Corswant, Dictionnaire d'archéologie biblique, ed. É. Urech (Neuchatel, 1956), tr. A. Heathcote, A Dictionary of Life in Bible Times (New York, 1960); The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, ed. G. A. Buttrick, 4 vols. (Nashville, 1962); The Cambridge History of the Bible, ed. P. R. Ackroyd, C. F. Evans, G. W. H. Lampe, and Greenslade, 3 vols. (Cambridge, Eng., 1963–70); A. van den Born, Bijbels Woordenboek, 2d rev. ed. (Roermond, Neth., 1954–57), adapted and tr. L. F. Hartman, Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible (New York, 1963).

10. Denominational.

A. Protestant: The Mennonite Encyclopedia, ed. H. S. Bender and C. H. Smith, 4 vols. (Scottdale, Pennsylvania, 1955–59); Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, ed. C. J. Allen et al., 2 vols. (Nashville, Tennessee, 1958); Encyclopaedia of the Presbyterian Church, ed. A. Nevin (Philadelphia, [1884]).

B. Luth. in Am.: The Lutheran Cyclopedia, ed. H. E. Jacobs and J. A. W. Haas (New York, 1899); The Concordia Cyclopedia, ed. L. Fuerbringer, T. Engelder, P. E. Kretzmann (St. Louis, 1927); Lutheran Cyclopedia, ed. E. L. Lueker (St. Louis, 1954); The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, ed. J. Bodensieck, 3 vols. (Minneapolis, 1965).

C. Roman Catholic: Wetzer und Welte's Kirchenlexikon, ed. J. Hergenröther and F. Kaulen, 2d ed., 12 vols. plus index vol. (Freiburg, 1882–1903); The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. C. G. Herbermann, 15 vols. plus index vol. and 2 supplementary vols. (Supplement II in 2 parts) (New York, 1907–51); Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. J. Höfer and K. Rahner, 2d ed., 10 vols. plus index vol. and Das zweite Vatikanisehe Konzil, (Freiburg, 1957–68, in progress); New Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. W. J. McDonald (New York, 1967); Dictionnaire apologétique de la foi catholique, ed. A. d'Alès, 4 vols. plus index vol. (Paris, 1911–31); A Catholic Dictionary, ed. D. Attwater, 2d ed., rev. (New York, 1949); Enciclopedia cattolica, 12 vols. (Vatican City, 1948 to 54); Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, ed. A. Vacant, E. Mangenot, and É. Amann, 15 vols. plus 3-vol. index (Paris, 1909–49; 1953–72); The New Catholic Dictionary, ed. C. B. Pallen and J. J. Wynne (New York, 1929), reissued without rev. as Catholic Encyclopedic Dictionary (New York, 1941).

11. Jewish: The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. I. Landman, 10 vols. plus index vol. (New York, 1939–44); J. R. Rosenbloom, A Biographical Dictionary of Early American Jews (Lexington, Kentucky, 1960); The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. C. Roth (New York, 1959); The New Jewish Encyclopedia, ed. D. Bridger (New York, 1962).

12. Philosophy: R. Eisler, Handwörterbuch der Philosophie, ed. R. Müller-Freienfels, 2d ed. (Berlin, 1922); Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, ed. J. M. Baldwin, 2d ed., 2 vols. (New York, 1925); A Lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas Based on the Summa Theologica and Selected Passages of His Other Works, ed. R. J. Deferrari and M. Barry, 5 fascicles (Washington, D.C., 1948–49); Enciclopedia filosophica, 4 vols. (Venice, 1957); The Concise Encyclopedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers, ed. J. O. Urmson (New York, 1960); The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. P. Edwards, 8 vols. (New York, 1967). HLH

See also Encyclopedists; Lexicons.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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