New International Dictionary of New Testament: Brown or Silva ?

Not open for further replies.


Puritan Board Freshman
I am thinking of purchasing the New International Dictionary of New Testament but cannot decide if should go with the original Brown edition or get the new updated one from Silva? Would like to hear from those who have went through both what pros and cons and or just personal preferences.

On a side note, what are thoughts about New International Dictionary of Old Testament by VanGemeren? Does not seem to be as popular as the NT edition. Do you know if this will also be updated in the future?

Thank you!

For His Glory-


Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I bought both NT/OT sets about 15 years ago, in seminary, as reference works I thought would be a bookshelf standard. I understood the one (NT) to be something of an update/supplement on Kittel (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 1974).

I think they are "nice to have," but I have not made significant use of them. My NT set (Brown) has extensive discussions of many, many NT words laid out in groupings alphabetically in English language categories (the indices are helpful and indispensable if searching for Gk term); the OT (Van Gemeren) set has a different "format," having a Hebrew alphabetical layout. There is also a smallish set of theological essays included at the end, i.e. conceptual grouping of terminological topics.

If you have the money and no greater needs, go ahead and purchase. My suspicion (no hands on knowledge) is that change in NT editorship has had little effect on the general quality--that would be astonishing, to say the least. Rather, these sets go through periodic updates led by publishers who own the titles, and don't want their market share of a reference "standard" to be eclipsed after 20-25yrs by a new title sold by the competition.


Staff member
Actually, Bruce, the new NIDNTTE is completely revised, and it is now organized according to the Greek alphabet. I have a copy of the new edition, and it is VERY different. I would highly recommend getting the new one over the old edition.

I use NIDOTTE all the time. It is one of my very favorite OT reference works, and I use NIDOTTE, TDOT, TLOT, TWOT, HALOT, BDB, and DCH (gotta love abbreviations!). I don't know if NIDOTTE will be updated any time soon or not. It doesn't need a whole lot of updating, in my opinion.
Not open for further replies.