These general-purpose dictionaries and encyclopedias are a good place to start exploring various topics in the Bible, whether concrete facts (e.g., Where is Ephesus? or Who is Nimrod?), themes or ideas (e.g., How are animals used or depicted in the Bible? or What role does music play in the Bible?), or background information about the composition of various books in the Bible. These resources are typically comprehensive and not limited to either the Hebrew scriptures or just the New Testament.
Many entries in these resources have bibliographies which can assist you in deepening your research.
What's the difference between an encyclopedia and a dictionary?
Technically, an encyclopedia and a dictionary are different types of resources. A dictionary (often in a single volume) provides an etymology and meaning of a word, while an encyclopedia (often in a series of books) is a more substantial treatment of issues and topics.
In practice, however, specialized subject dictionaries can be multi-volume works which are encyclopedic in scope, with in-depth articles and bibliographies. For the purpose of our work, dictionaries and encyclopedias are considered together, with the exception of language dictionaries (lexicons), which can be found under Language Resources.
The following resources can be located in the Reading Room. Click the title for more information about each book.