Every one acknowledges the great value of Dr. William Smith’s Bible Dictionary, as containing “the fruit of the ripest biblical scholarship of England,” and that much of this value remains in his own condensation of his larger work into one smaller volume, which is the basis of the present volume.
At the request of the publishers of this volume to make an abridgment of this work, and adapt it to the present wants of Sunday-school teachers, we have faithfully endeavored to embody the following results:
1. The main body of the work is precisely as Dr. Smith himself made it.
2. We have made some abridgments, but almost entirely of matter not specially helpful or interesting to teachers, or to any who would not be likely to have the large four-volume edition.
3. We have added all the proper names used in the New Revision, where they have differed from those in the Authorized Version.
4. The signification of all the proper names has been inserted from the best authorities, in addition to the few which are found in the former editions.
5. The results of the latest research, especially in regard to the topography of Palestine, are embodied in various articles.
6. Some subjects have been rearranged, to make them clearer, and sometimes fuller and more definite information has been given.
7. The dates at which persons lived and events took place have been inserted, not because absolute reliance can be placed on their accuracy, but in order to show the relative positions of each, and hence to give a clearer idea of the history and progress of events. The dates are in accordance with Archbishop Ussher’s system as printed in our common Bibles. Those after the reign of David, from which time a good degree of accuracy is obtainable, are from M`Clintock and Strong’s large Cyclopedia.
8. All important changes are marked with the signature “Ed.,” so that Dr. Smith may not be regarded as responsible for them.
9. Special thanks are due to the American Sunday-School Union for the use of some of the very excellent illustrations from Schaff’s Bible Dictionary.
F. N. and M. A. PELOUBET