In my initial post on the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (DJG), I pleaded that even if you own the first edition of DJG you still need to pick up the second edition! But you may be wondering why this is so when most second editions are nothing more than an updated preface, bulked up bibliography, or possibly an added afterword. Let me assure of this: the second edition of DJG is far more than just a few added words; it is a complete re-writing from the ground up. Let me highlight a few notable changes in the second edition of DJG.
The first thing I noticed is the total page count of DJG. There is a nice increase in total pages in the second edition: 1,088 pages, compared to 933 in the first edition. It is always nice to see the addition of a few extra pages, especially when they are pages with substantial content.
With the second edition of DJG comes a bunch of new contributors. Some of the newbies are up-and-coming NT scholars and well know bloggers like Mike Bird and Nijay Gupta. There are also season scholars like Richard Bauckham and Scot McKnight included as well. This mixture of seasoned scholars with new helps to ensure that DJG will be a fresh and invigorating collection of essays. In all, there are a total of 128 contributors in the second edition, compared to 95 in the first. Joel, Jeannine, and Nick have done us a great service by increasing the number of excellent contributors.
The second edition of DJG contains 173 essays, while the first has 176. Initially, I was curious as to why there are actually less essays in the newest edition. My only thought is that maybe some of the essays in the first edition were subsumed by others in the second edition. At any rate, three less essays are no real concern. If the quality of the essays are anything like the first edition—and I have no doubt that is the case!—the second edition of DJG will be something you must have for any serious study of the Gospels and Jesus.
So, are you still on the fence about picking up the second edition of Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels? Well, allow me to flip you over the fence! There is no reason why you should not get this resource. It is now the new standard of Jesus and Gospel studies, and you will want to have a copy of the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels within your reach as you begin your studies or preaching on the four Gospels.