My copy of Nelson's Biblical Cyclopedic Index (BCI) bills itself as the "Best Bible Subject Index Ever". I'm not sure I'm qualified to evaluate that claim, but I will say that this little volume came in mighty handy this evening as I prepared to write my weekly blog post at another site. I needed verses to go with the theme of "changed lives" and while I did not find those exact terms, I did find plenty under "repent" and "repentance" with a pointer to "conversion". A search on "birth" led to "new birth" and "born again" and finally to the perfect verse in Titus to round out my column.
The BCI includes a collection of word studies from the Old and New Testaments: covenant, forgive, grace, etc. Most headings, unless a proper name or simple concept, contain a list of subheadings which make it useful for developing a Bible study or talk. For example: "Faith" is subdivided into topics such as "Nature of", "Obtained from", "Kinds of", "Described as", and "Examples of" in both the Old and New Testaments. After each reference is a scripture reference that fits the topic.
Want to know all about the Moabites? You'll find "History of", "Characteristics of", "Prophecies concerning their...." Curious about the Jewish calendar? There's a scriptural reference for every month. Want some basics on the life of Paul? You'll find 2 pages of references.
It's not perfect. There's a really cool list of measurements not found under "measurement" but under "Jewish measures". So you'll want to do some browsing, highlighting, and tabbing of interesting pages. But I'm sure I'll use this reference as a go-to source for whatever topic I'm writing on each week.
The BCI is easy to use and small enough to slip into a tote bag and bring to Bible study (though I will need my glasses). Highly recommended for personal use or as a gift for a Bible teacher or friend.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”