The Sermon on the Mount commentary,  reference works consulted

Citation Style

This site follows Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) Manual of Style for its citations as far as is practicable.

The following is a list of the reference works consulted during the development of this site. It includes  dictionaries, encyclopaedias, whole Bible or Hebrew Bible commentaries, and collaborative works. Where the SBL abbreviation is used in the body of the site then this is noted.


Although some may call themselves dictionaries, these are all essentially collections of articles on topics.

Bromiley, G. W. ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans. 1986-8; repr. 1992; repr. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, inc., 2002. SBL abbreviation is ISBE. The original, published in 1915 and aiming to list every significant word in the Bible and Apocrypha, became a benchmark for such works. This is a thoroughly revised edition from 1986. The articles, which come from nearly 200 scholars, are now somewhat dated as they lack the benefits of the latest discoveries, but to some extent the format’s relative ease of use makes it much more approachable than some modern encyclopedias.

Elwell, Walter A., and Philip Wesley Comfort. Tyndale Bible dictionary. Tyndale reference library; Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 2001.

Green, Joel B., Scot McKnight, and I. Howard Marshall, Eds. Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1992. A scholarly encyclopaedia from a well respected publisher.

Freedman, David Noel, Ed. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 Vols. New York:Doubleday, 1996. SBL abbreviation is ABD. Scholarly dictionary, with well researched articles and bibliographies for topics. Can sometimes be awkward to use when minor topics are gathered into surveys of broader topics, e.g. subjects such as Bull and Locust are cross referenced to a broader survey article entitled ‘Zoology (Fauna)’. Similarly, Fig Tree cross references to Flora. The dictionary has some odd omissions, e.g. the lack of entries for theologically significant words such as Rock and Church. It is perhaps better thought of as an extensive collection of essays, rather than an exhaustive dictionary like the ISBE.

Herbermann, Charles G., Edward A. Pace, Condé B. Pallen, Thomas J. Shahan, John J. Wynne Eds., The Catholic Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia Press,1907-1914. A well received academic resource with comprehensive articles on a range of topics of particular interest to Catholics. Caution should be used when referring to articles that concern church organisation and policy, as there have been significant changes since 1914. An electronic version is now available at the New Advent web site, see

Negev, Avraham. The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land. 3rd ed. New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1996, c1990. A concise yet comprehensive archaeological encyclopaedia, covering Israel and Palestine and dealing with a wealth of major archaeological discoveries.  

Porter, Stanley E. and Craig A. Evans. Dictionary of New Testament Background : A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Electronic ed.; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2000. 

Singer, Isidore. ed. The Jewish Encyclopedia: a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day. 12 Vols. New York:Funk and Wagnalls, 1901-06. n.p. Cited 2 Dec 2008. Online: Highly regarded for its scholarship at the time of its issue, The Jewish Encyclopedia contains over 15,000 articles on Judaism and Jewish history. It still contains much of interest, especially regarding traditions. The text is reproduced along with scanned images of the original pages, although there are (in Feb 2009) no indications of which volume each article is taken from. The volume contents and publication dates are as follows:

  1. Aach - Apocalyptic Literature, 1901;
  2. Apocrypha - Benash, 1902;
  3. Bencemero - Chazanuth, 1902;
  4. Chazars - Dreyfus Case, 1903;
  5. Dreyfus-Brisac - Goat, 1903;
  6. God - Istria, 1904;
  7. Italy - Leon, 1904;
  8. Leon - Moravia, 1904;
  9. Morawczyk - Philippson, 1905;
  10. Philipson - Samoscz, 1905;
  11. Samson - Talmid Hakam, 1905;
  12. Talmud - Zweifel, 1906.

Dictionaries and language studies

These works are primarily concerned with the interpretation of words, idioms and symbols.

Bullinger, E. W., Figures of speech used in the Bible. London; New York: Eyre and Spottiswoode; E. and J. B. Young and Co., 1898. Scholastic reference work. Bullinger (1937-1913) was an English Anglican clergyman and former clerical secretary of the Trinitarian Bible Society. He was also founder of ultradispensational theology.

Kittle, G., G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed. Theological dictionary of the New Testament. Vols. 5-9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 1964-c1976.

Ryken, L., Wilhoit, J., Longman, T., Duriez, C., Penney, D., and Reid, D. G. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery: Electronic Ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2000. A recognised scholarly reference work. Individual articles are not attributed.


These provide passage by passage commentary on the text, but their scope is not as specifically related to the Sermon as the works mentioned in the main bibliography.

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Dowers Grove, Illinois:InterVarsity Press. 1993. A one volume commentary that utilises non-technical language to draw together the results of multiple strands of scholarship.

Richards, L. O., The Bible Readers Companion: electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books,1991; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996.

Walton, John H., Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament. Dowers Grove, Illinois:InterVarsity Press. 2000; electronic ed. A one volume commentary that utilises non-technical language to draw together the results of multiple strands of scholarship.

Collaborative works

These are generally online reference works. Their articles vary in the degree to which the information is authenticated, but the material is increasingly supported by reference to primary or secondary sources.

Wikipedia. Online: Cited 2 Dec 2008. Popular on-line collaborative encyclopaedia, with contributions by authors of unknown academic standing. Articles vary in the degree to which their information is authenticated, but the material is increasingly supported by reference to primary or secondary sources. Wikipedia is useful as a quick introduction to topics or pointer to additional avenues, but these should then be substantiated by the identification of more authoritative sources.