Dictionary of Deities and demons In the bible
Karel van der Toom , Bob Becking , Pieter W. van der Horst
The Dictiona1)’ of Deities and Demons in the Bible (henceforth DDD) is in some ways unlike any other dictionary in the field of biblical studies. This is the first catalogue of its kind, one which discusses all the gods and demons whose names are found in the Bible. Complementing the usual surveys and histories of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Ugaritic, Syro-Palestinian, Persian, Greek, and Roman religion, DDD assesses the impact of contemporary religions on Israel and the Early Church by focusing on those gods that actually left traces in the Bible. The deities and demons dealt with in this dictionary are not all of one kind. Even though the distinction between major and minor gods is a delicate one, some of the gods here discussed are more representative of their culture than others; Marduk’s place in Babylonian religion is more central than that of the god Euphrates. If both have nevertheless found their way into DDD, it is because the two of them are mentioned in the Bible. Other gods, however, despite their importance, have no separate entry in DDD because there is not a single mention of them in the biblical books: Enlil is an example of this. The imbalance produced by a selection based on the occurrence of a god’s name in the Bible is redressed, to some degree, by a system of cross-references throughout DDD and an index at the end. Thus Anu, the Mesopotamian god of heaven, does not have a separate entry, but is discussed under ‘Heaven’, and in various other articles indicated in the index. The inevitable disproportion caused by the criterion on which DDD has been conceived is often more optical than real.