Smith's Bible Dictionary

Smith's Bible Dictionary, originally named A Dictionary of the Bible, is a 19th-century Bible dictionary containing upwards of four thousand entries that became named after its editor, William Smith. Its popularity was such that condensed dictionaries appropriated the title, "Smith's Bible Dictionary".

Smith's Bible Dictionary, 1863
Sir William Smith.

The original dictionary was published as a three-volume set in 1863, in London and Boston, USA. This was followed by A Concise Dictionary of the Bible (1865), intended for the general reader and students, and A Smaller Dictionary of the Bible (1866), for use in schools. A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Bible (1868), was published simultaneously in London and New York, and a four-volume Dictionary of the Bible (1871), was published in Boston, amongst other things incorporating the appendices of the first edition into the main body of the text.

In the UK, a corresponding second edition of the first volume in two parts, edited by Smith and J. M. Fuller, was published in 1893.

The original publications are now in the public domain; some derivative, commercial versions are still in copyright.

Noted contributors to the dictionary include Harold Browne, bishop of Ely; Charles J. Ellicott, bishop of Gloucester and Bristol; and the Cambridge scholars J. B. Lightfoot, William W. Selwyn, and Brooke Foss Westcott, who would later become bishop of Durham.

One of the American contributors was George Edward Post, a medical doctor and botanist (of the American University of Beirut (AUB)).[1]