IVP’s final Dictionary of the Old Testament has just come out (May 17, 2012).
If you’re interested you can buy it here: Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets (The Ivp Bible Dictionary Series).
These volumes are great resources for any biblical library. While most Bible dictionaries include thousands of shorter articles, this series includes longer, more in-depth articles that give the curious reader plenty of cultural background, historical context and references for further research. Since each article has many headings and sub-headings, you don’t need to read the entire article if you’re only interested in a certain aspect of the topic.
Let’s say, you’re teaching on, or just studying the book of Haggai. You could begin by reading the extended article on Haggai (or on any other one of the Prophetic Books). It will be far more in-depth than what you’d find in a study Bible. (Don’t get me going on Study Bibles; see “I hate Study Bibles“).
I use these dictionaries all the time.
By the way, I contributed two articles for this volume (so I’m biased):
1) “Wrath” (4000 words). I’m now the Wrath guy–I can’t understand it, but my family thinks it fits. What does it say on the bottom of your golf club? Mine say “Wrath.” Need I say more? To get the full story, read this blog post (“The Wrath of Dave”).
2) “Word of God” (5000 words). The word of God in the Prophets? Isn’t that pretty much the whole thing? Yes. This was a difficult article to write.