Leviticus (Mentor Commentary Series)
Leviticus received its English title from the Greek Levitikon, which means pertaining to the Levites. Probably, Jewish scribes [who called Leviticus the Priest�s Manual] influenced the title in the Tannaitic Period (200 B.C. - 200 A.D.). While the title is...
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Leviticus received its English title from the Greek Levitikon, which means pertaining to the Levites. Probably, Jewish scribes [who called Leviticus the Priest�s Manual] influenced the title in the Tannaitic Period (200 B.C. - 200 A.D.). While the title is appropriate for certain sections it fails to point out that most of the book is directed to all of the people of Israel. The priesthood of Israel was not meant to be a secret society with mysterious practices known only to them.Sadly, it appears, the Book of Leviticus has been retired to a secondary status in the Church today. Christians have largely relegated the punctilious details about such things as sacrifices and purity laws to a bygone era. There is, of course, some good reason for that. While rabbinic commentary teaches that this is the first book of Scripture that children should learn (aged 5), modern readers often view Leviticus as tedious and dull. Reading Leviticus was in the words of a third century church scholar, like having to eat unfit food.The practices in Leviticus may seem distant and mysterious to the modern western world yet there are fundamental elements in the Book of Leviticus that are both universal and relevant to the contemporary scene. What Christian would say that love your neighbor as yourself, the second greatest commandment, should be relegated to the past? Here, one of the most oft cited verses in the New Testament is a command that appears first in the Book of Leviticus. But it doesn�t stop there. Hebrews particularly expounds on Leviticus; it is close to impossible to comprehend parts of Hebrews without reference to Leviticus. This can be said with regard to passages in the Gospels as well.
Robert I. Vasholz is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament of Covenant Theological Seminary(ThM, Covenant Theological Seminary; MA, St. Louis University; ThD University of Stellenbosch (South Africa); post-doctoral studies, Brandeis and Harvard Universities).Dr. Vasholz served for three years as director of admissions, assistant dean of students, and as an instructor in Hebrew at Covenant Seminary before being appointed to the faculty in 1975. His creative approach to learning Semitic languages is evident in his study guide, Hebrew Exercises: A Programmed Approach, as well as in his language teaching. Dr. Vasholz' Jewish heritage gives him a unique and valuable perspective on Old Testament studies, both in language study and in practical, apologetic application. In addition to a number of articles, his publications include Data for the Sigla of the BHS, The Old Testament Canon in the Old Testament Church: The Rationale for Old Testament Canonicity, Pillars of the Kingdom: Five Features of the Kingdom of God Progressively Revealed in the Old Testament, and a new commentary on Leviticus. Though Dr. Vasholz retired in 2007, he continues to serve God's people through his teaching, preaching, and publishing projects