Leviticus is among the least read and understood books of the Bible. The contents may even seem boring and uninviting. Why should we study a book that begins and ends with animal sacrifices and presents detailed laws concerning ritual purity and priestly practices?
The answer is that Leviticus is part of God's Word. It tells us what is true and of eternal benefit to our lives. Here is a book to make us wise about salvation. The things that happened to Israel in the Old Testament are symbolic pointers to the wonderful salvation we have begun to enjoy in Christ.
Like Israel of old, we need to be constantly reminded of who God is, how he is to be approached and worshipped and how we should live our lives as God's people in a hostile environment. Leviticus indicates the kind of people God's covenant community ought to be in the light of God's grace.
At the same time and in its own special way, Leviticus points us forward to the one who came to save his people from their sins and bring them to God. Without this book we cannot begin to understand the death of Christ and his priestly work on our behalf. Neither can we appreciate the many references to cleansing, purity, wholeness, separation, and holiness that we find in the New Testament. It is also from this book that Jesus quoted the second great commandment: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Praise for the Print Edition
Many who set out with the good intention of reading consecutively through the Scriptures come to a grinding halt at Leviticus. Philip Eveson's book will get one going again and should prove a corrective to the attitude that sees Leviticus—not to mention other substantial elements of the Old Testament—as obscure, dry, and irrelevant.
—John Tindall, co-pastor of Chessington Evangelical Church, Surrey, England
The Beauty of Holiness is laid out quite helpfully in thirty-three very manageable sections, dealing mostly with self-contained units in the text of Leviticus. This arrangement will certainly prove useful for the preacher or teacher who undertakes an exposition of the book of Leviticus, giving him insight into how the text is naturally structured, and how it might best be broken down and headed for maximum clarity. It is also a well-adapted structure for the devotional reader at home: indeed, I can think of few better strategies for a month or so of devotional reading than to read every day one of the suggested portions of Leviticus, together with the corresponding chapter from Eveson. This is not just a commentary for clergy and theologians. It was designed for the everyday Christian who is hungering to know more of the person and work of Christ, the way in which to receive his grace, and the nature of our obligations to him.
—Nathan Pitchford on Reformationtheology.com
- Title: The Beauty of Holiness: Leviticus Simply Explained
- Author: Philip Eveson
- Publisher: Evangelical Press
- Series: Welwyn Commentary Series
- Publication Date: 2007
- Pages: 416
About the Author
Philip Eveson is a Welshman who has studied the biblical languages and theology at the University of Wales, the University of Cambridge, and the University of London. He trained for the Christian ministry at the Calvinistic Methodist College. After serving churches in South Wales, he was appointed vice-principal of the Kensit Memorial College in Finchley, North London. He as been the minister of Kensit Evangelical Church for twenty-five years and is now the principal of London Theological Seminary, where he has lectured since its inception.