For most Christians today, there is no message of the book of Leviticus, for it often goes unread. Yet Leviticus was the first priority in Jewish instruction of the law of Moses. Jesus and His hearers knew Leviticus well and took its teachings to heart.
The Documentary Hypothesis (separate JEDP portions later redacted) that reigned supreme over Pentateuchal studies for most of the twentieth century undercut the internal coherence of Leviticus that swayed the Jews of the New Testament period speculating that Leviticus was the nostalgic revisionist history of Judaic reformers in exile, rather than Leviticus originating with Moses. But more recently, such theories have fallen from favor, and Leviticus is being reconsidered for its historical representation of the ancient and foundational era of the Jews.
Derek Tidball explores the picture in Leviticus of Israel being brought together under the law of Moses. Here is a definitive presentation of what life as the people of God was to be like: the civic, cultic, religious, moral, legal, family, and ritual expectations of the covenant community. He reveals the message brought to the Jews by Leviticus in their day, making room for us to grasp its message to us in our day.
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