Arguably the largest obstacle in understanding the OT today, is the separation of time between ancient cultures and our own. This problem undermines our attempts to understand the message of Scripture in its original intention as well as our efforts in applying it to today's increasingly troubled and complex world.
The Apollos Old Testament Commentary takes this gap seriously and bridges it by providing both detailed exegetical examination, and also a theological commentary that sets the text in the context of the modern world, applying it with wisdom and clarity.
Yet, the challenge to interpret the text theologically and in conjunction with the both the ancient and modern context, made even more acute by growing recognition of the hermeneutical gap between God's revelation, and human understanding of it. This is another bridge that The Apollos Old Testament Commentary addresses, and which further grounds its theological articulation of the text in sound exegesis and theological articulation.
Within all of these complexities, the question is begged: how could anyone, other than scholars access such a commentary when it deals with such complex issues?
The answer quite simply is that the series does not engage the issues in abstract terms, but rather only as it applies, and relates directly to, the questions and issues raised by the text itself, not speculative theology or abstract philosophy.
Each em>Apollos begins with an overview of the issues of date, authorship, sources and other historical details, but which also outlines the theology--more than in most commentaries--the theological emphasis of the particular biblical book under examination. Thus, the The Apollos Commentary Series, does not merely commentate on critical questions such as grammar and history, it interprets those elements in support of a broader theological project that supports the application of the biblical text to our culture and our time.
The theological emphasis is located distinctly within the theology of the biblical narrative, and with a full commitment to the Bible's authority, inspiration, and universal application to humanity. Thus, what we have here is a commentary that provides a detailed exegetical examination that leads---as all study of Scripture must, into a theological and life-giving understanding of the Bible for the Christian.
The Old Testament Book of Leviticus is the sequel to Exodus in that it deals with a deeper dimension of the Sinaitic covenant, giving various rules for the life of the Israelites and for the sacrifices and offerings to be performed in the sanctuary. It addresses the question of how the Israelites--human beings--can live in proximity to the holy God who has promised to dwell in their midst. In this excellent commentary, Nobuyoshi Kiuchi offers in-depth discussion of the theology and symbolism of Leviticus. He argues that its laws present an exceedingly high standard, arising from divine holiness, and the giving of these laws to the Israelites is intended to make them aware of their sinfulness, to lead them to hopelessness and ultimately to destroy their egocentric nature. To be confronted by the laws in Leviticus is to recognize the vast distance that separates the holy from the unclean and sinful, and so to appreciate afresh the grace of God, ultimately expressed in the life and work of Christ.
Nobuyoshi Kiuchi is professor of Old Testament at Tokyo Christian University, Japan. He is the author of (JSOT Press) and (Mohr Siebeck), and a contributor to the (IVP). He studied in England for his Ph.D. at the College of St. Paul & St. Mary, Cheltenham (now part of the University of Gloucestershire) and the Oxford Centre for Post-graduate Hebrew Studies.
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