Beginners scanning Leviticus will find much detail about rituals and sinful situations, but little enlightening context or rationale. This study explores how scholars imagine that these rituals and moral laws made sense to those living back then, even though many of these early rituals and customs have been discontinued or replaced by consensus with alternative forms of worship. The authors seem to be unquestioningly devout, and quite realistic about life at the same time. Everyone shared in rituals of faith at home, at shrines, or in Jerusalem; everyone honored the proper food and eligibility regulations, and everyone was called to the common code of justice. Likewise, most everyone knew at least the temptation to shirk religious duties; they understood the lure of trying to contact other gods, ones more lenient or at least easier to understand; and they could be inclined to look the other way at improper romances, or quick but dishonest chances to get a bigger slice of the pie. The Covenant was not a deal made by saints. It was a cry for help from sinners, a cry for help for which they had not earned the right. The same is true for us believers even now. ""At a time when biblical literacy leaves so much to be desired, pastors and teachers are constantly seeking for teaching aids to enable people to access the rich treasures of Holy Scripture. This is especially true of such books as Leviticus. With a professional lifetime studying and teaching the Torah behind him, and with a passionate love for the Scriptures, William T. Miller is a surefooted guide for student, teacher, and pastor. I cannot recommend his new book on Leviticus highly enough."" --Owen F. Cummings, Academic Dean and Regents' Professor of Theology, Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, OR William T. Miller, SJ, is an adjunct Associate Professor of Old Testament at Loyola University Maryland, in Baltimore. He has published introductory commentaries on Genesis (2006), Exodus (2009), and Numbers (2013). In the past he has taught undergraduates, as well as graduate students and seminarians.
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