The Key To Leviticus

I had a wonderful letter in my inbox this morning, Subject: Leviticus I hate to be ignorant, but I am. Ignorant about unimportant things like opera, but unfortunately I am always feeling I am missing Biblical things too. I’ve worked through Leviticus as part of my Bible study recently, but for me it seemed as much work as anything – glad I don’t have to do all the ceremonial offerings and cleansings, wondering why it is so unfair to the wives suspected without evidence of unfaithfulness, and thinking what a production the tabernacle must have been with two million people trying to bring guilt offerings and sin offerings and thank offerings and whatnot all with a single altar. So what is it that makes Leviticus so cool? By the way, Leviticus and Deuteronomy are supposed to be Bob Dylan’s favorite books of the Bible. For what it’s worth. Thanks for writing. Leviticus as a book has been much maligned by Christians in large part because the first several chapters are laced with blood, guts and strict descriptions concerning animal sacrifice’s the purpose of which we usually don’t know. Go on and you have selections where skin diseases are described tedium-ad-nauseam. And it just gets “better.” That however is the surface […]

Luke 24:27

Archaeologists Discover that Ancient Dead Sea Scroll Is Chapter of Leviticus

One of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls that never has been understood turns out to be a 1,500-year-old copy of the beginning of the Book of Leviticus (VaYikra). Source: Printed from The Jewish Press » Blog Archive » Archaeologists Discover that Ancient Dead Sea Scroll Is Chapter of Leviticus I’m not sure how profound a find this is in terms of adding to the scholarship of the book of Leviticus, but it’s definitely cool.  Since Leviticus is one of my favorite books I take great pleasure in reading more about it.   EDIT: Here’s another article on the same topic: http://www.religionnews.com/2015/07/21/biblical-text-the-oldest-find-since-the-dead-sea-scrolls-revealed-in-digital-image-of-a-charred-scroll/

Take it Back

As I’ve been working through and meditating on Leviticus, looking at how God takes the symbolism of varied rituals which the Israelites were familiar with – but infuses them with new meaning I recorded this response to the end of chapter 14 after meditating on the typically arcane rituals of diagnosing varied rots and restoring purity to what became impure…   Once again many of the rituals, this one included, are echoes and remnants of the pagan cultures around them, but God strips them of their pagan lies and invests them with his truth. In other cultures the birds are sent to the underworld in order to appease the chthonic deities. But it is not so in Israel. God always recaptures the symbolism and directs the attention to Himself. He is the one who strikes down and the one who heals. The impurity present is not sin, but is symbolic – a teaching lesson that men might see in the common before them, the uncommon (but oft unseen in this world) horror of sinning against God. In many of these procedures, rites, and rituals God always takes back the honor and the glory that is rightfully His and he does it by using what His people can understand. God stoops to […]