This commentary weaves together the interpretations of Christian exegetes, spanning the past two thousand years, who have concerned themselves with that most mysterious of texts, the book of Leviticus. Even when their commentaries seem most fanciful, the depths of meaning of the Hebrew text comes through in all its many and diverse translations and applications. What we discover is evidence of a biblical text at work in some of the most eloquent of spokespersons throughout the generations. The third book of the Bible is happily enjoying a resurgence of interest in Jewish and Christian quarters alike, being received as a book for the life of the faithful community. What is attempted here is the story of its Western-Christian reception.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"In this sparkling synthesis of the Christian Church's traditional exegesis of Leviticus, Mark Elliott does what any good theologian should do with the Bible: help us learn how to read it within the Church. More than a collection of past perspectives, Engaging Leviticus is ordered by Elliott's own acute sense of key interpretive questions and of the larger purposes of the scriptural book. His own arguments are historically and intellectually illuminating; but more importantly, they orient us properly to Leviticus' pointed theological challenges in an exciting way. This is necessary scholarship for all students of Scripture." --Ephraim Radner Wycliffe College
"The book of Leviticus has been something of a sealed book for sometime in the modern imagination. But with the recent efforts of Mary Douglas in the field of anthropology and Jacob Milgrom in biblical studies there has been something of a renaissance in interest. Elliot has pushed the envelope even further by bringing to our attention the rich resources of the history of interpretation. His reading is almost impossibly vast, only matched by his erudition and eye for that which is truly important. No reader will look at Leviticus the same way having spent some time with this marvelous book." --Gary A. Anderson University of Notre Dame
"The theological Cinderella status of Leviticus, cemented by Reformational and historical-critical certainties, appears to leave it languishing as the epitome of rule-bound ritualism and archaic moral strictures against which progressive religion confidently defines itself. Here, by contrast, Mark Elliott's learned album of theological commentary through the ages retrieves a sparkling treasury of attentive reflection on the awkwardly alien particularities of Leviticus as holding forth and anticipating the word of truth." --Markus Bockmuehl Keble College
Mark W. Elliott
Mark W. Elliott is Senior Lecturer in Church History at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is author of The Song of Songs and Christology in the Early Church (2000), Isaiah 40-66 in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series (2007), and The Reality of Biblical Theology (2007).