The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception

The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception

The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception

The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception


This volume examines the formation, final form, themes, and interpretation of the Book of Leviticus. Contributors include well-known experts on Leviticus: Baruch Levine, Jacob Milgrom, Graeme Auld, Andreas Ruwe, and James Watts address Leviticus in its compositional and literary context; Alfred Marx, Mary Douglas, Walter Houston, and Adrian Schenker treat issues of cult and sacrifice; and Rene Peter-Contesse, Lester Grabbe, and Calum Carmichael discuss Leviticus on the priesthood. A groundbreaking section on Leviticus in translation and interpretation includes essays by Sarianna Metso and Eugene Ulrich, Martin McNamara, David Lane, Peter Flint, Robert Kugler, Bruce Chilton, Hannah Harrington, Gerhard Bodendorfer, Linda Schearing, and Judith Romney Wegner. These essays will serve students of Leviticus well for long time to come.


The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception contains, in addition to an Introduction, twenty-two essays on a range of topics in four sections: (a) Leviticus in its Literary Context; (b) Cult and Sacrifice; (c) Priesthood and Leviticus; and (d) Leviticus in Translation and Interpretation. The contributors were invited with a view to representing the spectrum of opinion on the current interpretation of the Book of Leviticus, over a range of subjects.

The Book of Leviticus: Composition and Reception is the third book in the series “The Formation and Interpretation of Old Testament Literature” (FIOTL), the purpose of which is to examine and explore the prehistory, contents, and themes of the books of the Old Testament, as well as their reception and interpretation in later Jewish and Christian literature. The first book to appear in the series was Writing

and Reading the Scroll of Isaiah: Studies in an Interpretive Tradition, eds.

Craig C. Broyles and Craig A. Evans (FIOTL 1.1–2 and VTSup 70.1–2, 1997).

It is appropriate to offer a brief note on the “Index of Selected scriptural Citations and Ancient Sources.” It intends in no way to be comprehensive; rather it lists only the chief passages from Leviticus discussed in the volume's essays, as well as the most important non-Leviticus texts associated by the authors with their discussion of Leviticus.

The editors extend thanks to four groups of people. First, to all the contributors for meeting various deadlines and working to render the editing process smooth and effective. Second, to Sarah Smith Bartel, a graduate assistant at Gonzaga University whose dedication and hard work proved indispensable to bringing the volume to completion. Thanks are also due to Professor André Lemaire and the VTSup Board for their support of the FIOTL volumes as part of the VTSup series. Finally, we are grateful to the team at Brill Academic Publishers, especially Desk Editor Mattie Kuiper for her guidance, encouragement, and patience in the production of this book.

12 June 2002

Rolf Rendtorff                                   Robert A. Kugler

University of Heidelberg (Emeritus)                     Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

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