The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries provide compact, critical commentaries on the books of the Old Testament for the use of theological students and pastors. The commentaries are also useful for upper-level college or university students and for those responsible for teaching in congregational settings. In addition to providing basic information and insights into the Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful interpretation, to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed and critical engagement with the biblical texts themselves.
Leviticus is one of those OT books that modern readers tend to avoid on the basis of an undeserved reputation alone. Many assume that its laws and instructions – especially those concerning animal sacrifices – are irrelevant to the religious life of Western readers. This assumption does not take into account the theological principles demonstrated by these teachings and demonstrated in the cultic rituals and affairs of daily life mentioned in the book. Within the narrative arc of the Pentateuch, the laws of Leviticus represent a program for restoring the original created order, an order that has been disrupted by human sin. Leviticus prepares for and presents a world that is to be dominated by life, which is manifested by humans in cultic purity and daily holiness. As such, the book constitutes a challenge and an encouragement to believers of every generation, as they strive to live the life that God originally intended for humanity.
"The Book of Leviticus is a great biblical puzzle and Willis' commentary bristles with insights--I think of his arresting theological observations about voluntary offerings. Judiciously weighing the text, he surveys the several readings of any problematic passage, careful to tell us when scholarship has not resolved the crux." --David Tabb Stewart, California State University, Long Beach
"The depth of Professor Willis’ understanding of worship in ancient Israel coupled with a lucid (cogent/sound) exposition of the text makes this volume a valuable source for all who are interested in Scripture. After describing the design of each chapter, Professor Willis provides a clear exposition of the text and, then, unfurls its theological and ethical significance. The value of this third section may not be overstated."
--John Hartley, Haggard Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University
"Timothy Willis draws together complex modern research on Leviticus into a lucid description of the book’s contents and message. Particularly valuable are his literary analyses of each chapter which give careful attention to structural markers and lay the basis for expounding on its theological emphases. Willis’s commentary provides a valuable introduction to contemporary research on priestly ritual and law in Leviticus."
--James Watts, Syracuse University