The book of Leviticus was written for the Israelites as a guidebook for worship and temple procedures. There are instructions for both the priests and the people. As such, it is particularly challenging for the modern reader because like any instruction manual, it is full of lists and details that lack excitement. The challenge is magnified by its age; written around 1400 B.C., it is rooted in ancient religious culture and practice, making it confusing and strange to students today.
Leviticus claims Moses as its author, through the inspiration of God. While it is believed to have been edited in the years since that writing to reflect adjustments to temple worship and practice, Jewish tradition recognizes Moses as the primary author.
Leviticus has three main themes; (1) holiness, (2) sin, sacrifice and atonement, and (3) worship. It is important as students read through Leviticus for them to remember that it is a step in God’s plan to bring about salvation for His children. Some of the instructions contained in it were never meant to be definitive for all time, rather, they were one step in the process of bringing God’s followers closer to His likeness.
- Week 1, Leviticus Says What?!?
- Week 2, Aaron’s Redemption
- Week 3, So Much Sex!
- Week 4, Love Your Neighbor
About this Series
Why is this series called “The First Testament”? Words often communicate unintentional messages. While we have called the testaments “Old” and “New” for centuries, these labels have had an unfortunate consequence: for many, the word “old” conveys the ideas of irrelevance and being outdated. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Paul wrote, “Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:4 (NLT). When he wrote this, he was speaking of the Old Testament! Perhaps a better set of titles would be the “First” and “Second” testaments; together they give us the message of hope! The First Testament, two-thirds of the Bible, gives us the foundation from which Christ fulfills God’s will!