Leviticus

by Ephraim Radner

978-1-58743-099-2

320pp.  $32.99c

Publication Date: June 2008



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Ephraim Radner (PhD, Yale University) is professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, and is the author of The End of the Church.

Reviews

“Radner’s commentary is full of stimulating insights from which biblical scholars will benefit. . . . Radner’s commentary makes a valuable contribution to the Christian study of Leviticus. . . . Those who work hard will profit from the often-stimulating associations he finds between Leviticus and other parts of the Bible. Moreover, his commentary provides the first thorough synthesis of premodern Christian and Jewish interpretation of Leviticus.”—Leigh Trevaskis, Review of Biblical Literature

“[This] work supports a thesis carried effectively through the entire 27 chapters of Leviticus: the notion of sacrifice as loving offering undergirds, explains, and is explained by the passion and crucifixion of Jesus, God’s Son and second Person of the Trinity. . . . [Radner’s] use of references on the page and at the foot of the page is thorough. There is much in this commentary which I find most helpful, particularly Radner’s view of the Atonement.”—John Ruef, Living Church

“Preachers will . . . find considerable assistance and rich theological material in Leviticus. . . . [Radner] is well known as a theologian. With this volume, he makes a serious contribution to biblical scholarship as well.”—Preaching

“Ephraim Radner is an accessible writer with thorough historical knowledge, mainly about the pre-critical tradition. Origen, Augustine, Calvin, and many Jewish writers teem in his work with challenging interpretations that historical-critical approaches have banned. . . . There are three strengths: (1) The author engages much underused, interesting material from Old Testament commentators—mainly pre-critical and Jewish interpreters. (2) As a result we have a picture of the history of theological interpretation of Leviticus. (3) The general thesis that Christ is the heart of the book is certainly a helpful option to understand the whole story of Scripture and its redemptive meaning. . . . Radner offers an interesting perspective on Leviticus, showing how God reorients his people amidst this disoriented world. . . . Readers of the Bible need to give this volume careful attention. It will provide a helpful interpretation and understanding of sacrifice. It will inspire and convict as well as teach.”—Tarcizio F. Carvalho, Themelios

“Leviticus in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series stands out, from within that series, for its sheer depth and intensity. . . . The way Radner’s commentary is written invites readers to enter into a kind of dialogical relationship with his commentary and the biblical text of Leviticus, which I understand to be one of the proper ends of a theological commentary. . . . He ‘searches for’ and finds Jesus ‘in Leviticus’. . . in a way which gives attention to each and every word, each and every discourse and figure in Leviticus, so as to emphasize the materiality of the Levitical code itself and hence the concomitant materiality of the incarnate Christ and the church as Christ’s body now. By underscoring the materiality of the scriptural texts, Radner also displays a good model for biblical reasoning. . . . One of the great strengths of Ephraim Radner’s Leviticus commentary is his commitment to giving unrelenting attention to the materiality of the text, its reasonings, and the way of life it exhibits—all of which make it possible for Christians better to see how Jesus might be seen as performing the logic and reasoning of the Levitical text itself.”—Jacob Goodson, Modern Theology

“For Ephraim Radner . . . Leviticus is filled with promise when read in light of the coming of Jesus Christ. . . . This is not the commentary for those who only want the human author’s intent for the text, its cultural background, or its documentary history. . . . This is a commentary for those who want to see the world ‘as it truly is—that is, as God’s world, the God revealed in Christ.’. . . Because Radner first establishes a comprehensive rationale for his approach, his theological conclusions flow organically from the text. He follows paths marked out by earlier interpreters, which frees him from the need to say something new and allows his work to breathe freshness. . . . The [Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible] offers a scholarly defense for figural reading of the Bible. This series provides permission to combine the findings of biblical criticism with the theological riches of the Spirit-led church while maintaining intellectual integrity. One hopes the series will enrich and expand this synergy. One also hopes for more volumes like Radner’s, which provides a solid rationale for theological interpretation, to identify the most beneficial hermeneutical approaches.”—Stephen J. Lennox, Books & Culture