The beauty of holiness
Leviticus simply explained
Philip H. Eveson
416 pages; £10.95
Many Christians setting out to read through the Bible get stuck in Leviticus. I was once asked by a lecturer just starting to teach in Bible college if I could recommend a way to teach Leviticus. The enquirer wanted to give the class a way in to it and, if possible, a number of such entry points.
It was a challenging question and I tried to answer it. I wish I had possessed Philip Eveson’s book then, for it would have been an ideal one to recommend – and this for several reasons.
First of all, it is a book of good scholarship lightly carried, written in a beautifully clear and simple style. He almost always avoids technical terms and explains them well when their use seems unavoidable.
Then the author makes clear what a practical manual Leviticus was for its Old Testament readers, covering many aspects of everyday life in Israel. He shows us that the legislation was not simply strict but also deeply compassionate.
He never allows us to forget, however, that Leviticus is part of our Christian Bible and so has importance for us too. He often starts a chapter with an illustration from modern life – showing that there are abiding principles here and that Leviticus is not as remote as we may think from our life today.
He deals helpfully with difficult passages, often indicating how they gain illumination from other parts of Scripture. But above all he warms our hearts by showing how Leviticus finds its fulfilment in Christ, and makes us face its manifold challenges to personal holiness today.