New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Leviticus

Volume 4
J. Edward Owens, OSST

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ISBN: 9780814628386, 2838
Details: 104 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 05/01/2011

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What are we as contemporary readers to make of such a strange book as Leviticus? How can we possibly relate to the kosher laws of clean and unclean foods? Who would want to dine on camel, order eagle or stork, and munch on grasshoppers and crickets? In this informative and inspiring commentary, J. Edward Owens shows us that behind the seemingly antiquated rituals of Leviticus, there is one theme that permeates throughout: "Sanctify yourselves and be holy; for I, the LORD, your God, am holy." In addition, Owens frequently makes connections between Leviticus and the New Testament. Just as Mary, Jesus, and the apostles observed many of the rules of Leviticus, so too are they relevant for us today. Leviticus can help us as we seek to renew the reverence and wonder in our worship and work’and thereby grow in the sanctity and holiness of God.

J. Edward Owens, OSsT, is currently Minister Provincial of the US Province of Trinitarians. Previously, he was a professor of biblical studies at St. John's Seminary in California and then Oblate School of Theology in Texas. He has written numerous articles in academic and pastoral publications, including The Bible Today, Human Development, and The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series. He is also author of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy.

The book of Leviticus reflects a sacramental understanding of our relationship with God and neighbor. Fr. Owens's commitment to heightening present-day appreciation of the rituals, laws, and concern with holiness of this biblical book is evident on every page. He consistently links Leviticus with the whole of Sacred Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, and with the way faith is embodied in worship and living today.
Katherine M. Hayes
Professor of Old Testament
Seminary of the Immaculate Conception
Huntington, New York

This commentary underscores two major themes found in Leviticus: holiness, which means being set apart, and the presence of God in the midst of the people. Owens argues that since holiness is an intrinsic characteristic of God, and since God dwells in the midst of the people, the people must be holy as well. He shows how Leviticus provides a way of life that can accomplish this.
The Bible Today

In this commentary on Leviticus, Edward Owens takes a difficult and antiquated book and makes it brilliantly accessible to contemporary readers. Through careful and detailed analysis, Owens draws out the timeless lessons and values embedded in Leviticus and helps readers appreciate not only the literary artistry of the book but also the many rich traditions of the Jewish faith and culture.
Carol J. Dempsey, OP, Professor of Theology (Biblical Studies), University of Portland, OR

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