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A Handbook on Leviticus (UBS Handbooks)

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What if you were responsible for translating God's Word into a language that never had a Bible before? Can you imagine the burden you would feel to do a good job?

God takes His Word pretty seriously, and you would certainly do everything in your power to make sure that you were not putting words into God's mouth, but that you were providing a text that clearly communicated God's Word as closely to the original as possible.

This challenge to understand the heart of the original Scriptures, in order to put the original text into a new language, was the impetus for the United Bible Societies to create handbooks for Bible translators working on this very thing. The United Bible Societies' Handbook Series is a comprehensive verse-by-verse guide to understanding exactly what is being communicated by the author in the original Scriptures.

  • Exegetical, historical, cultural, and linguistic information on the original text
  • Verse-by-verse guides
  • An essential tool for Bible translators

Top Highlights

“The sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest: compare Exodus 23:19; 34:26. In ancient cultures the first crops harvested and the firstborn animal of a flock were offered to the deity as a sign of thanksgiving. But it is unnecessary to create a special technical term like first fruits. The ‘first sheaf’ is quite adequate. The word sheaf may present a problem in some cultures where the practice of tying grain into bundles is unknown. Some languages may have to say something like ‘the first bunch of grain you tie together.’ And in those cases where it is necessary to specify what kind of grain is involved, one may say ‘the first bundle of barley that you assemble.’” (Pages 345–346)

“Tattoo any marks upon you: since this comes after the words ‘on account of the dead,’ some commentators do not see this as referring to a specific mourning rite. People frequently made some kind of mark on their skin to indicate that they were followers of a particular deity (see Gen 4:15; Ezek 9:4–6). But this custom that was so common among non-Israelites was forbidden to the people of God.” (Page 297)

“It must be emphasized that the idea of holiness in Hebrew has more to do with being ‘set apart’ or ‘designated as special’ than with moral purity. When the God of Israel says I am holy, he affirms that he is perfect in every sense and therefore completely different (or ‘set apart=’) from every human being and all of creation. When he requires of his people that they be holy, he invites them not so much to strive toward moral perfection, but to establish communion with him. He demands that they put aside all obstacles to that relationship—especially impurity or uncleanness.” (Page 174)

  • Title: A Handbook on Leviticus
  • Authors: René Péter-Contesse and John Ellington
  • Series: The United Bible Societies' Handbook Series (UBSHS)
  • Publisher: United Bible Societies
  • Pages: 450


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    Digital list price: $29.99
    Save $10.00 (33%)