Lectionary Reflection for the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

This excerpt comes from Leviticus (BTCB) by Ephraim Radner, commenting on Leviticus 19:1-2:

Leviticus 19 is generally viewed today as forming the theological center of the latter portion of the legal codes of Leviticus. And the substance of this center, as most readers of the text agree, is the call to holiness: “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (19:2).

Obviously, holiness is a crucial reality for Leviticus as a whole, but as the purposively directing theological principle for the entire book, or at least for that textual core known as the Holiness Code, it is only now in Lev. 19 that many commentators see its full force as being unveiled.

And that force has generally been evaluated in terms of the overwhelming power of moral purity. . . . Holiness is less a quality or character attributed to God—and reflected in creatures—than it is a description of how God in fact temporally wills to act with respect to his creation, by coming to it with his whole being.

Leviticus 19:2 takes what almost seemed a passing divine exhortation in 11:44—“be holy, for I am holy”—and turns it into the summary description of the entire ethical law of the book: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”

As commentators note, God asks Moses to speak these injunctions “to all the congregation of the people of Israel,” an audience traditionally seen here as gathered together in one large group, addressed directly and without mediation, requiring a miracle of vocal projection from the otherwise halting Moses. They are thus called as a people to the core of their vocation (compare Exod. 19:6 and 1 Pet. 2:9).

What could be more central, therefore, than this opening directive toward holiness?


©2008 by Ephraim Radner. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: June 7, 2013

On Gods SideJim Wallis, author of On God’s Side, wrote “10 Decisions You Can Make to Change the World.”

“The common good and the quality of our life together will finally be determined by the personal decisions we all make. The ‘commons’ — those places where we come together as neighbors and citizens to share public space — will never be better than the quality of human life, or the human flourishing, in our own lives and households.

“Here are ten personal decisions you can make to help foster the common good.”

Read the full list here.



Quick Hits:

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, spoke at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC on “Educational Equality: A Faithful Perspective.”

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was recommended by Hector Avalos for Ames Tribune.

Leviticus (BTCB) by Ephraim Radner was recommended by Crux Books.


Brazos Blog Summer Reading Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations to Mark Lentz! He won five books as part of the Brazos Blog Summer Reading giveaway:

 On God’s Side by Jim Wallis
 Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham
 Of Games and God by Kevin Schut
 A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf
 A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson

Keep checking back for our next giveaway.


Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

June ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

Reclaiming the Body by Joel Shuman and Brian Volck M.D.
From Homer to Harry Potter by Matthew Dickerson and David O’Hara
Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold
Understanding Paul by Stephen Westerholm
What Christians Believe about the Bible 
by Don Thorsen and Keith Reeves