Many folks I know have committed to read the entire Bible – an ambitious plan, but one I highly commend and recommend. For some, their plan was to begin at the beginning with Genesis and read straight through to Revelation. That would never be my recommendation. The Bible is not a novel that moves seamlessly from book to book. Rather it is a collection of books. The Genesis-to-Revelation plan has been written about in posts about beginning and sometimes how tough that approach can be – especially when hits the book of Leviticus.
Many folks and friends have told me over the years that they “started to read the Bible… beginning with Genesis.” I always want to ask what happened when they reached the Book of Leviticus. Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Scriptures following after Genesis and Exodus. These first two books are largely narratives with protagonists, antagonists, plots, crises, and resolutions. They are forms of writing quite familiar to us. But Leviticus? It is described as “The book mainly treats cultic matters (i.e., sacrifices and offerings, purity and holiness, the priesthood, the operation of the sanctuary, and feast days) but is also interested in various behavioral, ethical, and economic issues (e.g., sexual practices, idolatrous worship, treatment of others, the sale of land, slavery). The goal of the laws is not merely legislative.” Not exactly a page turner. It is a tough read.