The Book of Leviticus
This book appears in the following featured collections.
- First Commentary Set by Brian LeStourgeon
- Recommended OT Commentaries by Denver Seminary Journal
- Commentaries I Would Not Do Without by R. Hansen
- Essential OT Commentaries for a Preacher's Library by Derek W. H. Thomas
- Basic Library Booklist by Detriot Baptist Theological Seminary
- Building an OT Commentary Library by Invitation to Biblical Interpretation (Kostenberger & Patterson)
- Top Old Testament Commentaries by Crux Sola (Nijay Gupta's Blog)
Simply a must have for understanding for those who are seeking to understand a difficult book. I can echo what has already been said about its clarity, eye towards the NT, etc. But I want to say also that I just sat down and read through it like any other book. It was that readable and that enjoyable. He picks up on the work of a lady scholar by the name of Douglas that really opens up door to understanding the clean and unclean distinctions which was one of the biggest take aways I had and very memorable too. He does a fantastic job of making clear the various sacrifices as well as the ethical section towards the end of the book. If you are looking to teach through, or just better understand Leviticus, certainly get Wenham. Get Morales(who shall ascend) for the theology and big picture of the book in its canonical context. If you want a newer commentary, perhaps get Jay Sklar too!
Wenham offers thoughtful analysis with a readable and interesting style, and includes sections on New Testament connections. Still well worth using after several decades. [Full Review]
Though now somewhat out of date, this is still my favourite commentary on Leviticus. Wenham deftly explains rituals and customs that are difficult to understand, and he is well attuned to New Testament connections. Reading this commentary is in itself a devotional experience.
From a more evangelical perspective.
The clear leader in the field is Wenham whose volume is recommended by every commentator on the commentaries. Jim Rosscup of the Master’s Seminary quotes Dan Phillips who says it is a “Sparkling, inviting and generally convincing effort at showing the modern meaning and relevance of Leviticus, based on the legitimate and inherent meaning of the text. [It is] indispensable for preaching or teaching, and rewarding for personal (serious) study.” Note that Wenham’s work on Genesis is also the most-recommended volume for that book. [Full Review]
Excellent commentary on the book of Leviticus by a leading evangelical scholar who is an expert on the Pentateuch.
This is a very good easy to read commentary. It would be appropriate for anyone whether scholar or pastor or simply one looking to understand Leviticus better. His interpretation is good and he helpfully has good overviews on some of the key issues that come up (“What is atonement? Why are somethings clean and other unclean? What were the purposes of the laws? What about punishments?”). Though of course each could lead one to further books for much greater detail, one is thankful for Wenham's clear concise explanations. This is definitely a great commentary to start any study of Leviticus with. This commentary, along with Tidball, will help one have a great experience in studying or teaching Leviticus.
Ambivalent regarding dating but exegesis of text is extremely useful.
Wenham is cogent and useful, and I like the way he makes the connections to the NT. Rooker (NAC, 2000) is a good second for the relationship to biblical theology. Hartley (WBC, 1992) is also good for thoughtfulness.
This commentary is not only the best commentary on the book of Leviticus, it is one of the best commentaries on any book of the Bible that I have read. [Full Review]
Gordon Wenham has my favorite commentary on this difficult book. Wenham is especially strong on understanding the theological significance of cleanness/uncleanness, holiness, and other ritual matters. It's not as detailed as some of the following commentaries, but I think it's the best starting place for a pastor or Bible teacher. He's got a good sense of the symbolism behind most of the laws that sound very strange to the modern ear and what they would have meant to Israel. He ends each section with some reflections on connecting the material he's just discussed with the New Testament. Especially helpful are his explanations of how the New Testament authors would consider the various festivals and sacrifices as fulfilled in Christ in different ways. I thoroughly enjoyed working through this commentary. Wenham spends little time speculating on source critical issues, due to the circularity of most such arguments and the wide divergence of source reconstructions among those who spend their time making what flimsy consensus there is even less of a consensus. [Full Review]
Evangelical application of anthropology to categories of holiness. Oriented toward New Testament applications. [Full Review]