series: Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

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This volume, like each in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, is designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible. Leviticus is the fifth volume in the series.

The general editor for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible is R. R. Reno (editor, First Things). Series editors include Robert W. Jenson (Center of Theological Inquiry); Robert Louis Wilken (University of Virginia); Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto); Michael Root (Catholic University of America); and George Sumner (Episcopal Diocese of Dallas).

Volumes in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible

R. R. Reno (editor, First Things) on Genesis Thomas Joseph White (Thomistic Institute at the Angelicum in Rome) on Exodus Ephraim Radner (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Leviticus David L. Stubbs (Western Theological Seminary) on Numbers Telford Work (Westmont College) on Deuteronomy Paul Hinlicky (Roanoke College) on Joshua Laura A. Smit (Calvin University) and Stephen Fowl (Loyola University Maryland) on Judges & Ruth Francesca Aran Murphy (University of Notre Dame) on 1 Samuel Robert Barron (Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles) on 2 Samuel Peter J. Leithart (Theopolis Institute for Bible, Liturgy, and Culture) on 1 & 2 Kings Peter J. Leithart (Theopolis Institute for Bible, Liturgy, and Culture) on 1 & 2 Chronicles Matthew Levering (Mundelein Seminary) on Ezra & Nehemiah Samuel Wells (St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, London) and George Sumner (Episcopal Diocese of Dallas) on Esther & Daniel Ellen T. Charry (Princeton Theological Seminary) on Psalms 1–50 Jason Byassee (Vancouver School of Theology) on Psalms 101–150 Daniel J. Treier (Wheaton College Graduate School) on Proverbs & Ecclesiastes Paul J. Griffiths on Song of Songs Robert W. Jenson (1930–2017; Center of Theological Inquiry) on Ezekiel Phillip Cary (Eastern University) on Jonah Stanley Hauerwas (Duke Divinity School) on Matthew David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University) on Luke Jaroslav Pelikan (1923–2006; Yale University) on Acts Kimlyn J. Bender (Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University) on 1 Corinthians Kathryn Greene-McCreight (The Episcopal Church at Yale) on Galatians Michael Allen (Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando) on Ephesians George Hunsinger (Princeton Theological Seminary) on Philippians Christopher R. Seitz (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Colossians Douglas Farrow (McGill University) on 1 & 2 Thessalonians Risto Saarinen (University of Helsinki) on the Pastoral Epistles with Philemon & Jude Douglas Harink (The King’s University College) on 1 & 2 Peter Joseph L. Mangina (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto) on Revelation


Praise for the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible:

"What a splendid idea! Many preachers have been longing for more commentaries that are not only exegetical but theological in the best sense: arising out of the conviction that God, through his Word, still speaks in our time. For those of us who take our copies of Martin Luther's Galatians and Karl Barth's Romans from the shelves on a regular basis, this new series in that tradition promises renewed vigor for preaching, and therefore for the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church in our time."--Fleming Rutledge, author of The Bible and The New York Times and The Seven Last Words from the Cross

"This new series places the accent on 'theological' and reflects current interpretive ferment marked by growing resistance to the historical-critical project. It may be that scripture interpretation is too important to be left to the exegetes, and so a return to the theologians. We will wait with great anticipation for this new series, at least aware that the outcomes of interpretation are largely determined by the questions asked. It is never too late to ask better questions; with a focus on the theological tradition, this series holds the promise of asking interpretive questions that are deeply grounded in the primal claims of faith. The rich promise of the series is indicated by the stature and erudition of the commentators. Brazos has enormous promises to keep with this project, and we wait with eagerness for its appearing!"--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible makes a most welcome contribution to the church, the academic world, and the general public at large. By enlisting a wide range of Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox theologians who differ on much, but who agree on the truth of the Nicene Creed, the series also represents ecumenical activity of the very best kind. It is always a daunting challenge to expound the church's sacred book both simply and deeply, but this impressive line-up of authors is very well situated for the attempt."--Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame

"Preachers and teachers in particular, but thoughtful Christians more generally, have long lamented the slide of biblical scholarship into hyper-specialized critical studies of ancient texts in remote historical context. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Brazos Theological Commentary is being so warmly welcomed. The outstanding array of authors, beginning with Jaroslav Pelikan's splendid commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, is, at long last, reclaiming the Bible as the book of the living community of faith that is the church."--Richard John Neuhaus, author of American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile

"Contemporary application of the Bible to life is the preacher's business. But no worthy contemporary application is possible without a thorough understanding of the ancient text. The Brazos Theological Commentary exists to provide an accessible authority so that the preacher's application will be a ready bandage for all the hurts of life. We who serve the pulpit want a commentary we can understand, and those who hear us expect us to give them a usable word. The Brazos Commentary offers just the right level of light to make illuminating the word the joy it was meant to be."--Calvin Miller, author of A Hunger for the Holy and Loving God Up Close

"For pastors, wanting to get at the theological heart of a text, there is some good stuff. When I am preaching, I usually try to take a peek at the Brazos volume."--Nijay K. Gupta, assistant professor of New Testament, Northeastern Seminary, Roberts Wesleyan College

The Author

  1. Ephraim Radner

    Ephraim Radner

    Ephraim Radner (PhD, Yale University) is professor emeritus of historical theology at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including A Profound Ignorance, All Thy Lights Combine:...

    Continue reading about Ephraim Radner


"Radner's commentary is full of stimulating insights from which biblical scholars will benefit. . . . Radner's commentary makes a valuable contribution to the Christian study of Leviticus. . . . Those who work hard will profit from the often-stimulating associations he finds between Leviticus and other parts of the Bible. Moreover, his commentary provides the first thorough synthesis of premodern Christian and Jewish interpretation of Leviticus."--Leigh Trevaskis, Review of Biblical Literature

"[This] work supports a thesis carried effectively through the entire 27 chapters of Leviticus: the notion of sacrifice as loving offering undergirds, explains, and is explained by the passion and crucifixion of Jesus, God's Son and second Person of the Trinity. . . . [Radner's] use of references on the page and at the foot of the page is thorough. There is much in this commentary which I find most helpful, particularly Radner's view of the Atonement."--John Ruef, Living Church

"Preachers will . . . find considerable assistance and rich theological material in Leviticus. . . . [Radner] is well known as a theologian. With this volume, he makes a serious contribution to biblical scholarship as well."--Preaching

"Ephraim Radner is an accessible writer with thorough historical knowledge, mainly about the pre-critical tradition. Origen, Augustine, Calvin, and many Jewish writers teem in his work with challenging interpretations that historical-critical approaches have banned. . . . There are three strengths: (1) The author engages much underused, interesting material from Old Testament commentators--mainly pre-critical and Jewish interpreters. (2) As a result we have a picture of the history of theological interpretation of Leviticus. (3) The general thesis that Christ is the heart of the book is certainly a helpful option to understand the whole story of Scripture and its redemptive meaning. . . . Radner offers an interesting perspective on Leviticus, showing how God reorients his people amidst this disoriented world. . . . Readers of the Bible need to give this volume careful attention. It will provide a helpful interpretation and understanding of sacrifice. It will inspire and convict as well as teach."--Tarcizio F. Carvalho, Themelios

"Leviticus in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series stands out, from within that series, for its sheer depth and intensity. . . . The way Radner's commentary is written invites readers to enter into a kind of dialogical relationship with his commentary and the biblical text of Leviticus, which I understand to be one of the proper ends of a theological commentary. . . . He 'searches for' and finds Jesus 'in Leviticus'. . . in a way which gives attention to each and every word, each and every discourse and figure in Leviticus, so as to emphasize the materiality of the Levitical code itself and hence the concomitant materiality of the incarnate Christ and the church as Christ's body now. By underscoring the materiality of the scriptural texts, Radner also displays a good model for biblical reasoning. . . . One of the great strengths of Ephraim Radner's Leviticus commentary is his commitment to giving unrelenting attention to the materiality of the text, its reasonings, and the way of life it exhibits--all of which make it possible for Christians better to see how Jesus might be seen as performing the logic and reasoning of the Levitical text itself."--Jacob Goodson, Modern Theology

"For Ephraim Radner . . . Leviticus is filled with promise when read in light of the coming of Jesus Christ. . . . This is not the commentary for those who only want the human author's intent for the text, its cultural background, or its documentary history. . . . This is a commentary for those who want to see the world 'as it truly is--that is, as God's world, the God revealed in Christ.'. . . Because Radner first establishes a comprehensive rationale for his approach, his theological conclusions flow organically from the text. He follows paths marked out by earlier interpreters, which frees him from the need to say something new and allows his work to breathe freshness. . . . The [Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible] offers a scholarly defense for figural reading of the Bible. This series provides permission to combine the findings of biblical criticism with the theological riches of the Spirit-led church while maintaining intellectual integrity. One hopes the series will enrich and expand this synergy. One also hopes for more volumes like Radner's, which provides a solid rationale for theological interpretation, to identify the most beneficial hermeneutical approaches."--Stephen J. Lennox, Books & Culture