I admit that it seems strange to put out a lengthy critique of another lengthy work which runs to well over 700 pages, but, having initially misread the author’s comments that no-one had yet written a response to his work (I presume I misread one his sentences as I cannot now find the reference!), it seemed wise to begin making notes as I progressed through the book and thought about not only what I read in the chapters but about the subjects that I found myself restudying from my own very brief notes on the text of Leviticus (when I actually had some to refer to - some of these passages were totally new to me).
In one sense, these are private notes - they have been committed to a file because I want to be able to refer back to them at some later date and so attempt to develop teaching sermons from them - but they are also necessarily public so that I might at least provide a beginning of a critique of this work.
I have already expounded chapters 23 (the Festivals - under ‘The Festivals of Jehovah’ series of studies) and 25 (Jubilee - under ‘The Cross’ series of studies) here and I do not intend repeating those notes here but have provided links at the appropriate points.
I have also directed the reader at certain points to my web site where I do not intend wasting time by covering the same ground that, I believe, has already been adequately dealt with.
That North deals with Leviticus from a different and refreshing viewpoint is the main reason why I obtained first the electronic version via Internet download after a recommendation on a christian newsgroup (from www.freebooks.com) and then the hardcopy via Amazon. Whatever the feelings of the way North has chosen to comment on Leviticus, he must be complimented on choosing to go where no commentator has chosen to go (as far as I can tell).
But, at a number of points, I feel his exposition lets him down and, for whatever reason, there appear to be flaws in his reasoning - or his Scriptural facts. North implores his readers (page x) that, if they are
‘...not persuaded that my conclusions follow from the text of Leviticus, he should consult the full text of the chapter as it appears in Boundaries and Dominion’
which I have not done. Some of the ‘conclusions’ that seem ill-grounded I have pointed out though they may, of course, be answered by the fuller length version of his work. Certainly, if that is the case, and the reasoning appears to be Scripturally sound, I shall be happy to change or remove my text as it stands.
The notes, initially, were written for me - and then for the person who has never read North’s book (which is why I’ve added detailed explanations at certain points along the way). I’m indebted to a brother named Vincent who read through my original texts having never before read the book by Gary North. He served the purpose well of making sure that, even to the reader who was unaware of the contents of the original book, the notes made sense, not presuming upon any prior knowledge or understanding in the reader.
I’ve written many of the comments ‘as they’ve occurred to me’ which makes some of the phrases more colloquial than scholarly (and I do not claim to be a scholar).
Whatever - I trust that, using these notes as a guideline only and not as the summation of all possible truth, the reader may study the subjects for him or herself and allow God to speak to them directly.
Wenham - ‘Leviticus’ by Gordon J Wenham in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series published by the William B Eerdmans Publishing Company 1979
Wenham 2 - ‘Numbers’ by Gordon Wenham, Tyndale Old Testament Commentary published by Inter-Varsity Press 1981
Harrison - ‘Leviticus’ by R K Harrison in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series published by the Inter-Varsity Press 1980
Hartley - ‘Leviticus’ by John E Hartley in the Word Biblical Commentary series published by Word Books
Morris 1 - ‘The Atonement’ by Leon Morris published by Inter-varsity Press 1983
Morris 2 - ‘The Gospel according to Matthew’ by Leon Morris published by the Inter-varsity Press 1992
Morris 3 - ‘The Epistle to the Romans’ by Leon Morris published by IVP/Eerdmans 1988
Motyer - ‘The Prophecy of Isaiah’ by Alec Motyer published by the Inter-varsity Press 1993
Guthrie - 'Hebrews' by Donald Guthrie, Tyndale New Testament Commentary published by Inter-Varsity press 1983
Thompson - ‘Deuteronomy’ by J A Thompson, Tyndale Old Testamnent Commentary published by Inter-Varsity Press 1974
Common references are abbreviated and the reference can be found by accessing here
Leviticus Home Page
Old Doctrines Home Page