Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Month 4 - Numbers

Session 4 of "Through the Bible in Five and a Half Years" - Numbers - is taking place on Monday 25th June at 7:30 at 5 Meadow Lane.

I'll add some resources some time in the next few weeks.

Thoughts on Levitcus

I really enjoyed last night's session on Leviticus. In some ways it's a shame that my reading has to race onto Numbers rather than look more at some of the issues we discussed last night more deeply.

I mentioned Dame Mary Douglas last night whose work on Leviticus was apparently quite groundbreaking. There are a few obituaries at The Guardian and The Times. You can also read summaries of her work by David Biale or this unnamed author.

Better still, some of her work is available on Google Books, so you can read bits for yourself of her main works "Leviticus as Literature", and "Purity and Danger".

Edit: Finally, anyone wanting to read or find Steve Chalke's thoughts about atonement should read the article he wrote for Christianity and Renewal Magazine. He says far more here than he does in the "Lost Message of Jesus" book

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Month 3 - Leviticus

Session 3 of "Through the Bible in Five and a Half Years" - Leviticus - is taking place on Monday 28th May at 7:30. The venue (as always) is 5 Meadow Lane.

Resources for Leviticus are a lot harder to come by than for Genesis and Exodus. There are obviously the usual recommended reading (see right), and of course the best place to start is the book of Leviticus.

In terms of print resources, a few years ago I found work by Rene Girard and Gil Baille useful. They are anthropologists with particular interest in sacrifice. As for dedicated commentaries, Martin Goldsmith's Leviticus to Numbers turned out to be a disappointment, The Daily Study Bible one might be worth a look.

Online resources are a little easier to come by. Wikipedia's article is a good starting point, although as ever you need to take what you read there with a pinch of salt. Leviticus has been in the news more recently because of the discovery of an old fragment of text from the book. You can read more about it at the Codex blog, although much of the discussion revolves around the subsequent alleged mistreatment of one of the professors involved. Tyler also surveys commentaries on Levitcus for anyone interested in buying one.

Sadly also, films are none too plentiful. The best place to look is films about Judaism rather than Biblical epics, such as The Ten Commandments. I hope to use a clip from Ushpizin on Monday, one of the best films I've seen in recent years looking at faith. I imagine there are a number of others that would also relate to Leviticus such as Trembling Before G-d.