Leviticus - Concordia Commentary

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Dr. Kleinig explores how each chapter of Leviticus finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ and the present worship life of the church in his Concordia Commentary on Leviticus.
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In This Volume

Leviticus may not be the obvious first choice for Old Testament reading for the faithful today, but in this original translation Rev. Dr. John W. Kleinig makes a case for the fundamental importance of the Levitical codes of purity and holiness even in today’s church. God speaks in Leviticus to give Israel a divine service and a method to fruitfully receive God’s holiness through the sacrificial rites. Kleinig explores how each chapter of Leviticus finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ and the present worship live of the church. Using the method of ritual analysis, he examines the agents, enactment, and theological purpose of each of the Levitical laws. 


  • Pastoral advice on the usefulness of Leviticus for missionary work in animist cultures
  • Emphasis on the sanctifying results of the ritual legislation, both in Israel and the divine service today
  • Extensive structural analysis of each of the Levitical rituals

Sectional Essays

  • The Manual of Offerings in Exodus 1-7:35
  • The Inauguration of the Divine Service in Exodus 8-10:20
  • The Manual for Purity in Exodus 11-15:33

About the Author

Dr. John W. Kleinig is emeritus Professor of Exegetical Theology, Australian Lutheran College (formerly Luther Seminary), Adelaide, Australia. He studied at Adelaide University (B.A. with Honors), Luther Seminary (M.Div.), and the University of Cambridge, England (M.Phil. and Ph.D.).


"The commentary offers good translations and good textual notes. Following these comes a commentary on structure, often well done, then a commentary that is variously labeled: "literary ritual analysis" (followed by a "theological analysis") or "ritual theological analysis" or "ritual analysis" (followed by "theological significance") or "ritual agents," and so on. Most analyses are followed by a section called "fulfillment by Christ."… The author writes: "what God intended to achieve ritually through his law in Leviticus is accomplished fully by Christ and conveyed to the church in the Divine Service" (p. 25). This perspective is fortunately far away from projecting Christ back into the Hebrew Bible; it simply points out that the Christian communities reread Scripture in light of Jesus—a perfectly legitimate way of rereading Scripture. In my opinion, the author has developed a good perspective on the difficult concept of "fulfillment." The author reads the NT as a continuation of the Hebrew Scriptures instead of the Hebrew Scriptures "predicting" Jesus."

–Paul F. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Archaeology at Mississippi State University, Mississippi.

"The commentary tries hard to make Leviticus a rel- evant book that has a message to our church today. In this sense, Kleinig brings the book of Leviticus alive for and in the church. Critical circles will certainly oppose Kleinig's efforts. But the commentary is a scholarly and well-informed piece of work. It faces all the tough questions of Leviticus and no stone was left unmoved in the discussion, even though one does not need to agree with the commentator about every proposal in the book. It is a book that should be featured in the libraries of students, pastors, teachers, and churches."

–Dr. Deomar Roos, Westfield House, England

About the series

The Concordia Commentary Series: A Theological Exposition of Sacred Scripture is written to enable pastors and teachers of the Word to proclaim the Gospel with greater insight, clarity, and faithfulness to the divine intent of the Biblical text.

The series will cover all the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, with an original translation and meticulous grammatical analysis of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek of each text. The foremost interpretive lens centers on the unified proclamation of the person and work of Christ across every Scriptural book.

The Commentary fully affirms the divine inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture; Each passage bears witness to the confession that God has reconciled the world to Himself through the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ His Son.

Authors expose the rich treasury of language, imagery, and thematic content of the Scripture, while supplementing their work with additional research in archaeology, history, and extrabiblical literature. Throughout, God’s Word emanates from authors careful attention and inculcates the ongoing life of the Church in Word, Sacrament, and daily confession.

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More Information
Books of BibleLeviticus
Section of BibleOld Testament, Books of Moses
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