Leviticus: 'Gospel of Old Testament'

Although the book of Leviticus contains much scriptural validity for Jews, Christians and Muslims, most of its ritual laws and sacrifices are no longer practiced. The book gets its name from the tribe of Levi, the priesthood tribe of ancient Israel.

"It can be called Israel's `priesthood handbook,' for in it are contained the laws and ordinances that governed the duties of the ancient Aaronic Priesthood," wrote Kent B. Jackson in Studies in Scripture: The Old Testament. "Leviticus was written for the priests, and most of what it contains was restricted to the sphere of priestly activity."The value of the book, which is the third book of the Pentateuch, "lies primarily in its contributions to our understanding of the history and religion of ancient Israel," Brother Jackson continued. "Both with regard to its theology and the ordinances and regulations contained in it, Leviticus has been superseded by later revelations, and it no longer serves as a standard for policy or doctrine among the saints today.

"Yet Leviticus is a significant book. It is perhaps the most Christian book in the Old Testament, since it teaches better than any other book the consequences of sin and the redemptive nature of vicarious sacrifice. It teaches that holiness is the primary goal of worshipers of the Lord and that it can only be achieved on the principles of Justice and Mercy. Leviticus teaches better than any other book the Justice of God, while at the same time it teaches that His Mercy is provided so His children can re-enter His presence. It is the Gospel of the Old Testament."

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