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Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 275 Reviews ing a present situation or name). While Coats does not defme these tenns, the FOTL series editors have provided a helpful glossary which does. No one, however, ever defmes "tradition," the most important tenn of all. Obviously, then, Coat's work is not introductory. The reader needs prior acquaintance with both Exod 1-18 and fonn criticism to understand this highly technical work. The reader should also note that Coats's ultimate focus is the present text. Coats explicates that text's structure and seams. Given this focus, Coats never provides a detailed summary of the tradition history for Exod 1-18 as a whole. One can, of course, sunnise much of what Coats thinks on this point from his textually-directed comments. Depending upon one's critical tastes, this textual focus is the work's chief appeal or its most glaring weakness. Regardless of one's critical preferences , Coats's detailed analysis of textual structures is the work's greatest strength. That analysis and the extensive bibliographies (partly compiled by Coats and partly by the editors) for each unit make the work a valuable aid to understanding Exod 1-18. The work's chief weaknesses, as the editors note in their helpful introduction to the series, are simply those of form criticism itself, particularly in a day when critical methods have become more sensitive to literary, theological, and ideological issues. Richard Walsh Methodist College Fayelleville, NC 28311 rwalsh@methodist.edu DIVINE PRESENCE AND COMMUNITY: A COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS. By Frank H. Gorman, Jr. International Theological Commentary. pp. xi + 163. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997. Frank H. Gonnan, Jr., the T. W. Phillips Chair of Religious Studies at Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, has provided a well-structured and accessible commentary to the Book of Leviticus. The author's interest and expertise in the area of ritual studies is evident throughout the commentary . Many of the underlying ideas in this commentary can be found in the author's earlier works, such as The Ideology ofRitual: Space, Time and Status in the Priestly Theology. Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 276 Reviews In his introduction, the author observes that for Leviticus, ritual and ethics are closely related, and that "they provide a means for the individual and the community to enact life in the context of the divine presence" (p.l). The book's introduction is particularly useful in elucidating these connections , with sections on theology and ritual in Leviticus, ritual processes in the priestly traditions, and elements of priestly theology. The focus of the commentary is less on authorship and date, although there is a brief very general overview of these issues. In the introduction, the author does give an outline of the Pentateuchal context of Leviticus. I-e refers to Sanders' work on the formation of texts, but does not discuss until much later in the commentary that the development of the text reflects an ongoing process of growth and development within communities (p. 76). Given Gorman's perspective on the relationship between text and community , a fuller explanation may have been appropriate in his introductory comments. The commentary is organized into generally accepted sections: The Sacrifices and Offerings (1-7); Ordination, Founding and Tragedy (8-10); Instructions on Purity (11-26); The Holiness Code (17-26) and The Economics of the Sanctuary (27). Each sub-section is prefaced by a useful introduction followed by details about the specific ritual under discussion. This structure is particularly helpful in the Sacrifices and Offerings section of the commentary. Attention is paid to the technical terminology of Leviticus, and in general , Jacob Milgrom's definitions are adopted by the author, for example in his understanding of the Hebrew kpr. However, in this case, as in others throughout the commentary, the author is careful to note that sacrificial terms and processes derive their meaning from the particular context in which they are found. He avoids the tendency to seek a single all-inclusive definition for a particular term (see, for example, the discussion of kipper on p. 103). Gorman's intention is to show that ritual activities form a structural whole, and that ritual is the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 275-278
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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