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Framing Matters

The Live Nativity set is up! We had great weather for it so there were fewer frozen fingers putting on all those bolts. Along the way, the roof just wasn't sitting right until we corrected the way the back piece was sitting into the framing post on the southeast corner. Framing matters.

Today as I was doing some dissertation research, I came across this statement by Ephraim Radner in Leviticus: A Brazos Theological Commentary. He wrote that instead of the title in our Christian bibles, Leviticus, which brings the idea that we are about to read an instruction manual for the Levites, “the Hebrew title Vayikra [“and he called” i.e., the Lord called Moses] is a far more accurate way of naming the purpose of the book.”

The title in one sense does serve to establish our expectations. In Genesis, we expect to read about the beginnings of the world and God's people. In Exodus we expect to read of Israel's exodus from Pharaoh. So if we see the title, Leviticus and expect to read about the priests, that is probably what we will spend our time emphasizing as we read. I think the book of Leviticus becomes more appropriately situated with the Hebrew name that invites readers to think in terms of being called by God to live in a particular manner instead of expecting an instruction manual for the Levites. Now I'm not out to change the names of Bible books--but I'll gladly go on record to say, we can change our expectations for what we'll read in Leviticus to "and then God called..."