Give Leviticus a Chance

Jackson Campbell
3 min readAug 20, 2023
Happy farming, wall mural.

As a Queer person who spends a lot of time reading the Bible, you’d think there would be a few parts of scripture I’d run from without looking back. One of those is Leviticus. Many clergy, especially those who find themselves oriented more toward a liberal interpretation of scripture often find that books like Leviticus are too much for them — specifically because of all the rules, regulations, and expectations that were placed on the Israelites. For Queer people, it can often be a point of contention because of it’s famous words about men and women lying with those of the same sex. I was, for many years, scared of this book for that very reason. I’ve actually come to like the text, though. I think you ought to give it a chance, too.

Why give this “primitive” book a chance when it is so hurtful to Women & Queer people?

That’s where we’ve probably gotten a little off track in understanding this text.

Leviticus must not be understood in terms of how we might apply it’s contextual & cultural laws to our own lives. Leviticus must be understood through the themes that are embodied through the text. (God’s care for the vulnerable and mistreated, faithfulness to the covenant, remembrance of who God was and is)

Take the beginning of Leviticus as an example: The book begins with God’s people (the Israelites) unable to enter the tent…