The Priestly Laws and Prohibitions from the Perspective of Ancient Near East and Africa

by Johnson M. Kimuhu (Author)
©2008 Monographs 434 Pages
Series: Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 115


Whereas many books in this field deal with individual aspects or texts of the study of family laws, Leviticus: The Priestly Laws and Prohibitions from the Perspective of Ancient Near East and Africa examines extensively biblical texts, ancient Near Eastern text, and oral traditions from Africa. Thus, three different cultures converge: the world of the Hebrew Bible, the world of the ancient Near East, and the world of Africa. This volume examines in detail the history of the development of ancient laws in general and family laws in particular, especially the laws relating to marriages between close relatives. Furthermore, Johnson M. Kimuhu looks at prohibitions and taboos in Africa and the problems they pose with regard to the interpretation and translation of difficult biblical concepts into African languages. In that sense, Kimuhu provides an example of how to contextualize or integrate African traditions into the study of biblical Hebrew, and he also offers insights into the current debate on the study of kinship from the point of view of social/cultural anthropology and the Hebrew Bible legal system. Teachers, students, and researchers in biblical studies, ancient Near Eastern studies, African traditions, and social/cultural anthropology will find this book helpful in their quest to understand family laws, prohibitions, and taboos.


Publication date
2008 (February)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2008. XX, 434 pp.

Biographical notes

Johnson M. Kimuhu (Author)

The Author: Johnson M. Kimuhu earned his doctorate in Hebrew Bible at Claremont Graduate University in California. He received his B.D. from St. Paul’s United Theological College, Limuru, Kenya, his M.Th. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and his M.A. in biblical languages from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. His research interest focuses on the Hebrew Bible legal system, ancient Near Eastern legal texts, and ritual prohibitions and taboos in Africa. Kimuhu has worked as a Presbyterian Church minister, a principal and a lecturer at Presbyterian College, a visiting lecturer at St. Paul’s United Theological College, and a Bible translator with the Bible Society of Kenya. Currently, he is Associate Counselor at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services in Pasadena, California.


Title: Leviticus