Holiness Code

The Holiness Code is a term used in biblical criticism to refer to Leviticus 17-26, and is so called due to its highly repeated use of the word Holy. It has no special traditional religious significance, and traditional Jews and Christians do not regard it as having any distinction from any other part of the Book of Leviticus. Biblical scholars have regarded it as a distinct unit and have noted that the style is noticeably different from the main body of Leviticus: unlike the remainder of Leviticus, the many laws of the Holiness Code are expressed very closely packed together, and very briefly. According to the documentary hypothesis, the Holiness Code represents an earlier text that was edited and incorporated into the priestly source and the Torah as a whole.

This source is often abbreviated as "H". A generally accepted date is sometime in the seventh century BCE and presumably originated among the priests in the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Holiness Code also uses a noticeably different choice of vocabulary, repeating phrases such as I, The LORD, am holy, I am the LORD, and I the LORD, which sanctify..., an unusually large number of times. Additionally, Leviticus 17 begins with This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, saying.., and Leviticus 26 strongly resembles the conclusion of a law code, despite the presence of further laws afterward, such as at Leviticus 27, giving the Holiness Code the appearance of a single distinct unit.

Among evangelical Christians, there is debate about how much of this passage can be applicable today since the Levitical priesthood and animal sacrifice ended in AD 70, with the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Many in these groups see references to sexuality therein and as being reiterated for emphasis elsewhere in the Bible; for example, in the Epistle to the Romans. Orthodox Jews continue many of the practices, but they generally regard precepts not in current practice as being in only temporary abeyance until a Third Temple can be rebuilt and they can be restored.

Read more about Holiness CodeEmbedding in The Priestly Source, Composition, Comparison With Other Biblical Law Codes, Modern View of Leviticus

Other articles related to "holiness code, code, codes":

Holiness Code - Modern View of Leviticus
... The holiness code is believed to have been written as a form to avoid sexual deviations, sexual transmitable diseases and other forms of physical illness for the people of Israel with some specified as ...
The Bible And Slavery - Manumission
... In a parallel with the Sabbatical Year system, the Covenant Code offers automatic manumission of male Israelite slaves, after they have worked for six ... The later Deuteronomic Code is seen by some to contradict elements of this instruction, in extending automatic seventh year manumission to both sexes ... The Deuteronomic Code also extends the seventh-year manumission rule by instructing that Israelite slaves freed in this way should be given livestock, grain, and wine, as a parting gift the literal meaning of the ...
The Bible And Slavery - Working Conditions
... The later Deuteronomic code, having repeated the Shabbat requirement, also instructs that slaves should be allowed to celebrate the Sukkot festival ... Although the Holiness Code instructs that during the Sabbatical Year, slaves and their masters should eat food which the land yields, without being farmed, it does not explicitly forbid the ... Indeed, unlike the other law codes, the Holiness Code does not mention explicit occasions of respite from toil, instead simply giving the vague instruction that Israelite ...

Famous quotes containing the words code and/or holiness:

    Hollywood keeps before its child audiences a string of glorified young heroes, everyone of whom is an unhesitating and violent Anarchist. His one answer to everything that annoys him or disparages his country or his parents or his young lady or his personal code of manly conduct is to give the offender a “sock” in the jaw.... My observation leads me to believe that it is not the virtuous people who are good at socking jaws.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    A State, in idea, is the opposite of a Church. A State regards classes, and not individuals; and it estimates classes, not by internal merit, but external accidents, as property, birth, etc. But a church does the reverse of this, and disregards all external accidents, and looks at men as individual persons, allowing no gradations of ranks, but such as greater or less wisdom, learning, and holiness ought to confer. A Church is, therefore, in idea, the only pure democracy.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)