Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Moses, according to the commonly received view.

2. DATE. — Most of it was perhaps written be fore the Israelites left Sinai. Some parts of it may have been added afterward.

3. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — After the tabernacle and the priests had been provided, when there arose the need of designating the manner of worship.

4. LEADING TOPIC. — The laws by which the Levitical priests were to be guided in their oversight of the worship of the people and of their communion with God.

5. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show how the Israelites, who had been taken to be a special people, were to conduct themselves in their relations to God; how they were to come before him in the tabernacle, and how their holy character was to be manifested. It gave the laws that governed their worship and that distinguished them from all other peoples. Besides its immediate purpose, it shows how man at any time can approach God.


Part I. Laws concerning approach to God, Ch. 1-16.

(a) Laws of sacrifices, Ch. 1-7.

(b) Consecration of the priests, Ch. 8–10.

(c) Laws of purity, Ch. 11–15.

(d) Day of atonement, Ch. 16.

Part II. Requirements for communion with God, Ch. 17–27.

(a) Holiness on the part of the people, Ch. 17-20.

(b) Holiness of priests and offerings, Ch. 21-22.

(c) The holy feasts, Ch. 23–25.

(d) The law of vows, and the exhortation thereto, Ch. 26, 27.

7. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — The sacrifices; regulations of the priests; clean and unclean food; leprosy; the day of atonement; the threat of punishment for sin.

8. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — It is closely related to Exodus, which gives the account of the Israelites being taken to be God's chosen people with a place of worship. This shows how they were to worship. Because of their relation to God they were to be holy, and Leviticus shows how this was to be secured. Its laws are presupposed in Numbers and Deuteronomy . It gives the standard of holiness from which the Israelites departed, as described in the historical books, and for which they were punished, as shown in the prophets. The ruling thought of the book is that the chosen people were to be holy.

9. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — The sacrifices and the priests were typical of Christ. The thought of holiness resulting from the relation of the people to God is dwelt upon by the prophets as a hope of the Messianic times.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The comparison of the religious ceremonies of the Israelites with those of the Egyptians; the nature of leprosy; the purpose of sacrifices.