The atmosphere is not one of lively and amiable scholarly debate; it is hostile, and the intent is to discredit Jesus. Much is at stake—Jesus’ authority, his role and his identity. Tom Long has called this Jesus’ final exam, because it will be this test that ultimately dooms Jesus in the minds of the scholarly authorities.
When I read Leviticus, I can almost see the mini-blinds being swiveled shut on the everyday world. Leviticus, after all, holds to a God who is Wholly Other. The creation, including humankind, is fashioned by divine hands but not out of divine stuff. This was not the theology of the world surrounding Leviticus, whether you date the book pre- or post-Exile.