Baruch A. Levine is an emeritus professor who taught at Brandeis and, for most of his career, at New York University. He was raised with a traditional Jewish education and was ordained early in life but decided to pursue a career in academia. At the Jewish Theological Seminary he studied under H. L. Ginsberg, who became his model for engaging in critical biblical research even while maintaining a strong commitment to Judaism. Early in live Levine was dedicated to the idea of Zionism and has constantly reiterated his belief in the centrality of Israel to the Jewish people. For his doctoral work he studied under Cyrus H. Gordon.
Levine pioneered using ancient Near Eastern materials to understand Talmudic texts. He specializes in the biblical sacrificial cult and its parallels in the ancient Near Eastern world, but has written extensively on a wide variety of topics. He is noted for his comparativist method, applying evidence from other cultures to biblical interpretation. His extensive language background has allowed him to bring together material from several cultures and times.
His most famous works are
In the Presence of the Lord: A Study of Cult and Some Cultic Terms in Ancient Israel (1974)
Anchor Bible: Numbers 1–20 (1993)
Anchor Bible: Numbers 21–36 (2000)
The JPS Torah Commentary: Leviticus (2003)