The lead-in quote from Leviticus in Spencer Rich's article on female-male earnings was clever but had nothing to do with the story {Federal Page, Aug. 27}.

A quick glance at the passage in Leviticus (Chapter 27) -- "Your valuation of a male ... shall be 50 shekels of silver ... if the person is a female, your valuation shall be 30 shekels" -- and an equally quick glance at the standard commentary on the King James Bible, if the original text is too difficult, shows that these are not valuations of the worth of a man or a woman but the minimum amount to be pledged to the service of God if one chooses to make such a free-will offering.

Such a pledge thus made becomes an obligation. Rather than a diminution of the value of women, the passage lays a greater obligation on the man than on the woman. Note also that lesser amounts are obligated for those less than 20 years old or older than 60.

If a writer chooses to quote from a book, he should be sure what he is quoting.

A copy of the Bible in the newspaper's computer system might help.

I prefer King James, but one of the modern translations that read more like a newspaper than literature would be better than nothing.

ERNEST R. ONEY Winchester

Does anyone at The Post own a Bible? It's incredible that no one caught the error in the lead paragraph of Consuelo Saah Baehr's review of "Current Affairs" {Book World, Aug. 12}.

Mary Magdalene was not Martha's sister. The Mary she was referring to is Mary, the sister of Martha and of Lazarus.

Mary Magdalene is an unrelated Mary whom Christ met under other circumstances.

LAWRENCE J. MORRIS Alexandria