By Edward Kessler
Probably the most famous tales within the Bible is the account of the way Abraham's religion in God was once tested via a willingness to sacrifice his long-awaited son at God's command. This tale has been a resource of fascination for Jews and Christians over many centuries, and Edward Kessler deals an engrossing account in their interpretations. Explaining that neither the tale nor its interpretations might be understood independently, this ebook makes a worthwhile contribution to bible study.
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Extra info for Bound by the Bible: Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac
We also find rabbinic interpretations that represent an exegetical encounter with Christian teaching. For example, the following interpretation of Genesis 22 in Aggadat Bereshit, an eighth-century Palestinian text, condemns the view that God had a son: How foolish is the heart of the minim [heretics] who say that the Holy One, Blessed be He, has a son. If, in the case of Abraham’s son, when He saw that he was ready to slay him, He could not bear to look on in anguish, but on the contrary at once 63 Stemberger 1996a:571.
10 Jub. 8. Jub. 16. Cf. 4Q225. Early interpretations 39 the severity of the test, he retained his faith in God and fulfilled God’s command. Philo, for example, explains firstly that he made a practice of obedience to God, secondly that this was ‘a totally new and extraordinary procedure’ and thirdly that he loved Isaac greatly because he was the only child of his old age. 12 Second, the early interpreters discuss in detail the role of one of the angels, Mastema. Both Jubilees and a Qumran fragment (4Q225) explain that God tested Abraham because of the accusation of Mastema.
Previous studies of Genesis 22 35 In 1961, Geza Vermes92 and Roger Le D´eaut93 published works that support the early-dating school of thought, and both scholars emphasize the importance of the Palestinian Targums. Vermes argues that the Palestinian Targums contain first-century interpretations, which can be isolated, and believes that they are the most important model with which to understand New Testament texts dealing with the meaning of the death of Jesus. In 1996 Vermes published a fragment from Qumran that, he argues, supports his view of an early date for rabbinic interpretations.
Bound by the Bible: Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac by Edward Kessler