Standard readings of the Akedah (Genesis 22.1-19) promote Abraham as a paradigm of faith because of his limitless and unwavering commitment to God. God speaks to Abraham, demands a painful violence that threatens to shatter his soteriological promises to Abraham, and Abraham marches forward fully complaint with the injunction. These actions certify Abraham as faith-hero par excellence; Abraham obeys regardless of obstacle or cost. This traditional interpretation is so readily accepted that even Kant fails to question its validity. Consequently, he chastises Abraham for his complete lack of moral when tasked with sacrificing Isaac. Even more awkwardly, while Maimonides argued that this pericope established the “extent and limit of the fear of God,” his assessment often gets mistranslated as an affirmation of limitless (and reckless) fear of God. This interpretation of the Akedah often puts exegetes in the difficult position of having to reconcile the unflinching resolve of Abraham with the potent agony of the story itself. However, rather than acting with limitless and unwavering commitment to the paradox God places before him, Abraham safeguards faith not through rejection of critical reasoning but rather a rejection of faith itself; only because Abraham believes and trusts in God can he so boldly reject the words of God.
Parts one and two of this essay will address issues of Genesis 22.1-14’s dating and structure within the Abraham life cycle in order to show the overall arc of Abraham’s sincere and deep-rooted faith in YHWH. Part three will then more closely scrutinize verses 1-14 to show how the arc of the story emphasizes radical faith amidst his painful testing by YHWH. Part four will conclude the pri...
... middle of paper ...
...Sanders, A.F. “Kierkegaard’s Reading of the Sacrifice of Isaac” in The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Akedah (Genesis 22) and its Interpretations. Edited by Ed Noort and Eibert Tigchelaar. Boston: Brill, 2002.
Ska, Jean-Louis. Introduction to Reading the Pentateuch. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2006.
Stern, David H. Jewish New Testament Commentary. Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1992.
Van Bekkum, W.J. “The Aqedah and Its Interpretations in Midrash and Piyyut” in The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Akedah (Genesis 22) and its Interpretations. Edited by Ed Noort and Eibert Tigchelaar. Boston: Brill, 2002.
Wenham, Gordon J. Story as Torah. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2000.
Wintermute, O.S. “Jubilees: A New Translation and Introduction” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume Two. Edited by James J. Charlesworth. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2009.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A handsome boy kneels down for prayer beside a tree in his father’s orchard. It is a nice sunny spring day with the warm rays of the radiant sun gently kissing the boy’s face. “God, give me a sign,” he pleads to his heavenly father. He is only 14, yet religion fascinates him. Confused by what Christian faith to believe in, he was not sure whether he wanted to become a Baptist like his parents, or a Methodist, which church’s teachings appealed more to him. A slight cool breeze passes through his chestnut colored hair.... [tags: religious beliefs]
1645 words (4.7 pages)
- God selected Abraham to be the father of the His people. The bible does not directly state why God selected him, but after reading scripture one can conclude that God selected Abraham due to his great faith. Abraham’s life lends itself as an example to all who desire to walk with God. EARLY LIFE Abraham was one of three sons born to Terah in the city of Ur of the Chaldeans. Research conducted by Elmer Towns indicates that Abraham was younger than his two brothers, Nahor and Haran, although the bible does not specifically indicate that (56).... [tags: Abraham's Life of Faith]
2522 words (7.2 pages)
- Paradox of Faith In Fear and Trembling Kierkegaard examines the old story of Abraham being commanded by what is perceived to be god to kill his only child. Abraham had spent many years trying to conceive a child with his wife Sarah and finally successfully had a boy named Isaac. In what appears to be the test of ultimate sacrifice god, appearing as a burning bush, asks Abraham to take his only son to the mountain and kill him with a knife. The question most people ask is why would a god command Abraham to commit such an atrocious act.... [tags: Faith]
731 words (2.1 pages)
- The experiment I intend to conduct will analyze the effects of motivation on false word recall in the DRM paradigm. The DRM paradigm has been extensively analyzed, and it has been concluded that participants readily recall words that are associated with presented lists, however, not presented in the lists. This phenomenon is known as false recall. I am interested if the presence of a secondary reinforcer will affect the proportion of false word recall. I reviewed three studies that I believe are pertinent to my experiment.... [tags: memory, drm paradigm, false recall]
1519 words (4.3 pages)
- Kierkegaard believes that true faith can only be attained through a double movement of giving up rationality or logic, while at the same time believing one can understand logically. In “Fear and Trembling” Kierkegaard relates true faith to the Knight of infinite resignation and the Knight of faith; in this paper, I will examine this claim and show why Kierkegaard’s analogy is an excellent metaphor for the double movement which is required in one’s quest to attain faith and why. Kierkegaard’s position on faith is represented with the Knight of infinite resignation and the Knight of faith.... [tags: Faith Literary Analysis]
2216 words (6.3 pages)
- Faith is an important aspect in everybody. It helps us see God, and believe in him. Our faith is always tested when there is a hard theological decision to make or somebody else trying to break your bold with God. The movie Field of Dreams, is a great example of how staying true to your faith can sometimes be hard. In this movie, the main character Ray Kinsella shows his faith in what he believes he should do. In the beginning of the movie Roy hears a voice from the corn saying, “If you build it he will come.” At this point Roy has no idea who is talking to him or what about.... [tags: Faith]
861 words (2.5 pages)
- The Importance of Faith of God in the Life of Abraham Abraham is the first of the three men who are called the 'patriarchs', or fathers of Judaism. The other two are his son Isaac and, and his grandson Jacob. Abraham is not only an important person for Jews but also for Christians and Muslims, he is the father of all three religions. For the Jews, Abraham is the father of 'monotheism', which means faith in one God. He, it is believed, was the first to teach that there is only one God who created the world, and only God should be worshipped.... [tags: Papers]
787 words (2.2 pages)
- Abraham as the Ideal Man of Faith The question is frequently asked, “What does it mean to have faith?” “What does it mean to be faithful?” The path to righteousness has always been one paved in good faith, and this is a well-known fact. The ideal man of faith, it can be reasoned, would be the man who was the most suitable spiritual companion for God. This would be someone with whom God could speak with, and fulfill his wishes for human beings there within. God would not simply want a servant, but a friend who would walk through his life with God.... [tags: Holy Bible Essays]
1248 words (3.6 pages)
- Abraham Lincoln is unfailingly the second president students learn about in grade school, right after George Washington. As far as I can remember, the only thing taught about "Honest Abe" was that he was born in a log cabin and had to walk 12 miles to the library, uphill both ways, "unlike you little brats who have a library in your own school and don't even use it." Of course, I learned more faceless, boring facts about our 16th president in eventual class notes about names and dates. President during the Civil War who was killed by John Wilkes Booth in 1865.... [tags: Abraham Lincoln]
1362 words (3.9 pages)
- Abraham, a very important hero from Genesis, was the first person to believe in a single God. He was the first to show devoted faith to God and risk everything to follow God. He always found strength in his faith in God, but sometimes his unyielding, strong faith was a weakness that almost got good people hurt. Abraham is one of the most important people in the Old Testament because he was the first person to believe in and be called by God. “The Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from the land of our kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.... [tags: essays research papers]
877 words (2.5 pages)