Genesis, the Education of Abraham

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Disillusioned Latin students, who cringe at the thought of repeatedly scribbling their grammar, are often told by their teachers, "Per repitio nos studiare," which translates to "through repetition we learn." Though this may seem hard to believe as their hands begin to cramp, it bears a certain amount of truth. As my grandfather once told me, "Experience is often the best teacher." Truly gaining an understanding of something often comes from repeated involvement.

Repetition is also the concept that the Hebrew Creator-God uses throughout the story of Genesis to educate Abram about God's purpose and His nature. God is aware of the doubtful and cynical nature of Abram. Over time, God uses Abram's own repeated mistakes to build a conceptual understanding of Himself for Abram. This model provides Abram with a relevance for God in Abram's own life. Though the classic view depicts the patriarch Abraham as blindly, obedient, there is significant evidence within the story of Abraham to show that he was not so naturally submissive. The text often depicts Abram as doubtful, indignant, and sarcastic to a fault. Taking this side of the text in context illustrates Abraham as the antagonist in a battle against God. In this struggle with God, Abraham achieves excellence by learning, through repetition of his own errors and the reinstatement of God's promise, that it is in his best interest not to fight against his own personal idea of God, but to recognize, respect, and accept the true will of God.

The story of Abram begins when, at age 75, he is called by God to leave his home and all that is familiar to him. In return God promises: "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shall be b...

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...ith the Creator-God, but with his misconception of the relationship that must exist between himself and God. Through his repeated disrespect and misunderstanding of who God is Abraham learns about his faith, his God, and himself.

Although it may seem trivial, there is a legitimacy in asking a Latin student to rewrite a 300 page grammar book 300 times. The legitimacy lies in the fact the student will learn the Latin, even though he may have a cramped hand. Much like the Latin students, Abraham learns the to recognize respect, and accept the will of God through a repetitious cycle that brings him a cramped ego. Surely he would agree with the Latin scholars when they say "Per repitio nos studiare."

Work Cited

The Holy Bible, King James Version. Cambridge Edition: 1769; King James Bible Online, 2015. Web. 28 June 2015.

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