Exegetical Paper

Exegetical Paper - Andrew Kelley Religion 121E Exegetical...

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Andrew Kelley Religion 121E Exegetical Paper 11/16/07 Genesis 22: A Strong Abraham Prevails Written long ago, the bible is a book that can convey the reader to create many different opinions of one simple story. While many so-called ‘classics’ can do the same to a reader, the bible brings our interpretation of the text to a wider range of beliefs, such as ones philosophical and religious idals. Few texts can bring such a range of ideals together in a short passage. In the case of Genesis 22:1- 22:19, the reader can generate many opinions from simply reading the text. However, it is of more use to discover what the author was trying to portray when writing this passage. When he wrote this biblical passage, the author depicted the vision of a strong Abraham overcoming a harsh and difficult command that was given by God, as to liken it to the society he lived in. Before discussing the various interpretations of this passage, it is important to know its history. The E writer wrote this portion of the book of Genesis. The E writer was an author from northern Israel who wrote this part of the narrative sometime between 800-750 BCE. This was during the time of the division between Judah and Israel. Thus, the E wrote about conflict between parties, such as Abraham and God. He also discussed ancient Israelite customs and traditions, like the sacrifice to God for the birth of the firstborn. This E writing was probably integrated into the J writings after 721 BCE, which created a more familiar text to what we see today in the bible. The text we see today in the bible, however, was not written for us. It was instead written for the people of Israel to show that faith in God should never be questioned. The people of the time had become unruly with the separation of Israel and Judah, and the northern E writer
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wanted to keep his community’s focus on faith and belief in God. When the text is viewed from a historical perspective, one can easily see the author’s real goals in writing this passage. One of the styles that the E writer used to make this passage an important story to the reader was the use of emotion throughout the passage. Throughout the story, the author used the dialogue between Abraham and Isaac to show Abraham’s struggle. One of the best ways that the E writer did this is through his constant repetition of the idea of Father and son, which engrained the idea of family into the reader’s head. This is the genius behind his writing, full of “psychological sensitivity” (Barton 53). The author
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course RELIGION 121 taught by Professor Ghodes-luhman during the Fall '07 term at St. Olaf.

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Exegetical Paper - Andrew Kelley Religion 121E Exegetical...

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