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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Abraham on the line

Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 38-39

Having given a big hint as to where he is going, Blenkinsopp now turns his attention to Abraham. He asserts:

Two conculsions are now widely accepted in critical biblical scholarship. The first is that, with the exception of the triad "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob", Abraham is not clearly and unambiguously attested earlier than the Babylonian exile. The second is that Abraham came to serve as a model for those who returned from Babylon to make a new beginning in Judah in theearly years of Persian rule.

Now, you have to split Isaiah up into pieces and accept theories about postexilic addenda to make that work, but we are talking scholarship here. But what, yiu might ask, about the book of Genesis? Blenkinsopp has that covered:

With respect to the extraordinarily rich narrative about Abraham in Gn 11-25, we have witnessed a growing consensus over the last four or five decades that we owe it not to oral tradition handed down from before the founding of the state, much less from the Middle Bronze period, but to literary circles of the exilic and postexilic period, whether lay, Priestly, or Deuteronomic.

So there you go then!

Posted By Jonathan, 9:00am Comment Comments: