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Abram to Abraham

A Literary Analysis of the Abraham Narrative


Jonathan Grossman

Abram to Abraham explores the Abraham saga (11:27-22:24) through a literary lens, following the legendary figure of Abraham as he navigates the arduous odyssey to nationhood. Rather than overlook the textual discrepancies, repetitions and contradictions long noted by diachronic scholars, this study tackles them directly, demonstrating how many problems of the ancient text in fact hold the key to deeper understanding of the narrative and its objectives. Therefore, the book frequently notes the classic division of the text according to primary sources, but offers an alternative, more harmonious reading based on the assumption that the narrative forms a single, intentionally designed unit.
The narrative’s artistic design is especially evident in its arrangement of the two halves of the story around the protagonists’ change of name. The stories of Abram and Sarai in the first half of the cycle (11:27-16:16) are parallel to the stories of Abraham and Sarah in the second half (18:1-22:24). A close reading of this transformation in the biblical narrative illuminates the moral and theological values championed by the figure of Abraham as luminary, soldier, family man, and loyal subject of God.
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an outline of an old testament dialogue

Herausgegeben von / edited by Michael Fieger & Sigrid Hodel-Hoenes

Diese Reihe will den wissenschaftlichen Dialog zwischen dem Alten Testament und benachbarten Fächern fördern. Im Mittelpunkt des Interesses stehen der weit verzweigte Dialog zum Neuen Testament sowie die wechselseitige Beziehung mit den Humanwissenschaften, die durch die Vielschichtigkeit des Alten Testaments hervorgerufen wird. Dazu gehören neben der Theologie, Anthropologie und Ethik auch Gebiete wie Psychologie, Pädagogik, Soziologie, Ökonomie, Geschichtsschreibung, Musikwissenschaften und Sprachforschung. Aber auch zu naturwissenschaftlichen Fragen wie beispielsweise in der Medizin gibt es einige wichtige Bezugspunkte. In diese international ausgerichtete Reihe werden sowohl Monographien und Tagungsbände als auch Dissertationen und Habilitationen in deutscher, englischer, italienischer und rumänischer Sprache aufgenommen. Ein wichtiges Anliegen ist es, dass sich die Bände nicht ausschliesslich an Fachleute richten, sondern eine breitere wissenschaftlich interessierte Leserschaft ansprechen.

This series intends to promote and stimulate the scientific dialogue between the Old Testament and its interrelated subjects. The interest is focused on the New Testament and its relationship with the human sciences. In addition to theology, anthropology and ethics and aside from areas relating to psychology, pedagogy, sociology, economics, historiography, music and linguistics, there are some important points of reference to scientific questions, including medicine. This international series will publish not only monographs and conference volumes but also theses and dissertations in German, English, Italian and Romanian. Of vital importance is the...

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