The Catholic theologian Ludger difficult Horst-Schönberger is Professor of old Testament biblical studies at the University of Vienna. With him Martin Scheufens language for P. M. History.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are called the “Abrahamic religions”. Who is this Abraham, to the three world religions called?
In the book of Genesis is Abraham, a nomad from Mesopotamia, to speak to the God. The Lord promises him that he will have many descendants. To them God gives the Land of Canaan – the future of Palestine to the possession. Thus, the history of the people of Israel begins. Because Abraham trusted God completely, he is regarded as a prototype of the believer, and as the first Monotheist.
Has existed Abraham actually?
According to the current state of research, Abraham is not a historical figure but a literary, but historical experiences of Israel in bundles. In this sense, he is, in a sense, as a literary figure and a historical figure.
But you can take his story seriously?
The Bible does not draw its significance from the historical accuracy. On the basis of the Person Abraham complex questions of faith discussed, for example, the Problem of justice and trust. Also shows to believe in him experience, the people were given. In this way, the stories are true, even if not in a closely guided historical sense.
So, the churches say that the Bible is man-made?
Yes, strictly speaking, the Bible is not the word of God, it is not fallen from the sky. It is the word of God in the words of people. Therefore, the biblical require narratives of Interpretation.
What is Abraham’s role in the Bible?
The book of Genesis begins with a mythical story of all mankind: God creates the world and Adam and eve, but soon violence breaks out among the people. In the flood, the violence is drowned, as it were. With Noah, the Covenant God stabilized the world, in a first step. With Abraham, he then starts again in a new way, by chosen him, and a special, personal relationship with him is built.
The story of Israel begins in the Stranger: Abraham comes from Mesopotamia. Only at God’s command, he moved to Canaan. Why created the Israelites this myth?
The present research locates the origins of the story of Abraham in 6. Century, when the Babylonians conquered the present-day Palestine and a part of the Jews into exile to Babylon had to. When they were finally allowed to return, wanted to return, many remain, others wanted to. The latter could have served Abraham as a figure of identification: he moved from Mesopotamia into the Land, assigned to them by the Lord.
Through the Covenant with Abraham, God makes a single people to be “his”. Isn’t this unfair? He should not be the same for all people?
God preferred one people and to the disadvantage of the other. God starts with Abraham and his descendants an Experiment. To them he reveals himself to you, he wants to show how a life pleasing to God can succeed. And this is supposed to radiate as a role model in the world. Not without reason, God says to Abraham: “Through you all the families of the earth shall obtain blessing.”
What this God is different image from that of the neighboring peoples?
The old religions revered nature, about the sun, moon, and Wind. The Old Testament tells us, however, only one God – the nature of apparitions themselves, no gods are longer, the sun is a great lamp. The world is secular. The Old Testament tells so well of a first step of enlightenment.
An invisible God – that sounds abstract, unapproachable.
not at All. In the case of the Greeks the gods are busy with a Topsy-Turvy. The God of the Old Testament wanted a personal and intimate relationship to the people. This is behind the idea of the Federal government.
And Abraham is his first target?
Yes, he is the “friend of God”. This is new. 10. Century BC, took a historical turning point: Not only of monotheism arose, but also the idea of a just, loving God, in the three world religions still alive today. For this, Abraham.
the Arabs allegedly comes from him. As explained by the Bible?
Abraham remains into old age childless because his wife Sara’s barren. One day she allowed him to get a son with the Egyptian slave Hagar: Ishmael. Later this is distributed, lives in the desert and is the ancestor of the Arabs. This is a typical motif of the Bible: The former peoples are all descended from a Few. A peaceful idea: All the Nations are connected to each other.
Sara 90 years old, God proclaimed that you will still get a son of Abraham, and Isaac. A Miracle. To believe nowadays, seriously someone?
Such experiences even today: A man is in a deep crisis, desperate, without hope. But then a turning point occurs, which must seem like a miracle. The message is: God can lead us from seemingly hopeless situations. He can give us a future where we are with our human ways at the end.
Medical pregnancy in this age is absurd.
Yes, of course! It is not here, but magic. God does not break the laws of nature because we ask him. The narrator’s use of fairy tale motifs in order to illustrate an existential truth. Such stories may even notice a child.
The extract of Abraham by József Molnár.
In the disturbing Episode God of Abraham commanded to sacrifice his son, Isaac. And indeed, this is ready only at the last Moment God stops him. What’s the point?
you only read this story, it appears, in fact, cruel and absurd. However, the first sentence is: “the God of Abraham put to the test.” Anyone who has read the preceding narrative of the rescue of Ishmael, with the expectation of salvation is also the story of the binding of Isaac.
But why does God?
God wants to know: Loves Abraham it real, or only due to his personal advantage? Whether or not Abraham trusts him Completely, just in an existential crisis. Therefore, the Old man is the most precious sacrifice, what he has: his son. Abraham proved that he puts his future in God’s hands, and in return, the Lord gives him, and Isaac, countless descendants.
How brutal is the God of the Old Testament?
When he intervenes to save only his people. Not, other to throw. In the face of injustice and oppression, God must be powerless. Therefore, the Violent of him – to be held if necessary with violence – in the game of chess.
does this not Contradict the message of peace of the New Testament?
on The contrary, the Old Testament tells a civilizational turning point: the binding of the violence on the right. Alone the state, at that time, the king may exercise violence, but to enforce the law. This monopoly of our rule of law is based until today. But then, this is a whole new idea of progress.
The God of the Old Testament seems so different than that of the New.
theologically, it is the same God who revealed himself to the people more and more. The people of Israel learn of him only getting to know each other better. This process can be in the Old and New Testament to understand.
Supposedly, Abraham was buried in Hebron. Ironically, at his grave in the middle East conflict is particularly fierce. Abraham separates the religions today more than it unites?
no. Only the persons who appeared to Abraham, is the difference between the religions. Abraham stands for, and what connects them: the original, simple Faith, trusting in the one God.
What can we learn from him today?
The unconditional trust in God and the readiness of himself and his life to trust in God. Abraham’s path is not straight: He tries a lot and is wrong often. At times, he is hopeless. But he remains always open to the voice of God, he is forward and dies “old and full of days”. The message of the Bible: A life in which you let God lead, and succeed in the end.
The Text is taken from the magazine p.m. History. You can find more information here.