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November 3, 2012
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God tempts Abraham

:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
I haven't written anything in a while, so I decide to do an article about Abraham. I think you all know the story, but I would like to give my thoughts on it.

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you."(Genesis 22:1-2)

Abraham's reaction to this probably happened off screen, but I wonder what he was thinking at that point. I mean, God, who's supposed to be benevolent, just told him to MURDER his own son. Why would he command him to sacrifice any human being to him, let alone his son?And couldn't Abraham just kill Isaac in his sleep? That way, he would've been done with the whole thing, and it didn't have to become so dramatic.

So the next morning, Abraham and Isaac go to the mountain with the wood for the burned offering. Abraham tells his servants that they're going to the mountain to worship God, and tells Isaac that they're going to sacrifice a lamb. Isaac asks Abraham where the lamb is, and Abraham tells him that God will provide them with the lamb (I thought God had a problem with lying...)

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."(Genesis 22:9-12)

Why did an omniscient God even need to test him in the first place? Didn't he already know what the outcome was going to be?

I once had a discussion with a Christian about the ''omni'' qualities of God, and he claims that the God of the Bible isn't omniscient in the way that we think he is, and that he wasn't able to predict what Abraham was going to do, because of the faith that the sacrifice required. Even if this is true, it still doesn't make God look good. After all, what kind of sick deity would be impressed by someone's willingness to murder his only child if a voice claiming to be God told him to? In fact, he actually rewards Abraham for doing it (Genesis 22:15-18). Why does he care so much about blind faith anyway? That voice could just as well been Satan, pretending to be God so that Abraham would kill Isaac (it definitely sounds more like something Satan would do than a benevolent God). It's made clear in the Bible that Satan does these things frequently, and God doesn't really prevent him from doing so. In that case, Abraham's blind obedience would be a negative quality.

Even if God wanted to test Abraham's faith and (more importantly) righteousness, he could have commanded him to give all his possessions to the poor. That way, the community would also have benefited from the test, and it would make it look like God is impressed by things like this. But instead, he tells Abraham to murder his only son?!

In Hebrews, Jesus says that Abraham went along with the sacrifice because he believed that God would simply resurrect Isaac:

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:17-19)

But think about it, why was there any reason to kill Isaac in the first place if he's going to be resurrected anyway? Plus, even if you come back from the dead, being murdered is still extremely unpleasant (to put it lightly). And it's made clear that Isaac didn't know that he was going to be killed.

Abraham is by most religious people considered one of the greatest men to have ever lived (in fact, the three mono-theistic religions are even referred to as the ''Abrahamic religions''). Yet if this story happened in the present, Abraham would be arrested, thrown into a mental hospital, and his son would need to go through intense therapy. And Christians say that the Bible is the basis of our legal system and moral code?!! Seriously people, stop honoring people like him.
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Devious Comments

:iconastrikos:
Astrikos Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012   General Artist
That poor child.

I feel bad for the sheep.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012
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:iconmademanmadman:
mademanmadman Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012   Digital Artist
I hate that story and recently I've thought about it.
And I concluded that if I were god I would have send Abraham to hell.
Just because someone in power told him to do it doesn't mean he should break laws that same someone made. I think it teaches a very wrong thing. We shouldn't follow god as mindless sheep and do what He or worse His 'emissaries' on earth say. There are examples in history that this faith in god and power that those 'emissaries' had have been misused.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
He hadn't yet made the laws.
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:iconmademanmadman:
mademanmadman Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012   Digital Artist
Ah right! I totally forgot that! lol
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
So much for omniscience right!
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:iconmademanmadman:
mademanmadman Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012   Digital Artist
Right.

You are right Abraham would have been called madman in this age and the people who say that god wouldn't ask for it now I wonder if they think that the god is frighten or considerate of human laws? Considerate probably though I'm not sure then why He wasn't considerate towards Isaak. It must have been a great trauma having been sacrificed to the god by his father.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Could you imagine being dragged up to the altar where you sacrifice sheep, only this time you bring no sheep then your father forces you onto that altar and raises his dagger all while talking to the sky. The entire time his eyes filled with murderous conviction, only for at the last moment he changes his mind. I would never trust the man again. And Christians think this was a good thing.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
"I mean, God, who's supposed to be benevolent, just told him to MURDER his own son. Why would he command him to sacrifice any human being to him, let alone his son?"

well, two things:

1) this is Old Testament God we're talking about. he didn't play around.

2) Abraham had faith in God; most generally, that whatever God needed to be done was pretty important and thereby worth the life of whoever he took. Abraham believed in a concept greater than himself and everyone else, and he was prepared to kill accordingly. what's a human life in the face of God?
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
2) Exactly why faith is so dangerous.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
what does that have to do with anything?
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
That same reasoning is what makes men fly planes into building.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
okay? I was just answering their question. buzz off.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Sorry if I seemed aggressive. I'm a passive aggressive person so it was supposed to be read more sarcastically. (Is there an emoticon that expresses that? It sure would be useful.)
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
Abraham was a madman that heard voices telling him to kill his only son. Had a man today do the same thing we would recognize him as such even if he didn't go through with the act and make sure he was committed somewhere where he would not pose a threat to others or himself. The self rationalizing Christian would say God wouldn't ask of that today and so the man MUST be insane but never question the sanity of the men who wrote the bible.
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Student Digital Artist
You are trying to make a case out of nothing.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
When most of humanity admires an almost-child murderer, than thatīs something.
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Metaphorical view of this situation, you are inside your little box world and is poking a hole in it, so you can put your middle finger out of it and call what is outside of your understanding "naughty", which people have done in the past.

I being an out of the box thinker, will do you the favor of cutting off that middle finger of yours, that is sticking out and tell you to "come and get it."

First off, if you are going to believe in God enough to put God down as evil, then that still opens you up to being required to believe in an afterlife as it is part of the package with God.

The reason why so many people look at the father being willing to follow the command in a positive light, is that unlike an atheist who looks down on death as no more existing, the believer views there is an afterlife and that the father is showing respect and trust to the universe, that his child who he loves so much will be taken care of by the universe and no longer feel suffering of the world of the living. It is a matter of trust, like a parent trusting a fireman to ketch a child by a parent trapped in a burning building.

There is also the concept that it might of been a demon or other being pretending to be God and the real God comes in and saves the child's life.

So that is two perspectives on it, that I hope you consider.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
I DONīT believe in God. All Iīm saying in my articles is that if the God described in the Bible exists, than heīs an absolute sociopath.

If death isnīt bad according to Christianity, than why does the God of the Bible constantly command people to be put to DEATH for doing things he doesnīt want them to do? Also, the idea of heaven doesnīt justify the immense suffering in this world, because the Bible claims that most people will go to hell.

If it was indeed a demon (which could just aswell have been the case), it just shows how Abrahamīs blnd obiedience was not a good thing.
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
It is all in how you view it:

1. Death is like telling kids to get out of the pool of life, it is not a big deal when there is an afterlife.
2. Many people in the past abused God's name to do evil in the world. It does not mean that God approved of it. It would be like someone killing another man or sexually attacking a woman and dedicating it to yourself. Should you be at fault for other people's free will?
3. You can view it as blind obedience, I just think you are being pretty critical of a primitive simple man of the times. He had what he believed was a higher power demanding a sacrifice and considering that higher powers can royally screw over a man's family and their future if he dismissed them with disrespect, the logical view was to follow orders.
4. God destroying two cities was not evil, considering that the two wicked cities being allowed to exist, could of later went on to corrupt even our modern societies.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012
1. In the Old testament, people went to Sheol, not Heaven. Sheol wasnīt paradise, but a dark place of spirits, where both good and bad people went to. And if death is not unpleasant, than why did God command people to be killed for doing things he didnīt want them to do?
2. That analogy would only work if I published a book which said that those people should be killed.
3. The point of the article was that Abraham was far from being a rolemodel, despite what Christians, Jews and Muslims claim.
4. Among the people living in those cities were children and old people. Not all those people deserved to be killed.
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
1. I see my metaphor went right over your head. Many deaths comes from the direct result of other people or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If there was a tornado, would you reasonably view it wise for kids to stay out and play? No.

2. How so?


3. Same could be said of the atheist and skeptic's hero Darwin, he turned his back on his family in hopes of making fame for himself. Yes there is a difference between parents who travel far to work toward supporting a family and flat out ditching to go and make self centered fame that would not pay the rent.

4. Those elders were the ones who corrupted the adults and those children would of been ended up future rapists, thieves, and murderers.

Think of two cities with the mentality state of Hitler, with the potential to corrupt other civilizations.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
1. What does your new metaphore (which is quite different from your previous one) have to do with this subject?
2. When Christians claim that God told them to kill certain people (like homosexuals and non-Christians), itīs because the Bible actually says that those people should be put to death. Your analogy said that we canīt blame God for those things, even though the things supposedly written by God drove them (at least to some extent) to do those things.
3. People admire Darwin for his contributions to science, not for his overal live. Also, Darwin cared much for his children (in fact, the death of his daughter Annie was the main reason he lost his faith in the Christian god).
4. In every city, there are good people and bad people. If a city attacked the Israeli, the goverment (and maybe the soldiers) were to blame. And if those children (Iīm talking about babies here) would grow up to become criminals, why did God have them born in the first place, only to have them painfully murdered when they were only a few years old?

īīThink of two cities with the mentality state of Hitler, with the potential to corrupt other civilizations.īī

Right, because thinking like Hitler allows you to come to sensible conclusions, doesnīt it?
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(1 Reply)
:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012
Not to mention that the only real description of heaven came from Jesus where he says that the faithful will bow before god and praise IT for all eternity. Not exactly a dream location.
(This is in addition to your argument Responsible Atheist.)
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:iconjarringx:
jarringx Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Student General Artist
one of my favorite paintings by Rembrandt [link]
intentions come prior to content
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:iconlumdrop:
Lumdrop Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Some people say that he knew God would stop him because he says "we" will come back down the mountain to his servants.
But still, I think this question is really more about if God is real, can he be trusted...
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:iconmaddmatt:
maddmatt Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
So what is the problem?
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
^This exactly the problem.^
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:iconi-am-a-retro-lass:
i-am-a-retro-lass Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A huge flaw in all of our mindsets, including that of the Jews, is just one of the many layers of our twisted logic that is born in fear, in the history of our world and the Jewish nation:

For instance: The olden day story, where Abraham believes that god has ordered him to murder his only son Isaac to prove his loyalty, is a case of an absolute narcissist (god) speaking to an absolute narcissist (Abraham) and neither of them giving a shit about the terrified child on the slab waiting to be stabbed in the heart and burnt on the pyre of their self serving righteousness and many worded justifications of their own horrific murderous behaviors.

If the child was loved more than themselves, the outcome would have been vastly more positive for the future generations to evolve and grow more intelligent without the resultant deep seated scars of damage caused by such horrific life experiences in the dysfunctional cycles of millenniums of similar thinking.

The child Isaac had no freedom of choice at all inside the teachings of his parents and family, because only one choice was made available to him from the day he first drew breath.

In these kinds of primitive mindset scenarios in families and communities and towns and nations, that the biblical records describe inside the history of the Jewish nation, the interests of the children are never put first.

They are always a commodity, born to a birthright of no choice to any reasonable or healthy or safe kind of living experience.

In my opinion, if Abraham and God had chosen their only begotten sons above themselves and their own ego’s, they would have changed our world as we know it today, in ways that would be too positive and civilized and modern to mention, because now we cannot know what thousands of years of loving our kids above ourselves and looking after their interests first would have led us into.

The many rituals and rules of the very interesting and colorful and will full mess of the Jewish culture is widely known by all of us in the western world because somehow we all began to believe also, that they were the chosen ones and more special than us, who are called the infidel or the step children of their gods and prophets.

All nations in the world today have similar historical records, but probably not as well known or documented or remembered; like our rampaging Vikings and Insane Celts and Kublai Khans and the Mongol Kings and Alexander the Greats and many other Caesars and Hitler’s and Idi Amins and so on and so forth, since the first brother picked up a stone and threw it at other brothers head and killed him in the Garden of Eden, because he was jealous of his brothers first born birthright status of being more important and more able to please God, than he was.

Many thousands of years later, the same primitive patterns of greed and jealousy and revenge and pain and anger circle the same mindsets in never ending cycles of dysfunction that always lead to the same outcomes of rage and pillage and destruction of everyone and everything, including oneself and ones own children, because our global children are born into an unequal hit and miss scenario of a short and brutal horrific sort of life or one of more civilized silver spoon kinds of living experience.
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:iconmoztrow:
moztrow Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
The test was rather more for us than for abraham, just you question something you read, but abraham, didnt questioned what happened to him.

For example, abraham reaction was more about, if God wants your life, its for a reason, but more over, when Abraham, says, that God had going to put the sacrifice lamb, its not a lie, since that was so, because says, God put his lamb to pay for our debts. so thats why abraham didnt needed to sacrifice his son. The base of a test, is to know why you are doing what your doing, if you think God send abraham unecesarily, your failing the test in this point, because the test is past, when you learn everithing has a reasn, even if you cant understand why, so you dont need to measure things with human understanding, or you will consequently, end mistaking things an idead which you are not able to understand.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
Doubt is not a bad thing. Questioning things is how we develop, both technically and morally. So if the lesson was īīdonīt question somethingīī, itīs a bad lesson (especially if the thing youīre not supposed to question is killing your son). If what you say is true, than would you unquestionably murder your child if a voice claiming to be God told you to?

God didn't tell Abraham that he would provide him with a lamb, so Abraham didn't know that it was true when he told Isaac about the lamb.
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:iconmoztrow:
moztrow Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I was referring more specifically to question the purposes, since if you are sure God is telling you so, questioning God, for someone who believes in God, is an absurdity, because its like going agains one self, or deniying the very thing you supposedly believe.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
It wasn't garunteed (sorry if misspelled) that God was going to resurrect Isaac. Just think of the story of Jepthah. God didn't do anything when he sacrificed his daughter to him.

Also, couldn't God have come up with a better way to test Abraham's faith (one which didn't involve mentally scarring a child)? If this was a test of love, than what is a psychopath test supposed to be like? It would be a better story if Abraham refused to sacrifice Isaac, and God rewarded him for his compassion, reason and bravery.
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:iconmoztrow:
moztrow Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
the lesson goes more for the reader than for them in a sense, because at that time, all the other cultures used to make human sacrifices, all terrible and only for they thought they would get the favors of their gods.

Abraham knew God would not going to sacrifice his son, anyway, he was aware there was no regret from that more than his own loss.

if you read the revelations , in certain part, it says about the saints, "they didnt loved their own lives unto death", the meaning of sacrifice, explained in the example of Jesus, is not loving our own lives, but search for the righteousness of living, since living for living has no sense at all. a person joy in life doesnt measure, in how much time you live, or even the things you do in life, but the spiritual purpose behind the acts of life, life is vanity, and as that, we live and enjoy life, but having always the notion, that all of that, is just like the flower in the grass, when it falls, its nothing from it, there fore, the real life is measured in spiritual things, rather than the flesh things
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
Actually, despite sacrifing his child, Jephtha was considered a great man by Jesus (Hebrews 11:32-38)

Shouldn't Abraham have questioned God's intentions because of this? Even when you know that someone was going to stop you from killing your child, attempting to kill your child is still f*cked up (and traumatizing for the child).

How does ''if you...flesh things'' answer my questions?
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:iconmoztrow:
moztrow Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
because the one whos asking to the sacrifice is God, just think, what is the sense for God to kill a lamb in order to cleanse the sins of israel each year? the sense of sacrifice, is for the one who makes the sacrifice, and for God who accepts the sacrifice, a lamb was accepted as simbol, of a life that is given to God, Abraham, understood what the idea of a sacrifice was, to understand it, you have to put your mind in heavenly things, not earthly things, because if abraham`s son died, the weight of the loss was more toward abraham, that was being asked to make his sacrifice, than the son (in a sense, because since Abraham was his father, he had to charge the sacrifice of both in a sense) but Abraham, said, God will get a lamb, because was a prophecy about JEsus, because he is the lamb of God, as he was saying, as he was out of his mind, he may have said just what came to him, therefore death is more terrible for the living than for the death, since death wait for Gods justice, but living have to battle against the sense of loss, that is about the matter on the flesh and soul, that each one goes, because once you know, that a life goes to God, there is no sense of loss, since you trust in Gods judgement, and that there is a more perfect life to be living than the corrupted life.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
You donīt forgive peopleīs actions or remove their moral responsibilities by killing something. And why would an omnipotent God ever require a sacrifice?
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(1 Reply)
:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Christopher Hitchens's answer to the question put to Abraham by God is the best. To paraphrase him: "Fuck you, you cunt."
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:icondeizzan:
Deizzan Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
Here's the full quote.

“Not scorning the three delightful children who result, who are everything to me and who are my only chance of even a glimpse of a second life let alone an immortal one, I’ll tell you something. If I was told to sacrifice something to prove my devotion to God, if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said ‘Yes I’ll gut my kid to show my love of God’ I’d say ‘No. Fuck you.’”
- The late, great Christopher Hitchens

It is one of my favorite quotes, thank you for reminding me it was there.
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:icondidj:
Didj Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
I think that it's despicable when apologists will paint this story in a way that Abraham's trust in God was so great that he knew that God would not let him go though with sacrificing his own son. And his trust in the lord was rewarded. The story of Abraham and Issac is used to teach children to trust in what people say God wants no matter how horrifying it seams. Because God would never do anything that would harm you. Ignoring, of course, all of the dozens of other stories in the Bible where God demands a human sacrifice and bloody well gets it. Abraham and Issac is the one with a nice ending and that's the one that all of the little impressionable children learn about in Sunday School.
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:iconmarx-man:
MARX-MAN Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Artist
"Why did an omniscient God even need to test him in the first place?"
~ResponsibleAtheist in God tempts Abraham


"When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone"
James 1:13

"tempt (v.) Look up tempt at Dictionary.com
early 13c., from O.Fr. tempter (12c.), from L. temptare "to feel, try out, attempt to influence, test." Related: Tempted; tempting in the sense of "inviting" is from 1590s."
tempt (v.) Look up tempt at Dictionary.com


HOW AWKWARD!
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
In case you claim that God never tested Abraham:

“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12)

So God did it to see if Abraham feared him, so God tested him. An omniscient God doesn't need to test anyone.
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:iconmarx-man:
MARX-MAN Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Artist
...the point was, God doesn't tempt people.

Tempt is a synonym of test from it's etymology.

The Abrahamic religions advocate that they must practice a certain lifestyle to pass God's test in order to get into heaven...

God tempts people with heaven, just a little bit awkward considering that God doesn't tempt people.
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
So this lifestyle includes killing your child if God tells you to?
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:iconmarx-man:
MARX-MAN Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Professional Artist
Oh of course...
"Whoever spares the rod hates their children..."
Proverbs 13:24
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
Let's read the full context of that verse:

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. (Proverbs 13:24)

Attempting to KILL your child is not the same as disciplining him (anyone who thinks so is a terrible parent). Allowing the child to live is not what the verse means with ''sparing the rod''.
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:iconmarx-man:
MARX-MAN Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012  Professional Artist
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:iconresponsibleatheist:
ResponsibleAtheist Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2012
I understand that itīs sick when parents kill their own children (especially if they do it because they believe that their children will go to heaven). I was simply saying that Proverbs 13:24 didn't tell people to kill their children (maybe some other verse did) And these people commited these atrocities not because they wanted to disipline them, but because they thought they would go to heaven.
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(1 Reply)
:iconblackpoppies:
blackpoppies Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
That particular Biblical passage is incredibly old, so we shouldn't really be surprised that it's incongruent with parts of mordern day Christianity/Judaism. The authors of that passage did not believe Yahweh to be the one true God (only the most important and the only one they were permitted to worship) and ideas of benevolence and omniscience which we now associate with God weren't concepts which had any sort of importance at the time of writing.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Why didn't God ask Abraham to kill himself? No need for an innocent party to be involved.
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