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Bound by the Bible: Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac (Paperback)
  • Bound by the Bible: Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac (Paperback)

Bound by the Bible: Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac (Paperback)

Paperback 236 Pages / Published: 04/10/2004
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The Sacrifice of Isaac is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. It is also a shocking account of how Abraham's faith in God was demonstrated by a willingness to sacrifice his long-awaited son at God's command. This story has been a source of fascination for Jews and Christians for many centuries and here, Edward Kessler offers an enthralling account of Jewish and Christian interpretations of this biblical story. For understandable reasons, it has been assumed that Judaism influenced Christian interpretation but relatively little attention has been given to the question of the influence of Christianity upon Judaism. Kessler provides an insight into this absorbing two-way encounter and argues that neither Jewish nor Christian interpretations can be understood properly without reference to the other. As Jews and Christians lived, and continue to live, in a biblically orientated culture, Kessler shows how both were 'bound by the bible'.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521543132
Number of pages: 236
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 13 mm

'His book adds a new dimension to the study of the subject in late antiquity ... Edward Kessler's contribution will be indispensable to students of the Akedah and deserves a wide readership.' Jewish Chronicle
'Kessler is able to show not only that Christian interpretations of Genesis 22 were influenced by rabbinic discussions, but also, and more surprisingly, that rabbis were not afraid to borrow Christian ideas, and not always in order to refute them. The book thus contributes to the recent consensus that Judaism and Christianity, as we now know them, share many common roots, and that neither would have taken the shape it did without the stimulus provided by the other. This challenges widespread perceptions in both religions. Here it is illustrated with solid and detailed evidence.' Church Times
'... this welcome study of Genesis 22 affords a wealth of material and raises many important questions.' Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
'This is a fascinating book and a work of meticulous scholarship.' Theology
'Scholarly in its detailed analysis... each chapter is helpfully divided into the same three sections... making it easy to follow the arguments.' Epworth Review
"This is a magisterial treatment of the Akedah, which intervenes helpfully and judiciously in a well-established and sometimes fraught debate. The volume will be a pleasure to read for those who know the literature as well as for beginners in the field." -Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion, Bard College, New York
"In the clash of civilisations, texts can become weapons in a war of words. Ed Kessler has taken a key biblical text -- the binding of Isaac -- and shown how early Jewish and Christian interpretations were closer than has hitherto been thought. This richly documented study is a landmark in the necessary journey from disputation to dialogue." -Dr. Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
"...on the whole this is a very instructive and sympathetic book, richly documented and a pleasure to read." -Pieter W. van der Horst, Utrecht University W. van der Horst, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Kessler's work is a valuable contribution to the literature. Many studies of Jewish-Christian relations in late antiquity have mainly approached the subject from other angles, including that of polemics, proselytism and studies of individual church father. Kessler, however, offers another approach. His approach is exegetically rooted." -Marvin R. Wilson, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts
"Bound by the Bible is rich in exegetical detail and attentive to the original biblical text, in part because of the verse-by-verse examination that K[essler] undertakes. Yet, the book captures the reader's imagination...K[essler] presents a very plausible case for a two-way interaction between Jewish and Christian exegetes of the first six centuries CE." -Sarah J. Melcher, Xavier University, The Classical Bulletin

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