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But Where is the Lamb?

Imagining the Story of Abraham and Isaac

James Goodman

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

“I didn’t think he’d do it. I really didn’t think he would. I thought he’d say, whoa, hold on, wait a minute. We made a deal, remember, the land, the blessing, the nation, the descendants as numerous as the sands on the shore and the stars in the sky.”
 
So begins James Goodman’s original and urgent encounter with one of the most compelling and resonant stories ever told—God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.
 
A mere nineteen lines in the book of Genesis, it rests at the heart of the history, literature, theology, and sacred rituals of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. For more than two millennia, people throughout the world have grappled with the troubling questions about sacrifice, authority, obedience, and faith to which the story gives rise. Writing from the vantage of “a reader, a son, a Jew, a father, a skeptic, a historian, a lover of stories, and a writer,” Goodman gives us an enthralling narrative history that moves from its biblical origins to its place in the cultures and faiths of our time. He introduces us to the commentary of Second Temple sages, rabbis and priests of the late antiquity, and early Islamic exegetes (some of whom imagined that Ishmael was the nearly sacrificed son). He examines Syriac hymns (in which Sarah stars), Hebrew chronicles of the First Crusade (in which Isaac often dies), and medieval English mystery plays. He looks at the art of Europe’s golden age, the philosophy of Kant and Kierkegaard, and the panoply of twentieth-century interpretation, sacred and profane, including the work of Bob Dylan, Elie Wiesel, and A. B. Yehoshua. In illuminating how so many others have understood this story, Goodman tells a gripping and provocative story of his own.

Publishers Weekly Review

Jul 08, 2013 – For centuries, theologians, philosophers, and others have struggled with the 19 lines of Genesis 22 that Jews call the binding of Isaac and Christians refer to as the sacrifice of Isaac. No one has found a definitive answer to the questions of why Abraham was so ready to follow God’s command that he kill his son or why Isaac agreed to be bound on the altar. Unlike other analysts, Goodman is a historian and a writer. Accordingly, his book focuses on the chronicle of the story, beginning with when and by whom it was written. He proceeds to analyze the explanations that have been given by Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others, including contemporary interpretations. Obviously fascinated by the story, Goodman demonstrates great prudence in not offering his explanation but in asserting that the story has many meanings. This refreshing restraint along with the author’s writing skills make his contribution an important addition to the libraries of commentaries about Abraham and Isaac that vainly strive to explain what is ultimately unfathomable.
But Where is the Lamb?
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Religion & Spirituality
  • Published: Sep 10, 2013
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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