When Abraham Killed Isaac
Like beautifully layered rock formations lining the walls of a desert canyon, so is the Biblical text. Story is piled upon story until the foundations are invisible. Those foundations tell a different story—one that only a trained geologist can tease from the rock, one that only a Biblical philologist, trained in the dissection of literature, can find in the text. In this early version of the Abraham story Abraham the patriarch gave his wife, Sarah, to a local monarch who may have impregnated her with Isaac. The purity of the Israelite bloodline is not in doubt, however, since Abraham killed Isaac to atone for his sins before Isaac had a chance to procreate. In this and many other respects, this early version of Abraham story is very different from what those familiar with the canonical text may recall. When Abraham Murdered Isaac traces the development of this uniquely divergent account and its slow development into the canonical text we have today.