The Aqedah (Genesis 22)

October 15th, 2012| Topic: aBeLOG, Pericopal Theology | 2

The <em>Aqedah</em> (Genesis 22)

The Aqedah is the term given to the account of the “sacrifice” of Isaac by Abraham. The word is derived from the Hebrew verb ‘qd which means “to bind”—thus referring to the binding of Isaac at the altar of his sacrifice.

Then they came to the place of which God had told him;
and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood,
and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Genesis 22:9

The account of Abraham’s trial in Genesis 22 has been the object of analysis and commentary for millennia by scholars, both Jewish and Christian.

Last year at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), I presented a paper on this chapter, attempting to understand what the author was doing with what he was saying. As I have oft discoursed on this matter in these blog posts (for e.g., here and also see future posts), I see texts, biblical and otherwise—indeed, all communication—functioning in this manner: we do things with what we say/write. And catching these doings of speakers/writers is critical if listeners/readers are to make a valid response to the sayings/writings.

OK, ‘nuff said.

The paper that I presented at ETS was turned into a more detailed journal article that just came out in the current issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Here it is, for your reading pleasure (or otherwise!)—the first article on this page (a downloadable pdf). As always, comments are welcome.

Post-script: At this year’s ETS meeting, there is to be a paper-presentation session dedicated to my Mark commentary (about which, see here). I look forward to the scholarly comments about my work from presenters and, as well, to the chance to deliver an authorial response. All are welcome!


  1. Michael October 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I really liked that article! I’ve seldom read someone that has taken on the likes of Origen, Calvin and Luther. I’ve NEVER read someone that’s done that, that I also AGREED with! Convincing argument!


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