Who bound Isaac in the Bible

Sacrifice of Isaac in the Biblemurder or Suicide

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac is actually crystal clear: In Genesis 22, Abraham wants to obey God's command and offer his beloved son as a human sacrifice. But at the very last moment, a ram appears, which is enough as a sacrifice. Isaac is spared. But far from it! Even if we learned that in school or church: That is only one of many interpretations.

In reality, Isaac could have been killed. Peter Schäfer, the director of the Jewish Museum Berlin, explains to us about this variant. He was one of the speakers at the "Kill me a son!" on September 3rd and 4th, 2015. Schäfer presents various interpretations from the perspective of Judaism, according to which Abraham actually killed his son. This type of interpretation is firmly anchored not only in Judaism, but also in British cultural assets, for example in Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem".

"Afterwards, Isaac was not only really sacrificed, but more than that: His blood made it possible for Israel to be saved from Egypt."

According to the Jewish interpretative texts, it was much less of a murder than more of a suicide. According to the Judaist Schäfer, the considerably older father could not have tied up and tied a young man of the strongest age without his consent.

To make the Christian-Judeo-Islamic confusion complete: In the Koran, says Angelika Neuwirth from the Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies at the Free University of Berlin, Isaac is not even mentioned by name at the time of the sacrifice. It is not about the only son there, as in the Bible, for example. Abraham was a social revolutionary for the community of the Prophet Mohammed.

"Abraham has gone down in history par excellence as the man who smashes idols, as the annihilator of false gods."
Angelika Neuwirth, oriental scholar

Is it a question of obedience? In the first part of the lecture hall on the topic, the Protestant dean Dietrich Neuhaus and the theology of Christoph Markschie deal with problematic readings of the story of Isaac's sacrifice.

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