NT commentary on Abraham and the Binding

Hebrews 11:17-19 —

Πίστει προσενήνοχενἈβραὰμ τὸν Ἰσαὰκ πειραζόμενος, καὶ τὸν μονογενῆ προσέφερεν

ὁ τὰς ἐπαγγελίας ἀναδεξάμενος, πρὸς ὃν ἐλαλήθη ὅτι Ἐν Ἰσαὰκ κληθήσεταί σοι σπέρμα,

19λογισάμενος ὅτι καὶ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγείρειν δυνατὸς ὁθεός: ὅθεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐν παραβολῇ

ἐκομίσατο.

James 2:20-24:

θέλεις δὲ γνῶναι, ὦ ἄνθρωπε κενέ, ὅτι ἡ πίστις χωρὶς τῶν ἔργων ἀργή ἐστιν;21Ἀβραὰμ ὁ πατὴρ

ἡμῶν οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἐδικαιώθη, ἀνενέγκας Ἰσαὰκ τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον;

22βλέπεις ὅτι ἡ πίστις συνήργει τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἔργων ἡ πίστις ἐτελειώθη,

23καὶ ἐπληρώθη ἡγραφὴ ἡ λέγουσα, Ἐπίστευσεν δὲ Ἀβραὰμ τῷ θεῷ, καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ

εἰς δικαιοσύνην, καὶ φίλος θεοῦἐκλήθη. 24ὁρᾶτε ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος

καὶ οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον.

Romans 4:16-22:

διὰ τοῦτο ἐκ πίστεως, ἵνα κατὰ χάριν, εἰς τὸ εἶναι βεβαίαν τὴν ἐπαγγελίανπαντὶ τῷ σπέρματι,

οὐ τῷ ἐκ τοῦ νόμου μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τῷ ἐκ πίστεως Ἀβραάμ {ὅς ἐστιν πατὴρ πάντωνἡμῶν,

17καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι Πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν τέθεικά σε} κατέναντι οὗ ἐπίστευσεν θεοῦ

τοῦζῳοποιοῦντος τοὺς νεκροὺς καὶ καλοῦντος τὰ μὴ ὄντα ὡς ὄντα: 18ὃς παρ’ ἐλπίδα ἐπ’ ἐλπίδι

ἐπίστευσεν εἰςτὸ γενέσθαι αὐτὸν πατέρα πολλῶν ἐθνῶν κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον, Οὕτως ἔσται τὸ

σπέρμα σου: 19καὶ μὴἀσθενήσας τῇ πίστει κατενόησεν τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σῶμα [ἤδη]

νενεκρωμένον, ἑκατονταετής που ὑπάρχων, καὶ τὴννέκρωσιν τῆς μήτρας Σάρρας, 20εἰς δὲ τὴν

ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ θεοῦ οὐ διεκρίθη τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ ἀλλ’ ἐνεδυναμώθητῇ πίστει, δοὺς δόξαν τῷ θεῷ

21καὶ πληροφορηθεὶς ὅτι ὃ ἐπήγγελται δυνατός ἐστιν καὶ ποιῆσαι. 22διὸ [καὶ]

ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην.

Several striking details: James and Hebrews agree in linking Abraham’s faith to his offering of Isaac; Hebrews and Romans agree that, in believing, Abraham in a sense received Isaac from the dead: Romans figures this as a new creation from the decrepit bodies of his parents, while Hebrews takes it as the “figural” resurrection of Isaac effected by God’s intervention on Moriah. James stresses that Gen. 15:6 was a prophecy of Abraham’s coming faithfulness in the offering, on the basis of which “work” he was “justified”; in that light, it’s interesting that Paul sidesteps this episode, locating the heroic faith that justifies him rather in his perseverance in belief in God’s promise against all conceivable odds.

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This entry was posted in Abraham, Akedah, Binding of Isaac, Faith, Faiths vs. Works, James, Paul, Romans, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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