Abraham, the Nations, and the Hagarites

Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Perspectives on Kinship with Abraham


Jews, Christians and Muslims describe their origins with close reference to the narrative of Abraham, including the complex story of Abraham's relation to Hagar. This volume sketches the history of interpretation of some of the key passages in this narrative, not least the verses which state that in Abraham all the nations of the earth will be blessed. This passage, which features prominently in Christian historiography, is largely disregarded in ancient Judaism, prompting the question how the relation between Abraham and the nations was perceived in Jewish sources. This focus is supplemented with the question how Islamic historiography relates to the Abraham narrative, and in particular to the descent of the Arabs from Abraham through Ishmael and Hagar. In studying the traditional readings of these narratives, the volume offers a detailed yet wide-ranging analysis of important aspects of the accounts of their origins which emerged within the three Abrahamic religions.

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Martin Goodman (DPhil 1980, Oxford) is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford. He has published extensively on the political, social and religious history of the Jews in the Roman empire, including his Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations (Penguin, 2007).

George H. van Kooten (PhD 2001, Leiden) is Professor of New Testament & Early Christianity at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on the Greco- Roman context of the New Testament, including the opening chapter of The Routledge Companion to Early Christian Thought (Routledge, 2010).

Jacques T.A.G.M. van Ruiten (PhD 1990, Amsterdam) is Associate Professor of Old Testament & Early Judaism at the University of Groningen. He has published extensively on the reception history of biblical texts, especially in early Judaism including Primaeval History Interpreted: The Rewriting of Genesis 1–11 in the Book of Jubilees (Brill, 2000).
"this is an excellent volume, exploring a mulitude of different facets of the Abraham narrative [...]. All of the chapters are of a high standard and much of the exegetical work is excellent. The chapters by the three editors, in particular, are exceptional. For a single volume on the Abraham narratives, the Hagarites, and the nations, this work deserves to stand as the definitive work on the topic currently available.'

Mark Finney, Journal of Theological Studies Volume 63 Part 1, 2012

'wichtigen, sorgfältig edierten [...] Band, der die hohe Bedeutung rezeptionsgeschichtlicher Fragestellungen unterstreicht.'

Martin Rösel, University of Rostock, Journal for the Study of Judaism 43 (2012)

Contributors: Ed Noort, Jacques van Ruiten, Mladen Popovic, Pieter van der Horst, Jan Bremmer, Phoebe Makiello, Abraham Bos, Martin Goodman, Birgit van der Lans, Moshe Lavee, Florentino García Martínez, Ronit Nikolsky, Wout van Bekkum, Joanna Weinberg, George van Kooten, Albert Hogeterp, Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, Bas van Os, Johan Leemans, Anthony Hilhorst, Augustine Casiday, W.J. Aerts, Gerald Hawting, and Fred Leemhuis.
All those interested in Biblical Studies, Ancient Judaism, Early Christianity, Early Islam, Abrahamic Religions and their respective Umwelts, as well as ancient historians and classicists.
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