Old Testament Week 9

Abraham’s calling. Man of faith.

1. Historical and cultural background to Abraham’s times. Mesopotamia, Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Sumerians, Harappa culture. Map work.

2. Gen 11 to Gen 17:

1. Ur as a city state. Elements of covenants.

2. Three promises of God to Abram. Abram builds an altar everywhere God speaks to him. Priesthood of Abram. Abram’s prayer is in obedience and deeds first, only later in words. Nomadic life of the tribes. Families, clans, nations.

3. Abram and Lot separate over wealth.

“Their flocks grew bigger, great wealth accrued to them, and immediately harmony between them was disrupted – where there had been peace and the bonds of affection, now there was trouble and hostility. You see, whenever it is a question of mine and yours, there are grounds for the utmost trouble and a basis for hostility: by contrast, where this isn’t the case, habits of peace and harmony exist together without any confusion”  – St. John Chrysostom Homiliae in Genesim 33,3

4. Melchizedek’s blessing. King of Salem=king of Zion. Probability of Shem (Noah’s son) being Melchizedek.

5. Covenant with Abram. For the first time Abram speaks to God (Gen 15:2-3) Flaming torch passing between animals.

6. Ishmael’s birth. – promise of a great nation.

Abraham (The Bible Collection) – 3h movie, pretty accurate:

7. Monotheistic religions starting from Abraham. Is Allah the same God as Jahwe? Do we pray to the same God? Fragments of Nostra Aetate:

Nostra Aetate

Group stating YES: The same attributes of Allah and Jahwe – living, eternal, no beginning, Creator, merciful, all powerful. Linked to Abraham.

Group stating NO: Dogmatic difference based on the dogma of the Trinity, salvation through Jesus only. Incarnation of Christ.

Questions and comments: If we have the same God do all religions originating from Him have to be the same? Can people worship the same God although they have limited knowledge or understanding of Him in comparison to another group? What is the source of revelation, who is the founder? Problem of GOD IS LOVE in Islam (slaves vs. children of God; adoration vs. love).

Helpful videos:

1. Broadly commented debate: Peter Kreeft and Robert Spencer Engage in Lively Debate on Islam with Spencer’s follow up article:

2. Scott Hahn: 1. Blasphemy with Breakfast   2. Abraham: Father or Master?   3. Slaves and Sons

Helpful web sites:

1. Nostra Aetate (link above)

2. Catholic Catechism #841 – #845

3. Comparing Christianity & Islam by professor P. Kreeft

4. Between Allah and Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims by professor P. Kreeft

5. Allah = God? by apologist Jimmy Akin

6. Muslims and Christians adore the one God by John Paul II

7. “Periodically there is a kerfuffle about Muslims worshipping the same God we do” by apologist Mark Shea

8. Do Muslims worship the same God Catholics do? by Tim Staples, apologist at Catholic Answers


OT Week 9- Homework for Week 10

OT Week 9- Lectio Divina


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