Old Testament

Genesis

Abraham and Isaac – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. What are the moral implications of a God who requests the sacrifice of a child, even if the act is eventually unfulfilled?
  2. How does the story of the sacrifice of Isaac speak to modern-day religious fundamentalism?
  3. How do we reckon with, integrate, or reject those parts of our biblical tradition that we find ethically or morally problematic from a modern perspective?

Application Questions:

  1. Without questioning, Abraham follows God’s command to sacrifice his own son. How can we understand Abraham’s faith in a modern context?
  2. Dr. Collins asks, “What satisfies God?” In Leviticus 20:2-5, God prohibits child sacrifice to the god Molech. How can modern readers reconcile God apparently asking for child sacrifice on the one hand and prohibiting it on the other?
  3. What does it mean for Isaac’s consent to be a topic of interest for thousands of years, but Hagar’s consent is rarely considered? How do modern values help us read new insights into biblical text?

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