Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Akeda

Theologically its problematic but only if you believe in an unchanging omniscient God.

The story is actually very clear. God want to test Avraham. He wants to find out if he is really dedicated to him. God presumably doesn't want the sacrifice just the willingness to do it. After the whole affair God says "NOW, I know that you fear God and you did not withhold your one son from me" It's only NOW that God knows the extent to which Avraham is willing to follow his commands clearly implying that before this it wasn't clear.

YHWH in this story is not omniscient. He doesn't know what the outcome of the trial will be if he did it wouldn't be a test would it? I understand completely that the classical commentators have dealt with this pressing issue but the fact remains that the story itself makes it clear that it was a "test" and that God learned something about Avraham from this test.

The God of the Pentateuch is not all knowing and unchanging. Many a time he is about to do something and (destroy Sedom, kill Bnei Yisrael in the midbar etc.) until a patriarch or prophet intervenes and makes an appeal.

The God of the Pentateuch is more of a celestial father than an invisible cosmic force. He has feelings and rages he can be appeased or angered. He can have mercy and control his anger. In short he's the kinda guy you can really relate to. He's like us just bigger, smarter and a great guy to have on your good side (but if you piss him off or happen to be a Canaanite hide!!!)

Who would you rather pray to? A celestial force which almost automatically bestows blessings on man like some sort of scientific law or like some sort of a computer, completely indifferent to anything and devoid of all feeling or personality. Or a God who loves, hates, cries, saves, and cares.

If I believed I would definitely pray to the latter. And let's be honest there is know logical reason to go with cosmic invisible force over cosmic invisible skyfather sitting on a big throne of clouds surrounded by winged angels. If you're gonna be "illogical" and go with religion I would recommend worshiping the God who is like us.


Puzzled said...

Ok, so be it. Maybe it's from the fallen angel.

Post a Comment