Ishmael or Isaac

Muslims say that it was Ishmael who Abraham wanted to sacrifice. Jews and Christians insist that it was Isaac. You will need to have a copy of the Bible with you to fully understand the following:

In Genesis 17, with the Covenant of Circumcision, God tells Abraham that Sarah will have a son. Abraham was very surprised and ‘”laughed to himself.” He must have told Sarah what the Lord told him. After all, you need a woman to have a child with. But then in Genesis 18, we find the story of the Three Visitors: ‘Then the LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Sarah reacts as if she is hearing this prediction for the first time.

Both these stories cannot be true at the same time. If God had already told Abraham at the Covenant of Circumcision that he would have Isaac, what was the point in sending three angels to make the same prediction again?

Most likely, Isaac was not the son in Covenant of Circumcision, but after the Babylonian Captivity when Torah was rewritten from memory, Jewish scribes must have added few verses (Genesis 17:15-22) to shift the focus on Isaac and made him the protagonist. If you skip these verses and jump from Genesis 17:14 to Genesis 17:23, there is perfect continuity in the text, otherwise there isn’t.

One thought on “Ishmael or Isaac

  1. Herman February 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm Reply

    The author writes: “Jewish scribes must have added few verses”

    And are we to believe that scribes/others did not alter the Koran?
    Consider the Koran 53:19 and the verses just after. First part is:
    “Have ye seen Lat. and ‘Uzza,
    And another, the third (goddess), Manat?”

    What comes next is a matter for debate. Did the following verse ORIGINALLY come next?

    “These are the high-flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval”

    This last statement would be perfectly consistent with the discussion of Lat, Uzza, & Manat. Of course, it is a “satanic verse.”

    The present-day Koran has instead this verse, which not only is sexist, but incongruent as well.
    “What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
    Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!”

    So we wind up with (in the present-day Koran):
    “Have ye seen Lat. and ‘Uzza,
    And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
    “What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
    Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!”

    Now, perhaps the writer could explain why “Allah” would ask if 3 lesser deities have been observed, IF THEY DON’T EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE?
    Also, why doesn’t he (Allah) simply reply that they don’t exist, instead saying, “You give me the females, that is so unfair to me!!”

    And where in the Koran is it established that humanity (the “you” above) “gets the males”?

    You think Jewish scribes later tampered with the Bible; okay, I assert that Muslim scribes threw in the last 2 lines later on, and excised a “Satanic verse” in order to spare their beloved prophet from any future embarrassment.

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