Shkolnik, Dmitry. Icon of Abraham, Sarah, and Moses, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn.
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Call of Abraham
Genesis 12:1-9 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
It is hard to overestimate the importance of this week’s story. Genesis 12 is a key text for understanding not only the whole book of Genesis, but also the whole Old Testament.
It is also a turning point in the book of Genesis. Before this chapter, of course, we have all the familiar stories that make up what scholars call the “primeval history” -- Creation, the Fall, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood. Beginning with this chapter, the focus narrows; instead of stories about cosmic beginnings, we read stories about one particular couple, Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah, and their family.
It’s as if we were at the opening scene of the classic movie, “The Sound of Music.” (Apologies to those who aren’t familiar with this sentimental cultural reference.) The movie opens with a wide-angle view of the majestic mountains of the Austrian Alps. Then we glimpse a small figure on one of those mountains, and we quickly begin to zoom in on the person until suddenly she fills the frame, arms uplifted, walking and singing.
In a similar way, the view from 30,000 feet -- the stories about cosmic creation and universal humankind in Genesis 1-11 ...
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Summer Readings (2019)
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 325: Call of Abraham
September 16, 2018
Podcast on Genesis 12:1-9, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Sept. 16, 2018, (Call of Abraham) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.