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The Akedah Prior To The Common Era

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents various aspects of the Akedah with cultural currency in the early Jewish encyclopedia found in texts dated prior to the Common Era relevant to the interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew. It presents a synchronic semiotic snapshot of aspects of the Akedah available in the encyclopedia at roughly the time of the setting and composition of the Gospel. These aspects are discussed within five broad categories: (1) an emphasis on Isaac's willing and active role; (2) an association with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; (3) an association with Passover; (4) soteriological ramifications (blessing, election, expiation, exemplarism); and (5) the development of apocalyptic and theophanic elements. The investigation is restricted to witnesses most significant for the interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew in terms of their presentation of Isaac and their antiquity.

Keywords: Akedah; apocalyptic elements; Common Era; Gospel of Matthew; Isaac; Jewish encyclopedia; Passover; soteriological ramifications; Temple Mount; theophanic elements



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