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Genesis 15 In Rabbinic And Patristic Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

Aspects of the Genesis, chapter 15 regularly discussed are its apparent lack of unity and, consequently, its history of redaction and its date. Central among its theological aspects is, most of all for Christian exegetes because of its repeated quotation in the New Testament, Genesis 15:6 on Abraham's faith. This chapter concentrates on the rabbinic sources; patristic texts are adduced selectively; for comparison it concentrates on authors roughly contemporary with the main rabbinic text, Genesis Rabbah, i.e. authors of the fourth and fifth century. The contents of chapter 15 are well known: it follows the account of Abraham's successful campaign against the kings of the north and his encounter with Melchizedek. 'After these things' Abraham receives in a vision God's promise of great reward. God takes him outside and promises him descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven, and Abraham believes.

Keywords: Abraham's faith; Genesis 15; Genesis Rabbah; Melchizedek; New Testament; Patristic interpretation; Rabbinic



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