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Abraham And The Nations In The Works Of Philo Of Alexandria

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Chapter Summary

Of all Jewish writings in the first century, only those of Josephus can be placed unequivocally in the category of apologetic aimed at a Gentile readership: in all of his extant works he takes for granted that some at least of his readers are non-Jews.Contra Apionem is presented like a defence speech in a courtroom, employing with considerable skill the techniques of forensic rhetoric to defend the Jewish tradition against its detractors, and the Antiquities are a fine example of apologetic history. Josephus seeks to provide external confirmation of the story of Abraham, but not really with much success. Josephus chooses to tell his readers a remarkable amount about Ishmael and Ishmael's offspring, informing them that Abraham was reassured that Ishmael would become the father of great nations.

Keywords:Abraham; Ishmael; Jewish tradition; Josephus



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