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Josephus On Abraham And The Nations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares the traditions from the two divergent rabbinic milieus of Late Antiquity-Babylon and the land of Israel (Palestine), and shows a change in the image of Abraham as a proselytizer. The past decades have seen an important development in the study of rabbinic literature, leading to a growing recognition of the contribution of late redactors and transmitters to the shaping of rabbinic traditions. Accordingly, the chapter examines the rabbinic narratives concerning Abraham's mission to the nations, recognizing that rabbinic literature is a literary corpus that evolved through centuries of creative redaction and the flexible transmission of orally cited materials. The traditions surveyed are only part of the corpus of texts with a theme of Abraham and Sarah as proselytizers, not to mention that they are not the only biblical figures presented in rabbinic literature as undertaking that or another kind of missionary activity.

Keywords:Abraham; late antiquity Babylon; missionary activity; rabbinic literature; Sarah

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