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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book that focuses on the religious and cultural ideas about the Jews ethnic identity as a genos. The first part of the book is devoted to Abraham, the nations, and the Hagarites in the Old Testament. The prophets do not portray Abraham as the ancestor who plays a role as a mediator of universal blessings. The second part deals with the reception of Abraham, the nations, and the descendants of Hagar and Ishmael in early Jewish literature, and to the knowledge of Abraham in Greco-Roman sources. The third part deals with rabbinic perspectives on Abraham, the nations, and the descendants of Hagar and Ishmael. The fourth section on the New Testament and early Christianity opens with a contribution by Karin Neutel (Groningen). The final part contains papers on Abraham and Hagar in the Qur'an and its early commentaries.

Keywords: Abraham; early Christianity; genos; Greco-Roman sources; Hagar; Ishmael; Jewish literature; Jews ethnic identity; Old Testament; Qur'an

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