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Abraham, Israel and the Nations: The Implications of Abraham’s Blessing for the Nations

Suokhrie, Kesolenuo (2016) Abraham, Israel and the Nations: The Implications of Abraham’s Blessing for the Nations. Master of Theology (minor thesis) thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

The Biblical idea of election presents moral and theological difficulties that have resonated through history, particularly in the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. Out of such theology rises the question of how a fair God can “elect” one group of people to the exclusion of the rest. This research seeks to deal with this question of election focusing on the story of Abraham in Genesis. Adopting a canonical approach that interprets the Abraham story as a whole, rather than as a collection of separate theological perspectives, this thesis argues that the election of Abraham and later Israel is not so much about God favoring one group of people over others, but rather, that there is a universal dimension to this story even if there is room to debate the implications of this universalism. Gen 12: 1-3 in particular addresses this issue in asserting that Abraham’s blessing has significance that extends beyond the chosen people to “all the families of the earth.” This idea is later alluded to in Genesis 17 where the Abrahamic covenant is described to have a wider scope that encompasses others than the covenant community. Even Genesis 15, which describes the fate of the Canaanites does not contradict the universal implication of Abraham’s blessing as it directly deals with the issue of justice for the Canaanites. Hence, the Abrahamic tradition does not endorse any election idea that serves the benefit of some people on the exclusion of the rest. Rather, behind the story of the divine choosing of a particular group of people lies a greater divine purpose that seeks to bless “all the families of the earth.”

Item Type: Theses (Master of Theology (minor thesis))
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Blessing, Election, Promise, Covenant, Nations
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Old Testament
College/Association with University of Divinity: Whitley College
Depositing User: Dr Suman Kashyap
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 06:07
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2016 06:07
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1996

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