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In the story of Abraham sacrificing his son, we cannot know for sure, if the original text spared his son. Therefore, it's impossible to interpret this text in one useful way, because it looks like it has been faked over.

Can you provide further information on this? How do the earliest existing manuscript appear faked?

This has been done to death. The early religion shows sign of diverging into two cultures: one who called their god Elohim, and the others called their god Yahweh, who was recognised as a god under El. The Yahwists edited their text, so that Isaac was not sacrificed, so consequently, it's Elohim/"God" who tells Abe to kill his son, but Yahweh/"LORD" who tells him not to. Gen 22:11

The two divergent texts were then edited back together, scantly hiding the way God and LORD popped in and out of the text. The final edit preferred the story that Isaac was not killed.

Gen 2-3 prefers LORD God, but by Gen 4, LORD is doing the talking.

[1] In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  By Gen 2, LORD God, is in the text. By Gen 6, God and LORD alternates, nearly every line. In Gen 6:19, God tells Noah to put 2 of every animal on the ark. By Gen 7:2, LORD tells him to put 7 pairs in.

Then by 7:9, it's back to 2 again, and God.
There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

This is the basis of the conventional academic work, which has decided that the text is stitched from 3-4 sources, known as Priestly, Elohist, Yahwist, Deuternomist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohist
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screwtape good post July 17, 2013, 03:38:03 PM