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(345 words)

Author(s): McKane, William
1. Biblical Tradition Stories about Isaac appear in Genesis 17–28. Although they are largely to be ascribed to J, P is represented at the beginning (17:15–27) and end (27:46–28:9), and E in 21:1–7 and 22:1–19 (Pentateuch). Chap. 26 elaborates most fully on Isaac’s life, including his adventures and quarrels in Gerar, God’s theophany in Beer-sheba with the promise to bless Isaac, and his covenant with Abimelech. 2. History of Scholarship Isaac has been described as a legendary figure (H. Gunkel; Abraham), as a figure r…

Jeremiah, Book of

(1,591 words)

Author(s): McKane, William
1. Content Chaps. 1–25 of the Book of Jeremiah consist largely of poetic oracles of doom directed against Judah, interspersed with longer and shorter prose sections (e.g., chaps. 7 and 11). The prose has Deuteronomistic characteristics and has commonly been distinguished from the prose in which the so-called Baruch biography of Jeremiah is written. According to W. Rudolph, the latter is represented in 1–25 by 19:1–10, 14–15 and 20:1–6, although it is principally located in the second half of the book (26; 28; 29; 34:1–7; 36; 37–45; 51:59–64). A particular category of poetic mater…


(1,064 words)

Author(s): McKane, William
1. Biblical Tradition The biblical stories of Abraham occur only in Genesis, chaps. 11 (origins and call) through 25 (death). Together, they are the source of the figure of Abraham that is referred to elsewhere in the biblical tradition and in the thought of the church—namely, the ancestor of the people of Israel who received God’s promises and lived in faithful obedience to God. As Abram, he responded to God’s command and moved to a distant country, where God promised that he would become the ancestor of a great…


(466 words)

Author(s): McKane, William
1. Biblical Evidence Apart from the mention of Jacob in the Joseph stories, the Jacob traditions are found in Genesis 25–35. Although these stories can…