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(1,502 words)

Author(s): Karle, Isolde
1. OT, NT, Early Church In the OT the father is the ancestor of a line, the protector and patriarch of the family, and has almost unlimited authority. The promises to the patriarchs (Patriarchal History) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are central to the identity of Israel (and of the early church; see Romans 4). Yahweh, however, the God of the fathers, is rarely addressed as father, an attempt to avoid any proximity to the generative fertility gods in Israel’s surroundings (e.g., Ugarit; Mother Goddesses 1). Only during the postexilic period are more frequent references made to…