Inconsistency involving Lot and Abraham

by Ireneus 10 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Ireneus

    When God informed of His intention of destroying the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham made extensive questioning, cross-questioning and bargaining with God till he gets satisfied. (Genesis 18:16-33) However, when God informed of His intention of murdering Abraham’s own only-begotten, innocent son, he simply obeys without any questionings [which he should naturally have done more intensely than he did in the case of unrelated wicked people].

    God too acted strangely! No introduction of the subject with sufficient reasons. Straight away, God commands: "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (Genesis 22:2)

    “Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. (Genesis 22:3)

    Obviously, inventors of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice thought for a smooth entry of their incomprehensible subject with a precedence of Abraham’s offering of his son. So they invented story of Abraham’s sacrifice. But this backfires as it poorly depicts God. It gives the impression that God was not sure of the propriety of His idea of offering His son ‘to take away the sins of the world;’ hence He makes a trial as though to find out what its receptiveness could be, through the response of Abraham. This is not warranted in the case of all-wise God which shows this is all human thinking! To provide a basis for Abraham’s story, they had to invent Lot, and destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah—a story with no purpose because Lot’s daughters finally had to ‘get their father to drink wine so that they could lie down with him to have children from him’ (Genesis 19:30-36), children (Moab and Ben-Ammi) who became the ancestors of two nations Moabites andAmmonites that became enemies of Israel.

    To produce one incomprehensible story of God offering His son to be murdered as sacrifice for the sins of the world, see how many incomprehensible stories that must precede it!

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    Many suggest that Abraham actually killed his son: "you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son" (v 16); "you have obeyed me" (v 18).

    I would like you to dissect the passage further. The WTS says that LORD should be rendered as "Jehovah". In the following I will use the term "Yahweh". But I want to go further than they do.

    The early Patriarchs did not use the name "Yahweh". rather they used the name of "EL". (Hence "IsraEL"). We see forms such as "El-Shaddai", and so on. (The God EL was Israel's first main God and we encounter him and his pantheon of Gods in Genesis chapter 1. Yahweh does not appear in Genesis 1.)

    Read that chapter 22 again, this time substituting EL for whenever you see "God" and "Yahweh" whenever you see "LORD".

    Abraham was terrified because this was the first time he had encountered the deity named Yahweh. He had been following the instructions from EL (="God").

    Interestingly, the Mount is named "Moriah", which is a Yahwist word ("Mori-Yah"). It is not named after the God EL ("Mori-El").


  • eyeuse2badub

    Abraham and Lot, although fictional characters, are very good examples of moral decadency. Abraham got to bang his wife's younger and more beautiful hand maid, got to lie about his relationship to Sarah, etc.

    Lot got to bang his 2 daughters and father their illegitimate kids.

    The bible calls Abraham 'god's friend' and Lot a 'righteous man'.

    just saying!

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    Critics tend to read into the Bible what they want, irrespective of both tradition and scholarship. And this is a subject that has been brought up repeatedly with the same typical conclusions: God is a horrible entity that clearly is bloodthirsty, unreasonable with a propensity to murder the innocent.

    Little will come of it here except to get it out of your system. You ignore everything (ancient and modern) that’s been written on it and your mind is made up.

    Sacrifice is (and was during the time of Abraham) a tradition that pointed the way to Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The sacrifice of an animal would have no meaning to an all-powerful deity unless it was a teaching device to benefit the children of men. The animals sacrificed had to be perfect, without blemish, to represent the perfect nature of the Son of God. And God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son as a way of pointing to the time when Christ would be offered up as a sacrifice for sin.

    “God too acted strangely!” you conclude. “No introduction of the subject with sufficient reasons.” But how do you know this? We only have what was passed down. In other accounts, Abraham reasons that God would either prevent him from sacrificing his son or that He would resurrect Isaac in the event he had to go through with it. Abraham knew that human sacrifice had been condemned by God, so he had good reason to conclude this. Either way, the agony suffered by Abraham was what Abraham had to wrestle with, and it teaches us that the Atonement of Christ also was a huge matter with the Father, and one in which the Father suffered greatly.

    In one ancient document, we have this exchange between the Father and the Messiah:

    And He (the Father) heaved sighs over him, saying, ‘If I put breath into this [man], he must suffer many pains.’ And I said unto My Father, ‘Put breath into him; I will be an advocate for him.’ And My Father said unto Me, ‘If I put breath into him, My beloved Son, Thou wilt be obliged to go down into the world, and to suffer many pains for him before Thou shalt have redeemed him, and made him to come back to his primal state.’ And I said unto My Father, ‘Put breath into him; I will be his advocate, and I will go down into the world, and will fulfil Thy command.’”

    There are souls that have been put away with thee under My throne, and it is their sins which will bend thee down under a yoke of iron and make thee like a calf whose eyes grow dim with suffering, and will choke thy spirit as with a yoke; because of the sins of these souls thy tongue will cleave to the roof of my mouth. Art thou willing to endure such things? … The Messiah will say: Master of the universe, with joy in my soul and gladness in my heart I take this suffering upon myself…. Such are the things I desire, and for these I am ready to take upon myself [whatever Thou decreest]. (Discourse on the Abbaton)

    The question of why Jesus had to die is another question altogether. When Jesus asked the Father to remove the “bitter cup,” the Father inexplicably declined. Islam asks, if God is truly all powerful, why could He not wave the requirement of blood for sin? This is a more profound question than why he commanded the sacrifice of Isaac. We only know that God’s power is predicated on laws and concepts of justice and mercy that we don’t yet presently comprehend.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    The Hebraic sacrificial system had nothing to do with pointing to the future.

    It was limited in its scope, relating to only minor infringements, mostly unintended or accidental. Some sacrifices did not involve the shedding of blood.

    The Day of Atonement, in which the priest lay two hands on the scapegoat - not a confessing sinner's hands - was designed to ensure Yahweh continued to live in the Sanctuary. And that goat which carried the sins from the Sanctuary was not sacrificed but driven off to live with the demons.

    As for Paul's opinion and creative imagination, his idea of "salvation" included resurrection and did not stop at Jesus's death. He only states what he believed happened but he never explains how his salvation model operated. For that reason, there has been any number of models.

    Augustine's model survived almost 1000 years until Anselm introduced his medieval explanation, soon to be contradicted by Abelard and he by Thomas Aquinas. And so on the explanations keep changing with the times. Luther and Calvin were at murderous loggerheads while the Orthodox Church has its "deification" model.

    And running along in the background is Theodicy, which conceivably is a problem created by Monotheism.

    What a tangled mess supernatural superstition finds itself in.


  • fukitol
    We only know that God’s power is predicated on laws and concepts of justice and mercy that we don’t yet presently comprehend.

    You don't know anything. Typical Christian response. It's too hard to understand but believe it anyway.

    If we are made in the image of God his morality should be understandable, comprehensible.

    Pay no heed to ancient Jewish pious fraud and priestcraft.

  • Ireneus

    Cold Steel,

    You have to approach my OP as though you have not heard about teaching about Jesus' ransom sacrifice.

    OP clearly says Father offering son as a sacrifice (both of Abraham and of God) is a human thought, written by humans. That means God is no where in the picture, says the Bible. (Luke 6:38)

  • Fred Franztone
    Fred Franztone

    Why do Christians always turn non-belief into some kind of moral or anger issue? It's like they're clinically insecure. I pity Christians and their limited intellects

  • dropoffyourkeylee
    My thoughts, for what they are worth: Sacrificing to God or the gods is by no means confined to Israel and the Bible. It seems to be common to many cultures, from Europe to the Americas to the South Seas. As practiced by the Israelites, as well as the Greeks and Romans, they had an additional practice of presenting the animal or grain to the priest, who would then keep a portion for himself and his family. This is the economic model which kept the priesthood going. In Israel, since the priesthood wrote the books, they included stories like Abel/Cain, Abraham/Isaac, to provide ideological support for their livelihood. The later discourse about the Messiah was not on their minds at all. The Christian writers later re-interpreted the OT stories and found ways to rationalize that the sacrifices and priesthood were not needed anymore, the function being replaced (in their rationale) by the Messiah and his sacrifice.
  • venus

    Sacrifices are dictates of the priests who are the only beneficiary. Jesus knew sacrifices has no value at all (Luke 6:38). God who knew very well everything belong to Him would never ask anything to be sacrificed to Him. In the case of Abraham, it is self-ridiculing on the part of God to ask Issac to be sacrificed to Him because it is God who miraculously provided Issac. If God had miraculously given Issac, Abraham would feel no pain in sacrificing Issac because He knew God's promise of great nation through him, hence God would have some arrangement to keep His own word.

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