A crime Overall I d categorize this book as one man s uestions and interpretations regaring the abilities of the main three world religions to coexist peacefully than a true search for the historical figure of Abraham Approach with caution This book packed a whopper for me nearly knocked me on my butt I have been interested in learning about the similarities of the three major faiths in the world and was looking forward to reading this book The book begins with a uote from Genesis 12 2 3 with God s promise to Abraham I will make our name great and Nobodys Fool (Willow Park, you shall be a blessing I will bless those who blessou and curse him that curses Oooooh . . . Say It Again you And all the families of the earth shall bless themselves byou What I wasn t prepared for was how man uses Abraham to justify their faithsBruce broke the chapters out by focusing on the Rock of Abraham his home the God of Abraham his Birth and Call the Children of Abraham Ishmael and Issac the People of Abraham Jews Christians and Muslims and the Blood of Abraham his legacyBruce traveled to Jerusalem to write this book He shared his experiences the sights the sounds the smells the people He has made the book an uncomplicated journey taking his readers with him Uncomplicated in the sense that everything is understandable Don t let this fool Simon Says... you into thinking this is an easy book I would not have been ready to read this book when it was published in 2002 I don t think my faith was strong enough I might have been disillusioned by human action I might have closed the book after the first chapter and never finished it convinced that corporate religion is all man made and not something I want to embraceJerusalem is a touchstone of faith Bruce tells us Adam was buried here Solomon built here Jesus prayed here and Muhammad ascended here For me learning about the holy land was like trying to understand all the stars in the sky so vast so deep sooooo many Being a Christian I couldn t help but be looking for some confirmation of my faith but very uickly I learned to let go and let Bruce have control of this journey He ended the first chapter with a uote from his guide The relationship between a person and another human being is what creates and allows for a relationship with God Ifou re not capable of living with each other and getting along with each other then Red (Transplanted Tales, you re not capable of having a relationship with God Then his guide finished with So the uestion is not whether God can bring peace into the world The uestion is Can we As I entered the next chapter on Abraham s birth and his call I still felt I was on unstable ground Abraham s family worshiped many gods and he was called by God to leave his homeland and become the father of a great nation He began monotheism God said to Abraham Because ofou Abraham the knowledge of me is going to the entire world Abraham had the first call I was impressed and hopeful that God would not limit himself to those in a certain part of the world However I had difficulty with Abraham s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac and abandon his son Ishmael I suspect there is a lot for me to understand hereLearning about Abraham s children was no less challenging This is the beginning of different directions Ishmael for the Muslims and Issac for Jews and Christians Was this God s plan I am reminded of my son sharing his insights with me He said I would like to believe that heaven is a lot of different neighborhoods i agree with himAs Bruce takes us through Christianity Judaism and Muslim s relationship with Abraham I am still reading with my jaw dropping I struggled again with how humans use Abraham in such a way to prove to themselves that their faith is THE faith Tsk tskThe last chapter on the Blood of Abraham did bring me to solid ground I realized at the conclusion of this book that I just completed a journey of my own faith I have an appreciation "For Other Faiths I Do Not Believe "other faiths I do not believe is only one faith or one way to God What I do know is I am comfortable with my choice of Christianity I choose Christ I love Jesus lessons while he was among us I desire to follow his teaching I will also pray for those who follow the lessons from Judaism and Muslims and I will continue to pray for peace I figure we have so far to go and we have so many challenges just within Christianity Why must we go out of our way to criticize others faiths Catholics Baptists Methodist Lutherans etc I believe again the important message is that we all come to God in a different way and we choose that belief based on our gifts and our needs Abraham s message of monotheism is the foundationBruce ends his book with this thought This Abraham is not Jew christian or Muslim He is not flawless he s not a saint But he is himself the best vessel we ve got the father of all This Abraham won t be the only Abraham He won t be the last Abraham But he is
AN ABRAHAM FOR TODAY I CHOOSEAbraham for today I choose have to thank Bruce for taking me on this journey I feel like a child that has just had a huge world opened up to me Thankfully I can continue this journey with my strong and confident faith in God and Jesus and I can appreciate Abraham s guidance in bringing me this far This book portrays the role of Abraham in the history theology and contemporary thought in Judaism Christianity and Islam All three faiths claim Abraham as their own and they all assert to be the correct modern day representative of the Abrahamic religious tradition The book s first half addresses what the Bible and Koran say about Abraham his call to monotheism and his sons Isaac and Ishmael Particularly fascinating are Feiler s discussions of how the three religious traditions invented stories about Abraham to supplement the rather skeletal canonical version and even borrowed these stories from one another as when Muslim traditions about Abraham and Ishmael began appearing in eighth century Jewish commentaries The second half delves into each faith tradition and discusses how the Abraham narratives relate to contemporary religious and political conflicts The author recounts his visits and interviews with a variety of religious leaders the most poignant of which were the two contrasting interviews with a Muslim imam in Jerusalem and a Jewish West Bank settler One would think that the fact that the three Abrahamic religions have a common origin story would enhance the possibilities of cooperation Unfortunately the opposite is trueLink to another revie. R possible reconciliation AbrahamBruce Feiler set out on a personal uest to better understand our common patriarch Traveling in war zones climbing through caves and ancient shrines and sitting down with the world's leading religious minds Feiler uncovers fascinating little known details of the man who defines faith for half the wor. Rifice of whichever son plays a major role in Judaism Christianity and Islam Feiler writes Considering that I set out in search of what I thought was one Abraham at the heart of all three faiths I was amazed by how much time I spent trying to figure out when one religion s Abraham ended and another beganThe Jewish religion appears to have seniority Long before Christians and Muslims set about reinterpreting Abraham early Jews were the first to perform reconstructive surgery on their purported father Feiler describes how the Israelites set about codifying their Bible gathering and recording oral stories Suddenly Israel had scripture that described their ancestors but what difference did that make They still needed to make that text relevant to their lives They needed midrash umran provides excellent examples of Jewish midrash and how Abraham was molded into their imageSome Farewell My Lovely years later Christians entered the scene In Paul s fourteen letters he refers to Abraham nineteen times than any other figure except Jesus But the idea that Abraham belongs to all humanity which appears at least in spirit in Paul s letters soon begins to dissipate Matthew traces Jesus lineage through Isaac to Abraham God s sacrifice of his Son is compared directly to Abraham s sacrifice of Isaac Abraham says John knew about Jesus thousands ofears before Jesus was born Abraham has been appropriated to the Christian sideHundreds of Rani Padmavati years later Muslims trace their relevancy through Abraham s other son Ishmael Ibn Kathir accuses Jews of dishonesty and slander claiming they introduced Isaac into the story even though the Bible says Abraham went to sacrifice his only son his favored son For Muslims Ishmael was the favored son so he was the one Abraham took to sacrifice As Feiler interviews a Muslim leader he is told Abraham is the father of one religion and that religion is Islam So what will happen to me Feiler asked You ll die came the answerThoroughly rattled Feiler retreats His book has become something entirely different than what he set out to writeplease follow this link to the Dubious Disciple below for further discussion of this topic While it was an interesting piece looking at the shared aspects of the three major faiths i found it to be a little bit of a follow up book than a stand alone piece of artWith that being said this guy s life is completely awesome So i ve graduated from the Ivy League what to do now Coupleears teaching English in Japan Yep Grad school at Oxford That too Year in the circus Roger that Explaining the Bible in a way that anyone can understand it without a particular bent toward one faith or another Done And a book deal for each of these experiences to boot By the time he s done he ll be averaging a memior for every 3 ears of his life This book is interesting from an cultural perspective but I certainly wouldn t recommend it to anyone seriously interested in learning about the historical figure Abraham Although Feiler interviews several authorities from different faiths the book is in no way a scholarly approach to the belief systems of Judaism Christianity and Islam Rather it is the journey of one man who is rather unsure of his own beliefs asking uestions of other people about their belief systems how they relate to the various perceptions of Abraham the patriarch and then sort of piecing it all together in a slightly journalistic way I picked it up expecting a few facts and uite a few less slanted interpretations but I might as well have picked up a book which claims to give explanation and detail to the physical characteristics of the human heart and then is simply one person s interpretations of a person s heart feelingsThat much wasn t so bad it was intriguing to read the perspective of a Jewish American on his own religion and that of Islam and Christianity but I had to put the whole thing
Down For A Few Weeks While Readingfor a few weeks while reading obnoxiously written perspective on Christianity It was somewhat like watching the news these days and seeing a five minute positive report on Obama and then a thirty second negative report on McCain I m not really a fan of either one but it s still irritating to watch such biased journalism Feiler s approach was similar only in this case I do happen to know a bit about the historical and current perspectives of Christianity on Abraham as well as on other Christian perspectives and Feiler s interpretations were infuriating For example here is what he writes in first introducing the man from whom he derives his information about Christian beliefs We are sitting in his crowded kitchen in the Old City a few steps from the Holy Sepulcher and he s fussing around like a talkative aunt Bishop Theophanes is a kitchen table conjurer or sorts a short hearty Nathan Lane look alike with a beard who could serve as the magician at a backyard birthday party but who happens to be the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in the holiest spot in Christendom He gives a picture of a half wit then proceeds to cite sources as being accurate to biblical Christianity but with which I doubt many in even "The Broad Worldwide Scope Of "broad worldwide scope of would agreeEven aggravating Feiler regards both Judaism and Islam with great respect even referring to the Koran and Mohammad s revelations as though they are completely accurate but then treats the New Testament in much the same way as one might treat a fairy tale with statements like Jesus followers spread word that Jesus had not actually died irreparably on the cross So Mohammad definitely received revelations from Allah but Jesus couldn t possibly have risen from the dead The whole thing would be laughable if it weren t so blatantly slanted against lending any credence to the Christian faith I would have expected that but I wouldn t have expected him to portray both Judaism and Islam so much respectfullyThere are many little things which contribute to the disposability of this book such as the blanket statement that Muslim discrimination against nonbelievers while profound never reached the levels of Christian hostility to Jews That interpretation is nothing close to accurate et it and others like it are consistent throughout Feiler s writing It may be interesting as a one time read but to lend the author any real authority on these matters even that of Abraham about whom he discusses many legends but doesn t even decide whether the man actually existed or not would be. Lling author of Walking the Bible searches for the man at the heart of the world's three monotheistic religions and today's deadliest conflictsAt a moment when the world is asking Can the religions get along one figure stands out as the shared ancestor of Jews Christians and Muslims One man holds the key to our deepest fears and ou. I thought I would love this book but I was disappointed The author s premise is his search for the truth of the Biblical Abraham He investigates how each of the three great People of the Book Jews Christians Moslems view Abraham I thought his analysis was thin and disorganized He lets each faith stand on its own instead of comparing and contrasting And he s all over the place with stories from his childhood and character studies of people he interviews and his own analysis and limited reference to actual sources It just didn t work for me And OK just one thing as a feminist I thought Sarah really got the short shrift Yeah the book s about Abraham he s the guy that got the Call but Sarah is just a non entity in this analysis and I think that does her a disservice I listened to this book on Audible a while back I found the narrative to be a fascinating tour through the Genesis account and very eye opening in helping me to understand the claim the three great world religions have on this patriarch This is an easy read It is not designed as a scholarly book with extensive footnotes It is conversational There is a short bibliography at the back that provides sources for further reading for those so inclined Mormon doctrine has a very different interpretation of the Abraham based on the words in the Pearl of Great Price books of Moses and Abraham I found it hard to set aside the teachings of the church in reading about all of these other traditions I think the best part of the book for me is to open my eyes to the stories of Hagar and Ismael They are really compelling figures right in the Hebrew Bible I like this book I like the light conversational tone and the great story telling talent of Bruce FeilerIt is a good read in my book This was my first read on comparative religions and I really enjoyed it A beautifully written book for everyone whether The Big Black Book you are a simple reader or an academic Because I have been a student and teacher of the Bible I read with great interest Feiler s book particularly because I knew I was limited in my understanding of the perceptions of Abraham by adherents of Judaism and Islam Feiler goes in search of the real Abraham history s first monotheist and the father of twelve million Jews two billion Christians and one billion Muslims Feiler allows the reader to participate in his uest as he seeks out the documents related to the many legends about Abraham Feiler expresses his surprise shock and disappointment in his findings He expresses his confusion along the way USA Today said Bruce Feiler went looking for proof He learned that proof doesn t matter That could also be applied to the Abraham is a hugely important figure in the three major monotheistic religions Judaism Christianity and Islam Indeed these three religions are often referred to as the Abrahamic religions which shows the great importance attributed to this figure who lived around theear 2000 BCEIn Bruce Feiler s enthralling book we are taken into the heart of the Holy Land where the author talks to many learned figures from these three religions and explores shrines tombs and important places of worship many of which are linked to Abraham and have been fought over for centuries in religious conflictsThe central themes of the book are Feiler s attempt to uncover why Abraham is such as important figure and also to see whether there is any common ground between the monotheistic religions that might make Abraham a unifying figure The book is divided into separate sections which each focus on a different religion and it s understanding of AbrahamThis book would have taken a lot of time and courage to write Conflict in the Middle East at the time of writing conflict which is of course ongoing means that as the author explored the Holy Land he was never far away from conflict and danger For instance he describes having to go through six different check points on a visit to Abraham s tomb in Hebron encountering armed guards along the wayFeiler discusses the great deal of confusion that exists about Abraham s life and the life of his children Perhaps the most famous story related to Abraham is where he is instructed by God to go up a mountain and offer up his son as a sacrifice However it is a point of contestation amongst the Abrahamic religions which son was with Abraham and also the reasons why and the manner in which the imminent sacrifice was halted by an angel from God The event is generally regarded as
a test of Abraham s faith in God but there are differing interpretations among the which are discussed in the bookThe book is relatively short 224 pages and not heavily academic although there is a lot of detail and a lot of depth For me it s one of those books where A Guide to the Fruits of Hawaii you feelou want to read it at least twice to absorb all the information contained within its pages And I mean that in a positive way I found it to be an excellent readDespite major differences in the theology of the world s three major monotheistic religions the author s contention is that Abraham offers a glimmer of hope for interfaith understanding unity and most importantly of course peace In a world where peace seems so unlikely I found it refreshing to read about a figure who could perhaps be at the centre of a coffee table discussion between Jews Muslims and Christians I would recommend this book to people of all faiths and no faith for it s detailed exposition insight and readable style So Professor what do we know about Abraham I asked All we know about Abraham is in the Bible he says In the ground there is nothing This bookbeing a test of Abraham s faith in God but there are differing interpretations among the
IS BRUCE FEILER S BEST WITHBruce Feiler s best With archaeological evidence whatsoever to explore he embarks on his journey to learn about Abraham by interviewing members of various faiths and finds himself enmeshed in a bewildering array of legends and claims Abraham begins life as a polytheist in Ur but is called by a foreign god Yahweh to journey to a new land The promise by this strange god All the families of the earth shall bless themselves by ou Various passages in the Bible retain echoes of this polytheism Abraham is a transitional figure with a foot in both worldsIn this new land "Two Sons Are Born "sons are born Abraham and God asks Abraham to sacrifice one of them as a test of his faith So diverse are the legends about Abraham that there is not even agreement over which son is the reuested sacrifice but the Biblical account favors Isaac This sac. Both immediate and timeless Abraham is a powerful universal story the first ever interfaith portrait of the man God chose to be his partner Thoughtful and inspiring it offers a rare vision of hope that will redefine what we think about our neighbors our future and ourselvesIn this timely provocative and uplifting journey the bestse. .