By James Goodman

'I did not imagine he'd do it. i actually did not imagine he may. i presumed he'd say, whoa, carry on, wait a minute. We made a deal, take note, the land, the blessing, the country, the descendants as quite a few because the sands at the shore and the celebrities within the sky.'

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Still, Jubilees did as much to elaborate upon and advance that tradition as anyone in his day whose work has survived. His Abraham simply could not have looked better in what Jubilees imagined were God’s eyes. Yet his purity and goodness were problematic when it came to the biblical version of the story. If Abraham recognized the one true God from infancy and never wavered, if absolute obedience was his defining trait, the story’s first line makes no sense. Why would God need to test him? And, by Jubilees’s time, that question rubbed up against another: Even if Abraham wasn’t such an angel, why would God need to test him or anyone else?

To trace the effect of only a few lines in an old book on generations of humanity whether for good or ill. To peer into the common heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is an extraordinary tale, and Abraham and his Son is an extraordinary achievement. To understand this story is to understand a difficult part of what we are. Whether that part is the best of us or the worst is for the reader to determine. Robert Davidson Sandstone Press Highland Scotland 9th September 2014 This is an absorbing book.

The tribal elders gave his father a choice. Kill your son or we will kill your entire family. Paralleling this we hear of an American anti-war protester challenging pro-war congressmen, asking if they would sacrifice a child for Falujah, a place they had not heard of before 2004. In eighteenth century Scotland it was frowned upon if preachers changed their text too often. The suspicion was that they weren’t squeezing every ounce of Gospel truth out of it, so one Bible verse could keep a minister going for up to year, and these were not short sermons.

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