The aqedah in the New Testament : sacrifice, violence and human dignity
CITATION: Punt, J. 2009. The aqedah in the New Testament : sacrifice, violence and human dignity. Scriptura, 102:430-445, doi:10.7833/102-0-605.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
This paper examines the relationship between violence and human dignity in a religious context where sacrifice, even if only at discursive level, is common. The New Testament has two direct references to Gen 22, known as the Aqedah (binding of Isaac), in Heb 11:17-19 and Jas 2:23, but possibly also various other allusions to the Aqedah. In both direct references, and in line with the biblical and most of the Christian (and also Jewish and Islam) tradition, the Aqedah is taken as positive indication of Abraham’s faith. A brief investigation of the reception of the Aqedah in the New Testament, leads to the consideration of its wider reach, particularly to what extent sacrifice generally informs the relationship between violence and human dignity in the New Testament. In doing so, the explicit and implicit consequences of this narrative and sacrificial practices are shown to be multi-fold, wide-ranging and ambiguous.