In Jewish tradition, Abraham is the center and point of departure from where the narrative of the origins of the Jewish people is weaved. Non-Jews are, in Jewish discourse, related to Adam, and even more so, to Noah. Interestingly, although some early followers of Jesus referred to a small set of laws that have been associated with Adam and Noah to govern the lives of non-Jews in the movement, the earliest sources we have access to from the Jesus movement, the Pauline letters, connects both Jews and non-Jews to Abraham. Indeed, for Christians, the figure of Abraham is at the very heart of a theological trajectory that opens up for non-Jews the possibility of joining the covenant between the God of Israel and the Jewish people. In other words, Abraham is, in fact, a large part of the reason why Christianity developed as it did.
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Dr. Anders Runesson is an Associate Professor at McMaster University in Canada. Please visit his website www.andersrunesson.com