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Was Abraham, in the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible, an historical figure?

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demon300 | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted November 24, 2012 at 3:06 AM via web

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Was Abraham, in the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible, an historical figure?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 24, 2012 at 3:25 AM (Answer #1)

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The figure of Abraham whose story is told in the Old Testament is unlikely to have been a historical figure in the sense in which people like Xerxes or Pericles were historical. Most of the Torah, which covers the patriarchal period of the Israelites, was handed down via oral tradition and only attained its current written form in the sixth century BC at the earliest. Although there may have been historical figures who inspired the stories that eventually became assimilated into Genesis, archaeological and philological research have not uncovered specific historical evidence of the existence of Abraham or the stories about him.

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