Is there any good reason to believe that Abraham existed?
The entire history of the Jewish people
Found this interesting answer in a PBS article:
According to the Bible, the first person to form a covenant with God is Abraham. He is the great patriarch. Is there archeological evidence for Abraham?
One of the first efforts of biblical archeology in the last century was to prove the historicity of the patriarchs, to locate them in a particular period in the archeological history. Today I think most archeologists would argue that there is no direct archeological proof that Abraham, for instance, ever lived. We do know a lot about pastoral nomads, we know about the Amorites’ migrations from Mesopotamia to Canaan, and it’s possible to see in that an Abraham-like figure somewhere around 1800 B.C.E. But there’s no direct connection.
Are we to become unbelievers if we can’t prove that Abraham ever lived? What is the story about? It’s a story about freedom and faith and risk. Does it matter exactly how Abraham and his clan left, and when they arrived in Canaan, or where they settled? What really matters is that Abraham is seen later by Jews and Christians as the father of the faithful.
Abraham moves out on faith to a land he has never seen. You have to think of how perilous the journey would have been had it really taken place. We are talking about a journey of several hundred miles around the fringes of the desert. So it’s an astonishing story. Is it true? It is profoundly true, but it’s not the kind of truth that archeology can directly illuminate.
Kind of goes without saying, really
Don’t forget the Muslims too. Ishmael, son of Hagar, the concubine of Ibrahim (Abraham).
Like all historical characters, his story has probably been “enhanced” by admiring descendants (both biological and cultural). But it’s as likely he existed as anyone else described in ancient literature.
There seems to be a tendency in modern times to deny the existence of many figures of the Bible: not only Abraham, but Moses and Jesus. So what can I say? Since the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam directly depend on the existence of these figures, we had better be careful before accepting the archeological hypotheses claiming to prove their non-existence.
Christ certainly thought that Abraham was a historical person. That’s good enough for me.
Genesis presents Abraham as the first Jew. Are you arguing that there was never a first Jew? Or are you arguing that there was a first Jew but that his name was something else, not Abraham?
Well, yes…“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.’” John 8:58
Isn’t this reminiscent of how God told Moses to call Him “I AM”? Case closed
That’s what I was going to say.
Jesus spoke of Abraham, the entire witness of the Bible records it…if you believe God and take Him at His word, the evidence is quite clear.
Archeology and historical written records are fascinating and helpful, but God’s testimony alone is enough for me.
Abraham is the father of all Christians by faith. St Paul spoke of him in those terms. Because God promised he would be the father of a multitude of nations.
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