Christian Theological Interpretations of God's Grace in the Binding of Isaac

Carey Ellen Walsh 1
  • 1 Villanova University, Pennsylvania

Christian Theological Interpretations of God's Grace in the Binding of Isaac

Typological exegesis, practiced by the early church fathers, enables us to catch spiritual meanings in the promise to Abraham, namely, that through him “all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). Christian interpreters caught a divine truth when they discerned an ecclesial meaning. God had just revealed to Abraham that he was not alone, that a church was in the future. His typological interpretation accounts for the seeming repetition of the promise in Scripture: it contains new revelation. The promise to Abraham has always involved a multitude of descendants through Isaac. But after his near sacrifice as a Christ figure, the multitude is the church which emerged after Christ’s death and resurrection.

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