The Akedah (ah-kay-DAH), or binding of Isaac, is one of the most powerful narratives in the Hebrew Bible. For nearly 2,000 years, however, it has been read somewhat differently by Jews and Christians. It is even portrayed differently in the pictures they make. For most Christians, the Hebrew word akedah is unfamiliar; more often than not, they will refer to the episode as the sacrifice of Isaac rather than the binding of Isaac.This is a reprint of an old (1993) article from Bible Review. But it remains a very good survey of literary and art historical traditions about the Binding of Isaac in Jewish and Christian antiquity.
Yet, as we shall see, at various times Christians and Jews were aware of each other’s interpretation of the story.
For past PaleoJudaica posts on the Aqedah which deal with some of the same traditions, see here and here and links.
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