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Comparative Religion - the Main Difference Between the Book of Jubilees and Genesis

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Intro to Comparative Religion

Judaism: The God of Abraham

The main difference between the Book of Jubilees and Genesis, is that Jubilees

goes into far greater detail. For example: where Genesis only has lists of names of the patriarchs who lived before the great flood, and how old they lived, the Jubilees provides more about the names of their wives, anything significant they may have done, etc.

Also know as the Little Genesis: a number of early Christian writers and, later, some Byzantine chronographers referred to Jubilees under this title. It highlights the obvious relationship of the book to Genesis, but why the adjective little was added is not clear.

It has been suggested that it points to Jubilees' detailed treatment of various topics which are simply mentioned or even ignored in Genesis, but, as there are instances in which Genesis offers greater detail, the hypothesis is unconvincing. It is possible that "little" was used pejoratively, though Jubilees enjoyed high esteem in some Christian areas; but it is at least certain that the adjective does not refer to size, since Jubilees and Genesis are approximately the same length.

The story of Abraham, some will say, is just a story about something that happened (or might have happened) long ago. They feel it has little to do with their lives or their faith, and thus they do not usually imagine that it has any bearing on contemporary life. What they forget is that the story of Abraham, like that of Jesus, was powerful enough to change the course of human history. It is clear that the story of Abraham is not just one story among others; it is, as

Matthews writes, "central to the nervous system of Judaism and Christianity." It is also central to Islam. Insofar as it has shaped the three religious traditions, their ethical values, and their views of social relations, it has shaped the realities we live by.

Even if we are not believers, any of us raised in a culture influenced by Judaism, Christianity, or Islam has been affected by the values, attitudes, and structures exemplified by the story. To extrude the point, God asked a loving father to sacrifice his child. And for his willingness to obey God's command, Abraham became the model of faith at the foundation

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