Title page for ETD etd-10232010-191211

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Ahn, Sang-Keun
Email ahnsangkeun@hotmail.com
URN etd-10232010-191211
Document Title A study of God’s encounter with Abraham in Genesis 18:1-15 against the background of the Abraham narrative
Degree PhD
Department Old Testament Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof P M Venter Supervisor
  • divine birth
  • prophetic seeing
  • miraculous birth
  • linking structure
  • gradations of Persian etiquette
  • ancient near eastern
  • anthropomorphic characterization of the Lord
  • covenantal faithfulness of the Lord
  • sandwiched structure
  • underlying motif
  • well-wishing purpose of God’s visit
Date 2010-09-03
Availability unrestricted
The present work is a new attempt to interpret on the episode in Genesis 18:1-15 by the method of narrative criticism. The general tendency on the narrative had focused on the exemplary act of Abraham’s hospitality interpreting it as his righteousness by the perspective of NT (Heb 13:2) or by the test motive of Greek Myth (the birth of Orion). The retributive theology was considered too much in interpreting the Fellowship narrative (Gn 18:1-15).These interpretations conflict with the narrator’s own theological views: (1) righteousness by faith (Gn 15:6), (2) God’s mercifulness to save Lot (Gn 19:29), and (3) God’s being gracious to make Sarah conceive (Gn 21:1).

This study attempts to find out the author’s own interpretative view indicated in the whole Abraham narrative (Gn 11:27-25:11) as well as in the Fellowship Narrative itself (Gn 18:1-15).The present work is an attempt to interpret on the narrative by the method of narrative criticism. This study pays attention to the narrator’s various literary skills: “linking structure with preceding episode” (Gn 18:1a); “Sandwiched structure” of the larger context (Gn 18:1-21:7); Unique Plot Sequence; and Repeated Clue word and phrase (“laugh,” “Sarah,” ”this time next year”). These literary skills are understood to indicate the faithfulness of the Lord who tries to fulfill what he promised. The conclusion of this study overturns the traditional interpretations on the Fellowship Narrative.

This work attests that Abraham showed his righteousness not by doing hospitality but by obeying God’s new command of circumcision out of willing heart as he used to obey the Lord’s commands having faith in the promise of the Lord (ch. The motive of God’s visit is to have the covenantal fellowship with obedient Abraham (ch. 2.1.6; Abraham’s first moment recognition of deity is attested by interpreting of the technical pair verb, “And he lifted up his eyes and he saw and Lo!” (Gn 18:2a), which depicts prophetic experience of Abraham (ch.3.3). Abraham’s manner for the visitors is relevant to the higher ones (ch.

The futile human endeavor without having faith is considered as the reason of being delayed of fulfillment of God’s promise (Gn 16). The fulfillment of the promised son was not attained by any human effort, but only by God’s merciful intervention in the Abraham narrative (ch. 4.4.4 and 4.4.5).

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Ahn, S-K 2010, A study of God’s encounter with Abraham in Genesis 18:1-15 against the background of the Abraham narrative, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10232010-191211/ >


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