Book Reviews of Abraham’s Silence

My book Abraham’s Silence: The Binding of Isaac, the Suffering of Job, and How to Talk Back to God (Baker Academic, 2021) has now received a number of reviews in journals, magazines, and blogs.

I’m heartened by the fact that most reviewers have been appreciative about my argument that God desires a vigorous dialogue partner, even if not everyone has been convinced fully by my interpretation of Genesis 22.

Interestingly, so far no-one has disputed my interpretation of Genesis 22 on exegetical grounds (by showing that I misconstrued or missed something in the text). The critiques (both in published reviews and in email responses) that I have received tend to be theological, based on a priori assumptions about what the text means, often derived from reading the New Testament.

I was planning on addressing the New Testament references to Genesis 22 in the book, but there wasn’t space (given the publisher’s guidelines). If there is a second, revised edition, I would try to include a section (perhaps an appendix) on this.

In the meantime, I am working on an article that would address all explicit references and possible allusions to Genesis 22 in the New Testament.

Here is a sampling of the reviews Abraham’s Silence has received.

Glenn Kreider (theologian) in Criswell Theological Review (19.2, 2022).

Carmen Imes (OT scholar) on Goodreads website (July 12, 2021).

David Neville (NT scholar) in St. Mark’s Review (June-July, 2022).

Holly Rossi (freelance writer) in Publisher’s Weekly (Nov 5, 2021).

Brian Walsh (theologian) in Christian Courier (April 27, 2022).

Andrew Arndt (blogger) on Mere Orthodoxy blog (February 2, 2022).

Anthony Philips (OT scholar) in Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (46.5, 2022).

Ben McFarland (professor of chemistry) in Christian Scholar’s Review (August 5, 2022).

David Lyle Taylor (blogger) on Nephy Style blog (November 18, 2021).

Travis Bott (OT scholar) on The Living Church website (April 29, 2022).

Byron Borger (blogger and bookstore owner) on Hearts and Minds website (November 23, 2021).

Randal Rauser (blogger) on The Tentative Apologist blog (May 15, 2022).

Jeremiah Rood (blogger) in Foreword Reviews (November/December 2021).

There will be a panel discussion on the book at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in Denver, on November 21, 2022. For more information, see this blog post.

11 thoughts on “Book Reviews of Abraham’s Silence

  1. Richard – Just purchased a copy of your book and looking forward to reading it. Would love to have you on the Madlik – Disruptive Torah Podcast to discuss!

  2. Geoffrey, I’ve missed our conversations. I’d be very happy to be on your podcast. (BTW Rachel Adelman is interviewing me a week from now for New Books in Jewish Studies.) ~ Richard

  3. Richard – Not sure you’re getting my e-mails, but would love to record a Bereshit episode of the Madlik podcast with you… anytime that works for you before Friday.

  4. Let me know when you sucessfully join clubhouse and also (if you would) accept me as a friend on Facebook 🙂

  5. Richard –

    If for any reason you are still not able to download and activate the Clubhouse app, then I can simply record you over the phone.

    Please call me at 203.416.6265 at 7:50 if this is the case… or let me know what number to call you on.

    Looking forward!


  6. I heard you on the ‘On Script’ podcast a while back. Thank you for your book and the years of reflection that led up to it! I have found it a helpful and refreshing look at a complicated story. Not to mention you really reframed the way I imagine the ending of Job too.

    I do really wish you would address the New Testament uses and allusions. Specifically, James 2:21-24, “Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.”

    Maybe a teaser blog post before the revised edition comes to print??

    Also, I heard a teacher recently ponder a connection between the Day of Atonement liturgy and the stories of Abel/Cain and Ishmael/Issac. Just as one goat is sacrificed and the other is exiled, so too is one son sacrificed and the other exiled. I wonder what bearing this might have on your examination of this text.

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