Avi said:And this was exactly the point I was trying to make, still searching for relevent scripture.
How do you understand the argument between God and Abraham in Genesis 17-33?
Avi said:I do not believe it is historically accurate. I believe it is allegory.
But you are suggesting that it, an extremely late text relative to Abraham's life, alludes to something that is historically accurate.
I do not see any contradiction. I believe in rationalism and am skeptical of miracles. Where is the contradiction ?
Because your evidence for Abraham's beliefs begins with a midrash, begins with something that, if it had survived history in some relevant form, would have had to do so orally. This is no different than Orthodox arguments for an oral Torah maintained since Moses. This story, if it were that old, would have had to have survived for so many generations, through various shifts in Jewish thought, most of which don't appear to accept a non-anthropomorphic God. We do see over that time a shift away from idolatry, but even by the time we get to targum onkelos, a rabbinic text, we don't see a non-anthropomorphic God to the degree that you would like. God is still active and involved. The difference is that references to actual physical anthropomorphisms are removed.
I think that rejection of anthropomorphism and corporeality were the most significant advances of Judaism at that time. And I am not alone, Maimonides thought of that before me.
Name-dropping doesn't make your argument stronger, and you're dropping the name of someone who had many ideas that you would strongly disagree with. If Rambam's name is as persuasive as you suggest it is then you should also be inclined to accept all of the 13 articles of faith including Torah m'sinai.
The latter part of the Avrahamic stories, which Friedman calls: wife / sister, birth of Issac, Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham and Abimelech, and the binding of Issac - are all believed to be written by the E source.
Okay, but even if you accept Documentary Hypothesis, there are many non-E stories such as Abraham's argument with God. Why would you assume that E is the most accurate portrayal of the historical Abraham? Even if we accept E, we still have a Creator who communicates with man, albeit via angels and dreams. I think you're demonstrating confirmation bias.