Bible People - Abraham
sacrifice - surely the worst perversion of worship
Mesopotamian pyramid-temples that Abraham
Tent dwellings of nomadic herdsmen
Famous paintings of Abraham and the slave/concubine Hagar
stuies of three slave in the Bible, including Sarah's slave Hagar
story of Abraham's son Isaac
slave/concubine, mother of Abraham's son Ishmael
for individuals or groups
Films about journeys
It is no accident that, throughout most of Abraham's story, he is travelling along an uncharted path. The Bible makes it clear that his life is essentially a journey towards God.
Many of the films made today, particularly journey films, have embedded religious symbolism - a 'message' woven into the story of the hero/heroine as they travel towards their goal.
List some films that use religious symbols. You can choose recent films or classics. If this is a group activity, choose films most people know.
Stage 2: Choose your favourite
What are the central messages in this film?
Group activity: discuss the symbols and their meanings, making sure everyone in the group has a chance to talk about their ideas.
Single activity: choose the film that caught your attention most of all. Sit down for a few minutes and focus your mind. What was it about this film that particularly appealed to you? What did it mean to you? Why was this so?
Paintings of Abraham
Read the story at Bible People: Abraham
Go to the link at the bottom of the painting at right. Scroll through the paintings from first to last.
Which part of the story of Abraham has been the most popular with artists?
Would this have been your choice?
Artists paint what they want to paint, but they also paint with their audience in mind. Look at the paintings again. Who is the painting directed at? Explain your reasoning.
If you have chosen something different, ask yourself why this other incident appeals to you more than the scene favoured by the artists. Spend some time quietly thinking about your response.
Is there one particular characteristic of Abraham's that you admire? What might it be? How might you imitate it in your own life? Do you have a particular characteristic that you are proud of? What is it?
Poetry about Abraham and Isaac
Talking To God
These three quotations show the dynamic nature of the relationship between Abraham and God (or the angel who is God's messenger).
Each speaks as if they are face-to-face with each other, talking at a conversational level.
Discuss different ways of praying with a Bible study partner.
Pause for Thought
Someone wrote that we're all Abraham, and we're all Isaac.
What might they have meant by this?
Abraham's Family - and Yours
Read the story of the command to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22).
Draw up a list of things that YOU could do.
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they want?
If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends with? Which
person would you want to avoid?
Extra Websites in the left column have background information and ideas.