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Abraham’s God

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Title: Abraham's God: The Origin and History of the Beliefs of Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Published by: Mountain Arbor Press
Release Date: September 12, 2019
ISBN13: 978-1631836800

 
Overview

Abraham’s God begins with the founding of the earliest religions and leads to the story of ancient Israel and the formation of Judaism under the God of Abraham. With a long legacy of divine origin from Adam to Abraham and to Moses through Egypt, the Israelites become a group of tribes in the land of Canaan until they are invaded and taken captive by the Persian Empire. During centuries of their control, Judaism assimilates many of the elements of the Persian religion until the arrival of Alexander the Great. Further influenced by similar religious ideas from the Greeks, Judaism is almost subsumed into the Greek culture, but struggles and reemerges as an independent society until the coming of the Roman Empire. By then the theologies of a soul, a messiah, a resurrection, a final judgment, and eternal damnation or bliss are embedded in Judaism as Herod the Great lifts Judaism to its glorious heights under the Roman Empire.

After Herod’s death, Israel rapidly declines from its peak of prominence to the depths of destruction as the Romans massacre the Jews and destroy Palestine. In the turmoil of decline and decimation, a new movement emerges among the followers of a Jewish peasant named Jesus, crucified by the Romans forty to fifty years earlier. Originally an offshoot of Judaism, the movement was fractured with a variety of beliefs, some centered around the visions of a man named Paul. Books begin to appear telling tales of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and of sightings of him after his crucifixion. His followers believe he will soon return, raise people from the dead, and bring about an end time of peace and justice on earth followed by the commending of his believers to a paradise in heaven and the condemning of others to eternal torment in hell.

Over the next two centuries, the Jesus movement will grow as groups called Christians struggle and fight over who Jesus was, the meaning of his life, and his role as a deity. The internal struggles of the growing Christian movement disturb the peace and unity of the Roman Empire, sometimes bringing persecution until the emperor Constantine recognizes Jesus as a God and Christianity as a legal religion of the Romans. With one Almighty God, Judaism was unique in its monotheism, but with Jesus and the Holy Ghost as Gods, the shadow of polytheism hung over Christianity. By the late fourth century, a mystifying concept of a Triune God is offered by three Christian theologians, and is made the centerpiece of Christianity as the emperor Theodosius imposes it on the Roman Empire. Under the force of law backed by threat of extreme punishment, the Trinity becomes the universal official version of Christianity. But the Trinity is still not universally accepted by the middle of the fifth century, when a man named Muhammad is born.

Like Paul long before him, Muhammad has visions. Muhammad’s visions are also of Abraham’s God, known to him as Allah. Muhammad rises to political power and converts the pagan Arabs to the religion of his visions. Muhammad’s Islam has the same central doctrines as Judaism and early Christianity: an eternal soul, sin and salvation, a returning messiah, a resurrection, a final judgment, and eternal damnation or bliss. As Islam is about to conquer all of Arabia, Muhammad dies, but his successors easily conquer all of Persia, Palestine, and Egypt as the Roman and Persian empires collapse and dissenters to the Trinitarian version of Christianity convert. Within a hundred years of Muhammad’s death, the Islamic Empire expands to reach India and China to the east and Morocco and Spain to the west.

In the early 800s, the stories of Muhammad’s life and the founding of Islam are written from the oral stories that had circulated for almost two hundred years. One of them will be a hypercritical story on the writing of the Qur’an, a story absolutely unquestioned by Muslims until the reemergence of Islam in the late twentieth century. Only then do new views on the writing of the Qur’an evolve, and on the sources of Muhammad’s knowledge of Judaism and Christianity.

Countless books have been written covering every aspect of these stories. But Abraham’s God is unique in telling the entire story of the origins of the beliefs of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in one thoroughly researched and documented book.

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Praise

“I very much enjoyed reading this work. The depth and scope of history that is covered is extremely impressive. This manuscript is a tremendously accomplished piece of work, and clearly the result of an enormous undertaking in research and analysis.”
Elizabeth Cody, Author

“It is a challenge to track the theological debates in context with the political history, but you did it well. You did a fantastic job of showing how the Roman hierarchy fostered the church hierarchy to the point that the church took over. Well done.”
Kristen Steiffel, Christian Book Editor

“The recognition of the deep connection between the three religions . . . the origin and evolution of their ideas . . . showing that Judaism did not begin as monotheistic . . . and the Persian influence on Judaism in the Post-Exilic period is very much appreciated. Such things will rankle the more traditional adherents of the three traditions.”
Tom Buchanan, Minister

"Mr. Dickerson has done extensive research into the three major religions of the world, approaching each with remarkable objectivity. Regardless of whether a person is Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, their dearly held doctrines will be challenged by this book.”
Rev. Phil Schoenherr


Excerpt

Simon Maccabee’s grandson, Alexander Jannaeus, ruled as the fourth Hasmonean King of Israel from 103BC to 76 BC. Like Kim Jong-Il in North Korea today, absolute power made Jannaeus a corrupted tyrant. History will prove that the religions of Abraham’s God protect no one from the disease of power. Jannaeus reigned for twenty-seven years because he would not tolerate dissent. Tens of thousands lost their lives questioning his regime. As he feasted with his concubines, he had 800 Jewish enemies crucified. While they are suffering on the brink of death, he had their children killed in front of them, and then slit the throats of their wives.

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