Genesis – Sacrifice of Isaac (Part 1)

We’re always looking for ideas to get the most out of Dr. Jeannie’s lessons. With this in mind, the following questions were provided by Melissa Nassiff from the Bible study group at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. These questions are related to both Genesis – Sacrifice of Isaac (Part 1) and Genesis – Sacrifice of Isaac (Part 2).

Review Questions:

  1. Dr. Jeannie points out that there are several instances in the Old Testament of children being born to elderly parents who are past the age of childbearing. What is the reason for this, according to St. John Chrysostom?
  2. Why did Sarah want to send away Hagar and Ishmael? Why does God tell Abraham to do what she says? How did Abraham feel about that?
  3. When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, why didn’t Abraham say “This can’t be God speaking”?
  4. According to St. John Chrysostom, why does God emphasize Abraham’s love for Isaac at the same time He tells him to sacrifice him? Why didn’t Abraham tell anyone what he was about to do?
  5. What is typology? How are each of the following a type of Christ’s crucifixion and/or resurrection?
    -Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son
    -”On the third day”
    -The thorns in which the ram was caught
    -Isaac carrying the wood
    -Isaac’s not resisting
  6. What did Jesus mean when He said “Abraham rejoiced to see my day”? (John 8:56)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you feel sorry for Hagar? for Abraham? for Isaac? Why? Do you think God was being cruel? Was the outcome worth the suffering?
  2. Fr. Costas says procrastination is a sin; do you agree? He emphasized that Abraham got up “early in the morning” to obey God, and that God came to Adam and Eve “that evening” (or “in the cool of the day”) after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. Why the speed? Why would delay have been bad?
  3. Why do Dr. Jeannie and Fr. Costas say it is necessary to keep some third persons, even if they’re friends or parents, away from a married couple?

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