But Where is the Lamb? | James Goodman

The cover of Goodman's But Where is the LambThe story of Abraham and Isaac bothers me. How could Abraham do it? How could God ask?

In case you’re new to the story, it’s the most heart-wrenching passage in the Old Testament told in 19 terse verses. What can be more emotional than an old man walking with his beloved son for three days to the place where God told him to sacrifice his son?

Perhaps it’s precisely this emotional quality that has spawned so much commentary over the years. In But Where is the Lamb?, Goodman takes the reader on a survey of every major thought that’s been written about the story. He includes everyone from ancient Rabbis to Greek philosophers, Islamic commentators to Kierkegaard.

If there’s an angle on the story to be discovered, you’ll find it here. How old was Isaac? Why wasn’t Sarah at the sacrifice? What is the significance of the servants? Why did the angel appear?

If you’re looking to explore possible readings of the Binding—the Akedah—Goodman is an insightful guide.

—James Goodman, But Where Is the Lamb? Imagining the Story of Abraham and Isaac (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 2013).

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