No one knows what impact a life may have on the world. Yet, 1 billion Christian, 1.2 billion Muslims, and nearly 15 million Jews call Abraham the founder of their religion (Origins of Christianity www.ethicalatheist.com). This paper will show how Abram of the Chaldees became Abraham (or Ibrahim) the Patriarch, father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam through choices he made, as well as a physical and spiritual journey.
The story of Abram begins in Genesis when he and his wife Sarai followed his father Terah as they left Ur of the Chaldees to go into Canaan (Genesis 11:27-31). Ur was located on the Euphrates River, just north of the Persian Gulf and was already 1,500 years old and at its cultural height, while Canaan, located in present day Israel, was considered more of a wilderness area, and controlled by the Egyptians (Gardner 52, 57). The journey followed the Euphrates River north then crossed to the Mediterranean Sea coast. AbramÆs family never made it as far as Canaan this time, however, and settled in Haran where Terah died and left Abram in charge of the clan (Gardner 57; Genesis 11:32). It was then that God told Abram to continue their journey into Canaan, promising him wealth, greatness, and a nation of descendents in return (Genesis 12:1-5). This was the beginning of AbramÆs change into the Patriarch. He had left behind a great civilization to follow his God into a nomadic way of life in the wilderness.
After traveling to Egypt to wait out a famine, however, Abram still did not fully trust the God that he believed had called him into Canaan. So, when he was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him in order to take his wife away from him, he told them she was his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). After returning to Canaan, he and his nephewÆs herds had grown too large and they separated, Abram going east (Genesis: 13:8-11).
At this time, Abram and Sarai had still not had the children that God had promised the...