Question 222:

Was Abraham an Indian? A website claims that the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote that the Jews had originally been Indians.



I do not know the arguments for this supposed belief by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (ca A.D. 37 - ca 100) nor the website referred to. “Generally, the ancient Israelite patriarch Abraham (Father of the nations) whose name was initially Abram (North-Semitic: The [God] Father is sublime] is historically considered to have been a Northwest-Semitic semi-nomadic breeder of small domestic animals around the 18th/19th century before Christ, who became the father of three world religious, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abraham wandered through the land with his group worshipping the God of the Father, El. This God El is not bound to Heaven nor a specific cult site, but to this father to whom he revealed himself, and to his clan that always walks with him. God appears as a shepherd who protects the semi-nomadic clans of the time of the patriarchs. Although Abraham’s wanderings are likely to have been limited to the area around Hebron, the book of Genesis places them in the context of its overall theological-literary concept and describes them as much more far reaching and puts them in an ethnographic context. Abraham is interpreted as the prime example of a faithful person. The story of his sacrifice of his son, Isaac, shows that Abraham was willing to give everything to God. But God rejected the human sacrifice.” (Udo Tworuschka, “Lexikon: Die Religionen der Welt”. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 1999, p. 14f.)

Contact us

J. Prof. Dr. T. Specker,
Prof. Dr. Christian W. Troll,

Kolleg Sankt Georgen
Offenbacher Landstr. 224
D-60599 Frankfurt
Mail: fragen[ät]

More about the authors?