Global Trends of the 2010s #6: Hot Religion and the March of Abraham
Published on: January 18, 2010
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  • Well, your translation of Abraham is good enough for folk music, so I won’t quibble with the way you use it. But you’re not exactly right, and since you are a careful scholar, I thought you’d like to know.

    Before G-d added the “h” to the name, it was Avram. And that literally means “high” or “exalted” father. It’s a term common among Ugaritic kinds, and some scholars think that’s where it came from. The addition of the “h”, the “h” standing for “hamone”, makes the name mean “father of multitudes.” That makes sense, of course, with the promise G-d makes at the covenant between the parts. The root for nation “goy” or the root for people “am” is not involved in the name Abraham.

  • Sir,

    I believe, you have mistaken power for size, a common error in historical accounts (cf. Delbruck, etc).

    Religious groups generally diminish in relative size. Israel is perhaps the only exception, though temporary.

    Many nationalist groups embrace religion as a convenient ideology (right-wing Israelis and Gazans are some examples). That does not make them religious in any meaningful sense because their beliefs change with the political situation.

    But modern weapons made religious groups much more powerful. Access to firearms and explosives substitutes for low quantity of adherents.

    The perception of growing religious violence stem from the death toll, which is a function of explosives rather than believers.

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  • Pete Peterson

    Adam Garfinkle’s commented that the addition of the “h” to Avram’s name changed it from “exalted father” to “fahter of multitudes” is interesting. Also of interest is that from a Christian perspective, the “h” is representative of the Spirit of G-d, so the name change is also indicates that Avram had become Spiri-filled. This also happened to Sarai, whose name was changed, by adding the “h” to Sarah. The name changes have both secular and sacred meanings.

  • All well and in the case. Well written, thank you.

  • DVrjZ4 Very true! Makes a change to see semoone spell it out like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Abdulrahman

    The first picture, this is not Islam as its prohibited as mentioned in our Holy quran “Do not you play yourself into destruction” in a general translation.

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