Genesis 12: 11-13:Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

If Abraham lied, how can he be a prophet?


Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"He said unto Serai his wife, behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife; and they will kill me, but they save thee alive. Say, thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee." (12: 11 – 13.)  C. Now reader mark! This Abraham, who is looked upon as a great prophet both by the Christians and the Mohammedans alike, tells lies and does such other wicked deeds. How can such people find the way to true happiness and knowledge whose prophets were men of such a low character?

 Answer: Such criticisms might be valid for Muslims who considers the prophets as sinless. However, the Biblical faith considers all human beings, including prophets, to be sinners.  Abraham not only spoke untruthfulness here, but his very journey to Egypt was not according to the commandment of God. One error led to another and the consequence of this is for everyone to see. If not for his journey to Egypt, he would not have had a concubine named Hagar and the child known as Ishmael.   Christians thereby understand that our disobedience to God can cause life-long (and more) disastrous consequences. Therefore, we submit ourselves under the grace of God to lead a holy life.  Now, let us turn to see how the Holy Bible itself has understood this verse. In Romans 3: 10-12: As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Immediately in the next chapter, we are told: Romans 4:1-3: What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.  For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 

While we remember the God’s election, none would boast but rather humble ourselves before God. That is the moral lesson that the Bible teaches from this passage.

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