Abraham in History

15th May, 2010 - Posted by Claire Larsen - 2 Comments

Several months ago I began a new writing project. My son Aaron (one of the authors of Latin For Children) and I are working together on Classical Academic Press’s History For Children series. Aaron has the historical knowledge, and I add worksheets, quizzes, and some editorial expertise. 

It’s been a very long time since I learned about ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt so it’s been interesting to learn as I edit. One thing that surprised me was how much insight about the Old Testament I’ve gotten as I’ve been writing the history book. The Old Testament story is not just a religious narrative; it’s a story rooted in real history. By matching dates I realized that God called Abraham out of Ur about the time of the Ur III Empire. The city of Ur was the center of this empire founded by Ur-Nammu, and although the Ur III Empire lasted only about 200 years, the empire was at its height during the time that Abraham lived.

God called Abraham (at that time named Abram) out of one of the most important and influential cities in the known world to go to an unknown destination. That puts Abraham’s faith in a new perspective.

Then, think about this? Abraham lived in a polytheistic culture. An, Enlil, Enki, Utu, Innana — these were the gods and goddesses of Mesopotamia. These gods had limited power and authority, they vied against each other, and were feared and seldom loved by the people. Contrast this description to Yahweh, the covenant God who said, “I will be your God, and you will be My people. I will bless you. I will be with you.”

Does this very brief description give you some greater insight into Abraham’s faith? Does it give you a deeper love for Yahweh, the God of Abraham and the God we worship? It has helped me.

In another post I’ll talk a little more about the contrast between Yahweh and the Mesopotamian gods.


Natalie Rogge

June 1st, 2010 at 4:35 pm    

Hi Claire,
I have purchased your Old Testament 1 and 2 books and am very impressed with the depth of content. I am just wondering if you have any thoughts as to doing a New Testament version in the future?

Claire Larsen

June 1st, 2010 at 9:57 pm    


I’m glad that the Old Testament books have been helpful to you. I have finished New Testament 1 and it is now in the editing and formatting stage. CAP hopes to have the book published by this fall. I am reading and preparing for New Testament 2 — Acts, Epistles, and Revelation and hope to start writing this summer.

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