Abraham: Faithful Patriarch
by Roger H. Knepprath
He was the father of nations, but who was Abraham? What did he do? If you were confused by the family lines or how a many of such great faith could still sin in such big ways, this book lays out Abraham’s life as a story, loyal to Scriptures, but telling what happened in an adult narrative manner.
Like Noah, which I reviewed previously, this book keeps to the Scriptures. It is not historical fiction like you might find in many Christian bookstores. Instead, author Knepprath keeps to the Bible and helps connect some narrative dots so we get to follow along.
I really appreciated that he kept the narrative focused on Abraham. Some of the accounts that take place in that section of scripture, such as the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham didn’t witness directly. The narrative here reflects that; we get to see Abraham praying about the cities, and then he sees the destruction the next day.
Knepprath also anchors Abraham’s faith in what he knew about God. Abraham knew the promises. He was able to trust those promises of a Savior to come.
An aspect I enjoyed was how Kenpprath made Sarah, Abraham’s wife, come alive. So often she’s a back-up player, almost shrewish in many depictions I’ve seen. This author took scripture’s exhortations to be like Sarah to heart, though, showing her to be a caring wife who, like her husband, struggled with sin.
And here is where the book shines. Not only does it show Law and Gospel clearly, but it avoids turning Abraham into an action hero of faith. So often the Old Testament people are raised up as gleaming examples, but here we see Abraham as both sinner and saint. In fact, the book opens with a passage that makes it very, very clear: “When writing about Abraham, the temptation is to make him out to have been more than he actually was. This would, in turn, make Abraham’s God to be less than he actually is” (v).
Because the book fights to make sure it doesn’t add to Scripture through imagination, it’s a pretty short book – I polished it off in about half an hour. That said, I think it’s well worth your time, and well worth getting into the hands of someone who’s curious about who this Abraham guy was. Go ahead and check it out!