In 1977, when I began work on the book that ultimately became Ishmael, it was indeed my notion that the Hebrew prophets were trying to call their people back to their Leaver roots. (At 2 Samuel 20, we read, for example, “In the old days there was a saying, ‘Go to Abel for the answer,’ and that settled the matter”—which is what I do myself; I go to Abel for ALL the answers.)

As the years passed, however, I began to see that this was self-deception. This would have been convenient for my thesis, but it meant distorting the evidence beyond all recognition. I’m convinced that the story of the Fall and of the murder of Abel could only have been authored by people who saw things the Leaver way—but the rest was authored by people who saw things the Taker way.

ID: 50
Posted: 1997