by Richard L. Rubenstein (October 2009)
As Rebecca Bynum has shown in her articles on Jesus and Paul, a singularly important avenue to the understanding of Jesus and his relation to first century Judaism is to stress his role as the culminating prophet in the long list of Hebrew prophets. As she indicates, I have chosen to focus primarily on the role of religious sacrifice in my attempt to understand Jesus in relation to his time. I believe that that issue exhibits simultaneously elements of both continuity and discontinuity between the two traditions. more>>>
The story of the binding of Isaac is the story of Abraham's creating a new religion by ending child sacrifice.
Human sacrifice was eliminated by Allah , when Ismail, the elder son of Ibrahim was offered for sacrifice and it was replaced by a sheep/goat.
The later human sacrifice was not divine but individual transgression.
Berel Dov Lerner
I think the author is wrong about pidyon haben. Numbers 3 makes it pretty clear that, in theory, the firstborn were supposed to have been employed in God's service, but they were replaced by the Levites. Thus, the fate of an unredeemed first-born would not be death, but rather a life of divine service. That, in fact, is what happened to Hannah's first--born son, i.e., Samuel.