Abraham's Story: Foundation of Judaism, Islam and Christianity

Part 6: American couple attempts to retrace Abraham's Biblical path through 10 countries.
9:34 | 12/22/12

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Transcript for Abraham's Story: Foundation of Judaism, Islam and Christianity
ancient world, so come along with us. After the great flood, the bible says that god made a promise to never again destroy the earth. Noah's family trusted and the descendants spread across the world but noah's drunkenness and bad behavior of his son greatly displeased god. Still unsatisfied with his creation, he set out again to find the one man that he could trust above all others. He tried adam and eve and that failed. He tried noah and that failed. He's searching for a human partner. 20 generations after dam and eve that he first meets abraham. When we first meet abraham in the book of genesis, we're told he's settled with his father and wife sarah in a town called horan a place where people were known to worship many different gods and then, out of the blue, this lowly shepherd received a call from the god of the hebrew bible summoning him to leave his home for a new life at once. God says to abraham, go to this land I will show you and i will make of you a great nation. It would have been helpful if abraham said which land and by the way, does it have oil? But abraham did not question god's promise and this one man's unflinching dell voegs to only one god reverberates throughout the bible. It is the foundation of three great monotheistic faiths. Judaism, christianity and islam you can't get to god without going through abraham. Obeying god's call, abraham quickly left behind the trappings of city life and set off with his family on a journey toward the promised land of canaan. It's a decision to leave everything that is familiar to you. I mean, it's letting go of everything and embracing the unknown, life-changing. Here in southern turkey, near horan we met an american couple raised christian, they are writing a guide book that will allow people of all faiths to follow the same path that abraham took. I think there is something powerful about going to a place from the bibrom the stories that you've heard as a child. I think that makes the whole story feel more real. Abraham took this journey 4,000 years ago and now we're just dusting off his footsteps and inviting people to experience that story today. Anna and david are part of an unprecedented initiative called abraham's path, it's mission to break down barriers and foster communication in this, one of the most divided regions of the world. An attempt to lay claim to the man who first worshipped one god and his legacy have been the source of constant conflict and bloodshed among the three faiths. Monotheism wants to say our religion is the only one and yours is wrong and if carried far enough means you have no right to live. But for those following in the paths of the biblical patrh, there are hope that the lessons of abraham's story can bring these same groups closer together. How are you? Very good. You? People are very enthusiastic about the story of abraham, people would stop us and say have you heard -- there is something special where I can say yes, this is part of my story, too. Could you tell us about the story of abraham? But the truth is there is no archaeological evidence of abraham or where he traveled. There is centuries old tradition in southern turkey that abraham's birthplace is in this cave but it's not the only place to make such a claim. Could it have been here in syria or southern iraq at a place some call the house of abraham? But the architect behind it was saddam hussein, so that timing is just a little off. Was he born in mesopotamia? Turkey? Where was abraham born? Yes, I mean -- both? He was born in mesopotamia, traveled to the promised land, goes to egypt and comes back. The story is trying to connect him, I think, to the entire arc of the region. It's a story that is shared by about half the world. Abraham's path will eventually wind through ten countries. Our next stop is in the biblical land of canaan in what is now israel and the west bank. My guide on this part of abraham's path is an israeli archaeologist. If somebody is thinking about getting back to root, coming back to be in touch with god, the desert is always the place. It's always kind of shocking to me that these immense stories that more than 2, 3 billion people believe in, christian, jew, muslim, there is not a rock that connection them. You're an archaeologist, doesn't that store the of trouble you? Of course I would love to have much more concrete remains of abraham, but the meaning is so strong, I think I can cope with the fact that archaeology is poor here. On the path, we met a young shepherd. And as it so happens -- what's his name? Abraham? Ibrahim, the name of the biblical patriarch remains popular with all three faiths today. We have so much in common, from the same family, and sharing a lot of the values. The story of how this extended family came to bebe begins with heartbreak. Although abe lam and his wife sarah tried for years they were unable to conceive a child. Sarah married to abraham ten years was barren. She offered hagar, her maid, to abraham for surrogacy. Once she 45d given birth toito ishmael, sarah said she wanted abe them out for good. Fear not from ch th child i will make a great people and these are the arab people. Arabs to this day trace their lineage right back to abraham through ishmael. Every year millions of muslims make a pilgrimage called the hajj to the place they believe ishmael made his home, mecca is saudi arabia. Here, muslims also believe that abe lam came to visit ishmael and together they built islam's first house of worship. The bible doesn't mention mecca, instead it tells us abraham finally found a permanent home in canaan. He and sarah had settled into their old age, perhaps at last enjoying some measure of tranquility after all they had endured. Then, unexpected visitors appeared and changed their lives again. Abe lam looked up, he sees three men. He greets them, welcomes them, sarah hurries to make them a meal. Hospitality is quintessential. In nomaddic cultures, traveling in barren landscapes could never have survived without the kindness of strangers. When you're out wandering into a new village and you meet someone and they offer you a cup of coffee or tea, those are the moments that define abraham for me. Thank you. What do we have here? Very nice to meet you. He brought me to one stop where a bedouin welcomes travelers of all faiths to share a meal with him. This is -- the meal is much like the one sarah and abraham might have offered to strangers who came to their home. After that meal they announce that sarah now almost 90, will have a child. She laughs with incredulity. What sarah and abraham didn't know, the bible tells us, was that the visitors were angels from god bringing a message from god. And the message came to pass, sarah gave birth to a child she wanted so long, a son named isaac, his descendants became the jewish people.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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