As Passover approaches, we will get the obligatory articles (usually written by devoted skeptical journalists) about “the real truth” behind Passover (and Easter, of course). The article you’ll find at this post over at Todd Bolen’s Bible Places blog isn’t of that stripe. Still, it’s pretty unsatisfying. The author of the article is Stephen Rosenberg of the Jerusalem post, whose search for “indirect evidence connecting the Israelites to Egypt” yields the piece at the link. I think Mr. Rosenberg’s search should have included a library (or a research assistant who knew what he or she was doing).
The best books on Egyptian-Israelite-exodus connections to archaeology and Egyptian textual sources are those by Egyptologist and Old Testament scholar, James K. Hoffmeier, both published by Oxford University Press. They aren’t new and they aren’t hard to find:
Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition
Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition
Honorable mention should also be given to the work of Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen:
I can’t wait for “The Exodus Conspiracy” to come out (or whatever its name has been changed to now)!
I think it is still the same name, isn’t it?
“This change of focus will result in a new title for the film. We are considering our list of options for this title but have not made a final decision. There will also be no further updates until the film is finished so we can focus all available time and energy on finishing the film. But when that time comes, we will let you know with a new website. Dont be alarmed when you see portions of the current website coming down.”
They also say the movie will deal with the “conspiracy” topic but it will go beyond that.
“In this final version of the film, we still address the opposition to the topic of the Exodus, but the emphasis on conspiracy has been reduced. This opens up the film to explore one of the greatest questions I believe one can ask: Is there evidence that the God of the Bible interacts in human history?”
I too can’t wait for what the skeptics will say next. They can deny evidence but I really feel compassion for them for there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. I love apologetics having written and small booklet on it as a bi-vocational pastor. This one is one I’d love to read to be “always ready to given an answer for the hope that is within you (me).” Thank you.
I know I’m commenting pretty late here, but maybe you will see my question anyway.
Kitchen’s book is the only one I’ve read. Why does he only get honorable mention? Are the other books that much better? Or is there something you disagree with in Kitchen’s work?
Just a question of detail; Hoffmeier’s work is more detailed.
I’m looking into this sort of thing atm. May I presume from your choices that you favour a 1200 BC date?
I have a hard time with the 1200 because of the judges period (requires too much compression). But there is a lot to commend it. If some of the judges chronology used symbolic numbering (if that could be proved as likely – a mathematical cypher) I would feel much more comfortable with it.
I just got a very nice Amazon gift card and was interested in Hoffmeier’s Israel in Egypt book. As I usually do, I read the comments, especially the negative comments. One of the commentators said
“Similarly theories about the Exodus being a “compilation” of a couple of hundred slaves leaving Egypt over a number of years is so stupid as to beggar belief”
Is this true? Is Hoffmeier saying there were only a few hundred slaves leaving over a number of years? If that is the case it hardly sounds like the Exodus.
no, he doesn’t put the number at a couple hundred.