Archaeology and the Israelite Exodus from Egypt

Posted By on April 19, 2011

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:

On the Reliability of the Old Testament

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8 Responses to “Archaeology and the Israelite Exodus from Egypt”

  1. Ilia Panayotov says:

    I can’t wait for “The Exodus Conspiracy” to come out (or whatever its name has been changed to now)!

    • Ilia Panayotov says:

      “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. Don’t 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?”

  2. Jack Wellman says:

    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.

  3. Shaun Swanson says:

    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?

    thank you.

  4. I’m looking into this sort of thing atm. May I presume from your choices that you favour a 1200 BC date?

    • MSH says:

      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.

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