Understanding the Exodus Patterns of Evidence –
It’s one of those stories that has captured the imagination and stirred the spirit of countless generations with the dream of freedom. The Exodus account is such a galvanizing story that two of American’s founding fathers tried to capture the power of its message by placing its imagery on the initial design of the great seal of the United States.
Instead of the eagle, the all-seeing eye, and the pyramid we see today can you imagine if we had Benjamin Franklin’s initial design for the reverse of the seal showing “Moses lifting up his hand diving the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the waters.”, surrounding this image the words “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God”. Or how about Jefferson’s proposal of the “children of Israel in the wilderness, let by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night…”
Quite vivid and powerful imagery to be sure, but have you ever wondered about the details of the story? The story of the Exodus is one of the foundational events which shaped Judaism and by its basis in the Jewish faith, Christianity as well. But did the Exodus really happen like the Bible describes? Did it even happen at all? If it did happen what does history and archeology have to say about the subject?
Since my teenage years I’ve had a great love for subjects related to Biblical history and Bible prophecy. I still remember the day nearly three decades ago when I was browsing the dusty shelves of a dark corner in the used bookstore of our town and I found a book about ancient Egypt, archeology, and the Israel’s famous escape from their chains of bondage. That book was in part the catalyst for a lifelong adventure exploring the Bible’s chronological and historical records that continues to this day.
I’ve read a lot of books about Israel and the Exodus since that day but none I’ve appreciated more than the book I’ve just recently read by Timothy Mahoney entitled Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus. The book is the personal story of Mr. Mahoney’s quest for the truth behind the tale of the Exodus.
Mr. Mahoney’s story begins many years ago with a crisis of faith. I’ll let Mr. Mahoney explain:
“I guess it was only natural that I would become a documentary filmmaker because true stories had much more power and influence over me than fiction. I had been raised as a Christian and remember hearing amazing stories from the Bible as a child, and I believed them. But as I grew older, I was challenged to lose those beliefs. I often wondered if there was any evidence to support them. After all, the stories were so fantastic. Now I just wanted to know the truth.”
So began an adventure which spanned the globe exploring the written and archeological evidence as well as the opinions of many of todays leading scholars, all focused on the goal of finding the truth about an event that has influenced millions of lives over the past several millenniums.
As a Christian with some knowledge of the history of the Exodus and the controversy surrounding it, I’ve still often struggled to grasp and even more so articulately all the complex issues related to the subject. I can tell you Mr. Mahoney and his team have done a masterful job with Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.
Whether you’re a layman like myself trying to explain the particulars to your children or a teacher or pastor trying explore the subject with a larger audience, Patterns of Evidence organizes the information in a straight forward and congruent manner which is accessible and enlightening to both the novice and scholar.
Here are few examples of the many “patterns of evidence” covered in the book:
• Who was the Pharoah of the Exodus?
• Avaris: The City Beneath Ramesses
• The Egyptian Tomb of Joseph?
• Arrival Summary and Timeline
• Multiplication: Semitic Expansion in the Nile Delta
• Slavery: Mudbricks and Tomb Inscriptions
• The Ten Plagues
• The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage: The Ipuwer Papyrus
• Conquest of Canaan at the Time of Ramesses?
• Discovering a Second Exodus Date
• Reestablishing the Bible’s Timeline
• Why Do Many Archaeologist Reject the conquest?
• Jericho: Did the Walls Come tumbling down?
• The Origins of Egypt’s Timeline
I must say that I only got about a quarter of the way through the book before I was so excited by what I was reading that I purchased the video to share with my family. The video was excellent! It distilled the information that I had been reading in the book into two hours of captivating video. It was so well done that even after two hours we were left wanting more.
I’ve since finished the book and I must say the book and video are a powerful combination. Thanks in large part to Mr. Mahoney organization of the subject into clearly explained “patterns of evidence” I now have a much better understanding of the subject as well as a better framework upon which to continue my own exploration of the subject.
Author: Timothy P. Mahoney
Book Title: Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
Book Reviewed by: William Struse
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