An Old Testament KnoWhy relating to the reading assignment for Gospel Doctrine Lesson 13: Bondage, Passover, and Exodus (Exodus 1-3; 5-6; 11-14) (JBOTL013B)
Question:Many people nowadays believe that the Exodus never happened. Are there traces of the historical Exodus from sources outside the scriptures? And do they help us to identify the Pharaoh of the Exodus?
Summary: Traces of the historical Exodus from sources outside the scriptures are available — but only if you are looking for the right things in the right direction. For example, if you are expecting to find archaeological evidence for a group of millions of Israelites crossing the Sinai desert after leaving Egypt in shambles, you are likely to be disappointed. True it is that large numbers of Semitic people came and went from Egypt in the centuries before a much smaller group eventually left in the Exodus. But teasing out the subtleties of the historical context of scripture requires tedious and diligent efforts of dedicated scholars. In this article, we present a few tentative conclusions to help familiarize readers with the current landscape.
The full article may be found at the Interpreter Foundation website: KnoWhy OTL13B — What Can We Learn About the Historical Exodus from Outside the Scriptures?
A video version of a presentation by Richard Elliott Friedman on the subject entitled “The Exodus Based on the Sources Themselves” can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-YlzpUhnxQ