Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 18, 2015

5. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Does It Matter?

PatternsExodusMahoney3

Is the Exodus from Egypt a legend or is it true history?

An outstanding recent documentary, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus, presents abundant archaeological evidence to dispute the consensus of opinion among archaeologists that the Exodus never happened.

This article concludes the review of Patterns of Evidence: Exodus that was begun in the prequels:
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – What Did Jesus Think?

This fifth article considers this question: Does it matter whether the Exodus is a historical event that actually took place?

PatternsExodusControversial

Does It Matter?

To begin with, let’s clarify the issue by three questions:

Does it matter whether the Exodus plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea were real historical events or simply inspiring stories about events that never actually happened?

Does it matter whether the Biblical accounts of Creation, Adam’s Sin, Noah’s Flood, Tower of Babel, Virgin Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection are historically true or are only intriguing stories to encourage mankind?

Does it matter whether physical evidence can be found to back up the Bible’s report of these events?

The answer to these three questions is both Yes and No.

PatternsExodusTrue

Yes, It Does Matter

Yes, it does matter that events reported in Scripture actually occurred, no matter how many scholars state otherwise.

American Rabbi David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, CA, the largest Jewish congregation in the world. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 Newsweek Magazine named David Wolpe one of the fifty most important Rabbis in America. In 2012 Newsweek named him the most influential Rabbi in America. In the same year the Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.

But Rabbi Wolpe does not believe the Exodus happened as the Torah describes. In the film, to explain his observance of Passover despite not believing in the Exodus, he said,

“Things that aren’t facts can be truths.”

Wolpe is saying that the Exodus never happened, but it doesn’t matter because the spiritual meaning of the “Exodus story” is what is important.

But it does matter! How can a spiritual truth be based on a lie? Judaism and Christianity are based on historical events that really happened. If they did not happen, the two faiths are worthless. Disbelief in the Exodus account undermines the Passover which pointed to the redemption from sin accomplished by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. It undermines the New Testament Epistles which explain the meaning of Christ’s redemptive work. Exodus denial undermines the basic message of the Old and New Testaments.

PatternsExodusPrager

Jewish talk-show host and film panelist Dennis Prager disagreed with all the anti-Exodus rabbis and scholars. He said, “I think it does matter if the Jews were slaves in Egypt and whether the Exodus took place.” Prager believes actual historical events comprise the essential foundation of Judaism and Christianity.

It absolutely does matter whether Old Testament events actually occurred. The theology and message of the Bible is grounded on historical events that actually happened. For example, if Adam’s Sin was not a historical event, then most of the Bible is meaningless. What do we need to be saved from if Adam did not sin?

PatternsExodusBimson

The Apostle Paul said that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then faith is worthless, and believers are still in their sins (1 Corinthians 15:14-19). The hope of the Christian is grounded on the historical fact of the Resurrection.

If the events did not occur as the Bible reports, then the Bible is full of lies and cannot be trusted for anything.

No, It Does Not Matter

No, it does not matter whether physical evidence can be found to back up the Bible’s report of events.

The truth of the Bible does not depend on external supportive evidence. Just because evidence of an event cannot be found, does not mean the event did not happen. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Many historical events that we know about only through written records have left no archaeological trace.

However, I think filmmaker Tim Mahoney is right to look for evidence of Exodus-connected events. These six major events connected with the Exodus
1. Arrival of Joseph & Jacob’s family in Egypt
2. Multiplication of Hebrews into a nation in Egypt
3. Hebrew Enslavement in Egypt
4. Ten Plagues on Egypt
5. Exodus from Egypt
6. Conquest of Canaan by the Israelites
were impactful enough to potentially leave a footprint of physical evidence that is still discernible by archaeologists today. Thus it’s not surprising that Mahoney found evidence of these events that he presents in his film. His evidence simply corroborates the most important evidence of the events which is the Biblical record itself.

PatternsExodusKorthals

Finding external supportive evidence of the Bible’s historical accounts can be a big encouragement to Christians, and it occasionally may influence skeptics. Biblical archaeology is very interesting, rewarding, and helpful, but it is not necessary. Archaeology can only confirm a tiny percentage of the events of the past. That does not mean that events without archaeological support did not happen.

Instead of using archaeological evidence to evaluate the Bible, one should use the Bible to interpret the evidence. All evidence has to be interpreted. The correct approach is to base one’s thinking on the unchanging Word of God, rather than base one’s thinking on the ever changing results of man’s research, no matter what the field – archaeology, philosophy, or science. (1 Peter 1:24-25)

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How to See the Documentary

I strongly encourage viewing the Patterns of Evidence: Exodus documentary. It has been shown twice so far this year in theaters on January 19 & 29. If there are subsequent theater showings, they will be announced at Fathom Events. Also many churches will likely show the DVD eventually. While the film probably will not convince any skeptics, it will be a huge encouragement to Christians. The book, movie DVD, and soundtrack are all available for pre-order at the documentary web site: Patterns of Evidence: Exodus.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Does it matter whether the Exodus actually occurred as described in the Bible? What do you think?
  2. If you saw the film, what was your reaction?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

This concludes the series of five articles reviewing the Patterns of Evidence: Exodus documentary.
Read the prequels:
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts
(with video)
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – What Did Jesus Think?

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read my other articles on Biblical Archaeology:
1. The Mystery of Tsinnur
2. Copper Country
3. One Night of Sin Spawns Centuries of Havoc
4. Blown to Pieces
5. Joseph’s Grain Silos Found in Egypt?
6. Archaeological Study Bible
7. Lost Treasures of the Bible
1. Eyewitness to Jesus
2. Early Date for Matthew
3. Forensic Evidence
4. Significance of the Magdalen Papyrus (w/ video)
Noah’s Ark Found? (with video)
1. Rebuilding Noah’s Ark – Intro
8. Hike the Bible – Roman Road
9. Hike the Bible – Via Maris
21. Hike the Bible – Jesus Boat
23. Hike the Bible – Capernaum Archaeology
25. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum 2
26. Hike the Bible – Miracles at Capernaum 3
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts (with video)
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – What Did Jesus Think?

Read my other Movie Reviews:
The Genesis Code (with video)
Marilyn Monroe and the Age of the Earth
Mystery of Noah’s Flood (with videos)
God’s Not Dead, the Movie (with videos)
Noah, the Movie (with videos)
Exodus, the Movie (with video)
1. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Did It Happen?
2. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – Facing the Facts (with video)
3. Patterns of Evidence: Exodus – The Debate
4. Patterns of Evidence: What Did Jesus Think?
Risen, the Movie

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday February 18, 2015 A.D.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the first-born might not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
(Hebrews 11:23-29)

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Responses

  1. I think absolutely it does matter.
    For me, not as much, because I believe the Bible literally as inspired, inerrant and preserved – and like you said, absence of proof is not proof it did not happen.
    But there is the other 97.5% of mankind who are not born again Christians, and who face an eternity of horror. When we “contend earnestly for the faith” in our best meek and fearful manner as advised in 2 Peter 3:15, we remind a rebellious world that a). there is a creator b) there is a coming judgment, and c). He has provided a way to be declared not guilty in advance by taking our punishment for us.
    While we are saved by faith, the more Biblical evidence we can offer, the more it can shake the unsaved world’s mindset.
    They are blinded by the unsubstantiated claims of science, by adherence to a Darwinism long since secretly dismissed by experts in the fields of science, and by a mindset that thinks the Bible is full of myths.
    All I know is, my ancestors were slaves in Egypt, in the house of bondage. And God redeemed my ancestors with a mighty hand. We memorialize it every year with the Passover.
    Anyone who celebrates the Passover but doesn’t think it literally happened has got to be lacking in integrity. How can you read and memorialize the events of the Exodus and think to yourself, “this is just myth?” Why memorialize something you didn’t think happen?
    It’s real to millions of Jews worldwide. And an awakening of this as real may drive more of the Jewish people to ask, “If this is real, then what else is real?”
    Yes, I think it matters.

    Like


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