Old Testament Historicity

This will prbably be the biggest thread ive ever make since a long time. So after research i found out that the Exodus account is not history as well .Like cannan at the time was a aprt of Egypt . Plus there are no accounts of so many slaves migrating. It makes me question as to if all the Old Testament is just allegory or symbolical.What do you guys think?The link thats mostly shaped my opinion .

There is plenty of archeological evidence for the Exodus. The problem is that most people date it wrong.The Exodus did not happen during the reign of Ramses II (the only reason they date it to this period is because one of the cities built is called Ramses but earlier it uses states that Joseph and his family settled in the land of Rameses before Ramses was built showing it’s being used anachronistically), it happened during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. The city of Rameses is referred to anachronistically regarding the area the city was built upon like referring to colonial New Amsterdam as New York. There was an older city underneath it, I forget its name, where the remains of large amounts of Semites from Canaan or Northern Syria are found to have lived. These are the Israelites of the Bible. They’ve also found Joseph’s palace and a very large bust of Joseph wearing his many colored coat. See the documentary “Patterns of Evidence Exodus” for more information.

If you read the article it makes a point thats that wasnt the case . But ill check it out

To say something is just allegory or symbolic implies that the original authors and audience understood it to be a fictional story meant to teach through parallels or that elements of the story really represented something else in reality. There are parts of the Old Testament that make use of symbolism and allegory (mostly in the prophets), but neither is an appropriate “genre” to apply to the Old Testament as a whole, especially not the narratives of Israel’s history. So, no I don’t think that is what the authors intended or what the audience understood.

The history books of the Old Testament were clearly intended to present the history of Israel. Their conventions for telling history differed from our own and they were less interested in preserving bare objective facts for posterity. They were interested in preserving an identity-shaping narrative that told them who they were and who their God was. So, it was acceptable to take some license with “facts” to make the story more “true” to the fundamental aspects of their theological narrative. This is different than fiction intended to parallel a different story in order to teach (allegory) and it is different than symbolism (where images stand in for or represent something in reality).

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Yes but history and archeology tells us otherwise. And i cannot see how for example Egypt beign sin or evil having the Isralites(Gods people) as slaves.Then God frees his own people for that slavery.Why it couldnt be that?

That could be a good example of alegory

What do you mean “tell us otherwise?” History and archaeology tell us that not every number or event recorded in Israel’s history is an objective fact. They certainly don’t tell us that everything in Israel’s history is made up and totally fictional. There is historical and archaeological corroboration for a good deal of it.

I would be glad if you read the link posted above. Theres no account showing slaves migrated from Egypt to cannan .

I realize that without reading your link. My point is that just because events and numbers in the biblical history don’t line up with objective facts doesn’t change the biblical genre to something else, like allegory. It just means the authors had other intentions than accurately communicating bare facts.

I am sorry but as a physicist, this treatment of history as if it were a hard science is a source of some hilarity to me. To be sure it reminds me of the objections of creationists to evolution that we cannot directly see the past. But the problem with the creationist objection, that there is such overwhelming evidence from so many different sources, doesn’t quite apply in the case of history, which looks far more like a gigantic house of cards built of too little hard evidence and way too many assumptions.

Isn’t it just a competition between different sources which are just as human and likely to be biased, not only about what actually happened, but even what people consider to be significant enough to write about. To me it seems an awful lot like assuming that everywhere that a filming camera in some documentary isn’t pointed must be an empty space void of things, people and events. LOL


That "hole " in the OT in my opinion disregards all of .(The Exodus narative) It is a major flaw. Like what was the intention of writting that IF NOT to write actual events or an allegory. The anwer to this,.No reason

In my understanding the Exodus event was historical but as to when I haven’t set much of a date but I do believe the Hebrew occupation of the land coincides with the invasion of the Sea People’s as after the Sea People’s invasion is when the Jews pop up in history. But that’s just my understanding of it.

To give the Hebrews a sense of being called by God for His purpose. Also to help hold the people together during the exile in Babylon. They were God’s special people after all.


What? That doesnt make sense. So he wrote a lie to show them that they are Gods people? If not then it is an allegory?

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I really enjoyed “Cross Vision,” by Greg Boyd, about the OT historicity and violence. You might want to read this Book Review: Cross Vision by Greg Boyd

Also, I appreciated this discussion on inerrancy and volence here: Inerrancy and mass slaughter

Thanks for your discussion!

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Reading only one side and concluding that it is correct is a bad methodology. You should read David Rohl’s book, Exodus, in which this Egyptologist argues that it is real. Rohl is an agnostic, not a Christian. He does, however, think the Bible is a good history book. Rohl argues for a slightly different chronology than the guys above hold to and voila, everything falls into place. If one hasn’t read this book then one is only half informed.


You mean the guys on the link i posted?If youre speaking of the middle kingdom hypothesis i think they state that it is not the case and present arguments for that

Yep, and you obviously haven’t considered data from the other side. They have found what certainly looks like Joseph’s palace. if you have any interest other than holding onto the views of the above link you might look at thishttp://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2019/12/has-josephs-palace-been-found.html. It is on finding something that sure as heck looks like Joseph’s palace. with 12 graves outback, and the biggest had a statue of a Semite in a multicolored cloak. Here is a reconstruction of the statue. BTW, Joseph asked that his bones betaken back to the promised land. The big tomb is the only tomb missing bones. Grave robbers don’t take bones, they are worthless.

If this is Joseph’s palace then it moves the exodus back .

As to your claim that your link says there is no evidence for the Middle Kingdom view, it took me a while to find Barry stating that there was no evidence. I gather that his mere breath through Barry’s lip stating the sky is purple would be enough for you to agree that the sky is purple. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. I am offering you some archaeological evidence counter to what Barry says, and you seem reluctant to go look. I can’t help it if you won’t look. But the data won’t disappear if you don’t look, it will just be you refusing to look at something.

I found a good defense of the Middle Kingdom view in Muyiwa’s answer. Would have been better with pictures.

But here are some quotes. Of the statue above, Bietak, the excavator, said:

3. From the chapel of Tomb F/I-p/19 no. 1 came fragments of a colossal seated statue (about twice life size) of an Asiatic dignitary with a red mushroom-shaped coiffure, holding a throwstick at his shoulder. The figure was deliberately smashed. Such a statue is unthinkable for the time of the 12th Dynasty. It was in the time of the 13th Dynasty that Asiatics such as 'Amusahornedjheryotef (see above), Ameni’amu,27 Khendjer (Von Beckerath 1964: 49- figs. 51, 238-39), and probably others rose to high posi-tions and even to the kingship. (considered here a sign of dignity)
Egypt and Canaan during the Middle Bronze Age Author(s): Manfred Bietak Source: Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 281, Egypt and Canaan in the Bronze Age (Feb., 1991), pp. 27-72, p. 349-51 http://www.academia.edu/download/41037228/Bietak_Basor_281_1991_Egypt_Canaan_in_the_middle_bronze_age.pdf

The statue was found in 1986 but not studied in detail until about 2000 when Robert Schiestl did a Ph.D on it. The large statue of this non-egyptian Semite is very unusual and must have been a man of very high honor:

"Larger than life size statuary of non-royal Egyptians in the Middle Kingdom is very unusual, but rare examples do exist throughout the 12th Dynasty, both from tombs and from temples. They seem to be limited, however, to families of highest ranks. In the late Middle Kingdom nonroyal statuary can become quite small in size (VANDIER 1958, 255, 271, 284), as represented by the statuette from tomb l/19-Nr. 1 of stratum d/1 (BIETAK 1991 b, Abb. 12). On the other hand, most examples of non royal larger than life statuary date to this period as well." p. 136 https://www.academia.edu/1470847/Robert_Schiestl_The_Statue_of_an_Asiatic_Man_from_Tell_el-Dabca_Egypt_in_Egypt_and_Levant_16_2006_173-185

According to the Bible, 70 people went into Egypt. Rohl writes:

This community of Semites numbered a hundred or so, at most, in its initial phase, with perhaps twenty houses. The Book of Genesis tells us that seventy souls arrived with Jacob to settle in Goshen, so this seems to fit the archaeological picture. As time passed, during the long reign of Amenemhat III, the palace of Joseph in Area F was built over the demolished remains of his father’s house, and hhis elder brothers were buried in the family cemetery to the rear of he vizier’s palace. On Tell A, the village rapidly expanded as the Hebrews multiplied.” David Rohl, Exodus, Myth or History, (St. Louis Park, MN: ThinkingMan’s Media 2013, p…123

The original houses upon which the palace was built were of Semitic style, like found in Harran where these Semites originated from. The palace was built on top of them. Then there is this about the Semitic population of Avaris, which by the way might be an Egyptian corruption of Eber ish, which would mean Hebrew Man.

“The mass graves of Avaris–located at the end of Proto-Israelite Stratum G-0were Quickly followed by an abandonment of the Asiatic quarter of the city (on the main tell next to Ed-Daba village)–all approximately at the time of Dudimose according to the New Chronology. The Semites simply gathered up their belongings and left. Archaeology cannot tell us where they went… but the Bible does.” David Rohl, Exodus, (Thinking Man Media, 2015, p. 136-137

They have also found rings which say “Jacob Chosen”. A critic of this interpretation asks questions but doen’t even attempt an answer, as if none is possible:

"The Austrian team excavating the site found nine scarabs (beetle-shaped amulets) bearing the name of a Hyksos called Jacob-Her dating to ca. 1700 BC. Jacobovici, of course, surmises that this is Joseph’s father Jacob. He further contends that these are “seals worn by Joseph’s court officials.” If the scarabs are connected to the high official Joseph, then why is Jacob’s name on them? Jacobovici does not explain. In reality, Jacob was a common Semitic name and in this case probably belonged to a prominent Hyksos leader or businessman. In addition to the nine examples at Tell el-Daba, three Jacob-Her scarabs were found in Israel: two at Kabri, near Nahariya, and one at Shiqmona, near Haifa (Bietak 1997: 115). " https://biblearchaeology.org/research/contemporary-issues/3033-debunking-the-exodus-decoded

Note, they accept that these rings are there.Here is a picture:

Lawyers always tell themselves, don’t ask questions unless you know the answer. Rabbit Michael S. Bar Ron wrote:

"Ankhu is the core of the Egyptian name of Joseph recorded in the Torah, Zafenath
Pa`aneaḥ (the Z is a צ-ṣadi, pronounced as a sharp S), as it would most likely have
been pronounced: Zatenaf Pa-ankh, according to Dr. Kenneth Kitchen. This
meant “He Who Lives”. According to Rohl, it would have meant "The One Who
Lives".9 The Torah relates that the pharaoh was awed by Jacob, Joseph’s father
(Gen. 47,8). Considering how the pharaoh witnessed the dramatic reunion
between the vizier and his father (who had given Joseph up for dead for so many
years), it is particularly fitting that he would name his vizier, "The One Who
Lives". Rabbi Michael S. Bar-Ron, THE SEAL OF JOSEPH IN HIS PALACE AT TELL ED-DABA, December 29, 2017, 11 Teveth 5778 Beth Midrash Ohel, Moshe Beit Shemesh, Israel, p. 5

Pharoah had a vizer named, “the man who lives” Don’t all men live? Isn’t it odd that Jacob thought his son was dead, yet he still lived! No, we can’t believe that because that might make us have to rethink things about the Exodus’ timing.

So why would the ring have Jacob’s name on it? Well, contrary to the Bible archaeology guys, Jacobovici did answer. Wonder why they didn’t correct their critique? Jacobovici has a great explanation:

"In Genesis 49:24 it refers to God as “the Mighty One of Jacob”. In the Babylonian Talmud (b. Sota 36b.) the rabbis slightly shift the emphasis when referring specifically to Joseph. There, they called Joseph’s father, “the Mighty One, Jacob”. In other words, the Biblical tradition refers to Jacob in near divine terms and declares that he is God’s chosen one*. In Genesis 47:10, it is Jacob that blesses Pharaoh and not the other way around.** This idea is encapsulated in a formula that is still repeated everyday in the Jewish prayer service. It’s a quote from Psalms 135:4. The formula is “God selected Jacob as his Own, Israel as His treasure”. In Hebrew – and this is very, very important – the first part of the formula is stated this way; “Yakob (i.e., Jacob) Bahar (i.e., He chose)”. In other words, if you were the Biblical Joseph, you would not declare yourself to be a “son of God”, but a son of Jacob who is “chosen by God”. You would then have only one formula available to you:* “ https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/biblical-josephs-ring-found/

Pharaoh’s ruled because they thought they were Gods, It is easy to win an argument the way bible archaeology did, claim your opponent didn’t have an answer and if he does, ignore it as if it doesn’t exist.

As supreme ruler of the people, the pharaoh was considered a god on earth, the intermediary between the gods and the people.” https://www.ancient.eu/pharaoh/

Joseph could not even be a minor deity in the Egyptian pantheon so he chose to be the son of the one God Chose, Jacob. This kept him from being viewed as a in any part divine. That is the answer that Bible Archaeology didn’t even bother to try to research.

Their other thoughtless question is why are they found in Israel? I would call this the Che Gueverra effect. Someone famous like Joseph and Jacob will have their stuff, their image or their rings copied so people can gain status. think of all the murderous Che Tshirts that are sold!

Nick, I would certainly not just believe something because Barry Turner says so. Do some research, but that, of course, is up to you to decide if you really want to become knowledgable or take the easy path and just be a believer in what he says.


I mean those guys were professors right?So i took their word as true since they know more. I mean there was a woman in the site that stated and defended her view that the Exodus narative was a collection of stories trough some periods of time. Anyway will look up your answer in a bit .Thanks again.Happy easter although late!!!

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Happy Easter to you, or happy resurrection day as a friend who also lived in China prefers–it brings more ‘clarity’. Anyway, I have learned long ago, far too many people have their own agenda, so check everything, even what I put out. I can defend what I put out, but check anyway. I have been known to make mistakes. lol

My mother, by her actions raising me and my siblings, gave me a big distrust of all authority. I try to check everything that I can, and everything that I write about.

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