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Biblical Criticism Hasn't Negated the Exodus

The extent to which biblical criticism challenges believers has been vastly exaggerated; there is no reason to doubt the core of the Bible’s presentation of Israel’s history.

From The Crossing of the Red Sea, 1634, by Nicholas Poussin. Wikipedia.

From The Crossing of the Red Sea, 1634, by Nicholas Poussin. Wikipedia.

Response
Benjamin Sommer
March 16 2015

In “Was There an Exodus?,” Joshua Berman renders a great service: he shows that many pronouncements concerning the non-historicity of biblical narratives are animated by a reflexive hyper-skepticism. This attitude shows up not only among journalists (who have an understandable interest in stirring up controversy) but also among occasional members of the clergy and, most disappointingly, among academic scholars who are supposed to adjudicate historical evidence consistently and relatively dispassionately. In some academic writing on the ancient Near East, as Berman writes, one detects a double standard at work: biblical sources that make historical claims are regarded as untrue unless backed by airtight confirmation from archaeology, while non-biblical sources, even in the absence of archaeological authentication, are taken as containing a good deal of factual information.

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More about: Biblical criticism, Exodus, Hebrew Bible, History & Ideas, Religion & Holidays