My husband and I saw the documentary Patterns of Evidence: Exodus in theaters on Monday, Jan 19, 2015. (It is being replayed on Thursday, Jan 29, so if you get a chance to see it, do so! The theater we were in was packed, so I assume the interest and demand to see the film is very high.) Today I am posting my notes that I took on what the film actually asserted, and then I will follow (tomorrow, Lord willing) with my thoughts on the film and that evidence.
Patterns of Evidence: Exodus www.patternsofevidence.com
The Bible claims there were six monumental events in the history of Israel as a nation, which impacted the history of the other nations in the near East. Where is the evidence for these events?
Israel’s Arrival in Egypt
Conquest of Canaan
Interviews with leading Egyptologists, archaeologists, and other academic experts who reveal the evidence is not there.
Ramesses is widely asserted to be the pharaoh of the Exodus based on Exo 1:11. Ramesses is set within the standard Egyptian chronology in the New Kingdom, about 1250 BC. Interviews with archaeologists and other experts in New Kingdom Egyptian history, 1250 BC Egyptian history, and the vast silence from the archaeology of that period on any of the events of Israelite history.
The scriptural, internal evidence for the Exodus is 1450 BC (see 1 Kin 6:1), for the building of the Temple by Solomon is set at 970 BC, + 480 years = 1450 BC. (My note: Ussher dates it at 1491 BC, Dr. Floyd Jones concurring as explained in _The Chronology of the Old Testament_. Be that as it may, 1450 BC is a far cry from 1250 BC.)
The patterns of evidence, both archaeological and documentary, are all found in the Middle Kingdom, which lines up beautifully with 1400s BC. Much archaeological evidence discussed for all six event markers in the 1400s BC (the majority of the film).
If the obstacle of Ramesses is removed, and the Exodus placed with the evidence, it would occur within a dynasty several hundred years earlier than Ramesses.
The ancient near eastern history of all the surrounding countries – Canaan, Phoenicia, Syria, Babylonia, Assyria, Lydia and so on – are all tied to the Egyptian chronology as the foundation. They all need several hundred years added to their evidential history in order to remain in sync with the standard Egyptian chronology. If the Egyptian chronology were shortened, especially in the 3rd dark period, and the proposed New Chronology adopted, the histories of all the surrounding nations suddenly sync into alignment with the archaeological and documentary evidence they have left, without adding lengthy periods of “silent years.”
The problem: Egyptologists are loathe to not only adjust the Egyptian chronology several hundred years, but even to admit such an adjustment is necessary.