Passover Saga - Myth Or History? (18) 2000AD UCLA Study Group - Science Vs Bible, Wrap-Up

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"Well," said Professor Barrett, "We have examined the scientific, archaeological evidence of an Hebraic, Semitic people who lived in Egypt, the Goshen area, in ancient times; also that similar people, centuries later, conquered cities in Canaan; and there is much proof that the Hebrew Kings: Saul, David and Solomon did exist - therefore, in between, these Hebrews had to have exited Egypt, somehow and sometime.
" He paused, "Thus, there seemingly, is solid, corroborative evidence of the beginning and end to the Exodus story.
Science and knowledge also, in just the past decade, have uncovered hard, artifact and iconoclastic evidence of Egyptian chariot wreckage in the Gulf of Aqaba; also, we see an amazing cleft stone boulder; and a Mount Sinai - so many details that validate the Bible story.
What is interesting, as challenges to theology, is that we have not come upon any real conflicts.
However, we have no clue about the "miracle" food 'manna' by which the Hebrews were supposedly sustained for forty years of roaming the desert wilderness; nor do we know if alkaline water can really be sweetened by the bark or sap from a tree.
" "Before a final wrap-up -" Lawrence was raising his hand, "- I've run into something that tends to lend scientific credence to the Exodus story in general.
" He paused, "In his book, 'The Mountain of Moses', Larry Williams says he hired a scientific research company to analyze areal photos of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gulf of Aqaba, taken by a French satellite.
The procedure was a military development, now employed in all archaeological research of Earth surfaces - it discriminates subtle differences in heat patterns using special filters on photographic negatives.
The analysis reported a clear trail, estimated as being thousands of years old, going to the seashore, and resuming on the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba.
The trail discloses numerous large campsites, continues parallel to the Gulf and then inland to Mt.
Jabal Al Laws, with an extremely large campsite nearby.
The same analyses for the accepted and traditional sites for Mt.
Sinai in the Sinai peninsula show much smaller trails, and are only a few centuries old with few campsites.
" "And so," the professor looked at each of his students, "this has been quite a journey for us this past, extremely interesting year - very enjoyable, and we all learned quite a lot about ancient peoples and Egypt.
There would be no surprise to me if the number of items which corroborated the Bible narrative by artifacts and archaeological discoveries - comes close to a hundred*.
Therefore, how about an average of our personal estimates?" The professor paused.
"What percentage of all the biblical stories - even what seem to be miracles, anecdotes, or what-have-you - do we think have been validated with pretty solid 21st century reality? How about a show of hands for 50% or over?" All raised their hands and kept them up; "60% or over?" - the hands remained up.
The final score was one at 70-80%, four including the professor, at 80-90%; two, at over 90% - the average 86%.
"Just think" said Bethe, "if we could come upon some writings of a Hebrew who lived through that Exodus period, describing the events - as we have the Amarna letter by the widow of Pharaoh, and the Ipuwer papyrus scroll, and the Egyptian chroniclers Manetho and Cheremon - and with our 21st century verification keeping pace.
Now, wouldn't that have been interesting?" __________________________________________________________________________ *In fact, 107 separate confirming discoveries are cited herein - each of the following numerous items is given only a single count: the total of all the coral-covered chariot wheels; the total of all the skeletal bones of horses and men; the Ipuwer scroll describing many of the Ten Plagues; the Brooklyn Papyrus with about fifty Semitic names of slaves, Amarna letters containing many biblical names; stela listing numerous ancient Hebrew cities, etc.
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