The Historicity of the Exodus
by John Hudson
In recent decades, a number of sceptical scholars have cast doubt on the Old Testament story of Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt (the 10 plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the 10 commandments etc). Some have even questioned the existence of Moses, suggesting that every detail of the Exodus story is myth.
While the debate on the historicity of the Exodus is fairly complex, the existence of Moses is much more straight forward. It’s well captured by an exam question that’s asked of seminary students in North America: “If Moses didn’t exist, then we would have to invent him. Discuss.” The point is that the writings attributed to Moses have had such a big impact on human history, that if they didn’t come from Moses then we would have to invent a historical figure from whom they came, someone, say, called Moses…