Does Extra-Biblical Information Exist That Backs Up The Book of Exodus?

There were two questions asked on the blog and since they were similar, we’ve addressed them in this prepared answer.  Thanks to the several sources who contributed to answering these difficult questions (A Scientist, A Pastor, A New Testament Scholar and Professor, and Two Academic Researchers).

Question One: Is there historical evidence that the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, and after leaving wandered in the wilderness for 40 years?

Question Two: Egyptian History doesn’t seem to give an account of the Exodus, the plagues, Jewish slavery, Moses, etc. Does extra biblical information exist that backs up the Book of Exodus?

Preface:  First, we want to always draw people to the Bible first, which we believe to be the best historical source available. We urge the bloggers posing these questions to read thoroughly the book of Exodus.  Many outstanding and reputable archeologists have used the Bible to guide them in their field research. 1 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB) states, “”All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” The questions directed to us refer to the historical time period for the Jewish departure or exodus from Egyptian slavery, led by Moses through a 40 year journey in the wilderness to the land of Canaan finally yielding to a covenant with Yahweh (God) who gives them their laws and instructions for the Tabernacle and the means by which he will dwell with them and lead them to the land.  Exodus means in Greek “going out” [Exodos], and in Hebrew it means “Names [Šemot].

Academic Source One:  “My first thought would be to expose a person to all of the archeological finds which confirm the historicity of the Bible. The books are out there. I heard on a TV special once that there isn’t proof of the Exodus. I guess, if that’s true, it would make sense. They were on the move the whole time, living a nomadic, tent existence—including the tabernacle. So it’s hard to imagine that there would be proof available 3000 years later for that. But, leave it to the atheists and agnostics to point to the lack of evidence in this one area in order to build their case that it’s all a fairytale!”

Academic Source Two:  “There is no written evidence outside the Bible for the Exodus. There is plenty of archeological evidence. Moses was next in line to be Pharoah. It is part of Egyptian tradition to wipe out any history of a traitor. Certainly, no historian would want to record that the Egyptian army was defeated by Moses, admitting at the same time that their god was inferior to the God of the Bible.”

Academic Source Two Additional Comments: “There is a video that actually has footage of the whole Egyptian army carnage on the sea bottom in the Red Sea. I forgot the name of the video. I think it is called ‘In Search of the Exodus.’”  [Editor’s Note:  We verified the name.  Here is a link to the video trailer on youtube, , and the website, .  A lot of good sources on this website for Biblical archeology done with academic excellence.]

Pastoral Source:  “There is a lot of good stuff.  Egyptians were pretty good at wiping out any evidence of rulers or leaders or priests once the political climate changed.  The biblical date for the Exodus is around 1450 BC so Joseph would be around 1850 BC.  There a lot more I don’t know than I know.  It’s hard to prove everything in the Bible.  But there has never been a historical or Archeological find to disprove anything in the Bible.  That is very good news.”

New Testament Scholar Source:  “Work by Kenneth Kitchen deals best with issues of the Exodus (also work by James Hoffmeier)”

Scientific Source:  “A couple of years ago, a friend at church asked about Egyptian dating, and [name left blank] & I did some studying on it. I don’t remember the details, but the basic ideas are: Traditional archeological dating is based on a set of assumptions that are taught and accepted early in school and never questioned afterward. But… there is an alternative set of dates that have been proposed, and when you use them, suddenly things begin to line up with Scripture, and you find babies buried under houses in Egypt, a period of confusion in Egypt during which the Hyksos raiders come into Egypt and rule (after the death of Pharoah & his army?), burned rubble in Jericho, the wealth of King Solomon, etc. Traditional Egyptian dating is also used to date the rest of the Middle Eastern cultures, and there is something like a 600 year “dark ages” with nothing happening… maybe that’s because the 600 years got added arbitrarily. Lots of Pharoahs reigned simultaneously, but are listed chronologically in the traditional dating, and this throws all other dates off. We have an audio series by Diana Waring called “What in the World?” that teaches world history as influenced by the hand of God in history, and she discussed it. The series is addressed to teens, home schoolers and adults. She referenced this question, and cited David Role (Rohl? can’t remember exact spelling). [Editor Note:  The name is David Rohl, as you will see in additional comments further down.]  After further checking, there were a couple of other guys that discuss it, too, but Diana’s statement is that they can’t find the evidence because they are looking in the wrong archeological place in history!

Scientific Source Additional Comments: The book I referenced is _Unwrapping the Pharoahs: How Egyptian Archeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline_ by John Ashton and David Downs. Master Books. $35. 220 pages, lots of photos, lots of text. Fits better with ancient historians like Manetho and Josephus, as well as other Middle Eastern histories (like Hittites, Syria, Israel). Removes 1st intermediate period (which they don’t have info on anyway… a missing link?). Also, there are problems with the “Sothic dating”, which relates to astronomical dating from a date on the calendar which creeps around the year, and shifts by an entire year every few hundred years. It assumes that the kings never shifted the calendar so the seasons were associated with the correct month, but there is evidence that they did several times in a particular 300 year period we know about (flooding of the Nile and farming schedule, harvest festivals, etc). Manetho’s Kings List has been “simplified” to 30 year reigns, but in actuality, some reigns were very short, & many overlapped: a fact which is suppressed by the establishment. Chapter 28: A Correct Chronology is a good summary, but many details are explored in the book. We enjoyed reading up on a subject we were never aware of before. With the wrong chronology, the Bible stories of Exodus through Kings is nowhere to be found in archeology. If you shift the dates by a few hundred years, suddenly the Bible is everywhere.

Scientific Source Final Comments: My first post referenced _A Test of Time: the Bible — From Myth to History_ by David Rohl. We never read this book, but he was referenced by Diana Waring, whose website is, or you can get her series, _What in the World_ from

Are We Moving Away From Belief to Just Behavior?

My concern is the move away from belief to just behavior. James said faith without works is dead.  But work without faith is deadly.  A church has to go, baptize and teach to obey.  You see going and baptizing in Acts 2:36-41,  People were also added to the church.  That is evangelism.  These folks believed and the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved.

Act 2:42 is edification.  “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” And they are both part of discipleship.  You need both.  Real faith will work, real love will labor and real hope will endure.  (I Thess 1:3)  It is very clear in I Thess 1:3 that faith, love and hope produce work, labor and endurance.  Paul puts the word in Greek in what is called subjective genitives.  The idea is that faith produces work.  We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.”

Many decisions are not real.  Many disciples are not real as well.  Jesus said many will come to Him on the last days and He will say depart from me you worker of iniquity.

But that doesn’t keep us from asking people to make decisions (Acts 2:36-41 or making disciples (Acts 2:41).  You must do both.  I wish I could say more people do.  But churches and people seem to do one or the other.  We are call to go, baptize and teach.  And we are all to do it.

Our strength is in doing the work together.  But we do what we believe.  And if going isn’t taught, it’s not going to be believed or done.  It’s the same with the work of baptizing and teaching to obey.  There are churches who bring people to decisions and then just let them sink or swim.  There are pastors like that.

All through a person’s life it is belief that should be their goal.  Strong faith, love and hope will always produce strong work, labor and endurance.  I teach people to obey by teaching and living out the Bible.  As their belief grows (Rom 10-14-17) their behavior will be more like Christ’s.  If I make their behavior my goal and don’t teach them Christ, then I’ve wasted my time.

I know a particular pastor who is focusing on changing his church’s behavior.  A well behaved church will make his life so much better.  But he’s also short-circuiting belief.  People learn the what but not the why.  They learn principles and solutions to problems, but they don’t learn the person of Christ who is the problem solver.  Jesus saves.  It’s all about Him.  And it’s not just from hell he saves us.  What we are asked to do is believe in the one God has sent.

We are fooled many times thinking we believe in Him.  Almost everyone believes in giving.  What we don’t believe in is Jesus.  We don’t believe He will take care of us if we do give.  That’s why only 15% of the church give 90% of the offering.  It isn’t a behavior problem.  It’s a belief problem.

Our problems are always on the vertical.  They are with God.  Our problems lie in doubts and unbelief.  Not in behavior.  If there faith, love and hope are growing we are on the road of discipleship.  Love is sown like a seed when we make a true decision to believe.

What I fear in this movement of not asking Jesus into your heart is that eventually it will be a movement away from the decision to believe.  Real belief isn’t just an acknowledgment.  Paul said I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed. Persuaded and committed are very strong words.  The word faith in Greek means to hold on as in hands and legs.

When your goal is faith, you are going to stick to the Bible.  Nothing else can produce it.  If your goal is behavior you can try almost anything.

Gal 2:20 is a perfect description of saving faith. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”