I’m thankful I had the chance to watch the Movie, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus. It was a one-night showing on Monday, January 19th, and although there were some select showings on Tuesday, I’m glad I made the time to run out to the theater for this unique event about a grand biblical journey.
Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney did some remarkable work and put together an award-winning documentary, asking the question, “Did the Exodus really happen?” And after a twelve-year period he answers that question with this film.
Mainstream archaeologists, Egyptologists, scientists, and even Rabbis are certain there’s no evidence for the Exodus as described in the Bible. They contend that even if there was some kind of event like the Exodus, it wasn’t a single event, and it was nothing like we understand it today. According to the experts, the Israelites didn’t occupy Egypt, there were no plagues, they didn’t cross the Red Sea, and they didn’t defeat Jericho or any of the other cities in Canaan. They know this because there’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Or so they tell us.
Of course all these denials impacted Mahoney’s faith, and he experienced a crisis; he grew up believing the Bible and its stories, like the Exodus, so it was hard to simply accept these contradictory answers. Was everything he had been taught about Christianity based on a lie? Taking this into consideration, he took it upon himself to find out if what the skeptics were telling him was true, or if the evidence would lead to another conclusion.
Archaeology fascinates me, so this film had me gripped right from the beginning. The ancient artwork and hieroglyphics are beautiful and captivating, taking us far back in time to one of the greatest civilizations on earth.
As Mahoney delves into years of research, he discovers that there are some Egyptologists that disagree with the established mainstream thinking, and they’re convinced that there’s plenty of evidence for the Exodus; it’s just not where everyone was looking. The evidence is found much earlier in history than anyone was willing to admit. And that’s why the mainstream scientists are so certain there’s no evidence. They were looking in all the wrong places.
The film was well balanced and respectful to those on both sides of the controversy, and it exposed the biases of everyone involved. Mahoney asked some hard, pressing questions in his interviews, and I could sense some agitation from those in the establishment, but he did his work right and uncovered some important answers. And some of those answers are spectacular!
During his investigation he uncovers evidence for Joseph and his brothers, Hebrew slaves, tombs belonging to Semites, a mass migration, and much more. This evidence is based on tombs, tablets, monuments, and even a document called the Ipuwer Papyrus, which describes some of the plagues.
Despite all this evidence, mainstream scientists are reluctant to acknowledge the significance and parallels to the Biblical account of Israel. Doing so would necessitate a severe chronological revision, and that’s completely unthinkable and out of the question. It would invalidate years of scholarship and overturn accepted scientific fact. Perhaps it’s possible to revise Egyptian history by ten or twenty years, they say, but not hundreds of years!
While the film is no longer in theaters, it will be available on DVD, and there’s even a book. I’d highly encourage anyone to see the film and consider the evidence for themselves.
Personally, I’ve never had trouble reconciling the Bible and history, despite those who would disparage it. I’ve always known that the biblical events were real, and that mainstream scientists aren’t going to allow the Bible to dictate their science. So whenever I hear scientists claim that there’s no evidence to support the Bible or creation, I simply separate their version of history from what is described in the Bible and accept the Bible as truth. I understand human nature enough to know not to fall for everything that is proclaimed in the name of science. Discernment is needed. Human beings are fallible, and their biases often shine through in their work, so it’s easy to see how mistakes can be made- even when they’re off by hundreds of years.
But I do appreciate when science confirms the Bible, and films such as this provide some reasoned assurance. And that’s important because, as a Christian, I don’t want a blind faith, but a faith based on reason, and that’s what we have.