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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Exodus
Friedman, Richard Elliott

New York: HarperCollins, 2017 pp. xiv + 282. $17.99


Description: The Exodus has become a core tradition of Western civilization. Millions read it, retell it, and celebrate it. But did it happen? Biblical scholars, Egyptologists, archaeologists, historians, literary scholars, anthropologists, and filmmakers are drawn to it. Unable to find physical evidence until now, many archaeologists and scholars claim this mass migration is just a story, not history. Others oppose this conclusion, defending the biblical account. Like a detective on an intricate case no one has yet solved, pioneering Bible scholar and bestselling author of Who Wrote the Bible? Richard Elliott Friedman cuts through the noise ó the serious studies and the wild theories ó merging new findings with new insight. From a spectrum of disciplines, state-of-the-art archeological breakthroughs, and fresh discoveries within scripture, he brings real evidence of a historical basis for the exodus ó the history behind the story. The biblical account of millions fleeing Egypt may be an exaggeration, but the exodus itself is not a myth. Friedman does not stop there. Known for his ability to make Bible scholarship accessible to readers, Friedman proceeds to reveal how much is at stake when we explore the historicity of the exodus. The implications, he writes, are monumental. We learn that it became the starting-point of the formation of monotheism, the defining concept of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Moreover, we learn that it precipitated the foundational ethic of loving oneís neighbors ó including strangers ó as oneself. He concludes, the actual exodus was the cradle of global values of compassion and equal rights today.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Exodus, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History

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Review by Bryan D. Estelle
Published 12/20/2019
Citation: Bryan D. Estelle, review of Richard Elliott Friedman, The Exodus, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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