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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

Exodus: Myth or History?

Release date:

April 12, 2020



Many archaeologists today claim that the ancient Israelites were never actually in Egypt, and that the entire story of the Exodus is just an old legend. But is this really the case? What can we learn about the Exodus from history and archaeology? Have there been any discoveries that corroborate the Bible’s account of this monumentally significant event? On this program Shane Rosenthal discusses these questions with Egyptologist David Rohl, author of Exodus: Myth or History. Even though he’s an agnostic, after years of research he has concluded that the biblical account of the Exodus was based on real historical personalities and events.


According to Egyptologist David Rohl, the problem has been that for the past 200 years, scholars have been searching for the biblical stories in all the right places but at what has proven to be entirely the wrong time. His archaeological research has led him to the conclusion that the Old Testament is not, in fact, a work of pious fiction, but is a genuine source of history.

Shane Rosenthal

“If you open your eyes to the evidence coming out of the ground, you will see that my conviction is based on a massive detail and cogent argument to corroborate the basic truths of the biblical stories. Though I continue to regard myself as an agnostic, that is, as a person still undecided on matters of faith, I am convinced that the stories in the Bible are based on real events and real personalities.”

David Rohl


“History and Doctrine”

From the beginning, the Christian gospel, as indeed the name “gospel” or “good news” implies, consisted in an account of something that had happened. And from the beginning, the meaning of the happening was set forth; and when the meaning of the happening was set forth, then there was Christian doctrine. “Christ died”-that is history; “Christ died for our sins”-that is doctrine. Without these two elements, joined in an absolutely indissoluable union, there is no Christianity.

It is perfectly clear, then, that the first Christian missionaries did not simply come forward with an exhortation; they did not say: “Jesus of Nazareth lived a wonderful life of filial piety, and we call upon you our hearers to yield yourselves, as we have done, to the spell of that life.” Certainly that is what modern historians would have expected the first Christian missionaries to say, but it must be recognized that as a matter of fact they said nothing of the kind.

…The great weapon with which the disciples of Jesus set out to conquer the world was not a mere comprehension of eternal principles; it was an historical message, an account of something that had recently happened; it was the message, “He is risen.” The world was to be redeemed by the proclamation of this event. And with the event went the meaning of the event; and the setting forth of the event with the meaning of the event was doctrine. These two elements are always combined in the Christian message. The narration of the facts is history, the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine. Such was the Christianity of the primitive church.

(Taken from J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism [Eerdmans, 1923], pp. 27-29)