A Review of Patterns of Evidence: Moses Controversy

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This 3-day movie event ended tonight. I imagine in the coming weeks the movie will be available to purchase or rent. You can find more information about the film at thinkingmanfilms.com. This is a second in a series films about the Exodus as a historical record. The first film really answered one main question. The question they answer is when was the Exodus. This is important because the traditional thought about when the Exodus occurred has zero archeological evidence that the Jews where ever in Egypt. However, if you move the date of the Exodus to the middle kingdom, you can find the missing evidence of the Jews living in Egypt.

This installment started with the idea of asking did Moses write the first 5 books of the Bible. The real question that needs to be answered is when does the evidence point to the phonetical alphabet beginning and is it possible for Moses and the children of Israel to have known it. With illiteracy being almost global, it is unlikely in the minds of many scholars that the Jews as slaves would be able to read or write.

First, let me comment on the production quality

The film is first class. I appreciate the attention to detail and quality given to several of the computer animated scenes from the Biblical narrative. The film is a documentary and as such can be difficult to watch for over two hours. However, this director does a great job of crafting a narrative that is both easy to watch and stunning in presentation.

Second, let me comment on the material presented

The director and writers gave ample interviews to agnostic scholars of both Egyptology and Semitic languages. These scholars nearly universally believe the Bible is false because of a lack of archeological evidence to support the narrative of Exodus in the Bible. In their minds there is enough evidence to suggest that the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible) isnot written by Moses as the Bible (and specifically Jesus) suggests, but is in fact a fairy tale told by parents of the early Jewish culture. These scholars present their main objections to two or three basic facts that they have determined to be undisputed. First, alphabetic languages did not exist at the time of the supposed writing of Exodus in 1250 BC and wouldn’t exist in Canaan until at least 1100 BC with the Phoenicians or 900 BC with what is termed Old Hebrew. The director’s first film makes this data even more challenging by revealing that the actual date of the Exodus was most likely in the middle kingdom of Egypt somewhere around 1446 BC. Second, they felt that illiteracy was so high that common people like the Jews would never have been able to read this Script much less make the necessary copies needed to keep a manuscript for hundreds of years. Without a alphabet and specifically a Hebrew alphabet the claim Moses wrote the story of the Exodus as a first hand account becomes a fable. Jesus said in John 5, If the people would not believe the writings of Moses, they would not believe His words either.

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After over an hour of explaining the difficulties and challenges of this particular paradigm to Biblists, the director begins to really look into the narrative crafted by those who disagree with mainstream thinking concerning the origin of languages. Some of the evidence that is presented center on two inscriptions found in mines in Sinai and in Wadi El Hol. This early ancestors to Semitic languages also bear a striking resemblance to hieroglyphics that were found in Egypt well before the necessary time frame of the Exodus. In fact, some scholars have speculated that this early script contained the actual first alphabet hundreds of years before the Phoenicians. The director also points to a sarcophagus in Phoenicia that contains the oldest inscription of Phoenician bearing the same name as a king the Bible says Solomon wrote around the same time in history. Without revealing all of the details of the movie, the theory they present is that Joseph, an incredibly wise man, was likely the one who developed a Jewish alphabet with the influences of Egyptians hieroglyphics that would become the grandfather to all Semitic languages and in fact the actual first alphabet. With this understanding, it would be easy to assume that not only would it have been in use by the slaves in ample time, that it is likely the foundation of the modern alphabet that was given by revelation of God to record the Knowledge of who God is.

Last of all, let me comment on the panel discussion that concludes the film

At the very end of the film the director and a panel discuss the implications of this knowledge to modern apologetics as well as the understanding of how God in His providence prepared mankind to receive the Word of God in which He communicated His love for mankind. If the DVD only includes the panel as an extra I highly encourage you to watch it. It is my hope that the full panel be made available as the discussion seemed to be most helpful in summation and interpretation of what you witnessed.

I whole heartedly recommend that all people view this documentary.

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Especially anyone who is agnostic or even completely objects to the narrative of the Old Testament. It is also helpful to get an understanding of how marvelous the Providence of God is for the believer and the unbeliever. If you enjoyed this film as I did, I recommend you watch their first installment at thinkingmanfilms.com as well as a documentary called “Is Genesis History?” All three of these films are imperative for the thinking man.

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