Spin Like an Egyptian

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The parting of the Red Sea was probably a myth, Egypt’s chief archaeologist tells the New York Times today. The archaeologist, Dr. Zahi Hawass, said that he can find no archaeological evidence for the kind of cataclysmic event represented by the Exodus account of God’s deliverance of the Israelite slaves from Egyptian slavery.

Speaking of Jewish and Christian believers in the historicity of the event, Hawass said: “If they get upset, I don’t care. This is my career as an archaeologist. I should tell them the truth. If the people are upset, that is not my problem.”

First of all, it is amazing how the New York Times still finds it newsworthy when a scientist announces a biblical event didn’t happen, right before a major Jewish or Christian holy day. It is also noteworthy that such reports rarely recount all the other biblical claims to historical reality previously “debunked” by the experts: the existence of the Hittites or of King David, for example.

The Times did, however, include an opposing theory, that offered by another archaeologist, Mohamed Abdel-Maqsou, based on his knowledge of contemporary Egypt.

“A pharaoh drowned and a whole army was killed,” he told the newspaper. “This is a crisis for Egypt, and Egyptians do not document their crises.”

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).