Biblical "Myth"

* I really enjoyed "Did the Exodus Never Happen?" [Sept. 7]. I find the assumption that history as recorded in Scripture is myth unless it can be verified by secular sources to be laughable. Anyone who has tried to follow the news stories of the past few years knows that news disseminated in the mainstream press must be seen with a critical eye. The number of retractions of inaccurate and even bogus reports and stories have been frequent and numerous. Are we to believe that records of events written hundreds and thousands of years ago are to be taken uncritically simply because they were written on papyrus or etched in stone? "Let God be true and every man a liar."

One assumes the inaccuracy or falsehood of the Bible at one's own peril. It is the wise man that begins his research with the assumption that the Scriptures are true, and other types of evidence should be judged based on that assumption. I would much prefer to meet the Lord one day and have him perhaps call me on the carpet for taking his word too literally than to have to explain why I couldn't find the Scriptures plausible until I had verified them by other, human sources.

I wish to commend Kevin D. Miller for his timely and informative article on the Exodus. It should be noted that Kenneth A. Kitchen, who is the world's leading authority on Ramesses II, the pharaoh of the Exodus, and on the later history of Egypt, has detailed his reasons for defending the Old Testament in "The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History?" Biblical Archaeology Review 21.2 (1995). I addressed some of these same issues in Faith, Tradition, and History (D. Baker, J. Hoffmeier, and A. Millard, eds.). Professor Hoffmeier's colleague Alfred Hoerth has just published an excellent ...

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