Was There an Exodus?

Many are sure that one of Judaism’s central events never happened. Evidence, some published here for the first time, suggests otherwise.

From Israel in Egypt, 1867, by the English painter Edward Poynter. Wikimedia.

From Israel in Egypt, 1867, by the English painter Edward Poynter. Wikimedia.

Essay
March 2 2015
About the author

Joshua Berman is professor of Bible at Bar-Ilan University and the author most recently of Ani Maamin: Biblical Criticism, Historical Truth, and the Thirteen Principles of Faith (Maggid).


To this day, no pulpit talk by a contemporary American rabbi has generated greater attention or controversy than a sermon delivered by Rabbi David Wolpe on the morning of Passover 2001. “The truth,” Rabbi Wolpe informed his Los Angeles congregation, “is [that] the way the Bible describes the exodus [from Egypt] is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.”

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: Biblical criticism, Exodus, Hebrew Bible, History & Ideas, Religion & Holidays, Torah