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  • Deborah Hurn

    June 26, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Na’aman, Nadav. “Out of Egypt or Out of Canaan? The Exodus Story Between Memory and Historical Reality.” In Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective: Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience, edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider, and William H. C. Propp, 527–33. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Cham: Springer International, 2015.

    [527] The factual background of the Exodus story is the most perplexing issue in biblical historical studies. On the one hand, the Exodus tradition is very old, and its status as the central Israelite foundation story finds remarkable expression in every genre of biblical literature. On the other hand, most scholars doubt the historicity of the story, and generally consider it to be the vague memory of a small group, which was gradually adopted by all other Israelite tribal groups.

    [527] Scholars dispute the historicity of the Exodus narrative. The range of opinions stretches from those who suggest that the nucleus of the story is basically authentic and the episode reflects an important event in the early history of Israel to those who entirely dismiss the historicity of the story, emphasizing that it was written at a later time and suggesting that it mainly reflects the time of its composition. According to the latter view, the Exodus story is essentially a myth that was formulated at a later time and does not reflect the reality of the Israelites’ early history (for recent discussion see: Redford 2011). Between the two extremes lie scholars who accept the historicity of a few details in the story and posit that the story includes a small nucleus of historical events that took place on Egyptian soil and on the way from Egypt to Canaan