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Patterns of Evidence

The events of the Bible are true. And in this age of skepticism, God is making it known to those whose minds are not already made up.

It’s difficult to communicate the level of skepticism regarding Biblical history that exists in the mainstream of scholars. Moving beyond the book of Genesis to the book of Exodus, that skepticism continues. Addressing many of the related issues in the book of Exodus and beyond is the documentary series, “Patterns of Evidence.” I have now watched six of the videos, and I am greatly impressed by the investigative reporter’s, Timothy Mahoney, body of work. It is scholarly, attentive to detail, balanced, and grounded in Biblical faith. Mahoney painstakingly includes skeptics of the Bible, those who believe in naturalistic explanations, and those who believe the miracles were as grandiose as the narrative implies.

Faced with the intense skepticism of the mainstream, Mahoney relentlessly presses to find archeological evidence that supports the Bible and presents his findings in extensive interviews, research, and stunning animation. In so doing, he is the winner of many highly acclaimed awards, including film festival awards, Best Director – Worldfest Houston, Best Picture – ICVM, People’s Choice Award – Magnolia International Film Festival, and Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Editing – RealHeart International Film Festival, Toronto.

Videos I have watched to date include Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus, The Moses Controversy, The Red Sea Miracle 1 & 2, and Journey to Mount Sinai 1 & 2. Included in each of the videos is an outstandingly animated timeline of events that begins with the Israelite’s stay in Egypt, to the exodus, and the invasion of current-day Israel. In short, Mahoney concludes that when the timeline is moved back to a Pharoah prior to Ramses, all the details begin to fall into place.

Two perspectives that he repeatedly highlights are a contrast between what he calls the “Egyptian” view, and the “Hebrew” view. The Egyptian view places most of the events in and near Egypt. The Hebrew view considers the possibility of much greater distances and miracles that can only be described as supernatural. While presenting both sides, Mahoney clearly leans toward the Hebrew perspective, based on the supporting evidence.

In the video, “The Moses Controversy,” Mahoney confronts an issue I did not know existed: Most scholars have rejected the idea that the Hebrew alphabet had come into existence by the time of Moses, thus making it impossible for him to have recorded the events. By carefully examining early examples of writing on the walls of caves, he makes a convincing argument that the Hebrew alphabet not only existed but was likely the first ever writing based on an alphabet in the world.

Mahoney carefully considers each of the top six candidates for being the real Mount Sinai and evaluates them on a set list of criteria. Each of the three main possibilities for the exodus journey are considered, and the likelihood of each. More importantly, he examines several possible locations of the Red Sea crossing and the supporting.

Like Timothy Mahoney, I am a believer in the Hebrew view. I do not believe that the Israelites crossed a shallow Sea of Reeds, drowning the Egyptian army. The Bible describes a much more spectacular event, an event that I believe the evidence supports that took place at the Gulf of Aqaba, a land bridge of considerable depth, but humanly navigable if the Israelites were to pass on dry land.

The Bible states that the Lord went ahead of the Israelites “in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel by day or night” (Exodus 13:21). Traveling both day and night, and the distance they would have to travel would seem impossible for a group of millions of people, including women, children the elderly, their animals, and their belongings, but this too was one of the miracles. In Deuteronomy 29:5 God reminded the people that after 40 years their clothes did not wear out, nor the sandals on their feet, again, only explained by the supernatural.

The evidence strongly places Midian on the far side of the Red Sea, in present-day Saudi Arabia. And Moses had escaped to Midian when leaving Egypt. It is at Mount Horeb (also called Mount Sinai), in Midian, where Moses confronted the burning bush (Exodus 3: 1-2), and to where the Israelites would return with him (Exodus 2:12).

I must say that I was very disappointed when I learned that the videos Journey to Mount Sinai 1 & 2 did not include a consideration of Jabel al-Lawz. From the segments in the two videos, it is quite evident he will address the mountain including what I believe to be the overwhelming evidence that it is the real Mount Sinai.

I have long believed that the events of the Exodus were real, that they took place in time and history, and that they were powerfully supernatural. I thought I knew for about three decades specifically where these events took place, but the evidence lacked the scholarly weight to be considered by the larger public. Timothy Mahoney has and is making such a case, adding numerous layers to my understanding, and greatly increasing the depth. If your faith in the Bible has been shaken by modern-day skepticism, or if you never believed the events of the Bible to be true, I would strongly recommend the Patterns of Evidence videos. God is real. The events of the Bible are true. And in this age of skepticism, God is making it known to those whose minds are not already made up.

In service to Christ,

Mark Eastway

Pastor, Burket Bible Church

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