The Science of Exodus:


Medicine and monotheism

Many people know about the Jewish practice of circumcision. But in ancient Egypt, pharaohs were circumcised as well. Medical expertise may have been shared by the Israelites and their taskmasters – but what about the belief in a single, unified god?

israel in arabia

The unforgiving desert of Saudi Arabia has had periods of lushness. Did the Israelites flee Pharaoh just as the wilderness was greening? Do we still remember the Exodus because of an extraordinary series of lucky breaks? And how will we remember the extraordinary events we are living through today?

conditional commandments

There are three versions of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Bible, and the two variants in the book of Exodus have almost nothing in common. This makes the bedrock of belief in one god a flagrant example of the Bible’s internal contradictions. But there’s a deeper lesson here, and it’s not about how theft and murder are bad.

It’s about the origins, and the actual age, of the Bible text itself.

St. Catherine Monastery

The Mountain of God

Mount Sinai is almost definitely not in Sinai. At least, not what we call the Sinai Peninsula today.

Since the third century, most Christians have believed that a mountain on the Sinai Peninsula was the Mountain of God where Moses received the Ten Commandments. About 1,450 years ago, the Roman emperor Justinian built a beautiful monastery dedicated to St. Catherine at the foot of that mountain, called Jebel Musa or Mountain of Moses, in a part of the Sinai Desert that now belongs to Egypt. 

But 21st century archaeologists are very sceptical about the monks’ claims to fame.