Biblical Archaeology Review 13:6, November/December 1987

Radical Exodus Redating Fatally Flawed

By Baruch Halpern

In the September/October BAR, John Bimson and David Livingston wrote an article entitled “Redating the Exodus,” BAR 13:05, in which they radically revise a number of generally accepted dates and conclude that the Exodus occurred in the latter half of the 15th century B.C. instead of in the 13th–12th centuries. Part of their argument maintains that the invading Israelites were responsible for the destruction of cities in Canaan at the end of the Middle Bronze Age. The generally accepted date for the end of the Middle Bronze Age, however, is about 1550 B.C. Bimson and Livingston therefore move this date down more than a hundred years in conformance with their proposed late 15th-century date for the Exodus.

Herewith is a response to Bimson and Livingston’s article.—Ed.

Nothing more gratifies a scholar’s ego than siring a revisionist theory. To revolutionize a field, to sweep away all the conformist clutter of a whole academic era is to join the ranks of Einstein, Freud, Pasteur.

Not all the members of this company, however, are so distinguished. For every Einstein, there is a Vladimir Lysenko, for every Freud, an Erich von Däniken. Revisionism is a boom-and bust occupation.

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