Biblical Archaeology Review 8:3, May/June 1982

In Defense of Hans Goedicke

Washington Journalism Review guilty of irresponsible attack on prominent Johns Hopkins professor

By Hershel Shanks

The Washington Journalism Review, supposedly a monitor of media fairness and accuracy, has falsely and irresponsibly accused Professor Hans Goedicke of The Johns Hopkins University of attempting to pull off an academic fraud.a

In the article by Washington Post reporter Lee Lescaze, the Washington Journalism Review charged Goedicke, head of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, with making an “insertion of a pair of signs in the crucial hieroglyphic text” relating to his theories of the Exodus. This insertion by Goedicke, said the article, amounted to an “epigraphic flim-flam.” The thrust of the article is that Goedicke “altered” the text and then tried to cover up this deliberate attempt to mislead, but was finally forced to “admit” his deception.

In fact, the two hieroglyphic signs Goedicke restored in the damaged text are the same signs that have regularly been restored in the text by generations of the world’s leading Egyptologists. Moreover, like his predecessors, Goedicke clearly indicated that the two signs had been restored and were not contained in the original inscription.

The hieroglyphic text is important in connection with Goedicke’s controversial theories relating to the Exodus and the Miracle of the Sea.

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