Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest

By David Rohl, Crown Publishers, Inc.
201 East 50th St., New York, NY 10022, 1995, 425 pages

Most of us have some kind of interest in archeology_either directly or indirectly. If you have an interest in history, politics, or government, archaeology has direct connections to your knowledge of the subject. It is primarily through archaeological research that new facts can be discovered to expand our knowledge of these areas. For Christians and atheists a knowledge of archaeology becomes important when the credibility of the Bible is discussed. Our book of this month was originally published in the United Kingdom as A Test of Time: The Bible From Myth to History. The first sentence in the book reads "Were the great events of the earliest parts of the Bible real happenings or should we regard the biblical narratives purely as a collection of allegorical folktales?" (page 7). The author is an Egyptologist and ancient historian from England. His proposals in this book resolve many of the problems which atheists and skeptics have raised over the years to any notion that the Bible is anything more that allegorical folktales. In doing this, Rohl has proposed what the London Sunday Times has called "The New Book of Revelations" (from the dust cover). Peer review will determine how much of this book stands and how much falls, but Christians will find it to be a refreshing new look at archaeology and history. Rohl divides the book into six sections.

Part 1. Conundrums of the Pharaohs_Apis, Tombs of San and the identity of the Pharaohs.

Part 2. Unraveling the Gordian Knot_Raamses and Ramesses and chronology.

Part 3. Legendary Kings and Chronicles_A synthesis of Biblical record, names and Egyptian archeology.

Part 4. Discovering the Israelites_Moses, exodus, Jeri- cho and Joseph.

Part 5. Additional Research_Five Appendices relevant to the first four parts.

Part 6. Reference Section_Bibliography, index, notes and reference.

The book is profusely illustrated and has numerous color and black and white pictures. It is easy to read, but readers with limited background in history will find it difficult to evaluate or understand much of what is discussed. For general readers the book will be useful as a reference source. The index is most helpful and the book provides useful information to respond to atheistic charges about errors in the Bible. Historians will find the book to be a challenging new approach to our understandings of ancient times. This is a welcomed contribution to resource libraries in this subject area.

Really, a young atheist cannot guard his faith too carefully. Dangers lie in wait for him on every side. You must not do, you must not even try to do, the will of the Father unless you are prepared to "know of the doctrine." ...For the first time I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of rears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was legion.

--C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, SepOct99.