I think that Kevin, at Blue Cord, makes an excellent point – what if the Exodus account doesn’t refer to a single event? Of course this requires quite a bit of thought and analysis, but it is something worth keeping in mind when reading the post by Claude Mariottini. These are the types of things that I think youth pastors (and pastor’s in general) need to interact with honestly – because they are the types of issues that will be brought up by students, or if not by students, then to students when those students are in college. It’s well worth taking the time now to familiarize yourself with the issue.
Back onto the topic at hand – Dr. Mariottini’s post gives a very good summary of where the issue stands, at least within evangelical scholarship. I was first introduced to the idea of a debate around the date of the Exodus when I worked on a paper concerning Yam Suph (“Sea of Reeds” but most English translations have “Red Sea”). As I worked on my research I came upon an article that dealt with Yam Suph not as an issue of Exodus path (ie, what body of water did they cross) but rather as an example of dating (Yam Suph not being used before the circa 1250 BCE, if memory serves – Mariottini’s post seems to agree with this) the Exodus. My paper was concerned with the path of the Exodus, so I didn’t end up using the article (and as such have no record of where I found it) but it was worth while to read. I think it helped me realize that there is a larger world of Biblical Scholarship out there than what I had been exposed to at the time.
As I sign off – the two posts are well worth reading. But more importantly the topic is worth spending some time studying and thinking about, if you haven’t already bothered to work through the material on the topic.