Old and New Chronologies

In the close to fifteen years that I’ve been working on the biblical timeline I have consistently been using old chronology sources and the timeline as it exists now is very much based on an orthodox chronology for the other world powers and in particular, Egypt.  In the course of researching material for the Joseph article I became aware of the documentary film Patterns of Evidence: Exodus.  I watched it and found it intriguing.  So I read David Rohl’s book, Exodus: Myth or History?, and I watched his lectures.  In summary, I think he makes an overwhelming case based on archaeological evidence to place Joseph in the reign of Amenhemat III of the twelfth dynasty in the Middle Kingdom.  I had come to the conclusion on my own that the textual evidence was very strong for placing Joseph in the late twelfth dynasty though I had placed him slightly earlier based on a long sojourn of 430 years.  Rohl however argues for a short sojourn of 215 years and an exodus at the end of the thirteenth dynasty.  Rohl is the chief proponent of the “new” chronology for Egypt and in this new chronology the end of the thirteenth dynasty aligns with an early exodus date of 1446/7 BC.

Rohl is quite compelling in his arguments however, I’m not ready to completely forsake the orthodox chronology just yet.  What I have decided to do is look at both the old and new chronologies in my research and address both in the articles.  I have just updated the Joseph article accordingly.  Ultimately I would like to produce timelines using both chronologies in order to further raise awareness and generate discussion on this topic.  The bottom line is, don’t be surprised to see references to the new chronology on this site, but at the same time don’t worry as I am not abandoning the orthodox chronology any time soon!

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