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Reconstructions of biblical events by modern investigators are nothing new, but Humphreys's analysis of the Exodus reflects an unusual combination of homework, legwork and creativity. Humphreys, a materials scientist at Cambridge University, is a self-confessed amateur in the fields of archeology and biblical studies. But he emerges as the best sort of amateur, whose enthusiasm for his subject and joy in puzzle solving have a contagious appeal in spite of occasional quirkiness. As an outsider asking pesky but often astute questions, Humphreys will remind some readers of a certain physicist portrayed in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!; and like Feynman, Humphreys shows an ability to sidestep scholarly assumptions by checking facts. Humphreys runs numbers, consults disused geological charts and old explorers' memoirs, and investigates sites on foot, unearthing fragmentary but wide-ranging evidence. The book's title is somewhat misleading since Humphreys's goal is to reconstruct the whole Exodus narrative and in particular, to retrace the likeliest route of travel and identify the correct location of Mount Sinai rather than to focus on the miracles themselves. Still, Humphreys rises to a self-imposed challenge to account for the Exodus miracles in terms of natural events (some more feasible than others) that become miraculous in light of their timing and significance for the escaping Hebrews. Although many of his hypotheses have been published before, Humphreys' refinements of detail and especially his comprehensive retracing of the Exodus route will invite curiosity, debate and perhaps some new ways of approaching the Exodus story in historical terms.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10:  0060582731
ISBN-13:  978-0060582739
Author:  Colin Humphreys
Publisher:  HarperOne
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review by . April 12, 2010
I like math. I like science. And I like the Bible. So this book is just perfect for me; it's by a serious scientist from Cambridge University, England, and it's about a really serious study of a famous story in the Bible.      Actually, Colin Humphreys is more than "just" a serious scientist. He's the sort of person who will take a trip to the Red Sea to investigate whether his theories might be true. And then he'll write about the trip in a gently personal …
review by . January 29, 2010
Bible readers have been debating whether the biblical stories of the Israelite exodus from Egyptian bondage actually occurred, whether it happened in a much smaller scale, if the scriptural miracles were natural occurrences and, in short, what actually happened. Colin J. Humphreys, a scientist, takes a naturalistic non-supernatural approach. He addresses stories told in the book of Exodus, such as how can a bush keep burning, what was the manna that fell in the desert, and where exactly were Mount …
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