Did Moses exist?

Wikipedia says on the Book of Exodus:

The story of the exodus is the founding myth of Israel, telling how the Israelites were delivered from slavery by Yahweh and therefore belong to him through the Mosaic covenant. The Book of Exodus is not historical narrative in any modern sense:modern history writing requires the critical evaluation of sources, and does not accept God as a cause of events, but in Exodus, everything is presented as the work of God, who appears frequently in person, and the historical setting is only very hazily sketched. The purpose of the book is not to record what really happened, but to reflect the historical experience of the exile community in Babylon and later Jerusalem, facing foreign captivity and the need to come to terms with their understanding of God."

Although mythical elements are not so prominent in Exodus as in Genesis, some writers claim ancient legends have an influence on the book’s content: for example, the story of the infant Moses’s salvation from the Nile may have some basis in an earlier legend of king Sargon, while the story of the parting of the Red Sea trades on Mesopotamian creation mythology. Similarly, the Covenant Code (the law code in Exodus 20:22–23:33) has some similarities in both content and structure with the Laws of Hammurabi. These influences serve to reinforce the conclusion that the Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century Babylon, but not all the sources are Mesopotamian: the story of Moses’s flight to Midian following the murder of the Egyptian overseer may draw on the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe."

Also, it says,

"The scholarly consensus is that the figure of Moses is legendary, and not historical.[13] No Egyptian sources mention Moses or the events of Exodus-Deuteronomy, nor has any archaeological evidence been discovered in Egypt or the Sinai wilderness to support the story in which he is the central figure.The story of his discovery picks up a familiar motif in ancient Near Eastern mythological accounts of the ruler who rises from humble origins: Thus Sargon of Akkad’s Sumerian account of his origins runs;

‘My mother, the high priestess, conceived; in secret she bore me’

‘She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid’

‘She cast me into the river which rose over me’.
The tradition of Moses as a lawgiver and culture hero of the Israelites may go back to the 7th-century BC sources of the Deuteronomist, which might conserve earlier traditions. Kenneth Kitchen, a solitary voice among British Egyptologists, argues that there is an historic core behind the Exodus, with Egyptian corvée labour exacted from Hebrews during the imperialist control exercised by the Egyptian Empire over Canaan from the time of the Thutmosides down to the revolt against Merneptah and Rameses III. William Albright believed in the essential historicity of the biblical tales of Moses and the Exodus, accepting however that the core narrative had been overlaid by legendary accretions. Biblical minimalists such as Philip R. Davies and Niels Peter Lemche regard all biblical books, and the stories of an Exodus, united monarchy, exile and return as fictions composed by a social elite in Yehud in the Persian period or even later, the purpose being to legitimize a return to indigenous roots."

What does the Church have to say about this? I know the Church does accept textual criticism, especially in regards to the Old Testament and the Torah, but is this going a little too far to say most of the Exodus was a myth and that Moses may have not even existed all all?

I know what you’re saying. There are many half truths and lies that are made to be fit for an agenda.

If an unseen God of slaves nearly wiped your nation out, would you document it? Let the liberal and godless write and believe their own tripe as I will follow Christ and His Church.

There is no definite position of the Church on the historicity of Exodus.

However, personally I don’t think such a figure could have been purely fictional. Although particular elements of his biography might have been exaggerated.

I wouldn’t believe anything in this wikipedia article about as far as I can throw an elephant. The Bible is the inspired word of God and historical divine revelation given principally to the Israelites, God’s chosen people, to prepare for the coming of Jesus; this wikipedia article is uninspired imagination. Textual or higher criticism is a theory, not a fact. What the Bible says is what the Bible says. Moses appeared with Jesus along with the prophet Elijah in the transfiguration vision when Jesus took Peter, James, and John up the mountain. Jesus also mentions Moses a number of times in the gosples and about what he, Moses, wrote, i.e, part of the Holy Scriptures such as the Law which refers to the Pentateuch. Yes, Moses existed and the Exodus is a fact of history and divine revelation concerning God’s chosen people.We ought not be suprised that unbelievers say otherwise. These same unbelievers will question whether Jesus actually existed and if he did the miracles he performed and his resurrection are myth. The only myth we have here is the myth of this wikipedia article.


Apparently Jesus believed Moses exists and Moses appeared with Elijah to Jesus during the Transfiguration of Christ. How could that be if Moses wasn’t real?

The entire story of Moses and Exodus is true.

There is a whole recent historical documentary on it,
Archaeologists have found that the caves in Egypt where the slaves had to dig or rest, have Hebrew graffiti on their walls.

Also, there is a part of the Red sea that the Israelites crossed whose sea floor is completely flat like a road, and is filled with the remains of Egyptian chariot wheels from the 32nd dynasty. Each type of chariot wheel in Egypt follows a specific design depending on the time in history, and the archaeologists could match the chariot wheel designs to mosaics in the pyramids that showed what era of Egyptian history chariot wheels came from.

The Bible even says that as the Egyptians on their chariots chased the Israelites across the parted Red sea, that “God caused the wheels to fall off the Egyptian chariots.”

Google “Egyptian chariot wheels found in the Red Sea”


The wheels in the Red sea have been shown to be a hoax.

I agree, I feel most comfortable with this position.

I’m with you here…

This is what most modern Biblical commentaries also say. They conclude that the person of Moses and his role as a leader of Israel during the Exodus are historical, even if some of the texts attributed to him may have been written later by people following the Mosaic / Levitical traditions. Contemporary Jewish and Christian scholarship both agree on the historicity of Moses.

Indeed, I believe Moses was a historical person, but that certain aspects of the Torah may have been exaggerated or purely theological not meant to record history but rather to show Israel’s relationship with Yahweh God.

Who would benefit if people were convinced it was a hoax?

I would take ‘hoax findings’ like this with a grain of salt, its likely the same folks would try to say Jesus bringing people back to life was a hoax, multiplying the bread and fish miraculously, and many other things he did.

All they are doing by claiming it was a hoax is plant the seed of doubt in peoples minds, all about deception.

The person who found these wheels, Ryan Wyatt, is a Seventh Day Adventist who has claimed to have found a host of Biblical artifacts such as Noah’s Ark, The Tower of Babel, and most notably the Chariot Wheels in the Red Sea. His claims have been dismissed and refuted by many others. He claims to have BA in archaeology despite not actually having one… Even his own fellow Evangelical Creationist have criticized him including notable creationist website “Answers in Genesis.”

in 2012, news website WND reported on this “discovery” causing this “discovery” to heavily circulate. However, WND is actually a fake news site similar to “the Onion” that reports fake new story’s or hoaxes for satire.

I really doubt contemporary archaeologist and biblical scholars are purposefully trying to instill doubt into the minds of us religious people. Rather, they have a job to do and they’re doing it. This is the evidence they have collected and they’re trying to make fair and good judgments about it. These are the conclusions they have come to, and while it’s certainly possible they’re wrong, simply dismissing them as trying to deceive us or trying to purposefully disprove us is just not fair. I mean, come on guys, we’re not Mormons.

Provide a source please!


CCC 554 From the day Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Master “began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things. . . and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Peter scorns this prediction, nor do the others understand it any better than he. In this context the mysterious episode of Jesus’ Transfiguration takes place on a high mountain, before three witnesses chosen by himself: Peter, James and John. Jesus’ face and clothes become dazzling with light, and Moses and Elijah appear, speaking “of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem”. A cloud covers him and a voice from heaven says: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

Again, sadly, the author of the wikipedia article and other who are of like mind, archaeologist, biblical scholar or whoever, are still in Eygpt, in slavery to the Eygptians, worshippers of false gods, under the dominion and power of the devil, under the “covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7), in spiritual darkness. Just as the Israelites through the power and goodness of God escaped from their slavery to the Egyptians and passed through the Red Sea, a figure of our baptism, those of us who believe, through the goodness and gift of God through baptism, have escaped from the slavery to the Egyptians, the dominion and power of satan, from sin, from living in darkness to being children of the light and worshippers of the true God.

I got two words for the author of this wikipedia article and like-minded people: spiritual darkness. Yes, faith is a gift from God. The faith of the ancient Israelite people as well as our catholic faith is founded on divine revelation, i.e., God revealing himself to man in history and real historical events. The very existence of the ancient Israelite people and nation and their faith comes from God and divine revelation. It is God who called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldeas and made of him a great nation and through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

An interesting point to consider is the following. How is it that the religion of the Old Testament Israelites is so different from the rest of the pagan nations of ancient times? All of the ancient Hebrews neighbors and surrounding nations worshipped idols and false gods, the sun, moon, stars, storms, etc. Their many gods were mythological and immoral. The Israelites did not invent their religion and faith; they were taught it by God and divine revelation. The Israelites were prone to revert back to the gods and practices of their pagan neighbors until they were finally exiled from the promised land by God. No, the Israelites did not invent their religion and nation as if they had some kind of intuitive knowledge of the true God over and above other ancient peoples and nations. As the sacred authors of the Bible relate to us, it was God through divine revelation who made of them a people and nation, to be a light to the nations, and who taught them himself true religion and about the one true God, . The religion of the ancient Israelites compared to the religions of all the other ancients peoples is like a light shining in the darkness. This, the Israelites tell us was not their own doing but the work of God. For a reasonable person, this is the only reasonable explanation. The foundation of our faith is not unreasonable. Still, to actually believe in divine revelation is a gift from God. The pharoah witnessed the ten miraculous plagues delivered by God through the hands of Moses and Aaron. But, he couldn’t get himself to believe. Jesus performed many miracles yet many didn’t believe in him. The Pharisees and Sadducees, the scholars of the law, rejected him and condemned him to the crucifixtion. “But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”’ (Luke 16: 31).

We should be so lucky.

WND does publish a lot of wacky and extreme stuff, but it’s meant to be dead serious. A good indicator of when a “conservative” politician has jumped the shark is when his writings start turning up on WND.

Did you, perchance, mean WWN (Weekly World News) and not WND? WWN is a fake news site which puts outrageous stories out there just for the heck of it. :slight_smile:

Concerning the chariot wheels in the Red Sea - perhaps there are Egyptian chariot wheels there, however, I don’t think it was the Red Sea that Moses crossed; it was the Reed Sea; a mis-translation of the Hebrew or Aramaic as I recall.

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