David Rohl—Challenging the established view of ancient history

Things that are almost universally believed but "just ain't so" are amongst the most destructive of errors. David Rohl has had the courage to challenge the orthodox view of Egyptology and possesses the clear reason to bring fresh thinking to the subject. The results are spectacular and deeply controversial.

In his book A Test of Time: The Bible—from Myth to History and associated Channel 4 documentary, Rohl showed the flawed circular reasoning that lies at the heart of Egyptology. Specifically, he has demonstrated that:

  • Egyptologists used the Bible to date Biblical history
  • They used their own links between the Bible and Egyptian history to date Egyptian chronology
  • They subsequently used that chronology, and the archaeological scheme that came from it, to discredit the Bible

This deeply irrational thinking has been at the heart of Egyptian—and, by extension, all—ancient archaeological research, for all other nations in the Ancient Near Eastern record tend to be dated by reference to ancient Egypt. Rohl has identified the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt, a confusing period with multiple overlapping rulers and reigns, as the source of the error, and has pinpointed false correlations between the Biblical record and the archaeological record as the core of the problem.

In this discussion, David Rohl examines the work of pre-eminent Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen; the history of Rameses II—not the Pharaoh of Exodus; the key case of Jericho; the Exodus; and the history of Joseph in Egypt. 

Rohl argues that the Exodus from Egypt and Conquest of Israel, if correctly dated to the middle bronze age (MBIIa), is plainly visible in the archaeological record.

He also describes the reaction of  scholars, churches, and other institutions to his challenge to the orthodox views. With the exception of a few younger scholars, the reaction has been mostly negative, dismissive and often hostile. David Rohl's ideas, however, yet stand against such attacks and continue to inspire new thinking, new investigation and a new interest in the subject.