Pharaohs Of The Bible (4004-960 BC): A Unifying High Chronology Of Egypt Based On A High View Of Scripture, by Eve Engelbrite
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Author Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.]
There are a lot of similarities between this book and the books of a friend of mine who is (like this authoress) a self-taught Egyptologist . Both tend to write with a great deal of focus on putting their presuppositions up front (and in the case of this author, in Appendix B also) and both seek to have a high chronology as well as a unifying theory of history, science, and biblical studies. Both have their own distinctive interpretations, but both are honest and upfront about their assumptions and their conclusions, and this makes for a very straightforward sort of read. In the case of this book, there are enough misinterpretations and enough loose bricks that it is difficult to agree with all of the conclusions, but the general gist of the book, with its encyclopedic knowledge of Egyptian texts, is refreshing and laudable and there is much here for a reader to appreciate who comes to the book with an open mind, some knowledge of Egyptology, and a generally high view of scripture.
This book is organized in a very straightforward way. It begins with its basic presuppositions, some of which I agree with and some of which I don’t. Even so, the honesty is appreciated. After this comes an overview of the author’s approach (as a Young Earth Creationist, which ought to provide a substantial potential reading market, at least in the United States, for this work). After this comes a series of chapters that deal with the pharaohs of Shem, Abraham/Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Israel’s Judges, Saul/David, and Solomon. Notes about concurrent dynasties and intermediate periods and physical evidence and textual interpretation of the Bible and other ancient texts are included in a standard format that begins with the more familiar biblical history and then covers the less familiar Egyptian evidence in a very thorough way that offers some striking parallels between the Bible and Egyptian history that demonstrate a great deal of potential harmony between the two. At the end of the book comes a very lengthy list of revised city/town straigraphy that is not greatly unlike that of Kitchen , calculations of Pharaonic regnal dates, and a short look at the Late Ramesside Letters, which deserve their own small book collection like the more famous Tel Amarna Letters.
This book is a very large book (with its appendices it comes up to about 500 pages of text), and it is only the first half of two books dealing with the Pharaohs of the Bible that may extend all the way to the Hellenistic period. It is also a book that is very heavy with data, along with plenty of assumptions about the borders of Egypt or other matters that do not seem entirely supported by the texts but that must remain somewhat speculative. If this book manages to provoke a conversation about Egyptian chronology as well as parallels with the Bible and also a greater understanding of the evidence that this book contains from other sources (from Petrie to Ben-Tor), it should be judged as a success, and that depends on having enough people read it who can draw at least some sort of wisdom from it, a task that is made greatly easier if they have a high view of scripture and an interest in chronology . Provided someone has a lot of time, a willingness to slog through a lot of detailed images and explanations, and an interest in historical chronologies, this is a book that will be at least of some interest in provoking thought. It is, at any rate, a good enough book to make its sequel of interest as well.
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