(Philstar.com) - Did Moses really lead the Israelites across the Red Sea? How did he part its waters? How come no Israelite drowned, but Pharaoh’s charioteers all perished? Scientists have found proof of the biblical event 3000 years ago recorded in Exodus.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Allow me to stress the most important thing for any Catholic to know regarding the historical accuracy of the Old Testament. First and foremost, as Catholic Christians, our faith is NOT based on this historical accuracy of the Old Testament at all. Our faith is based on the historical accuracy of the New Testament alone. The Old Testament simply serves as a historical, religious and cultural context in which to interpret the New Testament. That is all. So as Catholic Christians, we don't need the Old Testament to be 100% historically accurate to have faith in Jesus Christ and the writings of the New Testament.
It appears the Chosen People did walk seven days through desert and wadi (dried up riverbed) till they reached the shores of the Red Sea. Scholars cannot explain the pillar of cloud that escorted the Israelites by day and pillar of fire by night. Those can only be credited to the Divine. But the cloud apparently shielded from intense day heat, it was noted, and the fire from night chill and attacks. And the Israelites came upon an exact spot in the Red Sea where a natural formation — a submerged land bridge — spanned both sides. Archaeological finds further show traces of the crossing....
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That being said, however, it's fun to learn when the Old Testament is historically accurate! As a Catholic Christian, and convert from Evangelical Protestantism, I have always believed the story of the Book of Exodus was indeed a historically accurate account. Granted, the whole thing is told exclusively from the side of the ancient Jews, and I would love to read the Egyptian version of this tale, but one record is better than no record at all.
It is the opinion of this blogger that the events of the Old Testament probably do represent actual historical events, starting with the life of Abraham (about Genesis chapter 12) onward. Prior to the life of Abraham, the style of the Book of Genesis is different. It has an almost mythic quality, as if it were recounting stories and legends. From Abraham (chapter 12) onward, Genesis takes on the form of a historical narrative, which is why I believe it is an account of an actual historic event.
That being said, anything written after Abraham (Genesis 12) seems to follow the historical narrative pattern, and is therefore probably a relatively accurate portrayal of historic events, as seen through the eyes of the ancient Jews. So as fantastic as the entire Book of Exodus sounds, it is probably a relatively accurate depiction of historic events, as seen through the eyes of those who penned it. I've seen actual photographs of the submerged gold chariot wheels in the Red Sea. These wheels have been found exactly were they should be based on the Biblical accounts, along with the coral remains of human bones.
If we look at the events from Abraham (Genesis 12) onward, we find that archaeological evidence seems to corroborate just about every major pace and event recorded in the Old Testament - at least in those areas where archaeology is suited to do so. In other areas we might have to look toward astronomy or geology for corroboration. However, when those scientific disciplines are consulted, they often do support the Biblical claims.