However, there are certainly some interesting theories out there, ranging from ones that look plausible and seem to take into account the Biblical passages regarding these events, to theories that are, to put it politely, bizarre.
I do have a basis from which to begin, though. As I have stated before elsewhere in this blog, I have great confidence in the accuracy of the Bible. I will do a post or series of posts on that topic sometime, because it is an important subject to deal with, and also because my readers deserve to know why I am willing to build my life upon what it says. For now, in a nutshell, so we can continue, I just want you to think about one thing regarding the Bible: in every place where the Bible speaks of what I would call "archaeological/geographic/social/political" matters, like:
- geographical places,
- names or locations of cities,
- social customs,
- names of government positions,
- people groups,
- kings/rulers and their decrees,
the Bible has never been proven to be wrong.
That fact is quite amazing, if you think about it for a moment. Sure there have been controversies, and at times it even looked as though the scoffers were right, but in the end (and it may have taken years for the proof to become known) the Bible is always found to be accurate in what it is saying about the matter at hand.
[I deliberately left out other matters of a more religious nature for the moment, although I do believe the Bible is accurate about those, too.]
As I begin to look into these matters about the pharaohs, I can confidently start by using what the Bible says about these matters, and eliminating those theories which blatantly contradict a biblical statement. I am willing to consider all theories, but it is not a bad thing to be able to say that a certain theory just doesn't hold up under scrutiny. I know that in our time it is not popular to say that someone else's cherished beliefs are wrong. However, all theories can't be right, especially if they are directly opposed to each other. For example, if I say that Pharaoh such-and-such was the one who reigned during the Exodus, and someone else has another pharaoh in mind for that position, both of us cannot be correct at the same time (unless, of course, they had some type of coregency --ha,ha).
This brings up one other point. None of us knows all of the facts. Even if we think we have worked out all of the problems which a certain theory might hold, tomorrow another article, or archaeological dig, or some other finding may shed more light upon a subject, and show that our own theory is wrong. So, apart from matters which are clearly stated in the Bible, I hold my theories in an open hand. Look at them, study them, and feel free to comment upon them or to add your own thoughts on these matters.
Now I will try to make some sense of the names and reigns of the pharaohs. I think I need a large corkboard or wall, or something, to make a visual picture of it all and so I can reposition names as I find new information. However, I also need to figure out what to make for dinner, so I will get back to this later.