As noted in a previous post, the understanding of many Christian doctrines has been influenced by an eroding faith in the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. While we have seen that a strict adherence to biblical inerrancy is not necessary for salvation, it is surely an important doctrine for the health of the Church at large. I have recently quoted BB Warfield arguing that the biblical testimony of its own authority and inspiration is like an avalanche; while each individual stone in an avalanche may be easily avoided by one with some presence of mind, avalanches do not come one stone at a time, but all at once. In the same way, while a single verse of scripture testifying to its own inspiration may be disregarded with some clever interpretation, one would have to throw out the entire Bible to avoid the clearly biblical doctrine.

I should note quickly that I am not intending here to make a robust argument for the actual inspiration and authority of the bible. That may be tackled at some later time, but is not currently my intention. Rather I am simply trying to show that the Bible does teach the doctrine of its own authority stemming from its divine origin. It will take much more work to show that the Bible is correctly teaching this doctrine.

Presently, I shall discuss three New Testament verses which are explicitly relevant to the doctrine, and explain what they do and do not tell us. In a future post I may discuss the dozens of verses which less directly attest to the doctrine. Most of the content of these posts comes from Warfield's The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible.

This is the fourth part in the series on Kenneth Kitchen's On the Reliability of the Old Testament.  For some introductory remarks on the Exodus, see Part III of this series.

Now on to the exodus itself.  First off, from the 18th century (BC) onwards, there were several attempts (some successful, some failed) by people groups to move out of their rulers' land.  This provides some precedence for the exodus of the Israelites.  So, the criticism that the exodus itself is a ridiculous idea because no one could possibly escape the iron grip of Egypt is off-base.

Looking at the text of the book of Exodus, it is worth trying to surmise the Israelites' likely path based on topography, conditions, and logistics.  For example,  the "sea" - yam suph in Hebrew - plays an important role in the Israelites' journey .  The translation "Red Sea" is based upon the Latin Vulgate which itself follows the Septuagint; however, the original Hebrew, suph never meant "red".  The translation should be "reeds/rushes, marsh (plants)", as it is in Exodus 2:3-5 (reed basket to conceal Moses) and Isa. 19:6-7.  The term yam suph is also applied to the Gulf of Suez (Num. 33:10-11) and the Gulf of Aqaba (Num. 21:4 and others), which both extend from the "Red Sea".  This also solves the problem of how the Israelites crossed a yam suph but passed others later; if it were simply a single "Red Sea", it would not make sense; as it is, the term yam suph could have been applied to several bodies of water.

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