[b-hebrew] Thera quote

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Aug 26 15:09:44 EDT 2004


Thanks for bringing this up. Before the recent discussion on this board, I had heard of the theory, but not thought about it. But the more it was discussed on this board, the more it raised questions.

First, we have no firm date for the Thera explosion. There was some great volcanic explosion about 1628 BC, but was it Thera? One of the links in a previous message questioned if it were an Alaskan volcano that blew at that time.

Secondly, how big was the Theran eruption? Ash falls of 100 feet indicate that it could have been huge, or was it a continuous, simmering eruption like the continuing one in Hawaii that laid the ash over many years, even decades? If the latter, it is possible that it left little to almost no record in tree ring or glacier stratigraphic records.

The prevailing wind argument against the Theran eruption being seen in Egypt is empty, as prevailing winds are merely that—prevailing—the eruption could have occured during one of the many times the wind was blowing the right direction.

Thirdly, some of the things mentioned in Exodus don’t fit the Theran eruption hypothesis, most notably the pillar of smoke by day and of fire by night. It is mentioned as being right on top of the )HL MW(D except when underway. This is not a volcanic pillar seen from hundreds of miles away. After all, if God created the space-time continuum in the first place, why is it out of the picture to suggest that he acted into it in a “supernatural” way?

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Washburn <dwashbur at nyx.net>

> I'd like to address this to the folks who see a connection between Exodus 
> events and the Thera eruption.  The following quote appears in the current 
> issue of BAR.  Ziony Zevit is reviewing a BBC production hosted by Jeremy 
> Bowen, called Moses And The Exodus.  Here is what he says in response to the 
> show's suggestion that Thera explains the Red Sea crossing, the plagues, the 
> pillar of fire and cloud, etc.
> --
> The Thera hypothesis (a 16th-century B.C.E. event) renders irrelevant 
> archaeological and topographical data from the Late Bronze Age (14th-early 
> 12th centuries B.C.E.) presented early in the show as demonstrating authentic 
> background.  The Thera eruption is chronologically incompatible with the Late 
> Bronze Age materials.  Moreover, it is highly unlikely that the Thera cloud 
> ever reached Egypt--given the counter-clockwise direction of winds around the 
> Mediterranean--and that anyone in Egypt would have been able to see the ash 
> cloud hundreds of miles away no matter how high (the earth is round).
> The show leaves the incorrect impression that the Thera hypothesis is new, 
> when in fact it is not.  Few historians, if any, consider it viable nowadays.  
> It remains the plaything of disasterist interpreters of history.
> --
> (BAR, Sept/Oct 2004, p. 61-62)
> In light of recent discussion about this on the list, I'd be interested in how 
> some of you folks respond to these comments.
> -- 
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
> "No good.  Hit on head."   -Gronk
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