Professor taking a deeper look at Egypt in the Bible

Columbia International University Old Testment Professor Dr. Ben Noonan is taking a deeper look at Egypt in the Bible.
October 15, 2020

By Bob Holmes

A study leave that included a trip to Egypt has a Columbia International University professor considering a deeper look into the biblical importance of the ancient North African nation.

Professor of Old Testament, Dr. Ben Noonan toured Egypt in early 2020 with noted Egyptologist Dr. James K. Hoffmeier of the Center for Hebraic Thought.  

Noonan, the author of “Advances in the Study of Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic,” says further research of the numerous connections between Egypt and Israel, could be used in biblical apologetics. He notes that in the Old Testament, especially in Exodus, there are a number of borrowed Egyptian words mixed with the Hebrew, making the case for the historicity of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt and their freedom through the miraculous parting of the Red Sea.

“We have a lot of Egyptian words in the book of Exodus,” Noonan said. “Normally when we see that a language has been influenced a lot by another language, the conclusion is, there must have been some kind of contact between those two peoples. The Egyptian words that we see in Exodus, and even the very nature of the words for very specific things, this is evidence for the account of the Exodus being historical.”

Noonan offers the birth of Moses as an example. He says the placement of baby Moses in a basket in the Nile River, and discovered by the Egyptian princess among the reeds in Exodus 2, includes some borrowed Egyptian words that are used to describe the water, the reeds and the basket.

“That is not something you just come up with,” Noonan said. “That reflects historical reality. They are specific terms.”

Noonan says he came back from the trip with a renewed interest in Egypt and the Bible and a greater sense of calling to continue his work in this area.

“That’s something which is especially important because few evangelicals are interested in or equipped for this specific area of study.”

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