Dennis method of dating
For the first time, there was available a great deal of information that could be used by historians to verify and crosscheck the biblical accounts.
While historical evidence cannot "prove" most of the biblical material, simply because it is largely theological in nature and cannot be proven empirically, it can provide the kind of objective verification for which historians seek. That is, in some cases the new historical evidence tended to support in a general sense the biblical accounts when those accounts touched on historical matters.
There is also consideration of differing worldviews, of different cultural perspectives, and of different ways of describing the world that may not correspond to our modern assumptions and categories.
It is this difference in perspectives that continues to mark the two opposing poles in several historical questions in Scripture, including the date of the exodus.
The new methods of historical investigation forced Scripture to be viewed from both of those perspectives.
Historians are primarily concerned with objective data, with determining "what really happened." The idea of objectivity, that history needs to be viewed in terms of verifiable data apart from perceptions, later interpretations of events, or even manufactured history or legend, is a basic assumption in doing historical investigation.
This concern with sources built on the understanding that ancient documents were not just the recording of data, but were also the interpretation of history from the perspectives of a later community that saw the past not in terms of facts but in terms of meaning and ongoing significance for that community.
By the end of the 19th century, this led historical investigation of the Bible to focus on the source documents and traditions that lay behind the written text, the social and cultural communities that produced the texts, and the complexity and diversity of the Bible.
And that data from a variety of sources does not always lead them to conclude that the Bible is that kind of totally unbiased and always absolutely reliable historical reporting.
You Dennis-ed that girl so hard she's yours forever.
Dennis Bratcher Fixing the date of the exodus has proven to be one of those contentious areas of biblical study that has produced two opposing views.
As with many biblical historical issues, the two views are more a clash of how people view Scripture and differing methods of study based on those views than they are a result of conflicting interpretation of the historical evidence.
Historical questions about the Bible first came to the forefront of biblical study as a distinct field for research in the 19th century as part of the development of modern historical investigation.