The Fifteen New Chronology Pillars
(A) The biblical text should not be rejected as an historical source without first testing the 'historical' contents against the archaeological record. However, the archaeological record needs to have a reliable and well-defined chronology which, at this time, we do not believe is the case.
(B) The later chronology of the Old Testament has proved to be substantially correct when tested against the external evidence of Assyria and Babylonia. Furthermore, a limited number of texts from Palestine confirm the historical background of the kings of Israel as portrayed in Kings and Chronicles – including the actual names of biblical kings and their officials. The question therefore is not whether the Old Testament is a reliable historical source but for how far back in time is it a reliable historical source?
(C) A reassessment of the chronological duration of the Egyptian TIP has brought us to the position where we feel that we can make a positive contribution to this important biblical question.
A Basic Outline of the New Chronology
1. The entry of the proto-Israelites into Egypt took place in the late 12th Dynasty.
2. More specifically, Joseph was a vizier under the co-regent pharaohs Senuseret III and Amenemhat III.
3. The absolute dates for these two kings are derived by chronological calculations based on the research of Dr David Lappin who has demonstrated that the most accurate date for Amenemhat III – based on the sequence of lunar month-lengths found in contracts of the period compared to lunar month durations calculated using astronomy computer programmes – is 1678-1634 BC. Likewise the dates for Senuseret III have been confirmed as 1698-1660 BC.
4. The Asiatic settlement of Avaris, founded in the reign of Amenemhat III (located at what is now the village of Tell ed-Daba in the eastern Delta), represents the settlement of Jacob and his sons. This extended family formed the original nucleus of the Asiatic population in Avaris.
5. The biblical tradition of the Israelite Sojourn in Egypt is a memory of this Asiatic movement into the Eastern Delta during the late Middle Kingdom and early Second Intermediate Period – specifically the late 12th & 13th Dynasties.
6. Domestic slaves attested in documents of the period have typical Israelite names which in this New Chronology are in reality personalities from the Sojourn period, whereas in the Old Chronology they represent pre-Israelite Canaanites living in Egypt.
7. The Exodus of the Israelites took place towards the end of the 13th Dynasty which correlates with the abandonment of the Israelite quarter at Tell ed-Daba (Stratum G) and the contemporary death pits discovered at the site.
8. The tradition, reflected in the works of Artapanus, that Moses was raised by Pharaoh Khenofres is regarded by the New Chronology as fixing the lifetime of Moses to the era from Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV (Khenophres) to Dudimose (Tutimaeus).
9. Likewise, Manetho's Tutimaeus, identified here with Dudimose, becomes the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
10. The destruction of MB IIB Jericho is equated with the destruction of Jericho by Joshua and the Israelites.
11. Following the work of John Bimson, the destruction of numerous Canaanite cities in the MB IIB period represents the true archaeological setting for the military conquest and settlement of the Israelite tribes in Canaan.
12. The evidence from a Karnak relief dating to the 19th Dynasty strongly suggest that the 'Israel' of the Merenptah Stela was capable of chariot warfare which in turn places the military conflict between Egypt and Israel in the United Monarchy Period or later. The Old Testament clearly establishes the first use of chariotry in the reigns of David and Solomon.
13. Shoshenk I is not Shishak because (a) from the internal Egyptian evidence (genealogies) he cannot be dated earlier than 850 BC and (b), through links to statue inscriptions from Byblos, he reigned only three generations (of 21 years each) before Tiglath-pileser III (745-727 BC), i.e. 63 years + c. 745 BC = c. 808 BC. Furthermore, (c) the Shoshenk I campaign inscription in no way compares to the biblical narratives dealing with the campaign of Shishak.
14. The earliest established date in Egyptian chronology is year 1 of Taharka = 690 BC. This is based on his 26th and last year being tied to 664 BC and the Assyrian sack of Thebes.
15. From 664 BC onwards the Orthodox and New Chronologies generally coincide.