My book Thera and the Exodus has now been available at Amazon and other online stores since February 2013. I wrote Thera and the Exodus for a wide spectrum of readers, from those unfamiliar with Old Testament history to scholars in the field. That made the presentation of the book rather difficult and it will not read like a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with reading books of this type, I would recommend that you read it slowly at your leisure, and have a notebook at hand in which you can jot down whatever you wish to remember or read up again later, by page number. Apart from the Contents at the beginning, there is also a detailed Index at the back of the book, which should assist you in finding most of the important topics I deal with in the book. There is no need to check each reference in the text, as these are meant only to indicate where I got my information from. There are no additional comments in the references, as some authors like to do.
In case some of you should feel intimidated by the amount of information you have to digest without being and expert in this field, rest assured that ancient history is no longer the exclusive domain of university professors. The Internet has brought all the information we might need to the tips of our fingers, and all one needs to do is familiarise yourself with the basic facts, weigh up the different theories and make up your own mind, without relying on the learned others to do so on your behalf!
Book reviews are listed in Section 2.3, but note that in the words of Dr Mark Harris, a lecturer at the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, whose interests include the study of realism in physics and theology and the lawfulness of nature, Thera and the Exodus presents ‘the most elaborate study’ on the topic. With Thera and the Exodus I indeed attempted to collect every shred of information on the Exodus, whether uncontested manuscripts or legends of disputed validity, and I leave it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. Thera and the Exodus comprises a bibliography of just over 190 books and articles and close to 1200 references - one of the most complete, if not the best, collections of Exodus related information published under single cover to date.
2.1 Thera and the Exodus order details
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2.2 Thera and the Exodus contents
Contrary to what the title suggests, the most important contribution of the book is the identification of the biblical Moses as Crown Prince Tuthmosis, the firstborn son of Amenhotep III.
Is there anything new that I, as a complete novice, can contribute to this field of study? I believe I can. To my knowledge no scholar has properly investigated Manetho’s claim that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was Amenhotep III and that Moses may, therefore, have been Crown Prince Tuthmosis, who had disappeared from Egypt under mysterious circumstances. Secondly, no scholar seems to have noticed that Artapanus linked Moses to the burial of the first Apis bull, which was the ceremony in which Crown Prince Tuthmosis had in similar manner participated. Finally, I can state without fear of contradiction that no scholar has ever noticed that Manetho’s account of Moses sending messengers to Jerusalem, summoning them to come to his aid in his war against Amenhotep III, is echoed from different perspectives in the El Arish Shrine Text and also the ‘Hellenistic’ Jewish work The Story of Joseph and Asenath. In fact, in her comprehensive study of Joseph and Aseneth, Professor Edith Humphrey concludes with Asenath “reaching out in earnestness (and humour?) to a generation much-consumed by method and multiple possibilities: 'Oh, please, why don't you just read me … After all, I'm a fiction with a difference ' …”!
Regrettably, at the time of publication of Thera and the Exodus I had not properly read The Story of Joseph and Asenath, only making brief reference to it in a specific context, and had missed this absolutely vital piece of information.
For that reason I have summarised the most important contributions of my book under a different heading on my website,
If Moses was indeed Crown Prince Tuthmosis and my interpretation of the events surrounding his rebellion against his father is correct, then everything which Moses supposedly tells us about ‘God’ in the Old Testament is a lie. In other words, Jehovah does not exist.
What can you expect to find in the book itself, apart from what is presented in the The Moses Puzzle summary? In the first instance, all the references I used to derive my interpretation of the Exodus events. More importantly, however, you’ll find significantly more information about all of the topics covered in the summary, numerous detailed quotations from references, additional sections not referred to in the summary, 43 images and illustrations I used to augment various aspects of my theory, and the complete texts of
The Gebel Barkal Stela of Tuthmosis III
The El Arish Shrine Text
The Hymn to Ra (Amenhotep III)
The Great Hymn to the Aten
The Admonitions of Ipuwer
Manetho’s King Lists
The Prophecy of Neferti
The Plague Prayers of Mursilis
The History of the Queen of Sheba,
all attached as appendices, with the required permissions, and with the information I refer to highlighted in bold text.
2.3 Thera and the Exodus reviews
ForeWord Clarion Review: Four stars (out of Five)
His work, Thera and the Exodus, is not antireligious; to the contrary, it is a well-organized, scholarly, richly illustrated, and heavily footnoted effort to prove that the great migration of the Jewish people out of Egypt under Moses did occur. ... Even if readers disagree with the conclusions Booysen puts forth ... those who like their Bible more for history than theology will greatly appreciate and thoroughly enjoy Thera and the Exodus. Booysen’s grasp of, and evident enthusiasm for, Egyptology in particular is evident. He has delved deep into the history, legend, and archaeological evidence of the land of the pharaohs, and any who share his interests will find this book utterly fascinating and engrossing.
Read full review here
Riaan has been selected as Graham Hancock's Author of the Month for May 2013
"We are both pleased and honoured to welcome as May 2013 Author of the Month, Riaan Booysen. Please join Riaan on the AoM Message Boards this month, to discuss his new book Thera and the Exodus>, in which he researches and makes the case linking two ancient volcanic eruptions on the Mediterranean island of Thera (modern Santorini), with the biblical story of the Exodus. It’s fascinating work and reading that demands attention."
Read more here
Amazon customer review: Five stars (out of Five)
"Interesting combo of history and archeology - You will never think of history in the same way again. Thera (now called Santorini) was a monster of a Greek volcano which erupted circa 1500 B.C. and 1350 B.C. A great read."
Midwest Book Review - Highly Recommended
The history behind the events of the Bible is curious, trying to find reality in fact. "Thera and the Exodus: The Exodus explained in Terms of Natural Phenomena and the Human Response to It" is an intriguing and different interpretation of the Biblical story of Exodus. Riaan Booysen seeks to tell the story of the Thera volcano's unrest, and how the Amenhotep III, ordered a sacrifice of all the first born to appease the Gods, and how his own first born was saved...and that this son would become Moses. An intriguing take on the legend trying to connect human nature with natural history, "Thera and the Exodus" is an enticing read for a different take on ancient history, highly recommended.
Detailed Review by Online Book Club (three stars out of four)
"The more I read about ancient history--the more it becomes apparent how little we can truly know about the details and reality of what took place in the fascinating, turbulent, and sparsely documented lives of our ancestors. Thera and the Exodus is a treatise which attempts the gargantuan feat of sifting through vast jigsaw puzzle pieces of historical fact mixed in with misleading bits of legend posing as the truth, and tries to painstakingly separate the two--ultimately threading together a picture that may explain the real reasons behind the Exodus."
"I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the historical events that may have been the inspiration for biblical stories; and especially to anyone already invested in the subject."
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