Did the exodus really take place?
To many, this will seem like an absurd question. The book of Exodus has a dozen chapters explaining that it did. Yet recent decades have found at least some biblical scholars casting doubts on the historicity of this story. The sociological approach pioneered by George Mendenhall outlined a plausible scenario in which the rise of the Israelites in Canaan was a "peasant's revolt." The so-called "Minimalists" deny that any of the biblical texts describing pre-Hellenist events are really historical. The mere fact that Exodus describes this period at length offers no proof to the skeptical mind. A Los Angeles rabbi created a tremendous, well-publicized furor when he followed this scholarly approach and told his congregation that the exodus may not have happened at all.