Trade in your item
Get a £1.46
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Miracles of Exodus: a Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories Hardcover – 25 Mar 2003

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"

Trade In this Item for up to £1.46
Trade in Miracles of Exodus: a Scientist's Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes of the Biblical Stories for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £1.46, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (25 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060514043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060514044
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


A Cambridge University scientist takes a fresh look at the Book of Exodus, revealing rational explanations for the Burning Bush, the location of the real Mt. Sinai, and, of course, the crossing of the Red Sea.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
As I stood in the red light of the rising sun shining on the sum of Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula, I sensed something was wrong. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was lent this book by a friend, responding to a request for recent scholarship on the Exodus narrative, given that most of the material currently available appears to proceed based wholly on a set of skeptical presuppositions. Having presuppositions is fine, but after a while one begins to realise that the outcomes in terms of conclusions are fairly predictable.

I have to say that, prior to reading this book, I was a bit of a skeptic concerning Sir Colin's methodology. It seemed unlikely that a 'new' investigation would unearth the kinds of insights which recent archaeological endeavour had failed to produce - especially when this research was being conducted by a physicist. However, after a few chapters I became progressively convinced that the author was on the right track.

I have a few criticisms. The maps and illustrations are too small/unclear to add much to the text - and in this case, I really do think that the quality of the maps is an essential ingredient. Another reviewer has intimated that the text is overly repetitive - and it does exhibit that tendency, but I think that in many ways that repetition is necessary, in order to clearly link the key logical steps in the reader's mind. These are minor quibbles, however. It's a brilliant book, reading like a detective story and (generally) drawing conclusions that seem valid and which answer most of the challenges which have been raised by the skeptics. Sir Colin has a real knack of getting his readers to put themselves into the very foreign context that he describes so ably, and almost to coach us in 'looking' for the next piece in the jigsaw.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Colin Humphreys correctly suggests what must have surely been the route for The Exodus. His scientific reasoning is also excellent. His book "The Mystery of the Last Supper" is an even better book than this one about The Exodus. Both books have been meticulously researched.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne B on 10 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have purchased 3 copies of this book, two for friends who borrowed my copy and were so enthused that they asked me to order on their behalf. The important feature of this book is the willingness of the author to view the subject matter, particularly the geographical data, from a different perspective. In this case the perspective was an aerial one and the realisation that it would be highly unlikely that the Israelites could wander along any route other than a trade route because of the inhospitable terrain. Some readers may find the author's style somewhat irritating - it is written almost like a detective story. At the end of each chapter a useful summary is provided of matters addressed , conclusions reached and further questions to be explored. Although it took me sometime to get into the narrative, once hooked I found the subject matter truly engrossing. The author's final conclusion that Sinai has to be located in a volcanic region as well as his very satisfying explanation of the crossing of the Red Sea and his rejection of the 'reed sea ' hypothesis, both seem to me to add to one's appreciation of the Exodus story. However, this is not a book for the faint hearted. It needs to be read with several different translations of the bible texts to hand as well as detailed maps of the entire area. The end result is well worth the effort.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ron S. on 6 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting attempt to account for the events associated with the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as natural phenomena; their miraculous nature being in their their happy occurrence just at the "right time". The writing is clear, but at times a little patronising in its repetitiousness. At times also a plausible possible interpretation of an event graduates too readily to "the" explanation. Despite these petty carping criticisms the book is an interesting read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Really cool 7 Sept. 2003
By T. Bachman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was a really fascinating book. Some readers may get a bit of a chuckle out of the author's exuberant and earnestly dramatic writing style, but that doesn't really matter much when his arguments are so well-defended. In particular, his discussion of the real Mt. Sinai is alone worth the price of the book.
For hundreds of years, the most learned men on the planet scorned those who dared suggest that Homer's Iliad documented an actual battle, at an actual city - until Heinrich Schliemann (amateur) proved them all wrong. And amateur linguist Michael Ventris likewise showed up the scholars with his famous translation of Linear B script. I wonder if Mr. Humphreys (whose area of professional expertise lies elsewhere) may have done something similar here with his book. Basically every serious archaelogist in the world has dismissed the Exodus as largely (if not entirely) fictional; and yet, as Humphreys shows, many of these dismissive conclusions derive from probably flawed assumptions due to mistranslations, errant dating, etc. His ideas and evidences seem to make so much more sense than every other take on the events recorded in Exodus that it is hard to not to feel he is really on to something.
This book's arguments are really intriguing. It's a great read regardless of whether one is a devout believer or a skeptic.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Thinking outside the box 28 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent example of applying scientific logic to a fuzzy historical problem. Starting with a few basic assumptions, i.e., that Moses did exist (although he does point out that some scholars argue this point), that the Exodus did take place (although some scholars point out that there may have been more than one), and by interpreting the Book of Exodus as literally as possible, the author, a physicist, does a most admirable job of carefully analyzing the ancient writings in the light of modern scientific knowledge. The end results are twofold: 1) a reconstruction of the wanderings of Moses and the Hebrew slaves that does not agree with convention, and 2) credible scientific explanations for the various miracles described, e.g., the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the crossing of the River Jordan, etc. The tremendous amount of research done in writing this book stands out, as does the author's passion for the subject matter. The result is a most absorbing account of the application of the scientific method to an intriguing historical problem. It now remains to be seen whether archaeology will prove the author right. Difficult to put down.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Love biblical archaeology? 10 Dec. 2004
By Jessica G. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Then pick this book up. Usually I'm skeptical on reading books that "solve" history problems, but the book was on sale, and I needed something to read. Now I can't stop reading it. Far from being written like a textbook (god knows I have enough of those to deal with), this is much more light. It's in the format of a story, with you and the author as the detective. He poses the questions to you, as the reader, to come up with your own conclusions.

I'm still not finished reading it, but I don't anticipate this book losing what I like best about it- the historical accuracy. In books like these, most authors will only show there view. Occasionally, for good measure, they'll stick in a comment from the opposing side (and usually in the process will belittle that person). Thats not the case here. The author actually made sure every step of the way his information was actually correct, and established that with assorted individuals with great credentials. Not only that, but he poses all plausible scenarios, with pros and cons for each. I might also add he's getting things right. I just took a few classes that can coincide with it, from some very conservative professors (not a bad thing for historians. I'm almost positive that if I handed them this book, they'd agree. Try doing that with a Graham Hancock book- you won't get far.

This book doesn't rewrite history, it simply provides an argument on some of the greatest mysteries surrounding the Exodus. Where was Mount Sinai? What routes did the Israelites take? He uses different types of sciences (archaeology, geology, etc) to answer these questions, as well as linguistics and generally history.

If you're concerned about the religious context, it can be taken either way. I'm not religious, but I love biblical archaeology. For those of you who are, fear not- the author states in the beginning of the book that far from disproving anything, he proves that the events of the Exodus were even more miraculous.

I would recommend this book to any history buff, whether professional or not. Even if you only have a slight interest in the topic matter, I'm sure this book will keep you reading.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Enthralling 8 Mar. 2004
By Mike Murphree - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the kind of book I'd normally scan for a few main items of interest. Instead, I found myself reading every word and I couldn't read anything else until I had finished the book.
Other reviewers (Paul Thomas, in particular) have given good accounts of what the book is about. Contrary to a couple of review comments, I found the author's relatively unsophisticated writing style to be a big plus. Humphreys, a man of obviously prodigious talents in several fields, writes in an easily understandable manner. I really liked the transparently human quality reflected in his excitement in finding potential solutions to this amazing puzzle. Unlike a lot of writng by academicians, it reflects a genuine person with a real life, emotions, and curiosity.
Also, I think the one reviewer not buying every detail of Humphreys' theory is a bit misleading, if not unfair. There's way too much here that is highly credible and extremely interesting to take such a dismissive attitude.
My only negative is that better maps and photos would have been nice.
In sum, though, it's a truly fascinating read that radically brings to life the Exodus event; and it should spawn considerable discussion and debate for years to come.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A Serious and Entertaining Explanation of the Exodus Story 22 Dec. 2003
By Paul R. Thomas - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Colin Humphreys, a Cambridge University Physicist, has produced a complete and coherent natural/scientific explanation of the 'miracles' of Exodus that deserves to be widely read and seriously considered, whether or not one agrees with 100% of his arguments or inferences. It is, in fact, the author's intention to stimulate discussion of the historicity of the written story of Exodus using scientific and rational arguments. His identification of the locations of Mt. Sinai and the 'Re(e)d Sea' crossing, and his explanation for how the crossing occurred, are by far the most interesting parts of the book and these chapters alone make the entire book worth reading.
The book is written in an entertaining style so that one is immediately caught up in the author's personal detective story concerning other Exodus mysteries such as how the plagues occurred and in the sequence they did, or the route taken by the Israelites out of Egypt, as well as more minor yet fascinating issues such as how the burning bush burned without being consumed, how Pharaoh entrapped the host, why Pharaoh didn't further pursue the host, or even really minor yet still fascintating questions such as how bitter water was made sweet, or how the feast of quails occurred and what the heck is 'mana' anyway and was does it dissolve in the sun? The book is a cornucopia of interesting information and insights.
His explanations of the events in the Exodus story draw upon a variety of scientific disciplines and historical sources. He employs sound logical inferences in making his arguments concerning the plagues, routes, events and site locations involved in the story, and even his speculations are not so wild as to be discarded out of hand. Importantly, he clearly distinguishes between the scientifc facts presented and his own interpretations and inferences, including the degree to which he feels he is 'strectching'. The book is thus a serious attempt to provide valid answers to the many perplexing issues of this most famous story.
Yes, he is a Christian, and yes he does believe in the authenticity of the Old Testament, but on the latter point he is far from being alone, even among agnostics, since more and more research (particularly archaeological) has shown that the Old Testament is a remarkably accurate 'family history' that deals mostly with actual events recorded factually.
There is neither Christian proselytizing nor alien wackiness in this book, just a serious yet entertainingly written and truly fascinating thesis that is complete, coherent (perhaps occassionally 'strechted') but extremely engaging read. I recommend it highly.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know