If we take the eruption of Thera... Which I believe would have had a high impact on all the surrounding countries... Has anyone associated this event, even theoretically, to a Biblical event.

Also another event that need to be dealth with is the Bronze age collapse. 1177 BC.

Eric H. Cline, 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed (Princeton University Press, 2014)

Donald B. Redford, The Coming of the Sea Peoples”, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton University Press, 1992), 241-256.

Every one was impacted and I suspect Israel too.
Where do we put this in the Biblical stories ?

  • The Explosion of Thera happened sometime during the events recorded in the book of Exodus.
    – user32540
    Apr 12, 2020 at 3:30
  • @4castle – When did the Exodus start? Is the 1477 date proposed by Dr. Hans Goedicke accurate? Charles Krahmalkov of the University of Michigan rejected his theory. wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/101983482#h=16
    – Lesley
    Apr 13, 2020 at 13:23
  • @Lesley The Exodus from Egypt was in 1513 BCE. wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001458#h=6
    – user32540
    Apr 13, 2020 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


Question: Where do we put the explosion of Thera in the biblical stories (of the Exodus)?

Opinions vary as to the date of the eruption of Thera. One source places the event anywhere from 1645 B.C. to 1500 B.C. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Thera

Another source says this:

In 1646 B.C. a massive volcanic eruption, perhaps one of the largest ever witnessed by mankind, took place at Thera (present day Santorini), an island in the Aegean not far from Crete. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minoan_eruption

With regard to when the Exodus happened, my NIV Study Bible gives 1446 B.C. as does this other source:

The date of the exodus was 1446 B.C., in the 18th dynasty of Egypt, 480 years before Solomon built the Temple: 1 Kings 6:1. Source: https://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-exodus-route-goshen-red-sea.htm

In other words, the crossing of the Red Sea happened long after the eruption of Thera.

Although one Egyptologist (Dr. Hans Goedicke of John Hopkins University) came up with the idea that the Exodus coincided with the volcanic eruption at Thera (in 1477 B.C.) the date of the Exodus (1446 B.C.) does not coincide with the supposed date of the eruption at Thera. Until somebody can come up with a verifiable date for the eruption at Thera, it is a waste of time to speculate further.

As the author of this article says at the end of this paper, “The Thera theories are not only bad science, they are bad theology.” https://www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/science-and-religion/2014/02/26/thera-egypt-exodus/


The Thera/Santorini/Minoan Eruption "was one of the largest volcanic events on Earth in human history" (Minoan Eruption, wiki). It is usually put at about 1600 BC. From multiple lines of evidence the date of the Exodus was in 1446 BC (at the Passover (in the Spring)). See How do Christians reconcile archeology with the Bible in the account of the Battle of Jericho? and Who was Pharaoh when Moses lived in Egypt?

The article on Jericho quotes sources saying that the Thera Eruption at 1600 BC is dated between 150 and 170 years too early. This is not because the carbon dating is wrong, but because the tree ring data needed to calibrate the carbon dating is of poor quality. This is the belief of archaeologists such as Manfred Bietak based on other archaeological data.

If the Thera Eruption is dated 150 to 170 years later than 1600 that would put the date at between 1450 and 1430 BC, which strikingly, the Exodus date of 1446 falls within. As I have said in the answer to "Who was Pharaoh when Moses lived?" the sea port of Peru-Nefer at today's "Tell El'Daba", previously the location of the Hyksos capital city of Avaris and later called Raamses was abandoned in the reign of Amenhotep II (1452-1425).

Even though the maps show that Tell El'Daba/Peru Nefer is inland in the Nile delta, it was a main sea port for Egypt. It is tantalising to speculate that a massive tsunami caused by the Minoan/Santorini/Thera Eruption caused the destruction of Peru Nefer and its abandonment. It is also tantalising to speculate that the same tsunami played a big part in, firstly, the "parting of the waters" (together with the strong wind) and, secondly, in the destruction of the chariot army of Egypt.

Better tree ring data will be available at some point. One of the positive side effects of the paranoia concerning "Global Warming" is hugely greater funding available for studies in the history of the world climate, including gathering in of tree ring data.

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