An Invitation to Professor James K. Hoffmeier to a Formal Public Debate

On June 13, I sent the following invitation to Old Testament scholar and Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, James K. Hoffmeier:

Professor Hoffmeier,

My name is Joel Richardson. I am a Christian author of several popular books primarily dealing with matters of eschatology. I recently had the opportunity to visit and investigate Jebel Al-Lawz and the surrounding areas in Saudi Arabia for a few days. The reason I am writing is to invite you to join me in a public debate with the subject being, “Did Paul the Apostle locate Mount Sinai in the Sinai Peninsula or to the east of the Red Sea?” Of course, I would take the position that he placed it to the east of the Red Sea. If you would agree to such, I am confident that we could find a suitable location. I would suggest a three-hour debate. Thank you for your consideration.

Many Blessings,
Joel Richardson

  • Kenneth Reese
    Posted at 20:47h, 15 June

    Joel, can you share some insight as to why this debate is important in terms of the Kingdom of God and the end times we find ourselves?

  • David Kelley
    Posted at 09:48h, 18 June

    While it’s unsanitary to take the words from someones mouth, I’ll play the fool since I have so much practice;
    Joel recently visited the purported sight of Mt. Sinai, in Saudi Arabia. The sight is repleat with numerous ruins, caves, proto linguistics, which seem to fit the Biblical narrative of the Exodus, widely disputed by secular academia.
    Lots of evidence available about this sight, I will simply say that it’s more than merely intriguing.
    So, if this site is the location of the much disputed Mt. Sinai of Biblical description, then the implications on multiple levels are clearly huge, just from archaeological and historical perspectives alone! Relevance to God’s people should be hugely obvious, on numerous levels. I fully expect a huge amount of debate, ridicule, dismissal over the issue, simply because so many are currently hostile to ideas of God, the Bible, and the Judeo-Christian traditions. So on a basic level, it would sure be a sweet refutation to those who discredit the Biblical narrative at every level, as well as a sign to the faithful and unbelieving. I seem to recall a verse making reference to discoveries in the end times to strengthen the faithful….? This would surely qualify, right next to the inerrancy of scripture, recently exhibited by the Dead Sea scrolls, or perhaps it’s just Christian hubris on my part.

  • Kenneth reese
    Posted at 11:53h, 19 June

    Great points. Hopefully many people will have their hearts stirred through this. I sincerely believe we don’t have much time left. I know that seems cliche, but in the past couple of years I (along with many others I’m sure) have just really been impressed upon that the final years are upon us. The word says the end “…will come like a flood”. Meaning quick and destructive. My personal feeling is that after Turkeys June 24 election, which will likely hand Erdoğan dictatorial powers, things are going to drastically speed up. Remember when Hitler finally consolidated his power? It only took a few years to be in WW2. Erdogan will move quickly.
    Gods bless

  • D. Robertson
    Posted at 15:19h, 19 June

    I am looking forward to this debate. I’ve learned over the years that Joel does not speak unless he has done his research. I am looking forward to what you have to say Joel. I appreciate your work for the Lord. I do pray for you and your family – for safety, and for having done all, to stand firmly.

  • Jim Black
    Posted at 18:33h, 20 June

    Great comments and affirmations for love of the word and each other.

  • Clarke Morledge
    Posted at 09:47h, 28 June

    Joel: You are trying to get a debate with James Hoffmeier? (By the way, you spelled his name wrong)

    I just viewed your video from Saudi Arabia. You mentioned Bob Cornuke and Ron Wyatt, in a positive manner. Credentialed archaeologists like Hoffmeier consider Cornuke and Wyatt to be like snake-oil salesmen!!

    If you had mentioned someone like Colin Humphreys, who supports the Sinai in Saudi Arabia argument, you might stand a chance. But you pretty much dug yourself in a hole by appealing to Cornuke and Wyatt.

  • Joel
    Posted at 04:12h, 29 June


    I mentioned these two men in the video not as credentialled archeologists, but as the two men who are most well known for first visiting the mountain and popularizing the site. Along with the Caldwells, they deserve credit for this. Hoffmeier has mocked the suggestion that this could be the real Sinai by attempting to cast it as the unique theory of men such as Wyatt and Cornuke. Gordon Franz has worked hard to do the same. This reveals that they are either very ignorant concerning that actual evidence for al-Lawz or are being dishonest. Hoffmeier has responded and declined to debate, claiming that the location of the real Mount Sinai is irrelevant. Obviously I disagree. For what it is worth, Humphrey’s efforts to explain the Exodus through natural means is simply not credible if one is actually a believer. Al-Lawz is the only candidate that has such a strong case historically, archeologically, geographically, etc.


  • Dr. Douglas Roth
    Posted at 16:35h, 08 July


    I do not personally know if Hoffmeier considers Cornuke and Wyatt so lowly, but assuming you are correct – and you probably are – it reveals more about Hoffmeier’s cynical stance than it does Cornuke’s and Wyatt’s credentials. Within the body of Christ, when it comes to archaeology and history, if there is anything we have learned over time it is that we should beware of dogmatic conclusions and belittling of sources. The past list of “credentialed archaeologists” that have been proven wrong, when new evidence is discovered, is long and wide. That is not to besmirch the field of archaeology in any way – and in fact everyone wants the Saudis to open up the site to renowned archaeologists to explore. But “all truth is God’s truth” and if Cornuke and Wyatt (as well as the Caldwell’s and others) have stumbled upon such, then we should celebrate.


    Dr. Roth

  • Ed Townley
    Posted at 19:22h, 10 July


    What , in particular, about Colin Humphreys’ theory of the Mt. Sinai location do you take issue with? I found it carefully reasoned and plausible.

    By the way, I enjoy your website and thought your Mystery Babylon: Unlocking the Bible’s Greatest Prophetic Mystery was a compelling read.



  • Joel
    Posted at 04:50h, 11 July

    Humphreys seeks to explain most of the Exodus events through a much more naturalistic lens. The biblical language is clear: These were events miraculously wrought by God specifically intended to impress.

  • Alan E. Kurschner
    Posted at 18:58h, 15 July


    When Robert Van Kampen pioneered the prewrath position in 1990, many scholars and laypeople poo-pooed his view as untenable because it was “new” and “non-scholarly” written by a layperson. Today, the prewrath position is not only one of the three major eschatological views on the second coming recognized by scholars, but the _fastest_ growing view today. New views and interpretations are typically scorned at first, but vindicated decades later.


  • Sidney Vail
    Posted at 22:21h, 02 September

    Hi Joel! I’ve been a REGULAR FOLLOWER of your “Joel’s Trumpet” AND “The Underground” sites for 5+- years, and have learned much there.

    As for your suggested debate, that Professor Hoffmeier has rejected; I sense the same sort of haughtiness that I’d expect from the Pharisees in Jesus’s day…That old “Who is this upstart?” superiority complex creeping out. I DO hope I’m wrong, tho.

    I would REALLY ENJOY watching, or listening to, such a debate; as I KNOW you BOTH would teach me much; which, to my understanding of debating, is actually what’s INTENDED for a debate to do..

    BUT, regardless, you’ve done a marvelous job of bringing MUCH NEW AWARENESS, as well as stimulating PROFOUND CONSIDERATIONS into the study of Eschatology; & I, for one, (and I’m SURE MANY agree), really have been definitely enlightened by your research! THANKS, & God Bless!

  • Lauren Atkinson
    Posted at 16:02h, 15 September


    I believe you are dead on. The Mt. Sinai location is incredibly important. This world and the people in it are broken and desperately wanting something they can feel, touch, see and experience the presence of God. They are hungry. I see it daily. But they go seeking for His presence only to find dull and boring churches talking about a God who used to do wonders and use to do miracles yet no one is effected in their own lives preaching it. No one is moved. No one is excited. Everyone seems to be glorifying something that once was. Broken and dull people singing and wishing for proof of His existence themselves. In return, the people leave starving back into the disgusting world there seeking to come out of. Finding these things is proof!Finding these locations gives people hope, Gives people excitement. Gives people the will to get out of bed in the morning excited they may just run into the Lord or see proof He was/Is here! The Bible coming to life causes the people to be God chasers.

    The Israelites felt the same way. For 400 years all they heard was of this invisible God there parents, grandparents and great grandparents talked about who did “Great signs and wonders” yet, where was He? They were broken, salves and tired of the oppression until……. Mt. Sinai. He showed up! And thats why this is important. He wants to be with His people and these locations are proof He desires to dwell with us. And show up! And I believe we are about to see a Mt. Sinai moment very soon again. So find away Joel! I would and most of the people on this planet would give anything to see the things the Lord touched and dwelled upon.

    The people want to believe. Show them He is literally touchable!

  • Cynthia Christine Pemberton
    Posted at 08:09h, 24 September

    I hope this debate takes place! There are those who believe by faith, and there are those who believe by sight! I’ve seen the evidence Joel Richardson is talking about.. Wyatt and Cornuke may not have been official archaeologists and I don’t believe in everything they say… Namely Cornuke on the location of the Temple Mount, but I do agree with the evidence on Jebel Al-Lawz. I know people who live in the area believe matter of fact it is the mountain of Moses! Big statement considering they’re not of faith in the Bible. The physical evidence is overwhelming! I don’t believe they found it because they are great archaeologists, but because they had the open mind and Yah allowed them to see it. I am saddened by Mr. Hoffmeier’s refusal to pursue this. What is the harm in looking at the evidence? If you are a great archaeologist, why wouldn’t you want to know? You would be the first official archaeologists with you’re name attached to a historic find! You don’t get many opportunities like that! This and the possibility of Noah’s ark are the 2 greatest find in history! Those people who need the nudge to believe will have what they need! (As when Thomas needed to see Yeshua’s nail scarred hands) Mr. Hoffmeiers refusal to investigate is a closed door to salvation for these type of people! I am saddened to see a learned man of archaeology turn his back on such a golden opportunity! If it is nothing… It is nothing… But if it is….!!!! 😮 Yah uses the simple things that seem foolish to confound the wise…… That alone is reason to investigate!

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