CLAIM: Critics often claim that stories in the Bible (like Joseph’s) are mythical. Is this the case?
RESPONSE: While we can’t prove this story with 100% certainty, there are several lines of evidence that support the historicity of the Joseph story. For instance, many of the terms in this section of Genesis (ch. 37-50) are Egyptian –not Hebrew. Specifically, Joseph’s title of being the “overseer over his house” (Gen. 39:4) was an Egyptian title for this position. Joseph was sold for twenty shekels of silver (Gen. 37:28), which was the “average price of a slave during the first half of the second millennium BC. In the second half of that millennium, the cost went up to thirty shekels, and in the early first millennium it shot up to fifty shekels.” Moreover, the names given for Potiphar and Potipherah were also Egyptian in origin (Gen. 41:45). Finally, there are dozens of references to Egyptian kings living until they were 110 years old, which was considered a “blessed” age to die. Of course, Joseph lived to 110 years old (Gen. 50:22), which demonstrated to the surrounding Egyptian culture that God had dealt favorably with Joseph.
 Hoffmeier writes, “The type of work they did is also included. Several are labeled as hry-pr, literally ‘over the house.’ When Joseph enters Potiphar’s service, he is said to be ‘over his house’ (Genesis 39:4), this is, a household servant.” Hoffmeier, James Karl. The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion, 2008. 46.
 Hoffmeier, James Karl. The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion, 2008. 46.
 Hoffmeier writes, “The Egyptian setting of the Joseph story is further demonstrated by the use of genuine Egyptian names in the narrative. Joseph’s master, Potiphar, and his father-in-law, Potipherah (Gen. 41:45), share variations of the same name, which in Egyptian means ‘he whom Re (the sun-god) has given.’” Hoffmeier, James Karl. The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion, 2008. 46.
 Hoffmeier writes, “More than thirty references are known from Egyptian texts in which a 110-year life span is mentioned. It was a symbolic figure for a distinguished sagely man. One such example is Ptahhotep, who left to posterity a wisdom text from c. 2320 BC. Another individual was Amenhotep, son of Hapu, who served Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC). Often references to 110 years appear in prayers or wishes such as, ‘May I reach 110 years on earth such as every righteous man,’ and ‘May he [the god Amun] give me the 110 years as to every living righteous man.’ Could it be that Joseph’s age at death reflects the use of this Egyptian honorific number that represented the ideal life?” Hoffmeier, James Karl. The Archaeology of the Bible. Oxford: Lion, 2008. 48.