Currently there are 2 theories as to who the Pharaoh of Exodus was.
1. Ramesses II of the 19th Dynasty
2. Tuthmosis III of the 18th Dynasty
Ramesses became the Pharaoh of Oppression and the Exodus shortly after the deciphment of hieroplyphics by Campollion c 1825. This was because of the many surviving monuments to Ramesses II still evident in Egypt and viewed by the early European visitors. They thought here was the Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus. That the Bible names the town Pi Ramesses and the Land of Ramesse clinched it. Ramesses II was the Pharaoh of Exodus, and Oppression. Science had little to do with it.
In 1826, Champollion discovered and translated the name Jerusalem from a text describing the campainge of Shoshenq I. On this basis Shoshenq I became the Biblical Pharaoh Shishak who sacked Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple (2nd Chronoicles 12:1-4) With this new information scholars (not the common folk to whom even in this day Ramesses II is the Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus) where able to date backwards 521 years ( obtained from the 41 years from the sacking in year 5 of Rehoboam to year 4 of his father Solomon. 1st Kings 6:1 tells us that from this date yr. 4 it was 480 years from Exodus. So you add 480 to 41 and get 521) from Shoshenq's assult to the Exodus. Shoshenq I as Shishak destruction of the Temple takes place about 930 BCE. Add the 521 years and you 1451BCE which is in the period of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III. Now he is the Pharaoh of Oppression and the Exodus.
Back to Ramesses II as the Pharaoh, this belief was blostered in 1896 when Merenptah's Victory Stele was discovered. It contains the first non-Biblical mention of Israel. The scholars read it came to the conclusion that the children of Israel must have been in Canaan by the time of Mernptah, Ramesses II successor. Because of the way Israel is mentioned in the text. The scholars decided that it was shortly after they had escaped Egypt and still wandering folks. So back they went making Ramesses II as the Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus.
Of course this put counting backwards off by some hundreds of years. So the scholars began to wonder if maybe the Bible was wrong in how long the Hebrews lived in Egypt, how long they wandered and lead to the miminualist views of today. That the Bible isn't much more than a collection of myths.
Now here are some additional facts. Taken from Pharaohs and Kings A Biblical Quest by David Rohl, Crown Publishing 1995.
Champollion was wrong in his reading of the Shoshenq I's campainge. It wasn't Jerusalem but the place of the Kings Hand. pg. 122
Shoshenq does not easily translate into Shishak. pg 128.
Based on this new information one can doubt the Tuthmosis III identification as the Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus. Let us not even consider how the great empire building Pharaoh could survive the Exodus to become the empire builder.
Does this leave Ramesses II as the Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus? Here are some more facts for consideration all but the last are taken from David Rohl's book Pharaohs and Kings A Biblical Quest.
Ramesses II does assult, and take the Canaanite town Shalem, the historical name of Jerusalem. pg 149.
Ramesses II name can be translated into Shishak. pgs 157-162.
The Merenptah Victory Stele read by the scholars omits one very important passage when they discuss how Israel is written in it. Those poor non city state wandering Hebrews. The first line of the stanza that includes Israel. This line states that the "Princes are prostrate saying Shalom."
Now when was Israel ever a city state? Never (if you read the Bible you would know this).
When did Israel have a Prince? At and after the sacking of Jerusalem by Shishak. Israel had became a nation state not a city state unlike all the other place names. That were indicated on the Stele.
To make Ramesses II Shishak, not the Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus, and Merenptah's mention of Israel as a nation state. Pushes those events further back in time than most scholars are willing to do.
Considering the reign of Ramesses II it is far more easier to see him as Shishak than the divinely beaten Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus.
So if we eliminate Tuthmosis III, and Ramesse II as Pharaoh of Oppression and Exodus. Who is left?
Quite a few Pharaohs remain actually.
Is David Rohl right in his New Chronology? I don't think so. Egyptian chronology as it exists continues to solidfy without much change. Although i found it interesting that Dr. Zahi Harwass' chronology of Egypt pushes back alittle the dates from his book Silent Images to his web page chronology.
Is the Bible just a collection of myths stories? This isn't a Biblical message board.