The news broke over so many media outlets I couldn’t even keep up. The trending headline? A genetic study had disproved a biblical claim.
At hand was the destruction of the Canaanites. The Bible records God calling for their destruction. A new genetic study found that they had most certainly not been destroyed as traces of Canaanite ancestry were discovered in modern Lebanese. Translation: the Canaanites went on to become modern-day Lebanese.
Conclusion - Bible - God - Israelites - Canaanites
Conclusion? Since, according to the Bible, God had ordered the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites, the Bible is clearly wrong. As is written in the book of Deuteronomy, “Completely destroy them – the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – as the Lord your God has commanded you” (Deuteronomy 20:17, NIV).
They weren’t destroyed, so the Bible is finally caught in a true-blue, card-carrying, inescapable error.
Pulse - Headline - Read - Bible - Ancient
A Pulse headline read, “The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese.” The Daily Mail breathlessly announced, “Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out.”
There’s just one little problem.
Bible - Canaanites - God - Punishment - Destruction
The Bible never said that the Canaanites were exterminated. Yes, God called for their punishment, but their destruction was never understood to be an annihilation (a careful reading of the biblical text notes that it was just to involve the major city military strongholds, not the outlying areas, which were more civilian in nature). And even that language was commonly used ancient, near-eastern hyperbole. For example, you would commonly read among the cultures of that day how they had destroyed “everyone,” but then following this would read a discussion...
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