And this is why I’m such an advocate for reading the Bible and knowing what it really says. An article in Friday’s Daily Telegraph out of the UK states that genetic study of Lebanese people proves they’re descended from Canaanites and were not wiped out by the Israelites as the Bible says they were.
Implication? The Bible is a load of hogwash and science continues to disprove it. Next stop? The discovery of transitional species that show how apes evolved into homo sapiens and that certain dinosaurs turned into birds. And beyond? The long-undiscovered burial site of Jesus Christ.
There’s just one problem. The Bible doesn’t say the Canaanites were wiped out by the Israelites. The Israelites were commanded to annihilate the Canaanites, but the Bible says they did anything but.
However, Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam a d its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; for the Canaanites were determines to dwell in that land.
— Judges 1:27
Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; so the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. Nor did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or the inhabitants of Nahalol so the Canaanites dwelt among them, and were put under tribute.
— Judges 1:29
And it goes on, listing the failure of the Israelites to follow through on the command to wipe them out, and eventually leading to a declaration from an angel of the Lord that the Canaanites would continue to be a thorn in their sides.
There goes the thesis of this reporter’s story — and possibly his credibility. But someone who hasn’t read the Bible and gives that article even a cursory glance will say, “Well, chalk up another one for science against that load of hooey people still believe in!”
Last year, I saw a BBC documentary about some people searching for Noah’s Ark, in which the narrator said that the Bible states the earth was created less than 6,000 years ago.
He didn’t say, “some people interpret the Bible as saying that …”. He said, “The Bible says …”
Which it doesn’t.
The Book of Genesis is quite nebulous as to the exact time when God created the heavens and the earth. My understanding is the “less than 6,000 years” claim is based on a particular interpretation of the timeline; but the Bible itself is very un-specific on that. I’ve written before on the question of faith and the account of creation — I believe that fossils and other archeological and paleontological evidence give us proof that we can see. God tells us the things that we can’t see, so that part of our natural curiosity is satisfied and we can get on with the job of taking care of His creation — as He commands us to do.
But I digress. The fact is, the researcher who wrote that TV script and the Telegraph reporter are doing themselves and their readers and viewers a disservice by using that false premise — and people do themselves a disservice by not taking advantage of the fact that God’s Word is available to us to read for ourselves.
All that being said, it makes our job, as ambassadors of Christ, very clear: we have to keep encouraging others to read the Word for themselves so they, too, can get a handle on the promise, the glory, the hope … and the Truth.