Friday, 28 July 2017

The Independent: Wrong on a 3,000 Year Old News Story

I mean, goodness knows it's hard enough, with the lack of finance, for papers to get breaking stories right.

But hats off to Ian Johnston in the Independent, who's managed to get a 3,000 year old story wrong. Despite the story being clearly written down in a document called "The Book of Joshua".

According to the Independent, the Bible says that all the Canaanites were wiped out by the invading Hebrews. And the fact that people living today are descended from Canaanites proves the Bible wrong.

Except that's not what the Bible says. By the end of the Book of Joshua, despite all Joshua's genocide, the Gibeonites are still alive having conned the Hebrews. In Judges we discover Canaanites being subject to forced labour rather than slaughtered. The Jebusites apparently held onto Jerusalem until King David conquered it - and even then they were forced to serve, not annihilated.

So it appears the Canaanites hung about, even in the formed Canaan. But what makes the article less credible even than that, is that the DNA the investigators used to compare to modern Lebanese people was from remains uncovered in Sidon.

That's right. Sidon. The Phoenecian city. Now the Phoenicians may or may not have been Canaanites. But they certainly weren't living in an area where the Hebrews were slaughtering and taking over. And when Jesus goes to the "Land of Tyre and Sidon", he meets a Syrophonecian woman. Who is apparently completely unaware that, according to the Independent, her ancestors had all been wiped out and she doesn't exist.

I guess the moral of the story is this. " People living today descended from people living in the same place in the past" is interesting but not a big story. "Science proves Bible is Wrong" - now that's click bait.

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