In an article written in 2017, the popular British newspaper, The Telegraph, claimed that an analysis of DNA of a 3,700-year-old Canaanite woman proved that the Bible was wrong.
The publication was citing a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics stating that the woman’s DNA was closely related to the DNA of people living in Lebanon.
In its article, The Telegraph explains:
The ancient Canaanites survived a divine call for their elimination and went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study finds.
In other words, the descendants of the Canaanites were alive and well nearly 4,000 years later, so obviously the Bible made a huge mistake stating the Canaanites had been wiped out.
And, it wasn’t just The Telegraph, several mainstream media outlets joined in to take shots at the Bible.
Here is a sampling of a few of the headlines:
- The Bible was WRONG: Civilization God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking: Express
- Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: The Daily Mail
- Canaanites survived Biblical ‘slaughter,’ ancient DNA shows: ABC
- The Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon: The Independent
- The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese: Pulse Headlines
But there was a problem.
People began pointing to several Bible verses that revealed the Canaanites were not wiped out as these media outlets suggested.
The Book of Judges records Israel’s battles with the Canaanites, including several successful conquests. But there were also several cities that they were unable or more accurately unwilling to conquer, and the Canaanites continued to living in the area (Judges 1:27-36).
And in the next chapter, because of Israel’s unwillingness to drive them out, God warned that the Canaanites “will become traps for you” and their gods “will become snares to you” (Judges 2:3). And, of course, that warning proved to be true.
After this was revealed, some outlets issued retractions and I like how The Telegraph explained its error:
The ancient Canaanites were not wiped out, as the Bible suggests, but went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study has found.
The Bible does not “suggest” the Canaanites were wiped out, which means the DNA evidence supporting the fact that there are descendants of Canaanites today actually supports the Bible.
They admitted that rather than disproving the Bible, the DNA analysis actually confirmed it was accurate.
And speaking of Canaanite DNA, a bit of it even ended up in Christ.
As Joshua entered the Promised Land, one of the first cities Israel conquered was Jericho. In Joshua 2-6, we read how Rahab the harlot aided Israel by hiding the Jewish men sent to spy out the city. Because of her willingness to help, the spies told her to use a scarlet cord to mark her home, so her family would be spared when the city fell.
Rahab, who acknowledged her faith in God (Joshua 2:11), joined Israel, eventually marrying a Jewish man by the name of Salmon and ended up as part of the lineage of Christ:
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. (Matthew 1:5-6 NIV)
Lebanon, with a population of six million people, has one of the largest Christian populations in the Middle East, sitting at 36%.
READ: For Culturally Illiterate Science Reporters, Canaanite DNA Yields Occasion to Slap Bible Around AND Study shows ancient Canaanites survived divine call in Bible for them to be wiped out AND Telegraph forced to revise article attacking the Bible AND Missing the Canaanites in Plain Sight: The Media Need to Read Their Bibles!