More Biblical illiteracy from the media


A study of DNA from modern Lebanon found that its population is descended from the ancient Canaanites.  Which is proof that the Canaanites survived Joshua’s invasion–as the Bible said they did.

But, somehow, the news media had the impression that the Bible taught that the Canaanites were wiped out!  So headlines crowed that the Bible had been proven wrong!

Never mind Joshua 1:27-36.

Interestingly, the study focused on the inhabitants of the Lebanese city of Sidon, a place where the Bible explicitly says the Canaanites survived (Joshua 1:31).

I came across one of those articles on the findings, with the claim that it refuted what the Bible said, and marveled at the Biblical ignorance.  But David Klinghoffer compiled the headlines and discussed the howlers.  A very few of the publications later made corrections, but not many.

Here is the original article on the DNA study:  “Continuity and Admixture in the Last Five Millennia of Levantine History from Ancient Canaanite and Present-Day Lebanese Genome Sequences,” American Journal of Human Genetics).

Here are the headlines, as compiled by Mr. Klinghoffer.  From them you can notice the breathless tone of excitement that the Bible has been disproven:

The Telegraph and Science later issued rather half-hearted corrections.

From David Klinghoffer,  For Culturally Illiterate Science Reporters, Canaanite DNA Yields Occasion to Slap Bible Around | Evolution News

Also read Tyler O’Neil, Canaanite Gene Study Actually Proves the Bible’s Right, but Don’t Tell the Media, who relates the howler to other recent examples of Biblical illiteracy among the media.  Such as saying the Book of Romans calls for the execution of gays.  And Proverbs being “the most Republican book of the Bible.”


Painting: “Joshua Passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant” by Benjamin West (U.S.A., 1800) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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