Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: End Times (02/27/14)
TITLE: Camel Bones and the Bible
By Edmond Ng
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- Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. (2 Peter 3:3 NLT)
The findings of two archeologists at Tel Aviv University (TAU) made headlines recently when their research called to question the Bible’s version of ancient history.
According to the study conducted by Dr Erez Ben-Yosef and Dr Lidar Sapir-Hen, domesticated camel did not appear in the Eastern Mediterranean region until around the tenth century BC. If this is true, it means biblical records referencing the animal in the times of Abraham and Jacob are inaccurate.
"There are too many camels in the Bible, out of time and out of place” wrote John Noble Wilford in The New York Times on February 10, 2014. “These anachronisms are telling evidence that the Bible was written or edited long after the events it narrates and is not always reliable as verifiable history.”
In an interview with Christianity Today, Titus Kennedy, an adjunct professor at Biola University, said that he noticed archeologists who work in Israel and Jordan seem to date camel domestication later than those who work in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
“[Israel] doesn't have much writing from before the Iron Age, 1000 BC,” he said. “So there aren't as many sources to look at. Whereas in Egypt, you have writing all the way back to 3000 BC and in Mesopotamia the same thing.” Based on Egyptian and Mesopotamian accounts, Kennedy believes domestication probably occurred as early as the third millennium BC. He also believes the TAU researchers not only ignored evidence from outside Israel, they also assumed too much about their own research.
“All they really tell us is that at that particular place where they were working they found some camel bones that they interpreted as in a domesticated context between the ninth and 11th centuries BC,” said Kennedy. “It doesn't tell us that camels couldn't have been used in other nearby areas earlier than that.”
The Bible forewarns that in the last days there would be scoffers who would come to mock the truth and whose purpose in life is to satisfy their own desires. They would not listen to sound and wholesome teaching, but would look for teachers who tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 1:18).
When we hear of wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, scoffers who mock the truth and follow their own desires, do not be afraid or be in doubt but be aware the Kingdom of God is near (Matthew 24:6-8, 33-35; Mark 13:29-31; Luke 21:31-33). For people are like grass, and all their glory like the flowers in the field; the grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of the Lord endures forever (1 Peter 1:24-25).
Dear Lord, forgive us for sometimes doubting the Bible is inspired by You. Your word, O God, is the lamp to guide our feet and the light for our path. Thank You, Lord, for forewarning us about the things that must take place before Your return that while we wait we might not be swayed by unsound or unwholesome teaching but be found faithful in You to the end.
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