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Published On: Mon, Feb 17th, 2014

Theology professor counters claim that camel bones disprove Bible, explains Abraham owning camels

A professor of theology and Hebrew has countered the recent claims that radioactive dating of camel bones disprove Biblical claims of their presence as far back as Abraham’s life.

“What these archaeologists are doing… is when they read about somebody like Abraham having camels, they’re saying, “Aha! The Bible is saying that camels were widespread in Palestine during this period of time, and there’s no archaeological evidence for that,” Dr. Andrew Steinmann of Concordia University-Chicago tells Issues, Etc., a Christian radio station (via Christian Post in a Feb 16 article)

The recent report by a team from Tel Aviv University challenged the Biblical accuracy by stating that camels were not domesticated for centuries after the Old Testament accounts. Excavated camel bones were dated to 9th century BC which contradicts their use prior to 1500 BC.

Steinmann agrees there’s no archaeological evidence for widespread use of camels in Palestine at this time, but adds that that’s not what the Bible is saying.

“What it is showing is that somebody who originally came from Mesopotamia, like Abraham, he did have some camels,” she quotes the professor as saying. “And then the other mentions of camels in Genesis and in the early part of the Bible have to do with either people related to Abraham that were living in the Arabian Desert (for instance, the Ishmaelites…have camels when they come and buy Joseph and take him down to Egypt), or other peoples like that, associated with the Arabian Desert-the Amalekites…who live on the edge of the Arabian Desert are mentioned a number of times having camels. But there’s no mention of Israelites owning camels….”

Steinmann was also asked about the charge that the new archaeological finding is proof that “someone’s been tampering with the text and unwittingly gave themselves away by putting camels in Abraham’s possession.”

On the contrary, the findings show that Old Testament accounts are “very accurate,” the professor responds. “Because they confine it to people from Mesopotamia or the Arabian Peninsula. If this person was going to give himself away, you would expect [to see] him depicting the Canaanites having camels, or people like that. But he doesn’t say the Canaanites or the Phoenicians are making extensive use of camels.”

Check out the full article to see how other critics are responding HERE

Dromedary Camel . Image/Video Screen Shot

Dromedary Camel .
Image/Video Screen Shot

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  1. […] should Christians do with this new data? Some of the extreme conservative theologians have reacted to this finding by denying the relevancy of this study on the specific possessions of Abraham. […]

  2. […] should Christians do with this new data? Some of the extreme conservative theologians have reacted to this finding by denying the relevancy of this study on the specific possessions of Abraham. […]

  3. […] should Christians do with this new data? Some of the extreme conservative theologians have reacted to this finding by denying the relevancy of this study on the specific possessions of Abraham. […]

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