« Is Christian Education Simply a Matter of Religious Indoctrination? | Main | Do We Worship the Same God? & Get Rid of Faith »

February 14, 2014

Comments

Now if we can just find archaeological evidence of elephants and horses in the Americas 2500 years ago!

#BOM

So how did the person respond to having the charge of tampering easily refuted?

Michael, the host of Issues Etc. was posing the challenge that was in the New York Times for his guest to respond to. (The quote is the words of the host, but the sentiment expressed by the archaeologist in the New York Times.) So I don't know how the archaeologist would respond. Sorry that wasn't clear.

Good one Sam ;)

Amy,

Abraham & Co. had camels for 1000 years before those immediately around them did - is that what you mean?

RonH

No, here's the argument Dr. Steinmann is making: According to the Bible, Abraham was born and grew up in a place where archaeological evidence indicates camels had already been domesticated for 1000 years. The people immediately around him at that time did have camels. And the only time the Bible mentions people having camels in the Palestine area, it's referring to people who came from an area where we know they had camels. Perhaps they brought camels with them, or perhaps, as they were people who were familiar with using camels, they might have purchased them later from a trader from an area that we know used camels.

Regardless, the Bible does not describe a widespread use of camels by the people of Palestine.

And the only time the Bible mentions people having camels in the Palestine area, it's referring to people who came from an area where we know they had camels.
'The only time' seems to be lot of times.

Do you mean they had just come 'from an area where we know they had camels'? Or are the camels decdended from camels brought hundreds of years ago?

Please understand, I'm not disagreeing. I'm trying to get the picture you are painting.

Thank you! As soon as I saw the news stories I was hoping STR would tackle it. I am listening now.

Ron, since I'm not sure where the miscommunication is happening, I recommend you listen to the interview rather than have me reword the post again. It's not very long.

I think that the bible was absolutely right about camels. Don't believe me? Well, you try to fit them through an eye of a needle. Sorry, I just had to needle you on this. :)

Perhaps Ron is not aware of the story of Abraham. In the story of the Bible (Genesis 12) Abraham is called by God to leave Mesopotamia and go on into Canaan. Abraham was apparently quite wealthy and had several flocks and herds when he left. He leaves Mesopotamia and goes on down into Canaan. He also travels at one point to Egypt (where there are camels). So it's entirely reasonable to assume that he would have had camels in his flocks and herds due to the fact that he comes from Mesopotamia, could have acquired them in Egypt, and traveled all over during the course of his lifetime. Not sure what the big drama is here.

@Ron,

> "Or are the camels decdended from camels brought hundreds of years ago?"

Mostly earlier than that. The Ishmaelites' camels would be ~200 years after Abraham came to Canaan.

Here's the list of Old Testament camel references:
http://www.esvbible.org/search/?excludes=&search=verses&matches=all&contains=camel*&submit=Search&filters=all&scope=1-39&order=reference

I'm seeing five categories of camels. The first two categories are the ones you're wondering about.

1.) The camels of Abraham, his children, and grandchildren. (That includes the camels of the "Ishmaelites", during the time of Abraham's great-grandchild Joseph.)
2.) Laban's camels. He's Abraham's son-in-law. It doesn't say he had camels before meeting Abraham.
3.) The camels of the Amalekites, and "other peoples like that, associated with the Arabian Desert".
4.) The camels that David interacted with. They're sort of in category 3. But it says he brought camels back to Gath, in Israel. (I'm less sure about this one, but it still doesn't look like these stories are indicating that camels were widespread. However, David is just decades before the "camel arrival time" claimed in these archaeological findings. So... The two seem consistent. This could even be how camels became widespread in Israel!)
5.) Job's camels. This is hard to analyze, since the Bible doesn't indicate a time & place for Job.

Sorry, I worded this part weirdly:

You asked:
"Or are the camels decdended from camels brought hundreds of years ago?"

I responded:
"Mostly earlier than that. The Ishmaelites' camels would be ~200 years after Abraham came to Canaan."

I meant that the time scales are mostly smaller than "hundreds of years ago", for these camels belonging to Abraham, his descendants, and Laban.

Here's a good one:

Archaeologists digging in modern day Israel came to a rabbi and said " We have proof that cell phones were used 2,000 years ago!" The rabbi asks "How is this possible?" Their response, "We've been digging for months and couldn't find any telephone poles, so people must have used cell phones back then."

Enjoy!

The comments to this entry are closed.