Biblical Artistic License? Israeli Researchers Dispute Biblical Accounts Featuring Domesticated Camels In The Old Testament

220px-EylcamelFirst there was Bill Nye the Science Guy. Then those pesky fossilized apes. Now we have the faithless, blaspheming camels. Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University have used radiocarbon dating to conclude that the Bible’s description of conditions in 2000 to 1500 BC could not possibly be true — at least when it comes to the genus Camelus. Scientists say that the only problem with descriptions of camels in the Old Testament is that they could not possibly have been present as domesticated animals — something that did not occur until 900 BC.


Professors Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures believe that they have found the first camel or at least the oldest known camel bones in the Arabian Peninsula at the site of a former copper smelting camp in the Aravah Valley. The site is on the border with Jordan from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea. The bones date back to the last third of the 10th century BC or later — decades after the Kingdom of David — and show wild not domesticated camels. None of the sites before the 9th century show camel bones.

Professors Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures conclude that the camel research shows that the Bible is not only inaccurate in its historical account but the testing is “direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes.”

That latter conclusion is not going to sit well with those who view the Bible as a literal and true account of creation and its aftermath. It would suggest that accounts were written much later with some artistic license.

This is not the first assault on the Biblical account by those pesky professors at Tel Aviv University. Previously they found the oldest intact human skull outside of Africa — a skull found in the Republic of Georgia that is 1.8 million years old. That is a tad over the 6000 years established by the Bible, according to creationists.

And now the camels. There is no word on the dancing camel in the Little Drummer Boy but presumably the camels were domesticated and dancing by that point.

22 thoughts on “Biblical Artistic License? Israeli Researchers Dispute Biblical Accounts Featuring Domesticated Camels In The Old Testament

  1. Camels did exist in the Old Testament!!! DESPITE THE ASSERTIONS IN YOUR ARTICLE evidence continues to amass that camel domestication was widely known earlier. Randall Younker adds Late Bronze Age I petroglyphs (Greek = rock/carving) depicting domesticated camels from the Sinai to that evidence. What about the dating of the bones used by Dr.Lidar Sapir-Hen and Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University in this case on the camel? Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell takes them to task in the article “The Bible Wins the Debate with Carbon-Dated Bones.” http://thedailyhatch.org/2014/02/13/despite-what-lidar-sapir-hen-and-erez-ben-yosef-of-tel-aviv-university-say-camels-did-exist-during-the-time-of-the-old-testament/

  2. Everette: Facepalm.. This is precisely why peer reviews need to be done by experts from the field. Not by a gynecologist from AnswersinGenesis.com. Even if she could justify the suggested “six-century error” in this case (which if she could, she would be publishing elsewhere), the Bible would still be a way off.

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