The Telegraph, a United Kingdom publication, published an article with the following title: “Study disproves the Bible’s suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out.” The story and its fake headline have gone viral.
- “Study disproves the Bible’s suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (The Telegraph)
- “Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon” (The Independent)
- “Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: Study says their genes live on in modern-day Lebanese people” (Daily Mail)
- “Scientists Find Evidence That Ancient Canaanites Survive Today: Was The Bible Wrong?” (Tech Times)
- “New DNA study casts doubt on Bible claim” (Mother Nature Network)
- “The Bible was WRONG: Civilisation God ordered to be KILLED still alive and kicking” (Express)
- “Genetic evidence suggests the Canaanites weren’t destroyed after all” (Ars Technica)
- “Canaanites Weren’t Annihilated by Ancient Israelites After All” (Newser)
- “Study disproves the Bible’s claim that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (Click Lancashire)
- “Canaanites survived Biblical ‘slaughter’, ancient DNA shows” (ABC Online)
- “DNA vs the Bible: Israelites did not wipe out the Canaanites” (Cosmos)
- “The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese” (Pulse Headlines) (Evolution News)
It doesn’t take a Bible scholar to know that the claim is false. What we see here is the perpetuation of fake history as news. Anyone only reading the titles of the above articles (as most people will do) will come away believing a lie and repeating that lie to others. How do we know it’s a lie? Because, contrary to what the article states, the Bible does not say the Canaanites were wiped out.
The following is from the original Telegraph article:
The ancient Canaanites were not wiped out, as the Bible suggests, but went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study has found.
The Bible does not “suggest” the Canaanites were wiped out which means the DNA evidence supporting the fact that there are descendants of Canaanites today supports the Bible.
The Telegraph article continues:
Living between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago, the holy text suggests things did not end well for the people living in the Middle East. According to a passage in Deuteronomy [20:17], God had ordered the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites. “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them … so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods.”1
The command to wipe out the Canaanites is true, but what’s false is that the Canaanites were wiped out, an article from The Independent Online states, “While the Bible says they were wiped out by the Israelites under Joshua in the land of Canaan, later passages suggest there were at least a few survivors.”2 There were more than a few. All it would have taken for the above articles to get their facts straight was to read the Bible. But they didn’t even have to do that. They could have done a Google search. In truth, the original article should have read, “Ancient DNA Confirms Biblical Account.” (Evolution News) But that would not have served the paper’s purpose – to denigrate the historical record of the Bible.
The Canaanites were still in the land during the historical periods described in the biblical books Joshua and Judges:
But they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites live in the midst of Ephraim to this day, and they became forced laborers” (Josh. 16:10; also 17:12-13, 16; Judges 1:29-30).
There it is! Not only weren’t the Canaanites wiped out or completely driven out but “the sons of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites” (Judges 3:5). Some of the Israelites even married some of the Canaanites (3:6). This means there could be Canaanite DNA among today’s Jews…