As I was surfing the web this afternoon, I came across the following headline:
Big Mistake Discovered in the Bible
If you followed the link and read the article, you found a study on camel bones conducted by Israeli archaeologists. Evidently, they surveyed the oldest camel bones known in the promised land and found that they dated from the 10th century BC. They suspect that the camels they found were introduced by Egyptian copper miners. Since the Old Testament claims that Abraham owned domesticated camels and the 10th century BC is significantly after Abraham, this study supposedly proves an error in the Bible.
Now this is an interesting story, but it is a long way from proving that Abraham had no domesticated camels. According to the Wikipedia article on the camel, they were originally domesticated in 3000 BC in Southern Arabia and 2500 BC in Iran. While no one is exactly sure where Abraham was born, the Bible is clear that he was not born in the promised land. If, as some have suggested, Abraham was born close to the Persian Gulf, then he might have brought a few camels with him when he brought his family to what is now Israel. Because he and his family were only in the promised land for a short time before migrating to Egypt, none of the bones of the small herd of camels they brought with them have been found by archaeologists. Is this such an unlikely scenario?
But, of course, “Archaeologists Discover Egyptian Copper Miners Used Camels” is not quite as attention grabbing as, “Big Mistake Discovered in the Bible”. I guess this is par for the course.