In a goofy clickbait article, Ian Johnston claims that (btw, it’s helpful to use webarchive to link articles like this so that they don’t get ad revenue):
The argument goes:
- The Bible reported that the Israelites were supposed to annihilate the Canaanites.
- If true, “the Canaanites could not have directly contributed genetically to present-day populations.”
- Canaanite DNA has been in the Lebanese population.
- Therefore, the Bible is false.
Hilariously, the author points out that:
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. Some Biblical scholars have argued the passages are hyperbole, but the genetic research would appear to indicate the slaughter was much less extensive than described.
“The text uses hyperbole…but science says that the text is exaggerating.”
Religious people of all stripes will stop hating scientists or their goofy popularizers in famous online blogs when they stop being disingenuous blobs. I have nothing against disingenuous blobs. It’s an honest living, after all. I’m merely pointing out that others do.
As an aside, the Biblical text explicitly acknowledges that the Canaanites were not destroyed or driven out, implying without scholarly citation, that the Biblical authors engaged in hyperbole:
Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob, so the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out.
(Judges 1:31-32 ESV)
The article has some cool information about the discovery of Phoenician DNA among the Lebanese. What is curious to me is that I’ve been under the impression that the Levant was full of the descendants of the Phoenicians for nearly a decade.