But archaeologists have shown that camels were not domesticated in the Land of Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs (2000-1500 BCE).In addition to challenging the Bible’s historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes.” But, is it really the case that the biblical narratives which mention the patriarchs, were written the events they describe? Camels and the Biblical Patriarchs As far back as the book of Genesis, camels are can be linked with such Old Testament patriarchs as Abraham, Jacob, Laban and Moses.Considered the first of the biblical patriarchs, Abraham's life history encompasses a journey starts that in a place called Ur. "the dawn of civilization" because it marks the earliest documented dates when people settled in communities and began such things as writing, agriculture, and commerce.
Third, as Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen points out, camels don’t actually figure that large in the lives of the patriarchs in any significant sense anyway. This leads me to the fourth and final reason – Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence – a phrase often attributed to the great American Biblical archaeologist, Dr. How many ancient sites have archaeologists been able to excavate?He writes: “A common claim is that mentions of camels are anachronistic before circa 1100. In biblical terms, between roughly 20 their role is minimal.” In other words – yes – the biblical patriarchs owned camels, but it is not as if they were camel traders or camel herders. But even so, other research suggests that camels have been present on the Arabian peninsula since at least 6,000 B. When does the lack of evidence for a biblical statement prove that an error is involved?There are four good reasons why I do not believe this recent “discovery” is fatal to the historicity of the Old Testament patriarchs.First of all, one of the many things that the history of archaeology in the Levant has shown over the past several decades is that one report is certainly not the last word on any given subject on ancient or biblical history.Historians date Abraham's biblical story around 2000 B.
C., based on clues in Genesis Chapters 11 through 25.The journey of Abraham's family, by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, known as il Grechetto (1609-1664), oil on canvas, 186x282 cm.De Agostini Picture Library/ De Agostini Picture Library/ Getty Images Archaeology has been one of biblical history's greatest tools to sift out better-verified facts of Bible stories.Among these artifacts are some 20,000 clay tablets found deep inside in the ruins of the city of Mari in today's Syria.According to , Mari was located on the Euphrates River some 30 miles north of the border between Syria and Iraq.Therefore, since the oral tradition mentioned Ur as the starting point for Abraham and his family, historians think that it would have been logical for scribes to assume the name was tied to the same place they knew in their period, says .