A while back Foxnews.com published an odd article. This site has recently taken to publishing the odd article about archaeology (it always catches my eye when some one shares a link to an article about archaeology on social media) and this one was no exception. The basic gist of the article was that some scholars from the university of Tel Aviv have dated the oldest camel bones ever found and they dated them to the 10th century BC, well after the era of the patriarchs and thus casting doubt on the reliability of the bible because camels figure in the narratives of Genesis. This is the lead of the story as published on the Fox news website:
Archaeologists from Israel’s top university have used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the arrival of domestic camels in the Middle East — and they say the science directly contradicts the Bible’s version of events.
Now I don’t know if that is what the scholarly paper actually said, it wasn’t linked and I couldn’t find it on the web, but what I do know is that there is overwhelming evidence that domesticated camels were present in the Middle East thousands of years before the 10th century BC. There are dozens of carvings, inscriptions and artifacts showing or referring to domesticated camels kept both as pack animals and meat and milk producing live stock some of which date as early as the pre-dynastic period of Egypt (before approximately 3100 B.C.). The evidence is so overwhelming that Dr. Chris Scarre wrote this on page 176 of his 1993 work, Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World:
“both the dromedary (the one-humped camel of Arabia) and the Bactrian camel (the two-humped camel of Central Asia) had been domesticated since before 2000 BC.”
Let that wash over you, a world famous secular scholar, in a definitive secular work, written nearly 30 years ago on the basis of dozens of archaeological discoveries has stated emphatically that that camels, in all of their varieties were domesticated in the 3rd millennium B.C. yet Fox News claimed that archaeologists have pinpointed the date of the domestication of the camel and that their date (~900 B.C.) contradicts the biblical account of Genesis.
And this is not the first time that Fox has touted an archaeological discovery that contains shocking information about or that directly contradicts the bible. They were one of the first national outlets to publicize the so called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” papyrus (while even the Huffington post, certainly no friend to Christians, cautioned that the papyrus was immediately met with scholarly skepticism).
Now it really doesn’t bother me that Fox news attacks the Christian faith, or that they would actively engage in trying to shake the faith of believers, that is what we should expect from the world. What does bother me however is that many Christians naively believe that Fox News is friendly to Christians. I even heard a Christian radio personality, one of the relatively theologically sound ones, refer to Fox as “our network.” But is it?
The Fox News website did feature on its front page an opinion piece by Candace Cameron Bure on biblical marital roles, yet the very same day it also featured articles titled “Mara Strips for Cards Talk”, “Christina Shows Off Skinny Bod” and “Hot New Spring Break Beach.” And it regularly features slide shows of “wardrobe malfunctions”, “best and worst (okay mostly best) celebrity beach bodies”, “The beautiful and talented __________“ (insert name of mostly undressed young woman). I ask is this pro-Christian content? Is this the content of a safe or family friendly website? Is Fox a friend of Christians?
Now I am not saying that Fox is any worse than any other news outlet. Nor am I saying that it should be legalistically avoided. What I am saying is that believers should view it as what it truly is, worldly. And while it is a matter of conscience if you watch, listen to or read Fox News we, as Christians, must never regard it as “our network” it is worldly and friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). In fact we must view it is wholly opposed to the kingdom of God and use discernment when consuming any of its products.