Giant Human Bones and Bogus E-mails
The fact that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God has been established repeatedly and definitively (see Butt, 2007). New evidence, however, continues to surface that adds weight to the cumulative case for the Bible’s accuracy. Unfortunately, some of the “new evidence” turns out to be fabricated, based on incorrect information. Thus, it becomes imperative that those who defend the Bible’s inspiration heed the words of Paul, when he admonished his readers to “test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). God has provided plenty of evidence that establishes the Bible’s inspiration, without resorting to claims that cannot be sustained or are simply false.
One example of such false information is currently circulating in e-mail form under the heading “Giants in the Land of Canaan.” This e-mail purports to show that huge human skeletons have been uncovered that testify to the fact that there were once giants in the land of Canaan. The e-mail contains several pictures of people digging up these massive bones at archaeological dig sites. The photographs depict human skulls and skeletons that are as much as 20 times larger than the average human skull or skeleton.
This e-mail is simply not true. The original photographs were manipulated to look real for a photography contest (see “They Might Be Giants,” 2010). The skeletons’ sizes were exaggerated intentionally, and the original form of the pictures was recognized to be a manipulation. In the course of time, however, the fact that the skeleton pictures were fakes was lost, and many people have forwarded the e-mail as legitimate proof of the historical existence of giants. It is worth noting that the massive size of the skeletons depicted in the photographs is much larger than the biblical text suggests. For instance, the giant, Goliath, was said to be “six cubits and a span” (1 Samuel 17:4), or about nine and a half feet tall. Yet the proportions of the skeletons in the pictures shows one of the giants’ head, by itself, to be about four feet tall, giving the giant an estimated height of about 20-30 feet. Such proportions do not fit the biblical description of giants (see Butt, 2003).
It is most likely the case that many sincere Bible believers have forwarded this e-mail, or others of a similar nature (see Thompson, 1999), without knowing the truth about them. In our zeal to defend the Bible’s accuracy, let us make sure that we “test all things” and “hold fast” only to those evidences that are legitimate. In some cases, the “testing” of such evidence might mean little more than taking two minutes to search the Web to see what has been written on the topic. Often a two-minute Web search can save a person from having to issue an embarrassing apology to hundreds of friends to whom he forwarded an inaccurate e-mail. In addition, if you wonder about a certain piece of information, you can always contact Apologetics Press and ask about it, since we spend thousands of hours engaged in biblical research that the average Christian simply does not have the time to undertake. It is true that the Bible is God’s Word, and that there were giants in the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:33), but the pictures being forwarded to that effect do not help make the case.
Butt, Kyle (2003), “How Big Is a Giant?” http://apologeticspress.org/articles/1807.
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“They Might Be Giants” (2010), http://www.snopes.com/photos/odd/giantman.asp
Thompson, Bert (1999), “Have Scientists Found Joshua’s ‘Missing Day’?” http://apologeticspress.org/articles/2217.