Does the Bible mention unicorns?

Michael Shermer, who appears in the video, asks Christians to explain why there are unicorns in the Bible. (H/T Letitia) The Bible certainly mentions the word unicorn. But does it refer to the mythical horse-like creature, like Shermer seems to think?

Once you back to the original Latin words, it turns out that the unicorn that is mentioned is really a rhinoceros.

You can read a debate between Greg Koukl and Michael Shermer here. This debate was moderated by radio show host Hugh Hewitt, and presumably transcribed by his much-maligned producer Duane Patterson. Hewitt also moderated the famous debate at Biola University, featuring William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens.

3 thoughts on “Does the Bible mention unicorns?”

  1. I appreciate this video, but I’m surprised that the author didn’t point out the fact that modern English translations of the Bible translate that word as “wild ox.”

    The whole unicorn dilemma (which isn’t really a dilemma at all, as the author of the above video carefully and clearly explained) seems to be exclusive to the KJV. While the rhinoceros explanation is accurate and adequate to solve that textual hangup, wouldn’t it be much easier to simply say to the skeptics: “Hey, look, the word ‘unicorn’ doesn’t even appear in modern English translations of the Bible. It’s only in the KJV. But, if you really want to go there, that’s not a problem either–it’s referring to a rhinoceros. End of discussion.”


    1. You have a good point. I’m the one who created the video. The reason why I didn’t mention modern translations is because that’s not a legitimate defense. It’s not an issue specific to the KJV. Unicorns are in the Wycliffe Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Webster’s Bible, the Bishop’s Bible, the Douey Rheims, Luther’s German Bible, the Latin Vulgate, and the Greek Septuagint. In fact, EVERY previous translation of the Bible mentions unicorns. It’s ONLY the modern translations from the past century that mention a wild ox. So you see, the issue is not that the unicorn is specific to the KJV. The issue is that wild ox is specific to modern versions. Now, I could have mentioned the fact that modern versions mention the wild ox. But I didn’t want to, because I didn’t want to waste time mentioning things that people can easily find on their own. I only wanted to spend time informing people about the things that they don’t know, and bringing up sources that they would probably never think to look up. I don’t see the point of telling people things that they are likely to find on their own. Besides, many apologist hold to the belief that the KJV is more accurate than newer translations. So if that’s the case, then there’s no point in even mentioning new translations when we don’t even trust their translations anyway. It seems kind of pointless. My goal was to explain why the real Bible mentions unicorns, not why a fake and corrupt version of the Bible mentions a wild ox.


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