March 09, 2015

Sveti Ivan relics Middle Eastern, mid-1st century AD

Irrespective of one's religious beliefs, a genome from the mid-1st century AD would be interesting. I am personally in favor of the scientific study of saints' relics.

Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's, scientists say
So when Bulgarian archeologists announced in 2010 that they had found the bones of John the Baptist, Tom Higham was skeptical.

He got a surprise.

Higham, an Oxford University scientist and an atheist who doesn't believe in "any kind of religion or God or anything like that," was asked to test six small bone fragments found on an island named Sveti Ivan - St. John.

The bones turned out to be from a man who lived in the Middle East at the same time as Jesus, Higham said.

"We got a date that was exactly where it should be, right in the middle of the first century," said Higham, a radiocarbon dating expert.

DNA testing by colleagues at the University of Copenhagen suggested that the person was most likely to have been from the Middle East, he said.
"We have a complete genome. It's possible that we could step this a step further and see if there is any similarity," in the genetic material of all the relics.
St. John's father Zechariah belonged to to the Aaronic line of priests. While modern Jewish priests (Cohanim) belong to multiple Y-chromosomal lineages, I think it's a good bet that at least one or a few of these lineages could be traced to Jewish priests of 2,000 years ago (leaving the question of the ultimate Aaronic lineage open). If the remains from Sveti Ivan island match one of these lineages, then this would be a powerful piece of evidence in favor of their attribution to St. John the Baptist.


Pneumatikon said...

Oh my! Did my heart just skip a beat?!

apostateimpressions said...

JB has at least six heads, one of them destroyed at the Reformation and four right hands. The right hand nucklebone found in 2010 at Ivan "could conceivably" be JB.

The scientists at Oxford warn against any enthusiastic assumption about the bones.


"The problem is we don't have a baseline for comparison," said study team member Thomas Higham, an archaeological scientist at the U.K.'s University of Oxford. "We don't have a solid, reliable piece of bone that belongs to [John the Baptist or Jesus]."

Sadly the latest find resulted in the local bishop pronouncing that his God will wipe out villages IS style. (titter)


Unfortunately, all of the attention has resulted in the theft of a rib bone, and, Higham said, the local bishop has issued an edict saying "hell and damnation will rain down from God, not only on the person who stole it but also on his family and anyone else who knows about it, and even the village where it was taken."

shreknangst said...

We Know there is a CMH, a Kohanim Module Haplotype which is common to those associated with the Kohanim, and which has been dated as originating with an individual [presumed to be Aaron] 3300 years ago, around the time of the Exodus [1307 BCE by the Biblical presentation].
John the Baptist was the son of a High Priest and would presumably carry the CMH. If that proves accurate, than his mtDNA would rveal his mother's line and possibly the line of Mary -- though there is no for saying they shared the female DNA, only that they were closely related.
The history of the period, a timeline of Jesus and Paul with the Biblically stated connections appears in the opening chapters of the 2012 book, "SAINT PAUL'S JOKE: 'The Punch Line's A Killer'" .

apostateimpressions said...

It seems that the patrilineal Cohanine priesthood carries more haplogroups than John the Baptist has heads, 21 at one count.

Unknown said...

This is awesome!

tomR said...

"man who lived in the Middle East at the same time as Jesus" - this guy couldn't had lived at the same time as Jesus, simply because Jesus is not a historical person, just a hero of the myth.

The newest work of Richard Carrier (On the historicity of Jesus) proves that Jesus being a historical person is significantly less likely than Jesus being a mythical person.

Rursus said...

Right, but since 1. John the Baptist was according to "orthodox" beliefs, was executed in Judea, it cannot "orthodoxly" be him, 2. on the other hand, if we're "heterodox" it can be him, but then if we're "heterodox", John the Baptist was not necessarily a "high Aronic priest", he could have been a "Nazorean Essene" which implies a "Mandean Gnostic Priest", 3. and "atheistically" or simply "sceptically" it could be perfectly anyone from the 1th century Middle East.