The hunt for the DNA of Jesus

Science and religion do not always see eye-to-eye, but they have now joined forces to uncover new details about Jesus and his descendants.

Tobi Gerdes | Apr 21, 2017

   

Science and religion do not always see eye-to-eye, but they have now joined forces to uncover new details about Jesus and his descendants.

A biblical scholar and a geneticist are trying to trace Jesus' DNA, and are using modern technology to analyze artifacts from around the world, including the shroud of Turin, the Sudarium of Oviedo, and a recently discovered set of bones thought to belong John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin.

They hope that their investigation will guide them to a DNA sample that could belong to Jesus or a member of his family, to identify any ties to people living today.

In a new documentary aired on Easter Sunday by the History Channel, Oxford University geneticist George Busby and biblical scholar Pastor Joe Basile, travel from Spain and Italy to Israel and the Black sea to search for Jesus' DNA.

Among the items the researchers investigated, are the 'bones of John the Baptist.' The bones were discovered in Bulgaria in 2010.

The 2, 000-year-old bones showed similarities to Middle Eastern populations and could be substantial in the research, as he was thought to be Jesus' cousin as well as his disciple.

"We can compare the DNA from a relic to DNA from other relics," Busby wrote in an article for The Conversation.

According to Busby, if they find other relics purported to be from John the Baptist or any other close relative of Jesus, then they could use genetics to compare the two to see if they came from the same or related people.

The scientists hope that if they can find a sample of Jesus' DNA, they can then identify any possible descendants living today.

New discoveries could also shine new insight on Jesus himself.

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