Is Jesus Christ Real? Geneticist, Pastor Search for Jesus DNA in Groundbreaking Project
A geneticist and a pastor have joined forces to look for the living descendants of Jesus.
The undertaking of Joe Basile, lead pastor of both the Encounter Road Church in Visalia and the Encounter Church in Clovis, and Oxford University geneticist George Busby was recently shown on History Channel in an Easter special documentary titled "The Jesus Strand: A Search for DNA."
According to a report published by Daily Mail, the unlikely tandem examined possible evidence that will lead them to the discovery of Jesus' DNA. The artefacts include those gathered from the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo, among others. They are also looking into a newly discovered set of bones thought to belong to Jesus' cousin and disciple, John the Baptist.
"We used the Bible as a map combined with science. My role was to make sure we didn't get out of bounds," Basile told USA Today. "We were able to go to places no one else gets to and look at artifacts that are pretty incredible," he added. "It was a life-changing moment for me."
University Herald said that in 2010, an ancient reliquary was found inside a sixth-century church on the island of Sveti Ivan in Bulgaria by Kasimir Popkonstantinov. Inside it were five bone fragments and on the box is an inscription on it which says, "May God save you, servant Thomas. To Saint John." During the fifth-century Europe, a church has to carry the bones of a saint for a church to be consecrated. And so, Popkonstantinov is positive that the bones belong to Saint John.
Busby wrote for The Conversation that he was interested in the bone fragments but also expressed his qualms.
In the narrative, he wrote, "For a start, no DNA test can prove that these were bits of John the Baptist, Jesus or any other specific person. We can't extract and analyse an unknown DNA sample and magically say that it belonged to this or that historical character."
However, he cited that the DNA is useful as an additional tool for archeology and they can use it to compare with other relics which were reported to be of Saint John's.
History Channel clarified that the goal is to use the technology advancement to see if religion and science could reveal new information about the relics as well as find something that might point to Jesus.