no, no you didn’t find the remains of john the baptist

John Electrophoresis Gel

Gel electrophoresis does not work this way.

Come on people, this is getting ridiculous!

Reports out of Bulgaria are that the remains of John the Baptist have been found while excavating a 5th century monastery on the Black Sea island of Sveti Ivan. Yes, that John the Baptist.

But here’s the problem: they didn’t, and there’s no way of ever proving that they did. And they know this. This is nothing more than a small island community attempting to drum up tourism for their local Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The BBC video of the press conference demonstrates as much. This same gimmick was recently attempted by another small island community, who claimed to have found nails from the cross of Christ. Needless to say, the fact that the story is getting picked up is evidence of the success of their campaign.

There is never any way of knowing whether or not the remains of some ancient person are who people claim they are. Remember when James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici claimed that a tomb with ossuaries with names like ‘Mary’ and ‘Matthew’ and ‘Judah’ was the family tomb of Jesus? Really? How can anyone ever prove that the buried remains of someone are who some other ancient person says they were, especially when the remains are venerated relics transported thousands of miles from their original context? A historical John the Baptist would have died in ancient Israel/Palestine. Additionally, there have been dozens of claims regarding the whereabouts of the remains of John the Baptist. What is a DNA test going to tell the discoverers? Running a DNA gel doesn’t return a result of, ‘Yep, it’s John’ (see photo).

Here’s a rule of thumb: if someone claims you’re dealing with the remains of some venerated individual from 2000 years ago a thousand miles away from where said individual supposedly died, you’re probably not.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: