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the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth"
We Need Audio Recording Volunteers!
Would you like your voice to
be heard on Tsiyon Radio? We are working on an audio
project right now and would like to include voices of our
listeners. Worried that your accent might not be accepted? No
worries! We would like to include the real voices of our
listeners from everywhere! You don't need a studio either. We
can record you over Skype! If you are interested, let me know.
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July EBD Crossword Contest
Why not enter the
new crossword puzzle contest for July, posted on my Eliyahu ben David website blog at
eliyahubendavid.com. Give it a try. You might win like Jim
did last month. Congratulations to mail-in contestant, Jim. You
won a "Judgment Day" book!
DNA bolsters Bulgaria's John the
Baptist bones claim
Bulgaria's claim to have unearthed six bones belonging to John the
Baptist has received a boost from scientists who have concluded
after dating them and analyzing their genetic code that they could
indeed be relics of the man who baptized Jesus.
The remains, which include a molar and a piece of cranium, were
found in July 2010 in a marble sarcophagus in the ruins of a
medieval church on the island of Sveti Ivan, or Saint John, off
Bulgaria's Black Sea coast near the resort of Sozopol.
They are on display in a church in Sozopol where thousands of
worshippers have flocked to view them, untroubled by questions about
"When I first heard this story in 2010 I thought it was a bit of a
joke, to be honest," said Tom Higham of the University of Oxford's
Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, one of the world's top laboratories
for carbon dating of archaeological material.
Higham's team dated a knuckle-bone to the first century AD, when
John the Baptist would have lived, while geneticist colleagues from
the University of Copenhagen established the full DNA code of three
of the bones.
The genetic analysis showed that the bones were from the same
person, a man who most probably came from the Middle East.
Higham, who is an atheist, said that it was obviously impossible to
say with any certainty that the remains belonged to John the
Baptist. But it could not be ruled out.
"I'm much less skeptical than I was at the beginning. I think
there's possibly more to it. But I'd like to find out more," he told
Reuters on Friday.
12 HANDS AND SIX HEADS
Relics of saints or fragments of the True Cross on which Jesus was
crucified, according to Christian tradition, have been a powerful
draw for pilgrims and tourists for centuries. Thousands of such
relics can be found in churches across Europe.
But skeptics have always dismissed these items as a scam to lure the
credulous, and some joke that if all the bones said to have belonged
to John the Baptist were authentic the Biblical figure would have
had 12 hands and six heads.
Higham plans to apply for funding to analyze purported John the
Baptist relics from other places to see if any of them came from the
same individual whose remains were found on Sveti Ivan.
"I look at this as a bit of fun. I'm not a hard core ecclesiastical
researcher. I actually study Neanderthals and stuff like that, older
stuff," said Higham.
"But I'm really interested in applying radio carbon dating more
widely to find out information about the past."
John the Baptist, who is revered in Christianity and Islam,
announced the coming of Jesus and baptized him in the River Jordan.
The Gospels say King Herod had him beheaded.
Oxford archaeologist Georges Kazan, who wrote his doctoral thesis on
the movement of relics in the 5th and 6th centuries, said that there
was historical evidence to support the claim that the Sveti Ivan
remains could be authentic.