Wednesday, July 01, 2009

THE APOSTLE PAUL'S DNA may be available for cloning (whether or not that is a good idea):
Basilica bones are St Paul's, Pope declares after carbon dating tests

Richard Owen in Rome (The London Times

Pope Benedict XVI said last night that bone fragments found inside the tomb of St Paul in Rome had been carbon dated for the first time, "confirming the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul".

He said that archaeologists had inserted a probe into the white marble sarcophagus under the Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls which has been revered for centuries as the tomb of St Paul.

The pontiff said: "Small fragments of bone were carbon dated by experts who knew nothing about their provenance and results showed they were from someone who lived between the 1st and 2nd century. This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that these are the mortal remains of Paul the Apostle."

The Carbon-14 result is suggestive, but it's too early to say we have proof this is Paul's body. Let's see what additional information they find if and when they open the tomb. I'm hoping for a first-century copy of Paul's genuine letters.