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Fri Feb 19, 2021, 06:27 AM

Bones Venerated as St. James the Younger's Don't Belong to the Apostle

For more than 1,500 years, devout Christians have traveled to the Santi Apostoli church in Rome to view the relics of two of Jesus’s apostles: St. Philip and St. James the Younger (also known as St. James the Less, he may have been Jesus’s brother). Now, new research suggests that James’ purported bone fragments actually belong to an individual who lived centuries after the saint.

As Sebastian Kettley reports for Express, researchers from Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and England used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint fragments of James’ supposed femur to between 214 and 340 A.D.—long after the saint’s death sometime in the first century A.D. (Little is known about James’ life beyond his status as an apostle and possible family members.) The team published its findings last month in the journal Heritage Science.

“Though the relic is not that of St. James, it casts a rare flicker of light on a very early and largely unaccounted for time in the history of early Christianity,” says lead author Kaare Lund Rasmussen, an archaeometry expert at the University of Southern Denmark, in a statement. Rasmussen tells Live Science’s Patrick Pester that radiocarbon dating of the collagen and amino acid yielded matching dates, showing that the femur’s owner was some 160 to 240 years younger than James.

“We consider it very likely that whoever moved this femur to the Santi Apostoli church believed it belonged to St. James,” says Rasmussen in the statement. “They must have taken it from a Christian grave, so it belonged to one of the early Christians, apostle or not.” Though the researchers managed to disprove the Santi Apostoli relics’ ties to James, they decided against conducting similar tests on the supposed remains of St. Philip.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/supposed-bones-st-james-younger-may-belong-someone-else-180977024/

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Reply Bones Venerated as St. James the Younger's Don't Belong to the Apostle (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Feb 2021 OP
Eugene Feb 2021 #1
SledDriver Feb 2021 #2
Iggo Feb 2021 #5
PJMcK Feb 2021 #3
edhopper Feb 2021 #4
Steelrolled Feb 2021 #6

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 07:39 AM

1. If the Shroud of Turin is a guide, evidence won't change the minds of the believers,

nor will it change Church tradition.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 08:39 AM

2. ...they decided against conducting similar tests on the supposed remains of St. Philip.

Belief perseverance

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Response to SledDriver (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 07:05 PM

5. Gotta sell them tickets, man.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 09:06 AM

3. Why conduct tests...

...that will blow up your phony relics? After all, the many pilgrims who come to venerate these fake artifacts spend a lot of money at these supposed holy sites.

Gotta keep the grift alive!

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Fri Feb 19, 2021, 11:15 AM

4. Let me guess

another fake that Constantine's mother Helena fell for?

There is no compelling historical evidence the Apostles existed.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 07:53 PM

6. As a Christian, I never really got the fascination

with relics like this. Maybe because I doubted their authenticity, but also because looking at these old objects doesn't seem that interesting.

BBC had a recent program on Medieval Pilgrimage where they discuss how these relics were used to attract pilgrims.

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