Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mysteries Deepen

It looks as though it's possible some of the bones of John the Baptist may actually have been buried in a church in Bulgaria for centuries.
John the Baptist is a pivotal figure in Christianity. He prophesied the coming of the Christ, baptized Christ (imagine trying to dunk Him under water...) and was beheaded by Herod for condemning Herod's marriage to his niece.
The legends surrounding John the Baptist are myriad, especially in the former Byzantine Empire. John is essentially the patron saint of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and it's said that his bones were gifted by Byzantium during the Crusades, possibly as incentive or reward for assistance during the Crusades.
John's head is rumoured to be now held in the Vatican, but it may have been the single most important relic the Knights Templar held, apart from the San Greal (Holy Grail).
If these are John's bones, they would be the first tangible physical proof to confirm contemporary accounts of the era of Christ's birth, including Josephus's narrative, which is widely cited as one of the few historical accounts of the existence of Jesus (along with Tacitus and Suetonius.) John is mentioned prominently by Josephus and the Biblical accounts of events in Jesus' life are confirmed by Jospehus.