Are these the relics of John the Baptist?
August 13th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Intriguing tale of John the Baptist's 'bones'

In a region already rich with archaeological artefacts, the excavation of a small alabaster box containing a few pieces of bone amid the ruins of a medieval monastery might easily have passed unnoticed.

But when Bulgarian archaeologists declared they had found relics of John the Baptist, one of the most significant early Christian saints, their discovery became the subject of rather more interest - prompting angry exchanges in the local media and even calls for a government minister's resignation.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. NEON whip

    may we find more and more john the baptists from the strangest parts of the world.

    August 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  2. One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

    Am I the only one who thinks the "relics" may actually be who the inscription said? i.e. Thomas? Or would the idea that that inscription was an elaborate hoax to conceal the identity of the bones really be more reasonable?

    August 15, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  3. David Johnson

    If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. – Voltaire

    August 15, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • verify

      Yes, David, here's another similar quote...

      "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it." - William James (1842-1910)

      August 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Sir Craig

    As an atheist, I really, really want these bones to be actual relics of John the Baptist. Why? Because then we can test once and for all the 'miracles' supposedly worked by these relics. Once the whole thing is shown to be a sham, it becomes yet another nail in religion's coffin.

    August 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • UncleM

      I agree that prayer and miracles are a sham, but the great power and danger of religion is that its followers are completely deluded and incapable of rational thought.

      August 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  5. D'aiga

    How pathetic your commentary to this article is. You must truly be disturbed in your mind...if you have one!

    August 13, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Really? Explain where I am in error.

      August 13, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      I daresay if this comment was indeed directed towards David Johnson, Mr. Johnson seems to have more on the ball than you do. Critical thinking: It's persona non grata among the religious.

      August 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  6. David Johnson

    Concerning relics with powerful juju:

    At various points in history, a number of churches in Europe claimed to possess Jesus' foreskin, sometimes at the same time. Various miraculous powers were ascribed to it. The foreskin was said to be especially useful for protecting women in child birth.

    The Holy Foreskin first made an appearance in medieval Europe around 800 ad, when King Charlemagne presented it as a gift to Pope Leo III. Charlemagne said it had been given to him by an angel.

    Beware though. Rival foreskins soon began to pop up all over Europe. Probably most were fake.

    The 17th century theologian Leo Allatius speculated in his essay De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba that the holy foreskin had ascended into heaven at the same time as Jesus, and had become the rings of Saturn.

    August 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Boson

      Bris leads to bric-a-brac? What is rejected becomes holy? Who thinks up these things?

      August 13, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • DontDistort

      Ohhhh, an old box of bones. Let's tell everyone they belong to an ancient religious figure. Of course we can't do DNA testing or prove that they belong to anyone but we can get the brainwashed believers all worked up.

      It's really sad that people are so gullible.

      August 14, 2010 at 7:59 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.