Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Pope as radiocarbon dater

From Times Online
June 29, 2009

"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.'"

From me: Is this the perfect intersection of science and faith? Or is there any chance this could be the bone of a commoner from the first century CE?

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