I came across an article about the Apostle Paul. After Emporer Nero burned Rome, he blamed the fire on the Christians. Various apostles were rounded up, and tradition has it that the Apostle Paul was beheaded around 60 AD. A basilica was built to house parts of his body in about 390 AD. (Oddly, his complete body is not there, but spread throughout various churches. Apparently, the Orthodox/Catholic churches felt that bones from dead saints hold some spiritual power, and have often arranged to have bones sent to various churches so that many can share a claim to have various saints bones.)
Anyway, tradition has it that the largest part of his bones reside in a white marble sarcophagus located under the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome. Recently, current Pope Benedict XVI allowed scientists to carbon date the bones. They do date to the 1st or 2nd century AD. Pope Benedict feels vindicated, proclaiming,
“This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,” Benedict said, announcing the findings at a service in the basilica to mark the end of the Vatican’s Paoline year, in honor of the apostle.
More information can be found here. Anyway, while the bones date to the proper time, I doubt there is a way to conclusively tell if the bones really belong to Paul, or just some other 1st century person. I’m sure skeptics will remain unconvinced, and disagree with Pope Benedict’s proclamation.
So what do you think? Could the bones really belong to Paul? Would it help your testimony one way or the other?