Teresa Neumann (August 9, 2010)
While it can’t be proven 100% that the relics are John the Baptist’s, the archaeologist who made the discovery says "it is important to understand one thing—this is the first time ever in the world archaeological practice that relics of St. John are found together with an inscription which just literally nails the conclusion and leaves no doubts. There are no speculations here.”
(Sozopol, Bulgaria)—Sofia News Agency reports that the recently discovered relics of John the Baptist have been laid in state temporarily in St. George Church in Bulgaria. The human bones, found in a sealed marble reliquary in the St. John the Forerunner Church on the island of St. Ivan (Ivan is the Slavic name for John) on July 28, have been cause for great excitement and euphoria in the Black Sea town of Sozopol.
Notes the report: "The samples from the reliquary and the bones are still to be tested by specialists have expressed their views that there is no doubt whatsoever that absolutely unique archaeological discovery consists of relics of St. John the Baptist. The greatest argument supporting the thesis that the relics belong to St. John the Baptist is the "clue" found at 1.2 m from the reliquary. It consists of a small box bearing inscriptions that make it clear who and when brought the relics of St. John the Baptist to Sozopol.
"The inscriptions make it clear that a man named Thomas, ‘God’s servant brought a particle of St. John on the 24th.’ Even though some of the end letters are missing, the inscription in Greek makes it clear that the date refers to the birthday of St. John the Baptist, June 24. The use of genitive case in the inscription leaves no doubt that the relics belonged to one of the founders of Christianity."
"It is important to understand one thing—this is the first time ever in the world archaeological practice that relics of St. John are found together with an inscription which just literally nails the conclusion and leaves no doubts. There are no speculations here," said the man who made the unique discovery, archaeologist Prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov.
"I think that this is the discovery of the year, not just in the Bulgarian archaeology but also in the European archaeology. It is hard to speak of the symbols of early Christianity but Apolonia (i.e. the Greek name of Sozopol) and the St. Ivan Island were one of the earliest places where Christians settled as they were persecuted by the Roman authorities. Their heritage is connected with the entire Christian history," explained the Director of the Burgas Regional History Museum Tsonya Drazheva who is also part of the archaeological team that found the relics of St. John.