This remarkable book reveals recent discoveries in molecular genetics that
provide scientific confirmation of Biblical and oral tradition. For those
completely unfamiliar with genetics, it is advised to read chapter four first.
The basics of DNA are covered there, including the history of its discovery and
key concepts like genes, the human genome poject, genetic markers and
mitrochondrial DNA (mtDNA).
Using DNA analysis, it has become possible to find definite answers to questions of Biblical tradition and genealogy. Chapter one discusses two pioneering studies that detected Y-Chromosome markers that occur with high frequency in the Jewish priestly line of Kohanim. This genetic signature has become known as the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH).
Further studies of Diaspora communities revealed that Jewish people around the globe are closely related to one another, distinct from their host communities, and share a common geographical origin in the Middle East. Chapter Three looks at the genetic and biblical Matriarchs through studies of the mtDNA, which is transferred through the female line. Studies seem to confirm that people like
Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel and Leah were real individuals, not mythical constructs.
Chapter Five deals with the Ancient Hebrews and the question of the Lost Tribes. It provides a historical overview of Ancient Israel, early exile communities, legends of the lost tribes and a look at modern groups that claim Hebrew roots, complete with the results of genetic tests. These groups include, amongst others, the Pathans of Afghanistan, Georgian, Kurdish and Bukharan Jews, the Bene Menashe of India, tiny communities in China and Japan, plus the Ethiopian Jews and the Lemba people of Southern Africa. The priestly Buba clan of the Lemba has a significant percentage of the forementioned CMH. The Khazar question is also explored here.
The next chapter goes into more detail on the history of the Ashkenazi of Europe and the Sefardi of the
Middle East and Mediterranean communities. Genetic studies reveal that these two broadly defined groups are closely related despite the long years of separation. This chapter contains the results of numerous genetic studies and includes a map of the history of Ashkenazi movements in Europe.
Chapter Seven addresses the question of who a Kohan is, discusses Aaron the High Priest and his
descendents and includes a table of Kohanim Down The Ages. There is a fascinating section on Kohan names, which include Cohn, Kahn, Kaplan, Rappaport and Shapiro, and how they were adapted or derived. This interesting chapter also describes the duties and personality of the Kohanim, their lineages, plus the Tribe of Levi and their genealogy with a list of surnames that include Levy,
Lewis, Segal and Horowitz. This section concludes with information on organizations working towards the reactivation of the Kohanim.
The next chapter is devoted to ancestor research, providing helpful information on Biblical and Rabbinical genealogy, how to go about searching out one’s ancestors, special interest groups, online resources and a bibliography of useful books. All the tools needed for tracking down your forebears are provided here.
The next chapter is just as interesting as chapter seven as it examines the genetic indications of the historical Abraham. The CMH marker is also a signature of the Judeo-Christian patriarch. Research reveals that large populations in the Middle East, like Lebanese, Kurds and Armenians, share this
marker. There are also Europeans, like Hungarians and the southern and central Italian people, that carry this genetic signature.
The last chapter provides a summary of the latest findings from molecular genetics as they relate
to Biblical genealogy. The conclusion is that DNA research has verified both the oral and the scriptural tradition. It concludes with an illuminating section on the spiritual heirs of Abraham and his biological heirs through Jacob, to whom the land was given as an inheritance forever.
The Appendix includes three scientific studies; from Nature: Y-Chromosomes Of Jewish Priests (1997), and Origins Of Old Testament Priests (1998). The article from the Proceedings Of The Natural Academy Of Sciences of the USA (2000) is titled Jews And Middle Eastern Non-Jewish Populations Share a Common Pool of Y-Chromosome Biallelic Haplotypes.
There are illustrations, maps, charts and tables throughout the text and the book concludes with bibliographic notes arranged by chapter. I highly recommend this well-written and beautifully crafted work to all those who cherish our Judeo-Christian tradition. Not only does it reveal close correspondences between scripture and science, but also provides other insights with significant implications for the future.