Saturday, 6 January 2007

BI Challenged

A former member of the Ambassador Big Sandy staff - and a person not entirely unknown for his comments here - has provided an interesting short article on some of the problems with British-Israel beliefs. A brief clip:

"The burden of proof is on the adherents of British-Israelism to demonstrate that there is ethnic separation between the people of the British Commonwealth and the people of the United States. The entire belief in British Israelism rests with its full weight on this simple and singular pillar."

The essay, appearing under the pen name Neotherm, appears over at Greg Doudna's site -- and it seems that there's more to follow! Stay tuned.

Then there's this...

"The legend of the ten lost tribes of ancient Israelites has caught the imagination of writers and poets during the centuries, finding them was the quest of many. It came partly true when..."

You also might want to check that article (which relates to the artwork above) and discover a credible lost tribe story that for some inexplicable reason the BI brigade don't usually bother to mention...


Anonymous said...

Ephraim (the British Commonwealth or group of nations) and Manasseh (the United States or great nation) were both the sons of Joseph. How much "ethnic separation" do you want among brothers?

Douglas Becker said...

Ephraim (the British Commonwealth or group of nations) and Manasseh (the United States or great nation) were both the sons of Joseph.

Hey Lads, here's someone who hasn't gotten the message that BI or the TTT has been thoroughly discredited.

How do we help him out?

Observation: Be sure to be brief. He doesn't seem to have a very long attention span!

Charlie Kieran said...


You explain to me how crossing the atlantic from the UK to USA automatically changes your ancestry from one tribe to another. Hocus Pocus?

Does BI only apply to the original 13 colonies? Keep in mind that the US bought land from France, gained others through war, and Texas, Mexico, Arizona, and parts of California used to be part of Mexico and that we bought Alaska from the Ruskies. Also remember that New York was once New Amsterdam.

What about our Canadian bretheren? What tribe are they from? Keep in mind that Quebec and New Brunswick were once French possessions.

Read other recent posts on this subject from this website.

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous displays the type of simplistic thinking that once lead all of us former "COGniscenti" to believe British Israelism could be possible.

We do have examples today of ethnically separate, therefore identifiable, distinct groups. The Armenian and Jewish diasporas come to mind. Within the Jewish ethnic group, you have Sephardic, and Ashkenazic Jews, who are also largely separate or distinct from one another.

British Israelism is based on the fact that a group of wandering Germanic tribes eventually settled down, populated and became dominant in specific countries in Europe. The Angles and
Saxons were two such tribes. However, as opposed to segregating themselves, and maintaining ethnic purity, they intermarried amongst the general amalgum of people already present in the British Isles. They became totally indistinguishable as a separate group. Those of us who can trace a part of our family tree back to Mother England, are generally what is referred to as "Heinz 57" in terms of our ethnicity.

There are many other facts which make one question BI. Royalty in Europe is basically one big, often disfunctional family, including the very Germans whom HWA falsely labeled as Assyrian. Also, historically, if one culture descends from another, there are usually striking similarities in language. The English, French, Italian, and Spanish languages are what is referred to as "Romantic" languages, meaning that they derived from Latin. Had the English been spawned by Israelite tribes, you would normally expect the majority of the words in the English language to have Hebrew roots. Hebrew is even written and read from right to left, as as are the Arabic languages, Armenian, and Asian languages.

Since the US and BC did not exist during the time frame when Revelation was written, these nations are not mentioned in the Bible. BI is an extra-Biblical concept or theory, something which has been hypothesized, embellished, and taught as truth by specific groups or cults outside of the general community of mainstream theology. And, Armstrong had the gall to poke fun at the theory of evolution!


Anonymous said...

You explain to me how crossing the atlantic from the UK to USA automatically changes your ancestry from one tribe to another.

Crossing the Atlantic does not change anyone's ancestry from one tribe to another. Rather, whether people crossed the Atlantic from the UK to the USA depended on their ancestry.

byker Bob said...

Let's kick this around a bit. What you are saying, if I understand correctly, is that God somehow kept a group of people (Manassites) pure from all intermarriage with the Britons, Picts, Celts, and Normans, and that in 1607 he somehow placed it into all of these peoples' minds that they needed to get on ships, and travel to colonize America.

But, they didn't know who they were! And, they didn't know that they were supposed to be keeping Old Testament law, because in 1610, the Jamestown colonists passed a law requiring that everyone must go to church on Sunday, with the penalty for flagrant disobedience being death! Yet God blessed them in spite of their Sunday keeping, and provided their descendents with the highest standard of living known in the entire history of mankind.

Continuing, I believe you are also implying that God has since multiplied and preserved these people, preventing them from intermarrying in the American melting pot. They've been specially preserved so they could be punished for forgetting sabbaths and other customs that they never knew, by the Germans, who have also forgotten that in reality they are Assyrian Arabs!

Is that what you are saying? Does it make any sense? You do know that numerous Anglo Saxons have been genetically tested, the results compared to tests of Jews, with the similarity in dna markers being statistically negligible?

Are you open minded enough to carefully consider the preponderance of evidence against British Israelism?


Douglas Becker said...

And again, besides all that, BI and TTT have not relevance in the view of the New Covenant as both Spiritual Israel and the Spiritual Seed of Abraham as the faithful.

Discussion again should include the fruit of BI and TTT which has been the root of false prophecies espoused by Herbert Armstrong and his being a false prophet, signing his name to the false prophecies "In Jesus' Name" making him also a blasphemer.

Questeruk said...

Since when has the English language been classified as a Romantic language along with French Italian and Spanish (and Portuguese and Romanian) Byker Bob??

English is classified alongside Dutch, Norwegian, Danish Swedish Icelandic (and German) as a Germanic language. That puts together all the nations considered to be the lost 10 tribes in the same language grouping. (pity about the German bit!).

Byker Bob said...

Questeruk: Thank-you for pointing that fact out to me. I had been taught that English was a romantic language back in high school. Later in college etymology classes, the sheer number of English words with latin roots seemed to bear that out.

In the brief research I've just done to verify your statement, I've learned that Germanic languages are a subset of Indo-European proto language. There were many influences to the languages of the Anglo Saxons along the way, such as Celtic, French, Latin, Norman. What we recognize as modern English finally coalesced at the time of William Shakespeare.

Having said all of that, other statements which I made in my post above are correct, in that there are negligible influences from the Hebrew language on English, or the other European languages. One simply does not find many of our words which were rooted in Hebrew, nor is the language even written or read in the same direction. The characters and alphabet are completely different as well.

Thank-you, again, for pointing out a life long error which I had believed! Seems like linguistics- based tribal kinships in Europe would place us closer to the Germans, if anything.


Anonymous said...

HWA taught that the French were the descendents of Reuben. This would place them outside of the Germanic language group. He also speculated that the Welsh (in addition to the Jews with last name "Cohen") were probably the Levites. Welsh is a Celtic language, and wasn't supplanted by English until the Industrial Revolution when British immigrants to Wales made English the dominant language.

camfinch said...

It is true that English at its core foundation is a Germanic language, modern English having descended from old Anglo-Saxon. But the invasion of the Normans, who spoke an early form of French, led to an infusion of Romantic-derived words into the evolving English language. I don't know the breakdown, but an analysis of English vocabulary would show that a very significant percentage of the English language derives from the Romantic family (which descended directly out of Latin, and includes French, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, Catalonian, etc.). It is probably fair to say that English is something of a Germanic-Romantic hybrid, albeit primarily Germanic.

Both the Romantic and Germanic linguistic families are within the huge Indo-European group.

The Ex-Christadelphian said...

Where are the lost ten tribes? Well, they are "lost". They were conquered by Assyria and what few survived escaped to Judah. Those in captivity were killed in the front lines fighting Babylon a few years later. The women? Well, they had their uses . . .

Jared Olar said...

"Crossing the Atlantic does not change anyone's ancestry from one tribe to another. Rather, whether people crossed the Atlantic from the UK to the USA depended on their ancestry."

Oh really? Then how do we explain the existence of North American branches of the same families that still exist in Britain? If they all belonged to the same Israelite tribe, shouldn't they all have come to America, or all have stayed in Britain, instead of some coming over the Pond and some staying home?

Anonymous said...

Helloooo, This is "LCGMEMBER" comin atcha. I've read the comments about "BI", and Would like to ask a qustion if I may...I am assuming we all know about the blessings that Jacob/Israel bestowed upon the two lads of Joseph, and that you believe what the Bible says about them; What nations in your opinion do fulfill those prophetic blessings?

Anonymous said...

Well, here's the deal on that. If you're a preacher, at any time in history, all you need to do is pick the wealthiest nations on the face of the earth. Then, you read Revelation and Daniel, and look for the same evidence that every generation since Jesus has "found" proving that you are living in the time of the end. Then, you trace back, picking and choosing historical tidbits, carefully lifting some out of context, "proving" that the nations you picked are somehow the lost tribes of Israel.

Of course, what you'll have is a theory,(like a good conspiracy theory, or even the theory of evolution, I suppose). But your theory will seem credible to people who haven't taken the time to research real history, and to people who have been made to believe that science, history, archaeology, anthropolgy, and astro-biology are but tools of Satan.

I've got a question for you, LCGmember. Why do you think there is no genetic link between the dna of Jews and Anglo Saxons? Is that something Satan just kind of cooked up to confuse people?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't know.

Based on the theory of blessings of nations, the best candidate in history would be the Roman Empire.

This is called Finagle's Law: Draw the curve and pick the points to match... or in this case, pick a country or two and force the prophecies to fit them.

And that's really sloppy, but convenient for those who want to spin tales of false prophecies to get tithe money [based on a now non-existent Temple System].

Questeruk said...

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread, but one of the many ‘Anonymous’ contributors said that the French were classified outside the Germanic language group, which is a problem if you feel they are a part of the lost 10 tribes.

Camfinch mentioned the invasion of the Normans from France changing the English language.

What I find interesting is that the Normans, resident in Northern France, and who invaded and took over England in 1066, are acknowledged to have originated as Vikings from Scandinavia. They invaded northern France a hundred or more years before their invasion of England. In that hundred or so years they seem to have entirely lost their Viking Germanic language, and were speaking a form of French.

As Normans they were big enough and strong enough to conquer England. Following the invasion and occupation, they also succeeded in modifying the English language to contain a large element from the Romance languages, as both Byker Bob and Camfinch have pointed out. (The Normans also had a spell when they conquered a large part of Southern Italy).

I mention this to show that certainly a large part of northern France was colonized by the same ‘Germanic’ speaking people as are in the other areas considered by some to be the lost 10 tribes. Also I think this shows just how quickly a people can switch their native language to something completely different.

camfinch said...

Questeruk makes an excellent point about how a people can shift to a different language within a fairly short span of time, using the Viking-descended Normans (Norman simply means "north man", I believe) as a great example. Another "quick change" that might be shown by the Normans is how a people can quickly become "civilized". If it is true that the Vikings in Scandinavia were "barbarian" (and historians might dispute that stereotype), then we could assume that the Normans who conquered northern France before 1000 AD were also "barbarians", at least to some degree. But the Normans who came across the channel with William the Conqueror in 1066 were perhaps more "civilized" than the Anglo-Saxons who made up most of the populace of England (the Celts having been driven to the western and northern fringes of Britain), if the way the history is popularly depicted is true. The Normans took over much of government as well as primary authority in the church. Thus many terms in the English language dealing with government, the legal system, and the church are derived from the Romance family. The Normans became the aristocracy of England, with probably very few English (Saxons) remaining in positions of much power for some generations afterward. The question would be: did the Normans really "civilize" themselves over a period of several decades, and were they actually more "civilized" than the English Saxons whom they conquered?

Jared Olar said...

"The question would be: did the Normans really 'civilize' themselves over a period of several decades,"

Well, it took longer than several decades, but yes, the Normans did shift from Scandinavian paganism to medieval Catholicism, which can only be seen as a qualitative improvement that would be called "civilising."

"and were they actually more 'civilized' than the English Saxons whom they conquered?"

No, they weren't. Culturally, technologically, and in terms of laws and institutions, the Normans and the English were at the same level. However, the English Church and government had grown corrupt, so the Pope gave William the Bastard a mandate to barge in and clean things up. Well, that was the legal pretext for the Norman Conquest anyway. I'm not sure the English Church and other institutions were really cleaned up after the Bastard's arrival, but that's why the Pope supported his otherwise very dubious claim to the English throne.

Jared Olar said...

"What nations in your opinion do fulfill those prophetic blessings?"

Ephraim and Manasseh are the nations/tribes that fulfilled the prophecies about Ephraim and Manasseh. According to the Old Testament, the birthright blessings were poured out on Joseph's descendants in ancient times, long before the coming of Christ. said...

"The burden of proof is on the adherents of British-Israelism to demonstrate that there is ethnic separation between the people of the British Commonwealth and the people of the United States. This entire belief in British Israelism rests with its full weight on this single and singular pillar."

That statement is nonsense. This has never been the pillar. The pillar is the prophecy in Genesis that the sons of Joseph would be a great nation and a company of nations in the last days, specifically that Manasseh would be the single great nation and Ephraim would become the great company of nations.

There is nothing in the Bible, or in the teaching that the English speaking nations are Israel, that says that the descendents of Joseph or any of the other tribes of Israel would not inter-marry to some degree with each other and with gentiles. In fact, inter-marriage has started with that very generation. Joseph married an Egyptian woman and his sons were therefore half-Egyptian. Judah also married a Canaanite woman, and had a surviving son by her named Shelah.

Later, after the captivity and scattering of Israel, there could have been enough mixing with gentiles that the descendents of Joseph migrated through to blur any genetic markers you might look for today.

What then is the distinction between the United States and Britain and other nations? Just that the United States would be predominantly made up of people who would have Manasseh as one of their ancestors, and the British nations are primarily populated by people who have Ephraim as an ancestor, and this would not be true of other nations.

No doubt a certain number in both Britain and the United States may have both Ephraim and Manasseh as ancestors due to inter-marriage, but those would not be the majority in either country.

God does not say in the Bible that there would be 100% separation between Ephraim and Manasseh, only that there is not 100% mixing. There is enough separation so that there is still a distinction between the majority populations in both countries, enough so that God, who can control and predict the future, could inspire Jacob to say that Manasseh would be a great nation and Ephraim a company of nations. We are talking about the average or predominant population in each country, not every individual and family.

"You explain to me how crossing the Atlantic...automatically changes your ancestry ..."

The families who have Manasseh as an ancestor lived among many nations before coming to the United States, and that can include families who lived in Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and other countries. It is God who is in control, who knows who these people are, and who is able to guide these migrations on an individual basis so that these people came to the United States while their neighbors who did not have Manasseh as an ancestor stayed where they were. God says in the Bible that He would sift Israel through the nations (Amos 9:9).

The belief that the prophecies concerning the sons of Joseph are fulfilled in the United States and British nations today is not a racist doctrine, although some no doubt have used it for racist purposes. Nor is this knowledge essential for salvation. The law of God, to love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves, is the same for all mankind, and all people will have the same opportunity for salvation. God did not give these prophecies so we can discriminate against others in our behavior or feel superior to them, but so that the Church of God can know the general pattern of what lies ahead and what work we need to do to prepare ourselves and help prepare others.

And when you put this together with other evidence that we are in the last days, and the unlikelihood of the predictions in the Bible for Israel coming true just by chance for ANY nation or group of nations today as they have for the major English-speaking nations, then this is also evidence of the inspiration of the Bible. And understanding that the Bible is the Word of God is important for salvation today.

Iwannaknow said...

Douglas Becker said "here's someone who hasn't gotten the message that BI or the TTT has been thoroughly discredited."

Anonymous said "Why do you think there is no genetic link between the dna of Jews and Anglo Saxons? Is that something Satan just kind of cooked up to confuse people?

Question: Is there really scientific evidence that BI has been discredited and that the DNA of the Jews and Anglo Saxons is not linked? This is news to me! Where can I find information on this, as I would love to read up on it.


Reality said...

Just my opinion here.

At this point in time, the likely distinction between more affluent [Israelitish/English-speaking - in COG terminology] nations is actually due to the type government installed within these nations rather than any blood lines.

Finally, I believe I have become at least a partial Preterist, although still reading and studying.


Anonymous said...

Jered said...

Besides BI being a silly fantasy, the identity of the 10 tribes of Israel today is completely irrelevant to your personal salvation and Christian life. I would actually say its a huge stumbling block to it as some people get so consumed with these superfluous details that they forget to be cristians .---------------------------------- Jered, I would tend to agree with you, (except for the silly part.) But it seems to me that the cog's are not the ones who are consumed with BI. It seems to me it is the Anti-coggers who are consumed with it, and evidently all the other doctrines as well as everything else the cog's do. I posted a while back that most of the people posting on this site were, well.... running a smear campaign against any cog in which they could find the least little inconsistancy, made up or not! Now you tell me the anti-coggers are just being nice and trying to show "ignorant" folks that the cogs are not the place to be, when someone who evidently is an anti cogger keeps, and spends no telling how much time looking through old P.T.s, G.N.s, letters, and God only knows what else, just to find a mistake ( calling them lies.) Well, you tell me he is not OBSESSED with the cog's. If he isn't, please enlighten me as to what obsession is, because I evidently I don't know...I saw on one post that someone had found in a P.T.that HWA in his early days was having sunday worship services, come to find out it was in the listings of the world tomorrow broadcast. It is things like this that shows me that most who post negative things here are trying to make the cog's look bad,not enlighten anyone, now you wanna talk about lies and twisting things??? I spend 95% of my study time studying the Scriptures, not reading church writings, let alone old literature and being consumed by the past! None of us are perfect and are all prone to mistakes, but evidently that isn't good enough for the already perfected anti coggers. I also posted what God says about judging others, But maybe you are perfect and don't need to pay that any attention...? LCGMEMBER

Jared Olar said...

"The pillar is the prophecy in Genesis that the sons of Joseph would be a great nation and a company of nations in the last days, . . ."

There is no such prophecy. Jacob didn't say "in the latter days" in the sense of the last few years before the Second Coming of Christ. Rather, he merely said "later on," "at some point in the future." The notion that every time the Bible refers to "the latter days" it means the last few years or decades of this world's existence is simply unsupported by scripture. After all, in the Epistle to the Hebrews it refers to "these latter days," the time of the original apostles. All Jacob was saying is that Manasseh and Ephraim would grow to become a nation (tribe or clan) and a company of nation (tribes or clans), not that they would be globe-straddling superpowers right before the end of the world.

Anyway, have you noticed that the British Empire is long gone and yet Jesus still hasn't come back yet? And yet if your favored interpretation of the Bible is correct, Jesus should have come back before Britain lost its empire, or at least not terribly long afterwards. Here it is 50 to 60 years since Britain's fall from greatness, and the world is still here.

"the United States would be predominantly made up of people who would have Manasseh as one of their ancestors, and the British nations are primarily populated by people who have Ephraim as an ancestor, and this would not be true of other nations. No doubt a certain number in both Britain and the United States may have both Ephraim and Manasseh as ancestors due to inter-marriage, but those would not be the majority in either country."

Well, if we take that approach, then logically we must conclude that almost everybody on earth belongs to almost every single nation or ethnic group. Even though there isn't a shred of proof to support it, I can claim descent from Manasseh because I was born in the U.S.A., whose material blessings could only be the result of Joseph's Birthright. Surely somewhere far back in the mists of antiquity, one of my ancestors must have married, or fornicated with, or been raped by, a descendant of Manasseh. Therefore I am a member of the Tribe of Manasseh.


In the same way, I guess I can claim to be an Abenaki Indian, just because one of my mom's ancestors married a Abenaki woman during the 1600s. I don't speak the Abenaki tongue, don't know a thing about Abenaki culture or tradition or folklore, but trust me, I'm an Abenaki. Never mind the 99.9999 percent of my DNA that came from Europe. The tiny little trace of DNA I got from my Abenaki ancestress 350 years ago is all I need to assume the ethnic identity of an Abenaki.

You see, there more to being a member of a nation or a tribe than genetic descent. There's also language and culture and tradition and law and religion. If those things are truly lost, then the nation no longer exists. The reason Israel still exists is that, despite the Diaspora, despite the multiple exiles, they managed to maintain their religion and cultural and ethnic cohesion, even as they migrated all over the globe. They were sifted among the Gentiles like wheat, but not a grain fell to the ground -- they were still recognisable as wheat, as Israelites. But if they were no longer recognisable as Israelites, they would be Gentiles, not Israelites. Consequently the whole notion of British Israelism is founded on cognitive dissonance: the northern tribes of Israel were lost utterly, but they weren't lost utterly. They stopped being Israelites and were completely swallowed up by the Gentiles, but they still were Israelites.

That's why identifying various Gentile countries as representatives of the ancient 12 tribes of Israel is purely arbitrary: different proponents of British Israelism disagree with each other about the identity of European peoples, because there is no traceable historical and genetic connection between them and ancient Israel. All you can do is interpret the prophecies and make guesses about which modern nation seems to fulfill which prophecy. Sorry, but that's no basis for the adoption of an Israelite identity.

Byker Bob said...

To Iwannaknow: Your name would seem to indicate that you have an open mind, so I'm going to share one of my resources with you. It's a long read, but the author has taken the time to document the information he presents using the Bible (Torah), and other historical sources. You'll need to write that link down, and type it into your browser, as I don't know how to convert it to "click on" here.

I am also searching for an article which was originally presented in one of the journals devoted to the science of genetics. If anyone else recalls the article, maybe they could help out here. Following the mapping of the human genome, much of the information was utilized on persons of assorted ethnic backgrounds. One of the surprises was a tribe in Africa whose members possessed many of the same genetic markers as typical Jewish persons. These people had claimed a "Jewish" history for centuries, and their claims were confirmed by genetic tests. Anglo Saxons had statistically negligible genetic similarity to Jews. Arabs and Armenians were more closely related to those of Jewish ancestry, confirming an Ishmaelitish scenario at some time in the past.

Hope that helps. British Israelism is a fairly easily debunked theory, yet the entire approach of Herbert W. Armstrong (in his proselytizing) was based on it, coupled with his theory that this is the time of the end.

Byker Bob said...

I wrote, "The pillar is the prophecy in Genesis that the sons of Joseph would be a great nation and a company of nations in the last days...".

Jared wrote, "There is no such prophecy. Jacob didn't say 'in the latter days' in the sense of the last few years before the Second Coming of Christ. Rather, he merely said 'later on,' 'at some point in the future.' "

You are correct on this one point, in that the specific prophecy in Genesis that referred to the sons of Joseph becoming a great nation and company of nations (Genesis 48:19) does not say this would occur in the last days. I should have worded my statement differently. I was thinking of Jacob's statement in Genesis 49:1 where he talks about "the last days", and mentally I combined that with Genesis 48:19, and I didn't notice my error because I didn't look up the scripture before I posted, which I should have done. Genesis 48:19 seems to be a different occasion than Genesis 49:1, and as far as that one verse is concerned, becoming a nation and company of nations does not have to be in the last days, but could mean, just as you say, "at some point in the future".

Nevertheless, it is in the prophecies of chapter 49, which are specifically stated to be for the last days, that Jacob pronounces tremendous national blessings for the children of Joseph, and I think this strongly implies that this would be the time when Joseph's decendents would become a great nation and company of nations. The tremendous prosperity predicted in Genesis 49:22-26 seems to fit exactly with the prophecy of Genesis 48:19. And there are other prophecies outside of Genesis that helps to identify when this would occur. For example, Ephraim will not be many nations in the millenium after Christ regathers all Israel and makes them one nation again.

My main point is, the pillar of this teaching is the prophecies concerning Ephraim and Manasseh in the Bible and the details of those prophecies, not the degree of ethnic separation or lack thereof that people might see between the British people and the Americans.

And I certainly do not think that "99.9999 percent" of our DNA comes from gentiles. But those who object to the Church of God's doctrine on the identify of Israel seem to think that it fails unless we can show 100% purity and separation, and that is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Dude, how did Semitic people aquire Nordic or Scandinavian features? That's one biggie that tends to make BI totally unbelievable. It requires your "Israelites" to have changed races and to have become Aryan. If that's not losing their ethnic identity, I don't know what is!

Iwannaknow said...

To Byker Bob,

Thank you so much for the information. I am a member of a COG, but have had increasing doubts for quite some time about whether BI was actually true. I'm looking forward to reading this information and the other links that are referenced. Please do share any other information you find on this subject. It seems everyone wants to argue about it, but if hard core evidence exists which does prove BI wrong, then I would like really like to see it. Some comments have been made that our salvation does not depend upon BI, and that is true, however, much of our church history and teaching is based on BI.

This may be a stupid question, as I know and understand almost nothing about DNA, Genome sequence, etc. and have not read the link you posted yet. But here goes anyway.....

My ancestry is mostly British, as are many Americans. If someone of British decent has a DNA sequence done, or whatever you call the testing, would the DNA test be able to go all the way back to the 12 tribes and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the link? Wouldn't there be a common thread back somewhere to the tribe of Levi? I'm asking about Levi since there are many modern day Jews who carry the last name Levy or a variation of it, and are still distinctly Jewish which the DNA could be compared to. Wouldn't the DNA of an Ephraimite go way back to a certain point and have a common DNA thread with a modern Jew?

Can an individual actually be tested in this way, and to your knowledge has anyone ever done this? It this expensive? If I walked into a lab and said "Test me to see if I am descended from the lost Tribes of Israel", would they put me in a straight jacket and heavily medicate me or would they just run a test? It would seem that if at least a few of us had this testing done it would prove BI ancestry beyond a shadow of a doubt. But I kind of doubt my health insurance would pay for it. Who on this forum has a lot of money and no fear of being committed to a mental institution? Please go have the DNA testing done........

Also you (Byker Bob) said that British Israelism is a fairly easily debunked theory. Since I am not a regular here, I apparently have missed the debunking, so please share your thoughts on this. Thank you.


Jared Olar said...

By the way, I noticed today that poor Bob Thiel just cannot bring himself to admit Herbert Armstrong's plagiarism of J.H. Allen. Thiel says:

"I have both HWA's and J. Allen's books on this subject. PCG's Stephen Flurry, anti-COG critics notwithstanding, is correct that the books are not the same. . . . The PLAIN TRUTH is that HWA came to a variety of different conclusions than J. Allen did, the books are not the same, and I do not believe that HWA plagiarized it."

Herbert Armstrong's plagiarism of Allen is pretty clear to anyone who is willing to open his eyes. As Ralph Orr said:

"Armstrong’s dependence on Allen is more evident in his later work, The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. Though Allen is never mentioned in that text, the book so tightly follows Allen that the plagiarism is obvious."

But, as Orr explains, the plagiarism of Allen actually predates US&BCIP, but first shows up in Armstrong's early writing, "What is the Third Angel's Message?" --

"Armstrong’s first direct quote of Allen in What is the Third Angel’s Message? is from page 227 of Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright: 'It is a well-known fact that the history of no country on the face of the earth has so puzzled historians as that of Ireland.' Armstrong’s second quotation, 'It is unmistakably recorded in British history that the earliest settlers in Wales and southern England were called Simonii,' is found in Allen on page 275. Allen frequently used phrases such as 'It is a well-known fact,' and 'It is unmistakably recorded' to lend an air of authority to his work."

Jared Olar said...

Sorry, I left off the hyperlink to Ralph Orr's comprehensive history of how the heresy of British Israelism became popular in the Church of God (Seventh-Day) and how Herbert Armstrong became convinced of BI and came to palm it off as a doctrine God used him to "restore" to the One True Church. Orr's study is here:

camfinch said...

Iwannaknow, if you had a lab do DNA sequencing (and I don't know the cost, although I think that perhaps it is getting increasingly affordable), there is no way they could check for a link to the lost ten tribes, as they have no identification of DNA for ancient Israelites from those tribes. The only thing really that could be checked in this regard is to look for ties with the Semitic peoples who originally were found in the Middle East: Jews, Arabs, etc. (as has been mentioned in some of the posts above, I believe). If your British-derived DNA cannot be found to have accountable links with Semitic peoples, then--if the "lost ten tribes" were descended from Semitic ancestors--you cannot claim to be one of those ten tribes, or related in a DNA sense to any Semitic peoples. As far as I know, the only comparison that can be made in regards to your question is to see if your DNA can link to Semitic DNA.

Byker Bob said...

Good points, Camfinch. Also, in answer to Iwannaknow, the article I referenced is fairly exhaustive, and does quite a bit of debunking in and of itself. If you are still a sabbath keeper, my thinking is that it would make a wonderful sabbath study.

As I understand dna sequencing (and I'm still searching for the article for you), markers would establish a common ancestor. So, if you had your dna tested, and compared to, let's say, a Jewish friend who happened to be named "Cohen" (one of the alleged marks of a Levite), and there were a number of common markers, it would indicate that you had a familial relationship to your friend, somewhere back through history. A significant number of common markers could verify that you were descended from one of
so-called lost tribes.

I do have Anglo Saxon and Celtic blood coursing through my veins, so this topic interests me greatly. Like Alex Haley, I'd like to know who I am.


Charlie Kieran said...

BI SCHMEEE EYE - If you believe in Jesus, did he die for all mankind or or just the "Lost sheep of the house of Israel"? That is the question you need to answer for yourself.

What possible difference does it make who we are descended from? Don't give me that Kings and priests in the world tomorrow crap either...Can there be a bad place to be in God's kingdom if in fact it exists?

If Jesus came only and died only for the jews he preached to in his 3.5 year ministry, then we're all doomed. As I posted before, I have ancestors from at least four domains in Europe, my children even more, what possible tribal identity could they possibly claim?

What about Americans descended from Africans brought here against their will? Mexicans in America AND Canada of Mayan / Incan descent? Inuits? Native American Indians? Canadians...Are they of Ephraim or Manasseh? If they are of either, how does a border set in 1800's define tribal ancestry? Let's take it a step further...South Africa? New Zealand? Australia? What about >Gasp< Russians? Quite frankly a large number of Iranian's and afghani's look quite caucasoid to me.

Am I getting through?

Anonymous said...

Read the 7th post in BI Makeover.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, the 17th post.

Anonymous said...

When the people of the United States and British Commonwealth begin to suffer various national disasters as punishment for their sins, I expect most of the idle talk about their ancestry being irrelevant will cease.

Jared Olar said...

"When the people of the United States and British Commonwealth begin to suffer various national disasters as punishment for their sins, I expect most of the idle talk about their ancestry being irrelevant will cease."

Congratulations! You have just "proven" that the Egyptians in the time of Moses and the Ten Plagues were Israelites. So were the Assyrians and Babylonians, and all the Gentile peoples who Ezekiel says were sent to Sheol for their sins. After all, national calamities could only occur to Israelite nations, right? Gentiles get a free pass from God, but God really has a short temper with His Chosen People?

Sandal Man said...

To Anonymous 11:12 AM: Well, I certainly would not be holding my breath on that one! William Miller's followers had to put their lives back together following the disappointment. HWA's "Assyria" (Germany) did not win WWII and take the US into captivity. Many of the WWII generation who entered the old Radio Church of God in the '50s, expecting the tribulation to begin in 1972, and the end to come in 1975, have successfully raised their families and are slowly dying off.

This is typical of the situations which develop when some guru begins to see himself in the Bible, and begins to teach his theories with a certain authoritarian air. Now we have splinter groups where people actually have to confess that Herbert W. Armstrong was the end time Elijah in order to be baptized! In most Christian Churches, one must confess that Jesus Christ is savior.

Go figure!

Iwannaknow said...

This is off the subject but.....
Doesn't it seem like HWA copied a lot of things from the Seventh Day Adventists? Or is it just my imagination? The early SDA magazine which was started in the late 1800's was called "The Present Truth". Interestingly, the original magazine uses a lot of all CAPS for extra emphasis. HWA's magazine in the 1930's was called "The Plain Truth". HWA's big book was called "Mystery of the Ages", while one of Ellen White's most prominent books (again written in the late 1800's before HWA's) was called "Desire of the Ages."

I just wondered if anyone else had ever noticed this.

Jared Olar said...

Well, Herbert Armstrong was a member of the Church of God (Seventh-Day), which was an offshoot of Seventh-Day Adventism and which continued to emphasise many of the same things as the SDAs, so it is unsurprising that he would carry on SDA "traditions," even unconsciously.

Libro said...

Pam Dewey's Field Guide features a quick overview of the SDAs. Since it's written from a COG perspective, it makes sense to my brain.

It's interesting how the same patterns keep popping up. Not all the doctrines are identical, of course -- but often we see the same phrases, the same methods of reasoning -- even the same tendency to deny ever having made false predictions.