• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as current film releases with spiritual significance, and a few bits and pieces on the Bible.

    Monday, March 08, 2010

    Zimbabwean Jews & A Round Ark

    Occasionally I post things here just so I know where to find them later (I do also use Delicious, but try not to overcrowd it).

    Anyway, the BBC website has a story about the Lemba, a lost Jewish clan which has lived in Zimbabwe for two and a half thousand years. It sounds like one of those lost ten tribes of Israel stories that circulate every so often but what caught my eye was the fact that DNA evidence "confirm(s) their Semitic origin". The article was a forerunner for a special programme on the BBC's African Perspective which I think you might even be able to downloaded outside the UK.

    This reminds me of the story in The Guardian from New Year's Day about Noah's Ark being round. I meant to blog it at the time but assumed it would be all over the biblioblogs. In the end it only made a few of them (Mariottini, PaleoJudaica - apologies if I missed you off), and even then it was relatively late. That's maybe because for this story to become relevant to Biblical Studies you have to accept that the ark story is relatively late and based on an earlier Babylonian myth. That said, I'm still surprised not to have seen it mentioned more widely.


    • At 9:08 am, March 10, 2010, Blogger Peter T Chattaway said…

      FWIW, I first heard about the Lemba -- and the DNA tests that link their priestly clan to the modern-day Cohens -- about a decade ago. So I'm a little surprised to see them making the news now, as though they were a new "discovery".

      Although now that I look at the story more closely, it seems that the news hook here is not that the Lemba were "found in Zimbabwe" (a phrase that appears between quote marks in the headline, but does not appear in the actual story), or even that British scientists ran tests on their DNA; rather, the news hook is that their replica of the Ark of the Covenant was recently put on display.

      'Tis a shame the BBC story isn't accompanied by any pictures of that replica, then.


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