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St James, 'brother' of Jesus: it turns out his ancient remains belong to someone else

By Kaare Lund Rasmussen, Professor of Archaeometry, University of Southern Denmark
Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Studies, University of Groningen
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Hunched innocuously in the shadow of Rome’s mighty Piazza Venezia, just a stone’s throw from one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, the Santi Apostoli church might be forgiven for having more respect for the dead than for the living.

That’s because of the treasures that the church protects. As well as having briefly accommodated the tomb of Michelangelo, the church has, since the year 556, housed relics of particular significance to the Holy Catholic Church: the remains of two of Jesus’ contemporaries, Saint Philip and Saint James, the latter of whom is believed to have been Jesus’…


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