"Brit-Am Now"-568: DNA-1
I've just come across your Brit-Am DNA discussion page, and am very
glad to see an interest in examining the DNA evidence for or against
the whole British Israelite theory.
I first encountered the theory through the old Worldwide Church ofGod
under Herbert Armstrong in 1980, and subscribed to the theory for
over two decades. However, my participation in a family surname
project through Family Tree DNA and my subsequent correspondence with
British geneticist Dr. Mark Thomas as well as other sources online
has convinced me that the theory is in fact false.
Through my own DNA testing and the results as posted on the Family
Tree DNA site, it is apparent that my family origins are in the
European R1b haplotype, and though as noted by some already on your
site that haplotype does exist in some middle-east populations, it
does not exist as indicative of middle east origins at all! In
fact, the infrequency of its appearance there strongly indicates that it
is only through being transferred there by European men, quite possibly
chiefly through the Crusaders in the early part of the second
To infer that it originated there simply through its occasional
occurrence is intellectually dishonest, letting strong ones desire
for the outcome affect the conclusion. The truth is that there are
Kurdish Jews among the Kurds with a tradition of being descended
From the ten tribe Northern Israelites carried into the area by their
conquering Assyrians, and their DNA not only supports their claim,
but shows that they are closer related than their Arab cousins to
both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews, which is natural if they are
descended from the lost tribes as supposed. For that division
occured many centuries after the split between Isaac and his
descendants from Isaac's half brother Ishmael, the father of the
Let's let the evidence determine the picture, and not the other way
2nd Subject: RE: Brit-Am
Yair, Shalom back to you.
Thank you for your response and for the information you have sent me….
I see one problem with your theory that environment is the cause of
the differences in modern day Middle East populations and those of
Europe and their cousins in America. That is that the original
migrating Israelites, if indeed they did settle in the lands which
you and other proponents of your theory and/or variations of it say
that they did, should show up in DNA from testing done on remains
found in various archaeological sites should reflect that.
It should take centuries for the environment to affect the DNA of the
population within it to cause such changes to take place on a
cellular level in significant numbers of the population to show up as
a haplotype or haplo- does today. We see that this would be true
in America, where many of our modern families have been here for
centuries, and yet we still show up as belonging to our European
families on a DNA level. So too should the original Middle East
inspired DNA show up in massive populations migrating out of it, and
for centuries after in their descendants, wherever they may have gone.
Therefore, any such changes in DNA caused by environment should
likewise show up over time in the various archaeological sites around
the world where migrating populations from one area moved en masse
into another part of the world, with the original generations of
migrants still showing the land and people of their roots by matching
them on the DNA level. But this is not the case in the testing thus
far done in Britain and elsewhere. Instead, we find that the people
do indeed reflect their roots, and that testing does not point to
I think that it would be good if all the interested parties involved
with this question came together to fund a project designed to answer
once and for all through DNA testing of remains in archaeological
sites in the Middle East, Britain and elsewhere known to be from the
specific times of such projected movements of masses of people
whether in fact the theories are correct.
Approaching the subject with a mindset bent on proving ones already
adopted conclusions is not conducive to arriving at and perceiving
the truth whatever it may be, but rather, simply bent on winning an
argument and the truth is not the real issue. And this is what your
website reflects in its stated aims on the Brit Am DNA Discussion
"The aim is to examine DNA findings in the light of Brit-Am
conclusions. Brit-Am conclusions (as explained on our web sites) are
that according to Biblical, historical, and related sources a
significant portion of peoples in the West are descended
from Ancient Israelites."
"DNA findings may be discussed in whatsoever light is pertinent to
Your statements say that all evidence is examined in light of your
preconceived conclusions. And of course, the fact that you have not
printed my own post which I emailed to you and which has triggered
this correspondence says that the second statement above means
exactly what it appears to say, that any discussion will be limited
to your aims, i. e. proving that your theory is correct. That is
not seeking truth, but simply trying to win any argument on the
subject, the truth be damned.
I am not trying to be hostile to you or your theory in saying this.
I would truly like to think myself to be an Israelite, as I did for
so many years. ..We will lie to ourselves when we are so
emotionally attached to the subject in question that we want it to be true no matter what. I have done this myself, and have come to recognize that, just as I
have learned to recognize that in others. I try not to do that
I strongly urge you to adopt that approach yourself, and truly seek
after the truth in this matter.
I look forward to reading any
response you may have to this. I want to know the truth, whatever it
may prove ultimately to be.
"Brit-Am Now"-568: DNA-2
Answer to First Letter:
in "Brit-Am Now"-564, item 7. Brit-Am versus DNA Findings? Most of your claims regarding Jews and DNA etc were answered in that posting.
There are a few points we should make:
Brit-Am Belief is not the same as British Israelite theory though
followers of British Israel may have merited to share several major
principles with ourselves.
Brit-Am however is Brit-Am and not some other organization.
We base our belief on the Bible supplemented by historical and
cultural studies. We do not claim that DNA supports our beliefs but neither are we contradicted by DNA findings which in some areas do correspond to our own conclusions.
The Bible says that in the Last Days Israel will be the most powerful nation on earth (Genesis 27:9 Numbers 24:7 Michah 5:7-9), in many waters (Numbers 24:7), according to our understanding Ephraim will be nicknamed "Angel" or "Angle" or "Anglo" (Jeremiah 31:18 "bull-calf", heifer, aegel, angel) just like "Anglo" or "Anglo-Saxon" is a generic term for English-speaking peoples of British descent. Israel will be represented by a lion and unicorn (Numbers 24:7-9), the Lost Ten tribes headed by Joseph will be a group of Christian nations (Hosea 2:8, 2:13, 2:16 11:12 Jeremiah 31:6 see the explanation in "Ephraim. The Gentile Children of Israel" by Yair Davidiy). They will be amongst the most numerous (Genesis 15:5 22:17 24:60 32:12 Numbers 23:10 Deuteronomy 1:11 Isaiah 10:22 24:16 26:15 Hosea 1:10); wealthy, and blessed nations on earth (Genesis 27:28 49:25 Deuteronomy 33:13-16 Hosea 2:8), They will be a source of blessing, civilization, and moderation to the "Gentile" nations on a relative scale (Genesis 12:2-3, 18:18-19, 22:18 24:4, Isaiah 42:1 42:6 Amos 6:15), occupying Continental extremities (Deuteronomy 33:13 Isaiah 24:16 26:15 41:8-9 49:6),. They will not on the whole be aware of their Israelite Brit-Am identification (Isaiah 49:13-14,21 Hosea 1:7). All these and hundreds of other similar indications are found in one and the same group of peoples and ONLY in them and I could go on and speak of the identification of Reuben, Zebulon, Dan, Issachar, and the others amongst related peoples.
Judah will keep the Law (Genesis 49:8-10 Psalms 60: 9, 108:90, Zechariah 8:19, 23), be persecuted (Zechariah 1:15, Zechariah 8:13, Isaiah ch.53, Isaiah 42:10, Psalm 44:22) and be known as "Judah" or "the Jew" (Genesis 49:10 Hebrew text). Judah will begin to return to the Land of Israel and develop it (Zephaniah ch. 2 Micah 4:8 Hosea 6:11). At first Judah will be reluctant to recognize Joseph (Isaiah 49:21) but eventually Judah and Joseph will re-unite (Ezekiel ch.37).
These and other proofs prove beyond doubt from the Bible who Judah is (as if we had to know) and who Joseph is and indicates what will become of them. We do not need DNA to tell us otherwise or to confirm Scripture. Nevertheless we study DNA and all other pertinent disciplines that may help us understand a little more what the Almighty has done and what HE wants of us. DNA may be a tool like any other tool and no more than that.
We have been following DNA studies for a while and still understand very little about them. I would have preferred that someone else deal with the subject but for the moment no such prospects have appeared. I have therefore taken it upon myself to give over what I understand.
[The Preacher 11:4] HE THAT OBSERVETH THE WIND SHALL NOT SOW; AND HE THAT REGARDETH THE CLOUDS SHALL NOT REAP.
What is DNA?
DNA is a string of genetic information. Originally we all had the same but every now and again changes may occur in us (but not in others) and these changes are passed on to our descendants.
Male and Female DNA Studies
DNA tests concentrate on the Y chromosome or on Mitochondrial DNA. The Y chromosome is passed on from father to son generation after generation without (in theory) any influence from the mother. Mitochondrial DNA on the other hand comes through the mother and is passed on through the female line.
"Women inherit specific DNA material through their mothers, mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA." [Some scientists now dispute the belief that females do not influence the Y chromosome and males not affect mtDNA. We too think along these lines since the evidence seems to support such a conclusion nevertheless for now we will present things as commonly accepted].
One result of population studies indicates that peoples often descend largely from
males from one region and females from somewhere else, for instance they now say that many (most?) of the Ethiopians, Indians, and Chinese had the same female ancestors! The Basques of Northwest Spain have similar male (Y) DNA to many of the Celts of the British Isles but the female mtDNA of the "British and Irish Celts" is the same as that for Western Europe in general whereas for the Basques it is quite different! Jewish women from Iraq were found to possess similar mtDNA to women from
Scandinavia but in general each separate Jewish community had its own unique mtDNA partly related to that of other Jewish communities but on the whole
not related to anybody else at all!
Male Y Chromosome Studies.
The person whose claims we are answering referred to DNA studies that focused on the Y chromosome.
As a private person you may want to take a DNA test through one of the DNA Companies now active. They will require a simple swipe on a pad from inside your mouth and test it. The test will concentrate on a segment of the DNA sequence that is less stable than other sections. The segment will consistent of say 9, 12, or 24, or 36 "markers" on the segment depending on what you paid for. The cost may be anywhere from ca. $200 to $700 or more. The coding of the markers will probably hold up in a court of law in case of paternity cases. The DNA Companies will have a stock of thousands of test results of people from all over the world. You will be able to compare your own results with those of others and perhaps find those who are identical or highly similar and perhaps not. In some cases you will be able to make contact with those who have similar results to yourself but usually they will be anonymous and simply registered as "Provenance" e.g. "Barcelona, Spain" or "Belorussia, Jewish (Ashkenazi)" probably meaning that he is a Jew living in the USA but his grandfather came from Western Russia.
Extracts from the following article may help clarify the matter:
"DNA and the Sephardic Diaspora:
"Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Europe"
By Abraham D. Lavender Ph.D. from HaLapid Winter, 2003
"The use of genetics (DNA) to help understand ones own ethnic, religious, nationality, and/or racial ancestry, also is increasing.
...Because the male Y-chromosome mutates more rapidly than the comparable female mtDNA, the male Y-chromosone is used for analyzing more specific genealogical patterns, but significant mtDNA research also is being conducted, and the future holds tremendous potentials for females and males
"Sophisticated DNA tests today give results for 25 markers, that is, 25 numbers representing specific points tested on a males genetic chain. Each marker or point has one number, which is from a possible range of about ten numbers (markers vary in the range of possible numbers). Other tests are based on a smaller number of markers tested, frequently 12 or 9. The more markers two males match on, the more recently they had an exact common male ancestor, and the more closely they are related. If two males match, for example, on nine out of nine markers, then they probably had a common male ancestor, but one has to go back a good number of centuries to reach the common male ancestor. If two males match exactly on 25 markers, then they are very closely related, and the common male ancestor is probably within the last several generations....
"Whatever the number of markers used, if two males match on all the markers except one, and they are only slightly off on that one, they are said to be a one step mutation match. Results also frequently are given for two step mutation matches. If several males share a great-great-great grandfather, for example, then most of them will have the exact same numbers on all 25 markers, but one or more might differ on one marker (or, rarely, two) because of a mutation that occurred in one line of descendants. The further the distance from the common male ancestor, the more likely there are to be mutations on several markers, and therefore the less exact matches the two males will have. Males frequently will begin with nine or twelve markers, and if a relationship is found there, then they will upgrade to a more expensive 25 marker test to see how more closely/recently they are related.
"When a male is tested for any number of markers, for example, nine markers, his nine numbers (representing the exact number for each of the nine markers), is referred to as his haplotype. A 9-marker haplotype could be, for example, 14 13 29 23 11 13 13 11 14. Many males, of course, can share a specific haplotype, especially when the number of marker numbers in a haplotype is small...
"When a male is tested by a major testing company, such as FamilyTreeDNA, for example, he is given his haplotype, and the number of other men who match with him exactly on all markers tested, the number who match with a one step mutation, and the number who match with a two step mutation. If other men who matched have given permission for their names and contact addresses to be given, then the males can contact each other and pursue more information. FamilyTreeDNA, for example, with a database of over six thousand people and growing, also asks men to give their paternal country of origin if known. In some cases, people are identified as Ashkenazic or Sephardic. However, in a family which was Jewish but left Judaism several centuries ago, many descendants will not be aware of an earlier Jewish origin going back fifteen or so generations, so the number of Jewish distant cousins is likely to be understated. But, FamilyTreeDNA makes a major contribution to Jewish research by giving results for people who have known Jewish ancestry.
"There also are several databases on the web where a person can type in his haplotype, and find out how many exact matches he has in different categories. In the United States Database, he is given the number (no names) of exact matches he has among European-Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanics as self-defined by men tested (see http://ystr.org/usa). There also is an Asian database, which includes Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and eleven other countries. ..
"The European Database is compiled by receiving results for nine markers from labs which, after meeting stringent testing requirements, send their results to be added to the European Database.
If you have West European ancestry and live in the USA and your results are similar to those of anybody there is a good chance that one or other of the matches (sometimes most of them) will be Jewish. This is a known phenomenon and has set otherwise placid individuals off in a frantic flurry of activity to reveal their previously unknown mysterious "Jewish" ancestors. The experts tend to dismiss these cases and may explain them by the higher percentage of Jewish test cases available to be compared with or as a result of coincidence.
Jews in the USA account for ca. 1% of the population but sometimes comprise a higher percentage (3 or more?) of the DNA test cases you will be able to compare with. This is because proportionately more Jews get tested. They are more interested in genealogical information; often have educational backgrounds that enable them to more fully appreciate the results, appreciate science more, and relatively speaking are more willing to pay for the tests. The more people from one particular group you are compared with the more chance you have of finding similarities to members of that group.
Nevertheless the "Jewish" connections are statistically significant.
[To be Continued]
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