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tv   Finding Jesus Faith Fact Forgery  CNN  April 9, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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don't miss the season finale of believer. it airs here on cnn. but first, brand new ep of "finding jesus" is next. have a great night and a a great week. he's the disciple famous for a lack of faith. by the sight of the risen christ. >> a sptic is the strong eest kind of believer. >> an ancient tradition claims jesus sends him on a terrifying journey to the ends of the earth. he is martyred, his relics
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scattered. did the most reluctant apostle triumph over fear to take the word of jesus from the holy land to india. >> a direct line to the very source of christian faith. >> science puts his relics to the test to reveal the truth about doubting thomas. a holy festival in the south indian state. worshippers here follow a liturgy was handed to them by one of jesus' 12 disciples.
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a man 7 million indians claim brought christianity here. thomas. >> christianity appears at some point in the first few centuries of the commoner ra. it's a lil bit of a mystery. it maybe there as early as the second century and maybe even in the first century. >> is it possible the disciple famous in @ bible for doubt founded one of the earliest christian churches in india? >> thomas is listed as one of the 12, so e we know he's one of the inner group of jesus' disciples. >> he's best known as the one disciple who wasn't present when jesus first appeared after his crucifixion. >> thomas vanishes from the new testament after the resurrection. but in ancient text and e recent arge logical documents may e reveal what happened to him.
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>> there were early indications even before the middle ages that christianity had somehow, some way come to india. one could say why not by thomas. . >> in cathedral in italy, is a relic believed to have over 1700 years across the christian world. it's said to be the arm that touched the resurrected jesus. the arm of saint thomas. >> if the relics of saint thomas were found from the first century, that would be incredibly exciting. >> could this relic date to the time of jesus and help solve the mystery of what happened to the disciple famous f his doubt. thomas is present in all four gospels, but it's in jerusalem after jesus has been crucified in the gospel of john that his story comes into focus.
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>> it's difficult to understand the trauma of the disciples at the arrest and eventual crucifixion of jesus. >> you get the sense they believed this movement was over. >> thomas misses the defining event of christian faith. >> he's not there on easter sunday night when jesus first appears to the ten. he misses out on jesus saying, receive the holy spirit. it strongly suggests that he had not only abandoned hope in jesus, he abandoned the other disciples as well.
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>> where were you? >> away. i went away. >> thomas? >> so little faith. >> it's over. >> perhaps he felt now that jesus was dead that the group should fragment and break up. perhaps he decided to grieve privately. >> we have seen him. he was here. in this room. >> no. >> we have seen him with our own eyes. >> and i saw him crucified, dead and buried. >> it was hard for him to believe that something could could have come from the
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terrible crucifixion. >> this in his hands the prints of the nail and put my if i canner in the mark of the nails and put my hand in his side. i will not believe. >> it's really interesting to tell his doubts. he's straight forward, no nonsense and this seems a little farfetched so in order to believe that jesus was resurrected, he's got to see it for himself or he's just this constitution won't allow him to accept it. >> so fast forward to the next recorded meeting of all the disciples, the 11, in the upper room still behind locked doors.
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>> this is my bo, this is my body. this is my blood. >> jesus appears again and appears quite specifically appears to recover thomas from his disbelief. >> put your finger here. see my hands. reach out your hand and put it in my side. stop doubting and believe.
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. >> my lord, my god. >> thomas's proclamation in front of the risen christ is one of the most important christian confessions of faith. it's the only place in the new testament where christ is called god. that, i think, is incredibly significant. >> because you have now seen me, you believe. blessed are those who have not seen me yet still believe. >> this is the only appearance to a specific disciple to instructing someone in particular. jesus has appeared so that thomas will know that he is really resurrected from the dead. >> then in the gospels, thomas
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disappears. is it possible he undertook an epic journey of more than 3,000 miles to bring the christian faith to india? kevin, meet your father. kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin trusted advice for life. kevin, how's your mom?
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southwest india, every year members of an ancient christian sect gather at the shrine. they celebrate the most
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significant event in the history of their church. the arrival of the apostle thomas, who they believe came here in 52a.d. >> jesus told the apostles go out of jerusalem and praise the good news. so thomas decided to go to india. >> is it possible the disciple famous for his lack of faith brought a form of christianity here? nearly 2,000 years ago. in the bible, the resurrected jesus leaves his disciplesith a final mission. >> go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the
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son and of the holy spirit. >> while ab apostle needs to be sent and christ commissions them to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim the good news, to proclaim his resurrection and it's a lifetime mission and some did go to the ends of the earth to do so. >> but there's little in the act of apostles about what happens next. >> the acts of the apostles is badly misname d most of the 12 disappear off the landscape of early christianity once we get past the gospels. >> thomas simply vanishes from the pages of the new testament. >> but there is another account of the life of thomas that picks up where the bible narrative stops. dr. lewis has come to the british library where there's a rare copy of an ancient book. the acts of thomas.
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>> the text is significant because it's very closely related to a ra mic, and that's the language that jesus spoke with his disciples. so this is a fabulous piece to the puzzle in uncovering a a little more information than we had before about what thomas was up to. in this story goes, after jesus' death, the disciples are getting together and trying to decide who goes where. ask they actually draw lines. thomas chooses the short straw. >> the disciples believe it would allow god to decide where they should go to spread the word. thomas gets india.
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>> i cannot go. i do not wish to go. >> to a first century, india was on the other side of the world. so it would have been enormously daunting for anyone to think about traveling to india. >> how can i as a hebrew man go among the indians to proclaim the truth? >> the lines are drawn. >> we have a human moment. thomas says i'd rather not go to india. it's a whale of a long way from here and who says i would even be able to understand the people at the end of the earth. >> according to the acts of thomas, not even jesus can persuade him. >> fear not, thomas. go away to india and proclaim
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the word. for my grace shall be with you. >> wherever you wish to send me, send me elsewhere. to the indians, i am not going. >> i don't see thomas as a stubborn skeptic. i see him as someone who maybe a critical thinker. someone who has to reason husband way into faith and too often we separate faith and reason, but faith is a reasoned trust. >> after a night of prayer, thomas finally accepts his lot. >> i'll go wherever you wish, o,
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lord jesus. >> it would have been challenge ing for someone to go to india. it would feel like being exiled to mars. >> the acts of thomas narrates thomas' journey from jerusalem to india by boat. he lands in the southwest corner of what is tay cara. >> according to the story, upon arrival i india, thomas is introduced to a legendary king. it's a fantastic tale, but could it be true. >> the acts of thomas is written over a century after books like the chronicle gospels we find in the new testament. the stories that are
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speculations about the apostle thomas. >> what's problematic about the tradition is that we don't have first and second century texts corroborating it. >> but a reason discovery provides evidence that thomas' journey to india was possible. and parts of the acts themselves may be. rooted in history. do you play? ♪ ♪ use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap, to friends at more banks then ever before. you got next? chase. helping you master what's now and what's next.
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india,he coast, in modern day carala. in 2007 scene of a spectacular ar arch logical discovery. archaeologists. >> in 2007 and so far we have 61. that is. >> hundreds of thousands of pottery fragments have been found, thousands of which from
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mediterranean world. on a scale the eclipses most other sites in india. >> he was the center of a trading goods that stretched from europe to china. >> huge quantities of spices were being brought around the world as a result of connections to these places. >> only an estimated 1% of the site has been excavate d. but the volume of trade revealed suggests thomas could also have made the journey here in the first century. know that if u follow the opl monsoon, you can get to india in under 40 days by ship. >> it would have been very hard,
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but it was certainly possible that thomas could have gone to india and if jesus' message is to preach his good news, then india would have been on that list. >> a stranger coming for the first time must be quite a surreal experience. he would have incurred all kinds of people and languages and flavors and smells he had never seen before and gods he had never even heard of. >> you have a variety of different religious sects. you've got jaynes and buddhists. >> a first point of contact might have been jewish traders who spoke his language and shared his faith. >> because this was center of spice trade, the jewish
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community settled there and there's a a jewish town even today. >> an ancient jewish enclave still exists in the port city of ko chi. could this community have been where thomas started his message to bring the teachings of jesus to india. >> we know that there were jewish communities there in india and that part of india as part of the trade networks early on for the first century. >> one of the important strands of thomas' work is the fact he didn't come to minister to the jewish community. >> this my body. >> this is my body. >> as a jew himself, he felt that he is bringing this new way of relating with god. >> i think thomas would make perfect apostle because he represents someone that had to
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go through a process in order to get to the place of believing. and i think that he represent many people. >> in the acts, one of thomas' first encounters is with an indian ruler. thomas instructs the king and his brother in the christian literature and eucharist. for years the king was regarded as a mythical figure. but a surprising discovery in the 19th century saw the acts of thomas cast in a new light. >> it appeared to provide some degree of verification for a key detail in the acts of thomas. so people think maybe the book isn't as legendary as we thought it was. >> dr. lewis is is at the
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british museum in london to see a 2,000-year-old coin that could connect thomas to india. >> this is a silver. >> it is heavy. >> it depicts the king riding on horseback and around the edge the legend is written in greek. >> so where did this coin come from? >> they are found in pakistan. it was the first and most important of the kungs that ruled in that area. >> do we know anything about this figure or this ruler? >> we do. we know when he walked. about 60a.d. >> that aligns pretty nicely with the time in which thomas as an apostle would have been doing his misonewsing activity in india. so to be able to find a real historical object and say, huh, this is interesting. this has a name on it that is the same as in this text. it makes that legendary text
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look a a little bit more historical. a little more real. a little more reliable. that's a very exciting moment for us. >> the discovery of coins in the 19th century added a completely different element into the mix. this proves that there are some historical elements in the acts of thomas. it's not all fantasy. >> can the testing of his relics add scientific proof to the tradition that thomas brought the teachings of jesus to india nearly 2,000 years ago. to be wh? uhh, i was thinking around 70. alright, and before that? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire? oh yeah sure... ok, like what? but i thought we were supposed to be talking about investing for retirement? we're absolutely doing that. but there's no law you can't make the most of today. what do you want to do? i'd really like to run with the bulls. wow. yea.
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southwest india, around 7 million christians here traced their faith directly to the apost apostle famous for his doubt. they believe their ancestors were baptized by one of jesus' 12 disciples, thomas. >> stop doubting and believe. >> my god, my god lord. >> thomas vabishes from the new testament after the resurrection. but his story is take b up by a third century epic narrative. the acts of thomas. >> now it seems that the acts of thomas resort some historically accurate information. >> but the acts of thomas is not the only account of his mission to india.
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>> there are two different sets of songs that we continue to sing. it's the activities of saint thomas and his missionary activities. the other is dance of the way, which is still being danced. >> it seems extraordinary maybe unlikely to us that a song could survive for 2,000 years. but we have to realize that in antic wi itty in the indian culture there were trained who would learn these songs and be passed down from generation to generation. in that way, they were stable ask it's completely plausible that a song could have an ancient background.
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>> saint thomas crihristians al maintain an ancient dance tradition. >> the songs tell us that the apostle was well received wherever he went. people welcomed him and received baptism and christianthe counities grew. >> the songs about thomas it was about the works of thomas and how he was as an individual and as a disciple of jesus was able to actually live that message of jesus in a different country. >> the songs describe thomas founding seven churches and. baptizing 1,000 converts. missionary work common to the acts. >> what is fab naes fascinatei
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preserves a tradition which makes sense when we compare it to the way that christianity spread in other parts of the world. >> saint thomas christians to this day maintain traditions they bloef to be a direct legacy of first century christian culture. >> the christian church to follow the biblical practice of men and women suting separately ask women covering their heads. >> most remarkable of all, elements of the thomas christian liturgy are performed in the language of early christianity. >> there are still priests who chant the institution narrative this is my body, this is my blood just the way jesus did at the last supper. >> what's compelling about the tradition about thomas going to india is just how similar all of the stories are.
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we don often find these kinds of similar traditions in any particular region. particularly a region so far away from where thomas started. . the fact that everyone tells the same story about thomas for 1500 years suggests that there might be a historical carnal of truth here. >> thomas sets off on what will be his final journey. the acts of thomas also says the apostle movers on. >> he moves to another kingdom. he starts doing the same thing in the kick dom. he baptizes people and people start converting and he gets himself kind of ob the wrong side of politics in this way because he's converting people that are very high up within the kingdom. they start to pull their loya y loyalties away from the king.
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>> it makes the king angry and by the time he converts his wife and son as well, he's had enough. >> the jealous king dispatches his men to capture and kill thomas. >> his final words repeat the same acclamation he made in the gospel of john when jesus the risen christ appeared to him. my lord, my god, i have fulfilled the work you gave me and obeyed your every command.
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>> the day i receive my final freedom. >> he dies being pierce d with spears. >> thomas has understood something about discipleship that it's about following jesus, whatever the consequences. that will include persecution, suffering and death. >> according to local tradition, in 72 a.d. his body is laid to rest in now part of modern day chini. but it will not e remain there. >> tradition holds that his followers took his body back to the west and that they lay in the city there until the crusade results in the bones to europe. >> dr. george and professor tom
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hyam have been granted permission to test a sample of the bone brought here in 1102 1102a.d. >> by getting a date for these bones, we'll be able to work out whether the bones are from the first century a.d. >> could it provide evidence to support the belief that thomas brought christianity to india in the first century. kevin, meet your father. kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin kevin trusted advice for life. kevin, how's your mom? life well planned. see what a raymond james financial advisor can do for you.
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italy, they have come to test a relic believed to belong to thomas. the disciple famous in the bible for doubting the resurrection and believed by 7 million christians to have brought the teachings of jesus to india nearly 2,000 years ago. >> is really exciting because a first century date would open the door towards validating tradition of whether thomas went to india. we're hoping to get a small sample to find out more about
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the relic. >> if you look closely, you can just see the relic through the window here. then you have a a couple screws here by the look of it. then you can just lift this right off and get access to the relic. >> keep going. >> it's supposed to be the left radius. >> what about the surface? how is it looking to you? >> this could be a problem because that has a lot of surface varnish on it. we want to date the bone, we don't want to date this stuff. when you have an important bone, people tend to cover it with a protecting material. hopefully it's just the surface that's been treated. >> thom needs to extract enough orr gabbic material to provide a test sample without destroying
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the relic. >> i think that's enough. we're done. >> by exploring our spects of this relic, we might be able to begin the journey towards testing this tradition. >> in ina, 7 million thomas ristians believe their ancestors were baptized by thomas after he was sent by jesus to spread the story of the resurrection in the first century. his arrival and his mission to. baptize the local people are recalled and celebrated in local song and dance. but there is no survive iing written record that supports the tradition.
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in 1498 the portuguese arrived in india with a different christianity. >> initially, there were fascinated by the fact that there were christians here. but then slowly they realized these christians worshipped in a different language. >> they seemed to have believed ins a strolg and reincarnation. they had dancing girls on their crosses. this didn't seem like christianity at all. the problem with them is they weren't catholics. and they didn't look proper to the portuguese. >> in 1599 the catholic church declared the saint thomas christians heretics. >> they collected all the documents they had from these thomas chrtians and destroyed them, burnt them. >> the history of early christianity in india recorded
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on palm leaf manuscript was put to the flame. >> much of the documents of the saint thomas christians were burnt at the time so they were all destroyed. >> the team of archivists are hunting down the few surviving palm leaf records. >> all india, palm leaf was what was available readily. unlike in the middle east where you would have parchments or scrolls or paper. >> many of their inscriptions are written in the language of many early christians. close to the language spoken by jesus and thomas. so far the oldest dates to 1291.
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>> what they have achieved so far is very important because for a long time the story of thomas was kind of brushed aside as kind of a mythical legend by the western scholarship. >> certainly, the story about thomas going to india, even if reluctantly from the third century acts of thomas, is a story that suggests that sometimes we simply have to take it on faith and trust. that something happened or else there wouldn't be early indications of christianity in india and, in fact, there are. >> can the testing of his relic believed to be his bone provide scientific evidence to support the tradition that thomas brought christianity to india? >> any such evidence and proof
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would actually validate the tradition that's been there for nearly >> the time has come to pet the relic to the test.
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oxford university england, professor tom and dr. george kazan are about to test a sample of bone, a sample taken from a rel relic venerated as being from the apostle thomas. teachings believed to be brought to india by jesus. >> the bone rather than the bone plus contamination. >> once the sample is clear of any form of chemical contamination, collagen is extracted from the bone. >> the end result is a material that looks rather like cotton wool. >> finally a mass spec trom ter is used to date the bone and reveal the age of the relic. >> this is where the samples are coming. they are now triple charged. they are going 50 million miles an hour.
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>> in india, a tradition preserved in song, dance and the acts of thomas tells how the apostle came here to spread the word of jesus in the first century. >> i think it's possible, even plausible that thomas went to india because we know that this was a fairly well trod route and we have a text that explains thomas's evangelical mission to india, and we have a community in this corner of india that goes back to antiquity. >> to this day, st. thomas christians perform parts of the liturgy in syriac. the language of early chris chant, close to that spoken by jesus. >> indian christians are fond of saying that it is as likely that thomas went to india as it is that peter went to rome. and i think that's basically fair.
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>> but indian christian culture was deemed her et cal by catholic portuguese colonists and suppressed. can science finally provide evidence to support the thomas tradition in india? in oxford, england, the results are in. >> and this is the result right here. >> so, it's between 130 and 330 a.d. so, it's a little bit later than thomas would be attested to, but it's still incredibly old. >> that's very exciting. >> wow, that's great. in terms of other relics that we've dated, that is one of the oldest that we ever have looked at. and they are interesting because they seem to cover the period where we find the first historical reference to his remains coming back from india.
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>> 1800--year-old relic does not provide evidence of thomas in india. >> do we have ancient sources that attest to their antiquity all the way to the first century? no, but we don't have that kind of evidence for christian presence anywhere. >> here i feel a little bit like the doubting thomas myself, just because we have bones and a body, do we know that that was really thomas's? we don't. at a certain point it's a question of faith and it's a question of personal opinion. >> over 400 years after declaring st. thomas christians heretics, the roman catholics made thomas the patron of india. in 1987 pope john paul visits
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india and holds a shrine dedicated to st. thomas. >> in terms of christianity in india, i think that declaration of thomas as a patron saint in india gave history or long held history to thomas and christians. >> it is the story of the importance of faith, reason and doubt. doubt and faith are two sides of the same coin. >> my lord, my god. >> without jesus' commission to his disciples to become apostles, that is, to go out from ju dee a and gal lee and spread his message around the world, there would be no christianity. frankly, the followers of jesus would have gone down in history
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as a sect of judaism. >> it's one of the great ironies of the way we talk about thomas that we call him doubting thomas when actually we should call him faithful thomas because what's happened is he's gone on his journey and in the end he makes the right decision. he comes to faith. >> my lord, my god. >> doubting thomas may be the perfect apostle because he in a sense represents all of us. we all have doubts in the spiritual life and all of us i think out of our human nature want proof.
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