History TV program features pastor and geneticist's quest to look for Jesus' DNA

A television program on History features a Fresno pastor and an Oxford geneticist's journey to five countries in their quest to look for the DNA of Jesus Christ.

(REUTERS / National Human Genome Research Institute / Handout)A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration released by the National Human Genome Research Institute to Reuters on May 15, 2012.

On Sunday, a two-hour TV show titled "The Jesus Strand: A Search for DNA" premiered on History. The show features Pastor Joe Basile of Fresno and Oxford University geneticist George Busby who traveled to Bulgaria, England, Israel, Italy, and Spain to look for the DNA of Jesus, the Fresno Bee details.

"Using the latest advances in DNA technology Oxford University geneticist, George Busby, and biblical scholar, Pastor Joe Basile, are investigating the world's most famous holy relics including the Shroud of Turin, The Sudarium of Oviedo and the newly discovered bones of Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist," said History, which described Jesus as the man that many consider as the "most important person in history."

In addition, History revealed that Pastor Basile and Busby spent 25 days visiting holy sites all over the world to extract and analyze samples from holy relics. They are hoping to obtain a DNA sample of Jesus Christ or any of his family members in a bid to identify his descendants who are living among the people of today's generation.

Basile explained that History wanted the findings to be accurate. For that reason, the channel chose him and Busby to combine faith and science as they worked on the project, USA Today reports.

"The goal was to combine science and faith. We used the Bible as a map," said Pastor Basile in the Fresno Bee report. "People will be excited by our findings. We discovered more than I thought we would."

History said it chose Basile because he is curious about the historical Jesus and he could balance the historic and religious aspects of the project. The pastor said getting chosen for the show was surreal and "life-changing" for him.