As hyped as at DNA is, it is still limited in how much we know about it.
It can be solid proof that two pieces of flesh came from the same person. It is also pretty darn reliable for proving very close biological relatives like parents, children and siblings, maybe also first cousins. But the further distant you get the less solid it is.
As far as distant ancestry goes, only lines that are directly paterlineal (Y chromosome) or directly materlineal (Mitochondrial DNA) can be traced at all. So using it to prove or disprove relationships between certain modern people groups is limited. Not only that but it seems like some geneticists consider the mitochondrial DNA more reliable or at least more definitive, while most nations and tribes throughout history have considered paterlineal descent more important, so that's what records were more concerned with documenting. The Bible included.
Let's take for example using DNA to deal with theories about the "Lost Tribes" of Israel.
People writing off various theories base it mostly on how different groups compare genetically to modern known Jews. Modern Jewish communities whether Ashkenazim, Sharphari or middle eastern are descended from the southern kingdom. The Lemba also, while the term lost tribes gets applied to them their oral history tracing them to 70 AD not an Old Testament exile, same with all African Jews. Also the Mountain Jews, while their oral history claims Northern Kingdom descent, their rabbinic nature tells me they left Judea later then the Bar-Kochba revolt.
The Bible only even kind of implies a consistent paterlineal common ancestry to the Israelites. The 12 sons of Jacob were mothered by 4 women from 3 families (but there is no guarantee Leah and Rachel even had the same mother). With the origin of the sons' wives only addressed for 2 of them. Judah had children by 2 women, one we're told was a Canaanitess, but Tamar's ancestry isn't addressed. Joseph married the daughter of an Egyptian High Priest. In the case of all three women are sons are refereed to, but these kinds of records often leave out the daughters. Later references to descendants of Shelah (Numbers 26:20) tell me Tamar did eventually marry him and have more children by him.
Genesis 37:35 tells us that Jacob had daughters, plural. Dinah alone is named and mentioned in the account of his children being born because of the what happens to her in Genesis 34, but maybe also because she's Zebulun's twin. So it's possibly all four of Jacob's wives passed on their Mitochondrial DNA.
But even beyond that the Torah isn't as ethnocentric as people think, plenty of ethnic foreigners became Israelites, including at the Exodus (Native Egyptians, and maybe also other people the Egyptians had enslaved like Nubians). The Law of Moses states any stranger living among you who is circumscribed and keeps the Torah should be considered a full citizen and not treated any different.
Jesus biological descent from David I consider indisputable, but that's it. Well the Kohen descent is more strict then most, but as I've said elsewhere there were no Kohens among the deported northern Israelites.
The divided Kingdom period is around 250 years of the north and south being distinct, what nations they interacted with being distinct. But what's often over looked is a certain amount of distinction existed before the Monarchy period if you study Judges closely.
It's possible that even the most important Northern Kingdom rulers were foreign in origin. Omri's name has been observed by scholars to be seemingly NOT a Hebrew name but either Amorite or Arabic. And indeed the account of his rise to power in Kings refers to the military proclaiming him King in Gibethon "Which belonged to the Philstines".
Gibethon was allotted to Dan originally, but by the end of the Judges period Dan has left their original allotment to settle North, partly because they couldn't keep themselves independent of the Phlsitines.
We know the basis for identifying the Philstines with the Sea Peoples is a major error. Some scholars have speculated it wasn't originally an ethnic term at all but a term that meant "Foreigners within the land" rather then strict descendants of their Genesis 10 namesake. I think there could be truth to both, that the Mizraimite tribes in the Gaza region were "foreigners within the land" even to other Canaanites. This of course opens up the possibility that in Canaanite texts the term might have been applied to the Hebrews.
What I find interesting is that when what we call the end of the Omrid dynasty happens we're not told all of the house of Omri was killed, just all the sons of Ahab. It's commonly assumed that when the Assyrian inscriptions called Jehu a Son/Descendant of Omri they were either mistaken or meant it in a non literal sense. But The Bible only traces Jehu's line back two generations paternally and one maternally. And Kings' narrative voice admits there is much to the history it's not recording. Maybe Jehu's grandfather was a son of Omri who was made a governor in Gilead?
Besides all that, we also need to remember as Six-Day Young Earth Creationists we need to place those Haplogroups break off points much more recently then secular geneticists who them breaking off 10s of thousands of years ago. Y-Chromosomal Adam is not Biblical Adam but Noah at the earliest. And Mithocondrial-Eve tends to be placed much later then him. I'm inclined to guess Y-Chomosonal Aaron is actually a Kohen who lived in the intertestamental period.
From a site speculating on an Israelite connection for Japan.
Y Chromosome Haplogroup D is also strongly linked to the people of Tibet. The Himalayas are in Tibet and some have suggest that name is somehow Yah theophoric.Recent DNA researches on Y-chromosome showed that about 40 % of the Japanese have DNA of haplogroup D. Y-chromosome DNA is passed from father to son, and is classified according to genetic features into genetic groups called E/span>haplogroupsEfrom A to T. Only Japanese and Tibetan peoples in the world have haplogroup D at a high frequency. D is rarely found even among the Chinese and Koreans.According to geneticists, haplogroup D is the compatriot of haplogroup E, which is found in all Jewish groups of the world. Haplogroups D and E were once one and have the common origin, as Wikipedia encyclopedia states:"Along with haplogroup E, D contains the distinctive YAP polymorphism, which indicates their common ancestry.[Haplogroup D (Y-DNA)]According to Family Tree DNA, a DNA test provider, especially E1b1b1 type of haplogroup E is “found in all Jewish populations, from Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Kurdish, Yemen, Samaritan and even among Djerba Jewish groups. They use this genetic marker to find Jewish descendants.
All Native Americans are one of five Mithocondrial Haplogroups, A, B, C, D and X. And pretty much only two Y-Chromosome Haplogroups, C and Q. Y-Chromosome C occurs in Japan but very very rarely, Japan is mostly either D or O.
MtDna A, C and D are generally the ones considered to have come across the bearing strait from Russia to Alaska.
B however seems to have strong ties to Japan and the South Pacific and is now more generally thought to have come by boat. Generally the assumption is they were in Japan first then traveled to the Americas, where B seems to be more affiliated with South America then North America.
The most mysterious of the Native American Haplogroups is X however. It's the rarest, less then 10% of Natives who've been tested have it, all of them indigenous to North America and none in Mexico or the South West. It''s been found in bodies buried in Missipian burial mounds proving it existed in America pre-Columbus. Yet it's the hardest one to connect to East Asia, it's only connection is a people group in Siberia who seem to have migrated there from the South Caucus way to recently.
The South Caucus is not far away from where we know the Northern Israelites were first settled. It's also been found among Europeans and in the Middle East, though not to my knowledge yet any group known to have Jewish ancestry. (Update, I've now read that 38% of Libyan Jews are Haplogroup X).
But it's most frequent among the Druze, a religious minority in Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, their Ethnic Origins seem predominately Arab but with plenty of room for other groups to come in, they have many diverse Mitochondrial Haplogroups. It exists among the Druze of Galiee who are said to have been the most Isolated Druze group. This leads me to suspect X could have it's origin in women who lived in the Galilee region.
It'd be interesting if we ever find the bodies of Jesus maternal half-siblings and get to study their DNA, I wonder if we'll find out the Virgin Mary was mtDNA Haplogroup X?
Lots of people debate over which gentiles may or may not have Lost Tribes descent are motivated by desires of people to make their groups or a group their interested in special Biblically. But some people actually feel like The Bible hints at Ephraim becoming ALL the Gentiles in Genesis 48. Not taking away descent from other groups also, but indeed it's easy to imagine in enough time a wondering group of people spreading their DNA everywhere with over 2000 years to do so. I've also seen it claimed that not just all Royalty but all Europeans period alive today probably descend from Charlemagne, I know I have some lords in my ancestry a thousand years ago.
What I've speculated on so far has been focused on Europe and Asia and Native Americans. African links are plausible though. Isaiah 18 seems to refer to an Ethiopian nation as having some kind of kinship to Israel. Jewish groups have popped up all over Africa, not just the Ethiopians and the Lemba, but only one claims in their oral history a Lost Tribes descent (The Igbo Jews). One can be enough though since as I've said elsewhere only a minority of the Northern exiles kept worshiping Yahweh, the majority lost their national identity.
All this is just a historical curiosity, all who Believe in Jesus are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, regardless of genetics.
The difference between who's geo-polticaly a Jew or Gentile in the New Heaven and New Earth is first of all irrelevant to The Church which will be New Jerusalem, as Paul said in Galatians no one in The Church is Jew or Gentile, Male or Female. For the rest it's less an ancestry matter and more an if they were physically circumcised and voluntarily kept the Torah matter.
Update: September 3rd 2015.
80% of all Ashkenazim Jews are Y-Haplogroup J, R or E. It's about the same with Sephardi Jews of Portugal. And those 3 are common among other Jewish communities too.
Because during recent generations the Ashkenazim made up the majority of Jews (92% during WWI, more like 80 something % now), they are the ones most subject to conspiracy theories about their gene pool being tainted by people not actually from Israel. But they have a smaller variety of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups among them then the Sephardi it seems. Comparing just to one fairly isolated Portuguese group, the Ashkenazim has only 5 while they have 7, 4 groups are shared by both.
It's strictly only certain sub groups of those Haplogroups affiliated with Jews, but given what I argued above I think that's enough to consider it possible all of those 3 Haologroups pater-lineal descendants of Abraham, as well as their siblings groups, which for E is D as shown above already. For R is Q (which was mentioned above) being together Haplogroup P, Wikipedia says Haplogroup P through those two offshoots is ancestral of most people of both Europe and the Americas. Q is also found in 5-7% of Ashkenazim Jews, which it turns out includes the Oppenheimer family.
Among Native Americans, both Y-Haplogroups C and Q can be found all over the Americas, but Q is more dominant everywhere but Alaska and northwest Canada. I think at one time those weren't the only Y chromosomes represented, but various invasions from Ephraim/Q wiped out other tribes allowing only their pater-lineal lines to survive.
I'm thinking that J might be more likely to be descended from Ishmael then Jacob. Yes it's very common among various Jews (but not any Lost Tribes canidates who went East), but that could come from the Hasmoneans forced conversion of the Idumeans (Dumah). It's J1 (the same J subgroup linked with the Ashkenazim) that is most dominant on the Arabian Peninsula. Also it's often forgotten the people of Osroene were a Nabatean offshoot, which can put Ishmaelite descent potentially into Armenia and maybe even the Kazzars.
J* is a rare Haplogroup that is mostly found on the Island of Soctotra, located just outside the Red Sea, off the coast of Yemen. But it has observances in Greece and in India and Pakistan. And it was fond among the Jews of the Island of Djerba in Tunisia.
J2 is apparently considered common among the earliest people of the Agean (possibly Pre-Hellenic, Pelesgians), and has a strong presence in Italy. It could very well be Edom.
The sibling group of J is I.
Y-Haplogroup I looks like a strong candidate for Dan. It has two Sub Groups, I1 is mostly in northern Europe and dominant in Scandanavia. I2 is in central and southeastern Europe and dominant in Sardinia. The Tuatha De Dannan cam from Northern Europe according to Irish mythology in 701 BC (according to Bill Cooper's After The Flood). Sardinia also plays a key role in Dan speculation due to the Sherden of the Sea Peoples.
And again I remind people that lack of direct pate-lineal descent doesn't mean no descent.
Upon further research I've noticed it's believed Y-Chromosome Haplogroup E had it's origin in Africa. I know Evolutionists believe we all go back to Africa eventually (as opposed to The Middle East where The Bible places our origin), but Haplogroup E is currently still all over Africa, it's the most common and dominant Haplogroup in most parts of Africa actually, and it has the most variety in Africa.
Those among the Jews with Haplogroup E are all one subgroup, E1, a specific sub group of E1 actually, E1b1b. This subgroup also has strong ties to Egypt (including the DNA test of Pharaoh Ramses III), and populations of Egyptians outside Egypt, as well as Ethiopia.
The Dogon are also E1, now a lot of fringe historians have twisted and misrepresented and outright lied about the Dogon's oral traditions to suit weird theories about Sirius. But the claim that the Dogon descend from people who left Egypt around the time the Hycsos took over does seem fairly plausible.
Again I point out the Exodus account says many native Egyptians did join in the first Passover and left with the Israelites. So DNA of Egyptian origin showing up among the population of Israel does make Biblical sense. This would not mean the Jews who are Haplogroup E aren't descended from Jacob, just not directly pater-lineally. Those people in time no doubt became absorbed into the 12 Tribes.
Only place outside Egypt where Haplogroup E is dominant is Greece, Greece is E3 not E1 but an Egyptian origin still seems most logical. There are stories in Greek Mythology about how people from Egypt contributed to Greece early development, Cecrops and Danus. There are of course reasons I've discussed elsewhere to see Israel, in particular Dan (but also Edom) playing a role in the truth of those myths.
I definitely still feel that deported Northern Israelites are the most logical explanation for Haplogorup E showing up East of the Tigris river, that the Beni Maneshe and Beni Ephriam have E backs that up. Though Middle Eastern examples of Haplogroup E could also come from Canaanites, Philistines and the Sumerians who I believe were Cushite.
Haplogroup D which broke off from E exists solely in East Asia.
II Kings describes the Assyrians sending a Priest of Jeroboam's non Levite Priesthood back to Israel to help the people who would become known as the Samaritans worship who to them was the local God Yahweh. The Priesthly clan of the Samaritans seem to belong to Haplogroup E1b1b, while the Jewish Levites seem to be Haplogroup R.
It is said Jeroboam made Priests of "the lowest of the people" it could be that unfortunately the descendants of the Egyptian converts once held the lowest social status in Israel.
Some of the theories about a Lost Tribes origin for Japan make it largely the specifically Priestly clans of Japan that are Israelite, I don't know if the Priestly clans are usually D rather then O or C, but if they are, that'd be very interesting.
Update Jan26: I've done my own post on the Japan theories.
Hosea the last King of the Northern Kingdom was not a son of any prior ruler, his tribal identity isn't given. The fact that he did not continue the Sins of Jerboam would at first glance make it unlikely that he came from the Preistly Class Jeroboam set up. But maybe if he was the first of that class to be King it would give him a motivation to reform things, to make it less dependent on Jeroboam's Idols. Either way it wouldn't rule out the possibility of him sharing their Egyptian proselyte ancestry.
He didn't continue Jeroboam's Sin which was Idolatry. But he still wasn't approved of by God. Whether his evil was related to the form of worship he promoted or not we don't know. Shintoism does not practice Idolatry in the strictest sense.
I'm familiar with the controversy surrounding Tutankhamen's DNA. Apparently there was a study published saying he was Y-Haplogroup R1b1a2, a Haplogroup predominately affiliated with Europe. But then it was possibly discredited. Someone know's his Y-DNA since it's now considered proven he's a pater-lineal grandson of Amenhotep III (doesn't necessarily prove he's the son of Akhneton, there is the theory his father was Akhneton's brother).
Whether true or not the way both fringe Afro-centrists and Anglo-centrists have reacted to it shows how ignorant both are. You have people who both think it's true and want to discredit it acting like it'd make him "mostly white".
Y-Chromosome DNA again can only trace pater-lineally. While Tutankhamen's ancestry had a lot of incest, Amenhotep's recorded direct pater-lineal line only goes back to Tuthmosis I who I'm convinced from studying the evidence was not a son of Amenhotep I or any prior 17th or 18th Dynasty Pharaoh.
Y-Haplogroup R is one I feel has it's origins with Jacob or at least Abraham. Just as any Egyptian who put Blood on the Doorpost at the first Passover left with the Hebrews, so too did any Hebrew who didn't do that get left behind. But also Tuthmosis lived soon after the Hycsos were driven out, given what we think about the Hycsos, maybe he descended from a bastard son of a Hycsos thus giving him pater-lineal descent from Esau, or an Ishmaelite tribe.
Point is the majority of Tuthmosis I's ancestry could still have been African. And his ancestry would account for at most a fourth of Tutankhamen's due to Amenhotep's wife being the daughter of Yuya. Likewise he can only account for half of Amenhotep III's ancestry. Actually I'd forgotten Hatshepsut wasn't the mother of Tuthmosis III, so Tuthmosis I could only make up a fourth of Amenhotep III's and an eight of Tutankhamen's ancestry.
R1b is pretty common in Europe, just this specific sub group is the most common Y-Haplogroup in Western Europe, and present all over Europe. 92% in Wales, 85% is Ireland but 95% in parts of Ireland, and dominant in Scotland, Cornwall and parts of France, Spain and Northern Italy. It's above 40% in Denmark and has minority presence in Greece an Macedonia. So as much as I wanted to to be skeptical of British Israelism claims due to certain implications, I feel it is now fairly vindicated by the DNA. But I still feel the Tribes going East is the key factor.
King Lois XIV of France belonged to Haplogroup R1b. His direct pater-lineal ancestry can be viewed here. It goes back to Robert of Hesbey who is also the patelrineal ancestor of the Valois and Bourbons. He may descend from a daughter of Merovingian King Theuderic III.
Nicholas II of Russia was R1b too. His paternal Ancestry is here. Charles Darwin and thus his Grandfather Erasmus Darwin were also R1b.
But not all European Royalty was R1b, Richard III was G2a. His direct Pater-Lineal ancestry goes back to Fulk V of Anjou, King of Jerusalem during the Crusades. And his goes back to Hugues du Perche. Y-Haplogroup G is not one I'm currently willing to feel certain is definitively linked to Ancient Israel. But G2c does exist at 7% among Ashkenazim, and 3.5 % among the Portuguese Jewish community I mentioned above.
Haplogroup R is considered uncommon among Shephardi and Middle Eastern Jewish populations and so the chief target of people saying the Ashkenazim are really Kazzars. But R isn't as common in the Caucus region as it is Western Europe. And almost 30% of those Portuguese Jews are R1b while over 1% are R1a, there are less among them then Haplogroup J but more then Haplogroup E.
If all or Most Jews with Haplogroup R were among those deported in 70 AD and after the bar-Kokhba revolt while other groups were less complete, it wouldn't be surprising since the deportations targeted certain areas over others. The more troublesome areas.
Update February 4th 2016: From reading more on Y-Chromosomal Aaron. I must change my mind before about Y-Haplogroup J probably not including pater-lienal descent from Jacob. It seems certain Aaron was Haplogroup J. The Levites who are R seems to have their origin before the diaspora but probably later then the close of the Old Testament.
And likewise my certainty that Haplogroups R and Q are paternally from Jacob or even Abraham. I'm still working on that.
Further Update Feb7th2016: Based on Bill Cooper's research in After The Flood chapter 3-5 and 8. Haplogroup R being the dominant group of the Irish, Welsh, Cornish and Scottish means they should be either Javan or Magog. He shows an early mingling of their lines but it's unclear which would be Pater-Lineal.
I do not share Cooper's certainly that Sceaf is Japheth (discussed in chapters 6-7) however, the Prose Edda says Sceaf descended from Memnon and a daughter of Priam, Memnon was a king of Aethiopia and thus possibly a Danite. Thus Haplogroup I still being Dan.
Haplogroup N is one I'd like to see as Magog because of it's affiliation with the northern most parts of Russia. And it has no presence in Greece unlike R.
Haplogroup O being the dominant group of the Javanese of Java has me thinking of it as a good candidate for Javan.
My hunch for now is that N is Magog, and O-R is Javan. That includes Q which dominates the Americas. Maybe I should rethink the idea that Tarshish was a New World nation?
I still don't think R and more rarely Q winding up in Jewish populations was solely because of the Diaspora, though that may have increased it. There were many Greek prostylites during the Helenistic and Greco-Roman eras, like Nicolas of Antioch. And they're mentioned in the Hebrew Bible enough to imply some pre-captivity contact.
October 2016: I now think two Y Haplogroups descend from the mingling of Javan and Dan. Yaplogroys-I being Pater-Lineally Dan, and the largest subgroup of R being pater-lineally Javan.
June 2017: Mitochondrial Eve
This may be the last time I add to this already overlarge post.
I've already talked about how Y-Chromosnal Adam would in fact be Noah at the earliest. The odd thing is how it seems that Mitochondrial Eve lived more recently. Creationist or Evolutionist model, that's not what one would naturally expect given how Human Reproduction works.
I have a theory I can't prove. But I can't help but wonder if still Mitochondrial Eve can be identified in The Bible.
Chuck Missler likes to say that the Woman of Revelation 12 is Israel "In the sense that she starts with Eve". I did a blog post where I argued that in a sense The Woman of Revelation 12 is Rachel.
I also already cited above evidence that Dinah wasn't Jacob's only Daughter. Rachel bore Joseph right before they left Laban's house in Aram. She gave dies giving birth to Benjamain.
It's unclear how much time passed in between, further complicated by me disagreeing with most commentators on when during Jacob's 20/21 year serving Laban Joseph was born. To me the idea that Rachel had Joseph as soon as she married Jacob rendering the whole story of her angsting over not being able to conceive absurd.
I also think from analyzing that narrative, that Leah's children weren't born till he was married to Rachel. So I think Reuben was older then Joseph by around 6 years, more then 5 but less then 7.
Reuben laying with Bilhah seemingly happens not long after Rachel died. Which suggests enough time passed for Reuben to grow from 6 to at least 12 but probably older. So plenty of time for Rachel to have had a few daughters in between her sons. Perhaps she had at least one during the time at Shechem, and at least one during the time at Bethel.
Now one might ask "what about her having a Daughter before Joseph?" Well knowing the patriarchal nature of the culture depicted in Genesis, it could be easy at first glance to think her Angst is over specifically not having a son. And the word translated "children" in Genesis 30:1 is Ben and so could be translated more gender specifically if you wanted to. But the language of things like "opening her Womb" leads me to conclude that indeed Joseph was her first child of any gender. Also the word "barren" wouldn't be used of someone who was having daughters. So her daughters would have been born in-between her sons.