Modern Jews not decendants of biblical Jews?

Hi. A friend of mine told me that the modern day Jewish people are not the gentic decendants of the ancient Jews talked about in the bible ect. He said that they were more of a mix from people scattered about various empires who converted. Does anyone have the facts? Thanks.

Almost certainly this is so to some extent. But then I suppose the Hebrews of 2000 ya weren’t genetically ‘pure’ descendants of the people Moses led out of Egypt. There would have been genes imported by captured slaves, conversions/wives from surrounding lands etc. There is always constant blending of human bloodlines. That there would be some ‘Hebrew’ blood in most modern Jews also seems fairly likely.
Of course the modern Greeks aren’t the genetic descendants of the Greeks talked about by homer either in thew way your post applies the term. Nor are modern Britons the Britains of Arthurian legend etc.
Given that the race threads seem to have established that there is no genetic basis to race I can’t imagine this could ever be proven or tested for, so what is the relevance/debating potetential of this topic? I notice you’ve posted here and in GQ.
I have a few related questions:
I understand genealogy/tribal allegiance is still important to many modern Jews for religious and secular reasons.
I also understand most of the important genealogical records were destroyed with the temple in Jerusalem about 2000 ya. If this is so what measures were taken to re-esatblish these genealogies, and how far back does the longest genealogy of a living Jew extend (reliably if not actually verifiably). Are these genealogies common or rare? Are they matrilineal or patrilineal?
Sorry for the hijack but the OP got me thinking. Gotta stop that.

Note- is not this exact same query, by the same poster- also in GQ?

I believe you may be referring to the theory that Ashkenazic (European) Jews are descendents of the Khazars, a 9nth century (or so)kingdom (somewhere in Russia - Crimea?) whose king and some of the populace converted to Judaism. This theory is not (to my knowledge) taken seriously by historians. However it has achieved a certain vogue these days in Arab circles for obvious reasons (if the Jews are descendents of some Russian group they have no claim on Israel)

This question is indeed in GQ (and i’ve stuck my oar in there as well). FWIW, the Khazars were indeed real, and they did convert to Judaism during the Dark Ages - but this was as a result of long cultural contact with, and hence (at a guess) intermarriage with, middle Eastern Jewry. So, I’d guess that even the descendants of the Khazars would have some “original” Jewish blood. (For that matter, I suspect that many Europeans - perhaps even most Europeans - have a Jewish ancestor somewhere, if you look back far enough). How dilute does the blood of Abraham get before you’re no longer Jewish? I wouldn’t care to speculate…

[Moderator Hat: ON]

Since this is indeed also posted in GQ, and it can be handled as a GQ (as long as tempers stay low), I’m going to lock up the GD version here.

Satasha – You’re new, so I’ll give you a piece of advice: Don’t start threads in more than one forum.

David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

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