Connecting History And The Bible – Was Anna Anderson Really Anastasia?

One of the most confusing parts of Christianity is understanding the relationship between man and God.  How can a finite being be related to an infinite Being? It doesn’t seem to make sense.  I mean, we know we’re physical.  We’re flesh and blood.  Yet, we’re somehow related to a Being who’s made of spirit?  How does this happen?  I’m Wes White of and welcome to Connecting History and the Bible.   Let’s go to Virginia.

I’m standing in front of the Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, VA.  A surgical procedure that took place in this medical facility in 1979… once and for all settled a royal dynastic question that started back in 1918 in Russia.  Because it was in 1918 that the Romanov ruling family was murdered in Siberia.  We’re talking about Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra, and their five children.

The murderers of the royal family secretly buried their remains in a forest.  For decades afterward, no one knew what happened to Nicholas and his family.  So dozens of people came forward to claim they were Nicholas’ children.  Each claimant would say that he or she had somehow miraculously escaped the murder of the rest of the family and that he or she was the lone survivor.

The most famous claimant was Anna Anderson who toured Europe for years—claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia.  European royalty believed her claim and showered her with gifts and money.  She then married an American and moved to Virginia.  She died in 1984 and everyone thought—We’ll never know the truth whether or not Anna Anderson was really Anastasia.

But then came along a new science.  The study of DNA.  And then… the bones of the tsar and his family were found.  Scientists were able to get DNA samples of the tsar and his dead family.  Now if they could only match them to the DNA of the deceased Anna Anderson.  In order to do that, they would have to exhume her body and no next of kin was willing to allow that.  But then someone remembered that Anna Anderson had had a surgical procedure done in this hospital.  Part of her small intestine had been removed and had been kept preserved in the hospital’s lab.  So they took DNA samples from that tissue and compared it to that of the Romanov royal family.  There was no match.  Anna Anderson was not the Grand Duchess Anastasia.  She was actually a Polish factory worker whose real name was Franziska Schanzkowska.

DNA is the determining factor.  As Christians, we know from the book of Romans that we are now grafted into the line of Abraham.  When we receive the Holy Spirit at baptism, we get a brand new infusion of DNA.  Paul writes in Romans 8:15 that we Christians have received the spirit of adoption.  The word adoption used in the KVJ is not quite accurate.  Other translations more correctly use the word sonship.

In other words, we’re heirs to the promises, not because we have brought been home from the orphanage, but because we were brought home from the hospital—true heirs of God with His DNA.  Romans 8 also tells us that Jesus Christ is our elder brother and is the firstborn of many brethren.  After Jesus’ resurrection, he became a spirit being.  After we’re resurrected or changed in the twinkling of an eye, we too shall be spirit beings.  For more information, contact us  And we’ll see you next time for another episode of Connecting History and the Bible.


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