Archive for May, 2011

Blasphemous? Insightful?

May 18, 2011 Comments off

[CobbersSep08.jpg]More and more, I am seeing the Shroud of Turin being injected into skeptical writing. Here is Badger, an Australian living in Austria:

Does it ever strike Christians or God-followers of any description as strange that not one – not a single solitary God – has ever had the courage to show him or herself  to his or her adoring flock anyplace – ever. Not a glimpse. Not a glance. Not a fleeting shadow. These Gods are so shy.

. . . And to attempt to demolish the impeccable mind of Hawking* these nitwits [=Christians] quote the Bible. Line by line. Verse by verse.

And I regret to say – they are preyed upon by rather more intelligent non-believers who goad them with rational arguments and send them into foaming frenzies and prompt them to respond with withering bursts of bible passages and – for some obscure reason – the Shroud of Turin – which is always trotted out as proof of God’s existence. Why not quote the Tooth Fairy?

I don’t think it is possible to prove God’s existence with the Shroud. But if it is what I think it is, God did show himself in a “fleeting shadow.”

* who just told The Guardian:

I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.

Badger’s posting is at Vienna for Dummies: Caution: Blasphemous Blog Follows

Categories: Other Blogs

More on Face of the God-Man

May 18, 2011 Comments off

A reader writes:

The article is interesting but I’m a bit confused about the progressive opacity overlays. Is there any technical documentation on the size, scale, skew and tilt of the compared images? They can’t all be so perfect, can they? I’m guessing that the mosaic is important but that there may have been other sources as well. I’m thinking the Turin shroud may be the first source in a complex tree of sources, mostly lost to history.

Categories: Art, History

Paper Chase: Face of the God-man

May 18, 2011 1 comment

MUST READ:  While conducting ancient oil lamp research in museum depots in Turkey during May 2002, Philip E. Dayvault discovered a mosaic, “the ISA Tile,” which presumably depicts the face of Jesus of Nazareth. It seems to have been derived from the facial image on the Shroud of Turin. Dayvault offers a compelling study of these images. Moreover, he examines other painting, icons, frescoes, and mosaics and determines that this mosaic may be the prototype of numerous Christological depictions.



If, as Dayvault argues in a paper entitled, “Face of the God-man,”

the mosaic tile can be forensically associated with documentary and physical evidence from the 1st or 2nd Century, and historically and circumstantially to events in the 1st Century; then by extension, it is reasonable to accept the fact that the Shroud is also from the 1st Century . . .

His case is compelling. The paper is a MUST READ. Click here to display a webpage with link options under “Attachments.” I recommend downloading the file to your computer and then displaying it.

Dayvault goes on to suggest that this is the “Image of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.” Personally, I think that is safe inference. But it should not be thought of as proven, or something factually established. In the very last sentence of the paper he also says of the image, “. . . somehow made at the very moment of Resurrection.” For that, there is no evidence; not in this paper or elsewhere, as I see it. It may be true but it may be that the image was created at some other time in the tomb, and perhaps slowly.

Note: I found it frustrating that the PDF version of the paper was so locked up that I could not print a copy or search. The quoted text above is from optical character recognition software used with a picture of my computer screen taken with an iPhone.

The jury is out on this, so far. Dayvault has submitted the paper to the Shroud Science Group, which is an excellent idea. I’m optimistic and I’m excited by what I am reading here.

Categories: Art, Image Theory, News & Views

Is this enough reason to NOT believe?

May 18, 2011 Comments off

Out of a college course:

I believe that The Shroud of Turin is another example of forgery done with good intentions. The Shroud of Turin is said to have the image of Jesus Christ burned into it from His resurrection; it is also said to be impossible to imitate. Even if it is “impossible” to imitate, there is still the question of its original authenticity. The Holy Shroud has never been proven, and because of this, I find it hard to accept as a miracle. The Catholics have no written claim of the Holy Shroud in the Bible, which makes it even harder to believe. Again, I believe that people came up with this idea in order to persuade people to come over to the Catholic faith.

Sadly, yes, it is enough reason to not believe. But where, in this, is the reason to believe? Read 2011 CE: Life and Times of Caitlin Elizabeth: Final wherein she writes:

I believe I deserve an A in this class. I earned a B on the midterm, and I’ve never missed an unexcused class. I’ve devoted a lot of time to this class especially on the midterm and final. I also read the Reader and kept up with my postings.

Maybe you do. I hope you get it.

Categories: Other Blogs

En Garde, K.C.

May 17, 2011 Comments off


Joe Marino writes:

So the basis for determining if Dan is a skeptic of the Shroud or not is NOT anything to do with examining the data but K.C.’s educated opinion? Gosh, what a great system!

A reader from the University of Massachusetts writes:

So KC admits that we don’t know if the TS is real or not. He says that your Christian ideology has introduced some bias into this discussion. He thinks you should alter your position from “probably real” to “don’t know” since the evidence is inconclusive. Given his admission that the evidence is inconclusive, is he willing to say that we don’t know if the the TS is real or not? I suspect not.

B&B writes:

When he writes, “Let us not fall into a fallacy of a false dilemma. The two choices here aren’t either the shroud is a fake or the shroud is proof of Jesus, there are many other possible answers to the shroud riddle,” he is committing a bigger fallacy, the half-truth fallacy. I don’t recall that you have ever said that the shroud is proof of anything. If anything you make the point that it is not.

Another reader notes:

So its false by default if not proven real? Smoking Skeptoidism! Talk about Fundamentalism of another kind!

And another reader writes:

He actually wrote, “You said that you too were once a skeptic of the shroud, and I don’t think that I truly believe you, otherwise you still would be.” Amazing arrogance. And so, like you, Jewish Barrie Schwortz who was once skeptical of the shroud could not have been or he still would be. So Jewish chemistry professor Al Adler who was once skeptical of the shroud could not have been or he still would be. So chemist and general all around skeptic Ray Rogers who was skeptical of the shroud could not have been or he still would be.

Note: It is “would have been” for Al Adler and Ray Rogers.

What struck me as most illogical, now that I’ve reread what KC wrote, is this statement:

If you can accept almost every other important scientific principle and discovery, why limit yourself to science that does not happen to contradict something that you presumably only believe because you happened to be raised in a Christian household? (bold his)

What science does he think contradicts something I believe as a Christian? And why does he think I “presumably only believe [such] because [I] happened to be raised in a Christian household?”

Categories: Other Blogs

Problems Getting Barbara Frale’s ‘The Templars and the Shroud of Christ’

May 17, 2011 Comments off

I had previously posted that I thought Barbara Frale’s ‘The Templars and the Shroud of Christ’ was to be out April 7th. I ordered it from Amazon and forgot about it. The other day I ordered it for Kindle and have been reading it.

Now I get an email from Amazon:


We’re still trying to obtain the following item[s] you ordered on April 07 2011 (Order# xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx).

Barbara Frale "Templars and the Shroud of Christ"

Still want it? We’ll keep on trying. To keep your order for this item open, please click the link below. Otherwise, we’ll cancel your order on June 06 2011, if we haven’t located it by then.

Seem to be a problem. But at least there is a Kindle version.

Categories: Books

Persuasive Essay on the Shroud of Turin

May 17, 2011 Comments off

[Picture+003.jpg]In an essay for an English class (101, no less), Ross Caron writes:

. . . “Is the Shroud of Turin an authentic artifact of a first century Roman crucifixion and burial?” After reviewing a wealth of scientific research (both for and against authenticity) and using a variety of research media that included books, journal articles, websites, even a History Channel television special, I hope the reader of this essay will be able to reach an unbiased conclusion that is the answer to the question is yes.

After several well-argued points he concludes:

So, do I think my research found an answer to the question I posed? I do and I believe the answer is actually given very well in this final quote from Russ Breault: “The shroud is either authentic or it’s not. From the point of science it can never be proven, but – there is a different view of evidence and that is the courtroom definition as to whether it’s authentic or not. I believe if the shroud of Turin was put on trial to determine if it was authentic, the jury would find it authentic.” (Jesus -The Lost 40 Days. 15 April. 2011.).

I agree. Now, the question is up to you to answer. What do you believe?

Full essay: Persuasive Essay – The Shroud of Turin

Categories: Other Blogs

You said that you too were once a skeptic of the shroud, and I don’t think that I truly believe you . . .

May 17, 2011 2 comments

imageA reader writes:

K.C. has replied. Did you see it. No longer being able to call the Shroud a fake, he has decided to call you one. It is both funny and sad that he should say that since you do not see enough evidence to conclusively prove the shroud is a fake that you think it is real. If anything, my biggest complaint about you is that you are not enough this way.

Yes, he sent me an email to let me know that he had replied. But thanks. I haven’t had a chance to do anything but give it a quick read. I don’t know if it warrants a response after he wrote to me saying:

You said that you too were once a skeptic of the shroud, and I don’t think that I truly believe you, otherwise you still would be.

That makes me what?

Here is his full reply.

Categories: Other Blogs

Quote of the Day on Skeptical Websites About the Shroud of Turin

May 17, 2011 1 comment

Ross M. Caron in his blog

imageI was surprised that all skeptic sites I researched made no attempt to give any links to journals or other scientific materials that could be used to substantiate their statements. I was disappointed not to find a “legitimate skeptical site” because I was hoping to be able to present some legitimate material from both sides of the question. None of the “skeptic” research sites I reviewed did this.

Good observation: it is a problem, regrettably. Some pro-authenticity websites also have this problem but most do not.

Categories: Quotations

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection

May 16, 2011 6 comments

Yannick Clément writes via comments:

imageI am presently reading the new book written by Benedict 16 entitled “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection”. You can find it here :

Good book to know what’s the pope’s vision of Jesus. And I can see that his vision is not so far from mine… In the part where he talk about the entombment, there’s an interesting statement about the Shroud of Turin. The pope first state that the problem of compatibility between the Shroud of Turin, the “linen cloths” mention in the gospel of John and the “shroud” mention in the Synoptic gospels cannot be discuss in the context of his book. But the pope add this interesting remark that says a lot in my mind (for someone who can read between the lines) : “In any case, the aspect of this relic (the Shroud of Turin) is, in principle, reconcilable with the two reports (the one from the gospel of John and the one from the Synoptic gospels).

For the mummy way of burial, it’s not a jewish manner at all. I think any good historian can corroborate this fact. The best way (in my opinion) to understand the meaning of “linen cloths” from the gospel of John can be “linen strips” along with the Shroud to tied it to the body…

At Amazon, the Kindle Edition is $9.99, hardback is $14.94 and audio CD is $27.95. For some unknown reason neither Audible nor iTunes have this volume for audio download though they have the pope’s previous volume in this series.

See Not Like a Mummy? A Frequent Question for reference to the last paragraph from Yannick.

Categories: Books

China’s Scenic Attractions Like the Shroud of Turin

May 16, 2011 Comments off

Computer generated text spam is clogging up the search engines. This is an example of a fake blog called “China’s Scenic Attractions” that is found by searching on Shroud of Turin. The whole purpose (it is complicated to explain how) is to sell Gucci wallets and handbags (probably fake). For me it is a waste of time:

China’s cathedral (Duomo), built in in1498. The church is not very big, but because Christianity in the world which keep most rigorous preserved, causing the most controversy a cultural relics – “Jesus shroud”, world famous. “Jesus shroud” is a linen, long 4.2 meters, the width 1 meter, for flax texture, slightly separates a certain distance, can clearly above see a person of positive and back images. Image is 180cm tall, long hair hang down shoulder, hands placed on abdomen, cross in the head, hand, ribs and foot a clear red lubricious piece, is working with waltheof shape as recorded in the bible when Jesus was dead state of the same. Though the Vatican has never announced that the shroud is credible, but it was taken as a Christian one special thing to collect and respect. The shroud every one hundred years take out only about four times, each time public exhibition exhibition, distances thousands of christians gathered to visit. They believe that all we see is Jesus Christ’s ZhenRong. “Jesus shroud” was first discovered is French. 1356 years the shroud was first publicly, immediately cause whole Christ world shaking, because not only the figure on the cloth looks like the legendary Christ, and still have blood.

In a similar vein, I get attempted comments in my blog like, “Thank you for that wonderful message. Your wise words are so helpful.” They provide links to sites that are selling something.

No, I am not going to provide a link.

Categories: News & Views, Off Topic

History Channel has released ‘Jesus, the Lost 40 Days’

May 16, 2011 Comments off

imageA reader writes:

I just happened to notice that the history channel is now shipping “Jesus: the Lost 40 Days”, ahead of schedule and they have about 10 reviews. Five people give it 5 stars, 1 gives it 4 stars, 1 gives it 3 stars and 3 give it only 1 star. Overall that is 3.5 stars. I bought mine at iTunes. I certainly give it 5 stars.

Maybe 10 reviews is too few. By comparison, The Real Face of Jesus DVD has 115 ratings and 4.9 stars.

I looked at Amazon. They say that Jesus: the Lost 40 Days has not been released yet. Their price is $19.99 compared to History’s price of $24.95.

You can still get both of these Shroud of Turin based specials at iTunes for $3.99.

Categories: Video

Christ’s Holy Image of Edessa–Clarifying the Confusion

May 16, 2011 1 comment

Taylor Marshall helps:

Clearly, there is a discrepancy here. The original Edessa story recounts an image of Christ made by Christ prior to His crucifixion. Meanwhile, the Holy Shroud of Turin is a full body image of a crucified and resurrected Christ. So then, there are either two images (pre-crucifixion face-mandylion, and the post-crucifixion body-shroud of Turin), or just one image and thus the ancient origin narrative of Edessa about Saint Jude is false. Or maybe Saint Jude did bring an image of Christ to Edessa (the Shroud of Turin) and the story about Christ wiping His face on fabric is the only incorrect part of the original story. (Is the Veronica story being confused here in this ancient legend? Who knows?)

I, personally, don’t know how to untangle the accounts. It seems pretty clear to me that what is being called the "Image of Edessa" in AD 944 is the Shroud of Turin since the Edessa Image here is a full body image. It also appears that there is a strong tradition for this image being transported to Edessa through the hands of Saint Jude Thaddeus.

Full posting: Christ’s Holy Image of Edessa (and is it really the Shroud of Turin?) ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall

Categories: History, Other Blogs

Picture of the Day, The Camouflage Chasuble

May 16, 2011 Comments off

I never thought of a chasuble not in the color for a particular liturgical season or special day. The red outline cross is a particularly interesting touch. Is this government issue?


Source: National Catholic Register

Categories: Off Topic

The Central Driving Force of Early Christianity

May 16, 2011 1 comment

[DJO.jpg]Excellent posting by PawPaw Dave":

[D]uring this past Easter season, I saw a two hour TV show involving the Shroud of Turin.  A team of graphic experts used cutting-edge 3D software to bring the face of Jesus to light (  The technology was highlighted via recreations of lifelike sightings of Jesus after his resurrection.  The show was well done; the effect of it on me was akin to my initial amazement at the many historical and archeological discoveries over the past century or so.  Over an over they provided solid evidence that the people, places and events in the bible were real.  I was left with the thought that the resurrection of Jesus was also the literal truth.

There is now a scientific basis to believe that the resurrection of Jesus really happened; that it wasn’t a matter of vision, metaphor or exaggerated poetic license to make a point.  Is there also a historical basis?

imageN.T. Wright is widely regarded as one of the premier scholars involved in the historical study of Jesus.  In his book, The Challenge of Jesus, he maintains that Christianity was not just a kingdom of God movement.  It was, from the onset, a resurrection movement; the belief in resurrection was unquestionable and not merely a central belief but the central driving force of early Christianity.

N.T. Wright is one of my favorites. Here is a description of The Challenge of Jesus from Publishers Weekly:

imageHere, prolific Anglican theologian and historical Jesus quester Wright makes accessible to lay readers the arguments he laid out in his scholarly tome Jesus and the Victory of God. But Wright does more than just rehash old arguments; he adds a discussion of the resurrection, absent from Victory, and addresses the prickly problem of relevance. In the first six chapters, Wright tackles many of the questions of the historical Jesus debate: Did Jesus believe the Kingdom of God was "now" or "later"? (Both, says Wright.) Did He know He was God in the same way "that one knows one is hungry or thirsty"? ("It was not a mathematical knowledge…. It was more like the knowledge that I have that I am loved by those closest to me.") What exactly happened on Easter? (Jesus’ body seemed both physical and transphysical.) Wright then addresses how all these historical-cum-theological musings are significant for Christians living in a postmodern world. This superb addition to Wright’s oeuvre will prove fruitful reading for neophytes as well as for those already familiar with his approach. (Jan.)

The On The Path… with Prayers: Christianity spread like wildfire – how come?

Reaction to YouTube This Non-Religious Life – Episode 3

May 15, 2011 2 comments

imageAs a courtesy, after posting Response to ‘This Non-Religious Life – Episode 3’ on YouTube, below, I made a brief reference to the fact that I had created a response in the comments of the YouTube video page. I also sent an email to the the creators of the post. I was careful to point to my blog without creating a hot link because YouTube doesn’t allow them. This is it exactly: “I have posted a full reply at The Shroud of Turin Blog on shroudofturin wordpress com.”

For some reason my comment at YouTube was marked as spam. This resulted in this comment from someone named ChristFromDallas:

Why have you marked Dan Porter’s (innoval01) comment as spam? And you accuse others of intellectual dishonesty – what a joke! — ChrisFromDallas15 hours ago

One of video creators responded thus:

Calm down, the internet isn’t that serious. I don’t think it was intentionally marked as spam by any one of us (Jason, Bob or myself) seeing as we are actually excited to read what Dan has to say and will address all of his arguments in a later episode. We may even invite him on the show should he want to come talk with us. — kenxvx8 hours ago

To which ChrisFromDallas said:

Everything’s cool, but maybe you and your colleagues need to mature a bit more if you really mean to have fair and informed discussions about things such as the Shroud of Turin, even if it is on youtube. Not only did you completely misrepresent the facts, you called into question the integrity of renowned scientists with no basis whatsoever. Garlaschelli has NOT replicated the Shroud, as with the chemistry, 3D effects and superficial image he came nowhere near – see shroud(dot)com

I’ll take the show creators at their word that they didn’t mark out my comment on purpose. I’ll await their response. I hope they take to heart the advice they are getting. It is easy to go to the Internet and find arguments to support just about any position you have. I don’t think they were selective with evidence. I don’t think they researched the subject enough to be selective.

Categories: Video

A Trial for the Shroud of Turin

May 15, 2011 Comments off

Excellent blog posting by a Dominican student, Shroud on Trial | Cantate Domino:

imageMost Christians have heard of the Shroud, and many believe in its authenticity, but there are far more who think it is a hoax or a fake. Why? A number of atheists and perhaps not a small number of agnostics simply believe that Jesus did not exist. They will believe empirical evidence of man’s flight to the moon, but they simply refuse to believe that there was a man named Jesus. History is littered with accounts Jesus. So even if one were to discount the Christian sources, what of the writings of others? We have only the NASA and the US government to believe that man landed on the moon. It all boils down to credibility. Certainly if you choose not to believe any source that isn’t first-hand experience, then you might as well deny that your great-great-grand parents ever lived.

However, the story of the Shroud has a twist—radio carbon (RC) dating. Back in the 1990s the Shroud curators allowed a portion of the cloth to be RC dated. The results? Somewhere in the Middle Ages. Many proponents were devastated while the opponents were vindicated. While at the time I was practicing Christian, I wanted to believe, but it seemed that the RC results pretty much sealed that fate. Of course, I didn’t do any research, I just went with the findings. This single piece of evidence contradicts literally dozens of other pieces that point to the authenticity of the Shroud. But for some reason, we want to believe the science as an authority over everything else. But what if the science was not flawed?

. . . My good friends Andy and Cathy had met a retired federal prosecutor, Larry. As a practicing Catholic he is a believer in Jesus Christ, but again this is independent of the authenticity of the Shroud. But he was intrigued enough to investigate. As a lawyer, he needs to rely on more concrete evidence. So he started to look into the whole Shroud business. Last week I traveled to see him and hear his case and his closing arguments. I must say, that after his evidence, I have to say that overwhelmingly the Shroud is authentic. Well, so what about the RC dating (never mind that RC dating is approximate at best)? But what if the piece of cloth tested was not actually the Shroud, but a piece of cloth that was woven into the Shroud in the Middle Ages?

Is this retired federal prosecutor named Larry, the Larry Schauf’s who presentation (actually a trial) at Newman University we reported about? Is this the same “trail” that I recommended be video taped for public viewing (see Word in on Shroud of Turin Presentation at Newman University in Wichita) ?

Read Shroud on Trial | Cantate Domino

Categories: News & Views, Video

Response to ‘This Non-Religious Life – Episode 3’ on YouTube

May 14, 2011 5 comments

imageHi Guys (all three):

I certainly have no objection to you arguing that the Shroud of Turin is a fake. But, please, do so with factual material.

First of all, the video about the Shroud that you are using as something of a straw man to dispute and ridicule is awful and very inaccurate. It features Brother Michael Dimond, a self-proclaimed “Benedictine monk” of a two-person Sedevacantism cult (the other member is his sibling-brother Peter) that claims that the papacy has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. They claim that Pope John Paul I was murdered by Masons and Communists who infiltrated the Vatican. They are not competent in matters having to do with the church or, for that matter, the shroud.

One example is Br. Dimond’s claim about the travertine aragonite found on the shroud. Indeed, if what Dimond said was correct your criticism would be justified. (And your snickering). But it was not and you demonstrated, with ridicule, that you do not understand the subject, at all. Here are some facts for you to consider:

Joseph Kohlbeck, Resident Scientist at the Hercules Aerospace Center in Utah, and Richard Levi-Setti of the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago, examined embedded dirt particles taken from the Shroud’s surface. The dirt was found to be travertine aragonite limestone. And you laughed, saying in essence, so what. Read on.

Using a high-resolution microprobe, Levi-Setti and Kolbeck compared the spectra of samples taken from the Shroud with samples of limestone from the limestone outcropping in and around Jerusalem. The chemical signatures of the Shroud samples and the Jerusalem limestone were identical except for some minute fragments of organic cellulous linen fiber that could not be separated from the Shroud samples. Kolbeck readily acknowledges that this is not proof that the Shroud was in Jerusalem and that there might be other places in the world – though none are known and it is statistically unlikely any will be found – where travertine aragonite has the identical trace chemical composition. It is also slightly possible though highly implausible that this dirt was applied by a forger. This is the stuff of real forensic science. You should know better. If you wish to take a skeptical stance on this matter do so with facts and scientific principles, not uninformed mockery.

You mention in your YouTube video that Walter McCrone found paint. Did you mention that Mark Anderson, who worked for McCrone, examined the fibers using laser microprobe Raman spectrometry and found that what McCrone thought was (inorganic) paint was in fact an organic substance. It was not paint! Or did you mention that the shroud (and not just fibers) had been observed with visible light spectrometry, ultraviolet spectrometry, infrared spectrometry, x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, and thermography and no paint was found? Did you mention that later, pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry tests on individual image-bearing fibers, conducted at the Mass Spectrometry Center of Excellence at the University of Nebraska and that scientists there were unable to detect any paint particles or painting medium? To repeat myself, this is the stuff of real forensic science. You should know better. If you wish to take a skeptical stance on this matter do so with facts and scientific principles, not uninformed mockery.

BTW: McCrone was never a member of STURP and was never, therefore, kicked out of STURP.

Where do you get your facts? We could go on and on. But we’ll give one more example. Here is a bit of transcript from your video:

I’d like to talk about the modern science that’s been done on the shroud. This the part where I thought it was pretty conclusively put to bed. So in the 70s there was a group of scientists and researchers. They were commissioned by the Vatican. The acronym was STURP. They were the Shroud of Turin Research Project. Their job was to go in an scrutinize the shroud and find whatever evidence there was and sort of bring the light of science to bear on this. And the first problem I have with this is that all them were Catholics, they were believers, they’re doing science backwards. They’re starting with a conclusion and trying to find evidence that goes that way rather than follow the evidence wherever it may lead.

They were not all Catholics. In fact, Barrie Schwortz and Al Adler were Jewish. Others held religious beliefs that were at odds with Catholic beliefs. Raymond Rogers, the lead chemist, was a distinguished Fellow of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He was a charter member of the Coalition for Excellence in Science Education in New Mexico. He had published over fifty scientific papers in ethical peer-reviewed science journals. Very significantly he was a member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR), an organization affiliated with the national, non-religious organization CSICOP. (To the best of my knowledge, Rogers was a Protestant Christian, but by no means a believer in the Shroud’s authenticity).

In what you say on your video about doing science backwards there is an unsavory charge that these scientists, by the dozens, were dishonest to the extent that they violated basic scientific principals. Are you prepared to defend this accusation?

You don’t need to believe that the Shroud is authentic. I have many friends who don’t believe it is real, including Catholics, including real priests. I have met several non-Christians, including an Atheist, who believe it is real. Unlike you, they have all made an intellectual judgment with correct facts.

Your YouTube production has promise, if you continue. One suggestion. Don’t use ridicule and mockery unless you know what you are talking about. In fact, don’t use ridicule at all. Another suggestion. Do some research, real research.

Link to video: YouTube – This Non-Religious Life – Episode 3: Response to Viewer Feedback

Categories: News & Views, Video

Not Like a Mummy? A Frequent Question

May 14, 2011 2 comments

A reader writes:

Why doesn’t anyone ever mention that the shroud itself isn’t consistent with burial procedures in the time of Christ and that of the locality. It also doesn’t match the description in the bible stating that the head wrapping was thrown aside either. In the time of Christ, wasn’t the body wrapped mummy style, separate from that of the head,with the body wrappings going round and round with spices and so forth mixed in? According to the bible, the women were returning to Christs tomb with the spices that were missed in the wrapping which was done hurriedly so that he could be entombed before the Sabbath, the next day. They returned on Sunday to fiinish and found the tomb empty, "He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. "

imageFirst of all, as far as we know, the Jewish people of the late-Second Temple period, including very specifically the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, were not wrapped “mummy style.” By that time, even the Egyptians were no longer wrapping their dead in the former manner of Pharaonic times. There is no evidence of it and I’m not sure how the idea got started. I do remember pictures in Sunday School books from when I was a child, showing this wrapping style. I suspect that it was because of the mention of linen strips in the Bible from which people drew conclusions.

It is widely believed among many scholars that the cloth “which had been around Jesus’ head” 1) was the sudarium used to cover Jesus’ face while he was carried to the tomb which would have been removed prior to the use of the shroud for burial and carefully rolled up and put aside in the tomb or 2) was a chin band used to keep the jaw closed. The strips would have been a few strips of linen used as ties, to respectfully bind hands and feet or to tie a shroud around a body. All of this, including the use of a shroud would have been completely consistent with what we know of how a few people, mostly rich people like Caiaphas, Joseph of Arimathea, or Nichodemus, were buried in tombs in the environs of Jerusalem. None of this is contrary to what it says in the Bible. It conforms, but just not the way we sometimes imagined it or were told it or saw it in pictures.

As I have on a previous occasion in this blog, I recommend starting with an excellent paper by Diana Fulbright: “A Clean Cloth: What Greek Word Usage Tells Us about the Burial Wrappings of Jesus” I think you will find the answers you seek in this paper – from which the above graphic was taken. As Diana pointed out to me in an email:

Pieces of shrouds, and even intact shrouds have been excavated from burial sites in the Judean Desert. Scarcely any archaeologist studying ancient Jewish burial customs fails to mention shrouds, which varied in type and material

Joe Marino, a very knowledgeable shroud scholar also recommends:

  • Safrai/Stern “Jewish People in the First Century,”
  • Rachel Hachlili (“Jewish funerary customs, practices and rites in the Second Temple period
  • Jürgen K. Zangenberg, “Dry Bones-Heavenly Bliss: Tombs, Post Mortem Existence and Life-After-Death in Ancient Judaism,”
Categories: News & Views

More on Press Release from the Institute on Religion and Science of the Regina Apostolorum on the Shroud of Turin

May 13, 2011 2 comments

imageYannick Clément writes as a comment to Press Release: The Institute on Religion and Science of the Regina Apostolorum on the Shroud of Turin « Shroud of Turin Blog:

Interesting news. I just hope M. Di Lazarro will be kind enough (and honest enough) to expose, along with supernatural hypothesis, like flash of light or energetic discharge coming from a corpse, other natural hypothesis like the Maillard reaction or the Volkringer pattern… Unfortunately, those natural hypothesis (who have not been tested that much) don’t seem to have to favor of many researchers these days. Maybe it’s because they are not spectacular enough for a supposed shroud of Christ ??? That’s what I think.

Well, at least we can mention it here. I really miss Rogers. For starters, everyone should read: “THE SHROUD OF TURIN: AN AMINO-CARBONYL REACTION (MAILLARD REACTION) MAY EXPLAIN THE IMAGE FORMATION” by Raymond N. Rogers & Anna Arnoldi.

Categories: Image Theory, Science

Is This In Poor Taste? Humorous? Or What?

May 13, 2011 1 comment

imageMaybe I’m just too old fashioned. Actually the dog tee shirt that reads, “Future Sindonologist” is funny. 



Categories: Off Topic

Barbara Frale’s ‘The Templars and the Shroud of Christ’ is Available on Kindle

May 13, 2011 1 comment

imageI forgot about this; time to get reading. It was to be out April 7th and I didn’t check back until now. The English language paperback edition is available from several retailers in the U.K (but not Amazon). Prices range from $11.42 to $19.12 U.S. plus shipping. Previously, it had been announced that Amazon would offer the book for $14.63 U.S. or 10.99 Euro but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Even so, a Kindle edition is available from Amazon for $7.50. I just ordered it and will try to dig into it this weekend. Here is a publisher’s description":

The Templars and the Shroud of Christ is the second book in this series by Vatican historian, Barbara Frale. The Knights Templar – the most powerful religious-military order of the Middle Ages – almost certainly looked after the mysterious shroud that is now kept in Turin. Worshipped in a relentlessly secret manner, and known in its intimate nature by only a handful of the order’s officials, the swathe of fabric was kept in the central treasury of the Knights Templar, who were known for their expertise in the field of relics. In an age of doctrinal confusion, the shroud might have represented for the Knights Templar a powerful antidote against the spread of heresy. By tracing faint clues concerning the shroud’s movements during medieval times, Barbara Frale reaches back into the centuries and explores complex hypotheses on the shroud’s origins and offers a new viewpoint on this controversial relic.

Categories: Books

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