Home > Books, News & Views > Quote for Today: Stephen E. Jones on Thomas de Wesselow:

Quote for Today: Stephen E. Jones on Thomas de Wesselow:

March 28, 2012

imageFrom some comments on a Telegraph article:

If true, I point out, he is overturning 2,000 years of Christian history. But he doesn’t even blink over his teacup. He’s either … out to make a quick buck with an eye-catching theory that caters for gullible readers of the likes of The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail … or he’s absolutely sincere. If de Wesselow is sincere (bearing in mind that he has proposed his theory via a no-doubt very lucrative Easter market book contract, not in the normal non-paying Shroud literature), then as Billy Graham once put it, he is "sincerely wrong."

"I am an art historian," he responds calmly, "not a theologian, so I can approach the problem from a new angle." This is arrogance, born of ignorance. As pointed out above, while it is comparatively rare on the pro-authenticity side, there is nothing new in de Wesselow position that: 1) the Shroud is authentic; but 2) Jesus was not resurrected. The agnostic Yves Delage believed that in the early 1900s. And more recently so did Rodney Hoare (see above).

It’s a MUST READ posting. Stephen does much more than make this observation. He challenges the scholarship of the de Wesselow. I can’t wait for him to read the book. 

Categories: Books, News & Views
  1. March 28, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Steve,

    There is no doubt your scholarship on the Shroud is deeper than mine. In terms of serious study, I may have come late to the dance. But I view this controversy has an attorney and a political and environmental activist (and former Vice Chair of the NYS New Democratic Coalition when there was an NDC). That means I sometimes find myself in coalition with individuals who have different world views than mine, sometimes very profoundly different views (i.e. really old Left). My politics come from a dissertation by a man named Matthew which is a part of the book called the New Testament.

    Yet, even with people I may profoundly disagree with, I have made common cause on issues we agree on: Merit selection of judges, not invading Iraq, women’s rights, nuclear disarmament. Those are some examples. I hope I haven’t totally lost you with the list.

    To my analysis there are two issues with the Shroud and they both are extremely important. Ultimately they are far more important for the human condition than any of the others I have worked on or written about, and possibly, you and I would have disagreement. But I am sure you agree with me on these two: The Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ and that it offers some proof of his Resurrection.

    There is another recent book touching on the Shroud by an art historian (this time an Oxonian) Martin Kemp: “From Christ to Coke.” In it Kemp recognized the power of the Christ icon and notes the strange transformation that occurred circa 300 CE when in changed from curly haired Roman or Greek to the Pantocrator. He then disses Ian Wilson’s Edessa theory and opines that the Shroud was the work of a medieval artist from Northern Italy or France.

    It’s “balderdash,” (That’s a nice anglo-saxon insult. I also like poppycock).

    I haven’t read the book yet but pre-ordered the Kindle from Amazon which won’t be available until next week on this side of the pond. But the fact that an English academic (of sorts, listen to his credentials closely on the U-Tube) dismisses the carbon dating in a well publicized book is no small thing for us. “Politically” our task is to bring to the attention of world opinion that the carbon dating was “tommy rot.” That’s half of the task. As to the second half, the claim that the Resurrection was a mirage created by the Shroud, we can deal with that because it ranks up there with da Vinci did it with his Leica camera obscura. :-)

    I haven’t seen the whole book, but I’ll take the half that deflates the carbon dating and say “thank you.”

  2. Piero Iacazio
    March 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Dear Dan and friends,
    In my opinion it will be near impossible to show the historical evidence that Jesus was resurrected using the analyses of the Turin Shroud. Why ?
    We can start from the fact that
    the Resurrection is a Mystery of Faith
    and not a simple scientific fact to show ! Are you able to reproduce a Resurrection in the Lab ?
    In any case the claims by de Wesselow about the Origin of the Christian Faith are not completely original.
    I refer (for example) to the booklet :
    “The Shroud Was the Resurrection: The Body Theft, the Shroud in the Tomb, and the Image that Inspired a Myth” by John Loken (Paperback – April 16, 2006)
    I have read that strange book some year ago …
    Am I wrong ? How is possible to forget all the past (and present) History (and also the particular image of the Veil of Manoppello)?
    — —
    The only interesting and reasonable thing that we can underline is the possibility for new dating attempts, with the advanced systems.
    In this manner we have the solution for the true epoch of that ancient linen and this is an important step.
    How is possible to reach that solution ?
    I know that there are the new 14C tests (see the work of two Italian teams from National Institute of Optics and from European Laboratory of non linear spectroscopy, Florence. They published a very interesting paper on the high-impact-factor journal “Physical Review Letters” entitled Molecular Gas Sensing Below Parts Per Trillion: Radiocarbon-Dioxide Optical Detection. = They were able to measure 14C concentrations at a 43 parts-per-quadrillion level. Wow !!!) but I don’t believe in the (useless) destructions.
    — —
    Here I cannot write a too long message, so I want to suggest two ways :
    1) the use of the SPMs (= the new advanced microscopies = AFM, CFM, SNOM, used in order to discover the cellulosic Dp value and then the probable epoch)
    2) the use of the new system by Miao and others. There is an article under the address :

    http://www1.cnsi.ucla.edu/news/item?item_id=2045547

    “New technique lets scientists peer within nanoparticles, see atomic structure in 3-D”.
    and
    this is the inherent text :
    >March 21, 2012 – UCLA researchers are now able to peer deep within the world’s tiniest structures to create three-dimensional images of individual atoms and their positions. Their research, published March 22 in the journal Nature, presents a new method for directly measuring the atomic structure of nanomaterials.
    >”This is the first experiment where we can directly see local structures in three dimensions at atomic-scale resolution — that’s never been done before,” said Miao.
    — —
    What is your opinion ?
    Is the problem about the cellulosic Dp measurement a sort of enquiring work too difficult to perform ?
    Is it impossible to work (on ancient linen fibrils) without the destructions ?
    So the question is the following :
    What is the level of destruction that we can accept for the Holy Shroud or for the Sudarium of Oviedo (or for both the cellulosic reperts) ?
    — —
    In any case the 14C tests are more destructive … So, I want to know what are your perspectives.
    — —
    Regards,
    Piero Iacazio

  3. Micharl Maher
    April 5, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Is there as much controversy or in fact any over the The claim of Islam that Mohammed was taken bodily into heaven after his death/murder?

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