- I’d like to see the new pope appoint two high level standing commissions on the Shroud of Turin, one on science and one on history (including the history of art). Within science I’d like to see one permanent committee charged with recommendations for care and preservation and one charged with investigating protocols related to radiocarbon dating. It is important, going forward, to avoid the mistakes of 1988 and 2002. These commissions should operate independent of ecclesiastical authority and church polity and be responsible only to the “owner.” They should include people from other faith traditions.
- In the meantime, in the interest of complete openness, I’d like to see the release of all so-far unreleased high definition photographs and scans of the shroud along with appropriate documentation. These should be declared to be in the public domain.
Now that Richard III bones have been found in a parking lot, Alan Travis, home affairs editor at the Guardian is explaining Why the princes in the tower are staying six feet under:
Tudor and Stuart histories insist that the remains contained in an urn designed by Sir Christopher Wren are those of Edward V and Richard Duke of York who were "stifled with pillows … by the order of their perfidious uncle Richard the Usurper", as the 17th-century inscription puts it. A concerted attempt to get the urn opened was made by the Richard III Society, the group behind this week’s confirmation of Richard III’s remains, together with the BBC in 1993 and again by Channel 4 in 1995. A Home Office file shows the then dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Michael Mayne, strongly resisted both requests despite being "pressed very hard to agree" to allow the bones to be submitted to carbon dating, to match their deaths to Richard III’s reign, and DNA testing to prove their identities.
Buckingham Palace and then home secretary, Michael Howard, were consulted and both the Queen and the minister were in "full agreement" with the church authorities that matter should not be reopened. The dean took advice from the historian Lord Blake and an Oxford archaeology professor, Edward Hall, who said carbon dating of a sample from the late 15th century would only establish the accuracy of the bones within plus or minus 50 years. Richard III occupied the throne for two years between 1483 and 1485 before his death in the battle of Bosworth Field. "It could not therefore differentiate between Richard III or Henry VII – or another – being the guilty party. Nor would the C/14 technique give any clue as to the age at death of the children," the dean said.
In his response to the 1995 request he said he accepted that DNA and other techniques could now establish whether or not the bones in the Abbey were those of the princes, although he could not resist mentioning the fiasco of the Turin shroud in this context. But he pointed out that in itself could create further problems.
Yesterday, I mentioned that Russ Breault would be presenting Shroud Encounter at UNC Charlotte on February 12 at 7:00 PM in the Student Union. I failed to mention that Russ would be doing the same presentation two days earlier on Sunday February 10 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at St. Catherine of Siena Church Proper, 265 Stratton Brook Road, West Simsbury, CT 06092.
The University of North Carolina campus in Charlotte has a series of web pages about Religious and Spiritual Life at UNC Charlotte including this page about Shroud Encounter with Russ Breault on February 12 at 7:00 PM in the Student Union Library.
Be there if you can.
Annette Cloutier, author of Praey To God: A Tasteful Trip Through Faith writes:
Have you read James Tabor’s book yet Paul and Jesus?
I think you can then figure out better how the resurrection stories developed.
I do still believe as Loken and deWesselow have stated that the Shroud was the Resurrection.
Tabor bases his resurrection theories mostly on the VISIONS of Paul. I think Paul was blown away by his private observation of the Shroud and went bonkers. Mark writing about three and a half decades after Paul (c 80) then went into the Jesus Family Tomb for his characters.
As far as the Empty Tomb is concerned… I also believed Mark invented it. Tabor does not… he believes that the body was stolen as was rumored to have happened the rumor being reported by Matthew. I believe the rumor was the result of Mark’s Gospel… not of the actual circumstance of an Empty Tomb.
There’s a lot of invention and creativity with storytelling… especially one writing as skillfully as Mark. But there sure is nothing more creative nor inventive than the Shroud. Anyone can see it had not been made by “human hands”.
Happy and Exciting Blogging New Year!
SHROUD ENCOUNTER comes to Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY on Monday, January 14 at 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM in the Hale Auditorium at the Roberts Cultural Life Center. Admission is FREE. Send this video to all who may be interested in attending this fascinating presentation.
Here is a link to a video promo for the presentation.
I enjoy the enlightening comments of many people in this blog, none more so than those of Dave from New Zealand and none specifically more than the comment about Ulysse Chevalier. A hearty thanks to Dave for the link he provided and a special thanks to Jack Markwardt for a wonderful paper.
. . . Canon Chevalier was the acknowledged leader of a progressive faction around 1898, when Pia’s first photographs of the Shroud appeared. A hitherto barely noticed relic suddenly seemed to be on the verge of becoming authenticated – worse, it tended to corroborate the orthodox position, thus threatening the schemes of the progressives to usher the Church into the twentieth century and into modernity, ostensibly setting aside old out-worn beliefs and practices, but in fact promoting a type of reductionist liberalism. Both Chevalier and Rev Herbert Thurston fell back on their version of the D’Arcis memorandum to discredit it. The two reverend gentlemen appear to have entered an unholy conspiracy to discredit the Shroud, not by an objective scholarly representation of the D’Arcis memorandum, but by deliberately and fraudulently misrepresenting it by twisting facts, and the deliberate omission of material, and hence concealing their lie, Regular bloggers will be aware of a common public misperception that the D’Arcis memorandum discredits the Shroud, apparently in an authoritative way, as being a man-made object from the 13th – 14th centuries. This misrepresentation is solely due to the work of Chevalier and Thurston.
The case against them is clearly set out in a paper: "THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE SHROUD"; By Jack Markwardt, 2001. Markwardt’s spine-chilling paper against the two conspirators can be found at:http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n55part3.pdf- Recommended reading for all who have an interest in the truth concerning the Shroud!
Dan, Not sure if this is the best place to write this but I am interested in developing a secondary presentation to be called “Secrets of the Shroud”. In this presentation I want to cover many of the unique data points that are often left out of a general overview for time sake. These could be details related to the blood, the image, the cloth itself and even nuances of history. I would love to hear from your knowledgeable readers some of their thoughts on what to include.
I should have brought the matter to the top in a more timely fashion.
What say you all?
In my research of the history of the Shroud, I have come across the unique contributions the late Rev. Peter Rinaldi.
He was a seminarian in Turin and was present for the 1933 exposition of the Shroud and served a an interpreter for an informal seminar of participants. The Enrie photographs were then being distributed in 1933, and seminarian Peter Rinaldi rubbed shoulders with giants such as Paul Vignon and Secondo Pia.
In 1934, he wrote an article on the Shroud for The Sign, a Catholic monthly in America. When he returned from Italy and was ordained, he eventually was appointed pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Port Chester New York . He established a shrine dedicated to the Shroud of Turin.
[ . . . ]
I was able to locate an archive of Sign Magazine which has long since ceased publication. I have a posted a copy of the 1934 article on my web site at: http://johnklotz.com/Shroud/RinaldiJune1934.pdf
Yesterday, John Crace in the Guardian describes a BBC4 documentary:
The first episode explored the development of Christian iconography in religious art between the fourth and the 11th century, from the absence of any depictions of Jesus because no one had a clue what he looked like, to the hijacking of the fresh-faced, sunny look from Roman statues of Apollo, through to the tortured look of suffering that has been with us ever since pain and guilt became the Christian artistic orthodoxy. Watching long lines of the devoted file past the Turin shroud, [art historian Waldemar] Januszczak observed that he was certain it was not really the cloth in which Jesus’s body was wrapped after the crucifixion, because the bearded outline could be artistically dated to the medieval period. Personally, I would have thought that carbon dating was a rather more reliable method of establishing its authenticity; I suppose that proper art historians must have their own, more rigorous standards of proof. Watch and learn.
Of course, art historian Thomas de Wesselow will disagree. Or David Freeman. Or
In today’s Huffington Post book section, Ross King, the author of Leonardo and the Last Supper [Walker & Company, $28.00] writes an article, 10 Myths About Leonardo da Vinci:
Leonardo da Vinci bears the burden of great expectations. The undeniable breadth and depth of his genius means there was, it seems, no intellectual feat of which this original Renaissance Man was incapable. Almost five centuries after his death, his legacy thrives not merely in his paintings, two of which, The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, are arguably the world’s most famous and celebrated works of art. It also throbs in the chests of those whose damaged hearts have been repaired by the British surgeon inspired by Leonardo’s writings on the mitral valve. It takes to the air on the tiny wings of a bluebottle-sized robot designed by aerospace engineers captivated by Leonardo’s studies on flight. It even lingers, courtesy of the entrepreneur Alessandro Passi, in a range of pasta shapes, perfume bottles, and pepper grinders – all based on Leonardo’s drawings.
Leonardo was certainly wide-ranging and eerily modern in his interests. With his dreams of manned flight, submarines, and weapons of mass destruction such as giant crossbows and doomsday cannons, he almost seems more a prophet of our age than a product of his own. His known accomplishments – in anatomy, engineering, hydraulics, optics and painting – are undeniably astounding. But often he is given a little too much credit. He tends to get abstracted from his own time and fast-forwarded into ours, and in doing so he slips out of documented history and soars into the giddy realms of myth. So it is that he gets credited with tasks as varied as forging the Shroud of Turin by taking the world’s first photograph, or serving as the Grand Poobah of an arcane lodge charged with keeping ancient secrets about the bloodline of Christ.
Just how much do these and other claims stand up to scrutiny? "Blinding ignorance does mislead us," Leonardo himself said. "Oh, wretched mortals, open your eyes!" So let’s open our eyes and look at some of these claims about Leonardo in the light of documented fact, not hero worship or wishful thinking. (bolding mine)
And then he tells is as it is:
The history of the Shroud of Turin is complex and controversial enough without having Leonardo thrown into the mix, but he has been pushed forward as its creator. In 1993 Nicholas Allen proposed that the image on the linen shroud could have been produced in the Middle Ages via a photographic process that involved suspending a cadaver in the air for three or four days while its image slowly blossomed on the chemical-soaked cloth. Others were quick to give Leonardo the credit, even though he was born a century after the first documented reference to the Shroud. But who else could have pipped Daguerre – by some three and a half centuries – to the world’s first photo?
Like others before him, Leonardo did experiment with a camera obscura. But there is zero evidence that he had any knowledge of – let alone used – photo-sensitive chemicals. Even if he did invent something as earth-shattering as photography – and it’s a truly massive if – why should he have kept quiet about it? Why not take more pictures? The fact is that not a single shred of evidence links Leonardo to either photographic technology or the Shroud of Turin. As one critic has written: “The premise is more demanding of faith than is the authenticity of the Shroud.”
Yep! But blinding ignorance will persist.
-1. If a detail, the slight deviation of the nose, is present in the negative image it is obviously codified also in the positive image. Perhaps our eyes-brain system is not able to detect the detail in question because the inverted colors introduce some difficulties in the subjective interpretation.
I want not to discuss here the evidence of the broken nose (and then slightly deviated) on the Shroud image because this fact has been already showed by medical forensic experts.
-2. Minting error or damage to the coin? It was the first problem I considered but higher magnification of the detail of nose eliminates this hypothesis (see . . . [image at right, click on it for larger 692 by 768 pixel version]. In addition I have also found the photos of a Justinian II semissis, a Justinian II solidus and a Michael III solidus showing more or less a deviation of the nose (with the same curvature) that confirm the detail perceived by different Byzantine sculptors.
-3. At the time of the Byzantine emperor the Shroud body image was certainly more evident than now because more contrasted from the background that was brighter. It was therefore easier than now for an observer to detect details like non-symmetric hair.
Skewed nosed cheiropoietic & acheiropoietic Christ faces?
By way of an illustrative reply to the bloggers who thought the skewed nosed Christ face on Justinian II’s solidus obverse (685-695 CE) was a mere “minting error” and/or “directly influenced by the Christ Pantocrator, here are the perfect photographic overlap of the two ‘non made by hand’ Holy Faces (Turin Sindon + Manoppello Veil) by German iconographer, Sister Blandina Schlömer and the Christ Pantocrator of Saint Catherine’s Monastery (6th century CE). Now the reader can just guess what are the prototype and its two possible copies.
The coin image shown at right is repeated below the other two images in the same size as the other images. (Click “Read more” if necessary.)
The coins of Justinian II’s first reign (685 – 695 AD) are indeed remarkably shroud-like, and it is difficult not to think it was indeed the model. However, when, after a period of exile, Justinian returned to the throne (705 – 711 AD), the same sort of coins (with the same designation – Christus Rex Regnantium) have a closely shaven Christ with tightly curly hair. Can anyone suggest why the changed their mind about Christ’s appearance?
This image from the emperor’s second reign, A. D. 705-711 shows Justinian II with Tiberius on the reverse side. The obverse side shows Christ with curly hair and short, trimmed beard.
Later coins, for instance during the reign of Romerus II with Constantine VII and if not before, show Christ again with long flowing hair and a full beard.
Based on the Shroud of Turin: Justinian II Solidus has Face of Christ with Skewed Nose and Unbalanced Hair Length?
. . . an additional confirmation that the TS was the model of Christ’s images during the Byzantine Empire, I have found a very interesting variant of the Face of Christ on Justinian II’s Solidus (685-695) AD showing long hair only on the left and SKEW NOSE.
As you know, there are dozens of different variants of the Face of Christ in Justinian II made in different mints during these years, but the face [at right or in larger format here as "Justinian II – Face of Christ with skew nose.jpg" is the first one that reports the skew nose.
As also there are clearly visible the longer left hair than the right ones, that are longer than in other similar coins, I deduce that this Face was one of the first minted after the sculptor looked at the TS.
In fact, in agreement with Alan (Whanger), the Face of Christ became more and more less typical of the TS with the time passing.
Someone will say that this is a minting error, but "casually" also the curvature is in agreement with that of the TS!
Every comment against my interpretation of this clue is welcome, also from Dan’s Blog. (Dan, you are free to use this information if you clearly show my copyright).
I’m impressed. Comments, as Giulio makes it clear, are welcome.
Photograph bears copyright notice: G. Fanti 2012. Used here with implied permission.
Stephen now (just a few hours ago) doing what he does best: finding the best quotes and putting them in context. Here, he quotes (and I re-quote) Ken Stevenson and Gary Habermas in his latest posting in his new series: The central dilemma of the Shroud
The bottom line then is that either the image is that of Jesus of Nazareth or it was intended by its creator to portray Jesus. Since we’ve virtually ruled out human artifice, are we crazy or unscholarly or unscientific to suggest the image is likely that of Jesus?
It goes back to the great quote by John Walsh:
Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground. (emphasis Jones)
Is it the central dilemma? Or is this notion subsumed in the greater mystery of the image? Authenticity through science? Plausible history?
I deplore wishful claims which unwittingly undermine credibility for the Shroud’s authenticity, which is supported by an abundance of valid evidence.
Here is the full comment from which the above quotation is taken. I do agree on the questions of the topless box and the full frontal motif. Thoughts?
Professor Freeman (#36) wrote: “I am simply not convinced by the argument based on the Vignon markings that the Byzantine images of Christ are derived from the Turin Shroud…. the fully frontal faces of Christ are derived from imperial art.” He refers to the Santa Pudenziana apse mosaic in Rome “where Christ is shown in full, front on and with a beard,as an imperial magistrate.”
I support the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the cloth that wrapped the body of Christ in the sepulcher. Yet I agree with you that the Vignon markings and other features of Byzantine Christological iconography cannot credibly be attributed to features of the Shroud facial image. In several papers, I have shown that these various features are found as standard motifs in Graeco-Roman portraiture. One such motif, the so-called “topless box,” I also observed on two statues of Sesostris III (12th Dynasty, †1818 BCE).
The earliest depictions of Christ drew upon pagan themes and forms (e.g., Christ Helios). But it is not necessary to point to one area alone of Hellenistic imagery – whether to imperial portraiture, to pagan religious art, or to an often-posited “philosophical,” type – as the inspiration for Christian iconography. Rather, motifs and conventions of the entire gamut of Hellenistic and Classical portraiture – pagan, imperial and private – provided the foundation for the development of the great body of Christian art.
The standard media for paintings from this period were encaustic on wood panel, and thus, unfortunately, few have survived. (Imperial magistrates?) Yet a treasure from the Fayum necropolis – more than one thousand portraits of ordinary upper-class persons of Graeco-Roman Egypt – attests to these frequency of these motifs.
I deplore wishful claims which unwittingly undermine credibility for the Shroud’s authenticity, which is supported by an abundance of valid evidence.
Regarding your comment, “If the bloodstains are AB, then we need to square this with the evidence that AB only appears in the historical record after AD 900.”
Recently on this blog, Dr. Kelly Kearse posted information concerning when the AB blood type first appeared in history. He reports, “AB blood type has been reported in skeletal remains that are approximately 1,600-2,000 years old.”
Usually a different objection is raised – that all very old blood will type AB, which Dr. Kearse has refuted, pointing out that the blood of Tutankhamen (18th dynasty, 1322 BCE) was typed A. You might also want to read his paper, “Blood on the Shroud of Turin: An Immunological Review,” available at http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/kearse.pdf.
This short biography is taken from from The Speakers’ Directory at shroud.com.
Diana has served as Director of Research, Shroud of Turin Center, Richmond, Virginia, since its inception in 1997. She has investigated the Turin Shroud since 1981, when she met Vern Miller, Official Photographer of the Shroud for the STURP research team, at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara. Degrees from the University of California in Oriental History and Languages (Los Angeles); Religious Studies (Santa Barbara). Doctoral work at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, L’Institute Francais d’Archéologie Orientale du Caire, and UC Santa Barbara. Taught Religious Studies and related languages at the University of Iowa, the University of California, and at the Benedictine Monastery in Richmond. She has lectured on the Shroud of Turin at professional conferences in Paris, Orvieto, Italy, Jerusalem, Dallas, and to various church groups and civic organizations of the greater Richmond area and elsewhere.
Davor Aslanovski writes in Deum Videre: The nature of the beast – part four:
But I do assure you, the beast is ‘sindonology.’
And I will drag this curious creature of the intellectual night, by its horns, into the light of reason (and true Catholic faith), and keep it there until I’m sure it’s dead. And then I will give it a grave such as it deserves – a novel. Not a history book that debunks the laughable esoteric myths and puts Byzantine neologisms back in their context. ‘Sindonology’ does not deserve to lie in such a tomb. It needs to be buried in a novel that will preserve its true crimes – its effects on human souls and minds.
I just want to know who will play me when the novel becomes a movie. In all seriousness, read the entire posting. There is some merit to what he says in this repeated paragraph:
Sindonology can, obviously, be a dark forest into which a serious and sincere scientist will enter only to lose his path and to never re-emerge. Since modern science has not been able to satisfyingly explain the formation of the image on the Turin Shroud, it offers itself to belief in its having a miraculous origin. And to be sure, if such an origin is accepted, it burdens a scientist with a limitation of competence even greater than that which he customarily encounters with objects believed to possess a miraculous agency. Indeed, it engenders such an ontological specificity of the object that a scientist is no longer only limited in his competence, but fully incompetent. And soon enough he no longer has any reason to approach the subject as a scientist at all. If it is accepted as a miraculously created image of dead Jesus, consistent with the Biblical accounts of his Passion, then its provenance has to be 1st-century Jerusalem. It simply does not make much sense for such an image to come from any other time or place. And a historian is then charged with providing a pre-history for this object, leading up to its first irrefutable attestation in 14th-century France. If that image is truly miraculous in origin, it demands this pre-history, and the task of the historian quickly ceases to be the reconstruction of past events, and becomes the corroboration of presupposed knowledge. History is then no longer an inductive science, but becomes a deductive, retrospective interpretation akin mostly to Talmudical hermeneutics. And for that reason, it is truly deplorable that this fascinating relic has mainly been examined within the confines of sindonology.
The part in red is his highlighting, not mine. And it is what I mostly disagree with. Davor will need to write himself into this novel. Who should play him?
Thomas L. McDonald has an interesting posting in the Catholic Channel of Patheos: Burial in Ancient Israel Part 7: The Burial of Christ:
This 100,000 year history of human burial converges on a single point and a single day: a Friday in Jerusalem around the year 30 AD. Jesus of Nazareth dies on the cross, and his body is taken down at the request of a wealthy man from Arimathea named Joseph. The sun is setting and the sabbath is about to begin, when no burial will be allowed. Joseph must get the body of Jesus in a tomb or it will not be properly buried within 24 hours after death, as required by Jewish law.
As the author tells us, this latest posting concludes a series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here.
I recommend the entire series.
REVISED: Max has asked me to publish a short PDF paper, Dormant archaeopareidolias of a most secret liturgical ritual, that helps make his point. I am glad to do this as I am for other active participants of this blog. This, as with papers by others, does not mean that I agree (or that I understand).
By way of an email to me, Max writes:
By way of a series of tongue-in-cheek and cynical comments, Mr Freeman asserted that “Clearly [I] have skills no one possesses” and asked me the reason “[w]hy [I] don’t […]assume [all relic historians] are ignoramuses [as far as the Image of Edessa is concerned] and spell out the Shroud history for [them] […]”.
Mr Freeman gives the impression that the sole archaecryptologist who takes early Cryptochristian’s, Nestorians’ and Knights Templar’s secret rituals seriously is ‘esoteric’ and so-called ‘conventional’ historians and Art historians can do without archaeocryptology.