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Picture for Today: Poster for the 1931 Exhibition of the Shroud

March 13, 2015 3 comments

Two Articles on the Shroud’s History

March 7, 2015 1 comment

They appear in the Italian language daily L’Indro (the links include translation into English):

image1)  Shroud: before the Middle Ages did not exist: The Mandylion is not the Shroud of Turin, which appeared only in 1355 in Lirey by Andrea Nicolotti

Google Translate says:  A much exploited in past to attribute an ancient history in a relic that is lacking is to take the hypothetical events attributed to a relic different and apply them to that, or to argue that two relics are actually the same thing. There are some stories that concern ancient images acheropite, ie ‘not made ​​by human hands’, fabrics on which it would miraculously imprinted the image of Christ. One of them is the Veronica, another is called Mandylion , ie ‘handkerchief’ or ‘towel’ of Edessa . The clip_image001legend on this handkerchief took its first steps in the V century as an appendix of another apocryphal legend and free of historical verisimilitude, already known in the previous century, which told of a correspondence exchanged between Jesus and King Abgar V of Edessa . In the text known as the ‘ Doctrine of Addai ‘it is said that King Abgar had sent his messenger to Jesus, who not only gave him a letter, but he also painted a portrait. Towards the middle of the sixth century, the legend was further modified and instead of the painted colors there was talk of a miraculous image : seeing the inability of the messenger in painting the portrait, Jesus would have washed his face and he wiped with a towel ; and on the fabric would miraculously imprinted the image of his face

image2) From the Mandylion Shroud: Reconstruction of the history of the Mandylion of Edessa in Lirey by Filippo Burgarella

Google Translate says:  To which attributes the discovery of the icon hidden for centuries in a niche of the walls of Edessa and prodigiously duplicated. A ‘icon, then, on two different media: the original on a towel folded four times (‘ rhakos tetradiplon ‘) and the copy on tile (‘ Keramion ‘). It was believed that the copy was formed by contact with the original on Keramion place to protect that niche. An Icon that in both formats ‘achiropita’, ie not painted by the hand of man, even to distinguish it from the pagan idols, facts instead of human hands (‘deadly works facta’) as reaffirm the imperial laws. Since then it was kept in the cathedral rebuilt by Emperor Justinian made. In 639 Edessa falls under Islamic rule, which saves the icon from the havoc of the Byzantine iconoclasts. From then on it is called Mandylion….

The lesser known aspect, that of the intrinsic characteristics of the Cloth

February 27, 2015 4 comments

imageThe Italian language daily L’Indro has an article, which according to Google Translation, is headlined, The Shroud and uses Jewish funeral.

You get the idea. It begins:

The Shroud of Turin is a relic certainly unique: because in general, understandably, tend to focus primarily on the image that is imprinted, we will try here to give an account of a lesser known aspect, that of the intrinsic characteristics of the Cloth in the uses Jewish funeral.

You get the idea.  Here is a LINK to a Googlized Translation into English of this very interesting article.

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Update Again on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

February 22, 2015 26 comments

clip_image001This time it is from CNN. The article is entitled, New clues cast doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’. It begins:

It seemed real; it seemed fake; it seemed real again; now we’re back to fake.

"It" is the controversial little scrap of papyrus, written in Coptic, that seems to have Jesus referring to "my wife," in contrast to the traditional stance that affirms Jesus’ perpetual bachelorhood.

The quick backstory: In 2012, a Harvard professor, Karen King, brought this papyrus to the attention of scholars and the public.

Both the material and the script looked authentically ancient at first glance, and though the notion of Jesus having a wife was remarkable, these "lost" Christian writings, such as the Gnostic Gospels, are full of unorthodoxies.

It was good enough for King, who is widely respected in the scholarly world.

We’ve been there. But it is worth it to read this latest update. Here are links to previous postings in this blog:

Hat tip to Louis

Important Comment

February 16, 2015 3 comments

A doddle, which stretches no-one’s credibility!

imageDaveb of Wellington, New Zealand, writes:

Whether 3:1 herringbone, Z spun is characteristic of 1st century Palestine or not is irrelevant, in view of trade caravans. The Persians were well-advanced in making large carpets of intricate design by the 5th c. BCE. The Pazyryk carpet is of intricate design, is 2.8m x 2.0m, and dates to 5th c. BCE. If Iranians could produce intricate designs of such size in 5th c. BCE presumably in wool, then anyone else can produce a 3:1 herring-bone weave, 4.0m x 2.0m, Z twist, 1st c. in linen. A doddle, which stretches no-one’s credibility!

Daveb was responding to David Mo who had written:

Linen, 3:1 herringbone and Z-spun is not characteristic of Palestine fabrics. But there is a similar fabric in Victoria and Albert Museum. Full stop.

My response to David Mo: Who knows!

Linen certainly was in use in Palestine. Over the years I have read or listened to all manner of arguments for authenticity and against authenticity because of the Z twist or the 3 over 1 herringbone pattern.

Daveb of Wellington put it well in saying that these characteristic are, “ irrelevant, in view of trade caravans.”

Note:  "The Camel Train" by Emile Rouergue -  1855.  It is a photograph of an out of copyright image.

Lamentation Art

February 16, 2015 22 comments

Please note: Even though one might get the impression that Gertrud Schiller wrote these
words in her book, she did not do so.  No one specifically says she did. But in reading
three posting to which links are provided, one could think so.  I did. I stand corrected.


imageYesterday, Ana Enrico, citing Gertrud Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. 2, posted these words in the Shroud Guild Facebook page:

11th century ivory – within a hundred years of the arrival of the Edessa Icon Byzantine art suddenly produces Lamentation art forms showing Jesus laid out on a large shroud in a manner resembling the Turin Shroud. Why?

imageThat sounded familiar. I have not seen the book – a used copy can be had for $325 through Amazon – so where had I seen this quoation? Ah, yes, Colin Berry had quoted those words in his blog back in December in a posting entitled, The definitive answer to the Shroud of Turin is plain for all to see in 400 year old paintings. He kindly provided a link to an article, The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part Three: The Shroud of Constantinople, in the Associates for Biblical Research site. There is some good reading there, particularly on this topic starting about 2/5 of the way down the webpage.

I know we have been over this ground before. But I thought the question that Schiller poses – Why? – was particularly interesting.

Here are abstracts and links to the various parts of this series at on the Shroud of Turin at the Associates for Biblical Research:

The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part One: To Edessa

If Biblical Archaeology is defined loosely as “the study of the ancient things related to the Bible,” then surely the sindon, linen used to wrap Jesus’ body in death, has to be of interest. Most informed Christians now know that there is a serious candidate, the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part Two: To the Great City

The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History is a four part review of the historical evidence for the Shroud of Turin from the 1st century to the beginning of the 15th. In Part 1 a mysterious picture slowly emerges from antiquity as a cloth on which Jesus supposedly imprints his face and sends to a king in the northern Mesopotamian city of Edessa. But during the 8th through 10th centuries additional evidence suggests that this is a large, folded cloth depicting Christ’s full, bloodied body.

The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part Three: The Shroud of Constantinople

Part 1 of this survey began an admittedly sympathetic summary of Ian Wilson’s theory (updated) that Jesus’ NT burial shroud was quietly preserved from antiquity, but only gradually introduced into Christian traditions as The Holy Image of Edessa. This was a famous cloth on which Jesus supposedly imprinted his face and sent to 1st century King Abgar V in Edessa (modern Urfa in Turkey.

The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part 4: To Little Lirey

This final part of the Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History addresses the means by which it left Constantinople in the east (in or not long after 1204) and reappeared about 150 years later in the little village of Lirey, France. The relic’s “good” history is acknowledged by almost all to begin about 1355 when a minor French nobleman with an outstanding reputation, Geoffrey de Charny, is believed to be the cloth’s first certain owner…

Is that another example of medieval herringbone linen?

January 28, 2015 8 comments

imageHat tip to Stephen Jones for finding this image


Yesterday, Stephen Jones published a photographic copy of possibly the only known example of a three over one herringbone twill weave from the mediaeval era. It is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (ref. no. 8615-1863).  It has been discussed in this blog but never shown that I can remember.

Stephen writes in his blog:

. . . medieval herringbone twill linen cloths are exceedingly rare, and in fact there is only one known example of a medieval herringbone twill linen weave: a fourteenth century, block-painted linen fragment with a 3:1 chevron (herringbone) twill weave, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Further evidence of the extreme rarity of medieval linen with a Shroud-like herringbone twill weave, was the fact that the British Museum’s Dr. Michael Tite was unable to find any medieval linen with a weave that resembled the Shroud, to use as control samples for the 1988 radiocarbon dating. . . .

BUT:  To my way of thinking about history, only one known example does not necessarily mean rare. In fact, I’ve always thought only one known example implied other unknown examples.

The above image is stored in Stephen’s blog (I have stretched it a bit). Based on a citation to a site called the V&A Spelunker, I was able to trace down the image directly from the V&A museum’s online catalog. You can obtain that same image by clicking on the thumbnail image to the right.

The next step was to chase down the V&A image using Google’s powerful image searching facilities.  This brought me to a site by Maxim Sokokov in Russian.  Google translates it thus:

Medieval Heel XII-XV centuries.
Silk fabrics with pattern vytkanym were so expensive that for everyday use or church decoration often use cheaper analogue – linen fabric with printed motifs in the same style. The European Centre for the production of such textiles were Italy and Germany. Therefore, the majority of tissues in museum collections, which are difficult to attribute, and usually signed: "Italy (Germany?)." "Take a plank of walnut, pear or other very solid wood the size of a brick … pictures on this tablet should be painted and cut (in depth) of thick rope. On the tablets should be shown all kinds of pattern that you want, leaves or animals, but to do so they were drawn and cut so that the boards of all four parties were well suited to each other and in general formed a complete and coupled drawing … " From Cennino Cennini treatise "The book about the art or Treatise on Painting", approx. 1400.

On that website I spotted something. Or maybe it is just I think I see.  Is that another example of medieval herringbone twill linen? Three over one? Maybe just two over one! You decide. CLICK HERE. More thoughts?

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