Fascinating, informative paper. Great illustrations. I learned a lot.
With recent references in this blog to the illustrations in the Holkham Bible it seems appropriate to now consider the paper, The Hypotheses About the Roman Flagrum: Some Clarifications, presented by Flavia Manservigi (pictured) and coauthored by Enrico Morini (available at shroud.com and at academia.edu as of two days ago):
On the imprint of the long Sheet are also clearly visible a number of marks, falling all over the surface of the body, from the shoulders to the lower extremities of the legs: scholars interpreted those signs like the result of a terrible scourging, which was inflicted on the Man of the Shroud before crucifixion. The marks of flogging and crucifixion, like the great part of the wound marks visible on the cloth, strengthened the hypothesis of the identification of the Man of the Shroud with Jesus of Nazareth: the tortures suffered by the Man of the Shroud can be totally assimilated to the ones that, according to the Gospels, were inflicted on Jesus.
BTW: I probably should have mentioned this paper sooner. Already archived at shroud.com, it was just uploaded to academia.edu two days ago, which sent its page ranking soaring in Google. That grabbed my attention. This supports my theory that it makes sense to archive papers at both shroud.com and academia.edu and elsewhere (no, don’t ask).
There are still other papers to explore from the St. Louis conference. Please by patient.
Stephen Jones, having abandoned for a while his unfinished conspiracy theory that the carbon dating was wrong in 1988 because of computer hackers, is now sermonizing shroud history. He writes:
. . . Geoffroy then mounted a surprise night raid upon the castle of his betrayer, Aimery of Pavia, and took him back to his base at St Omer where Geoffroy had all the military powers of the king. There Geoffroy tortured and then decapitated his betrayer, cut his body into quarters, and hung them on the town gates. Medieval military justice no doubt, but flagrant disobedience of the New Testament command for a Christian to love his enemies (Mt 5:43-44; Lk 6:27, 35) and not to take revenge but leaving that to God (Rom 12:19). For that disobedience, did Geoffroy later pay a heavy price? . . .
Then later on the page he answers his own question with just enough of a question mark ending to maintain a fragile shred of objectivity:
. . . Just as Moses was not allowed by God to live to enter the Promised land, because of his disobedience (Dt 32:48-52; Num 20:11-13; 27:14), did God not allow Geoffroy I to live to see the Shroud exhibited beyond 1356, because of his disobedience in taking brutal personal revenge on Aimery of Pavia (see above)? . . .
It’s too bad because Stephen does excellent research.
Just in time for Easter and the 2015 Shroud Exposition
John the Baptist is an artifact?
If, like half the world, you have been watching CNN during the last couple of days, you may have seen a frequent ad for an upcoming series of shows starting in March. The ad, in a quick succession of screens says: Faith, Fact, Forgery and Finding Jesus March 2015.
Google produces little information except a nearly empty page from Carmel Communications saying:
Finding Jesus: Faith, FACTS, Forgery, a CNN relics series – coming to television on March 1, 2015; a 6- week series.
More information coming soon!
Amazon tells us about a soon to be released book called, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels by David Gibson (Author), Michael McKinley (Author). It will be available sometime around February 24th in Hardcover, Kindle, Audio CD and Downloadable Audio. The description reads:
As featured in the 6-part CNN SERIES "Finding Jesus"FINDING JESUS explores six major artifacts, including the Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, and John the Baptist, that give us the most direct evidence about the life and world of Jesus. The book and attendant CNN series provide a dramatic way to retell "the greatest story ever told" while introducing a broad audience to the history, the latest controversies, and newest forensic science involved in sorting out facts from the fiction of would-be forgers and deceivers. The book and the show draw on experts from all over the world. Beyond the faithful, the book will also appeal to the skeptical and to curious readers of history and archaeology, while it takes viewers of the primetime TV series deeper into the story.
I blogged about this last April writing then:
BREAKING: Jon Creamer of Televisual Media UK tells us about an upcoming six-part series on Jesus:
Nutopia is to make a ‘forensic’ drama doc about the life of Jesus in a six-part commission for CNN called Jesus Code.
Jesus Code will look at “forensics, biblical archaeology and forgery, exploring their connection to the real life of Jesus by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.”
The show will use drama reconstruction and interviews with scholars to re-examine six objects connected to the Biblical Jesus.
Executive Producer, Ben Goold (The Story of US, Mankind, The British) said “These are compelling and astonishing stories of relics such as the Turin Shroud and the True Cross that not only capture the imagination, but also offer real revelations about one of the most important figures in human history.”
Jesus Code will be produced by Nutopia in association with Paperny Entertainment. Filming will start in October in Europe, the US, North Africa and Middle East. Executive Producers are Ben Goold for Nutopia and Lynne Kirby for Paperny Entertainment and it will be distributed internationally by DRG.
Jesus Code forms part of CNN’s new documentary strand in the ET 9pm primetime line-up.
Rodney Ho of The Atlanta Journal Constitution gives the story a bit more punch with a bit less detail as part of a story on 9 p.m. time slot that Larry King occupied for a quarter century and Piers Morgan attempted to fill. The story is mostly about the big guns CNN is bringing into the hour:Mike Rowe (‘formerly of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs’), Lisa Ling (formerly of “Our America with Lisa Ling”) and John Walsh (formerly of Fox’s ‘America’s Most Wanted”). And the icing on the cake:
Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics.
Let’s see, six relics? (1) Shroud of Turin, (2) True Cross, (3) Holy Grail ???, (4) Veronica’s Veil ???, (5) Seamless Garment ???, (6) ???.
Can you guess what the other three artifacts will be?
as proof that Jesus existed?
Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.
And this is the point of the article, Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’ appearing in Heritage Daily:
From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?
The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.
These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.
We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.
- And what should appear but a reader comment:
. . . We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.
And a response to the comment, of course:
. . . The shroud of Turin is confidently dated 1260 to 1390 AD. It’s not the only shroud attributed to Jesus’ resurrection and it can’t even convincingly be said to be that of Jesus.
There is nowhere near enough valid evidence to convince a court of law of it’s authenticity. In the first place, there’s no body, the forensic evidence shows otherwise, it’s history smacks of fakery, and it’s not unique. It would be thrown out as frivolous.
It never works to invoke the Turin Shroud to try to convince a skeptic until you can first prove the shroud is authentic, not just claim it is.
BTW: In 2002, Crossan said in a Beliefnet Forum:
My best understanding is that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval relic-forgery. I wonder whether it was done from a crucified dead body or from a crucified living body. That is the rather horrible question once you accept it as a forgery.
the sixth-century Image of Edessa “probably never actually looked like a cloth at all.”
If you weren’t in St. Louis on Sunday morning of the conference for Jack Markwardt’s special presentation, then Modern Scholarship and the History of the Shroud of Turin is a MUST READ:
In 1997, Professor Robin Cormack, an art historian, concluded that Wilson’s identification of the Turin Shroud with the Mandylion was “an impossible guess”, pointing to a depiction of that icon in a St. Catherine Monastery panel painting that is datable to 945-959 (Figure 1).
In 2010, Wilson acknowledged that “a fringe runs along the bottom edge where we would expect the Shroud’s fold line to be,” but he then proceeded to argue that varying portrayals of the Mandylion cancelled out one another as reliable representations of that icon and made it improbable that Byzantine artists “had actually viewed at first hand the original Image they were copying”; however, this stance constituted a rather dramatic about-face from that which he had assumed in 1998 when, in support his folded-relic hypothesis, he had contended that copies of the Mandylion, such as the now-lost image of Spas Nereditsa (Figure 2), “convey other recurring possible clues to the original’s appearance”, such as a lattice-type decoration possibly denoting the presence of an overlay grille and an image which had been set upon a landscape-aspect cloth. If, as Wilson presently asserts, Byzantine artists did not actually view the original Mandylion in producing copies of it, then depictions that feature lattice-type decorations and landscape-aspect cloths would not necessarily be evidential of that icon having been the hypothetically folded and framed Turin Shroud.
Other unfavorable academic commentary would quickly ensue. In 1998, Professor Cameron flatly pronounced that “the Edessan image has nothing to do with the Shroud of Turin.” In 2003, Andrew Palmer, a professor of Byzantine history, in dating the Acts of Thaddeus, which alludes to an image of Jesus on cloth, to the period of 609-726 CE,undermined Wilson’s claim that it had been written in the sixth century and coincidental with the alleged historical appearance of the Edessa icon. In 2004, Professor Sebastian Brock, perhaps the world’s foremost authority on Syriac texts, declared that the Mandylion’s history provided “a very unsatisfactory ancestry for those who would like to identify the famous Turin Shroud with the Edessan Mandylion.”
In 2007, Mark Guscin, a well-known authenticist, concluded that the Sermon of Gregorius Referendarius recites “that the sweat of agony (like drops of blood) adorned the Image (of Edessa), just like blood from its side adorned the body from which the sweat had dripped, i.e. two different events at two different times,” refuting Wilson’s assertion that it referenced blood flowing from Jesus’ side wound, thereby proving that the Edessa icon had borne a full-length image of his crucified body. In that same year, Professor Irma Karaulashvili, a Georgian scholar and specialist in Syriac texts, observed that the Image of Edessa “seems to have been painted, most plausibly on wood”, citing several Syriac sources which had variously described the early Edessa icon as a quadrangle wooden tablet, a dappa (tablet), and a piece of wood.In doing so, Karaulashvili concurred with Cameron that the sixth-century Image of Edessa “probably never actually looked like a cloth at all.”
But, read on:
Not only does the cloth of the Image of Edessa, as so depicted, strongly resemble an imaged Byzantine labarum (see Figure 19), but also the image of Jesus presented on that cloth mirrors the facial image of the Turin Shroud, absent its wounds and bloodstains, particularly with regard to their respective mouths, beards, and uneven lengths of hair (see Figure 20),and if the tenth-century Image of Edessa was, in fact, a late sixth-century Byzantine labarum, an object which modern scholars “nearly universally believe” to have been modeled upon Constantinople’s Image of God Incarnate,then that archetypal acheiropoietos image of Jesus was almost certainly the Shroud of Turin.
A paper, Othon de La Roche and the Shroud: An hypothesis between History and Historiography by Alessandro Piana (pictured) has just been published at Academia.edu. The introduction reads:
From the fourteenth century, when the Shroud appeared in the French village of Lirey, there are no historical gaps. Unfortunately, there isn’t a tradition of the precise way in which Geoffroy I de Charny has come into possession of an object of such importance . Although the period prior to the fourteenth century we have no certain news as well as that of the centuries that follow, not for this has ceased to carry out research and, most importantly, does not mean that we must hold closed adversely research on the ancient history of the Shroud, especially considering the significant acquisitions that direct examination have over the years accumulated . Even if it is accepted that the Turin Shroud and the cloth observed in Constantinople by the crusader knight Robert de Clari  (“Among other astonishing things there is a church called Saint Mary of Blacherne, where there is the sydoines (Shroud), in which Our Lord Jesus was wrapped and that every Holy Friday is lifted up vertically, so that the shape of Our Lord could be seen very well” .) were one and the same object, there still difficulties remain in establishing a chronology for the relic during the historical gap of more or less one hundred and fifty years, from 1204 in Constantinople to its reappearance in Lirey in the fourteenth century. Different hypotheses have been formulated .
In this paper, the author presents an additional hypothesis in an attempt to explain that intervening period during which the Shroud completely disappeared.
The paper goes from there through . . .
- THE “GREEK TRACK”
- OTHON DE LA ROCHE, MÉGASKYR OF ATHENS
- BLOOD-LINE OF OTHO DE LA ROCHE
- RAY-SUR-SAÔNE CASTLE
- THE SHROUD IN RAY-SUR-SAÔNE?
- THE SHROUD AND THE DE VERGY FAMILY
- FAMILY TREES
and concludes . . .
A set of elements make suppose transit of the Shroud in Athens, thank to Othon de La Roche, at the beginning of thirteenth century. To this Burgundy noble family are linked a series of attestations that, if further confirmed, would help to set Shroud arrival in Europe a long time before the middle of fourteenth century. At present this hypothesis appears the most likely, well-documented and able to give a series of ideas for further researches that other hypothesis cannot suggest. This work has to be considered as the seeds of ongoing research, not the end but just the beginning.
Four days ago, the Wikipedia entry, History of the Shroud of Turin (not to be confused with the main entry Shroud of Turin) was updated by user Charle Freeman (that is correct, no s) to add “fuller summary of my article written for History Today.”
This is it and it may be found under the section heading, Historical attributions:
History Today article
In an article published by History Today in November 2014, British scholar Charles Freeman analyses early depictions and descriptions of the Shroud and argues that the iconography of the bloodstains and all-over scourge marks are not known before 1300 and the Shroud was a painted linen at that date, now much decayed and faded. As it was unlikely that a forger would have deceived anyone with a single cloth with images on it, Freeman seeks an alternative function. He goes on to argue that the Shroud was a medieval prop used in Easter ritual plays depicting the resurrection of Christ. He believes it was used in a ceremony called the ‘Quem Quaeritis?‘ or ‘whom do you seek?’ which involved re-enacting gospel accounts of the resurrection, and is represented as such in the well-known Lirey pilgrim badge. As such it was deservedly an object of veneration from the fourteenth century as it is still is today.
Hat tip to OperaLady