As of this morning, March 14, 2015, The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell (Simon & Schuster) is #14 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for hardcover fiction. It has been on the list for one week. Not bad since it has only been available for one week. That is what good PR will do for you. And having been a best selling author, before, doesn’t hurt.
BTW, here, from the NYT, is about as short a description as you can get for this novel:
Two brothers, a Greek Catholic and a Roman Catholic priest, both connected to a controversial museum exhibit about the Shroud of Turin, are at the heart of a mystery set in the Vatican in 2004.
YOU MIGHT THINK, if you have been part of the shroud crowd for a few years, that the Fifth Gospel refers to the shroud. Well, it doesn’t; not in this book. So, now, you are going to have to read it.
A Guest Posting by O.K. (Read Full PDF)
Why Jesus carried the whole cross and not only the patibulum.
Rebuttal of a long-standing sindonological myth.
The long standing myth of sindonology is that Jesus carried only the horizontal arm of the cross –the patibulum. This view (which is illustrated on the picture below) is based on several premises; namely the permanent presence of vertical beam, the stipes in Roman places of public executions, and the conviction that the whole cross would have been “too heavy” to carry by the single person. Neither of those premises are correct, in fact –and if we confront them with empirical evidence from relics (the Shroud of Turin, the Tunic of Argenteuil, the Good Thief patibulum) and archeological evidence, it is clear to us that Jesus most likely carried the whole cross.
Posted three days ago on the Diocese of Turin’s 2015 Shroud of Turin
Exhibition Facebook page
For the public exhibition of the shroud, May 3 to 24, 1931 on the occasion of the marriage of Prince Umberto of Piedmont and Princes Maria Jos of Belgium.
The Rev. James Martin, a Catholic priest, calls the relationship between
James and Jesus "very complicated."
Ben Witherington III offers the Protestant view that Jesus and James
were full brothers, with Jesus being the elder.
Michael McKinley for CNN writes about this coming Sunday’s Finding Jesus broadcast:
In November 2002, the world was captivated by the biggest archaeological discovery ever made relating to Jesus: a 2,000 year-old ossuary — or bone box — bearing the tantalizing inscription in Aramaic: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."
If it was true, this was the first physical evidence ever found of Jesus’ existence. And yet, if this amazing ossuary was false, then it was one of the greatest forgeries in history.
Underlying the question of the authenticity of the ossuary is an even bigger theological problem: whether or not Jesus actually had any brothers. Though the debate’s origins are ancient, the answer still divides Catholics and Protestants.
Written by Amanda Lauer, the article, Expert gives Shroud of Turin presentations in Neenah appears in The Compass, the newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. I particularly liked the last paragraph (knowing full well that you will read the whole article from the beginning):
The message of the Shroud of Turin is transcendent, said Breault. “The message is the same message as the Gospel. There’s no difference. The message really isn’t about the shroud; it’s about the message behind the shroud. It’s not about an old piece of linen, it’s about the message behind that linen, the message of salvation — the whole mission and purpose of why Jesus came to Earth as the son of man and the son of God. I’m telling the greatest story ever told through the shroud.”
Joe Nickell reacts to CNN’s “Finding Jesus”: Disingenuous Look at Turin “Shroud” over at the Center for Inquiry website:
… The first episode of the TV series (but curiously the last chapter of the book) was about the “Shroud” of Turin. Easter after Easter, this alleged burial cloth of Jesus is trotted out like a ghost story at Halloween, typically with the same shoddy standards.
This TV presentation was no exception. It was replete with pseudohistory and pseudoscience to such an extent that—if one is not to question the producers’ motives— one must accuse them of gross incompetence. To show why, this review necessarily focuses as much on what is left out as it does on what makes the cut. The program is thus revealed as an hour-long example of confirmation bias—by which one begins with the desired answer and works backward to the evidence, picking and choosing. The usual formula to such crocumentaries is to spend, say, half to two-thirds of the time building up the claim at hand, then bring in some skepticism—or “skepticism”— and finally attack the contrary points, so as to end on a note of mystery. The implication is that science cannot explain the image on the “shroud,” so it appears to be something beyond science. This is a type of faulty logic called an argument from ignorance.
Nickell is particularly upset with the inclusion of Nicholas Allen’s hypothesis in the show. So was just about everyone, it seems, but for different reasons. Nickell’s perspective is, well, a crock of something or other:
With his absurd “explanation” of the shroud’s image, Nicholas Allen has played into the hands of shroud propagandists. They use him to endorse the falsehood that the image is a photographic negative, then allow his farfetched notion to make skeptics look ridiculous in their desperation. The result is to make religion seem to trump science. Shroud activists are no doubt laughing all the way to the cathedral.
Note: Photograph of Joe Nickell is a press photo from www.joenickell.com
Has anyone offered a rebuttal of Dr. Jackson’s refutation of the reweaving theory? Or do all the authenticists just ignore it, as Charles Freeman says.
What say you all?