imageB&B writes: “By Jove I think he’s got it. Leonardo da Vinci looks just like Julian Assange.” Referring of course to the picture (click image for larger view).

Amy from Nevada asked, “Is Lombatti for real?”

(No, Amy, he just wrote on his site: “As for the Wikileaks news, I was just kidding. Irony, this was the goal of my funny (I hope) blog post.”)

<< On Lombatti’s site >>

Aldo Grano wrote, “So già chi è: Leonardo di nome, Davinci di cognome, detto Codice,” which Google translates as, “I already know who he is: the name of Leonardo, Davinci’s last name, said Code.”

Chidambaram Ramesh wrote:

It has been pretty firmly established by various researchers that the Shroud is not a painting in any known sense of the term. When taken in concert certain conclusive facts about the Shroud – it conforms to the Gospel accounts, anatomically perfect, light and dark are reversed, extremely superficial, there is no mark of paint or brush strokes, fibres of the cloth were not cemented together by any foreign material, depth information of the image has been encoded three-dimensionally, occurrence of high level of bilirubin in the bloodstains, abundance of microscopic dust in the foot-area of the imprint, to name a few – these are enough to make even a skeptic believe in the natural causes of Shroud image. It could never be a hoax. Still, if it is proved that it a fake, then it would be more wondrous than it is now!

imageAntonio Lombatti then wrote: “As the Israelli archaeologist Joe Zias – who excavated more than 300 Second Temple Jewish tombs – wrote: Not only it’s a clear fake, but it’s also a fake of bad quality.”

The behavior of professional Bible scholars on this relic has been deplorable. It’s true, the Turin Shroud may be seen as a ridiculous topic to deal with. So, apart from Joe Zias, James Tabor, Rachel Hachlili, Shimon Gibson, and Levy Rahmani – experts on Second Temple Jewish burials and Early Christianity – scholars have rarely tackled the fancy claims made by the Shroud authenticity supporters. And this has left room for popular quackery both on library shelves and, above all, on the web. Lurid falsehoods and distorted reasoning have been repeated so many times that the common people and some scholars too may think they are facing the real burial cloth of Jesus. The method used by these "shroudologists" bends the mind the wrong way, an insidious and real corruption, and it has nothing to share with scholarly analysis and philological tools.

And my good friend Dan Scavone, emeritus prof. of history, Univ. of Southern Indiana, wrote:

My friend Antonio (Lombatti) is a formidable scholar. But he knows that ridiculous claims may be found in the writings of "shroudophobes and "sindonoclasts" as well.  So, to take him at his word, Joe Zias must have found other forgeries in his 300 tombs !  How else could he know with any certainty that the Shroud is "a clear fake . . . of bad quality"?  Although I agree generally with the position of Chidambaram Ramesh, I would argue that if someone ever had thought to forge the Turin Shroud, the New Testament suggests nothing at all about a frontal-dorsal image of Jesus on a burial cloth.  Why, then, would someone "forge" it and hope the Christian world would accept it?  Antonio himself has elsewhere cited 95 documents, none of which negates the sixth-tenth century documents that already describe the Turin Shroud with the details only an eyewitness could include.  The blood now scientifically known to be real human blood and the perfect human anatomy (obviously NOT known to Gothic and later sculptors of the twelfth-fourteenth centuries) also "trumps" the forgery card.  Texts going back to the second century are also available in modern libraries, but they can wait until the appearance of the Guardian story.  Also Israeli botonist Avinoam Danin has attested to the presence of pollen and faint images of plants indigenous to the Holy Land.

For more: Wikileaks on the Shroud of Turin « Shroud of Turin Blog