Picture of the Day: Squint at the wall

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Ignorance is boundless. Need more proof?

How many mistakes can you find?

imageThe Shroud of Turin was discovered in Jerusalem in 1968 [. Is it] really Jesus?

. . . It was proclaimed a hoax. Many scientists even checked again 40 years later, after a husband and wife in upstate New York made some observations and formed one of the assumptions about the construction of the fiber, which prompted further tests. This time, the material itself satisfactorily tested for a garment 1st century AD period. No conclusion on the figure … But this time, far more sophisticated camera technology, some details of droplets of blood were clearly seen. While they were not allowed to do DNA testing – the Vatican, it prohibits again – the signs highlighted the Jesus history.

You can’t count mistakes in such senseless junk.

Turin Reading | Buy Reading Glasses Online

Quotes for Today from Divine Remedy

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Is human suffering the primary portal to God’s love? An opening to all encompassing divinity?

Something else to ponder:

Human life is, perhaps, God’s gift of passage, His opening, our way in. Without it we have no entry into His light.

Read the entire posting at divineremedy.org: Chapter 41: Passage

Main Story at CNN this morning: John Dominic Crossan’s “A blasphemous portrait of Jesus”

imageYou should read the entire article, John Dominic Crossan’s ‘blasphemous’ portrait of Jesus – CNN.com, if you are not completely up-to-date about this scholar. In my opinion, Crossan, having taught for 25 years at DePaul University, America’s largest Catholic University – now Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion – is significantly influencing the more liberal wings of Roman Catholic, Anglican and mainline Protestant traditions.

Note: the story has only been up for a little over an hour and there are well over one thousand comments already.

Jesus, according to Crossan, was not buried in a tomb and there was no Resurrection in any sense that might be thought of as supernatural. About the Shroud, he once wrote:

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.

Here is a snippet from CNN this Sunday morning:

image(CNN) — One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared:

"If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you."

Other critics have called him "demonic," "blasphemous" and a "schmuck."

When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he’s spreading about Jesus today isn’t the kind that would endear him to many church leaders.

Crossan says Jesus was an exploited "peasant with an attitude" who didn’t perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity’s sins.

Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan, one of the world’s top scholars on the "historical Jesus," a field in which academics use historical evidence to reconstruct Jesus in his first-century setting.

"I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence," Crossan says. "I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square."

I’ve written about him before in this blog (Jesus as a Peasant Sage).

Quote for Today by Galileo

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -Galileo

Paper Chase: Documenting the Shroud’s missing years by Dan Scavone

imageFirst of all, I have heard from others, that I handled the Besancon part of my posting about Alva B. See’s book poorly. I said nothing more about it than that some of it seems historical. That was careless treatment, someone said. I agree. With some help, I have lined out (see below the fold) some portions of the text to show what seems to have been guesses, or if we are to take the author seriously, “divine revelations.” Regardless, what is found in See’s book is not good, objective, well researched history.

The expert on Besancon, is Dan Scavone, renowned medieval historian, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Southern Indiana, who writes in “Documenting the Shroud’s missing years:”

History proceeds from documents, not arguments from silence. Besançon alone, of all the major theories of the Turin Shroud’s whereabouts during the missing 150 years, has documents to support its possession of the Shroud after the Fourth Crusade until about 1350, after which the Shroud’s history from Lirey to Turin is well established. No other hypothesis for the Shroud during this time—whether that of the templars, the Smyrna Crusade, or the Sainte-Chapelle—even mentions Jesus’ shroud. Nor can any other theory document a path of the Shroud from Constantinople to the ever-silent Geoffroy I de Charny.

Go read “Documenting the Shroud’s missing years.” Now! It is only eight pages and you will not regret it.

Continue reading “Paper Chase: Documenting the Shroud’s missing years by Dan Scavone”

The Shroud of Besancon holds the key to how the tomb was opened–Tin Foil Hat Warning

imageIt seems a strange book, Naked Before God, by Alva B. See, Jr., with some twenty pages dedicated to the Shroud of Turin. Here is description of the book from Amazon (Tate, 2011):

Over a thirty-three-year period, A. B. See, Jr., experienced seventeen divine revelations, which help to answer the following questions: What does God really look like? How does God feel about war? How was the stone moved from the front of the tomb where Jesus lay? Does God have additional commandments for us to follow? How can the debate between creationism and the theory of evolution be finally resolved? Does Satan really exist? Is there going to be an Apocalypse? The author believes that the answers to these questions, as found in one of the most profound books of our time, can make believers out of unbelievers, bring hope to the broken, and point a way to happiness and fulfillment in the readers’ relationships. As readers discover and follow God’s mission, they will begin their own journey from individual darkness unto His holy light.

Starting around page 150, for twenty pages or so, the Shroud is discussed in some detail. There are familiar details, details I’ve never encountered, and details that I can only think are too wildly crazy to be “divine revelations.” Here is some material supposedly from a conversation in the Spring of 1980 in the cafeteria of the Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York:

“Alva, as you may remember, my husband became a scientist.”

“Yes,” I responded.

“He is a physicist. His field, among others, is dosymmetry.”

“Dosymmetry,” I mused. “That has to do with radiology, doesn’t it?”

“Yes,” she said. “He was asked to be part of a team to go over to Turin, Italy, and examine the Shroud. He asked me to join the group as secretary.”

As I remember it, I said, “You really love Italy?”

“Yes,” she replied. “That’s why I jumped at the chance.” “That must be very exciting. Did he have an opportunity to actually handle it?”

"Oh yes,” she said. “You know, he was an atheist.”

“Really?” I said.

“A very devout one,” she laughed.

“And you are a fairly devout Episcopalian?”

“Yes, that’s correct,” she replied with a smile.

“What does all this have to do with the Shroud?” I asked.

“We were allowed to take one tiny little snippet of the Shroud and to analyze it.”

“How did he feel about the Shroud?’ I asked. “Particularly since he was an atheist?’

“He started off being extremely skeptical but then…”

“But then?” I said, asked, staring at her.

“Then he did the analysis. The snippet was radioactive!” she exclaimed as her face lit up.

“Well, I remember the story I was told and I believe it. It was about a man who sat on a rock in Canada in his backyard and it was uranium and he got irradiated. So why couldn’t the Shroud become irradiated in that way?”

“Roger told me this was the kind of radiation that only comes from an atomic blast.”

“That would lead me to a wild conclusion,” I said.

image“Exactly,” she said. Then added while staring right at me, “Several soldiers sealed the tomb with an enormous stone they put there to keep people from robbing Jesus’s body or his disciples from stealing it and then making claims that he was resurrected bodily into heaven. How do you think that giant stone was removed?”

“I guess you’re telling me that you think it was removed by a mini atomic blast!” I exclaimed with an open mouth.

Exactly,” she said.

Then there is this about how the Shroud came to be in France. Some of it seems historical:

imageAt the time of the fourth Crusade, Otho de hi Roche, Duke of Athens and Sparta, who was in command of the district of Blachernes where the Shroud was kept, received it as part of his recompense. He sent it to his father in 1204 a.d. and his father gave it to the Bishop of Besancon who placed it in the cathedral. It was exposed for veneration each year on Easter Sunday up till 1349. In that year, a fire broke out in the cathedral that caused slight damage to the Holy shroud. To save it from further damage, it was removed from the cathedral and in the confusion it was stolen and given to King Philip of France. King Philip gave it to his friend Geoffrey Count of Charney and Lord of Liry. It was natural that the Bishop of Besancon should try to recover the Shroud, but as the King of France had given it to his friend, it was impossible for him to do so. Two years later, a painted copy began to be exhibited in the Cathedral of Besancon to satis1y the devotion of those who had been accustomed to venerate the real Shroud; about the same time, probably a little earlier, Geoffrey of Liry employed a painter to paint a copy. Dom Chamart found conclusive evidence that the Shroud exhibited at Besancon after 1352 was only a painting, but a painting that had been copied from the real Shroud. He adds, “Dunod in his History of the Church of Besancon speaks of the Shroud preserved in the Cathedral of St. Etienne (Besancon) in the thirteenth century, and proceeds thus: ‘In March, i4, the church was destroyed by fire, and the box in which the Holy shroud was kept, seemingly without much formality, was lost. Some years afterwards the relic was found again by happy chance, and to make sure that it was the same as was formerly venerated in the church of St. Etienne, it was laid upon a dead man, who immediately revived. . . .

Amazon.com: Naked Before God (9781617390975): Jr. Alva B. See: Books

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross CD

imageIt is the mention of the Shroud of Turin that caught my attention. From the CD jacket:

The stations of the Cross is a devotion and reflection in which we walk alongside Jesus on His way to Calvary. By prayerfully participating in this meditation we are able to clearly see through His passion and death the depths of God’s love for mankind and the price He paid for our salvation. This presentation includes powerful meditations by Dr. Ronald Thomas, Assistant Professor of Theology at Belmont Abbey College, with prayer responses by students from the college.

Bonus Segment: Excerpts from the Passion of Christ in Light of the Holy Shroud of Turin by Fr. Francis Peffley.

You can order it here, along with a booklet, for $10.00 plus 4.95 S&H. Supposedly you can download it but I could not find a way to do so without signing up for a monthly subscription for various CDs. Maybe I missed something. So check it out for your self. Lighthouse Catholic Media: Meditations on the Stations of the Cross by Dr. Ron Thomas

You knew that this would happen over at Facebook

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Picture of the Day: Turin Shroud in Modernist Turin Church

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From the blog, Vandore Planning:

Since 1997, Turin has been mobilizing regional, national and European funds to regenerate declining industrial areas of the city.

And this:

We saw a wonderful modernist church, the Chiesa del Santo Volto, on the site of the old Bogaro steel mills. Architect Mario Botta preserved a heavy industrial feel for the chunky building which many found ugly on the outside (I kinda liked it), and saved a chimney from the steel mill (the tower with swirly things around the outside). The interior is all light and grace – and emblazoned on the wall behind the pulpit, the Turin Shroud.

Blog link: Vandore Planning: Regenerating the Turin Shroud – and other stories

The past, present, and future of the Holy Shroud Guild

imageJust noticed this at the website for the Holy Shroud Guild:

What to expect in 2011

  • New research on the Father Filas’s lepton coin
  • Revisting Dr. McCrone’s Judgement Day
  • Sister Damien final report
  • Dr. Dmitri Kousnetsov

If you poke around on the website, you will find a blog with this interesting entry: “I’m hoping to have Fr. Filas’ work uploaded by the end of February.”

The Power of the Cross According to Bono

imageOver at OSV Daily Take, a “Catholic perspectives” blog, Mary DeTurris Poust writes:

My spiritual reading this morning was taken from none other than U2 frontman Bono. I wanted to pull one great quote for you to ponder, but, to be honest, the whole interview was one great quote — about God, about grace, about Jesus as Messiah. I sat at my kitchen table and read it aloud to my 14-year-old son. It was that good.

Go read the entire posting. It is that good. OSV Daily Take Blog: Bono on grace, Jesus, and the power of the cross

A snippet from Bono, an excerpt from the 2005 book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas:

The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled . It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

More on Akiane’s Jesus, Heaven is for Real and the Man in the Shroud

EASTER 2014:  Important new open discussion on this blog:

Heaven is for Real, the Akiane Prince of Peace, the ISA Mosaic and the Shroud of Turin

Also see:

PrinceofPeace13_thumb[1]These comments pertain to Akiane’s Jesus, Heaven is for Real and the Man in the Turin Shroud.

One reader writes:

Can you imagine what might have happened if the 4 year old kid had been shown a picture of the shroud and said, “Yep, Dad, that’s him.”

Another reader writes:

imageThis idea that the Akiane portrait looks like the Shroud face or the face developed by the History Channel assumes that Jesus had a haircut or a full salon treatment sometime between the time he was in the tomb and the time that Colton saw him. I’m dubious of the account in the book but I can’t rule it out. There is a resemblance.

Actually, the image was developed by Ray Downing and his team for the History Channel.

BostonBean wrote:

imageI think the painting of Jesus by Akiane Kramarik looks like the Shroud inspired painting of Jesus by Ariel Aggemian. Given that I have reservations about such visions or near death encounters, I find it very spooky.

B&B comments:

The Akiane looks like the St. Catherine Pantocrator with a new hair style.

And finally one reader of this blog wrote:

Maybe Akiane’s vision was the face on the Shroud. Remember that a vision is just that, a vision. It could come from a book or a picture in the news. The memory of a seven-year-old child being asked over and over to remember what he saw at age four is also something to take with a grain of salt. But they do look similar.

imageYou all see a bit more than I do. But, yes, there is some resemblance. Anyway, here is a key to the images: The man with short hair and white clothing is the Akiane painting. The sepia toned image is the Ariel Aggemian inspired painting. The one with the deep blue shadows was created by Ray Downing for History. And, of course, the Pantocrator, almost certainly inspired by the Shroud of Turin, is the one with the big golden halo.

Akiane’s Jesus, Heaven is for Real and the Man in the Turin Shroud

EASTER 2014:  Important new open discussion on this blog:

Heaven is for Real, the Akiane Prince of Peace, the ISA Mosaic and the Shroud of Turin

Also see:

There is a new, very popular visionary picture of Jesus that many think must be accurate. It is quite okay to be skeptical about such visions. Nonetheless, how it compares to the image on the Shroud of Turin might significantly impact how the public thinks about the authenticity of the shroud. Last week I received an email from a reader that threw me for a loop. She wrote:

PrinceofPeace13I just finished reading “Heaven is for Real.” I am thinking that the Akiane Prince of Peace is very similar to the man in the Turin Shroud. STURP and now the Shroud Science Group with all its scientific books and journals cannot begin to match the power of this story. Four-year-old Colton Burpo left the hospital operating room and went [to] heaven where he saw Jesus. Later, he confirmed that Jesus looked like the Akiane Jesus. The Akiane Jesus looks like the Turin Shroud.

The Akiane Prince of Peace? The book, Heaven is for Real? A kid who saw Jesus in heaven during some sort of purported near-death experience (NDE)? Really? And does this visionary picture look like the man in the Shroud? It turns out that the book is a sensation. As of this past Sunday, it was the New York Time’s #1 Bestseller in Non-Fiction Paperbacks and the #2 Bestseller among all Non-Fiction including Digital. It is #2 at Amazon among all books where it has held a position in the top 100 bestsellers for 73 days. USA Today ranked it #2 among Non-Fiction books and #7 among all books on the market. The reviews from pundits are mixed. But among readers at Amazon, the reviews are quite different. Overall the book gets 4.5 out of 5 stars. For those who are suspicious about Amazon reviews, there are too many reviewers, at 373, to think this is stuffed voting. You need to understand a little bit about the book. Here is a description from the publisher:

imageA young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven. Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear. Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us. . . .

I read it on a flight between New York and San Francisco this past weekend. The book is well written. It’s hard to not believe the story unless one assumes shameless co-conspirator fraud with a child. Maybe I should say that its hard to not believe the story is somewhat true. I just have too many problems with how well a young son’s memory (or imagination) fits his father’s very literalist interpretations of the Bible. Nor am I convinced about NDEs. Something seems wrong, yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. But that’s not the point I want to make. Every now and then, throughout the last half of the book, Colton is shown different pictures of Jesus and asked if they are accurate depictions of what he remembers Jesus looked like. The authors never tell us which pictures Colton looked at. (I naturally wondered if the Shroud was one of them.)  In the end Colton is shown an online picture. “Dad, that one’s right,” he exclaims. It is the Akiane portrait of Jesus. Akiane Kramarik seems to be a child visionary. Growing up in a home with an Atheist mother and a lapsed Catholic father, she apparently began having “divinely inspired visions,” which she translated into poetry and art.  By age four (Colton’s age) she was painting and writing poetry. There can be no denying, at least, that she is a prodigy. She appeared on CNN, World News Tonight and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Forget that she is a child; her work is amazing. She was just eight-years-old when she painted Prince of Peace, her first portrait of Jesus. This is the painting Colton said was right.  It is reproduced in the back of every copy of this best seller. (Click on “Read more,” below for a larger image) Stephen Kimble, a reader of the NowTHINK!About it blog, writes:

Having read many books on the near-death experience I find this one very special since it was from a 4 year old. What is very interesting to me is that Colton corroborates the Prince of Peace painting by Akiane Kramarik as the likeness of the face Jesus. I find that her painting bears a strong resemblance to the digital reconstruction from the Shroud of Turin as presented in “The Real Face of Jesus”, a History channel production.

Yes, I’m sure that such a popular image, if indeed many people think it is similar to the image of a man on the shroud, will have an impact on belief about the shroud. Nonetheless, the goal of the Shroud Science Group (as was the goal of STURP) is not to sway opinion. It’s purpose is to pursue the scientific and historical truth about the shroud, whatever it may be and wherever it may lead, and to disseminate that information in a responsible way. That said, I say go read the book and make up your own mind. I’m intrigued but not swayed. Then again, it took me five years to conclude that the Shroud of Turin was probably real. Continue reading “Akiane’s Jesus, Heaven is for Real and the Man in the Turin Shroud”

An Exhibit of the Shroud of Turin at The Royal Church of San Lorenzo

Well not exactly correct but some great pictures of The Royal Church of San Lorenzo

After a few minutes of trying to take pictures of everything, we went into a side room where I was surprised to see..

The shroud of Turin. a replica actually (the original used to be kept at another church in Torino but a fire prompted the pope to pull it to the Vaults in the Vatican and is only displayed once every great while.

*Well, no. The Shroud of Turin is still very much at “another church in Torino.”

Buon Viaggio!: The Royal Church of San Lorenzo

*UPDATE: Brandon writes: “Thanks for pointing out those mistakes. My professor misinformed us so I have now fixed them :)”  Great!

New Book Deals Extensively with the Shroud of Turin

imagePraey to God: A Tasteful Trip Through Faith by Annette Cloutier (Xlibris 2011)

Some Shroudies mentioned: Barrie Schwortz, Sue Benford, Joe Marino, Ray Downing, John Jackson, Ray Rogers, Gilbert Lavoie, Barbara Frale, Flury-Lemberg, etc.

  • Hardcover, $34.99 (Amazon +)
  • Paperback, $18.71 (Amazon +)
  • Kindle, $9.99 (Amazon Only)
  • Google ebook for Android, iPhone, iPad, etc. $7.99

From a website dedicated to the book:

Præy To God is a “Tasteful Trip” not only through the Faith of the author, but through Faith itself.  It begins in Volume I as a memoir and “Trips Through” the memoir right through Volume VI where the memoir is placed upon an altar.  In-between the pages of the memoir, the book also “Trips Through” theologies of worship not only underscoring the beauty of the memoir but propelling the development of Faith to a new exalted level. In Ms. Cloutiér’s six successive volumes of Prey To God: A Tasteful Trip Through Faith, she examines in detail her own Roman Catholic Faith by tracing its origins from ancient Judaism and Gnosticism–the flavors of which appear not only in the development of Christianity but also in the development of Islam.

Præy To God includes the recent 2002–2010 reappraisal regarding the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, with the author’s further investigation of its Medieval French connection. 

Præy To God is a rare but relevant penetration into Religion.  It bridges the academic Theology of Harvard Divinity into an everyday world perspective. 

Watch for a review in the future.

Bruce Collins Show to Tackle Question: “Is the Shroud of Turin real?”

imageFrom WWZN 1510 AM, a sneak preview for this Saturday’s show, Saturday, February 26, 11pm EST/ 8pm PST. Listen on the web.

This week on The Bruce Collins Show- Spiderman! The Green Goblin! the man who performed the stunts for both superheroes- Stuntman Chris Carnel and back from his vacation at Disneyland Tripoli- Ralph Epperson, with some fascinating, little known information surrounding the Shroud of Turin!

Here we go again. Ralph Epperson (pictured below) calls himself a Conspiracy Historian. He thinks that the carbon dating samples were secretly switched. Here is what he says on his website.

THE SHROUD IS GENUINE!
Evidence of Conspiracy and Fraud
in the Dating of the Shroud of Turin

imageIn 1988, the Catholic Church allowed three scientists from laboratories specializing in "carbon-dating" to obtain pieces of the "Shroud of Turin," which many think was the actual burial shroud of Jesus Christ. TV cameras were rolling when the piece was actually cut from the Shroud in front of the scientists was taken from the room into a smaller room nearby, by the Cardinal of Turin, and two other scientists. These three men disappeared for one half of an hour, and when they returned, they gave the samples to the scientists.

Two researchers have found out that the cloth tested by the laboratories did not come from the Shroud but from a relic called "the cope of St. Louis d’ Anjou" worn from 1296-1297 A.D. After the substitute "shroud" was dated at around 1350 A.D. by the "carbon dating method," the real Shroud was called a "forgery." But, THE SHROUD IS GENUINE, because the piece of cloth tested by the three laboratories was a garment worn between 1296 and 1297! And these authors produced photographs to prove it!

If you want, he’ll even sell you a DVD for $12.00

Almost all shroud scholars reject this rather fanciful conspiracy theory. I certainly do. Link: The Bruce Collins Show: Sneak Peek at this week’s TBCS!

Gary Habermas on the Shroud of Turin Podcast

imageAnemoi, the blog, tips us off to a guest appearance and a discussion of the Shroud of Turin by Gary Habermas on Greg Koukl’s weekly radio show.  Here are the minute-by-minute details for Gary Habermas on The Shroud of Turin:

Host: Greg Koukl Guest: Gary Habermas on "The Shroud of Turin" (00:00:00) Commentary: Have You Considered the Pro-life Arguments (00:56:11) Caller Topics: 1. How do you distinguish between understanding the passage and reading into the passage? (01:16:19) 2. What’s past space? (01:25:46) 3. How do you avoid the is-ought fallacy when using a teleological argument? (01:36:52) 4. What do you think of "Lordship" theology? (01:54:29) 5. What happened to the burial cloths Jesus was wrapped in? (02:18:02) 6. Was American Revolution a violation of Romans 13 – submission to government? (02:32:03) 7. What are implications of artificial intelligence for Christianity? (02:43:23)

Good blog. Check it out: anemoi

More: Two Coins, Two Lines, Two Questions

imageAlan Whanger and his wife Mary are internationally recognized Shroud researchers, having been actively involved since 1979. Alan developed a Polarized Image Overlay technique for doing exacting image comparisons. Together they cofounded the Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST), a non-profit organization whose mission is to do research on the Shroud of Turin and related Relics of the Passion; to publish the findings; and to establish a center for display, research, and education. Alan is a frequent lecturer at conferences throughout the world.

With Permission

INITIALLY ADDRESSED TO THE SHROUD SCIENCE GROUP
IN RESPONSE TO POSTINGS IN THIS BLOG

Dear Researchers,

I am much interested that the Byzantine coins of Justinian II of 692-695 are being reevaluated to better understand the influence of the Shroud image. The gold solidus coin, which was the first coin with a depiction of Jesus on it, was the one which led to our development of our Polarized Image Overlay Technique which allows a rather exacting capacity to discern and quantify the Points of Congruence (PC) between the two images being compared. A PC is a similar image or structure in the same location on the two compared images, a method rather similar to forensic facial or fingerprint analysis. I had discussed this at considerable length in my message #4222 "Studying the Images of the Shroud", and I would refer the reader to that message rather than repeat much of it here.

In a court of law, 45 to 60 PC are sufficient to determine that two faces are the same. We (Mary and myself) carefully did a congruency count on the Justinian II solidus coin and the Shroud facial image, and found and diagramed 145 PC, showing massive evidence that the coin image is an extraordinarily accurate reproduction of the Shroud face, which could only have been accomplished by the artist die cutter looking directly at the Shroud face as the model for the coin. We later examined the Pantocrator icon, and found over 250 PC with it and the Shroud, indicating to us, that the Pantocrator icon is the most accurate non-phototrophic image of the Shroud that we found, again indicating that the artist could only have produced these details by looking carefully at the Shroud image itself as the model.

The readers can do these overlays for themselves on our website at http://www.shroudcouncil.org in the Shroud Image Overlay Movies by moving the slider back and forth.

The question of the lines across the neck has come up. By examining the overlay images of the Justinian II solidus and tremissis coins, it is quite clear that the lines on the neck of the Shroud (certainly a fold or wrinkle) are accurately reproduced on the coins.

We have examined literally hundreds of early images and icons, evaluating them for the influence that the Shroud image might have had on them. The earliest image that we found which shows Shroud influence is the statue of the god Zeus-Kyrios in Dura-Europos, which is dated to AD 31 and shows the lines on the neck. The next earliest we found was the image of the god Aphlad from AD 54, which also shows the lines on the neck (as well as the notch in the beard.). One of the earliest images of Jesus is the portrait of Jesus in the Catacomb of Callistus in Rome, possibly dating from the third century. It clearly shows the lines on the neck. These and a number of other icons and images can be seen in our book, The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery.

Thus, the lines on the neck are a very valuable clue as to the age and influence of the Shroud facial image, indicating that the Shroud facial image can be traced by artistic means to the third decade of the first century.

Look at the evidence! Similarities are determined by side-to-side comparisons. Documentable congruencies are determined by overlay analysis.

With regards,

Alan.

New Upcoming Conference on the Acheiropoietos Images

imageThis conference seems to have been arranged quickly and quietly. I could not find a single press releases. I did find some new notices on the conference website showing that on February 9, Avinoam Danin confirmed participation, on February 14, the conference dates were changed to early June and on February 18 there was a big “never mind” as the conference were changed back to May 11 to 13, 2011. It will be held at the Faculty of Theology at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland.

The conference language is English.

Deadline for registration (without paper submission): April 30, 2011. Here is the form.

Deadline for registration with paper submission: March 6, 2011. This is the deadline to submit an abstract. (That is less than two weeks from now)

Here is some more information from the site:

The conference aims, among others, to update knowledge on the objects not made by human hand which are referred to by a Greek term “acheiropoietos”. This ancient concept has a wide range of meaning. Within the narrow range, the term covers images which in the strict sense came into existence without the assistance of human hand. In the broad meaning – the objects which are in a more or less conventional way entitled to such a definition when Tradition sources are taken into consideration.

It is still not perfectly clear which objects are entitled to be described as acheiropoietos in the strict sense. Without fail, the images which underwent a thorough research in the previous century obviously belong to that group. These are the images on the Turin Shroud and the Tilma of Guadalupe, and additionally, in the light of recent comparison research carried out i.a. by sister Blandina Paschalis, the Veil of Manoppello has been also included in that group. The question, whether one can classify as acheiropoietos in the strict sense also the images from other objects such as e.g. the miniature cloth from Coromoto in Venezuela, is under discussion.

The organisers of Toruń Acheiropoietos Conference 2011 conference are eager to open the ground for scientific discussion among researchers of various disciplines in order to circumscribe the methodological frames of research scope which is set by the term “acheiropoietos”, to confront research achievements of all scientific disciplines which deal with acheiropoietos and to set the direction for integration of acheiropoietos studies.

The conference will be held on May 11–13, 2011 and will commemorate 12th anniversary of John Paul II’s visit to Toruń. While giving a speech at Toruń’s University, he encouraged to engage in a deep dialogue between science and faith. This is also the aim of organisers of Toruń Acheiropoietos Conference 2011. It’s realisation is possible due to special subject of study wich is in the limelight of natural science as well as humanities and theology.

Suggested thematic areas

  1. Acheropoietos images in natural science cognition
  2. Characteristics of material structure of acheiorpoietos
  3. Consequences (pastoral, liturgical, ecumenical) of integrating acheiropoietos studies for the icon theology
  4. The theology of icon
  5. The theology of sign and miracle
  6. Fenomenology of sacred images
  7. Significance of the acheiropoietos images in fundamental theology, missiology and new evangelisation
  8. The issue of authenticity of Jesus Christ image in Christian iconographic canons in the context of acheiropoietos images
  9. The issue of authenticity of Jesus Christ acheiropoietos image in comparison to images of deities of other religions (in the context of religious studies)
  10. Forecast on scientific, sociological, cultural consequences of undertaking integrated acheiropoietos studies
  11. Historical aspects
  12. The condition and perspective of research and studies in the light of present state of knowledge on particular acheiropoietos

If you have questions, there are plenty of email addresses on the site: Conference – International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Acheiropoietos Images

Laugh Warning: Shroud of Turin to be Used for the Staged Second Coming of Christ

Hasn’t this guy not figured out the fact that if he was right then the Satin worshipping, new world order, shadow government evil doers he is warning us about would have eliminated him and made sure his video never made it onto YouTube. Enjoy, at least for two or three minutes. He should give wacky Dr. David Sullivan some competition. You might want to put on a tin foil hat before watching:

Hat tip to Joe Marino: YouTube – Shroud of Turin – Staged Second Coming of Christ –

Thoughts for a Sunday Morning: The Moon, the Tides and the Shroud of Turin

image You may have heard that the Fox News host Bill O’Reilly made a complete fool of himself in an interview with American Atheists Group president David Silverman. The subject of the interview, which was really an informal debate, was the existence of God.

Having put up posters at Christmas time saying, “you know it’s a myth,” Sliverman’s group had now installed a new billboard in Huntsville, Alabama with Christian, Jewish and Islamic symbols on it and a message that reads: "You know they’re all scams." O’Reilly didn’t like it and he would show Silverman that he was wrong. After a small amount of banter, O’Reilly set up the debate that would follow:

O’REILLY: Let’s just be — let’s just be regular guys instead of I’m a Catholic and you are an atheist. We’re just regular guys now, OK? You say something is a scam on a sign and then you come in here where millions of people are watching you and say that’s not an insult. What does the word "scam" mean to you?

SILVERMAN: Scam means deliberately misleading people.

. . .

O’REILLY: You know, I’ll tell you why it’s not a scam, in my opinion, all right? Tide goes in tide goes out, never a miscommunication. You cannot explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in…

SILVERMAN: Tide goes in, tide goes out?

O’REILLY: The water, the tide comes in and it goes out, Mr. Silverman. It always comes in…

SILVERMAN: Maybe it’s Thor on top of Mount Olympus who’s making the tides go in and out.

And this is where most journalists and bloggers stopped reporting. In every way they could, they mocked O’Reilly. He didn’t know, journalists marvelled, that the gravitational forces from the moon (it’s actually a bit more complicated and the sun plays a role) made the tides come in and out. O’Reilly really did seem to be ignorant about some very basic science. Silverman seemed to be the victor. But wait:

O’REILLY: No, no, but you can’t explain that.

SILVERMAN: A scam and a myth. The myth and religion are the same thing.

O’REILLY: You can’t explain it.

SILVERMAN: It doesn’t matter if I can explain it.

O’REILLY: It doesn’t?

SILVERMAN: That doesn’t mean an invisible magic man in the sky is doing that.

Silverman didn’t seem to know anything more than O’Reilly. But O’Reilly has his own show and this gave him an opportunity to try to clarify his earlier remarks: I know it’s the moon, he told everyone. But, "Where’d the moon come from?”

It was too late. The damage was done. Bloggers were having a field day. O’Reillyisms were popping up all over the Internet. On the subject of toasters, for instance: "Bread goes in, toast comes out. You can’t explain it." One of the bloggers commenting on O’Reilly’s mistake was Andrew Sullivan from The Atlantic magazine. After a blog posting, a reader wrote to him saying:

I watched his re-explanation for how the tides work (i.e. who put the moon there?) and wondered how you, as a man of faith, would counter his argument exactly.  His belief is (and I’m paraphrasing): "It requires more faith to believe this was all luck than it does to believe in God".

But Sullivan, a staunch Roman Catholic wasn’t buying it.

I do not believe that God "put the moon there". That kind of specificity, when science can easily explain how all this occurred, is not orthodox Christianity. If O’Reilly meant that there is a profound mystery about our existence and consciousness in the universe(s) that we inhabit, and that that mystery cannot be explained by science alone, I’m with him. It’s just so depressing to see Christianity represented by someone who sounds like your uncle after too many drinks at Christmas.

Perfect. I agreed completely. And it got me thinking about Shroud science: "Where’d the image come from?" Unlike the moon, we have no solid idea. Sure, there are some preliminary hypotheses. But nothing yet approaches being a theory — no specificity and no science that can easily explain how it occurred.

Why are we trying to figure it out? Merely for the sake of knowledge? Or are we trying to do more? Perhaps we want to prove the Resurrection and indeed in doing so prove that God exists; that he is not, as in Silverman’s words, "a scam?" Are we trying to leapfrog orthodoxy and eliminated mystery. Are we?

In more sane moments, I want us to figure out how the image was formed and in doing so discovering that there is no miraculous component — no light, no radiation, no loosed particles from dematerialization, no articulated chemical reaction. I want (and I personally suspect) that we will learn nothing that reduces mystery and faith when it comes to the Resurrection or the reality of God. I want us to figure out the image, but merely for the sake of knowledge.