Calling Every Shroud Expert on the Planet

Vincent Ruello writes:

imageIn 2009 I developed a light filtration sytem which is highly advanced though simple in technique. 10 days ago I used it on the Shroud eyes which now reveal clear 3 d images of carved stones not Roman coins. These 3 d images of these stones prove the Shroud is not a painted work of art as well as disproving the 113 year old mystery about the coins which never made sense. My work which will soon be scrutinised by every Shroud expert on the planet is viewable at the link I posted youtube channel Vinny Pop. Enter my channel its the main clip visible.

Please print this and talk to me I will answer any questions sincerely this is the biggest news in Shroud research in 113 years and all we all want is the truth and I have revealed it and solved the mystery of the supposed coins.

Vincent, I looked at the video. I don’t see what I think you want me to see. It is 12 seconds long and very shaky. On the YouTube site, you wrote:

I do not understand the actual physics of the new filming technique I have discovered but what is of paramount importance is that 2 three dimensional objects have been identified on the eyes as real images of carved stones which prove that the Shroud is not a painted work of art.

As an “amateur . . . scientist” you certainly know that other scientists must be able to reproduce your results. You may “not understand the actual physics of the new filming technique,” as you state over at YouTube – that’s okay – but you must provide sufficient detail of your “filming technique” to allow others to obtain the same results and to discern the “actual physics.” It is an essential part of science, as you know.

Your statement that your film technique is “provan and true as he [meaning you, presumably] has also used the technique on the famous and mysterious photograph of the Lady of Light apparitions of Mary, in Zeitoun, Egypt,” is interesting but must of course be scientifically verified. It’s not a matter of trust but a matter of peer review.

I recommend that you write a detailed paper with the idea of eventually sending it to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Send it to me, first if you like and I’ll look at it. I might have some questions or suggestions. One question comes to mind, now. You say your technique is dependent on “finding the exact degree of the window of light.” What do you mean by degree? Intensity, angular or diffused to what degree, temperature, etc. How is it measured? Why window light?

Be aware, I will be a tough critic. I don’t think there is sufficient data in the images to discern coins, stones or any object by any technique, whatsoever. I’m open to being proven wrong.

Your paper must be comprehensive enough to allow someone else to duplicate your results. This is the only way that your “work which will soon be scrutinised by every Shroud expert on the planet.”

Thoughts for a Sunday Morning: Where Have All the Skeptics Gone

imageLate last night, one a web-based discussion forum called Christian Forums someone named SeekingTheKingdom began a discussion thread, first by quoting from John 20:7 and then adding a couple of loaded questions. The underlining, bolding and misspelling is his:

John 20:7 "And the napkin(face cloth) that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths(body cloths), but apart, wrapped up into one place."

So why Does the Church keep up the Lie? Its not just The RC either…Protestants beleive it.

So what is the truth?

A lively discussion followed. Check it out, at least read the first three comments by JoabAnias.

Yesterday I got an email from a reader, which read in part:

There are various opinions and researches of the shroud of Turin. Some people say that it is the genuine and some that it is the fake and the hoax. The fact is that the shroud of Turin doesn’t present Jesus of the Bible. If we can find even one evidence, which disprove the shroud of Turin theory, so the whole story shall be invalidated. We can find a large number of evidence from the Bible, which show that the shroud of Turin cannot be the shroud of the Lord Jesus.

The letter went on the say, “Certainly God would not be complicit in creating a graven image and if you persist in your whore of Babylon ways then you are complicit.”

Why do I get the feeling this person just discovered the word complicit in his copy of “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power?”

He went on to quote John 20:7, as well; and then to remind me that Paul said Jesus did not have long hair. It is amazing how some Biblical literalists get the literalism all wrong.

Lately most of the doubters of the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity have been Christian fundamentalists. At least that seems true from the emails I get and the blogs I read. Where have all the skeptics gone: the Intellectual Atheists, Secular Humanists, Free Thinkers, Rationalists and Brights gone?

The distinction between doubter and skeptic is important for skepticism implies a questioning attitude. There are exceptions. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince come to mind. And Joe Nickell. But they are fundamentalists of another kind, aren’t they?

Dan Scavone on Two Lines in Many Coins and More

Dan Scavone writes:

In the many copies of the Shroud face we find numerous similarities that point to the Shroud as the Ur-origin of them all.  I have to think that 2 curvy creases at the Shroud man’s neck is too striking to be merely random when we see them as a garment seam of several copies of JC’s face. 

Does anybody agree with this?

I do, even though I called it speculative. What I wrote was:

I think it is speculative to think they are copied from the shroud. Even so, there is a seemingly very strong coincidence. And the coin maker would probably not have known of the full length naked body on the shroud. Perhaps he saw it as a garment neckline on the shroud.

If I had had my morning coffee I would have emphasized the thought in the last sentence. My good friend Prof. Scavone is certainly right.

Crosses and Qurans in Tahrir Square

Crosses and Qurans raised together this past week in Cairo’s Tahrir Square:


More on Two Coins, Two Lines, Two Questions

A reader writes:

imageFirst of all when specifying the date of a Justinian II or most any Byzantine coin, you should always say circa. You might have more than one issue in any given approximate year. Nobody knows for sure how many different coins were produced during JII’s two reigns. The two issues you show don’t seem to be the same one used by Whanger in his analysis. I’ve attached a copy of that one and also an interesting one, ca. 705, with very strange hair. Jesus is on the obverse and the emperor is on the reverse. If you want to see more examples, just google for images with JUSTINIAN II COINS.

imageAccording to Philip Grierson, “Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and Whittemore Collection, the likeness of the Christ from Justinian coins was taken from the  the Golden Pavilion, the emperor’s throne room. You as much as say so on one of your websites.

I do. I also say, on that very same page, that we don’t know exactly when the Golden Pavilion (the Chrysotriclinos) was built and we don’t know anything about the original image of Christ. The original image was reportedly replaced at a later date. It is possible that the first pavilion image was created about the time that the St. Catherine Pantocrator was painted, about A.D. 550, and we might speculate, therefore,  that it and the icon were both inspired by the Image of Edessa, which is probably the Shroud of Turin.  The historical problem is that we don’t have enough information.

Yes, that is a completely different looking hair on Jesus. Interesting! I notice the double lines (a garment neckline, perhaps) is also found on this coin.

Two Coins, Two Lines, Two Questions

imageA recent YouTube video by Ben Wiech examines the similarities between the face of Jesus on a Justinian II coin from A.D. 692 and the Shroud of Turin. Wiech thinks it is proof that the carbon dating is wrong. I think that is a bit strong. I think it is evidentiary, but not proof. For me the closest thing to proof is the evidence of mending demonstrated by Rogers and discussed frequently in this blog (see The Big Carbon Dated Mistake: Shroud of Turin and the Scientific Quest for God)

Wiech points out many similarities. I agree with him. But he fails to point out one similarity that gets mentioned quite frequently. Notice the double line on the neck on the image from the shroud. This is caused by creases in the fabric. Now notice the double line on the neck on the coin images below. Question 1: Are the lines on the coins copied from the shroud or is this simply a neckline of a garment?

I don’t know. I think it is speculative to think they are copied from the shroud. Even so, there is a seemingly very strong coincidence. And the coin maker would probably not have known of the full length naked body on the shroud. Perhaps he saw it as a garment neckline on the shroud.

Question 2: Two coins? The one resting on a piece of cloth, according to Wiech (and many others) is a Justinian II coin from A. D. 692. The one on a white background, according to Princeton University’s Curator of Numismatics, Alan Stahl, is a Justinian II coin from A. D. 692 acquired by Princeton in 2009. They do appear similar, strikingly so. But they are also very different. image


The Question of Cotton in the Shroud of Turin’s Yarn

Diana Fulbright, historian, biblical exegete and Shroud scholar, responds to Jabba’s question about John Lupia’s claim:

In his description of his remnant fragment of TS cutting, Jull says it contains cotton fibers.  “The presence of a few cotton fibers is not unusual. It is possible cotton fibers are present from wrapping the textile in a cotton cloth, a practice that is still used in textile storage. It is also possible that processing of the fibers or the loom contained remnants of cotton fibers, which contaminated the shroud. We can also state that the linen fibers observed in this study have only low levels of contamination by a few cotton fibers, consistent with the original observations on the shroud (e.g. Raes 1976) that there are a few cotton fibers on (or in) the shroud.”  Jull’s comment re loom, etc. is consistent with Raes’ suggestion – “It would appear that the linen threads were spun using the same equipment on which cotton was spun.”   So this is not “pretty damning.” 

BTW, Rogers’ statement in his Thermochimica Acta paper that “the main part of the shroud” does not contain cotton fibers needs to be corroborated.

In a separate email to me, Diana adds:

As usual, Lupia has adroitly changed the nuance of Raes’ comment, which was (very reasonably) suggestive or speculative, by stating “since the linen was spun in context… etc.” as if this were a fact, rather than an inference.

* Microscope photograph is of a cotton fiber in the Raes corner taken by Ray Rogers.

John Lupia Claim Resurfaces: Cotton Throughout?

imageJabba notes that according to John Lupia writing a comment in this blog:

Gilbert Raes published several times that the linen threads of the main cloth of the Shroud of Turin contain traces of cotton fibers since the linen was spun in context with cotton at the time the threads were manufactured. Consequently, on authentic specimens of the Shroud of Turin used to test we expect to find linen and cotton, and the cotton is not a rogue fiber but one that should be found as per Raes.

Jabba adds, “This is pretty damning. Is it true?”

Quote of the Day: Why Stupidity Wins

A commenter responding to another commenter in Outside the Beltway: Why Stupidity Wins

I’ll try to type slower next time so you have a chance of understanding the point.

Email of the Day: Only a New York Zoo could think of this

Joe Nickell maybe, or PZ Myers.image

Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever.

Limited-time Valentine’s Day offer:

Can’t decide on what to get that special someone for Valentine’s Day? Sometimes the answer is all around us, and right where it’s been for millions of years—like cockroaches! How better to express your appreciation for that special someone than to name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after them?

Naming a roach in honor of someone near and dear to your heart shows that you’ve noticed how resilient, resourceful, and loyal that person is. Or maybe it’s in recognition of your one and only’s virility, or strength in the face of high radiation. You’re not afraid to say, "Baby, you’re a roach!"

But not just any roach….He or she is a Madagascar hissing roach, the biggest and loudest of these stalwart insects. WCS’s Bronx Zoo has 58,000 of these brown, iridescent beauties, and they need names. With a $10 donation, one of them can be named by you. How sweet!

We’ll send a truly memorable certificate of honor to that certain someone explaining that there’s a special insect living at the Bronx Zoo with his or her name on it.

Bronx Zoo: Name a Roach

When The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Outside the Beltway all mention the Shroud of Turin on the same day

imageIn the current edition of The New Yorker (February 14), Adam Gopnik writes in How the Internet Gets Inside Us

But, if cognitive entanglement exists, so does cognitive exasperation. Husbands and wives deny each other’s memories as much as they depend on them. That’s fine until it really counts (say, in divorce court). In a practical, immediate way, one sees the limits of the so-called “extended mind” clearly in the mob-made Wikipedia, the perfect product of that new vast, supersized cognition: when there’s easy agreement, it’s fine, and when there’s widespread disagreement on values or facts, as with, say, the origins of capitalism, it’s fine, too; you get both sides. The trouble comes when one side is right and the other side is wrong and doesn’t know it. The Shakespeare authorship page and the Shroud of Turin page are scenes of constant conflict and are packed with unreliable information. Creationists crowd cyberspace every bit as effectively as evolutionists, and extend their minds just as fully. Our trouble is not the over-all absence of smartness but the intractable power of pure stupidity, and no machine, or mind, seems extended enough to cure that.

Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic, echoing Gopnik by calling the whole thing The Power of Pure Stupidity, brings this to our attention, including much of the above paragraph (just in case we don’t read The New Yorker) and tells us that James Joyner of Outside the Beltway also adds (after repeating much of the above paragraph):

It’s probably the single most frustrating thing about blogging: Even long-settled facts are still subject to “debate,” and it’s now easier than ever to link to “authoritative” accounts “proving” things that are wildly wrong.

So the big question is this: Am I on the side that is right or on the side that is wrong but doesn’t know it? No need for cognitive exasperation, though. Trust me. I’m right. I’m not stupid. Just accept it.

BTW: The Wikipedia page on the Shroud of Turin is indeed packed with unreliable information. And I’ve seen information on this page change in radical ways three or four times in a single day.

How the Internet Gets Inside Us : The New Yorker

Rewriting History and the Shroud of Turin

imageAdam. Your blog, Grey turning blue, is interesting and well written. I will need to explore it more.

I note that you just read an article in the New Yorker that you found interesting. Indeed, the article by Lawrence Wright, “Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology,” is not only interesting, it is potentially a major blow to Scientology. You, however, found the article interesting because “the topic,” as you put it, “could have easily been replaced with another topic and still been true.” As you wrote: 

If you read the following, what would you think the author is talking about?

[His] material must be and is applied precisely as written," Davis said. "It’s never altered. It’s never changed. And there probably is no more heretical or more horrific transgression that you could have in the [X] religion than to alter the [writings]

Davis is referring to scientology that has only been around since 1953. When Christianity was this new, we don’t even know for sure what writings existed; the canon of the New Testament did not really start to evolve until more than 200 years after Jesus’ death. In 367, Athanasius presented his list of 27 books in what he called the canonical list. This list was finally approved at the Synod of Hippo in 393. Scholars generally agree that in the years leading up to then and since, the writings have been “altered” or “corrected” numerous times. I would hardly say it was heretical or a horrific transgression, though some fundamentalist Christians deny it and do think it would be horrific. They would agree with Davis if he wasn’t a scientologist.

And, as we now know, Hubbard’s (Scientology’s) writings have been changed. And based on what Lawrence Wright discovered, only in some of the newer editions; history was selectively rewritten.

But that isn’t what I really want to disagree with. You wrote: 

For those of you who ARE religious (I will pose a Catholic hypothetical), . . . In reading this article, those were the questions I asked myself as the parallels kept mounting. Re-writing of history (Catholicism: We never condemned Galileo or killed anyone during the Crusades. . . The list goes on, but these are just two examples). The disbelief by practitioners in clear, tangible evidence that could possible cause the slightest doubt in a small tenet of belief (see Catholic devotion to the Shroud of Turin, an obvious hoax that is not even canonical or Church approved, but which most every Catholic will defend because to cast doubt would begin to pull a single thread of the fabric of belief).

I cannot disagree in stronger terms. The church bungled the handling of Galileo and amended their attitude over the years. But they did not rewrite history, at least not in any significant way that I can see. In 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret and acknowledged the errors committed by the Catholic Church. You can’t do that and rewrite history. As for your comment about the crusades, can you provide a source for that claim?

As for the Shroud of Turin, you need to understand that as a relic that might be apologetically significant, that has only been the case since 1898. There was plenty of faith without it before then and there is plenty of faith without needing to know about it since. In fact, I have never met a Catholic (or Anglican or Presbyterian or Baptist or whatever type of Christian) who feels that if he or she were to be convinced that it was a fake that it would “pull a single thread of the fabric or [their] belief.” I know plenty of Catholics and other Christians who do not believe it is real. Moreover I know Jews and other non-Christians and at least one Atheist who think the shroud is, in fact, genuine, given the latest scientific and historical evidence. I’m also amazed at how many Christians I meet, including Catholics, who have never heard of the Shroud of Turin.

Adam, the rewriting of history is a terrible thing when it happens. It happens all the time, both inside and outside of the church (think Texas inspired textbooks). But the examples you give are probably not valid. You can try to change my mind. I’ll listen. And thanks for listening to me.

See Adam’s blog Grey turning Blue…: the baby of religions

What we need is a Shroud of Turin app for the iPhone

B&B writes:

LOL. No iPhone app has garnered so much attention in the blogosphere since Angry Birds as has Confession. What we need is a Shroud of Turin app.

imageElizabeth Scalia, the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos, and a columnist at First Things has reservations. She writes in The Anchoress:

My fear, though is that rather than encourage people into the confessional, the app will make it seem unnecessary . Regardless of how many times the app-writers insist that the thing is not meant to “replace” confession, our natures tend to choose the path of least resistance. It is not inconceivable (in fact, it is quite conceivable) that for a Catholic who has been away from confession for a while — one who perhaps has forgotten the powerful psychological and spiritual cleansing effect of speaking one’s sins aloud, or has never understood the value of the graces the sacrament imparts — the app may very well end up feeling like the convenient “middle ground” between not going to confession or going with reluctance.

For Catholics who are poorly catechized, poorly trained in the faith, this app seems to me to be one of those irresistible shiny objects that, when grabbed, proves to be a double-edged sword.

The NY Daily News has a front page headline that reads,

Holy App! Catholic Church okays new confession app for iPhone.

CNN’s lede reads:

image(CNN) — Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been 300 tweets since my last confession.

Whether you’ve been "borrowing" free Wi-Fi or coveting your neighbor’s avatar — or, heaven forbid, something worse — a new mobile app is designed to help you atone for it.

Shroud of Turin app? I can’t imagine what it would do.

An Approved Roman Catholic Confession App for iPhone and iPad

imageAnd it only costs $1.99. We notice from the icons on the screenshot below that the confessional being used has excellent WiFi as well as a power outlet or USB port for charging the iPhone.  Note, too, the ability to add customized sins and the ability to share one iPhone among many sinners. This is powerful stuff.

Next, an app to help us figure out if the Shroud of Turin is the real deal.

Here is the scoop from iTunes. And here is a BBC Story about the app:

Designed to be used in the confessional, this app is the perfect aid for every penitent With a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance. Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find Confession: A Roman Catholic App to be a useful and inviting tool.

The text of this app was developed in collaboration with Rev. Thomas G. Weinandy, QFM, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Rev. Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, IN. The app received an imprimatur from Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. It is the first known imprimatur to be given for an iPhone/iPad app.

– Custom examination of Conscience based upon age, sex, and vocation (single, married, priest or religious)
– Multiple user support with password protected accounts
– Ability to add sins not listed in standard examination of conscience
– Confession walkthrough including time of last confession in days, weeks, months, and years
– Choose from 7 different acts of contrition
– Custom interface for iPad
– Full retina display support


A Fair Dissent on PZ Myers: “he’s more than a fair bit of a twit”


Gurdur reacts to what I wrote about PZ Myers:

I’ld say you guys (clergy and other believer bloggers) really have problems understanding what someone like PZ Myers is really like, or how he thinks, judging from many of the comments I’ve seen about PZ Myers recently. It seems an inability to understand where a general member of the public is coming from.

Various points:

– I wouldn’t in your place over-estimate "factions" among atheists. There is only one split among atheists that really matters, and because by and largely atheists are not formally organized, and atheism is largely a very loose mass phenomenon and not an organization, that essential split is often concealed by all sorts of things. Nonetheless, the split does not affect much of the overall atheist critique of religion, though it does affect very much what one wants to do about religion.

– PZ Myers doesn’t really "hate". He sneers, gets defensive, has a bit of an inferiority complex hidden away there, and in my very personal opinion after knowing him for over 10 years, he’s more than a fair bit of a twit. Nonetheless, he doesn’t (usually) "hate". He despises, grandstands, trivializes, postures, etc., and sometimes on rare occasions he actually shows some genuine feeling (and gets almost likeable on those occasions). But he by and large does not "hate", and the atheists making comments about him hating on atheists this time round are far more betraying their own agitprop angle and their own inferioity complexes than saying anything real about PZ.

– yes, a lot of it is ego. But it wouldn’t be successful unless it was tapping into a general public mood. And dealing with that public mood genuinely is essential for clergy and believers such as yourself; but that precisely is what will not happen for the most part.

Fair enough. You know him. I don’t. But it was Myers who was making a big deal about Atheist factions.

CNN’s Faithy Reporting

CNN is starting to use the word “faithy” quite a bit:

imageFrom rejected religiously-themed TV ads to players kneeling in prayer, Super Bowl XLV had no shortage of faithy moments.

imageAnd, just this morning CNN headlined a story, “7 faithy companies (besides Chick-fil-A)” on their home page. 

Being something of a faithy, myself, I have easily spotted “faithy politics” and “faithy twittering” recently. Seems they need to do something about their faithy lingo. See The Super Bowl’s faithy moments – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs

NASA scientist to give talk on the Shroud of Turin at Wells Anglican Cathedral this Easter

imageIf you will be in England during the last half of April, you will want to make it to Somerset (3 hours east of London) to see The Mystery of the Shroud – an Exhibition for Easter, to be held in the Chapter House at Wells Anglican Cathedral from April 16 to 28. Former NASA scientist Ed Prior will be giving two talks in the Wells Museum. The first will be on Joseph of Arimathea, on April 20, and on second on the Shroud of Turin on April 22. 

Historian Juliet Faith, who organized the exhibit, is quoted as saying:

imageI am absolutely delighted and most grateful that the Dean and Chapter have agreed to hosting this exhibition, which will give people an insight into probably the most remarkable artefact of all time.

The shroud is a 14ft long piece of bloodstained linen cloth, bearing the shadowy imprint both front and back, of a bearded, crucified man, laid out in death.

It is without doubt the most studied artefact on the planet, but still science cannot tell us how it came to be.

Many believe that the shroud is the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. In modern times controversy has raged around it, both in the church and scientific world.

In the 1980s a carbon 14 dating suggested that the shroud was a medieval forgery, but recent findings have shown that the carbon 14 dating was flawed.

New and startling discoveries point to the fact that the shroud may indeed date to the 1st century: and so the mystery deepens.

It would not have been possible for me to put on this exhibition without the help of Barrie Schwartz and Pam Moon.

Barrie Schwartz was the last person allowed to photograph the shroud in the 1970s when he was part of the 1970s’ Shroud of Turin research project. This was the only time that the Vatican have allowed scientists unrestricted access to the cloth.

The incredible images in the exhibition are all photographs taken by Barrie, and will also include a full size reproduction of the shroud printed on cotton, as well as artifacts such as Roman crucifixion nails.

Pam, who is a vicar’s wife, will be bringing the exhibition to Wells from her parish near Birmingham.

The exhibition is for believers and non-believers alike, look at the images, read the information. Stop and think. Look into your heart. Then decide for yourself.

Full article: A former NASA scientist who has studied the Turin Shroud will be revealing compelling evidence about its provenance in mid-Somerset this Easter.

Did Jesus Exist?

imageMark Shea, as always, doesn’t disappoint us in this treatment of the persistent silly question: Did Jesus Exist? Writing in the National Catholic Register, he suggests:

For a good treatment of this silly fad among New Atheists and their socially inept acolytes (who do not understand normal social and affective cues and who therefore can’t conceive of how normal people function in their normal social and emotional interactions: thus blocking them from realizing how absurd this theory is on its face), I suggest this fine series by James Hannam here, here, here, and here.

He also gives us a fantastic example of how conspiracy theory works.

The problem with the ridiculous theorizing behind the Jesus Myth is that you can use it to “prove” that JFK never existed. . . .

If you read nothing else in this article read the full paragraph from which this last sentence was taken. But the article isn’t long. Two more sips of coffee is enough to read the whole article: Did Jesus Exist?

Paper Chase: A Clean Cloth by Diana Fulbright

Jabba wrote:

image– First off, I’m not sure how this blogging thing works, but I can use some help from people who know a lot about the Shroud of Turin — and, from what I’ve read so far, you guys know a lot.  I have some questions.
– I read somewhere that the proper Jewish shroud in the first century would have been wrapped around the body like the wrapping of a mummy.  Somewhere else, I read that the wrapping displayed by the Shroud of Turin was the proper way.  But, I can’t remember where I read either one…  I’m getting pretty old.
– Which is it?  And, where can I find a good citation.
– Thanks.

I recommend starting with an excellent paper by Diana Fulbright: “A Clean Cloth: What Greek Word Usage Tells Us about the Burial Wrappings of Jesus” I think you will find the answers you seek in this paper – from which the above graphic was taken. I will ask others and hopefully we may have some additional suggestions for you.

The Not-So-Typical So-Called-Typical Shroud of Akeldamà

domenico in a response to Professor Lombatti, nails it with good logic over at The Bible and Interpretation:

imageFrom a 2009’s National Geographic article about the Akeldamà Shroud in wich is interwieved Prof. Gibson, the discoverer of the Akeldamà Shroud:

1)"In all of the approximately 1,000 tombs from the first century A.D. which have been excavated around Jerusalem, not one fragment of a shroud had been found" until now, said archaeologist Shimon Gibson. "We really hit the jackpot".

– So the typical burial shroud of the first century is an unique "jackpot". I would know his statistical significance.

Mati Milstein indeed writes: "Assuming the new shroud typifies those used in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, the researchers maintain that the Shroud of Turin could not have originated in the city. That’s perhaps a big assumption [sic!], given that there are no other known shrouds from the same place and time for comparison".

2) "Both the tomb’s location and the textile offer evidence for the apparently elite status of the corpse, he added. The way the wool in the shroud was spun indicates it had been imported from elsewhere in the Mediterranean—something a wealthy Jerusalem family from this period would likely have done".

– So the "typical" shroud was imported! Someone (i.e. A. Gorski) says that this family was connected with Greece, wich makes the shroud even less typical.

3)"The newfound shroud was something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles, the study found. The Shroud of Turin, by contrast, is made of a single textile woven in a complex twill pattern, a type of cloth not known to have been available in the region until medieval times, Gibson said".

– That is a bit strange: Gibson says that the Akeldamà Shroud is imported from elsewere but when he speaks about the Turin Shroud he can not think that also it could be imported (we know complex twills from Syria, Egypt and also Europe).

Prof. Lombatti, I do not have to agree or disagree with the distinguished scholars you mention but I consider totally arbitrary that the Shroud of Akeldamà is presented to the public as the typical Jewish first-century shroud considering all the uniquenesses that the discoverer Prof. Gibson must admit.

Idiotic Shroud of Turin Quote of the Year

imageCorrection: A reader writes: “The letters from Walter McCrone to Joe Marino are priceless. If I can vote for an idiotic quote of the year, this is it:”

Everything I have read or heard from Ian Wilson, Max Frei, John Jackson, William Meacham, Alan Adler, Baima Bollone, Alan Whanger, Leoncio Garza-Valdez, et al., is contradicted by my findings. How can I explain how only I could be right and dozens of other "scientists" be wrong? Very simply, none of them are chemical microscopists, small particle microanalysts, nor have they studied the Shroud tapes against a background of familiarity with pigments, media and artist’s paintings. If I am right, then all of their ideas are wrong and I am right.

— Walter McCrone

Real Face of Jesus Is Getting More and More Popular

This show is now available in its entirety on at least 3 warez sites. That’s not a surprise. But why? You can download a perfectly acceptable legal copy of the full show for $3.95 at iTunes.  And if you must have a DVD, is 24.95 (less at Amazon) too much for such an outstanding show.

If you have an Amazon Video account, which is free, and a TIVO or Google TV setup (or for that matter any computer on a broadband connections) you can watch the entire show without commercial interruption for $1.95. Is that too much to pay to not cheat with a warez download.

You can watch it this Wednesday on History International. Check local listings. On the East Coast it will be shown at 10:00 pm. If you need a free copy, record it on your DVR.

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