Hank Hanegraaff’s latest book, “Has God Spoken?” briefly mentions the shroud (pp. 26, hardcover):
“It’s a bit hard to know what the words of the Bible mean.” says Professor Ehrman, “if we don’t even know what the words are!” If God did not bother to miraculously save the original writings (autographs), there seems to be “no reason to think that he performed the earlier miracle or inspiring those words.” Thus, the elephant in the room: all we have are copies of copies of copies with fresh errors cropping up in each stage of the copying process but no original writings!
While God could obviously have preserved the autographs, the attendant problems would have been significant. First, given the proclivities of humanity, we would no doubt have made idols out of them. In evidence, one need look no further than the Muslim veneration of Adam’s white stone—enshrined within the Great Mosque of Mecca—that is now allegedly black through the absorption of the sins of multiplied millions of pilgrims.
Furthermore, how would we determine the originals to be the original? Think Shroud of Turin. Even in an age of highly advanced technology there is no certainty that this is the original burial cloth that shrouded the face of Christ? Moreover, who would control the originals—Jesuits, rabbis, imams? would they keep it under glass in the Vatican or enshrined on Temple Mount in the Muslim Dome of the Rock? Perhaps parchment would take precedence over practice, form over faith.
Hanegraaff says nothing more except in a brief chapter footnote:
See the fascinating work in this area by Gary Habermas, “The Shroud of Turin and Its Significance for Biblical Studies,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, http://works.bepress.com/gary_habermas/1; and “Historical Epistemology, Jesus’s Resurrection, and the Shroud of Turin, and http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/habermas.pdf
Not many people read footnotes. Even so, this footnote, addressed to scholars and researchers, adds significant credence. Gary Habermas is highly regarded.