History Remembered: The First International Conference on the Deliverance of Jesus Christ from the Cross

Zia H. Shah, today, in The Muslim Times blog reports on some history from 1978, the year of STURP:

imageHeld at the Commonwealth Institute
Kensington High Street, Kensington, London

On June 2nd through 4th, 1978

The First International Conference on the Deliverance of Jesus Christ from the Cross attracted more than 1,500 researchers from all over the world. This Conference was organized by The Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, UK and was attended by Ahmadis, Christians, Buddhists and members of other faiths. The conference was addressed by the Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Nasir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih III (Huzoor).

In May 1977, I read in the papers that throughout the year 1978 various Christian organizations would research the ‘Shroud’ and in this regard very many seminars would be held. The Holy Shroud is a sacred garment in which Jesus Christ was wrapped after he had been taken off the cross. This sacred shroud is safely lodged in a church in Turin in Italy. It seems significant that, when it was photographed for the first time in the middle of the 19th century, someone noticed that the hands and feet had been injured and blood stains from his ribs were visible. According to the belief of the Ahmadis,this is an image of Jesus Christ. The dripping, trickling or oozing of the blood on the cloth is clear proof that when Jesus Christ was wrapped in the Shroud, his heart was still pumping and he was alive. Obviously, blood does not drip, trickle or ooze from a dead body. This is a very wide subject and very many books have been written on it.

On perusal of the reports of the Shroud in the newspapers and as the year 1978 was chosen for research I wrote to Huzoor and suggested that perhaps advantage could be taken of this happening and may the British Jamaat be permitted to hold an International Conference on the subject of: ‘The Deliverance of Jesus from the Cross’. I requested that Huzoor should also participate in the conference. Huzoor liked the proposal and granted permission for the Conference to be held and he promised to personally participate in it. He also sanctioned the necessary expenditure to be incurred in this connection. For further consultations, I was asked to visit Rabwah for a week. Accordingly, I reported at Rabwah in 1977 and in the presence of Wakeel ul Tabshir Huzoor gave me detailed instructions. He approved the proposed programme for the conference.

The statement, “Obviously, blood does not drip, trickle or ooze from a dead body,” is simply incorrect. Just the opposite is true. Fred Zugibe and other medical examiners completely disagree with the contention that there is no post-mortem blood flow. There is just less because the heart is no longer pumping. Blood does flow out of corpses due to gravity, pressure on soft tissue, and body movement.

This is old news, of course, now being repeated in The Muslim Times. Here is some information from a wikispace page maintained by some members of the Shroud Science Group (SSG):

This discussion started, when around 1950 a person called Hans Naber started to proclaim the message that Jesus did not die on the cross . . . . He reasoned this firstly by a direct message of Jesus Christ and secondly by the fact that there was too much blood on the Turin shroud and corpses do not bleed, at least not so much. Read here the whole story (in German).

Naber was very active, published several books by himself, but he was heavily battled against and has even been sentenced for fraud (2 years jail), but the German press and the church authorities simply ignored him. In 1969 the Turin Cardinal Pellegrino summoned a commission of experts, unnoticed by the public, to examine Nabers hypothesis, with the result that Naber was wrong and the man under the shroud was truly dead.

But the idea was born and others, like Holger Kersten (“Jesus lived in India”, sold in more that 1 million copies – German 1983, English 1987, “The Jesus Conspiracy” 1992/1995 or Rodney Hoare (“The Turin shroud is genuine”, 1984/94), Gerhard Kuhnke (Rom und das Grabtuch, 2004) and Helmut Felzmann (“Müssen Christen anders glauben”, 2005) continued in this paradigm.

Others like the forensic scientist Frederick Zugibe insist that the man under the shroud (Jesus) of course was dead (“The crucifixion of Jesus – A forensic inquiry”, 2005).

Source: The First International Conference on the Deliverance of Jesus Christ from the Cross