Reprinted from SSG with permission from Joe (pictured here with Sue Benford).
Joe is a regular reader of this blog.

imageDear Researchers,

I recently saw a new book by Josh McDowell, author of Evidence That Demands a Verdict. McDowell has traditionally been skeptical of the Shroud’s authenticity. Ken Stevenson knows him and tried at one point to get McDowell to reconsider all of the evidence. McDowell’s new book is titled (as I remember) Evidences for Christianity: Historical evidences for the Christian Faith. The book is over 600 pages. And how much mention is made of the Shroud? ZERO. But I guess that since he usually makes a point to mention it to debunk it, maybe this is progress?

Speaking of books, I have an update on mine. I should be getting a shipment of books either late next week or in the 1st week of January. But t won’t be on Amazon at that point. The publisher informed me that it will take about another week or so for it to be available there (or or via any bookstore).

Yesterday, I had a short interview on the Frank Beckman show of WJR, Detroit. He seemed pretty knowledgeable on the Shroud for a radio host. One question was how can we know that it was Jesus as opposed to any other crucified victim. I pointed out that there’s no other person in history that we know who was crucified, scourged, crowned with thorns, and pierced in the side. But he emphasized my qualifier, "that we know of." Of course, we don’t have detailed records of Roman crucifixions, but what are the odds that someone else would have had that same treatment? One of the comments to the one of the media stories about the ENEA report was that many people named Jesus would have been crucified and it would be difficult to single out one from another. It is amazing what kind of comments and logic people use to discount the Shroud. I remember a woman on a documentary once saying she didn’t think it was authentic because she didn’t believe a cloth could last that long, "even under the influence of the Lord himself"!!! Not a very powerful Lord. I think it would be interesting to ask people who don’t believe the Shroud is authentic, "What exactly would convince you that the Shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus?" There would probably be as many answers as there are the number of people who are asked. Barrie has said that at one lecture he gave that one person said the Shroud was too perfect to be authentic. Barrie then asked that person if he/she would be convinced if the Shroud was less than perfect and the answer was "no." So we’re at the point where we usually are: most people are going to believe what they want to believe no matter what the evidence is. I guess this one of the reasons the Shroud is so interesting. I think that the ENEA report concluding the Shroud couldn’t have been faked might have a more powerful effect for some than saying the Shroud is authentic (of course some of the articles managed to twist the former into the latter.)

Merry Christmas to all.