Helmut Felzmann, a member of the Shroud Science Group, writes:
I want to inform you that there are 2 new ebooks from me available on Amazon (later also on other platforms in ePub-format) :
(1) ebook1: "Resurrected or Revived – Why the Turin Shroud puts the Core of Pauline Christianity in Question"
(2) ebook2: "In Search of the "Real God" – Beyond Pauline Christianity"
They are volume 1 and volume 2 of the book series "New Light on Jesus", which is available as paperback.
Links are always US (Amazon.com)
ebook1 deals only with the Shroud and has 2 reasonably updated chapters:
The History of the Shroud and the Portrayal of Jesus : This refers to the relations between the TS and the portrayals of Jesus in the 4th century before the "image of edessa" became the standard for all portrayals of Jesus in the Byzantine Empire.
Fraud on the Turin Shroud – the C14-dating fiasco: The statement is now unambigous, the evidence allows no other conclusion.
Yes these ebooks are no models for mainstream "Shroud-convictions" but the result of my more than 35 years of study of the shroud and the results of shroud research.
Ebook2 is initially the result of my own spiritual struggle with the main outcome of the research, namely that as far as humanly possible to tell Jesus has survived his crucifixion.
You must now that in my twenties I have been a strong traditional Christian believer and a member of a Pentecostal church, a branch from the US. The Shroud has been for me a kind of proof for the core of my belief that Jesus supernaturaly rose from the death and that the image was the result of a kind of energy-flash during the resurrection.
My insight 1999 that only a living body can cause such an image was first a kind of shock for me; but indeed it only accompanied a paradigm-shift, which was already occurring during this time in my thinking. And this paradigm-shift again was the consequence of the process of overcoming an extreme traumatic experience which took place in the first months of my life. A long story, which I do not want to bore you with. The result is that I (originally an MBA and business administrator of an IT-company) became ultimately a therapist myself (www.hfelzmann.de) .
Therefore I humbly feel that I have something to say in the area of science, religion, spirituality and psychology / psychotherapy.
Of course also German versions are available – here are the links at Amazon.de:
Auferstanden oder aufgestanden? : http://www.amazon.de/Auferstanden-aufgestanden-paulinischen-Christentums-ebook/dp/B006K0PYE6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1326053205&sr=8-2
Auf der Suche nach dem "wirklichen Gott" : http://www.amazon.de/Suche-nach-wirklichen-Gott-ebook/dp/B006NKRHES/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1326053205&sr=8-6
Neues Licht auf Jesus: http://www.amazon.de/Neues-Licht-Jesus-%C3%BCberraschenden-Erkenntnissen/dp/300028463X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326053205&sr=8-1
Even a french version is available – the french ebook contains both volumes but concerning ebook1 an older version:
Nouvelle Lumière sur Jésus: http://www.amazon.fr/Nouvelle-Lumi%C3%A8re-sur-J%C3%A9sus-ebook/dp/B006KTKACS/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1326053367&sr=8-5
An update for all printed books is available as PDF in English and German. If you have the paperback-book or the french ebook just contact me and I mail to you the update-pdf at no cost. The paperback in french will be available soon at Amazon.fr but of course you can directly receive it from me together with the update. A french translation of the update is intended.
ebook1 (shroud) has no digital rights management, so that it can be easily converted into PDF and printed (e.g. via calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/)
An ebook can be updated at any time. So if you read it and find something which is objectively wrong please inform me and I will check and update the text if necessary.
I consider Helmut a friend and disagree with him on just about everything, particularly his views on Swoon Theory, image creation, and the carbon dating of the shroud. Though I may disagree, I recommend reading his books as I do recommend reading everything about the shroud. Make up your own mind.
This statement is completely absurd and should not be led in consideration. It only repeats Muslim beliefs about Jesus. Even a normal and healthy man would die as soon as the brutal flagellation was done, due to the massive loss of blood and fluids. We have still the physical effort of walking toward the Golgota, the great difficulty of breathing on the cross, and the ultimate spear in the chest, which perforated the cardiac wall via percicardium. Could someone survive at all?
I agree, of course. I have argued with Helmut for years, to no avail. We all have, I suppose. I must, however, respect his beliefs. I know he is sincere.
I have to agree with Tersio’s statement and I realize Mr. Felzmann has the right to his opinion, but his opinion can and IS completely wrong!. It seems he has decided to refute all medical studies by no less then three world renowned forensic pathologists, which state this man depicted on the Shroud was “definitely dead”. One needs only look at the side wound to recognize this, as it shows quite clear blood flow, but most importantly a watery flow most certainly that of pericardial fluid from the pleural cavity…this is a certain “POSTMORTEM WOUND”, if the “shock” from the scourging, beating, nail wounds, head wounds and loss of blood weren’t enough!! The Shroud itself also shows no signs of resuscitation; exhale gases from the mouth or nose area for instance or any ‘distortion’ from movement caused by inhaling/exhaling….again I agree with Tersio; “This statement is completely obsurd”
And what about the evident signs (evident for a forensic expert of course) of rigor mortis ? For a doctor like Pierre Barbet, that was one clear sign of death.
thank you that you have posted my information. I highly appreciate your attitude towards a discussion without taboos and without censorship.
I can understand the comments very well. I just remember the moment when I first was confronted with this idea that Jesus has survived his crucifixion. I looked around in the theologian corner of a large bookstore in Dusseldorf and saw on a special table Kersten’s&Gruber’s book titled (translated) “Jesus did not die on the cross – the message of the Turin Shroud”. Instantly I became angry and decided not to deal with such nonsense-heresy. But as I was in the middle of the process of writing a book about my spiritual experiences (also with Jesus because I was still a traditional Christian believer at that time) in which also the Shroud should play a role as a kind of proof for a supernatural resurrection I decide later nevertheless to buy the book, because I thought that I have to get to know all opinions and their argumentations concerning the shroud – even the funny ones – if I want to write a book that deals also with the Shroud. After reading I had a sleepless night because instantly the evidence for this hypothesis was clear to me. Yes I had to rethink a lot concerning my world-view but today I feel much better than at the old Christian times – and my questions are answered.
Today I am not alone with my view, there are forensic experts in Spain, Great Britain and Germany, who came to the same conclusion.
That Jesus should have survived the crucifixion is a merely unbelievable idea but normal scientifically discussed in Europe. Europe is here different than the US.
I have put some further information at http://www.shroud.info
By the way, I think there are also many points we agree, like:
The Turin shroud is the genuine shroud of Jesus
We both are “fans” of the man of the Shroud (Yeshua / Jesus)
The shroud mirrors a merely unbelievable event
The shroud is a highly disputed object, mirroring the religious beliefs and world-views of the people, which deal with the shroud.
Our discussions concerning the Shroud are historically import because the shroud is significant.
This is quite a lot in shroud-research, isn’t it?
I have a few questions. My intention is not to be offensive but clarify a few things that pop into my head whenever I see this argument about Jesus surviving the crucifixion (moderator please delete this if you feel it’s too strong or offensive, thanks in advance):
If Jesus survived the crucifixion wouldn’t the shroud be literally soaked with blood (especially in the back image area) as opposed to just stained with blood in places (assuming it’s His)? If a living body made the image where’s the example of a remake? Can anyone point to a shroud image with the same properties made with a living body? Why are all these other folks who are trying to show how the shroud was faked not even seeming to explore the option to create a fake with a living body? It would seem far easier to pursue that path than taking great pains to paint linens, wash them, heat them etc etc, right? Why not just create the live human version? Or would it require the nearly impossible hurdle of actually beating the living daylights out of someone, crucifying them and lancing them or do bodies make these kinds of images by some other means? If you have to put someone through that suffering to test the result (or multiple individuals to be repeatable) I’m guessing you’re not going to get too many volunteers therefore it’s not really all that testable.
Where does one get the (implied) notion that the Vatican has kept a conspiracy alive for 2000 years? – that they knew that Jesus was alive and therefore would have been depicted as such on the shroud when it came time to carbon date the shroud. What’s the point of even contemplating carbon dating the shroud if you already know that it probably disproves resurrection and you want to cover up that fact because it ruins your whole business model? Was anyone even contemplating that the shroud showed a live man at the time? If so, was that viewpoint so prevalent that the church believed it too and felt the overriding need to publicly discredit the shroud in an elaborate plan? Why bother? If someone was aware of a conspiracy all these years wouldn’t it have made sense to accidentally let the shroud burn up in the 1532 fire or subsequently get the idea that, hey here’s a good way to get rid of the evidence maybe we need to have another accidental fire?
Do you think that the Vatican didn’t have a conspiracy and only came to realize in the 20th century that the man on the shroud was supposedly alive? If that’s the case: as a Pope or a Bishop how do you make such a sure determination that he was alive in the face of all the differing opinions regarding the living status of the man on the shroud and then take the path of covering it up? Was someone just covering all their bases? Why bother with testing the shroud in any kind of way at all if you’ve realized this before the tests were conducted? It’s not like they have to let it be tested, it’s the private property of the church and they can do whatever they want with it.
Wouldn’t the church be taking an awfully big risk, once deciding to carbon date the shroud even after determining that Jesus is depicted as alive in the image, of offering a contaminated sample that supposedly includes an invisible reweave from another century as well as original shroud material? Wouldn’t they run the risk of someone eventually discovering this? Wouldn’t it be a gamble as to what century would be returned by the carbon dating? Or was it only important that a non-first century date be returned? What do you think they might have said if a 17th or 18th century date was returned?
I consider your questions very justified and clear and not offensive at all.
+++ If Jesus survived the crucifixion wouldn’t the shroud be literally soaked with blood (especially in the back image area) as opposed to just stained with blood +++
This is one main question: do the bloodstains sustain live or death? I answer with quotes from my book (Risen or Rivived?): Of course, corpses can also “bleed” out of large wounds on the lower part of the body due to gravity. Also during transport of a corpse, the emission of blood is possible if pressure occurs in areas containing blood.
Looking very carefully at the individual bloodstains on the Shroud, one must differentiate the possible from the impossible. The late Prof. Wolfgang Bonte, former head of the Forensic Medicine Institute at the University of Dusseldorf and president of the International Organization of Forensic Scientists (IAFS) attempted to answer this question in the 1990s.
First consider the bleeding from the wound on the side (the lance thrust wound). The lower back must have lain in a puddle of blood because bloodstains spread right and left six to eight inches beyond the area covered by the image of the body.
Karl Herbst, a retired Catholic priest, wrote Professor Bonte with this information without revealing to him that the Turin Shroud was involved, in order that Bonte’s judgment would not be prejudiced. Bonte wrote back to Herbst that, according to this description, the opening of the wound on the right front chest wall was placed rather precisely on the highest point on the body, and he, Bonte, considered a spontaneous post-mortem blood flow unthinkable because the blood level in the wound would have to have been lower than the opening of the wound. In such a case, no blood can flow out of a corpse.
On the contrary, a blood flow in the proportions described by you, including the direction of the flow, would agree with the idea that the individual involved was still alive at this time . . . this applies especially then, when larger arterial vessels are opened and when the blood pressure produces the necessary pressure against gravity for the blood to leave the body.
Herbst then revealed to Bonte that the matter involved was the Shroud of Turin and provided photographs and specialist literature for him in which the blood flows on the Shroud had been described in connection with a corpse. Above all, Herbst made Bonte aware of the argumentation of the Italian medical examiner Prof. Ballone, who had declared that “the cause [of the exit of blood on the shroud] is to be sought in the manipulation of the corpse during the burial procedures.” Professor Bonte, however, maintained his opinion and wrote back to Herbst: I will not repeat my earlier arguments. In my opinion, everything speaks to the fact that the blood circulation activity had not yet ended. Obviously I agree with Prof. Ballone that in the course of the transport of a corpse blood can flow almost passively out of such a stab wound to the chest. Yet one has to pose the question of whether the burial shroud was wrapped around the corpse already at the beginning of the transport. I believe that in this case no so-called statically stain-pattern would have been formed, which without exception permitted a direct, topographical assignment to a lying body. I would then far more have expected numerous traces of smears, whose locations would have been strewn more coincidental and irregularly. The pattern that is in fact recognizable indicates, in my opinion, that the person involved was only wrapped in the shroud during the placement in his grave, and indeed very probably in the form that at first the body was bedded on the shroud and the shroud’s other half was then drawn over the body. I cannot imagine that during this placement a considerable quantity of blood could have flowed out passively.
+++If a living body made the image where’s the example of a remake? +++ There this “liverpool image”, and image of the hand and the buttocks of a man, found on the matrass after he had died. Different chemistry yes, but a clear image, made by a living, warm body.
+++Why are all these other folks who are trying to show how the shroud was faked not even seeming to explore the option to create a fake with a living body? +++
There are few attempts, but I think this scenario is too unbelievable and also a taboo for Christian believers. I have made experiments with a temperature-sensitive camera. Kersten one with aloe and mhyrr.
+++I’m guessing you’re not going to get too many volunteers therefore it’s not really all that testable +++ Yes this is one of the problems. I think the chemistry is very important (the sweat of a cruelly treated person has a certain chemistry. We also to not know, which ointments etc. have been used, chemistry on the linnen threads etc.
The “living body image formation hypothesis” is partly based on the work of Rogers: chemicals from the body-sweat and other substances react with e.g. starch on the linin fibers. But Rogers can not explain the high resolution of the image. Here energy coming out of the body is necessary. Body heat is the only natural energy coming out of the body necessary. Body heat (infra red) projects a thermal image onto the shroud (the lower the distance between body and cloth the higher the temperature and the chemical process follows the temperature (the higher the temperature the faster the process) and thus materializes the temperature image: the lower the distance between body and cloth the more image substance has formed and the darker is the image. That’s what we perceive on the shroud.
+++ Where does one get the (implied) notion that the Vatican has kept a conspiracy alive for 2000 years? +++
no conspiracy, an error! The desciples surely believed in something supernatural: they saw Jesus hanging liveless on the cross, his burial, what else should the believe than that he must have been death, no reason to question this. It is the same with us, when we look at the shroud: a horrible injured body, a grave cloth, why question that the person was dead. Only a few people knew, and they kept their secret because they were in life danger. The Romans surely would crucify all helpers of a confounded crucifixion.
+++Do you think that the Vatican didn’t have a conspiracy and only came to realize in the 20th century that the man on the shroud was supposedly alive?+++
The idea that the shroud covered a living person came up the first time in the 1950 in postware Germany by a man called Naber. in 1969 the Turinese Cardinal Pellegrino convened a commission of experts, unnoticed by the public, to test Naber’s hypothesis with the Shroud at hand. The result was as expected: “The Man under the Shroud had really been dead, and Naber is wrong with his claim.” But the idea had been launched into the modern world, and later authors came to the same conclusion.
Turin knew. I think it is not so important what the clerics beliefed themselfs about this idea, the point is that conservative clerics perceive the shroud as dangerous as it could mislead (in their eys) people to believe something, which can only be horrible to them.
But the main point is: what is the evidence for a fraudulent exchange of the samples. Is it sufficient the assume fraud? I think so.
+++Wouldn’t the church be taking an awfully big risk, once deciding to carbon date the shroud +++ I think it is not approbriate to speak from “the church”. I think that there have been few men in the church, who had thought that it is their duty to do something to rescue the faith. I believe that they have been convinced that after the proclaiming of the medivial results the “story of the turin shroud” will be over and that it will disappear in some archive and nobody will ask and research anything about the shroud anymore. But as so often after a crime, some time the truth comes out, the truth is something very powerful …
+++was it only important that a non-first century date be returned? What do you think they might have said if a 17th or 18th century date was returned?+++
No the date is very important, because it is shortly before the first exposition of the shroud in Lirey, therefore they could say: look, the shroud was produces (falsified) shortly before it appeared the first time in history. That is what the skeptics still say today.
This is the reason that Tite (Tite & co where the guys, who later received the donation of one millions pound for the “Middle ages result” for a university chair for Tite. Tite today is Professor emeritus. This is no conspiracy-theory, you can read the story e.g. at
or Ian Willson’s book, he is really a well respected person.
A group of French Catholic traditionalists, who call themselves “Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 20th Century“ were the first who investigated the circumstances and published their findings in 1991. They found out that Tite had sent a letter dated from 12-02-1988 to the Director of the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the University of Lyon, Jacques Evin, in which he asked for help in obtaining a suitable piece of fabric. Tite initially denied that he had written it, but when the letter was finally published, he had to admit his authorship:
Dear Dr. Evin,
…I would certainly very much welcome any assistance that you can give in obtaining a mediaeval control sample, which is as similar as possible in terms of weave and colour as the Shroud, since at present, I am not certain whether the British Museum will be able to provide such a sample…
1: The total sample would need to be 6 sq. cms, (i.e. about 120 mg)
2: The material of the sample should be linen. I enclose a photocopy of some photographs which give some indication of the weave of the Shroud.
3: We are looking for a sample which dates from the 13th or the 14th century A.D., preferably the latter.
4: The historical precision should obviously be as good as possible, but one would certainly consider samples with an age range of fifty to a hundred years.
5: There is no need for the sample to come from a well known piece of textile.
Yours Sincerely, Signed: M. S. Tite.
Ask yourself, why should be such an exact date be necessary for a blank test? This would indeed complicate the search unnecessarily. If you follow the paper in Nature , none of the blank samples had the herringbone pattern of the shroud. Why go to so much trouble in obtaining this piece?
So Chris, a lot of text, much copied from my book, but you have asked many questions and the case is very complicated. Perhaps you like to read my ebook and read about the other information? This would save me a lot of time for your new questions, which might come. But just ask.
It´s Interesting as nobody still thought about changes in time flow as a possible cause in the process of the image formation on the Shroud. Many features could be explained this way. I think about a time flow running backwards over a limited region of the space inside the tomb. Yes, this could be concerned as either science fiction or pseudo-science in the present state of the art, but it cannot be ruled out if we want to solve this fascinating mistery. This way, the rate of radiocarbon dating would slow because many C14 atoms returned to they initial state and some features of the Man in the image would look as if He was alive again! One could be surprised as a very old cloth is so well preserved as well (see the tilma of Guadalupe and the Sudarium of Oviedo as other examples)
if you offer miracles as explanation, the possibilities are only limited by your phantasy
dear Mr Helmut
My hypothesis is not my phantasy. It’s based on what we can detect in the Shroud and in the Bible itself. See for example Ezekiel 37:4-10, Isaiah 38:8, 2 Kings 20:9-10 and Joshua 10:13. We understand as miracle something extraordinary which has not scientific explanation up today, but perhaps in a future time this explanation would come from new physical laws. This cannot be ruled out!
Helmut, thank you for the detailed reply, I very much appreciate you taking the time to do it. It is a fascinating possibility to explore and I shall give it some thought. I understand the point about the Apostles thinking that they saw a genuine resurrection should Jesus have survived in the tomb. I just can’t get around the Ascension part though. Somewhere massive lies needed to have been propagated and 11 men would rather be murdered than admit to a lie? I just don’t see it. I see no profit for anyone who testified to Christ’s actions to preach and be martyred for a fraud. But it is an interesting theory. Thanks again.
Ascension, lie …? Hmm – If you want to remain in the religion-stories of your childhood you should not be engaged too much with the shroud. Or you follow the stories of the religious shroudies (image formation caused by a supernatural burst of energy during the resurrection). You are the maker of your reality. You find everything out there, just look around and take what you like. You need not to question anything in your religion, if you do not want. But do not come too close to the Turin Shroud then!
To Helmut, with all due respect. “Religious stories of your Youth”? Alot of people thru the ages with much much more intelligence then you could ever claim, believed these “stories” and many have raised the same issue that Chris has: Why would these Apostles rather suffer terrible deaths then just refute their teachings? The answer is simple; They believed it to the point of dying for their beliefs! Would you die for what you say/believe here? Secondly you make the assumption that a burst of energy to create the Shroud image is proposturous, WHY? Because your mind is closed to ALL possiblilities, this is why!…This is not the true method of science my friend. Science has no boundaries and until we can honestly say we understand all things, we should not refute ‘possibilities’, just because we don’t understand them.
As for Christ surviving the crucifixion, it is just plain ‘Idiotic’ to think so. All the evidence points to certain death. You have just blinded yourself to the truth. The evidence we all can see on the SHroud is pretty straight forward. If he had survived and removed himself from the SHroud we would have certain unmistakable traces of this, such as much more blood, more blood smeared all over the Shroud, “certain’ flattening on the dorsal image etc; etc; Let’s also not forget the crucifixion was accomplished by Roman crucifixion experts, what is the possibility they would have allowed Jesus taken from the cross, not being certain of his death?…I could go on forever here, but I think I made my point….Face it, your misleading yourself.
perhaps you want to read the paper of Dr. Lorente, spanish forensic expert, entiteld: “Forensic Analysis of the Image and Bloodstains on the Shroud of Turin: Contributions to the Evaluation of the Circumstances Surrounding the Burial of Jesus of Nazareth”
It is easy to proclaim that onself is in the possession of truth and that the other is misleading himself, but it is better to get acquainted with the arguments.
Once again, Mr Helmut insists on the absurd idea of that Jesus did not die in the cross, mentioning an article of the forensic physician Dr Lorente, that not even has date. Such an article, besides to ignore the spear in the chest, that surely did not come from a pulsatile heart (the blood flowed slowly, rather than in spurts), it not concern about how could an alive person to produce such an image on the cloth that wrapped, him, without any distortion (this coul be easily verified with experiments in voluntary persons). This only reinforces my hypothesis of the time running backwards for all physical events in the space limited within the Shroud. I have had suggested to John Jackson (whick ignored me) an interesting experiment, supposing the Man of the Shroud floating in the vertical position, and the Shroud rectified both ahead and back to Him. The distances of the Shroud rectified this way and the different regions of the body would be measured and such distances compared with the approximate time when the wounds were produced, considering as t0 the time when Jesus was arrested. If my hypothesis is valid, there will be a direct proportion between time and distance
your posting makes it difficult for me not to become personal, like you. But I try to stick to the matter:
I once have been a strong christian believer, like you I assume, and it was hard for me, to realize that many (historical) things are not so, as they are teached at bible school or during religious lessons or sermons. I recommend you to read the wikipedia article about the ebionites, who are derived from the historical (original) desciples of Jesus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites .
No this is not the absolute truth, but this is just to give you a little hint, that historical thruths about early christianity may not have been as you think or as it is taught in religious lessons.
Yes there are (religious) forensic experts who proclaim that the TS-man was dead. The argumentations are like yours: the injuries are too fatal, nobody can survive this.
But there are forensic experts from spain, GB and Germany, who are absolutely sure that the TS man must have been alive. Are you willing to look at the evidence?
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