While I also disagree with Yannick Clément, favoring instead Ian Wilson and particularly Dan Scavone when it comes to interpretation and inference on the Image of Edessa, I know how carefully Yannick has researched this. His views deserve our full attention. Here is a comment he made just this morning:
Hello Dave ! Thanks for you good words versus my comment. You wrote that you still disagree with my conclusion. In fact, it is not my own little conclusion but the one written in 1969 by the historian Maurus Green !!! Here it is again : "Until Wilson can PROVE his case, it seems PRUDENT to think of the Edessan Image and the Shroud as TWO DISTINCT THINGS, while noting the close connection between them.”
Personally, after a very long and extensive research of every ancient sources that talks about the Mandylion, the Abgar legend and/or the Shroud of Christ, I firmly believe that this conclusion is still 100% correct ! After all those years, I think it’s fair to say that Wilson has never been able to PROVE his hypothesis in a correct scientific way. Sorry but you cannot consider some speculative arguments as being real scientific PROOFS.
So, since Wilson have failed to prove his case, I say (with Maurus Green and many other historians) : Please, in regard of all the ancient sources, if we want to stay scientificaly correct, we must consider the Mandylion and the Shroud like 2 different objects with a probable connection that exist between them. But it’s one thing to think there’s a relation between the 2 objects (the Vignon’s markings are a good evidence of that connection) and it’s another thing to believe they are one and the same !!! The reality is this : There’s not a single authentic and solid fact that can prove this assertion from Wilson… Until he can find one solid FACT to really prove his case (and not just some extrapolations or speculations), I think it’s scientificaly right to consider the Mandylion as a different relic than the Shroud. And here’s my good question again : If this was really the case, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH THIS ??? That doesn’t mean the Shroud isn’t authentic at all !!! I really think that nobody here should fear that Wilson hypothesis have some good chances to be wrong… I don’t see any problem with that possibility versus the authenticity of the Shroud. In fact, other hypothesis (like the one by Vignon) can be more viable in regard of the historical and religious context of the time…
For some context see Even more on Archaeology from Tabor and Jacobovic
Thanks for this promo Dan, but… If you and Scavone (and many people around here I’m sure) still believe the hypothesis of Wilson is true, then let’s use the words of Maurus Green : BRING ME ONE SINGLE PROOF THAT THIS HYPOTHESIS IS TRUE !!!!!!!!! Sorry but there’s not a single proof that exist in ancient documentary or ancient artistic sources that make a DIRECT LINK between the Mandylion and a burial cloth like a Shroud and there’s not a single proof that exist in ancient documentary or ancient artistic sources that make a direct link between the Abgar legend and a burial cloth.
I dare anyone here to bring me one PROOF. Sorry folks, I’ve look everywhere and there’s zero proof that can comfort Wilson’s hypothesis. Is there a bunch of speculative arguments that exist ? OF COURSE ! Anyone with a good imagination can come out with speculative arguments ! It’s the easiest thing in the world to make say anything to old texts, especially when those texts are legendary, poetic or theological. So, yes, there’s a lot of speculative arguments that exist to support Wilson’s hypothesis. BUT… one single PROOF ? NO !!! Try to convince me that I’m wrong if you disagree with me ! You’ll see that it will be a hard task for you !!! I know because I’ve look anywhere in ancient sources for one proof and I never found a single one !!! This is the truth.
So, to follow the thinking of a good historian like Green, I have to conclude that it is much more prudent to consider the Shroud and the Mandylion as 2 different objects, if we want to stay scientificaly correct. I have a very BIG problem when I see some historians using a bunch of speculative arguments in order to support Wilson ! This is not great history in my mind… A good historian is supposed to rely on FACTS and PROOFS, not speculations and extrapolations…
And until someone can find a real serious and solid PROOF that can make a DIRECT LINK (and not a speculative kind of link) between the Mandylion and a burial Shroud, we have to think those 2 relics were 2 different objects. And, unlike the hypothesis of Wilson, there’s plenty of facts taken from both artistic and documentary sources (often coming from eye-witnesses) that can support this claim that the Shroud and the Mandylion where two separate objects, even if a probable connection exist between them !!! Unfortunately, since the Mandylion was probably destroyed by the French revolutionnaries in 1792 or some years after, we will never be able to proof with 100% confidence that the Shroud and the Mandylion were really 2 different objects. But the VAST majority of the facts that come from ancient artistic and documentary sources really point in that direction… If someone really wants to support the hypothesis of Wilson, sorry but he has to throw in the garbage a VAST amount of facts that support the idea that the Mandylion and the Shroud were 2 separate objects. Do you really want to go against basic good sense ??? If you got 99 facts that point in one direction and 2 or 3 other things that can go in another direction (with the help of some extrapolations and speculations), what will you do ? You will throw out the 99 facts and only focus your attention on the 2 or 3 contradictory things ??? You think that’s the way to make good science ? You really believe that ???
The fact is this : This is exactly what Wilson has done over the last 40 years !!!! Sorry to be that bad but this is the truth.
I think some people here could have miss my other comment on the same subject. I think that can be helpful for some or even a sort of eye-opener. So… Here it is again (I hope Dan will agree with this move from me) :
Quote from Ron : “that the Mariamne ossuary is that of Mary Magdelane…pure conjecture!”
Here’s what I want to say about that : This is exactly like the idea that the word “tetradiplon” MUST mean a burial shroud of more than 4 meters long !!! :-)
THIS IS PURE CONJECTURE TOO !!!
Unfortunately, unlike the lost tomb of Jesus hypothesis, since this hypothesis made by Wilson is pro-authenticity, everyone here seems to put aside his critical judgment when it comes the time to analyze it…
The best conclusion I’ve ever read about the Mandylion hypothesis was written in 1969 by Maurus Green, an historian and a Benedictine monk.
Here it is : “The difficulty of Wilson’s thesis is the question whether the Image was of the head only, as it appears in art, or whether it did indeed bear a full-length, though secret, image of the whole body of Christ, a secret that escaped somehow to form the “full-length” tradition we have just examined. If Wilson CAN prove his case, we will not only have solved the mystery of the Turin Shroud’s whereabouts during the first millennium, we will also have a most remarkable account of its by no means inconsiderable place in Byzantine history.
Until he can do so, it seems PRUDENT to think of the Edessan Image and the Shroud as TWO DISTINCT THINGS, while noting the close connection between them.”
Sorry folks but if you’re honest like me, you must say that the last part of Green’s conclusion is still true !!! Effectively, Wilson hasn’t been able to show us a clear proof to scientifically comfort his hypothesis. All he has been able to do until this day is to bring many highly speculative (and partial) arguments that come mainly from theological and legendary sources. And the problem is this : there will ALWAYS be some serious doubts about the reliability of those kind of sources when it comes to find a real physical description of a relic. Sorry but those things that were put forward by Wilson (like the “tetradiplon” term) are not what we can call “scientific proofs”… A real solid scientific proof would be to find an ancient text, ideally written by an eye-witness, that makes a clear link between the Mandylion of Edessa and/or the Abgar legend and a burial Shroud of Christ (or, at least, with some burial cloth). It’s maybe sad for some people, but the there is absolutely no such thing in any ancient sources that exist. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING !
In fact, the reality is precisely the opposite ! Effectively, there exist a whole bunch of evidences coming from many ancient documentary and artistic sources (often written or done by some eye-witnesses) that just goes completely AGAINST the hypothesis of Wilson ! Here’s just an example of that : Dating from the 11th or the 12th century, there is a liturgical book of the Byzantine Church named “Synaxarion”. This was a book that told the story of the life of many Saints and Martyrs. Remind that this was written many years after the arrival of the Mandylion in Constantinople, at a time when, according to Wilson, the real burial aspect of the cloth had already been discovered. In this book, we find a version of the Abgar legend that is mainly traditional, i.e. that tell the story of the formation of the image of ONLY the face of Christ BEFORE his Passion, during his minister. In other word, in this book, there is absolutely no chance that the author could refer to the Mandylion as a burial shroud and there’s absolutely no chance that he refer to a full body image ! And the most important thing about this Synaxarion book, is the intro of the part where the author talk about the Abgar legend. Here’s what we can read : “In life, you wiped your form onto a linen cloth. In death, you were placed in the final linen shroud. A manmade tile bears your form, not made by human hands, my Christ, creator of all.”
You see ??? The author of this official document from the Byzantine Church makes a clear distinction between the Mandylion and the Shroud as two separate objects. Even more, he makes a clear distinction between the Mandylion, the Shroud and also the Keramion, which is a tile that, according to the “Narratio de Edessena” version of the Abgar legend, showed the same image than the Mandylion (i.e. only the face of Christ).
And clear distinctions like that between the Mandylion, the Shroud and the Keramion exists in many other ancient documents, like the manuscript of Nicolas Mesarites, who was, in 1201, the guardian of the relics of Christ in the Pharos chapel and the manuscript of Robert de Clari, who visited the Pharos chapel in 1203. Note folks that those 2 manuscripts came from eye-witnesses and have not a legendary or theological style !
In summary, since Wilson hasn’t been able to find one real solid scientific proof for his hypothesis (this is the reality and I don’t make this up), we should conclude the same thing than Green, i.e. that the Mandylion and the Shroud were two distinct things, even if a close connection surely exist between them. This conclusion come from a real historian and his “grounded” and “prudent” as it should be. This is a perfect example of what I call “good science” !!!
Even if Green, in his 1969 article, was interested by the hypothesis of Wilson, he was professional enough not to give him a blank check !!! On the contrary to many pro-Shroud people, we cannot say that Green was “blinded” by Wilson and, on this point, I can add : AS IT SHOULD BE in regard of all the ancient documentary and artistic sources we have !!! Unfortunately, this was not the case with some other historians later on…
And, for the close connection that surely exist between the Mandylion and the Shroud, I think the hypothesis of Paul Vignon is, by far, the best we have to explain it, i.e. that the Mandylion was a false relic of a living Christ (without any injuries) made during the 6th century by the Byzantine Church in order to fight the Monophysitism heresy. In this scenario, the Shroud image would have been the primary source for the creation of the Mandylion and the Church would have act like that, simply because the Shroud, with a naked Christ and all the blood on it, would have been considered as scandalous by most faithful of that time (I think the best term would be “religiously incorrect” for that period of time). Of course, this is only an hypothesis, but, in regard of all the ancient sources and in regard of the historical and religious context of that time, I really think it is the most likely hypothesis we have that can explain both the connection of the Mandylion and the Shroud AND also the fact that there is not much record of a burial Shroud of Christ in ancient sources before the 11th century in Constantinople…
I have nothing more to say about that !!!
Great work, Yannick! Very insightful.
Thanks Chris. It’s nice to see that you’re open-minded about the subject. I just want to let everyone’s know that there are other possibilities than Wilson’s hypothesis to explain the dead silence in ancient sources about the Shroud’s first few centuries and the most probable presence of the Shroud of Turin in Constantinople, at least from the middle of the 10th century until 1204.
In the Shroud world, all we hear these days is the Mandylion, the Mandylion and the Mandylion !!! Even if this is just one hypothesis, it’s like it’s the only one ! Even more, it’s like it is a real scientifically accepted theory ! Sorry, but it’s . There’s others… It’s sad to note that all the other historical possibilities have been thrown out into the darkness because of this one and only hypothesis of Wilson…
I really think Maurus Green had made the very best summary of the situation versus the hypothesis of Ian Wilson : It is an interesting hypothesis at first sight BUT it need confirmations !!! And the fact is this : during the last 40 years, Wilson have failed to bring us one real solid scientific proof of his hypothesis. That’s why I really think the conclusion of Green is still correct, even 40 years later : To stay prudent, we must consider the Mandylion and the Shroud as two different objects.
As a real good historian, even if he seemed interested by Wilson’s ideas, why do you think Green was so prudent in his conclusion versus the Mandylion hypothesis ? There are 2 principal reasons for this :
1- He was fully aware of the lack of real scientific proofs that can support Wilson’s hypothesis.
2- He was fully aware that the vast majority of the ancient documentary and artistic sources point in the opposite direction, i.e. that the Shroud and the Mandylion were really 2 separate objects , that the Mandylion was an image of only the face of a living Christ (without any injuries or blood stains) and that the Mandylion (or the Abgar legend) never was directly related with a burial shroud of Christ or with Jesus entombment.
And the most important thing to note is this : the situation is still the same in 2012 in regard of the lack of a real scientific proof versus Wilson’s hypothesis…
While I also disagree with Yannick’s interpretation and inference on the Image of Edessa-Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion, I think i just fair enough to hear his full opinion mostly based on Green.
Correction: “I just think IT just fair enough”
Yannick, can you just tell us the approximate date the two phrases “the Image of Edessa” and “the Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion” respectively occurred for the first time in the Byzantine literature as a whole? I think it might well help clear up a bit the whole debate as it does seem you are a little mixed up here.
I don’t know the exact date for this change but I know it occurred around the time the image was transferred to Constantinople in 944 and that it came directly from the resident of the Byzantine capital.
Did you ever notice one appellation (“The Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion”) took over the other (“The Image of Edessa”)? How can you account for it?
Very simple my friend ! The Greek word “Mandylion” come from the Arab word “Mandyl” that mean “Towel”. It was a term that probably came from how the Arabs were calling the image. We have to remember that the city of Edessa was at the hands of the Arabs at the time.
Don’t you find it bizarre that the people of Constantinople would have called the image “the towel” if it was really a burial Shroud of more than 4 meters long ??? I think this very specific term that was used to designated the image of Edessa is very telling !!! In fact, it is completely coherent with all the known artistic depictions of the Mandylion and also completely coherent with the vast majority of the ancient documents that describe the Mandylion as an image of only the face of Christ that rest on a towel or a small cloth… And what I just said is not speculation, it is FACT !
In the mind of Wilson, the burial aspect of the image of Edessa would have been discovered shortly after his arrival in Constantinople in August 944. In this context, don’t you find it VERY STRANGE that the people of Constantinople choose this term “Mandylion” (that mean a towel, not a shroud) to describe this particular relic and that this specific term never changed throughout all the time the relic stayed in the Byzantine capital ??? This FACT alone completely contradict the hypothesis of Wilson…
Far too simple or should I better say simplistic my friend (unless you think you are cleverly applying your “explain all intellectual remedy”, the good old Occam Razor principle). YOU JUST DON’T KNOW when the appellation “The Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion replaced/took over “The image of Edessa”. This is not serious research work.
Most serious researchers know the Arabic word shows in the Greek-Byzantine word “Mandylion”.”Thanks” for its Arabic etymology, I can read and speak Arabic and am trained to work on word etymologies. Actually you don’t grasp the real archaeological and historical purport of “the appellation shift”? In your eye and brain, does that mean the Image of Edessa and The Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion are two distinct things or else only one thing, tails or heads?
In the “Thousand and one Nights”, the Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion is called “The Veil of Security/Salvation” that is “the Veil of Yeshua/Jesus”). If now you identify the Shroud with the “tetradiplon”, the Hellenised Arabic word for veil is perfectly fitting to describe the Shroud reduced to the size of a veil. There is NOTHING STRANGE AT ALL HERE (or just to a few 21st century CE’s old Shroud old students with too “rational” and biased a western mind-set)!
Besides, why do you systematically call it “the Mandylion” when, in Byzantine literature, it is systematically called “The HOLY Mandylion” or “The HOLY Face of the HOLY Mandylion”? It does seem you attempt to intellectually bias the whole debate by having us thus think it cannot possibly be a true relic of Christ but only a copy. Is it what you would call a “scientific demonstration”?
Finally, are you aware the same question “whether the Image was of the head only or whether it did indeed bear a full-length, though secret, image of the whole body of Christ” is recurrent with the head idol venerated by the Templars? Unless you are intellectually deaf, doesn’t that ring any bell?
PS: Mandylion is a Byzantine-Greek borrowed from the Arabic mandil (mindil in Syriac) i.e. a kerchief, towel, scarf, turban-scarf, veil-scarf.
I think I’ve heard Yannick repeat the same crap over and over again, nothing has changed. Also for him to compare my ‘conjecture’ comment with the word ‘tetradiplon’ is simply rediculous! For one to find the name Mariamne on a ossuary and conclude this person was Mary Magdalane is much more then conjecture, it is simply ‘foolishly irresponsible’ as there is absolutely no grounds for the connection, as is Yannick’s comparison above. Wilson’s finding and interpretation of the word tetradiplon in context with the Mandylion/ Shroud cannot be compared with any reasonable thought to my statement…I can say more about Wilson’s interpretation but why bother, Yannick is set in his way.
As to Yannick’s reliance on Green’s statements; I thing he and Green have forgotten a simple fact; The Mandylion surfaced in Eddessa sometime in the mid 6th century,…almost immediately afterward all depictions of Christ suddenly changed to depictions such as the Panticrator of St. Catherine’s. All these depictions (dozens, all over the empire), not only share numerous points of congruence to each other, but I believe both Yannick and Green himself never recognised the fact these dipictions also share many congruences with the Shroud of Turin!! and are most definately copies initially painted in direct view of the Shroud. In the period, when the Mandylion appeared, there is no mention of the Shroud existing in Eddessa, just the Mandylion. How is this possible?…How does Green or Yannick explain this exclusion? and the simultaneous changing of the depictions of Christ at the precise same time, which most definately depict the Shroud of Turin?
First thing : If what I’m saying is crap, then you have to consider that what Maurus Green and Paul Vignon were satying was crap too !!! Sorry Ron, but I think you’re completely off-track here. It’s not because me and them have a different view than yours that all we say is crap !
And in all you mention in your comment, sorry but there’s no real scientific proof that the Mandylion was the Shroud folded in 8 !!! It’s all speculations my friend, just like it’s pure speculation to link the Mariamne ossuary with Mary Magdalane !!!
You believe the Pantocrator directly came from the Mandylion who was the Shroud folded in 8. Good for you ! But, you never thought about the possibility that the Mandylion was a false relic created directly from the Pantocrator ? This is a possibility as good as yours ! And you never thought about the possibility that both the Mandylion and the Pantocrator were created directly from the Shroud image or from a basic copy of the Shroud image (that wouldn’t have survived until this day) ? This is also a possibility as good as yours.
You see my friend ? All those possibilities are pretty good but we cannot considered any of them as a real solid scientific proof !!!! I repeat : There is no direct link that exist in ancient documentary or artistic sources between the Mandylion and a burial shroud. There’s is also no direct link that exist in ancient documentary or artistic sources between the Abgar legend and a burial cloth or Jesus entombment.
Quote from your comment : “In the period, when the Mandylion appeared, there is no mention of the Shroud existing in Eddessa, just the Mandylion. How is this possible?…How does Green or Yannick explain this exclusion?”
I think Paul Vignon’s hypothesis can explain this fact pretty well. And, on this question, you seem to forget one most important aspect of all this question : The Shroud, with all his blood and with an image of a naked Christ would have been considered by the faithful of that time as completely scandalous ! No way the Byzantine Church could have use this relic (who was looking like a total mess) and show it to the faithful. That, in itself, can explain pretty well why there’s no record of the presence of a burial Shroud of Christ until the 7th century and why there is no sign that the inner part of the relic (with the image and the majority of the blood) was publicly showned to the faithful until 1203, when Robert de Clari saw it in the Church of Notre-Dame of Blachernes… And that could also explain pretty well the appearence of the Mandylion, who was, in the mind of Vignon, a false relic made by the Byzantine Church simply to have a “presentable” image of Christ that they could use and show to the people instead of the total mess that was on the Shroud and that was considered outrageous for the time !
Here’s a message for Ron and everyone else who is interested by the subject : YOU MUST ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THE RELIGIOUS, THEOLOGICAL, CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THE TIME !!! That’s what Vignon has done when he came up with his hypothesis… In those early days of the Byzantine Church, the Shroud wouldn’t have been seen (or understand) like we see it (or understand it) today ! This fact is so important to understand…
By the way, the fact that the region of the face on the Shroud (with all the blood and injuries that we can easily see) would not have “fit” with the sensibilities of the time is, by itself, one major aspect that goes against the hypothesis of Wilson ! The very horrible aspect of the Shroud (even if we just consider the region of the face) would have been seen by the people of that time as completely outrageous… If there would be no blood or injury in the region of the face, then the hypothesis of Wilson would be much more credible. But it’s not the case !!!
Your answers to my questions bear much more speculation then anything Wilson has said or I say here. The Mandylion a false copy of the Shroud? …maybe, but improbable and stretching for answers, but yes I have considered this, I have read extensively also Yannick, so don’t believe you have an edge on knowledge here or reasoning…But that hypothesis still doesn’t explain the non-mention of a Shroud of Christ which would be “by all means” the most revered relic in Edessa, so your explanation is weak. You also do not see that Vignon’s hypothesis can also work in the favour of the mandylion as being the Shroud, as IF by showing the full bloodied, naked body would be scandulous to the mind or masses, then it could easily explain the Shroud being folded, hense only the face would show!! Don’t forget “the fact that the Shroud has been shown to be folded” as seen by the fold marks present on the Shroud, and fold marks showng “quite distinctly it was once folded in 8” for a prolonged period (maybe centuries), by the intensities of the folds. This fold configuration which also would leave it showing only the face and in a landscape configuration, which has been depicted in art many times since, is also strong evidence to the ‘tetradiplon’ hypothesis. These facts bear much more weight, to me anyways, then any assertions made by Green or Vignon to be honest, as they are tangible facts not assertions.
I have said all I will say about this topic, it seems fruitless to continue arguing when some minds are already set in thier ways.
Quote : “don’t believe you have an edge on knowledge here or reasoning.”
When did you hear me saying that ??? Never. I don’t think like that. But what about you my friend ???
Quote : “You also do not see that Vignon’s hypothesis can also work in the favour of the mandylion as being the Shroud, as IF by showing the full bloodied, naked body would be scandulous to the mind or masses, then it could easily explain the Shroud being folded, hense only the face would show!!”
I thought I was pretty clear when I said that no matter if it was the complete body or just the face of the Shroud, because of all the blood and injuries, this would have be seen as completely scandalous for the people of that time ! In this context, the idea of Wilson is very improbable. If there would be no blood or injuries in the face region, that would be a different story, but it’s not.
Quote : “Don’t forget “the fact that the Shroud has been shown to be folded” as seen by the fold marks present on the Shroud, and fold marks showng “quite distinctly it was once folded in 8″ for a prolonged period (maybe centuries), by the intensities of the folds.”
This argument (that come from Jackson) makes me laugh every time ! It’s a joke, really. It’s pure propaganda in favor of Wilson’s hypothesis. First of all, how in the world anyone can be able to date a crease ??? And how in the world anyone can be sure that a crease was made at the same time than another one ??? And how in the world anyone can be sure of the amount of time the cloth must have been folded to form a specific crease ? Jackson say centuries while, in reality, it could have took only years or decades to be formed !!! My friend, we are here in a pure speculation field !!! THIS IS NOT SCIENCE, IT’S PROPAGANDA !!! And one thing’s for sure : You cannot used this speculative argument as being a proof that the Mandylion was the Shroud folded in 8 !!! Sorry, it’s ludicrous.
And when I look at every picture of the Shroud (for example, look at this one : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shroudofturin.jpg), I see deep fold marks that are scattered everywhere on the cloth ! And I don’t see any configuration at all in all those folds ! They look to me as completely random. I have a very good question about that topic : Did you ever saw any SCIENTIFIC PROOFS of that claim made by Jackson ??? I never saw any !!! Did he published a deep scientific study about those folds (with pictures to proof what he claim) in a peer-reviewed journal ? I don’t think so ! Again, I repeat : this is pure speculation that look to me as propaganda. Just an example for you : Look at the face on the Shroud (you can look at this picture : http://www.sindonology.org/shroudScope/shroudScope.shtml?zl=3&image=2&lon=323&lat=1419) and you’ll see easily a very deep transverse fold mark in the beard area !!! I hope you’ll agree with me that this is not very good for the idea that the Shroud was nicely folded in 8 parts of the same length !!!! In fact, if this crease would be one of the fold marks that Jackson think, then the Mandylion would have showed only a part of the beard and the chin would have been completely missing !!! And not just that, since the fold mark is transverse, the face image of the Mandylion would not have been completely straight ! I’ll say it again : This is a joke, really !!! I think Jackson think the public is a bunch of fools that can believe anything he say… It’s a real insult to my intelligence and the intelligence of any reasonable person. Sorry, that propaganda doesn’t work with me !
And, to stay in the physic field, what do you do of the FACT that there is no more dust or yellowing in the face region of the Shroud versus the other parts of the cloth ??? :-) If the hypothesis of Wilson would be true, that would mean only the face region would have been exposed to air during, at least, 350 years (or even more) !!! And you will make me believe that a very specific configuration like that would leave no physical traces beside the deep creases that Jackson claim to be on the cloth ??? No more dust in the face region ? No more yellowing of the fibers in the face region ? You really believe that ??? The fact is this : There is no more sign of ageing at the fiber level in the face region than in other parts of the cloth. This FACT was confirmed by Ray Rogers when he studied the difference between the colored fibers and the non-colored fibers. He never detected any specific area (the face included) where there would be more signs of ageing. If the face region would have been the only part of the cloth exposed to air, you really think there would be no signs of more ageing ? You really think the STURP team would not have noted more yellowing in the face region ? You really think the STURP team would not have noted more dust in the face region ? You really think the STURP team would not have noted any physical difference at all between the face region and the other parts of the cloth ? You really think an expert like Ray Rogers (or anyone else from the STURP team) would not have note something strange or, at least, something different in the face region versus the rest of the cloth ? YOU REALLY THINK THAT ? You must have a faith bigger than me, then ! ;-)
I just want to remember you that the Spanish team of sindonologists were able to determine which side of the sudarium of Oviedo was more exposed to the public during the centuries just because they were easily able to detect more dust in one particular side of the cloth !!!! And the funny thing about that is that the side which was normally exposed to the faithful was not the right one ! In fact, the Church exposed the backside of the cloth during all those years ! :-)
Having said that, if Wilson’s hypothesis was correct, don’t you think it would not have been the same thing for the STURP team versus the face region of the Shroud ???
I’ve commented elsewhere that in 944 Bishop Abraham of Samosata was not satisfied until he had in his possession all three cloths from the Orthodox, the Monophysites and the Nestorians, and presumably he took all three from Edessa to Constantinople. It could easily have become a confusing situation for those in Constantinople, particularly as the cloths were rarely exhibited.
I think one telling fact is that throughout the Orthodox world a very special feast day was set aside for the arrival of the Mandylion in Constantinople, but there was no corresponding feast day for the arrival of the Sindon, surely a more noteworthy relic.
By 944 the Veronica had disappeared from Contantinople and arrived in Rome some 200 years previously, so there can be no confusion there.
I’m not aware of any record of the arrival of the Sindon as a separate object in Constantinople, but it seems to have become manifest there sometime after the arrival of the three(++??) other cloths.
If the Sindon did not arrive from Edessa, where was it between 30AD and 1025 when the Shroud type layout was first depicted in Lamentation scenes?
As Ron notes above, the Pantocrator and other hand-made icons all depict the Vignon markings visible on the Shroud, even when they made no artistic sense, together with coins issued by Porphyrogenitus around 945, within a year of the arrival of the Mandylion.
The tetradiplon phrase has to be significant particuarly as the residual folds are still visible today.
I can’t see this as speculation of the disreputable Jacobovici Mariamne kind at all, but it all seems too corroborative of the Mandylion and Sindon being the same object.
Sorry Dave but all you bring forward is not scientific proofs. I don’t say that to be mean. I say it to make you realized that what you said is just speculative arguments that can easily be contradict by other speculative arguments.
Just two example of what I mean by that :
You say : “As Ron notes above, the Pantocrator and other hand-made icons all depict the Vignon markings visible on the Shroud, even when they made no artistic sense…”
Sorry but Vignon, the guy who make this particular study put the Mandylion image in the same category as the Pantocrator : probable artistic depictions of Jesus face made directly (more probable) or indirectly from the Shroud image !!!! Did you ever consider the possibility that the Mandylion image was a manmade copy of the Shroud image in the face region, just like the Pantocrator is probably a manmade copy of the Shroud image in the face region ???
You also say : “coins issued by Porphyrogenitus around 945, within a year of the arrival of the Mandylion.”
Sorry but this argument is PURE SPECULATION that makes any sense at all in regard of the real historical context and facts !!! I recommand you and anyone else here the reading of the great study of the Byzantine coins made by a well respected scholar named Grierson. You can find this article here : http://www.doaks.org/publications/doaks_online_publications/byzcoins.pdf
In it, you’ll see that he talks about this particular coin that was struck under the reign of Constantin VII and you’ll see that, as I believed it before the reading of this paper, the image on this particular coin as nothing to do (directly at least) with the Shroud image !!! It is a representation of the Pantocrator, an icon that was really popular in Constantinople at that time !!!! And you’ll also see, in the same article, that this Pantocrator image on Byzantin coins was already present in Constantinople during the reign of Michael III (who was the Byzantin emperor from 842 until 867). This was several decades BEFORE the image of Edessa came in Constantinople !!!! And you’ll also see, in the same article, that, after the reign of Michael III, it was common use for Byzantine emperors to put the image of the Pantocrator on coins and that this trend last until the end of the 11th century, long after the reign of Constantin VII !
So, I’m sorry but using an argument like that to comfort the hypothesis of Wilson is what I call VERY WEAK (to stay polite) in regard of the historical context of the time !!! Of course, the average person (I’m not necessarily talking about you) who his pro-authenticity and who don’t do extensive historical research like me will buy this weak argument easily. But not me ! Simply because I know this coin have nothing to do with the arrival of the Mandylion in Constantinople !!!!
I’m sorry IF I break down your convinctions… ;-)
By the way, I’ve completely forgot to let you know that the superb paper published by Maurus Green in 1969 is avalaible online for free !!! Here’s the link to read it : http://www.monlib.org.uk/papers/aj/aj1969green.htm
I highly recommand the reading of this great paper to anyone who wants to explore more deeply the mystery of the ancient history of the Shroud of Turin. In the historic field, this is probably the greatest paper I’ve ever read on the subject. It dated from 1969, but because there was not many important and confirmed discoveries (I talk about real scientific discoveries coming from new found texts or artistic depictions) regarding the ancient history of the Shroud and the Mandylion since that time, it is still very pertinent.
I wish you a nice reading!
Yannick, you keep repeating ad nauseam (see your post # 16), had the Shroud face region been the only part of the cloth exposed to air during, at least, 350 years (or even more), there should have been more signs of ageing/ physical difference in terms of more yellowing and dust on this particular region of the cloth. Your opinion is based on the STURP team’s (and more particularly Roger’s) observations. You wrote “you really think an expert like Ray Rogers (or anyone else from the STURP team) would not have note something strange or, at least, something different in the face region versus the rest of the cloth?” Your contention is since “the Spanish team of sindonologists were able to determine which side of the sudarium of Oviedo was more exposed to the public during the centuries just because they were easily able to detect more dust in one particular side of the cloth”, why such easy observations were not also made from the Shroud face region?
Although I was not in the STURP team and my name is not Ray Rogers, in the 1990’s I first did detect “a strange thing” in the Shroud face region from a full length Shroud photography (an observation which was later confirmed, in 1998, when I visually observed with my own eyes the Shroud on the 1998 exhibition “in situ catedralis torinensis”; an observation which was also confirmed by Avinoam Danin in may 2011) namely the detection of a faintly lighter discoloration vast circular area all around the Shroud face as THE VISUAL FACT/ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE left by the Holy Face Holy Mandylion reliquary vast circular central opening. By the way, when in Constantinople, the flat-table-shaped like reliquary was seldom exposed to the public’s eyes (only once a year and in the open air as the Arch of the New Convenent) and less seldom to a very few VIPs.
PS: Mandylion, Byzantine-Greek borrowed from the Arabic mandil (mindil in Syriac): kerchief, towel, scarf, turben-scarf, veil-scarf.
In a previous post (January 28, 2012 at 11:01 am | #23) I wrote: “the Holy Face of the Holy Mandilyon kept as a “monstrance” in Constanyinople, had a large central pearled oculus made of a rock crystal for beholders to see the Holy Face through it (“and the rock was Christ”).
Correctoion: In a previous post (January 28, 2012 at 11:01 am | #23) I wrote: “the Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion was most carefully kept as a “monstrance” in Constantinople, had a large central pearl-rimmed oculus made of a rock crystal for beholders to see the Holy Face through it (“and the rock was Christ”). The flat-table-reliquary was protected in a samit and placed in an ark-shaped like scrinium.”
Hello Max ! Interesting observation from you and Danin BUT… so far, this is only 2 personal opinions without any credible scientific proofs ! To me, this is looking like another perfect example of the “I think I see” syndrom ! FACT : In the scientific litterature about the Shroud, there is NOTHING that can comfort the idea that the region of the face on the Shroud really present some physical differences with the rest of the cloth. Personaly, I tend to focus on scientific facts instead of personal opinions that cannot be scientificaly confirmed. And since the face region of the Shroud have been analysed very deeply by the STURP team and nothing came out in the scientific papers they published, I tend to believe that, effectively, there is no perceptible signs of any kind of physical differences between the region of the face and the other parts of the cloth. That’s why I was emphasing on the fact that an expert like Rogers never said one word in his papers about a potential difference that would surely have been perceptible at microscopic level if the hypothesis of Wilson about the Mandylion would be true !!! And this is most probably true, even if the cloth was only showed once a year… Effectively, I have great difficulties to convince myself that there would not have been more dust deposits on the exposed region, even if the cloth was almost always kept in a reliquary ! At least for the dust deposits, I really think that the STURP team would have noted a difference (even if it would have been a small difference) in the context of only one public showing per year. Max, you’ll have to agree with me that ancient reliquaries were not as hermetic as the one in which the Shroud of Turin is kept today ! No doubt in my mind that some dust would have been present in this kind of ancient reliquary. Now, for the yellowing of the fibers, I agree that IF the cloth was almost never exposed to sunlight, there is a possibility that there would be no perceptible difference… But, for the dust, it’s a different story and STURP would have surely noted something strange in the area of the face…
So Max, unless you and Danin (or anybody else) can published some real evidences of your thoughts in a peer-reviewed journal and that those evidences can be independently confirmed by someone else in another peer-reviewed journal, I will continue to say that there is no physical differences that can be measured between the face region and the other parts of the cloth. And, in itself, I really think this PHYSICAL FACT is strong enough to contradict completely the hypothesis of Wilson… And I don’t even talk here about all the other evidences that can be traced in ancient documentary and artistic sources that can also be used to contradict completely the hypothesis of Wilson !!! When you take all that into account, I’m always surprised to see so much people (and some intelligent one) being so much fanatical about the ideas of Wilson…
Quote from Max : “PS: Mandylion, Byzantine-Greek borrowed from the Arabic mandil (mindil in Syriac): kerchief, towel, scarf, turben-scarf, veil-scarf.”
Thanks for your translation Max. That confirm what I said before… The term “Mandylion” used by the people of Constantinople (and probably also used by the Arabs in Edessa) is really a good clue (along with all the artistic copies of the Mandylion that still exist today) that can be used to confirm the fact that this relic was really a small cloth that showed only the face of Christ.
By the way, since the Arabs took Edessa in 639, that mean the city and the Mandylion was in their hand for more than 300 years ! THIS IS AN ASPECT OF THE QUESTION THAT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE AND THAT IS ALMOST ALWAYS FORGOTTEN !!! That mean the Arabs had enough time to check this relic in deep (or at least, to know his real aspect precisely).
And how did they named the cloth after 300 years ??? “Mandil” who mean “towel” !!! Don’t you think that this simple FACT isn’t important ? I really think this is VERY IMPORTANT to understand the real aspect of the relic… If the hypothesis of Wilson is correct, don’t you think the Arabs would have found out the burial aspect of the cloth and would have call it something else than “Mandil” ? Don’t you think they would have call it “Shroud” (in arabic language) or something like that instead ??? Good question, don’t you think ???
Yannick, do you think you don’t see or cannot see? BTW, have you ever seen the Shroud de visu? The STURP team (and Ray Rogers) keeps standing too close to the Shroud to see the circular discoloration around the face. You have to back up from 15 to 30m to really see it. Yannick you have eyes but “you JUST think” you don’t see… The very fact “you don’t want to see” is not just a matter of “personal opinion”; this is just denial. Just ask open-minded Shroud searchers to do the experiment and most if not all will see it… This is a visual FACT recorded by different photographic pocedures (orthochomatic, traditional silver and extensive digital). Yannick you are totally off track. I am surprised to see you agree with everything the STURP team or Ray Rogers said. I personally don’t agree with all what Wilson’s say, far from it! Now who is the fanatic?
Correction: “I personally don’t agree with all what Wilson said or wrote, far from it! Now who is the fanatic?”
Hello Max. I don’t buy all the things the STURP team have written, BUT… I just cannot imagine a group of professionnal like them, with all their equipments, not noticed the physical difference you and Danin claimed to see with naked-eyes !!! It seem ridiculous to me.
Yannick, If you cannot possibly imagine a group of scientists missing a fact they were not specifically looking for, then you have a serious lack of imagination!
Max… STURP was looking for any coloration or particles they could find on the cloth !!! And you will make me believe that they could have miss an abnormal accumulation of dust in region like the region of the face, who is, by the way, THE region that attrack the eyes more than any others because the body image is more intense there ? I have a very hard time to believe that.
There still a few points you still do not want to/cannot intellectually grasp:
First, in 8th-10th century CE Arabic, “mandil” means a LARGE kerchief the size of a face cloth, towel or veil, not a small piece of linen.
What is really strange about you is the very fact you just ALMOST PHYSICALLY DENY the possibility for a long piece of linen cloth to be doubled-in-four to be reduced to the size of a towel or a face cloth and kept within a handable reliquary. This is total a non sense.
The Arabs called it first “the Towel/Veil of Security/Salvation” meaning it was the palladium of the city. Now guess WHAT was tha palladium of the cities first of Edessa and then Constantinople?
As I know, a towel, even a big one (like a bath towel or a beach towel) is VERY FAR from being the same thing as a burial Shroud of more than 4 meters long !!! ;-)
And, to conclude on the “tetradiplon” argument, we have to understand that the author of the “Acts of Thaddeus” who is, by the way, the only one in history to have used this term, never give any clue at all that he was referring to a burial Shroud of more than 4 meters long !!! In fact, it’s precisely the opposite since the action is located during the time of Jesus ministry, while he was still alive and well, and also because the author write that the “tetradiplon” cloth was used by Jesus to wipe ONLY his face…
Now, having take note of those FACTS, you can still believe the author was talking about a burial Shroud of 4 meters long (this is your freedom), but the context of this part of the Acts of Thaddeus that I just describe is not at all in favor of your interpretation (or Wilson’s interpretation).
Don’t you ever take note that a bath or a beach towel, if you fold it in 8 equal parts, give a square that his big enough to cover the whole face of an adult men !!! Try it at home and you’ll see that I’m right ! So, in the context that I just describe, don’t you think the author could have mean a linen cloth of a more reasonable dimension than a Shroud of 4.4 meters ? And where do you see a reference to the use of some kind of a burial cloth in the context I just describe ??? It’s evident that the author wasn’t talking about a burial cloth, since the action is located during Christ ministry !
Seeing in the ancient manuscript any kind of direct referrence to a burial Shroud of 4.4 meters long is totally ridiculous and out of context Max !!! It’s sad to say, but I think you have been fooled (like many others) by Ian Wilson !!!
Here’s a good advice for you : Next time, try, at least, to consider seriously the context of the text you quote !!! Very often, this can be enough to understand if someone’s ideas is credible or not.
PS: Once a year both in Edessa and then in Constantinople, the Shroud also used to be displayed full length on a stone throne now in Venice and known as Saint Mark’s Chair, (my reconstruction). Notice the same Shroud zigzag weave pattern can also be observed on the throne.
Correction: “half full length”
I guess you are referring to this throne:
What do you know about it? I have not seen studies of it in the context of the Shroud.
Yes I definitely am.
In my quest for 3rd-4th century CE Cryptochristianism & 5-6th century CE icono(crypto)graphy of the Turin Shroud, I first saw “The throne of Saint Mark” in 1997 (in Venice) and immediately identified it as a 3D alabaster replica at reduced scale of the Hetoimassia (or relic-throne of the “Preparation” to the Second Coming of Christ).
Hetoimassia, literally “preparation”, meaning “that which has been prepared” or “that which is made ready”, specifically refers to the “sign of the Son of Man” and his return at the Last Judgement.
The early motif essentially consists of an empty throne with a prominent cushion and various Christic relics (among which his burial cloth covering or sitting on the throne and/or his pre-burial sudarium draped round a crux gemmate and/or the ring of twisted rushes, to which thorns were attached to form the Crown).
Well before the Pray codex (1192-1195c.e.) or the Lirey Pilgrimage leaden badge (1370-1390c.e.), I hold the cathedra of Saint Mark (6th century CE) to be the earliest testimonial so far of Yeshua’s zigzag weave patterned burial cloth.
In my quest for 3rd-4th century CE Cryptochristianism & 5-6th century CE icono(crypto)graphy of the Turin Shroud, I first saw “The throne of Saint Mark” in 1997 (in Venice) and immediately identified it is a 3D alabaster replica at reduced scale of the Hetoimassia (or relic-throne of the “Preparation” to the Second Coming of Christ).
Hetoimassia, literally “preparation”, meaning “that which has been prepared” or “that which is made ready”, specifically refers to the “sign of the Son of Man” and his return at the Last Judgement.
The motif essentially consists of an empty throne with a prominent cushion and various Christic relics (among which his burial cloth covering or sitting on the throne and/or his pre-burial sudarium draped round a crux gemmata and/or the ring of twisted rushes, to which thorns were attached to form his crown around or over the cross).
Well before the Pray codex (1192-1195 CE) or the Lirey Pilgrimage leaden badge (1370-1390 CE), I hold the cathedra of Saint Mark (6th century CE) to be the earliest iconographic testimonial of Yeshua’s zigzag weaves patterned burial cloth.rected text :
Nobody made any connecttion between the cathedra, the Shroud and the Holy Mandylion. In a still in progess paper entitled “5-6th century CE Roman & Byzantine incono(crypto)graphy of the Turin Shroud I adress the issue.
Correction: “can also be observed as inscribed in the throne stone”.
Yannick, Thank you for the reference to the Maurus Green paper. I’m heavily committed on a publication project over the next week or so, but will check it out after that. Watch this space (or another, as no doubt it will become topical again).
I’m also interested in Max’s assertions concerning exposure of the facial area. No doubt he can provide some independent corroboration of his observations.
I have read the same as Max somewhere, my memory escapes me of exactly where, of this exact topic. Topic being that there is a noticeable circlet surrounding the head of the Shroud. So in essence Max is not alone in this assertion. It has been covered by others….Apparently from what I recall it is less noticeable in photographs but more discernable when the Shroud is viewed live.
Personal opinions like that have no value if they are not backed-up by a true scientific study and, what’s even better : that a study like that can be independently confirmed by another scientific study. So far, there’s nothing that can comfort those personal opinions, sorry. If we seek the truth and not just want to comfort our own beliefs, we have to stay within the scientific field and avoid the “I think I see” syndrom. Personaly, I found the FACT that the STURP team didn’t say a word about any significant difference in any particular region of the Shroud VERY TELLING !!!
My pleasure Dave. I just want people interested in this subject to have other point of views on that question than the “partisan” point of view of some historians like Scavone or Dubarle. I think this hypothesis of Wilson is far from having been confirmed (scientificaly speaking) and I want pro-authenticity people to note that fact !!! I’m a bit sick to see how much people have given Wilson a blank check about his ideas… The reality is this : So far, he has failed to give us a real solid scientific proof (that could come from the physic of the Shroud, the ancient documentary sources or the ancient artistic sources) that the Mandylion and the Shroud were one and the same. Since this is the reality, I think the conclusion of Green versus the hypothesis of Wilson is still correct, even today. That’s why I highly recommand the reading of this paper : because it is still very pertinent, even today. In it, you’ll see that Green was really excited by the ideas of Wilson but, as any good and professional historian, he was intelligent and prudent enough to wait and see if Wilson could really scientificaly comfort his ideas by giving real solid evidences (and not just speculative arguments that can be contradicted by other speculative arguments). The last 40 years have proven that he could not do so. Because of this, I’m pretty sure that Green, when he died in 2001, wasn’t excited no more about the hypothesis of his friend Wilson. In fact, if he was able to stick to his 1969 conclusion, he must have been much more skeptical about it years later, since Wilson wasn’t able to offer real undoubtful evidences to comfort his hypothesis… I don’t know if that was the way he felt before dying, but he should have felt that !
Yannick, I do think you are “sick” ;-)
No Max, I’m just a lucid man who’s able to think by himself ! ;-)
I want also to add : If you really think I’m sick by thinking like I do, then you’ll have to say that Green and many other historians are sick too !!! In fact, Wilson’s hypothesis is far from being accepted by the majority of the historians, especially those who are located outside the Pro-Shroud clique.
The fact is you are self-delusional and thinking mostly via Green!
The fact is : I try to rely on non-bias historians like Green when it comes to analysed the Mandylion hypothesis of Wilson.
Shall I repeat you just ALMOST PHYSICALLY DENY the possibility for a long piece of linen cloth to be doubled-in-four to be reduced to the size of a towel or a face cloth and kept within a handable reliquary. This is total non sense.
You also deny the fact the same circular decoloration area around the head/bust is visible whatever the photographic procedures (orthochromatic, traditional silver or extensive digital) and is also visible to the naked eye providing you step back 15-30m from the Shroud when displayed full length.
I know it is “possible” that the Shroud of Turin could have been folded in 8 just to show the region of the face. Of course, it is “possible”. But, in regard of all the ancient sources (coming from both the documentary and the artistic field), the vast majority of the evidences point in another direction : a towel that showed only the face of the living Christ…
Let’s take the idea of Wilson as true for a second. Then, I ask you (or anyone else) this question : Why using this kind of bizarre configuration to only show the face of a dead and beaten Christ ???
I also ask you (or anyone else) another good question : Why there is absolutely NO text, I repeat NO text that clearly state that this Holy Mandylion (as you said) was, in reality, the burial Shroud of Christ, while anyone could have seen the blood stains in the hair and on the forehead that can be easily assimilated to the crown of thorns ??? In other words, since anyone looking at the Mandylion could have easily take note of the crown of thorns, why there is absolutely NO text that make a direct link between this Mandylion and a burial cloth of Christ ?
I’m waiting for LOGICAL answers here…
Yannick, you just do seem disconnected with the Shroud “real physicality”.
H.P L’Orange, Norwegian archaeologist and art historian, wrote that “the ancient world conceived the clipeus, the round shield, as an image of the cosmos, citing Roman poet Ovid on Achilles’ shield as an imago mundi. The ancient East saw the world as a circle or clipeus [the world ring] and placed the cosmocrator, god[-emperor] and king, at its centre”.
The fact is the Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion table reliquary double-squared its vast circular central opening. This is the imago clipeata [(or framed portrait)] of the Parthians,
Romans and Byzantines. E.g. on Roman insignia, a central imago clipeata bearing the emperor’s effigy as Sol Invinctus was affixed. Hence what you call “this kind of bizarre configuration” is to be read in the light of the ‘Sol Invictus et Semper Ubique Victor’ effigy of the living Roman god-emperor with nimbus worshipped as sacred throughout the Empire and to be carried in grand procession, to celebrate the “Triumph” (the nimbus being conceived as emanating from the sun). Besides the Roman Emperor also was said to be the Boni Pastoris of numerous peoples and nations. Still ring any bells?
Yannick you wrote: “since anyone looking at the Mandylion could have easily take note of the crown of thorns, why there is absolutely NO text that make a direct link between this Mandylion and a burial cloth of Christ ?.”
How can you be so sure that “ANYONE looking at the Mandylion could have EASILY taken note of THE CROWN OF THORNS” in Byzantine times? Why don’t you ask the emperor Romanos Lekapenos’ two sons at the arrival the Image Edessa or Mandylion in Constantinople instead? I wish you were more aware of the reality of the Shroud
image within a given historical context. The Byzantine official theory was the image of the Holy Face on the Holy Mandylion was made from “the blood sweat” dripping from Yeshua’s head before he was captured in the garden of Gethsemane not from his crown of thorns.
I also wish you were more aware Byzantine times are gone and that the Shroud pictures shown/published in the media nowadays are first and foremost photographic- or computer-ENHANCED images.
Max, I know full well all the arguments you wrote in your last comment. But a lot of your interpretations are simply that : personal interpretations ! Let’s take those arguments one by one :
1- You said : “How can you be so sure that “ANYONE looking at the Mandylion could have EASILY taken note of THE CROWN OF THORNS” in Byzantine times?”
My answer : Simply because that would be the case today !!!! Almost any Christian that would look at the Shroud would easily recongnize the presence of a crown of thorns and would easily recongnize the link between this image and the Passion and death of Christ. Why would that be different in Byzantine times ? Because people back then were fools ? That’s ridiculous ! The fact is that people back then were much more pious than the majority of the Christians today ! And also, you have to remember that a bloody stained cloth like the Shroud, even if the region of the face would have been the only visible part, would have been considered completely scandalous for the people of that era !!!! Every defender of Wilson’s hypothesis always avoid this historical fact. To understand that this is true, you just have to consider this other fact : Before the 13th century, I’m not aware that there is one single depictions of Christ that show him with blood stains ! Even the crucifix before that time always showed a glorious Christ withtout any injuries or blood ! An you really believe that a cloth that would have showed Christ with a lot of blood stains would have been “religiously correct” during the last part of the 6th century ??? That the Church of that era would have dare to present such a bloody mess to his faithful ??? You really believe that ???
2- You said : “Why don’t you ask the emperor Romanos Lekapenos’ two sons at the arrival the Image Edessa or Mandylion in Constantinople instead?”
My answer : We already talked about this text on this blog and Dan disagree with me… Nevermind, I still believe this text is a very weak argument in favor of Wilson’s hypothesis. In fact, this reference come from a ancient text written by Symeon Metaphrastes and the part where he talk about the appearence of the Mandylion is clearly packed up with theological references. Any reasonable person who understand the exact nature of a text like that would never take this description of the Mandylion for granted !!! One thing’s for sure : a text like that cannot be considered as being an authentic proof that can scientifically comfort Wilson’s hypothesis…
3- You said : “The Byzantine official theory was the image of the Holy Face on the Holy Mandylion was made from “the blood sweat” dripping from Yeshua’s head before he was captured in the garden of Gethsemane not from his crown of thorns.”
My answer : This is only partialy true. In fact, this idea of the sweat of agony come from the “Narratio de imagine Edessena” written by emperor Constantine VII (or some of his scribes) around 945. In this manuscript, we have two versions of the same story (the formation of the image of Edessa) and those 2 versions are very different, since one is what I call “classic” in the sense that it present the formation during Jesus ministry (with him wiping ONLY his face, after he washed it with water), while he was alive and well, and the other is “alternative”, since it present the formation of the image in Gethsemane (with him wiping ONLY his face, after he has sweat during his agony), while he was still alive but not so well. First of all, do you see ? If what you said would be true and that the Byzantine were so sure about the fact that the image was formed with the sweat of agony, why would they had left the first classic version of the story intact ? That makes no sense. You have to remember that this is a legendary kind of text. Again, we cannot take for granted any description that could be present in a text like that. And if you don’t agree with this and desperately want to take one description for granted, which one would you take and which one would you leave ? The classic one or the alternative one ? You see that there is impossible to take any description present in this legendary text for granted !
In fact, this alternative version seem much more like a theological development of the first classic version, in order to deliver a spiritual teaching about the story of Gethsemane. In reality, this story written by Constantine could well have been influenced by the sermon of Gregory Referendarius, given one year before, in 944. If we follow the translation of Gregory’s speach made by Mark Guscin or Emmanuel Poulle, we understand that Gregory was making the same kind of link between the sweat of agony and the formation of the image. Since Gregory was an important member of the clergy, it is pretty evident that his speach was not simply a physical description of the relic and that it contain a lot of theological references. Again, it’s impossible to take any description from that sermon for granted. Those 2 texts (the sermon and the “Narratio”) are not the same nature than a strict list of relics done by a pilgrim. It’s not the same at all and any credible historian would never take any description taken from those theological or legendary texts for granted !
And we also have to remember that, in order to explain the formation of the image, those 2 texts doesn’t put the focus on the blood that could have been present in the sweat but, on the contrary, they put the focus mainly on the sweat itself… Just an example of that : In the Narratio, we can read this phrase (this is Thaddeus who speak to Abgar) : “…taking this linen cloth, he (Jesus) wiped the sweat that was running down his face LIKE drops of blood in his agony.” This translation come from Mark Guscin. Now, it is pretty clear that the emphase is put on the sweat and not on the blood that could have been present in the sweat ! So, in this context, it’s completely impossible to think the author of this manuscript was clearly saying that there was really blood on the cloth ! Since this alternative version seem to put the emphase on the sweat of Christ, we can think the author wanted to let us know the image was really faint. Maybe that’s possible (even if there is absolutely no way to be sure of that). But, even if the image on the Mandylion was really faint, how in the world that necessarily mean the image was the same as the image on the Shroud ? It’s like saying that the image on the Shroud is the only one in the whole world that is really faint ! That’s completely ridiculous. And making that kind of direct link is a perfect example of what I call “extrapolation” ! Even if we could be sure that the image on the Mandylion was really faint (again, there is no way to be sure of this and, personally, I don’t think so because the vast majority of the ancient sources don’t talk about it and all the copies of the Mandylion don’t show a faint image), it would still be impossible to consider this fact as a scientific proof that the Mandylion was really the Shroud folded in 8. It would still be an extrapolation… Effectively, there would always be another possibility : that the image on the Mandylion was a very close copy of the Shroud’s body image ! In that context, this would be normal that the artist who would have made the copy would have wanted to paint a faint image instead of a bright image in order to look like the Shroud…
You see ? Those kind of things are speculative arguments and, for each one, it is quite easy to find another speculative argument that goes in the opposite direction. THAT’S NOT AT ALL WHAT WE CAN CALL A “PROOF”. I hope you understand what I mean and what Maurus Green meant ! I repeat it again : Simply because Wilson has not been able to find a real proof to comfort his hypothesis, and in regard of the vast majority of the ancient documentary and artistic sources that present the Mandylion as a towel with only the face of a living Christ, it is much more better and prudent (scientificaly speaking) to consider the Shroud and the Mandylion as 2 different relics. That’s what Green meant in 69 and I really believe this particular conclusion is still valid today.
Yannick, you keep asserting the Shroud face/bust is NOT/CANNOT possibly be inscribed within a faintly lighter vast nimbus-shaped like area as a vestige of the Holy Face of the Hol Mandylion reliquary because of:
a) the STURP team 1978 NON OBSERVATION in live of the said area at A 15-30M DISTANCE. (Now could you tell me how many members of the STURP team had ever heard of Wilson’s Shroud-Mandylion theory or even knew anything about the Holy Face of the Holy Mandylion?. Can you name even one member of the STURP team who took the trouble to stand 15-30m away from the relic and proceeded to a distant examination of the Shroud image in situ textilis?)
b) YOUR “I think I DONT see” syndrome (i.e. your inability to tell whether or not your are the victim of a NEGATIVE optical illusion).
c) YOUR “explain all” “I think I see” syndrome (i.e. your propensity to systematically discard as MERE POSITIVE optical illusions what you cannot/dont want to see as it could infirm/ruin your opinion).
d) YOUR most biased interpretation/utterly speculative thinking that “ANYONE (in Byzantine Times) looking at the (Shroud face-)Mandylion could have EASILY taken note of THE CROWN OF THORNS (as ANYONE can today)” when actually even 20th-21st medical examiners themselves had a real hard time to identify the thorn marks in the hypothesis the Shroud was Yeshua’s!
e) YOUR non relevant discrimination between the theological, historical, philological, narratological and archaeological and subsequent “take-and-leave” according to you own personal biased/”ready-not-to-think” opinion.
THIS IS NOT SERIOUS (all the more so when there is visual/physical evidence of the Shroud having been doubled-in-four to be reduced to the size of a towel or a face cloth and kept within a handable reliquary with a vast nimbus-shaped like central opening).
– When ENHANCED, the same circular decoloration area around the head/bust is visible whatever the photographic procedures (1898/1931 orthochromatic, 1978 traditional silver or 2002 extensive digital) and is also visible to the naked eye providing you step back 15-30m from the Shroud when displayed full length. Any OPEN-MINDED Shroud researcher or student can do the same visual experiment.
-Yannick have you ever DIRECTLY observed the Turin Shroud stretched out full length at a distance between 15-30m? I guess you haven’t. I have for nearly an hour.
– Is your sight-and-brain trained to discriminating between positive and negative optical illusions in terms of faint/ghostly images or inscriptions? It is not. My own sight-and-brain definitely is.
“20th-21st CENTURY CE medical examiners”
“Any OPEN-MINDED Shroud researcher or student can do the same visual experimentS.”
Correction: “at he arrival of the Image of Edessa or Mandylion”
I don’t believe Green (from my perseption of the above mentioned paper) was that much against the probabilities of Wilson’s hypothesis. It is quite obvious they had spoken about it pretty thoroughly before Green wrote this paper. It would have been nice to hear what Green would say today with so much more evidence about the Shroud, and of papers and art that have surfaced since his writing. Anyways I don’t think Green makes a very strong case that the Shroud and the Mandylion were actually in Constantinople together at the same time or mentions anything concrete that would go against Wilson’s idea that both were or could be one in the same. Plus he gives no answer as to how or why the Shroud could have entered the city and was never mentioned or venerated till much later.
As I said before Yannick is just rehashing the same arguments as before, which have all been delt with singularly or atleast had reasonable responses, yet he continues to ignore counterpoints!….I am pertaining, as an example, to his insistence that the blood would have been noticed if viewed and should have been mentioned or depicted in art…That is just pure conjecture, along with several other comments he’s made. He continues to refuse to believe most people would probably not be able to discern the blood traces in the dark and dank cathedrals or the fact that when viewed in real life, even today, it is hard to discern such markings as blood.
Hello Ron ! I thought you had say all you wanted to say about this subject !!! ;-)
Quote : “I don’t believe Green (from my perseption of the above mentioned paper) was that much against the probabilities of Wilson’s hypothesis.”
You’re right and I already mentioned that aspect of his paper. Effectively, in 1969, Green seemed very excited about this brand new hypothesis of Wilson. In fact, it is Wilson himself who contacted him to let him know that he had found an answer for the lack of reference about the Shroud before the sack of Constantinople in 1204. If you read carefully the paper of Green (especially the conclusion), you have a sense that Wilson had make him believe that he could “prove” his case and that he would do so in a near future. BUT, SINCE 1969, THE REALITY IS THIS : HE REALLY FAILED TO DO SO ! If he had really proven his case, do you think there would be so much historians and researchers against his hypothesis, even today ??? And you have to remember that Wilson has just been able to bring many speculative arguments instead of a real solid scientific proof. That’s really different because, for any speculative arguments coming from Wilson, I can easily give you one or more speculative arguments that goes in the opposite direction ! So, you cannot take the arguments of Wilson as being real proofs. That’s why his ideas about the Mandylion are just considered as an hypothesis so far, and not as a real scientific theory. And that’s why the conclusion of Maurus Green versus the hypothesis of Wilson is still correct even today : IF WE WANT TO STAY PRUDENT (and I should add : if we want to stay within the scientific method), we have to consider the Mandylion and the Shroud as 2 separate objects because there is no solid proofs that can contradict the vast majority of the ancient documentary and artistic sources that stipulates that the Mandylion was a towel that showed only the face of a living Christ and never was related to a burial cloth. If you’re honest Ron, you’ll agree with me on this point ! That doesn’t mean you have to change your mind, but it would be nice if you could at least agree with me that Wilson has been
The other time, you ask me a list of the historians and researchers that doesn’t agree with Wilson’s ideas. Here it is (and it’s surely not an exhaustive list) : Emmanuel Poulle, Antoine Legrand, Pierre Barbet, Paul Vignon, Paul Riant, Alain Desreumaux, André Grabar, César Barta, Joseph Tixeront, Ernst Von Dobschütz, Steven Runciman, H.J.W. Drijvers, Averil Cameron, Paul Hetherington, Gerhard Wolf, Edward A. Wuenschel et Anthony Green Sr. (who was the father of Mauraus Green). Of course, many of them are dead now, but that doesn’t matter since they were defending other hypothesis concerning the Mandylion, like the one that stipulates that the relic ended up in Paris in 1241 or 1242 and was probably destroyed during the French revolution. In fact, the majority of those researchers were or are defending this last hypothesis… And
Quote : “I am pertaining, as an example, to his insistence that the blood would have been noticed if viewed and should have been mentioned or depicted in art…That is just pure conjecture…”
Pure conjecture ??? Ron, I think you re-arrange the facts here to comfort your own point of view ! Any person with a normal eyesight can distinguish pretty easily the crown of thorns when he look at the Shroud face ! On the contrary to the body image, the blood is easy to see ! Do you really believe the Mandylion was showed to the faithful in complete darkness ??? That’s ludicrous ! Just the fact that the blood on the Shroud is easy to see is enough to put a very serious doubt on Wilson’s hypothesis ! Effectively, any reasonnable person who would have seen the cloth with all the injuries and blood would have made most probably a direct link between the Mandylion and the Passion and death of Christ. How can you think that would not be the case ??? And, in that context, how can you explain that there is absolutely NO ancient documentary source that make a direct link between the Mandylion and/or the Abgar legend and a burial cloth ???
Here’s a little test for you : Show the face of the Shroud to any person on the street and he would easily think about the Passion of Christ ! Why would it be different for ancient people ? Because the Mandylion was showed in total darkness ? That’s ridiculous.
And you also seem to forget one important fact that is highlight by Maurus Green in his paper. Here’s a quote from that paper : “Failing certainty about the identity of the Edessan Image, we can imagine something of its appearance from the icons and mosaics inspired by it. Of these the Mandylion class is the most important. The oldest (Plates 7-10) are by Slav artists of the late twelfth century who could have seen it in Constantinople.”
So, you will make me believe that those artists that could have been allowed to paint a replica of the Mandylion would not have notice the blood stains on the cloth and would not have depicted them on their replicas ??? Sorry Ron, but in all logic, that makes no sense at all ! It’s evident to me that there would have been at least some replicas of the Mandylion that would have showed a dead Christ or a beaten and bloody Christ (like the Veronica vail) !!! Sorry, but the reality is completely the opposite : There is NO copies of the Mandylion (even those that could have been made by eye-witnesses artists) that show a face of Christ that look like the Shroud !!! To me, this is the MAIN argument that goes against Wilson’s hypothesis and those who defend this hypothesis always seem to forget this important aspect of the question or to put that aside like if it would mean nothing at all !
And you never tried to give an explantation for this part of the Synaxarion : “In life, you wiped your form onto a linen cloth. In death, you were placed in the final linen shroud. A manmade tile bears your form, not made by human hands, my Christ, creator of all.”
Here we have an offical book of liturgy (that is almost the same than our Roman Martyrology breviary) used by the Byzantine Church during the 11th or the 12th century, that makes a clear diffenrence between the Mandylion, the Shroud and the Keramion (the tile). And we have to remember that this book was written well after the arrival of the Mandylion in Constantinople and while the relic was still in that city. And we also have to remember that there is MANY lists of relics from the same era that clearly states that there was also, along with the Mandylion and the Keramion, a Shroud of Christ at the same time in the city, and that this relic was different from the Mandylion and the Keramion. And we also have to remember that those lists of relics NEVER make any kind of link between this Shroud of Christ and the Mandylion and/or the Abgar legend.
All this is not great for Wilson’s hypothesis !!!! And nevertheless, there’s a lot of pro-Shroud persons that still follow Wilson and company almost blindly !!!! That’s pretty pathetic, don’t you think ?
Sorry, there an incomplete phrase for Ron in my last comment. Here’s the complete phrase : “That doesn’t mean you have to change your mind, but it would be nice if you could at least agree with me that Wilson has been unable to really scientifically prove or confirm his hypothesis.”
This is not science Yannick it’s history ;-) I also don’t think anyone here is following Wilson’s hypothesis “blindly” either, that is a pretty condescending comment actually. So you think the idea that people could not discern the blood markings is nonsense? Then my friend you just went against your demi-God Barbet, whom stated this quite clearly himself!!…and he viewed the Shroud first-hand. Like I said you are just rehashing all your points from the last discussion and I will say again; all your points have been addressed and opposed quite logically by many here, (not just me)…..Personally I think your continuence in arguing this topic is pathetic actually, your not going to change my mind, atleast with anything you’ve put forward so far. So let’s just agree to disagree on the matter, shall we?
Fist thing Ron : History is part of the human sciences my friend !
Second thing : I just want people to realise that the Mandylion hypothesis of Wilson is a very bad joke when someone just take the time to investigate the case in deep like I’ve done. THERE A VAST AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE THAT THIS THING WAS A TOWEL SHOWING THE FACE ONLY OF A LIVING CHRIST. PERIOD. And if someone did the same deep investigation as I did and came up with the conclusion that the Mandylion must have been the Shroud folded in 8, I can’t believe such a person could pretend not to have a biased judgment !!! Or maybe I could believe that such a person have too much imagination !!! By the way, I suspect Wilson himself to be like that. I think he read too much fairy tales.
Also, should I remember you that you just prove that Green’s conclusion is still correct, even in 2012, since you failed (like Wilson and anyone else) to bring me a real scientific evidence that can make a direct link between the Mandylion and/or the Abgar legend and a burial shroud. Since you’re not able to do so (it’s normal actualy because there’s absolutely zero proof that exist in ancient texts or ancient artworks), I will use again the words of Maurus Green : It is prudent to consider the Mandylion and the Shroud like 2 different objects.
Last thing I want to add : Since I’ve started to criticise Wilson’s hypothesis, nobody here has come up to tell me he think I’m right, so the fact talk loud enough to say that “almost” (let’s leave the door open) here is following Wilson’s hypothesis quite “blindly”…
Last thing I want to add : Since I’ve started to criticise Wilson’s hypothesis, nobody here has come up to tell me he think I’m right, so the fact talk loud enough to say that “almost” (let’s leave the door open) evryone here is following Wilson’s hypothesis quite “blindly”…
One thing’s for sure on this particular topic : After all the bla bla we did here, nobody has succed to find me a real scientific proof that can really comfort Wilson’s hypothesis ! And you know why ? Simpky because there’s no such proof that exist in ancient documentary or artistic sources. Nothing make a DIRECT LINK between the Mandylion and/or the Abgar legend and a burial shroud… So, the conclusion of Maurus Green in 1969 is still totally valid !!! We SHOULD consider the Shroud and the Mandylion like 2 different objects. Period.
Yannick the bla bla is mostly on your side as opposed to visual/physical evidence. You just gratuitously keep denying any reality to such visual/physical evidence as your are totally unable/untrained to discriminate between positive and negative optical illusions (your ‘”I don’t think I see” syndrome). You never had the opportunity to directly observed the Shroud image! You cannot even name one STURP member having taken the trouble to proceed with the distant examination of the Shroud image to whether confirm or infirm the possible presence of a nimbus-shaped like faintly discoloured area discernable all around the Shroud face/bust. Where are your archaeological/scientific proofs to the contrary?
Coorection: “to directly observe the Shroud image!”
Yannick, the burden of archaeological/scientific proofs to the contrary is ON YOU!
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