Jason Engwer is great guy and has produced lots of useful and helpful material. I really appreciate his on-line work, and I hope that no one will be so foolish as to think that the criticism I’m about to offer is supposed to reflect badly on him personally. My problem is with his statement, not him.
In particular, his comment asserting:
The large majority of the evidence suggests that the Shroud of Turin predates the medieval era. The 1988 carbon dating of the Shroud is an exception that’s often cited. However, there are a lot of problems with that carbon testing. Dan Porter has gathered together some of the relevant evidence here.
is misleading at best and more generally speaking, out and out false.
The statement is misleading because "evidence" isn’t like people. It’s not like there are five personified evidences, named James, Bob, and Sparky, and only Sparky says X, while James and Bob say Y.
What did he just say? Evidence isn’t like people? Sparky? I find reformed apologetics confusing.
Moreover, even within categories of evidence, how we pick our categories ends up determining the majority. There are three main categories of evidence: Scriptural, historical inquiry, and scientific examination.
Oh, oh! That’s a clue.
On Scriptural inquiry, there is virtually nothing to support the shroud. The Scriptures specifically relate that Jesus’ body was wrapped in multiple linen sheets (not a single shroud), that his body was covered with about 75 pounds (American weight) of spices, and that his head was separately wrapped. Moreover, the long-haired person depicted in the shroud does not correspond well with Paul’s comment about nature teaching that is a shame for men to have long hair, though it accords well with medieval European iconography. Moreover, there is absolutely nothing in Scripture suggesting that Jesus ever left a miraculous image of himself on anything.
Furthermore, the burial wrappings of Jesus are specifically described in Scripture, and there is no mention of a shroud. At best, one could hope to find a way to work a shroud into and around the Scriptural evidence, but the Scriptural evidence is uniformly against the Shroud’s authenticity.
I think this is precisely why biblical scholar extraordinaire, The Rt. Rev. John A.T. Robinson once noted:
The corpse of Jesus enfolded in a simple linen cloth passing lengthwise over the head and covering the whole body back and front is not, I submit, what any forger with medieval or modern presuppositions would have thought of; but it makes complete sense of the texts and conforms with the other ancient evidence.
Exactly. No medieval forger would have created what we see in the shroud.
Oh my gosh, look at that hair on Turretin.