Shooting the Fox

imageStephen Jones has a delightful posting, Shooting the fox is not killing the fox!. Yes, it is about the Shroud. It deals with many issues dear to skeptics. In the following, the bold text is by Robert Allen in his book, "How To Win Arguments: The Complete Guide To Coming Out On Top." The not-so-bold text is by Jones.

There are two main ways of dealing with foxes. Ladies and gentlemen dress up smartly, mount fine horses, and have a splendid time chasing them all over the countryside before finally watching them being torn to bits by hounds. Farmers shoot them. It is considered unsporting but is quick and effective. Using Allen’s metaphor, it is not enough to merely shoot a fox, one must actually kill it! One might have merely have temporarily stunned the fox, and if one wishes that the fox was dead, then one is more likely to deceive oneself that the fox is dead, when it is not, and will live to fight another day.

And the same, here, Allen and Jones:

The complications were endless. The nail holes in the body were in the correct place. Traditionally painters and sculptors had shown Christ’s wounds to be in his hands. Anatomically and historically this was nonsense because the hands would not have borne such a weight. The actual method of crucifixion was to drive the nails through the wrist bones. The shroud showed this quite accurately. On the other hand the image on the shroud showed the hands modestly covering the genitals, but if a body has been `laid out’ the hands would not normally reach so far. Also the image showed that blood had run from the wounds. Biblical evidence tells us that the body was washed before burial and, of course, dead bodies do not bleed.Allen is right that the Shroud does have "The nail holes … in the correct place … through the wrist bones" yet "Traditionally painters and sculptors had shown Christ’s wounds to be in his hands" which "would not have borne such a weight." So even if the Shroud’s 14th century or earlier forger knew that (when it seems that no one else did), why, if he wanted his forgery to be accepted, would he not depict the nails in the Shroud man’s hands?

It is a long posting with some good discussion on the carbon dating of the shroud, as well. Enjoy.