We might wonder who will be calling the shots and what will the take away message be for the Holy Saturday exhibition of the Shroud. I rather think Benedict 16 has decided that. Who can forget the 2010 headlines proclaiming the Shroud authentic and the Associated Press comment about Benedict’s attitude towards science on this matter. Contrast this with the statements of John Paul II on science and the Shroud.
Such a long time ago but thanks to Google we can find all this. One headline stands out in particular: “Pope Benedict says Shroud of Turin authentic burial robe of Jesus.” It was the headline for an article in the normally careful and judicious Christian Science Monitor on May 1, 2010. That was right after the pope’s visit to the exhibition of the shroud. The paper went on to say:
The Vatican, which owns the linen cloth, has in the past tiptoed around the issue, describing it as a potent symbol of Jesus Christ’s suffering but never asserting outright its authenticity. Pope John Paul II visited the Shroud when it last went on public display in 1998, but he said the Catholic Church had "no specific competence” to pronounce on its authenticity and urged further scientific analysis.
Benedict was much less equivocal on Sunday when he prayed in front of the cloth at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Turin, Italy, saying afterwards in a “meditation” that it was "an icon written in blood; the blood of a man who was whipped, crowned with thorns, crucified, and injured on his right side."
Other news outlets pulled their punches a bit. The AP story read:
TURIN, Italy – TURIN, Italy (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI all but gave an outright endorsement of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin on Sunday, calling the cloth that some believe is Christ’s burial shroud an icon "written with the blood" of a crucified man.
The AP story went on to say:
"This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus," Benedict said. He said the relic — one of the most important in Christianity— should be seen as a photographic document of the "darkest mystery of faith" — that of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
[. . . ]
"The Shroud of Turin offers us the image of how his body lay in the tomb during that time (of death); time that was brief chronologically — about a day and a half — but was immense, infinite in its value and significance," Benedict said.
But then we had this bit of a journalist’s interpretation:
Benedict’s meditation — delivered after he prayed as if in a trance before the shroud — appeared to imply that in the end it doesn’t matter what science says about its authenticity.
And that most inappropriate interpretation was published everywhere AP feeds are used from the New York Times to the Chattanooga Times. I’m not so much concerned about any take away message as I am about what some journalist tells us it is.
Another quote from the AP story :
“But experts stand by carbon-dating of scraps of the cloth that determine the linen was made in the 13th or 14th century in a kind of medieval forgery.”
“a kind of” scorching ?
Quote from the Pope : “”The Shroud of Turin offers us the image of how his body lay in the tomb during that time (OF DEATH)”
Are you now convince that what I said the other day concerning the meaning of the expression “Icon of the Holy Saturday” was correct???
I really think this new comment from Benedict 16 confirm that the Pope understanding of the Shroud is close to mine, i.e. that it is a relic of the Passion and death of Christ (and also a relic of the Incarnation of God!) well before being an icon of his Resurrection…
When it comes to matters of belief, perhaps science should take a back seat. We have a choice, do we fill in the gaps with doubt or with faith? It is really a choice we each make. Sure there are gaps in the data with the Shroud. A purely scientific view would conclude that a determination of authenticity can never be achieved…we don’t have the DNA of Jesus to make a definitive match. But my faith tells me it is authentic and I “venerate” it as such. Skepticism is good to a point, but too much of it could rob you of the simplicity of faith. This is exactly why Jesus said unless we have the faith of a little child we cannot enter the Kingdom. There is enough evidence to indicate the Shroud COULD be authentic. Faith takes me the rest of the way. Perhaps this is Benedict’s view as well.
This posting has little to do with which Pope said what or didn’t say that. It’s about what reliability we can take from newspaper reporting. The press, and media generally, like to posture about the high ideals of the Fourth Estate and demand a licence to publish what they will under the slogan of the “freedom of the press”. In reality most media outlets in the western world exist for one purpose only, to return a dividend to their shareholders. Their employees climb onto this bandwagon knowing full well that in order to feed themselves and their families, they are expected to present their stories in as sensational way as they can, for this will sell their employer’s products and please the shareholders.
Notice how this Associated Press reporter first creates the impression of report authenticity by commencing her report with factual quotations, which can be easily checked and confirmed, and consolidates this with a few paragraphs of objective factual commentary. Then comes the creative part. “A Vatican researcher [unnamed] said late last year (writing on the cloth…)”, “But experts [again unnamed] stand by carbon-dating of scraps of the cloth …”. Further waffly commentary about “Some (who??) have suggested contamination skewed the results”. No mention of the real reason – the failure to take a representative sample which just happened to be a patch! The effect is to create a doubt in the mind of the reader as to what the Pope and Shroud authenticists believe or have to say on the topic, they are in fact evidently in “cloud-cuckoo land”. Bring in a bit of sensationalism – recycle the sex-abuse scandal, which has nothing at all to do with the subject in hand, and that, my friends, is how you compose a newspaper report!
Many years ago, we had a regular weekly radio programme in NZ, called “Fourth Estate”, a media watch-dog programme which provided objective commentary on the failures and successes of media reporting. I guess other jurisdictions probably had similar versions of it. Now the lobbyists of the press conglomerates have seen the dispatch of such useful critical programmes, and we must be our own critics. One enlightening way is to read carefully the stories where we have our own inside information, and to compare the report with what we know are indeed the facts. Similar comments apply to the other reports. Note the Christian Monitor headline “Pope Benedict says Shroud of Turin authentic burial robe of Jesus”. Pope Benedict did not specifically say that at all!
Reading Reuters, AFP or AP stories i’m waiting for factual, objective information.
This is old news, Dan. A journalist’s interpretation of what the Pope said does not equate to what the Pope said.
My interpretation of Benedict’s remarks is that the Holy Shroud is a sign or reason to believe in Jesus. His Holiness did not say the Shroud was authentic.
I would rather say David that faith is needed first to really appreciate the Shroud and the message we can get from it (by the way, I like the way you use the word “sign”). I really doubt that this piece of cloth can really convert a lot of people, especially in our modern materialistic world. I have sense that the Shroud is there to strengthen the faith of you, me, Russ, Andy, etc., much more than to convert a non believer like my friend Barrie Schwortz!!!
And I also think that Christians would gain a lot by forgetting the idea that they can find some proofs of the Resurrection by studying this cloth, but instead, that they can get a great help to meditate on the extreme LOVE AND MERCY of God for each one of his children, believer or not.
The Resurrection is both an historical event and an object of faith. I do not try to prove that Jesus is alive in a new life with God. Rather, I give my reasons for believing with a summons to believe. One of the reasons I have for believing is that there is no explanation for how the image got on the Holy Shroud. Another is the Resurrection. Another is that people who don’t believe generally give bad reasons for not believing.
Quote: “One of the reasons I have for believing is that there is no explanation for how the image got on the Holy Shroud.”
My answer: Ray Rogers and some other true scientists have proposed some interesting explanations over the years that can well be very close to the truth regarding the image on the Shroud and these explanations (Maillard reaction, Volckringer pattern, etc.) are completely resting on natural mechanisms. Of course, since these hypotheses are very complex and hard to reproduce in a lab, we still got no confirmation yet that one of these can really be apply to the Shroud, but nevertheless, in the present state of our knowledge, no one can really discard them, except THOSE WHO DESPERATELY WANT TO USE THE SHROUD TO PHYSICALLY PROVE THE RESURRECTION (i.e. to back-up their religiously biased ideology)…
Question: What would happen to your faith in the Resurrection if a 100% natural hypothesis for image formation would be proven right in the future???
Personally, I can say that since my faith has grown and is getting a little bit stronger and stronger over the years, my need to rely on the Shroud as some kind of insurance have constantly decrease. I think that if this continue that way (I sure hope so!), then I won’t need the Shroud for my faith no more before the end of my time on Earth. I hope that one day, this relic will only be an helpful tool for me in my meditation about the Passion and death of Christ and nothing else… In sum, the more I advance in my life and in my faith, the more I tend to focus on the Shroud man instead of focusing on his burial cloth. Sure I still love to exchange on that passionate subject, but the more my faith is growing strong, the more the Shroud is becoming secondary. I hope it is the same for all of you!
As Christians, we should not “venerate” or focusing too much on Jesus burial Shroud but much more on the God-man who came on Earth to show us the real face of love and mercy of the Father! A face of course that we can see on the Shroud (with the eyes of faith).
It seems that even journalists in top dailies and news agencies continue to sweep ethics aside and distort the Pope’s words. When the Vatican Observatory in Arizona received a new telescope some years ago an English daily announced that the Pope was using it to look for God, failing to report that the Vatican Observatory is one of the world’s oldest astronomical research institutions.
Just looking for headlines, Louis. In that respect, truth does not matter at all.
That’s right, Andy, and that is the saddest part of it all. Part of the press has also been indulging in sensationalism, and quite consciously, just to get something easy to find for headlines… and sell. This is something that began with the book publishing world and has slowly reached, thank God, only part of the press. There are people in this field who are also trying to influence the conclave by inciting public opinion, providing the Church with justification for telling the cardinals to keep their mouths shut.
forget how the image was made the question is how did the body get out of the shroud without the cloth being unwrapped
– What if the long inner burial cloth just sort of gradually got taut again and unstuck from stiff rigid bloodied corpse via a purifying & DRYING ritual? Once dried on (speedy) purification ritual, how could you still tell ‘the body get out of the shroud without the cloth being unwrapped’. What should be the evidence? The cloth was unwrapped.
– What about the fact his (purified) burial cloth(es) was(were) kept by Yeshua’s disciples?
– Which bona fide Biblical exegete worth his salt can REALLY hold as a compelling fact, the large ‘sindon’ was still lying on the tomb bench as one of the ‘othonia’ while the latter Greek word is in the DIMINUTIVE plural to ONLY refer to DIMINUTIVE shrouds and bandages?
Reminder: Greek othone is the synonym for Greek sindon (linen tunic/garment/sheet) whereas othonion (diminutive of sing. othone & plur. othonia) just refers to smaller linen/shrouds (such as face cloth, skull-cap, napkin and bandages).
Mark: evangelist surname secret meaning (in conjunction with the Sindon as burial garment)
YoHanan/Yonathan or YoHanan (Ham-)Maqqaba (John Mark), as he is often called, was then (ca. 29-33 CE) a young Kohen from Maccabean descent (from the Aramaic maqqaba “hammer/ferocious [in battle]”), a son and assistant secretary/stenographer/scribe (Heb. sopehereth; Gr hapurethen, “servant/assistant/auxilary short for hapurethen hermeneutes) of the Judean High Priest Hanan.
Some scholars (see NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, second edition, vol. 9, p. 9) maintain that the surname is a shortened form of the Hebrew maqqab-yahû (from naqab, ‘‘to mark, to designate’’), meaning ‘‘the one designated by Yahweh” (referring to a High Priest descendent from the Maccabee family).
Actually John’ s surname can be read as an elaborated/‘plurivocal pun’ in Hebrew-Aramaic from the verb naqab.
“The one [keeping a garment] with holes” and “the one cursed [by his own father/family]” can also render Maqqaba as a surname for a priest named YoHanan/Yonathan (his High Priest name) ben Hanan who was one of Yeshua’s first secret disciples, wore the (High Priest) petalon in 36-37 CE and resigned (my etymological cryptanalysis is supported by Genot-Bismuth and Tresmontant’s research works on the Hebrew and Aramaic substrata of John’s & Mark’s Gospels + Acts of the Apostles + John’s Book of Revelation + Patristic literature).
Mark/Maqqaba, “The one cursed (and exiled?)”, “the one [keeping a garment] with holes”, ring bells?
According to Jerome & the Gospels of the Hebrews fragment: ‘Yeshua gave his sindon to the servant/auxiliary/assistant of the (High) Priest’ implies he had NOT left it in his tomb (in all likelihood, the servant/ auxiliary here can be identified either with John Mark as High Priest Hanan’s assistant secretary/stenographer or Joseph of Arimathea as Sanhedrin member/High Priest’s auxiliary of Justice).
Typo: (Heb. sophereth; Gr huperethen, “servant/assistant/auxilary short for huperethen hermeneutes)
– Reminder: Greek othone is the synonym for Greek sindon (linen tunic/garment/sheet) whereas othonion (diminutive of sing. othone) via its plur. othonia just refers to smaller linen/shrouds (such as face cloth, skull-cap, napkin and bandages).
– According to Jerome quoting a passage from the lost Gospel of the Hebrews:
Reminder for Paul: Archaeo(crypto)logically speaking, my opinion is the bloodied image was formed by a body-to-cloth contact-and-gradual loss of contact process. The image does correspond to subjecting the tightly wrapped-up stiff rigid body (laid out in extra height on two raised stones; first on the left and then the right side) to fumigation (the long inner burial sheet being soaked in an aqueous alkaline solution). This purification ritual is totally consistent with four out of the five main Judean burial core procedures namely speedy burial, wrapping in shrouds, purifying and drying (anointing was not performed as the women were not allowed to grind solid/granulised spices to make spicy oily perfumes on Sabbath).
Reminder 2 for Paul: The TS man’s body was laterally compressed with Judean fresh medical plants mostly head flowers (Gr. aromaton) used as insect repellent + Judean ferocious plants (e.g. Gundelia tournefortii, a type of thorny thistle from the sunflower family) to bind the back and front sides of the inner burial cloth together + solid objects such as a cane of Arundo donax, a cord or rope, a linen headband (with writings both in Latin and Greek); three wooden pieces (sawn off the Yeshua’s trilingual titulus damnationis to make a small ‘jawbox’: two placed underneath on each side of the head and the shorter one on top under the chin and used in conjunction with a small face cloth and a skull cap on top of it all to tightly shut the long burial sheet at head level). (This can be deduced from the Greek conjugated verbs used in the Gospels to describe Yeshua’s burial, the Turin Sindon’s absence of lateral body image; Israeli botanist, Avinoam Danin’s, Italian paleographer, Aldo Marastoni’s, French optic engineer, late André Marion’s and my personal findings).
Addendum: + Judean ferocious plants (e.g. Gundelia tournefortii, a type of thorny thistle from the sunflower family) to bind the back and front sides of the inner burial cloth together and fasten the bandages from underneath.
Why would God, WHO FORBADE IMAGES OF ANY KIND, allow an image of His Son to appear on a burial cloth, to be venerated and worshiped. Like the other catholic ‘relics – the shroud of Turinis is a distraction of the “Deny, Distract and Discredit” strategy of any damage-controlling corporation, and it doesn’t matter how many times the popes try to deceive the masses with their lies – “Worship a bogus burial cloth’ instead of the Son of the God of Israel, whose resurrection they deny as they love the empire power of satan on earth
– Ancient Hebrew burial customs are clear…Great care was taken by Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus (whose name means ‘codified sum’) to prepare the body of the ‘Christ’ for burial – this included ‘wrapping’ it in swaddling cloth – the same kind that He was wrapped in at his birth. These strips of cloth were wound, mummy style, around the body while a separate head cloth, or ‘napkin’ was wrapped around His head
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (John 19:38-42)
And he that was dead came forth, ‘bound hand and foot’ with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. (John 11:44)
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. John 20:7
The Greek word for napkin, face cloth, or burial cloth is “soudarion”. The word is of Latin origin and means any of the following:
1.a sweat cloth, a towel for wiping perspiration
4.a cloth for binding the face of a corpse
The Greek word for folded, wrapped, or rolled up is ‘entulisso’. It means any of the following:
1. to twist
2. to entwine
3. to wind up in
4. to wrap in (together)
This face cloth would have been wound around the jaws and up around the head, probably in a twisted manner to make somewhat of a rope in order to make the jaw securely closed.
And the further clarify the Papal attempts at distraction –
‘Christ commands His children to seek His face (MERCY) and His Body is His ‘Church’ –
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