Photograph for Today

Right now there is a going-nowhere-fast thread on the Perspectives on Everything discussion board. Entitled, Shroud Of Turin Real? New Research Dates Relic To 1st Century, Time Of Jesus Christ, it started on March 28th. The most recent comment, number 255, was from yesterday, May 30th. I’m not recommending it, unless you are having trouble sleeping.

But what did catch my eye in the thread is this great photograph from a YouTube video, Why the Shroud of Turin is a forgery? by Walter Hain, Vienna, Austria:


Here is the video if you want to watch it, It runs about eight minutes, or so.

How can you argue with this?

imageIn reacting to the news about the Shroud of Tuurin conference in Mexico City, a blogger for the Church of God News blog explained why you cannot reconcile the image on the shroud with the biblical fact that Jesus had short hair:

While hair does grow after death, it does not grow quickly enough for the length that is on the Shroud of Turin.  Jesus said He would be in the grave three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40), and that would not be enough time for long hair to appear.

The Holy Shroud and the Year of Faith Conference

imageFrom the Catholic News Agency (CNA/EWTN):

Headline: Experts meet in Mexico for conference on Shroud of Turin

Mexico City, Mexico, May 29, 2013 / 01:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts from around the world gathered in Mexico for a conference on the Holy Shroud of Turin in light of the latest studies indicating that the linen bears the characteristics of Jesus’ burial cloth.

The conference, entitled “The Holy Shroud and the Year of Faith,” took place May 24-25 in Mexico City as the Mexican Center for the Study of the Shroud marked its 30th anniversary.

The center is led by Dr. Adolfo Orozco, who is dedicated to studying and making known the burial cloth “that is presumed to have enveloped the body of Jesus of Nazareth and was a witness to the moment of the resurrection.”

In addition to the conference at the Marian Plaza at the Basilica of Guadalupe, an exact replica of the shroud was also on display.

Among the characteristics of the shroud discussed during the conference were its three-dimensionality, the first-century style weaving of the linen and the impossibility that it could have been the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, as historical records show that it was exhibited in Europe 92 years before the artist was born.

The blood on the shroud is human and was absorbed into the cloth before the image was imprinted upon it, experts said. The scientific analysis of the shroud fits with the Gospels’ narration of the historical facts, along with research on Hebrew customs from that time period.

Although it is unknown how the image was imprinted on the cloth, it can be compared to a radioactive reaction, which would coincide with the moment of the Resurrection, experts explained.

Speakers at the event included Dr. Bruno Barberis, director of the Shroud of Turin Musuem; Father Eduardo Chavez Sanchez, postulator of the cause of canonization of St. Juan Diego; Dr. John Jackson, director of the Center for the Study of the Shroud in Colorado Springs; and Dr. Rafael de la Piedra, a lay consecrated member of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae and the director of the Center for Catholic Studies of Lima.

New Novel Coming: The Linen God by Jim O’Shea

imageRiver Laker, publicist for an upcoming novel by Jim O’Shea (Wayside Press), writes:

The Linen God is based on the fascinating history and science surrounding the legendary Shroud of Turin. It is similar to Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, taking readers on a thrill ride spanning continents and millennia. However, it is different than Brown’s secular works in that it delivers a powerful faith message while helping to establish historic and scientific credibility for the legitimacy of this amazing artifact.

As, who I believe to be a Shroud advocate like Mr. O’Shea, I was hoping you might help spread the word on this highly anticipated novel, due to hit bookshelves on July 1 (paperback and ebook). Mr. O’Shea’s goal with this novel is to reach not just people who have an existing interest in the Shroud, but even more those that may never visited a Shroud-related website or, in some cases, have no idea what the Shroud of Turin is!

We believe this novel may be able to reach people in ways non-fiction books, articles, television, and websites have failed to.

The Facebook link below contains a synopsis, sample chapters and advance reader’s reviews (currently rated 5 stars!) of The Linen God. I was hoping you could "Share" this Facebook page as well as forward this information along to friends/colleagues and perhaps post the link on the Shroud of Turin blog if you deem appropriate.

And River sent along a review excerpt by award-winning novelist Doug Peterson:

Weaving together Vatican politics and the mystery of the Shroud of Turin, Jim O’Shea has crafted a wonderfully engaging, page-turning thriller. In this fast-paced debut novel, O’Shea combines science and faith with a healthy dose of suspense, and the result is a harrowing adventure that is part Michael Crichton, part Frank Peretti.

Good and evil in their purest forms collide in a climax that threatens the future of the Church. And at the center of it all is the mystery of the Shroud and the mystery of the Incarnation, which left an indelible mark on the world—and quite possibly on a piece of ancient linen. The Linen God will leave its mark on readers as well.

YouTube: The Restoration and Backside Scans

FASCINATING & with English Voiceover: Russ Breault found this YouTube, “The Shroud of Turin – Fabric Materieals,” about the restoration and the scan of the back image. The link is

A Guest Posting by Yannick Clément: Two Quotes About the Blood

imageFollowing an interesting exchange on the blog concerning the question of the color of the blood on the Shroud, I would like to share with everyone two very important and relevant quotes concerning the question of the authenticity of the blood that is on the Shroud.

The first one come from Al Adler’s book “The Orphanes Manuscript” and was written by Dorothy Crispino: “On the 10th of June (1997), Adler saw the Shroud for the first time. It was, for him, an awesome experience. It was a recognition, by sight, that, as he had been demonstrating in tireless experiments, the Shroud could not be a painting. (Adler said:) “When they unrolled the Shroud… Just look at it! It takes two seconds… This is no painting! That blood is blood!”

And the second quote come from Pierre Barbet’s book “A Doctor at Calvary” (personal translation): “(On the 15th of October 1933), I saw the Shroud in full daylight, without any glass interposition, at a distance of less than 1 meter, and I suddenly felt one of the most intense emotion of my life. Because I saw, at my surprise, that all the images of wounds had a color clearly different than the whole body (image) and this color was that of a dried blood that had soaked the cloth. It wasn’t, like it is for the rest (of the image), brownish stains on the Shroud reproducing the relief of a corpse. The blood itself had stained the cloth by direct contact and this is why the images of wounds are positives while the rest is negative. The exact tint was difficult to define… but the general aspect was that of red (carmin mauve, said Mr. Vignon, following the thought of Antoine Legrand), more or less faded depending of the wound: more accentuated for the side (wound), at the head, at the hands and at the feet; paler, but very perceptible, on the numerous scourge wounds… But the surgeon understood, without any doubt, that this was blood that had soaked the cloth…”

So, in the end, I think these two quotes coming from true blood experts that have seen the Shroud in person in Turin (Barbet even saw it in sunlight) are well enough to understand that the question of the supposedly unusual color of the blood on the Shroud is really secondary… The fact that these two experts have immediately recognized, with some surprise and even with some shock in both cases, that these stains cannot have been made of anything else than blood is what really matter when it comes to the blood issue! And what is really important to note is the fact that, in both cases, these two blood experts didn’t made any mention of a problem concerning the color of the blood when they saw the Shroud with their own eyes of expert and recognized immediately that the blood on the cloth is really blood! Their first reaction in front of the Shroud is very telling because, in both cases, the color of the blood was not an issue that could have made them doubt if these stains were really made of blood or not! Truly, what they saw was evident for them: it was real blood… In other words, if the color of the blood they saw was as unusual as some think, they would never have made this kind of instant conclusion that the stains are really made of blood!

So, when you add the fact that Adler and, indepedently in Italy, Baima Bollone, have both scientifically proved that these stains are made of real blood, surely primate and probably human, then there are no question about the fact that what appears to be blood on the Shroud is really blood, no matter his color! Again, that’s what really matters in the end.

On that subject, it is very interesting to read this other quote from Barbet’s book (published in 1950): “Of course a rigorous scientific proof that these stains are blood would need physical or chemical tests… but since it is proven that the other images (note: he refers to the body image) are not manmade, that this Shroud contained a corpse, can these traces of wounds, so riches in details as real as unexpected, could be colored by something else than blood?”

Since it has been scientifically proven since that time that the blood is real blood, I think Barbet, following his previous comment, would have easily conclude that such a blood, in the context of a real burial cloth that really contained the corpse of a crucified man, cannot be anything else than real human blood… I think we can easily forget about the possibility that it can be baboon’s blood!

I think it’s fair to conclude that the question of the authenticity of the blood on the Shroud has been answered since a long time! All the rest (like the question of the color of the blood) are details that cannot be taken (even by honest skeptics) as being potentially able to prove the contrary of what has already been proved, i.e. that the blood could be anything else than real human blood.

Final note: It is important to also keep in mind that most of this blood is not made of whole blood but is made of exudates of blood clots that were humid enough to stained the cloth. This had a huge impact on the shape and texture of the bloodstains on the cloth and who knows if this could not also had some impact on the resulting color of these bloodstains on the cloth? Anyway, no matter if this had an impact on the color or if the color is really redder than normal, the most important thing to understand, once and for all, is that what has stained the Shroud cannot be anything else than real human blood and this scientific fact represent a huge problem for anyone who wants to demonstrate that this relic is in fact a human creation, probably made during Medieval time! That’s what matters the most concerning the blood that is present on the Shroud…

The vagaries of human visual perception and individual judgment

imageA reader writes:

I have been following comments from a small handful of your blog readers claiming that there are images of coins over the eyes. These claims are fraught with difficulty. Those who tilt LCD computer screens or enhance photographs exhibit a breathtaking ignorance of how the technology they use works. What you must do is only use technically superior full color images, the color in order to help identify invalid image parts such as dirt, fiber anomalies, blood and foreign particulate matter. Then you must develop analytical methods and tools that don’t rely on the vagaries of  human visual perception or individual judgment. For now, it is utterly foolish to claim there are any coin images.

Flowers anyone? Lettering? Other things?