Back in March, I introduced an article by John Long, ‘The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part One: To Edessa,” which was posted at Associates for Biblical Research. I seem to have never followed up. I just noticed that there are now four parts, the last part having been posted just three days ago. These make for very interesting reading:
- The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part One: To Edessa – If Biblical Archaeology is defined loosely as “the study of the ancient things related to the Bible,” then surely the sindon, linen used to wrap Jesus’ body in death, has to be of interest. Most informed Christians now know that there is a serious candidate, the Shroud of Turin.
- The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part Two: To the Great City – The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History is a four part review of the historical evidence for the Shroud of Turin from the 1st century to the beginning of the 15th. In Part 1 a mysterious picture slowly emerges from antiquity as a cloth on which Jesus supposedly imprints his face and sends to a king in the northern Mesopotamian city of Edessa. But during the 8th through 10th centuries additional evidence suggests that this is a large, folded cloth depicting Christ’s full, bloodied body.
- The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part Three: The Shroud of Constantinople – Part 1 of this survey began an admittedly sympathetic summary of Ian Wilson’s theory (updated) that Jesus’ NT burial shroud was quietly preserved from antiquity, but only gradually introduced into Christian traditions as The Holy Image of Edessa. This was a famous cloth on which Jesus supposedly imprinted his face and sent to 1st century King Abgar V in Edessa (modern Urfa in Turkey.
- The Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History: Part 4: To Little Lirey – This final part of the Shroud of Turin’s Earlier History addresses the means by which it left Constantinople in the east (in or not long after 1204) and reappeared about 150 years later in the little village of Lirey, France. The relic’s “good” history is acknowledged by almost all to begin about 1355 when a minor French nobleman with an outstanding reputation, Geoffrey de Charny, is believed to be the cloth’s first certain owner…
For the record, I cannot entertain the notion that the ABR is an objective historical or archaeological research organization given its endorsement of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which reads in part. “Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history . . .“ It is ABR’s mixing of archaeology with biblical literalism that leads to the strangest sort of thinking. That’s right that is a person standing next to that dinosaur.
This is not a criticism of John Long or his articles, just the publishing organization.