imageColin Barry has just updated his blog with a posting entitled No, the Shroud of Turin was NOT used to wrap Jesus. It was a 14th century thought experiment. It was not used to wrap anyone.

Safety Warning: Do not sip hot coffee while reading:

Here’s a comment I have just placed on Dan Porter’s site that updates my views on the Shroud of Turin:

[ . . . ]

I perceive the Shroud of Turin [is as] being in essence a thought experiment, imagining the effect of removing a victim, condemned to burning at the stake, while newly deceased but before substantial incineration, and placing in an up-and-over Shroud. The “hot” victim then leaves a scorch-like body imprint on both surfaces of the cloth. The end-result is/was intended as a visual and arresting metaphor – “Look – this is what they did to our blameless man, a latter-day martyr who suffered a fate comparable to that of Christ, i.e. false witness, followed by humiliating and excruciating public execution.

Evidence? It has to be circumstantial obviously . . .

Obviously! Or even a wild and weird flight of imagination:

The latter were almost certainly a signal to the viewer that the man depicted had been burned at the stake, that the burn holes were produced by hot charcoal falling onto the linen while still neatly folded, prior to being used to wrap the deceased. The midline fold that is needed to explain the symmetry of the burn holes (original ones– but later 1532 also) existed before the image imprinting in the case of the original L-shaped burn holes. The later 1532 holes, much larger, were a deliberate attempt to draw attention away from the earlier holes, not by patching (too conspicuous) but by swamping with new ones. The original holes were an embarrassment, you see, for those who wanted to re-invent Shroud Mk1 as Christ’s shroud, so much so that we see the original holes being represented as “blood” (red paint) on the 1516 Belgian (Lier) copy, for example, showing that copyist was clearly puzzled and/or confused by the L-shaped holes.

The 1532 fire (no accident, IMHO) removed that source of embarrassment at one fell swoop (though they had maybe forgotten or conveniently overlooked the ‘incriminating’ Lier copy).

I must not steal all his material – Colin does get so mad when I do that – so go read how the L shape of the poker holes may have been an intentional signal. I won’t give it away but do bear in mind that a certain someone was born in 1452 and died in 1519.

But of course he doesn’t mean that someone. Or anyone. I got it! Of course! What else? L is a signal to tell us how the blood will be applied at a later date: leeches.