Myra Adams: The larger question for Easter Sunday is how did the Shroud survive

The Shroud in the papers this Easter Sunday

imageMyra Adams has an Easter morning article, Five reasons why the Shroud of Turin could be authentic, in BizPac, the conservative “alternative to legacy media in Palm Beach County” and the country.

Today, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ commonly known as Easter or, less commonly, Resurrection Sunday.

If it were not for this event Christianity, the world’s largest religion, would not exist and Jesus, instead of being the most significant person in history, would have been just another forgotten Jewish man crucified by the Romans around  33 AD.

For those who are truly celebrating Christ’s resurrection today and not absorbed with chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies, here are some questions, facts and answers that you could roll like eggs at your family’s Easter gathering.

First, the BIG question: Does scientific evidence for Christ’s resurrection exist today? The answer, millions of other faithful and I believe, is “yes” and it is called the Shroud of Turin.

Read on.

11 thoughts on “Myra Adams: The larger question for Easter Sunday is how did the Shroud survive”

  1. “Even more remarkable, is that the man’s image can be scraped away with a razor blade because it sits on TOP of the cloth.” Now there’s an interesting experiment…

  2. The extreme superficiality of the image, effecting only the top one or two micro-fibers implies that, by way of explanation, that if someone shaved the surface of the cloth the image would disappear.

    1. And this shaving would most probably imply the disappearance, not of the primary cell wall of the linen fibers, but the colored coating of carbohydrate impurities that reside on-top of those fibers…

  3. That, in itself, makes the image unique. There have been differences about the depth of the image between Giulio Fanti and Paolo di Lazzaro, but the superficiality is in keeping with what we know about Jesus in the New Testament.

  4. Russ, Louis: Catch up! See discussions under Recent Posts, ‘Good Chemistry Questions’, ‘Remember the Valencia Consensus …’.

    Readers were reminded that Ray Rogers had succeeded in removing the coloration of an imaged fibre using the highly active chemical diimide, but leaving the fibres underneath intact and unaffected. This persuaded Rogers that the image lay in the starch coating, not the fibres themselves, no matter what Fanti and DiLazzarro had to say about the matter!

    1. The implication is that attempts to discover the cause of the image, can only be valid if linen manufactured according to the ancient methods is used. Modern methods of manufacturing linen do not leave a starch coating. The ancient methods did!

      1. I agree again 100% with Daveb’s comment, except for the fact it’s not Rogers who did the test with diimide (and other solvants and reagents) but Alain Adler…

  5. Daveb, thanks for the lead. But so what? Does that mean the image is even more superficial? The matter will be raised in a Shroud article shortly, right now I’m working on a big review-article on biblical archaeology.

    1. Louis, the implication is that many of the previous and recent attempts to ascertain the cause of the image, whether directed at a naturalistic or fraudulent explanation, excimer laser, corona discharge, scorching, seismic origin, or for that matter Maillard, must be reconsidered as very likely invalid. Many of these attempts used modern linen and any results from those tests might well be judged irrelevant. The two possible exceptions I’m aware of are: Rogers’ coloration of Edgerton type linen treated with dextrin and saponaria using ammonia; possibly De Liso’s use of linen cloths which she claims had only ever been washed using Marseilles soap since 1860 and using various additives, myrrh, aloes, NaCl, blood. There may be others I’m not aware of. I’m not sure about Thiebault’s recent paper on scorching experiments, but he focuses on the fibres, not any coating properties.

      1. Agreed, Daveb, it is a well-balanced position. The main doubt is whether the surface of the cloth played such a key role in the image-formation process.

  6. A couple of naive questions and a few thoughts:

    1. Did medieval methods of manufacturing linen still follow those of “ancient” methods, i.e.
    soapwort (saponin) treatment, a starch coating?

    2. Is flax, flax? That is, is all flax created equally-on a genetic level? or a cellular (morphological level)? This article would seem to suggest that significant diversity may exist
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23647851

    Any possibility that the fibers themselves might be amenable to genetic analysis or detailed morphological studies to learn more about where they may have come from?
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440311001592

    Is any plant DNA present in retted, processed fibers or is it nonexistent?

    Could genetic diversity (of flax) possibly be used as a marker(s) to link to specific geographic regions and/or changes over generations (time) to approximate age, divergence among species? Relatedly, might such analysis be useful in corroborating Roger’s chemical findings/the Benford/Marino reweave theory on a genetic level? That plant fibers from the sampled region of the cloth are genetically distinct from those of the main body of the cloth.

    I would echo daveb’s comments regarding the specifics of manufacturing linen. I think it’s a key point in considering all possible mechanisms of image formation. Even if the image were faithfully approximated (or not), it could be a case of true, true, and unrelated.

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