Picture for Today: Cameroon 2010 1000 francs coin

with embedded hologram of the Shroud of Turin face, available on ebay for $150.00 until June 11, 2014. There are no bids.


Were both ventral and dorsal corners of the Shroud rewoven?

imageA guest posting in PDF form by O.K.  It begins:

In one of the recent posts on shroudstory.com1 Joe Marino published several interesting excerpts from Carlos Evaristo book The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud. The book claims to contain unpublished information from the Savoy family archives. The most interesting quote goes as follow:

“Another fact confirmed by His Majesty [King Umberto II] was that it was traditionally affirmed, that at one point in the past, he edges of the Lenzuoli (Sheet) had become so tattered as to cause embarrassment or criticism of the Custodians, and those areas were repaired and rewoven using identical techniques, but obviously with similar, yet newer, materials containing dyes and other medieval manufacturing ingredients, in an attempt to better blend the new sections in, as best possible, with the original fabric.”

What’s fascinating is that in the alleged quote, king Umberto speaks of the plural edges, suggesting there were more than just a single repair. If genuine, this could be extremely intriguing, because it may be related to what I considered as one of the weaker points in Benford & Marino argumentation –the spectral quad mosaic.

Read  the PFD file. CLICK HERE or click the page image above. A PDF file affords larger images and the ability to print this with logical pagination.  Return here to comment if you wish.


Bradley Bowen: Craig knows better than to put the Shroud of Turin forward as historical evidence

in the Atheist Channel of Patheos . . . 

imageToday in his blog, The Secular Outpost, Bradley Bowen dissects a book by William Lane Craig, a leading Evangelical apologist and theologian (pictured) on the historical evidence for the Resurrection:

Although Christian apologists bear the burden of proof to show that ‘Jesus actually died on the cross’, William Craig usually ignores this issue in his books, articles, and debates defending the resurrection of Jesus. In my previous post, I pointed out that there is at least one book in which Craig does make a case for the claim that ‘Jesus actually died on the cross.’ Craig makes a very brief attempt at this in The Son Rises: The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus (hereafter: TSR).

His case is made in just five paragraphs, in a little more than two pages of text. The first paragraph is the longest. We saw previously that Craig makes about 30 different historical claims in the first paragraph, but provides zero historical evidence in support of those claims.

The second paragraph is much shorter than the first, just two sentences:

The Shroud of Turin, whether it is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus or not, illustrates graphically the extent of Jesus’ physical suffering. The image of the man on the cloth is covered front and back with wounds from head to foot, where the flagrum, a multi-thonged Roman whip with metal or bone, had torn apart his flesh, furnishing us a grisly picture of what Jesus must have looked like when He was laid on the cross. (TSR, p.37-38)

Craig knows better than to put the Shroud of Turin forward as historical evidence for the death of Jesus, so he does not do so. Instead, he states that it “illustrates graphically” the wounds that Jesus had “when He was laid on the cross.” So, once again, Craig puts forward some historical claims, with no historical evidence to support those claims. By my count he makes five historical claims (about Jesus) in [that paragraph].

What are the five claims:

1. The front of Jesus’ body was covered with wounds from head to foot, just before he was crucified.
2. The back of Jesus’ body was covered with wounds from head to foot, just before he was crucified.
3. A flagrum is a multi-thonged Roman whip with metal or bone.
4. Some of the wounds on Jesus’ body that resulted from being whipped were deep and serious wounds (“had torn apart his flesh”).
5. The wounds on the front and back of Jesus’ body just prior to his crucifixion, were caused by being whipped with a flagrum.

Talk about overlap and redundancy! Bowen is nit-picking.

Anyways. You might want to read the entire article in three posts:

Why does Craig know better than to put the Shroud of Turin forward as historical evidence for the death of Jesus?

The Collapse of the Fraud Theory

imageI think we now have Stephen Jones’ whole theory of fraud wrapped up in one single neat paragraph:

2. FRAUD THE ONLY PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION As we saw in my part #1: 1) the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic; 2) but the improbability that the Shroud being first century, yet it had a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 (1325 ±65)[3] was "astronomical"[4], "about one in a thousand trillion"[5]; 3) and conventional explanations for the discrepancy, such as contamination with younger carbon[6], and invisible rewoven repairs with cotton[7], don’t work. 4) Therefore, absent fraud, even if only "making results appear just a little … more definitive than they really are, or selecting just the `best’ data for publication and ignoring those that don’t fit"[8], it would be a miracle if the Shroud being first century `just happened’, by a combination of chance factors, like contamination and medieval repairs, etc, to have a radiocarbon date of 1325 +/- 65, which `just happened’ to be only 25-30 years before the Shroud’s first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France in the 1350s[9].

The only problem is it isn’t true.

1.  When Stephen says that invisible rewoven repairs don’t work he cites a letter written by Teddy Hall in 1990 that really has no real bearing on the subject of repairs as proposed by Benford, Marino and later Rogers more than a decade later. Hall was talking about small amounts of contamination; Benford, Marino and Rogers were talking about massive new material intrusion from repairs.

2.  Beginning with the phrase containing the word miracle, Stephen is restating an absurdity he has stated before. He cannot logically or statistically establish that the statement is true. It has no basis in fact. It is, in fact, certainly false. As I see it, his entire fraud argument collapses if this isn’t true. And it is not.

Today, May 30th, is the last day . . . Well No. Make that tomorrow.

I have corrected the date in the title. I had written June 30th.

And then Joe wrote in saying: “I also just realized that May has 31 days, so anyone can get the early registration discount through the end of Saturday.”

I think I should have stayed in bed. Just register and be done with it.

Today Tomorrow is the last day to register for the St. Louis Shroud of Turin Conference for $120 USD. After today tomorrow, the price increases to $150. The exception is student tickets which are $50 at all times.



Note that costs for hotel accomodations are in addition to the confernce registration fee. For more information visit https://stlshroudconference.worldsecuresystems.com/ or click on the image below.


Available for Pre-Order

imageAt Amazon: From the Mandylion of Edessa to the Shroud of Turin: The Metamorphosis and Manipulation of a Legend (Art and Material Culture in Medieval and Renaissance Europe), Hardcover, by Andrea Nicolotti. The list price is $142.00 USD but you can pre-order it now for only $134.90 and Amazon will guarantee the price through September when the book will ship.

I imagine this is the English version of Dal Mandylion di Edessa alla Sindone di Torino. Metamorfosi di una leggenda (pictured) that has been available since January of 2011.

The Challenge for Stephen Now

imageHugh Farey shows why Stephen Jones and a reader of this blog who agrees with Stephen are wrong:

Let’s define terms then, shall we? The Shroud was made in AD25, and some random quantity of patching was added in 1535. What are the chances that the resultant date would be between 1260 and 1390? Is that the question? The answer (easily calculable using Christopher Ramsey’s OxCal and an online carbon dating calculator) is about 1/10. I’m happy to agree that a probability of 0.1 means that an event is unusual certainly, but a miracle? Astronomical? No, it’s not obvious. People should try some calculations before they jump to conclusions.

However another reader – let’s call him reader #2 – writes:

Mr Jones argues that it would be a miracle if a combination of 1st Century linen threads and contamination including medieval repair threads could produce a date of 1325 plus or minus 65 years. Why is it not like mixing black paint into white paint to make a certain shade of gray? It is only a question of how much black paint. The odds are 100% that the right amount exists.

But Stephen qualifies himself by saying what are the chances given a combination of chance factors. So it is not 100%. It is probably, as Hugh states, about 10%. Ignoring Hughes advice about doing the math, I decided to trust his statistical efforts. What Hugh calculates is about like rolling 5 (or 9) with a pair of dice, hardly the stuff of miracles. Without his improbability claim, Stephen just doesn’t have much left by which to refute the repair hypothesis first put forth by Benford and Marino.

Stephen for years has done an outstanding job of examining, quoting and citing historical evidence of all sorts. So I must ask, now that we have been focusing on The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud by Carlos Evaristo, doesn’t the repair theory suddenly seem much more probable? The challenge for Stephen will be to convince us that computer hackers employed by the KGB seems more probable.

New Video Featuring Russ Breault

Russ Breault writes:

Here is a link to the first of two half-hour interview shows for Prophecy in the News.  The show can be seen on The Church Channel or on their website.  They posted this Youtube version today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k050nQUtMZQ

It was published yesterday. It runs for 28 minutes. Enjoy.

And More Still on the Roman Flagellum and Flagrum

imageYannick Clément writes:

. . . I have found an interesting document that has been posted online years ago by William Meacham concerning the Roman flagellum and flagrum.

It is interesting. It is an entry from the 1874 Dictionary of Roman and Greek Antiquities by Anthony Rich.

Roman Variety

clip_image001Yannick Clément writes by email:

Just like it is a historical fact that the Romans used various positions for crucifixion, it is also a historical fact that they used various types of things at the end of their flagrum. In the case of the Shroud man, the most important thing to note concerning his scourge marks is the fact that, beside a Roman flagrum, there is no other ancient type of whip (coming from Antiquity or Medieval time) that could have leave those types of dumbbell shape marks on almost every parts of his body… If someone can show me a whip that was used during Antiquity or Medieval time in Europe or outside the Roman empire during Antiquity that also had something round at the end of the leather tongues (like a metal ball or an animal bone), I would consider the scourge marks evidence differently. But so far, I have not come across anything of that nature to change my mind…

Goodness me, look what I’ve found

clip_image001. . .  writes Hugh Farey in a comment.


Description in French:

  • Fin Ier siècle après J-C.
    Provenance: Vayson-la-Romaine, France.
    Ancienne collection des années 1950.
    Plusieurs éléments de ce type étaient accrochés à l’extrémité de lanières en cuir, elles-mêmes attachées au bout d’un court manche en bois. Cet instrumen (FLAGRUM ou FLAGELLUM), servait a punir les légionnaires romains.
    TRES RARE et en très bon état de conservation !!! Belle patine "vert-bouteille".

Google Translation to English:

  • Late first century AD.
    Provenance:. Vayson-la-Romaine, France
    . Former collection 1950
    Several elements of this type were hung at the end of leather straps, attached themselves after a short handle wood. This instrumentation (flagrum or flagellum), used to punish the Roman legionaries.
    VERY RARE and in very good condition! Patina "green bottle".

This has followed a discussion in Dissent of the day: I’ll say one thing for Jones


The Dictionary Entry

Can doubts about the shroud strengthen Christian faith?

imageA reader sent me 1) a question, 2) a link to a Huffington Post article and 3) a Kindle book as a gift.

First the gift. It is Frank Schaeffer’s newest book, Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God. Yes, the gift will get your question published in the blog. I’d have published it anyway. Thanks. I may even read the book. It sounds interesting.

Who is Frank Schaeffer?  According to the New York Times:

To millions of evangelical Christians, the Schaeffer name is royal, and Frank is the reluctant, wayward, traitorous prince. His crime is not financial profligacy, like some pastors’ sons, but turning his back on Christian conservatives.

The generous reader pointed out these paragraphs in the HuffPo article written by Schaeffer:

. . .  I’ve never met an unequivocal atheist or religious believer. I’ve only met people of two, three or four or more minds–people just like me. Atheists sometimes pray and eloquent preachers secretly harbor doubts. The evangelist Billy Graham preached certain salvation and heaven guaranteed yet privately told my dad, a friend and fellow evangelist, that he feared death and had many doubts.

[. . . ]

Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Christian, you are that because of where and when you were born. If you are an atheist, you are that because of a book or two you read, or who your parents were and the century in which you were born. Don’t delude yourself: there are no good reasons for anything, just circumstances.

Don’t delude yourself: you may describe yourself to others by claiming a label of atheist, Jew, evangelical, gay or straight but you know that you are really lots more complicated than that, a gene-driven primate and something more. Want to be sure you have THE TRUTH about yourself and want to be consistent to that truth? Then prepare to go mad. Or prepare to turn off your brain and cling to some form or other of fundamentalism, be that religious or secular.

The question was simple and it was at least on the same continuum:

How much is study of the Shroud of Turin about dealing with our own uncertainties? I know you say your faith came first. You tell us that if the shroud were disproven, it wouldn’t change your faith. Are you sure?

I am a cradle Episcopalian. That much of Schaeffer’s thesis I must agree with. I’ve always had faith and I’ve always had my share of doubts. I like the integration of my fascination in the shroud with my faith. But one does not depend on the other, at least not too much so. But doubt can be a good thing with Christian faith and in the study of the shroud. It seems at times that doubts about this or that having to do with the shroud strengthens my Christian faith. And maybe it’s the other way around as well.

Thanks for the book and making me think about this question.

The Shroud as a Sunday School Tool

clip_image001About a week ago, Mary Kate Warner, wrote an article for Heart of the Matter Online An Ascension Discussion for Older Children that focused on the Shroud of Turin.

Heart of the Matter is a discussion blog focusing on Home Schooling from an Evangelical Christian point of view. For many of us, it is interesting to see, from a different perspective, this mistaken notion of worshipping things by, I guess, Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians:

Christians teaching in Youth Ministry will probably long be divided on whether seeing religious relics is helpful to people’s faith or whether it goes against God’s wishes.

For those who want nothing to do with items like the Shroud, they have well-taken points. The last thing God wants on planet Earth is idolatry, and He made sure many tempting objects were destroyed or hidden for man’s sake. The following items are not to be found, probably hidden by God to protect man’s inclination to worship “things:” the burial place of Moses, Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, the Cross of Christ, the Holy Sepulcher, and the resting places of any of the 12 disciples.

What the Christian community may need to wrestle with is the difference between worshipping relics and allowing them to increase faith— especially the faith of scientific skeptics—and help today’s generation understand God better.

John Jackson, lead Scientist of STURP says that with the study of the Shroud of Turin, “We may have a real opportunity where science and religion can come together most profoundly.”

Mary Kate Warner does suggest a shortened version of the History Channel’s The Real Face of Jesus.

Watching the documentary will give kids a wonderful chance to see a piece of Christian history embraced by both scientists and the most advanced of computer technologists.

Digital imagery specialist Ray Downing, Emmy winner for his 3-D depictions in Stealing Lincoln’s Body, created the face of Jesus in 3-D after months of labor.

“What you see on the Shroud of Turin is not a picture of a face. It’s a database of information.” The face he created looks nothing like the Shroud, which is “data packed into 2-D.” He unfolds that data in 3-D. Russ Breault, expert on the project, says, “It is possible that the shroud presents an opportunity for 21stcentury people across the world to see the resurrected Christ through photography and in a sense…place our hands into His nail wounds and be not faithless but believe.”

Here is a too long one minute trailer

imageMarty McKee from Virginia, perhaps because he was looking for something to do, had decided yesterday to write a review of the 1979 so-called documentary, In Search of the Historic Jesus. You can actually buy an old VHS tape while they last for $3.95. (Does old VHS tape dry out and crumble?) You can download the movie for more than that, if you don’t have a VHS player. Or you can skip the whole experience.  Marty seems to think you should.

Based in Park City, Utah, Sunn Classics produced and distributed big hits, such as THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY (which posited that, among other things, John Wilkes Booth’s death was faked by anti-Reconstruction government forces) and IN SEARCH OF NOAH’S ARK. Certainly it was that movie’s success and the then-trendy Shroud of Turin controversy that spurred the production of 1980’s IN SEARCH OF HISTORIC JESUS, a corny, cheap-looking laugh riot that nonetheless earned big box office.

imageJohn Rubinstein (CRAZY LIKE A FOX) portrays Jesus wearing a comically fake beard, who looks to a cloudy blue sky to receive marching orders from God (voiced by Peter Mark Richman!). He wanders about, placing his hands on the faces of lepers (wearing atrocious makeup), which makes their faces glow with cartoon animation. He calls for the resurrected Lazarus, who emerges from a cave looking fresh as the morning dew. He walks on water and makes storms go away just by placing his palms together. After his crucifixion, he appears to his disciples in an animated starburst like a sitcom genie.

Brad Crandall, whose deep voice is instantly recognizable as the narrator of the studio’s trailers and films, hosts this “documentary” with pomposity, dressed alternately in a three-piece suit or V-neck sweater and showing off impressions of the Shroud of Turin in his wood-paneled library. His “evidence” consists of passing off gospel and random musings as fact. One “expert” claims Jesus’ corpse released a burst of radiation to scorch the Shroud. . . .

Here is a too long one minute trailer:

Pictures of Ostentations

There has been a lot of discussions in the comments about clergy holding the shroud during exhibitions, or ostentations.  David Rolfe has a nice montage on his website, The Enigma of the Shroud of Turin. To view the montage, CLICK HERE and then scroll down the page. David writes:

Countless times over the centuries (even millennia if the C14 is wrong) the Shroud has been held up for display and, until only a few decades ago, this was always by grasping the corners. The potential for contamination here is infinitely greater than anywhere else on the cloth. The associated wear and tear may also have made it necessary to carry out repairs.

There is another picture on David’s website. He tell me it his favorite and I just might agree. Click on the picture to be linked to the larger version on his site.


FYI: From Dictionary.com

os·ten·ta·tion [os-ten-tey-shuhn, -tuhn-]


1. pretentious or conspicuous show, as of wealth or importance; display intended to impress others.

2. Archaic. the act of showing or exhibiting; display.

Dissent of the day: I’ll say one thing for Jones

imageA reader from New Hampshire writes:

I’ll say one thing for Jones, no one has done a better job of debunking the Marino and Benford reweave theory than him. He damned the quad mosaics with Marino’s own words.

As you pointed out, Jones did make two mistakes with historical evidence, the fake emperor’s letter and the Russian-style crucifix footrest. The rest of the evidence he presented is formidable. I am convinced by it.

Jones wrote, “it would be a miracle if the Shroud being first century `just happened’, by a combination of chance factors, like contamination and medieval repairs, etc, to have a radiocarbon date of 1325 +/- 65, only 25-30 years before the Shroud’s first appearance in undisputed history.”

Is that no obvious to everyone?

New in Fiction: Shrouded Deception

imagePre-released May 22 and available only in Kindle at Amazon and in paperback on the book’s own website (except the order button doesn’t work). Here is the publisher’s description:

The "Shroud of Turin" has been cloaked in mystery and surrounded in controversy. Is it a forgery or the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ? In this fascinating story, the bishop of Turin believes the real shroud has been stolen and replaced with a duplicate. Martin Daniels offers to track down the original shroud with the help of his friend and former CIA agent, Leif Carlson. Their adventure takes them around northern Italy uncovering unsavory secrets along their search for truth.

Insanity Break: It is about the shroud or maybe, well I can’t be sure


Stephen Jones: The KGB allegedly executed both Shroud of Turin Hackers

It is not even good conspiracy theory

imageHe tells us in a new blog posting today that each AMS control console – that would be at Oxford, Zurich and Tucson – was hacked. This was done so that an elicit software routine could replace first century or earlier date measurements with dates that ‘cluster’ around 1325.

He specifically tells us:

The hacker was allegedly Arizona laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), who with self-confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–1989), were both allegedly working for the KGB to hack the laboratories’ AMS control console computers, and the KGB allegedly executed them both to prevent them talking, within days of each other, if not on the same day.

Stephen then waffles a bit. It’s not a fact, he tells us, but a theory. And he might need to abandon his theory should new information arise.

How does he arrive at this? Well so far it is this:

  1. He claims to have proven the shroud is authentic by historical means. It doesn’t matter that others might disagree; I certainly do. He has used flimsy arguments such as The Letter from Alexius Comnenus and The Slanted Footrest of the Orthodox Cross. He is convinced and that’s good enough for him.
  2. He disagrees with any and all possible explanations as to why the 1988 carbon dating of the shroud could be wrong. He can’t think of anything else. He assumes, therefore, that it must be fraud. Moreover, he assumes it must be hacking.

For many weeks now he has been saying that Timothy W. Linick and Karl Koch are the hackers. I assume that he will present us with some evidence someday. It is not up to anyone else to provide new information that might lead him to abandon his theory. It is up to him to provide supporting information. Until then this is amateurish rumor-mongering. It is nutty.

More Publicity for Royal Oak Exhibition of the Shroud of Turin

imageThe Royal Oak (Detroit Suburb) exhibition of the Shroud is getting more and more excellent news coverage. A story is thumbnailed this morning on the online front page of the Detroit News. The Detroit News, a Gannett paper, is Detroit’s second largest print paper. “The News website is the 10th most-read newspaper website in the United States,” according to Wikipedia.

Headline: Exhibit of Shroud of Turin at Royal Oak church provokes strong emotions

. . . The exhibit has filled an estimated 6,000 square feet of space at St. John’s on Rochester Road since last month.

Inside, visitors are audio-guided through a tour presenting artifacts associated with the shroud, its history and impact, including ancient coins, a Roman spear wielded in the first century and a sizable painting of Christ on cotton shown in Lisbon, Portugal, for more than 200 years.

clip_image001The exhibit also features a reconstructed version of Jesus’ tomb based on archaeological studies; forensic analysis on the Holy Sudarium of Oviedo, the cloth Christians believe covered Christ’s face after death; as well as replicas of the original shroud — threads of which are included in a reliquary Pope Clement XII sealed in 1730.

[ . . . ]

The Rev. John Hice, senior pastor at Royal Oak First United Methodist Church, said he found the exhibit “engaging. … I believe it was respectfully presented and it was done in such a way as to invite conversation and reflection.”

The exhibit originated in Spain in 2011. Garrigo, a Spanish native, visited the exhibit there and decided to bring a display to Metro Detroit, where he has lived since 1988.

Thumbnail of exhibit:  Jose Garrigo talks about some of the items on display as he walks through the darkened rooms of the Shroud of Turin exhibit at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Royal Oak. The exhibition runs through Aug. 17. (Photos by Brandy Baker / The Detroit News)

More on the Dislocated Shoulder.

Great images to ponder

imageCarlos has sent a series of links on the dislocated shoulder question that Vatican Insider had written about as though it was new news. (See: Breaking News: New Injury Details Seen on the Shroud of Turin). Carlos provides linkage to the blog, La Sábana y los Escépticos

This is fascinating information. Google and Bing do excellent translations, particularly if you are using, respectively, the associated browsers Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Shroud Presentations in Silver City, New Mexico

image“ READY FOR A REFRESHING ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST?,” reads the brochure published by iSEAM It continues:

God’s great love is truly a mystery. However, God’s “will” may not be as complicated as you might suspect. Do you want to feel loved by God? Do you want to comprehend God’s will? Are you in need of spiritual nourishment? Are you curious about these great mysteries of God’s great love?

If you want to feel loved more deeply; If you want to love more deeply; If you are only curious; If you are ready for an uplifting spiritual encounter with Christ; then, please “COME AND SEE”. Part 1 presents the science and history of the Shroud of Turin. It is connected to New Mexico history by the largest scientific investigation ever launched to study a single artifact. Part 2 is a spiritual encounter with Christ in the Shroud and in the 20 mysteries of the rosary, complete with images for reflection and meditation.

Deacon Peter Schumacher of the Diocese of Las Cruces, was ordained in 2009 and is currently assigned to Immaculate Conception Church in Alamogordo. He is the founder of the Shroud Exhibit and Museum, listed in the Official Catholic Directory, established in 2009. It is a non-profit NM corporation and has become known throughout the world through the web site ShroudNM.com. Deacon Pete has been involved in Shroud research since 1976 and continues his research at the museum. He has led retreats and missions and given many presentations about the Shroud and God’s great love.

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