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Discussion about the Pray Codex and its relation to the Shroud is over?

A Guest Posting by O.K.


Pray Codex –a probabilistic approach.

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The discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud seems to be over.

The question of whether or not the Pray Codex had been inspired by the Shroud of Turin has been hotly debated.

Here I would like to present a probabilistic approach to that matter. I would like to estimate probability of several key elements linking the Codex with the Shroud, to occur ALL AT ONCE by pure chance, instead of being copied from the Shroud.

I take into account only a few INDEPENDENT, NON-TRIVIAL and UNDISPUTED details sharing some alleged similarity with the Shroud.

It should be noted that on the key page of the Codex, there are in fact TWO illustrations not just one. Further we will be calling upper illustration as Illustration I, an bottom illustration as Illustration II. This complicates the matter a little bit, but can be overcome.

There are several key details on both illustrations. Let’s estimate the probability of their occurrence on Entombment/Three Marys scene by random

Illustration I:

· A –the Jesus is naked, with His hands crossed above pelvis (similar on the Shroud) –let’s assume that such portrayal occurs in 1/100 instances.

· B –He has just 4 fingers on each hand, no thumbs visible (the same as Shroud) -1/100 instances

· C –He has His legs cropped by the end of page, without any obvious reason (the same as frontal image on the Shroud) -1/100 instances.

Illustration II:

· D –there is a pyramidal/zigzag pattern on alleged shroud/tomb lid –possible reference to the Shroud and it’s herringbone weave, or merely decorative pattern? Anyway, let’s suppose that we can find such pattern in 1/100 instances.

· E –two red smudges on the surface of shroud/tomb lid (just below angel’s feet). Unless this is reference to the blood belt on the Shroud, there is no obvious reason for them. Anyway, let’s suppose that we can find such pattern in 1/100 instances.

· F –the four L shaped ‘poker holes’, similar to those that can be found on the Shroud –reference to it, or just another (very strange) decorative pattern (or to the holes in the Holy Sepulcher, or anything)? No matter. Let’s estimate chance for their random occurrence as 1/100, but, as someone on the forum once pointedthat the chance for four dots to have proper L shape (instead of single line, 2×2 box, ‘T’, or 2×2 with one row translated by 1 element –recall yourself Tetris) in any orientation are 1/5, so 1/500.

So, the probability for elements A-B-C, to occur on any single illustration can be estimated as 1/(100*100*100), that is 1/1000 000=10^-6

Fine. Let’s estimate the expected number of all Entombment illustrations that could have all the elements A-B-C just by chance. Let’s assume that there were 10 millions of Entombment illustrations in the medieval. Thus expected value, is:

10 000 000/1000 000 =10.

Fine, so far, basing on our assumptions, we can expect an upper limit of 10 Entombment portrayals having elements A-B-C.

Suppose we have one such manuscript, with A-B-C elements occurring just by random (Illustration I). Now let’s estimate the probability that in the Three Mary’s Scene, right below the Entombment Scene (this is is the case of Codex Pray, Illustration II), by pure chance (we assume that both illustrations are in fact, independent on each other, and not related directly to the Shroud), there will be elements D-E-F:

The chance is:

1(100*100*500)=1/5000 000 =0.2*10^-7

Similar reasoning could be performed in the other direction (Three Mary’s Scene -> Entombment). The conclusion would be the same:

The chances that all those features A-F are randomly, and simultaneously portrayed in the Pray Codex, without direct reference to the Shroud, are negligible.

So far I can remember, no sceptic has been able to give example of illustration having two out of six key elements A-F.

The discussion about the Pray Codex and it’s relation to the Shroud seems to be over.

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