I remember someone arguing with me that the shroud was a replacement
shroud created in the 14th century after the original burial cloth was
destroyed in a fire. The original shroud’s image, caused by Jesus’ sweat,
was miraculously transferred from the ashes of the old shroud to the new cloth.
That would explain everything, wouldn’t it.
Stephen Jones, in his posting that attempts to show that Jesus took his shroud with him rather than leaving it behind in the tomb, brings Tom Wright, my favorite resurrection theology theologian, into play in a somewhat beyond-the-point rambling way:
And this is supported by no less than leading theologian N.T. Wright, in his magisterial ~850 page "The Resurrection of the Son of God" (2003), that John "came to his new belief … not simply on the basis of the emptiness of the tomb … but on the basis of what he deduced both from the fact that the grave-clothes had been left behind and from the position in which they were lying … they had not been unwrapped, but that the body had somehow passed through them":
"An apparent and striking counter-example to this proposal is found in John 20.8. The beloved disciple goes into the empty tomb, sees what Peter had seen a moment before (the grave-clothes lying, separate from the head-cloth), and believes. Could it be that in his case, or at least in the mind of the evangelist writing this, the empty tomb by itself was sufficient for the rise of his faith? The answer suggested by the text is ‘No’. The grave-clothes seem to be understood as a sign of what had happened to Jesus, a sign which would be the functional equivalent of the actual appearances of Jesus (John 20.19-23). The beloved disciple came to his new belief, the text wants us to understand, not simply on the basis of the emptiness of the tomb (which had been explained by Mary in verse 2 in terms of the removal of the body to an unknown location), but on the basis of what he deduced both from the fact that the grave-clothes had been left behind and from the position in which they were lying. He, like Thomas at the end of the chapter, saw something which elicited faith. The fact that the grave-clothes were left behind showed that the body had not been carried off, whether by foes, friends or indeed a gardener (verse 15). Their positioning, carefully described in verse 7, suggests that they had not been unwrapped, but that the body had somehow passed through them, much as, later on, it would appear and disappear through locked doors (verse 19). The conclusion holds, then: an empty tomb, by itself, could not have functioned as a sufficient condition of early Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection"
That the body has passed through them? My current thinking du jour is that the body transcended material reality, perhaps time and space as we understand it. That doesn’t mean passing through anything or moving about in real space. I tentatively extend this thinking to the post resurrection appearances or apparitions. As for the image, I think it is somehow related to the resurrection but not the result of it.
THINGS YOU WISH YOU COULD FORGET: I remember someone arguing with me that the shroud was a replacement shroud created in the 14th century after the original burial cloth was destroyed in a fire. The original shroud’s image, caused by Jesus’ sweat, was miraculously transferred from the ashes of the old shroud to the new cloth. That would explain everything, wouldn’t it.
As I wrote earlier, the Resurrection, being a supernatural event, could not be subject to direct observation. If it can be indirectly observed on the Shroud is another question.
At some point, many of us will part company with fundamentalists who insist on the “inerrancy of scripture.” The extreme position are those that believe “creation” as set forth in Genesis occurred a scant 6,000 years ago, give or take a millennium.
I find Genesis revealing and relevant not as history of creation but as the history of humanities grappling with the mystery of its own existence. Even St. Augustine regarded it as metaphor.
As you advance through scripture from Genesis, however, it becomes clear that the metaphorical gets mixed in with actual historical events. Disentangling the metaphor from the actual history becomes a complex process.
I think it is quite clear that the authors of the New Testament by and large did not believe they were writing metaphor but compiling history from pre-existing traditions or lost original texts.
If there is one thing an authentic Shroud does, it is to confirm in great detail, the four Gospel accounts of Christ’s death and point towards his Resurrection.
However,we must be careful in our scriptural exegesis to not take wild assumptions and leaps of faith and disguise them as revealed truth.
Some fundamentalists do that and the construction of “Jesus took the Shroud with him” is one of those constructs that is actually a theory. Added to the problem are the apocryphal writings that were rejected when the current canon of the New Testament took it present form.
One example of biblical exegesis run wild are the recurring apocalyptic prophesies of impending doom. Some Christians at the end of the first millennium were convinced that 1000 AD [CE] would be the year of the Apocalypse. Repeated claims of Apocalypse have been made throughout history since that time.
Of course, I must confess that I am now a believer in an approaching Apocalypse but it is based not on Scripture but science. The Apocalypse we face is not necessarily an act out of the blue of the judgment of God. It is the result of humanity’s selfishness. And there is one prophet of the Apocalypse of Selfishness that has been quite outspoken. He recently moved to Rome and his name is now Francis.
” If we destroy creation, creation will destroy us.”*
*As quoted in Chapter 17 of the “Coming of the Quantum Christ.”
Ftom Posting header:
“… That would explain everything, wouldn’t it.”
Besançon has a tradition of housing the true Shroud, and the original St Stephen’s church there was burnt down in the 14th century. The subsequent Besançon Shroud is clearly a painting and it shows only a ventral image. Daniel Scavone in a paper with the title “The Missing Years” covering the 13th & 14th centuries, notes that Besançon in Burgundy was then a target for the German Empire, with its pro-Roman pontiff sympathies. The Vergy-De Charnay families were French and preferred the claims of the anti-pope in Avignon. He proposes that Jeanne de Vergy rescued the Shroud from Besançon to save it for France. When St Stephen’s church was restored after the fire, the Besançon clergy sought to retrieve their Shroud, but by then there had been a succession of bishops and no-one there recalled the original. Jeanne de Vergy arranged to replace it with a copy, and this may have been the basis of the confusion of Bishop Pierre D’Arcis in his complaints that the Lirey Shroud had been painted and was not the true Shroud. The theory seems to be an attractive one but cannot be supported by hard documentation, as so many church records were deliberately destroyed during the French Revolution and its Reign of Terror.
“BESANÇON AND OTHER HYPOTHESES FOR THE MISSING YEARS: THE SHROUD FROM 1200 TO 1400” by Daniel Scavone, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville;
Ohio Conference 2008.
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