Hints About Shroud of Turin Episode in CNN Series

My hope certainly is that it will help educate people.

Today, just a day before it premiers, we learn from the Christian Post, that a ‘Finding Jesus’ Expert Says CNN Series Will Investigate Shroud of Turin; Admits Skepticism:

Mark Goodacre, [pictured, right] who’s the professor of New Testament and Christian Origins in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University, is a featured expert on the series. He said recently that ultimately, viewers will have to decide whether to accept the findings as fact or opinion.

"Well, I think [the series] is going to be elements of fact and opinion," Goodacre told The Christian Post on Friday. "Take Sunday’s episode, which focuses on the Shroud of Turin; there’s been a huge debate about the authenticity of the shroud over the last hundred years. Some people are convinced that it’s the real deal, I’m personally skeptical about its authenticity. I think that it’s much more likely to be a medieval forgery, but even then, I think it’s still fascinating as an artifact from the middle ages."

Other expert commentary will be featured from the likes of Ivy League academics from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Oxford universities who will provide theological insight. They include Erwin MacManus, senior pastor of MOSAIC Los Angeles, and Rev. Paul Raushenbush, executive religion editor of The Huffington Post, among others.

Award-winning journalist and filmmaker David Gibson, who co-authored Finding Jesus along with Michael Mckinley, the book that inspired the CNN series, will also be featured.

"My hope certainly is that it will help educate people. The best kind of education is when you get people asking questions," said Goodacre. "You get people engaging with the subject matter and they think, ‘that’s interesting, I want to know more about that,’ and they go and explore a bit more for themselves. I teach this stuff for a living, and I think the best kind of teaching is the one that gets people asking questions."

The lesser known aspect, that of the intrinsic characteristics of the Cloth

imageThe Italian language daily L’Indro has an article, which according to Google Translation, is headlined, The Shroud and uses Jewish funeral.

You get the idea. It begins:

The Shroud of Turin is a relic certainly unique: because in general, understandably, tend to focus primarily on the image that is imprinted, we will try here to give an account of a lesser known aspect, that of the intrinsic characteristics of the Cloth in the uses Jewish funeral.

You get the idea.  Here is a LINK to a Googlized Translation into English of this very interesting article.

Special Absolution During 2015 Shroud of Turin Exposition

imageCindy Wooden writing for the Catholic News Service reports that During Turin Shroud display, archbishop offers absolution to women who have had abortions:

With the aim of ensuring that the public display of the Shroud of Turin promotes conversion and healing, the archbishop of Turin has given priests throughout the archdiocese special faculties to offer absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion.

The display of the shroud from April 19 – June 24 should be “a time of grace that translates into attitudes of conversion, the fruit of repentance and newness of life,” Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia wrote in a decree signed February 18, Ash Wednesday.

[…]

However, he said, the permission granted to priests is limited to the time of the shroud’s public display so as not to “diminish the rigour of the law,” which aims to teach people how seriously wrong it is to kill an innocent life.

Cognitive Response to Thermochimica Acta Paper

clip_image001We learn over at the Holy Shroud Guild website that Giorgio Bracaglia has just uploaded an interesting research  paper to Academia.edu:  The Reader’s Cognitive Response toward Two Problematic Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts

From the abstract we learn:

This research explores two populations’ cognitive responses towards two peer reviewed manuscripts. In both manuscripts, experts in the field criticize the text, and conclude them unfit for publication. To examine participants’ feelings relative to the critic’s report, a survey was created that deliberately opposes the manuscript’s legitimacy, and accepts the critic’s assertion. Two populations were surveyed on two distinct subjects. The subjects ranged from the radiocarbon testing of the Shroud of Turin defying the results performed by three distinguished laboratories, to the dangers of Glyphosate (Roundup) for human consumption. The first group was specifically targeted based on their expertise on the Shroud of Turin. The second group was randomly selected, and has no known level of expertise on either of the two topics.

Jumping right away, as I often do, to the conclusion, I find this:

Rogers work is immeasurable in the Shroud s scientific community. The intent to use Rogers manuscript was not to discredit Rogers thesis, but to offer why division existed between two factions about its rank.

The one peer reviewed manuscript we care about:

Thermochimica Acta, by Raymond Rogers is a manuscript about the Shroud of Turin. Rogers was a chemist who was considered by his peers to be an expert in thermal analysis. In 2005, his writing challenged the radiocarbon dating result performed in 1988 stating the Shroud’s origin was between 1260-1390 AD. Rogers was no stranger to the Shroud of Turin. He was the co-founder of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), which was a group of American scientists that performed an investigation of the Shroud in 1978. In 1981, STURP’s official statement reported that the Shroud is not a product of an artist but is a form of a scourged crucified man. In the Christian community, this was wonderful news. However, the exhilaration did not last long when three laboratories, University of Arizona, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and Oxford University in 1988 announced that the radiocarbon measurements dated the Shroud’s origin between 1260-1390 AD. These findings prompted strong reactions from Sindonologists who refuted the laboratories claim. Sindonologists are a group of specialized scientists or researchers that studies the Shroud of Turin.

In 2000, Rogers received reports from long time Sindonologist researchers, Joe Marino and Sue Bedford. They hypothesized that the radiocarbon dating was not from threads excised from the main body of the Shroud, but rather from a location contaminated with dye cotton used in the restoration of the Shroud.

Remember: this is not a study of Rogers’ manuscript (or the other paper) but The Reader’s Cognitive Response toward Two Problematic Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts. The paper should be read in its entirety.

Even though both manuscripts faced strong opposition from their contemporaries, both manuscripts had a broad support amongst their followers. The broad support might be attributed to confirmation bias. Nickerson (1998) explained that confirmation bias“gives undue weight to, evidence that supports one’s position while neglecting to gather or discounting, evidence that would tell against it” (p.175).

Giorgio has summarized the “strong opposition from … contemporaries” to Rogers’ paper for us. Here are some pieces of that.

Example 1:

Rogers’ manuscript successfully established ownership for the threads; however, what Rogers failed to offer was the chronological documentation pertaining to the threads. It is possible Rogers familiarity with the threads made him lax in procuring the proper protocol producing the chain of custody.

Example 2:

Gonella then said that he had reason to believe that some or all of Raes’ samples had been switched with materials not originally from the Shroud. (Personal archive collection of the Holy Shroud Guild, Nitowski, 1986)

Example 3:

Manuscript validity depends on the author and reviewer’s ability to ensure the accuracy of the final manuscript. People are all guilty of confirmation bias…. Social bias also threatens the peer review process. Reviewers can be influenced by the perceived status of the researcher’s reputation in their particular field, rather than the actual content of the manuscript. In the case of Rogers, he served on the editorial board of Thermochimica Acta from 1970 until his retirement, in 1988….

And so what did the conclusion say?

… These observations may have indicated that participant’s cognitive responses towards these two problematic peer reviewed manuscripts appear to be dependent on the participant’s predetermined experience and inferences on the subject….

Confirming what I thought! (I couldn’t resist).

After all, that was what the study was about.  But the criticisms of Rogers and his paper remain, wanting to be examined more, refuted hopefully and dismissed. Yes, I seem to be biased. I know that.

CNN is Laying It On Thick

An article, Five things you didn’t know about Jesus by The Rev. James Martin in a special to CNN, was posted today on CNN’s website.  This picture below is from the video that accompanies the article. Links to the article appear in a sidebar on countless news pages. Most on air anchors are now mentioning the upcoming special.

image

(CNN) — With Lent beginning, and a new CNN series on Christ coming up, you’re going to hear a lot about Jesus these days.

You may hear revelations from new books that purport to tell the "real story" about Jesus, opinions from friends who have discovered a "secret" on the Web about the son of God, and airtight arguments from co-workers who can prove he never existed.

Beware of most of these revelations; many are based on pure speculation and wishful thinking. Much of what we know about Jesus has been known for the last 2,000 years.

Still, even for devout Christian there are surprises to be found hidden within the Gospels, and thanks to advances in historical research and archaeological discoveries, more is known about his life and times.

With that in mind, here are five things you probably didn’t know about Jesus.

READ ON

CNN makes a point of reminding us that their upcoming special, "Finding Jesus: Fact. Faith. Forgery," premieres Sunday Night, March 1 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN. That episode will deal with the Shroud of Turin

Maybe the Nails Didn’t Go Through the Wrists

I think it is a shroud myth that the wounds are on the wrists

imageIf you haven’t been following the recent nails-in-the-wrist debate, you should be.  Over the years, I’ve often pointed out that the nails of the crucifixion were not through Jesus’ hands but through his wrists.  Once upon a time someone told me this. Or maybe I read it in a book.  When I looked at the photographs of the shroud it seemed so obvious that I never questioned it. I can’t possibly imagine how many times I’ve repeated this fact and relied on this fact to make a point. But is it a fact?

An argument began in a posting on another subject. That happens all the time. It is what happens in online discussions. That’s fine.

The argument started when Sampath Fernando commented:

Furthermore there is no any other painting or another medieval photographic negative showing Jesus was crucified by nailing through his wrists. Almost all paintings show that Jesus was crucified by nailing his palms.

Why image on TS is the only one tell us that Jesus was crucified by nailing through his wrists

And Hugh Farey replied:

… the Shroud does not show that the nails were not banged in through the wrists. Enlarge the crossed hands area on Shroud Scope and decide where the extremities of the proximal phalanges (the clearest of the visible finger joints), and measure them using the online tool…

And Thomas wrote, “I agree. I think it is a shroud myth that the wounds are on the wrists.”  And we were off to the races:

You are going to want to read the discussion (ignoring if you wish comments on other topics that are interspersed into the discussion. Be sure to read all of discussion. Read all the way to the bottom of all the comments FROM HERE to the bottom of the page (currently, as of this posting, time stamped February 25, 2015 at 4:38 am)

Upcoming Presentation by John C. Iannone in Winter Park

imageFrom an entry in the website of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park, Florida, we learn that John C. Iannone, author of The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: The Case for Authenticity, will be presenting in the parish hall on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Click on the poster for an enlarged view. 

New Book by Mario Latendresse

imageMario, in an email, writes:

You might be interested in a new book I just published on lulu.com about the Shroud of Besançon. The book is in French, but it may interest many of your readers, at least Andrea Nicolotti….

Thanks, yes. I wish I could read French. But, yes, this blog has many people who read French in addition to Andrea.

On his website, Sindonology, Mario tells us about the book:

Do you know the Shroud of Besançon? It was as popular as the Shroud of Turin for almost three centuries. It disappeared in 1794 during the French Revolution.

Do you know the 18th century manuscrit (known as Ms 826) containing two dissertations on that Shroud? One dissertation is for its authenticity, whereas the second one is against it. The first dissertation has a proof of the origin of the Shroud of Besançon from Constantinople. So it says. But that proof has been shown to be somewhat dubious. Yet, this dissertation, and its proof, was cited numerous times by scholars and historians on the Shroud of Turin. Discover this proof by reading the manuscrit, and the comments presenting it, in the following book, just published on lulu.com.

Mario goes on to tell us that his book will be available on Amazon and from other distributors in France in the near future. Moreover, an e-book is in the works.

Gosh, I wish I could read French. Maybe when the e-book comes along I can figure out how to feed it into Google or Bing. 

And in a note of interest on his Sindonology home page, Mario tells us that Andrea Nicolotti and Cécile Brudieu will also be publishing a book on the 18th century manuscript. In French, I imagine?

Some details on Mario’s Book, now available at Lulu:

  • ISBN:   9781312942714
  • Copyright: Mario Latendresse (Standard Copyright License)
  • Edition: Première Édition
  • Publisher:  Mario Latendresse
  • Published:  February 24, 2015
  • Language:  French
  • Pages:  134
  • Binding:  Perfect-bound Paperback

So far, after a quick first reading, I like it

clip_image001BING:  My iPhone binged in the night to let me know an email I was waiting for had just arrived. Amazon was letting me know that the book I had pre-ordered, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels, had arrived on 1) my laptop, 2) my iPhone and 3) my Kindle reader at 12:13 am on the very day the book was released. This is the book that is a companion to the upcoming CNN special.

If you haven’t ordered it yet, you can do so now and be reading the book in a matter of minutes. Your laptop is all you need though I prefer an iPad.   In the U.S. the price is $12.99.*

I immediately turned to the last chapter of the book. It pertains to the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium. There are three major parts to the chapter:

  • The Man of the Shroud,
  • The Shroud of History and
  • The Shroud of Science. 

After 3 cups of way-too-early-in-the-morning strong coffee, I’m happy with what I read. It dovetails nicely, though not in every detail, with what I think is true about the shroud.

The authors even discussed one of my favorite elements of history, a third-century bit of Gnostic poetry from the Gospel of Thomas known as the Hymn of the Pearl (or the Hymn of the Soul). I quote from the book:

… but suddenly, [when] I saw the garment made like unto me as it had been in a mirror. And I beheld upon it all myself (or saw it wholly in myself) and I knew and saw myself through it, that we were divided asunder, being of one; and again were one in one shape.”

The last paragraph of the last chapter of the book reads:

Both the scientist and the cleric come to the same conclusion about where the Shroud fits in the story of mankind. “Personally, from my involvement in research on the shroud for almost forty years,” says physicist John Jackson,

“and the wealth of scientific data that we did acquire, I do think that this is the historical burial cloth of Jesus.” Fr. James Martin says, “When we look at the authenticity of the shroud, my gut tells me that it’s real.” At the same time, he ventures that the story will continue: “It is a relic that produces more questions than answers … I don’t think we’ll ever get to the heart of the mystery of the Shroud of Turin.”

ANOTHER BING:  Another email. The audio version just arrived from Audible.com at 4:33 am. Perfect. I have a dental appointment later this morning and so I’ll put some ear buds in my ears and start listening to the book from the beginning.

* BTW: If you haven’t ordered John Klotz’ The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness, do that while ordering Finding Jesus.  It will only set you back another ten bucks. John will thank you and you will thank me for recommending it.

Catching a Wonderful Response to Charles Freeman

imageHere, in the low country of South Carolina, some of the best game fishing requires you to kayak or wade into the isolated murky salt water marshes. There, you will find the great and tasty Redfish that only sportsmen are allowed to pursue. Sometimes, searching through blogs for the best material seems similar. You must walk in, slog about, cast here and there, until you get a bite. 

In this blog, Charles Freeman had commented that his hypothesis “is a plausible hypothesis and so needs to be tested out, just as the Oxford lab tested out John Jackson’ s hypothesis about carbon monoxide affecting the radiocarbon date and finding that it did not” and that “… the artist WAS trying to create a mirror image but that the apparent negative image is what is left when the pigments came off …”

Moreover, Charles had explained that this negative image came from shadows that remained when the pigment flaked away. Shadows? Shadows that remained?

It was in his own blog, deep in a posting on another subject, that Colin Berry chose to reply to Charles:

You may consider it a plausible hypothesis Charles. However, your plausible hypothesis required your making late-in-the-day qualifying assumptions, not only about total detachment of pigment leaving no traces for STURP to detect by microchemical testing. It now involves some wild speculation about pigment leaving shadows (why? how? what?).  As if that were not stretching credulity enough we’re now told that thick paint leaves light shadows and thin paint leaves dark. "Plausible hypothesis" you say Charles, when it involves your building a house of cards, making qualifying assumptions that no one, least of all yourself, would have dreamed up that rider unless or until, er,  painted into a corner. Last but not least you are looking to art technologists and historians to verify your hypothesis rather than physicists and chemists. Do you have these people at your beck and call, or will there be more who fail to answer your emails?

This not science. It is not even vaguely scientific. It’s an attempt to dress up a dud hypothesis with ever increasing layers of fantasy.

Give it up Charles.  This is getting you nowhere, and for the rest of us is a serious distraction from the real business of getting to the bottom of that iconic negative image.

I knew you would want to see this.

New Book by Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello

Disclaimer:  I have not read the book.

Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello has begged me to announce it. The Shroud Guild’s Facebook page, which welcomes comments from members, beat me to it. There, on Facebook, Ruello tells us that he has published a Kindle book entitled The Second Shroud Discovered: Includes Author Autobiography. He writes:

The book is a Novella, 60 page true autobiographical, supernatural drama of my life leading into the discovery. I believe a little book will help me promote the discovery. Am now commencing to contact Hollywood,wish me luck.

In this true novella’s preface we read:

Never since the discovery of the images of the Shroud of Turin by Secondo Pia in 1898 has the world seen such images. The discovery of the Second Shroud photographic images in 2011 from another Holy and precious cloth which have been hidden for nearly 2000 years will leave you breathless. Journey through the life of a man who was tortured and abused as a child by the system that has been protecting this cloth and shrouding it in total mystery and secrecy, until now, when by chance and fate, the hand of God decided to act with an inspirational new form of infrared image processing technique that has now revealed the once hidden Holy face of Gods’ Witness the survival of a stricken soul, transformed into a courageous and enlightened being, fighting for the TRUTH to be told as he battles the prejudices and political clouds of disbelief and apathy now raging our humanity. The Second Shroud Discovered will turn your life upside down and rip apart your heart, mind and soul.

Apparently, by tilting the screen of his laptop computer and photographing it with a handheld digital camera, Ruello is able, in what are perhaps reflections, interference patterns or generated noise, new images that to his way of thinking reveal important information. You can preview some of this material at his website:  The Rome Veronica Veil And The Second Face Shroud Back Processed And Decoded (www.veronica-veil.com/)

Note: more on Ruello in this blog

While awaiting the CNN Documentary

OK writes:

As everyone awaits new CNN documentary series, meanwhile I would like to turn attention to another, seemingly forgotten Canadian series about relics "In search of Holy Treasure" (trailer). . . .



. . . I watched this about two years ago on (now defunct) Religia.tv channell, and I must say I enjoyed it very much (I recorded them on DVD for future watch, of course). It was very well made, presented really balanced view (compared to other documentaries) and provided a lot of otherwise little known infomration. The list of episodes (at least in polish edition):

1. The Shroud of Turin

2. The Holy Grail

3. The Tomb of Jesus

4. The Holy Spear

5. The True Cross

6. The Sudarium of Oviedo.

7. The Crown of Thorns

8. Marian apparitions.

9. The Noah’s Ark

10. The cloths of Jesus (Trier, Argenteuil, Prum, Cahors)

11. The Ark of Covenant

12. The Blood Miracle of Saint Janurius

13. Summary

I have found some of the episodes on Youtube (in portuguese) if someone is interested (Sudarium,Ark of Covenant ,Noah’s Ark ,Crown of Thorns,Spear of Destiny and True Cross).

I have no profit at all for promoting this series.

Very Disturbing

In my arguments with Charles Freeman, I contended, as I have for a long time, that it is near impossible to paint a negative image. I repeated the claim today. Hugh Farey showed me that I was wrong.  It is a short, very disturbing video.

Last November, I had written:

Show me one example of someone painting a negative image in the medieval or anytime in history. Find me an artist anywhere in the world who can do so. I’m sure it is possible. So, too, I imagine is patting your head, rubbing your stomach, jumping rope and singing the Halleluiah Chorus backwards all at the same time. Try it. No, I mean try painting a negative without a negative to copy. Try it. 

But Charles, I still would like to see a medieval example and find out why a medieval artist would do this.

Bruno Barberis Interview: ‘The only serious and honest behavior’

The literature in this area is vast, ranging from the statement
that the Shroud is painted a self-portrait of Leonardo,
that it is the work of a medieval forger  who used techniques not known to us, 
that which makes the Shroud ‘ scientific proof of the resurrection ‘, or 
… a radiation characteristic … as if the resurrection itself was a natural event….

clip_image001MUST READ:  It isn’t easy with a Google translation.  Organize a workshop around the Shroud: Interview with Bruno Barberis, President of the International Center of Sindonology Turin, however, is important.

(also original link in Italian)

Here is one example:

[The Question]  The debate around the Shroud at that point has arrived and what is your opinion on the debate in recent decades?

[Barberis’ Answer]  In recent years there has been a lively debate considerably around the Shroud, perhaps as never before in the past, facilitated, without a doubt, an exceptional sounding board provided by modern means of communication. This debate was triggered mainly (but not only) by the now famous radiocarbon dating of the Shroud cloth made in 1988, the result of which (medieval dating of the Shroud) sparked a confrontation not only between scientists and scholars, but also in public opinion. The scientific debate was to take place, as is right and logical, exclusively within those research groups who have decided to grapple with the complex and thorny issue of evaluating the date of the Shroud cloth, with the opportunity to make known experimental results and related theoretical considerations at meetings or scientific congresses. In fact it did not happen, because the debate became incorporated arguments often anything but scientific. Also the media have certainly facilitated the work, as they are often spoken extensively on news of minor and have been silent instead those series, looking almost exclusively of the sensational news. In fact, below that there is another question of far greater thickness and oldest: the controversy between the two opposites ‘fundamentalisms Shroud’, the advocate of absolute certainty the identity of the Shroud and burial cloth of Jesus, and what he believes that the two objects lacking any correlation. It is obvious that everyone is free to propose and defend their thesis, but it is also equally natural that such a defense must respect the logical criteria of modern science. There has however a number of statements and debates in which often start from absolutely arbitrary assumptions and preconceived, using arguments that go against the most elementary rules of logic and therefore leads to conclusions absolutely unprovable. The literature in this area is vast, ranging from the statement that the Shroud is painted a self-portrait of Leonardo, that it is the work of a medieval forger who used techniques not known to us, that which makes the Shroud ‘ scientific proof of the resurrection ‘, or the result of a radiation characteristic of the resurrection, as if the resurrection itself was a natural event, repeatable laboratory and therefore reviewable by scientific methods. And the list could go on much longer. Force the hand of the scientific evidence, or neglect them completely and start from assumptions absolutely baseless, equivalent to damage and discredit the meaning and message of the Shroud that make a unique object in the world. The scholar serious and correct detests the Crusades or against the authenticity of the Shroud image, made just to convince more people of their convictions, without wearing a shred of evidence, or by arguing that struggle with most basic rationality. Starting from the assumption that ‘the shroud is the burial cloth of Christ’ and try to prove it at all costs without bothering to give reasons and objective series or to assume that ‘the Shroud is the work of a medieval forger’ and do the same tantamount not only to perform a scientifically incorrect, but also to tease all those who, eager to learn more, to take good similar conclusions. The only serious and honest behavior is that of someone who, wanting only to know the truth, stands humbly to his research, without claiming to want to demonstrate any preconceived thesis, and, indeed, rejecting everything that can not be seriously and scientifically proven . On this subject, it is expressed very clearly Saint John Paul II in his speech in front of the Shroud May 24, 1998: "The Church urges [scientists] to face the Shroud be studied without pre-established positions that take for granted that these results do not they are; invites them to act with interior freedom and attentive respect for both scientific methodology and the sensibilities of believers. " On that occasion the Pope, very effectively, called the Shroud ‘a challenge to our intelligence’. The discussion on the Shroud often degenerates because the Shroud is not a neutral object, it involves both the reflection of historical-scientific, is that kind of religious creed. If it were a sheet in which you think has been wrapped any other historical figure, all these discussions are not met. Therefore only keeping separate the scientific approach and the religious (both basic and complementary) you can think of to deal with a serious study on the Shroud and honest.

Another example is the question and answer that just preceded the one above:

[The Question]   Professor Luigi Campanella has developed methods that could perhaps give a measure of the pollution of the Shroud. Because these methods are not used because they do not realize other analyzes on the Shroud? -because the Shroud remains inaccessible to scientists?

[Barberis’ Answer]   . . .  It is not true that the Shroud is inaccessible to scientists. Personally I am absolutely conducive to the holding of new direct studies on the Shroud provided, however, that it is non-destructive testing: we can not treat the Shroud as a lab rat, especially considering that it is a unique object. Current technology allows you to make meaningful analysis of fibers with a thickness of a few micrometers which therefore require withdrawals nondestructive. A new campaign of direct studies on the cloth should aim to collect more data to form a complete map of the physical, chemical and biological properties of the entire Shroud, to be made available to scholars so that they can work and confront on accurate, reliable. To do this it would be necessary to organize a program of analysis using modern and sophisticated equipment: a real laboratory for the Shroud. The costs of such a complex operation would certainly very consistent. Only after an analysis and a detailed study of the Shroud could possibly make sense to program a new dating of the cloth.

Update Again on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

clip_image001This time it is from CNN. The article is entitled, New clues cast doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’. It begins:

It seemed real; it seemed fake; it seemed real again; now we’re back to fake.

"It" is the controversial little scrap of papyrus, written in Coptic, that seems to have Jesus referring to "my wife," in contrast to the traditional stance that affirms Jesus’ perpetual bachelorhood.

The quick backstory: In 2012, a Harvard professor, Karen King, brought this papyrus to the attention of scholars and the public.

Both the material and the script looked authentically ancient at first glance, and though the notion of Jesus having a wife was remarkable, these "lost" Christian writings, such as the Gnostic Gospels, are full of unorthodoxies.

It was good enough for King, who is widely respected in the scholarly world.

We’ve been there. But it is worth it to read this latest update. Here are links to previous postings in this blog:

Hat tip to Louis

A Bas Relief Match to the Shroud of Turin Image?

from the sarcophagus of Pierre de Corneillan? 

Artist Paul Gell, aka Shroud Solver, writes by way of a comment:

Hello, my name is paul gell, and i have discovered a bas relief match to the shroud of turin! Im trying to get the academic community to notice and investigate my find. I created a 45 minute presentation, and a 5 minute summary. Ive placed my videos on a facebook page i created called “shroud solver”. The videos are also on youtube. Any comments or suggestions on how i am supposed to get real scholars involved would be appreciated! Thanks! Paul Gell

I went looking and found these four videos. Comments?


Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Bonus Material:

Picture for Today

Official postage stamp issued by the Vatican State two days ago.  Plans are to print up to a quarter million stamps.

image

Colin Berry: Stop Calling the Faint Image a Faint Image

And, as I see it . . . the word distance and the word body are both at issue.
Can we go on saying that no one has figured out how the image was formed
and at the same time objectively refer to cloth-to-body distance?

clip_image001I applaud Colin Berry’s attempt at helping to define the image:

Getting the right words to describe the Shroud image into the media and public domain has acquired a new urgency of late, given the recent claims that attempt to undo decades of research.  I refer to historian Charles Freeman’s claim that the TS is merely an age-degraded painting.  I’ve said quite a lot on that score already elsewhere, as indeed have others, and have little more to add, except to say that Mr. Freeman needs to get up to speed with Shroud science, and disabuse himself of the idea that it’s all about art history. The TS is arguably NOT about art. It’s an artefact, intended for purposes other than mere artistic expression. Works of art do not generally result in the issue of Pilgrims’ Badges (Lirey, France, circa 1357).

However, thanks to the robotic and mindless Google algorithm, Charles’s misguided notions will no doubt survive for a while, at least on the internet.  It’s no longer sufficient in this blogger’s view to continue describing the TS as a "faint image". That is too non-specific and makes it too easy for CF to peddle his antediluvian views (if STURP can be thought of as supplying a flood of new information).  "Faint image" or even faint NEGATIVE image simply does not do the business (CF having closed his eyes completely to the  implications of the tone-reversal implied by the descriptor "negative"). No, we need new updated terminology that makes it clear that the TS is not just any old "faint image", but one with very special, indeed unique properties that sets it apart from other pictorial representations of the human form. While that terminology cannot and must not attempt to impose a new orthodoxy regarding mechanism, actual or conjectural, it is entitled in my view to guide thinking in the right direction, while leaving key details unspecified.

So what is that terminology to be?

One has to be neither  pro- nor anti-authenticity to regard the TS image as an IMPRINT.

Definition of "imprint" (noun): Free Dictionary:

im•print

n

1. a mark or indentation impressed on something.

2. any impression or impressed effect.

And it is life-sized front and back, negative and contains seemingly 3D properties, Colin goes on to remind us.

Colin goes on to examine the definition issue from the point of view of a quote from a paper by Barrie Schwortz, Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph?: A critical examination of the theory. That paragraph reads:

The STURP team concluded that there was a correlation between the density (or darkness) of the image on the Shroud and the distance the cloth was from the body at the time the image was formed. The researchers calculated that the image on the Shroud was formed at a cloth-to-body distance of up to approximately 4 centimeters, but beyond that, imaging did not occur. The closer the cloth was to the body, the darker the resulting image in that area, with the darkest parts of the image being formed where there was direct contact between the two. The image became proportionately lighter as the distance increased until it reached the maximum imaging distance. . . .

To which Colin responds:

Left to me I would have described the TS image as probably, indeed almost certainly a CONTACT imprint, such as can be modelled with hot templates. But the view exists, articulated above, and emanating in main from STURP physicist John Jackson PhD, that the TS image is not contact-only, but from modelling studies (at any rate)  appears to allow imaging across modest air gaps that do not exceed approx 4cm.  Personally, I think that latitude in allowing an air gap is a defect of the presumed imaging model, one that assumes a linen cloth spread loosely over a real corpse, and making only partial contact under gravity.  That’s a pro-authenticity scenario.

Forget that! The issue isn’t pro-authenticity. The issue is taking a leap too far making an observation into a theory. Consider what adding a short phrase does.

. . . there was a correlation between the density (or darkness) of the image on the Shroud and the [what might have been] distance the cloth was from the body at the time the image was formed. . . .

Colin’s take is just as correct:

Let’s not prejudge who is right, who is wrong.  Let’s assume that all that’s required is close proximity between a body and/or inanimate template that tolerates air gaps up to 4cm.

So the word distance and the word body are both at issue.  Can we go on saying that no one has figured out how the image was formed and at the same time objectively refer to cloth-to-body distance?

Colin’s caveat is fair:

Caveat: I’ve tried to be inclusive here, allowing for the possibility that  the image to have been produced by a burst of radiation (unspecified, see critique by the estimable Bernard Power ), and able to operate across air gaps. Without attempting to read  the minds of ‘resurrection radiationists’, whether it’s electromagnetic radiation or even wackier subatomic particles – notably neutrons-  that are proposed, might they consider the term "imprint", even modified with "proximity" as a potential poisoned chalice? Well, I’ve given a little thought to that, and followed up with some googling. What do I find?  Those ‘radiationist’ ideas have already filtered through to the mainstream media under the heading "imprints".

Of course, I’ve ignored Colin’s main point. We should stop calling the faint image on the shroud a faint image.  We make it to easy for the likes of Charles Freeman.

We should call it a proximity imprint, he tells us. 

No! Four syllables followed by two is a leap to far.  Remember, we are talking about the problems of a “robotic and mindless Google algorithm.”  

BTW:  I Googled “Faint Image.”  Not one picture of the shroud!  Most images were of people who had fainted.

Do read Colin’s entire posting.

CNN Special Being Advertised Many Times Daily

I’m guessing now that this will be the singles most watched Shroud of Turin documentary piece ever shown. CNN is adverting the series everyday, day and night. More about the series in this blog (scroll Down after clicking).

CLICK HERE or on the image for a new longer trailer

image

Papal Chair for Upcoming Shroud of Turin Exhibition

imageThis is the same chair that was built for the visit of Benedict XVI to the 2010 exhibition of the Shroud of Turin.

Note the face of the Man of the Shroud on the chair back (click on the chair for a larger view).

And you must watch this video of the chair being assembled to the music, The Charleston composed by James P. Johnson for the Broadway show Runnin Wild. Watch and tap your feet from the 21 second mark until you get bored about a minute later.


VIDEO LINK


Windsor Star Story on Upcoming Shroud of Turin Exhibition

Check it out:  Windsor, Ontario, Canada is just south of Detroit, Michigan, USA.

clip_image001The Windsor Star has an article about the Shroud of Turin exhibit coming to Windsor, which is inexplicably to be found in the paper’s Health News section.

The leading paragraph reads:

The controversial Shroud of Turin exhibit, which has intrigued religious and secular minds for centuries, is coming to Windsor for several weeks of public viewing.

I know I’m being picky but it is the Shroud of Turin that is controversial and has intrigued religious and secular minds for centuries. One of many exhibits about the shroud is coming to Windsor.

This paragraph that tries to oh-so-neatly categorize people into two groups:

Religious believers say the shroud’s bloodstains clearly depict the flogging, spearing, coronation and crucifixion of Jesus. Others, who focus on carbon dating evidence, believe the cloth was a clever medieval prop created around the 14th Century.

For years I was a religious believer who assumed the shroud was a 14th Century fake relic. Interestingly enough, when I focused the carbon dating evidence, I began to question what I assumed. My religious beliefs were such that I would have probably preferred that the shroud was fake. But that is another story. And that’s the point. You can’t so categorize people.

There was this:

“What’s impressive about Barrie is his history,” Bonin said. “He actually spent most of his life trying to prove that it was all false, but he came to the realization that it’s true.”

Most of his life?  Really? Was this quote checked?

Note: Montage of free-use images of Windsor, Ontario from Wikipedia.

Ash Wednesday 2015