Home > Television > Barrie Schwortz on the CNN Shroud of Turin Program

Barrie Schwortz on the CNN Shroud of Turin Program

March 6, 2015

“My first impression was that the program’s content was more superficial
than the image on the Shroud!”  — Barrie Schwortz


imageBarrie has joined the ranks of many who are reacting unfavorably to the first episode of Finding Jesus on CNN. He has posted A Brief Review of the Recent CNN Documentary and Further Comments on the Medieval Photograph Theory on the shroud.com website:

I personally hate to write reviews of television programs and usually leave them for others to do, but after weeks of media hype and the controversy created after this program aired, I felt compelled to write a brief review of CNN’s latest “docudrama” on the Shroud of Turin, which premiered Sunday, March 1, 2015, as the first episode in their six part “Finding Jesus” series….

On the experts:

It was also interesting to see who the producers considered to be Shroud “experts.” It was good to see a few familiar faces, like Dr. John Jackson and Mark Guscin, who both appear in the program and who are well known as credible Shroud scholars. (Although Russ Breault was originally interviewed for the program, his comments were not included in the final edited version). However, most of the other “experts” were unfamiliar to me and I could find no evidence that any of them ever actually studied the Shroud themselves. Unfortunately, that happens frequently in Shroud documentaries.

On the carbon dating of the shrouud:

Even more frustrating, when discussing the radiocarbon dating, absolutely no mention was made by anyone of the credible scientific data that exists indicating the single sample chosen for dating was anomalous and not necessarily representative of the entire Shroud. Although that theory is controversial and not accepted by everyone, it was in fact the first research to challenge the radiocarbon dating in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Simply ignoring it does a great disservice to those who dedicated themselves to doing credible scientific research on the Shroud and it certainly makes it more difficult for those who are not as well versed to understand what we truly know. Based on all the e-mails and calls I received, its absence was certainly obvious to most of the viewers of this website, since that was the question they asked me the most.

On the medieval photograph hypothesis:

But the most frustrating part of the program for me was the considerable time spent resurrecting the long ago discarded proto-photography theory presented by South African art historian Nicholas Allen, who claims the Shroud is a medieval photograph. In 2000, I presented a paper at the Sindone 2000 Shroud Conference in Orvieto, Italy, titled, “Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory” that addressed Allen’s conclusions directly and presented a side-by-side comparison of his results to the image on the Shroud (something Allen never did). I then pointed out the dramatic differences between the two images and you can see them for yourself at the above link.

In addition, Barrie has added a section to the Late Breaking News page for 2015. It reads:

Now that several days have passed and many people have had the opportunity to view the CNN documentary, it is time to look at some reviews of the program. In fact, I received so many letters and phone calls that rather than try and answer them all, I decided to write my own review of the documentary, which you will find linked below. In addition, I am providing a link to a relevant article that addresses certain issues raised in the program and links to other online sources with reviews you might find interesting. So let’s get started:

This is just a small sampling of the many comments posted on various blogs and websites. If you do a little searching, I’m sure you will find a lot more.

  1. ekmcmahon
    March 6, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Thank you Mr. Schwortz, I too was disappointed with what I considered to be a poor program. It seemed that they left out many of the important discoveries.

  2. Antero de Frias Moreira
    March 6, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Centro Português de Sindonologia agrees with everything Dr. Barrie Schwortz stated.

    Actually the documentary dealt the Shroud issue in an incomplete way and highlighted already discredit skeptic theories, neglecting several important aspects, namely the discredited 1988 radiocarbon tests and the unique image characteristics.

    Nevertheless not everything was negative and we’re pleased that in the United States the Shroud of Turin is still a mater of interest for the general public which unfortunately does not happen in Portugal.

    regards
    Antero de Frias Moreira

  3. March 6, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you Barrie Schwortz of the STURP team and Shroud.com! You provided more data and facts in one post than CNN could do in their one hour TV show called Finding Jesus. You proved that just speaking the facts and truth about the Shroud is more powerful than any one hour show made up of ostentatiously recreated scenes. Basically, the first CNN episode lied to their viewers by the process of omission!

    Bill Lauto, Editor and Publisher
    BBV Publishing​

  1. March 15, 2015 at 4:06 am
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