Did Anyone Like It?

A reader writes:

Did anyone like the CNN program on the Shroud of Turin? I got the sense from authenticists that it was too skeptical and from skeptics that is was too authenticist.

He may have a point. Compare, for instance, Barrie Schwortz on the CNN Shroud of Turin Program with Crocumentaries by Joe Nickell. (That wasn’t fair, was it?)’

Anyone else we haven’t considered? How about Antonio Lombatti (pictured); surely he has something to say? Yep: Bible Interpretation has just published an op-ed by him, The CNN Shroud of Turin. He writes:

Disappointing. This is, I believe, the most appropriate way to start my review of the recent CNN documentary on the Shroud of Turin. After 25 years of reading books, watching films and writing books and articles on this presumed relic of Christ, I am still surprised to listen to the very same popular quackery and pseudoscience passed off as rock solid scholarly researches….


However, the way CNN has cut interviews, structured short clips, advanced reconstructions of Jesus’ passion, crucifixion and resurrection, and how these were woven with some Turin Shroud images, simply strives to convey the message that the relic is the real deal. To be clearer: when the narrator talks about crucifixion, there is a short video with Jesus nailed to a cross and then the presumed marks of crucifixion on the Shroud are shown. Again, Joseph of Arimathea covers Jesus’ body with a linen cloth while we see the Turin Shroud. And this, of course, makes a deep impression on those who don’t have a precise opinion on the controversy, letting them believe it is the genuine burial shroud of Jesus.

The film begins by saying that “more than 1000 years after Jesus’ death, the cloth appeared in France”. Wouldn’t it be enough to understand that the relic is just one among the thousand forgeries of the Middle Ages? In that time, believers were not surprised to find 4 heads of John the Baptist (however, when the French monks of Amiens were told by pilgrims that they had already seen John’s head in another church, they replied they had the Baptist’s head as a child), six full bodies of Mary Magdalene and enough pieces of the True Cross to build a huge ship. The burial shrouds of Jesus number around 40. All of them were authentic, of course. The most famous shrouds were those of Aachen, Halberstadt, Hannover and Mainz (Germany), Arles, Besançon, Cadouin, Aix-en-Provence, Bayonne, Cahors, Paris, Reims, Annecy, Soissons, Carcassonne and Compiègne (France), Yohnannavank (Armenia), Constantinople, Enxobregas (Portugal), Saint John in Lateran (Rome), Einsiedeln (Switzerland).

Want more? Barrie provided a list of links at shroud.com:

10 thoughts on “Did Anyone Like It?”

  1. There is something far worse than CNN show: the “review” of it by Lombatti and comments below by Goodacre, Zias and Freeman.

    1. Lombatti’s comments about the ~42 shrouds in Europe fail to reveal that the other shrouds in Europe either have documentation that they were copies of the true Shroud, or else it was obvious from looking at them that they ARE copies of the true Shroud. If there are some that weren’t, please let me know, I’m not an expert on the entirety of Shroud copies. But wholesale production of fake Shrouds is basically a fallacy.

  2. I didn’t like it and sent an email to CNN expressing my disappointment.
    To me the program was slanted to make a reasonable person believe that in 1988 science “proved” the Shroud to be a forgery….
    They did not mention Ray Rogers and his efforts later in which it was shown that the sample used for the carbon-dating tests likely came from a patch sewn into the Shroud in 1532.
    They did not mention that there is pollen on the Shroud from plants which grow only in and around Jerusalem.
    And then they conclude with some clown telling us that photography existed in the 14th century without explaining why photography remained dormant until the latter part of the 19th century and, also, why no one else in those intervening 500+ years made a photograph.

    1. so true……..the question in my mind is why it was slanted…it was because they had an agenda in my opinion

  3. Some years ago ted Turner said that Christianity was a “religion of losers”. Well, without knowing it he was underlining what Jesus is recorded to have said in the NT.
    One can understand that no documentary can be 100% objective, a bit of sensationalism is needed to draw attention, when there is more money to fill coffers the better it becomes and, of course, there is always some serious material. It is a tactic, it is common, that is the world we live in….
    What I object to is the title “finding Jesus”. It is the result of growing scepticism and many people watch these documentaries thinking that new evidence has surfaced! To find Jesus you have to go take an extremely narrow path. How many are willing to do this? Read the introduction:

  4. the good news it that although there is so much of this frustrating manipulation by the press and also “intellectual giants’ like ted turner, we know that in the end this “religion of losers” will triumph…but it’s difficult to see others attempt to warp the message

Comments are closed.