Barrie Schwortz, Colin Berry and Some Good Reporting in Fort Wayne

"Now I can see this will be my legacy," Barrie Schwortz said. "And that’s a gift. I’ve been given a great blessing in doing this work."

And Colin Berry commenting on the newspaper’s website, said “It’s refreshing to see one of STURP’s old hands, so to speak, still expressing a degree of caution
re the authenticity of the Shroud.”

imageYesterday, Fort Wayne’s Pulitzer Prize-winning broadsheet daily, The News-Sentinel, carried an excellent article by Kevin Kilbane (pictured with a tie). One gets the sense, however, that there is more than just excellent reporting and writing going on here; Barrie Schwortz, the subject of the story (pictured with the hat) is a marvelous spokesman for the shroud. He is so for the most convinced among us and the most skeptical, as well.

When Pope Francis visited and prayed before the Shroud of Turin on June 21, many people who believe the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ thought the pope would declare it to be authentic.

Barrie M. Schwortz, whose official photos documented the first modern scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978, thought Pope Francis would be more restrained in his comments, and he was right.

clip_image001What if later research determines the shroud doesn’t contain the image of a crucified Christ, Schwortz explained during a stop Thursday night in Fort Wayne.


Schwortz, who is Jewish, has believed since the mid-1990s that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus. Through his website and speaking appearances, he sees it as his role to share the Shroud’s story with all those who couldn’t be there with the 1978 research team.

"Now I can see this will be my legacy," he said. "And that’s a gift. I’ve been given a great blessing in doing this work."

imageIt was also good to see our friend and new hand shroud researcher Colin Berry (pictured with neither tie or hat) commenting on the newspaper’s website. Because comments on newspaper websites often drift away quickly, I am repeating it in its entirety, here:

It’s refreshing to see one of STURP’s old hands, so to speak, still expressing a degree of caution re the authenticity of the Shroud. Yes, there is still much to be learned. STURP barely scratched the surface as to what the image is (sticky tape samples being the less damaging alternative to ‘scratching’ the surface!) as distinct from telling us what is not (definitely NOT a painting, despite attempts by some, notably historian Charles Freeman, to resurrect that notion with arguments that simply fail to address or do justice to decades of scientific investigation).

However, this Shroud researcher (3.5 years of testing different models) must take issue with a term employed here and pretty well every where else in the media, namely the description of the linen as a BURIAL shroud. I invite writer Kevin Kilbane and readers to go back to the Gospels and read what is said about Joseph of Arimathea and his arrival at the CROSS, not tomb, with fine linen. There is no indication that the linen was intended for use as a burial shroud (Nicodemus providing the wherewithal). It was merely for discreet and dignified transport from cross to nearby tomb. Once that is appreciated, then it greatly reduces the number of models that need to be tested, especially those that see the Shroud as having captured by some mysterious ‘photographic’ process the instant of Resurrection. Instead, one can view the image as a contact imprint, left in blood and PERSPIRATION. One then asks whether the Shroud bears a 2000 year old contact imprint, the body image being highly aged yellowed sweat, or a medieval attempt to reproduce what a then 1300 year old sweat imprint (plus blood) might have looked like.

My own preference is for the second of those. The current preferred model is one where a human volunteer is ‘painted’ from head to toe in a paste of flour and water and then overlaid with linen, gently pressed around contours, to leave a contact imprint. The imprint is then developed chemically, maybe with nitric acid to turn the imprint from white to yellow, or even by simple pressing with a hot iron!

Being an imprint explains the negative image, and even those ‘mysterious’ 3D properties revealed by modern computer software.

Do read the whole article, Shroud of Turin study photographer believes new technology possibly could answer some questions

34 thoughts on “Barrie Schwortz, Colin Berry and Some Good Reporting in Fort Wayne”

  1. Has Colon Berry ever expressed a refreshing degree of caution as to whether or not the shroud is genuine? Because I’ve never seen it. Quite the contrary from everything I’ve seen from him.

    Re the burial cloth, the gospels (Luke and John) state not only was linen used to wrap the body of Jesus but also that linen was found in the empty tomb, so there is some indication that the same linen was used for burial, it never states the first was ever discarded and even mentions its use with spices as would be used for burial (not to be discarded as spices were expensive) in John 19:40. Is there any good reason why it wouldn’t be used for burial or is this just desperate denial? Jewish custom would require blood from the body left on linen to be buried with the body in any case. Try to show some of that caution you like so much eh?

      1. Thank you for the correction. As regards the rest of your case, I’ll respond to it on my own site in the next week or two. It will stress the need to see the John account involving intervention of a second ‘mortuary attendant’ (Nicodemus) as having a complementary but separate role from that of Joseph of Arimathea’s. The imperatives were different as regards the requirements for TWO separate lengths of linen, one temporary, and used merely for transport, the other more permanent, intended for ritual burial purposes according to Jewish custom.

        1. “***need*** to see the John account involving intervention of a second ‘mortuary attendant’ (Nicodemus) as having a complementary but separate role from that of Joseph of Arimathea’s.”

          My stars.

          Keep in mind Nicodemus didn’t just pop up here near the end of John’s gospel as some literary device used to introduce a hidden shroud second to Joseph’s, which is nowhere indicated in the gospels or extrabiblical sources that I have ever seen (incl. Gospel of Nicodemus which we might expect to elaborate on such issues), no he enters the picture near the beginning in a passage continuing the main thrust of John’s opening: the need to be born from the beginning (misinterpreted as ‘born again’ ironically as modern translators make the same mistake Nicodemus did as the Greek has multiple definitions ((albeit it’s hard to express whats happening without a note)) which NT scholars use to claim Jesus and Nico spoke Greek here, however the Aramaic also has multiple definitions, only the latter has a definition that connects with John’s opening, “in the beginning,” hence born in the beginning/in the Word “Miltha”/from the head, etc).. side issue but helps show Nicodemus was not an ad hoc vehicle to deliver a second shroud nowhere hinted at. He appears again in chapter 7 defending Jesus in the Sanhedrin of which he and Joseph of Arimathea were members.

          Luke also has linen in the empty tomb without a mention of Nicodemus who only appears in John’s gospel. Nicodemus simply isn’t necessary for burial cloths.

          The text specifically states Nicodemus provided the burial spices (Jn 19:39) just as the text specifically states Joseph provided the linen, “And he [Joseph] bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock..” Mk 15:46 (ESV), or if you don’t like that rendering, KJV: “And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock..” etc.

          I reiterate, the text never states Joseph’s shroud was ever discarded or that Nicodemus brought any, and the text even mentions Joseph’s linen was used with spices as would be expected for burial in John 19:40, “So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.” Is there any good reason why Joseph’s linen wouldn’t be used for burial after it was already packed with burial spices said it was used in the burial custom or is this just desperate denial?

        2. What a pity that Joseph of Arimathea never got round to penning his own Gospel (if only as a counterweight to your academically-dubious reference to the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus).

          Frankly, I don’t care for your convoluted logic. The four Gospels in my King James bible, taken together, say there were two separate provisions of linen, the first from Joseph at the cross, the second from Nicodemus at the tomb. There are no compelling agenda-free grounds that I can see for thinking there was reliance on dual-purpose linen. We may have to agree to differ.

        3. I hope you understand I was being generous by also consulting any outside texts, dubious or not. I’m looking for ANY hints to back you up and find nothing.

          There’s nothing convoluted on my end, I’m not the one adding the idea of dual use anything to confuse people. According to all 4 gospels in the King James English, Joseph brought the burial linen and Nicodemus brought the burial spices anything else appears to be agenda-loaded.

        4. “Joseph brought the burial linen and Nicodemus brought the burial spices ”

          That I have to say is a misreading of John Chapter 19, verse 40 (one shared by many medieval artists, i.e those who showed jars of anointing fluids brought to the base of the cross, a telescoping of the narrative one might say).

          The references to “wound in linen… as is the manner of Jews to bury” and later, in Chapter 20, verse 7, to “the napkin about the head, not lying with the linen clothes” should have been sufficient to make clear that the “winding” linen used for final interment was different from that used earlier as a makeshift stretcher from cross to tomb.

          Even the illustrator of the Pray manuscript recognized there were two different types of linen present in the tomb, one underneath the newly-arrived corpse, a WIDE sheet that could later be dispensed with, and another in readiness, a long NARROW bandage-like winding strip.

          I’ll set this out in detail, with graphics, in a future posting. Right now I’m preoccupied with other issues, notably that frightful business at the Taiwan water park, with 5 fatalities so far, hopefully no more to come, but hundreds of terribly burned victims, explained away in the media as an entirely predictable “dust explosion”. Maybe. Maybe not.

  2. Let me restate my first sentence: I was trying to be open-minded by also consulting extraneous material..etc etc. Thanks

  3. Here’s the language from the 1970 edition of the New American Bible (Catholic):

    “Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in fresh linen and laid it in his own new tomb which had been hewn from a formation of rock.” Mt 27:59.

    “Nicodemus (the man who had first come to Jesus at night) likewise came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes which weighed about a hundred pounds.” Jn 19:39

    The common sense reading of these two passages says that Joseph of Arimathea brought the burial cloth and Nicodemus the spices for the deceased Jesus. There is nothing in Scripture to support a notion that a separate cloth was ever used to protect the modesty of the dead Jesus.

    Finally, John’s reference to the cloth covering Jesus’ face doesn’t mean that the cloth was a small, head-sized one. Again, the common sense reading of the Gospels is that the long sheet used to wrap Jesus’ body (like the Shroud of Turin) was placed under and over the body then wrapped with pieces of linen cloth to hold the body intact. The spices were used to counter the odor of decomposition and were a sign of respect for the deceased.

    Like his argument for how medieval persons could have created the shroud by coating a man with flour and water (just wait 1000 years or more and you will see!), his reading of the plain words of the New Testament is just another tortured, convoluted bit of nonsense.

    As I have said before, if you can reproduce the shroud in anything like its current form and characteristics, do so. Then we’ll have something to discuss. In the meantime, I generally don’t waste my time commenting on Colin’s arguments because they strike me as absurd.

    1. I’ve finally, after much research and reading, reached a conclusion re the Shroud that satisfies me. But I’m not in the business of satisfying or convincing others. I leave that to missionary sceptics, if there are such folk.


  4. “That I have to say is a misreading of John Chapter 19, verse 40”

    But you’re misreading what I said by editing out the first part of my sentence: “According to all 4 gospels in the King James English…”

    You refer to linen used as a makeshift stretcher that is used before the linen mentioned in John 19:40, but there is no other linen for the body mentioned or hinted at before this in any of the gospels is there? There was nothing wrong with Joseph’s “fine linen” as the KJV puts it (Mark 15:46). John went through the trouble of telling us Nicodemus brought spices and not burial linen but the synoptic already told us Joseph did bring the linen. You cannot confuse this unless you needed to.

    The “napkin about the head” is exactly what it indicates, a smaller linen to cover the head not full-body length linen and this linen is what many believe to be the Sudarium of Oviedo.

    The HP codex doesn’t show two different full-body linens but the same one in different scenes with different emphasis; the top scene shows the body of Christ being prepared for burial and the bottom scene shows the empty tomb where the artist is focusing on the shroud by detailing the weave design, the blood and even poker holes – and note what looks like the smaller head wrap and possibly thin linen strips laying on top of the shroud as well. Some artistic license in the depictions shouldn’t surprise us.

    The idea that the synoptics would all focus on some ‘transport linen’ Joseph bought only to be discarded anyways (which violates Jewish burial custom) and not on the burial shroud just doesn’t make sense.

  5. Original Greek Mark 15:46 says Joseph brought “sindon” which Perseus-Tufts dictionary translates as “fine linen”, not a coarse canvas stretcher. John says they wrapped the body in “othonia”, same thing really.

    Tomb was close by, they didn’t need a stretcher. The marks on the Shroud indicate there was an absolute minimum of handling of the body which was in rigor mortis. The easiest way of getting the body to the tomb was: remove nail from feet; lift the cross-bar off the upright; two men carry the crossbar, two support the mid-section with a twisted sheet (accounts for dorsal blood-stain at waist); one supports the feet (some smudging evident on foot); arrive at tomb and remove nails from hands; bring hands into crossed position on pelvis using some mild force against the rigor.

      1. You think so. Dcn Andy? It leaves me speechless. I have copied it, and may use it on my own site as an egregious example of how the biblical account is mercilessly shoehorned into ill-fitting Shroud pro-authenticity thinking.

        In the meantime I suggest that daveb and others here re-read the Gospel accounts, the synoptic ones especially that mention Joseph of Arimathea’s role only, noting that the body was “taken down” and received into the linen BEFORE arrival at the tomb. That “Deposition from the Cross” is a favourite theme in medieval art, showing the linen used as a MAKESHIFT stretcher (whether practically feasible or not ) and which provided a pretext in the medieval mind for a post-mortem imprinting, building upon the established precedent of the Veil of Veronica as a pre-mortem image-capture occuring as a result of brief contact between cloth and skin. Again, it didn’t need to be a real process, not in a 14th century context – merely one that could be said to have happened, backed up with suitably convincing technology, whether flour and hot iron, or something more fiendishly clever and upmarket.

        I have been in touch with Kevin Kilbane of Fort Wayne’s illustrious News-Sentinel who obliged with a quick reply to a technical question re his paper’s website. He clearly wasn’t aware of this posting, but will be when he opens my reply. Maybe he and his paper can be persuaded to devote some more column space to the continuing interest and controversy regarding what this blogger now regards as the realization of a thought-experiment involving Joseph of Arimathea’s makeshift stretcher/up-and-over modesty wrap, not-intended-as-final-burial Shroud of Turin, complete with a proto-photographic Veronica-inspired whole-body imprint.

        In the meantime, keep reading those synoptic Gospels BEFORE reading John’s account. Too many folk here seem to read the latter first, not bothering with the three ‘scene-setting’ accounts that precede it.

  6. Maybe, maybe not, Colin. It is good to see you doing good Shroud research. Your expertise can add much to the study of the Shroud as long as your scientific research is scientific (no I am not questioning your integrity, Colin, this would be the same statement for anyone, including pro and anti-authenticists).

  7. Colin, I have been narrating these Passion readings every Easter at my parish church for at least 20 years, probably longer. I don’t need to be told to read them again. The following extracts are from the USCCB version which is on the web and can be easily accessed. I haven’t included the informative annotations but you can easily check them out yourself, if you wish to learn more.

    The meaning is plain enough. Mark’s is the basic original narrative, and the other evangelists have built on it either adding material known to them, or else omitting material by way of refinement. The basic events are that Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and placed him in the tomb. What part of this don’t you understand? Individual additions are: ‘laid in a tomb hewn out of the rock’; ‘rolled a stone against the entrance’; ‘no-one had yet been buried there’; ‘it was Joseph’s tomb and he had hewn it’; ‘Nicodemus brought myrrh and aloes’; ‘bound the body with burial cloths along with the spices according to the Jewish burial custom’; ‘there was a garden and the tomb was close by’. All perfectly consistent!

    Mark 15:45-46 44 Pilate was amazed that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 And when he learned of it from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.

    Matthew 27:58-60 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.

    Luke 23:52-54 52 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 After he had taken the body down, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb in which no one had yet been buried. 54 It was the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin.

    John 38:38-42 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42 So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

  8. Let’s avoid a lot of futile talking at cross purposes. I maintain that the Shroud is the realization of a thought experiment, carried out in the 14th century, freely admitting that requires mhaving to make some qualifying assumptions. That leaves you or anyone else free to question those qualifying assumptions if wishing to undermine and/or demolish my case. What you cannot do is come back with pro-authenticity thinking that makes its own qualifying assumptions and imagine they have any relevance to my medieval thought experiment scenario, with incomplete knowledge of actual historical events, and based instead on an imaginative reconstruction of those events, accurate or otherwise (probably the latter).

    But there’s a further sting in the tail, as I have flagged up on the News Sentinel artticle. The description of the Shroud as a “burial” cloth goes beyond the biblical record. It is based on making a number of qualifying assumptions, all presupposing authenticity, and then uses that label “burial cloth” essentially to promote authenticity via the back door, so to speak. That back door is then left open so as to admit further fanciful speculation, requiring still more qualifying assumptions e.g. thatthat the superficial body image could only have been formed by miraculous flash of radiation at the instant of resurrection (overlooking to mention that the image thickness corresponds roughly with that of the primary cell wall of the flax bast fibre).

    The desription of the TS as a “burial shroud” is an egregious example of “begging the question”. There is no greater academic sin one can commit, short of downright fraud, than to create and promote lines of argument that “beg the question”, ones that carelessly or shamelessly create a closed loop between preconceptions and conclusions.

    I can see why sindonologists want the TS to be seen as a burial shroud, and do NOT want it to be seen as having any transport role from cross to tomb – that creating all kinds of problems re stereo-register or lack thereof between blood and body image. But I’m not buying into any of that. Solid scholarship never begs the question, and scrupulously avoids terminology that eseentially begs the question. There are no legitimate grounds – scientific, historical or biblical – for describing the TS as a “burial” shroud. In fact it’s best not described as a shroud at all. It’s the Lirey/Turin body-imprinted envelope.

    1. Nice job of simply repeating yourself ad nauseam. Unfortunately for you, all of your arguments have been refuted…

  9. colin…’re back!…..glad to see you…however…kinda think you’re reaching a bit with your lastest post….but ….keep posting!

  10. Back to the facts.

    Not only do the gospels taken together say Joseph brought linen and Nicodemus brought spices, John’s gospel tells us they were following the burial customs of the Jews. Fortunately we need only skip back one gospel to find key information on what a Jewish burial entails in the time of Christ as we have a funeral in progress complete with the procession and means of carrying the body to its resting place recorded in Luke 7:11-15. Luke tells us that the dead body was carried on a “bier” as the King James bible puts it (as do many others).

    “Now when he [Jesus] came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” Luke 7:12-14 (KJV)

    According to (King James bible dictionary online), a bier is “A carriage or frame of wood for conveying dead human bodies to the grave.”

    No mention of “transport linen” anywhere because that was not the Jewish burial custom, neither is such indicated in the bible or Jewish sources, nor should we expect otherwise from the burial of Jesus Christ when John wants us to know Jewish burial custom was followed. Nicodemus who was a religious teacher, a Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin along with Joseph would have known as well as any how to conduct a Jewish funeral properly, particularly for the Jewish messiah in whom they believed in.

    The OT also bears witness to the burial custom of transporting dead bodies on a bier/bed and what may be its inclusion in the actual burial in the second example:

    2 Samuel 3:31 (KJV) And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. {KJV note, bier: Heb. bed}

    2 Chronicles 16:14 (KJV) And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him. {KJV note, had made: Heb. had digged}

    According to

    “Coffins, though used in Egypt (Gen. 1.26), were not in general use in Biblical times; in most cases the dead were carried out to the burial-place upon a bed or bier (“miṭṭah,” II Sam. iii. 31; Ber. iii. 1; Josephus, “Ant.” xvii. 8, § 3, κλίυη; compare II Kings xiii. 21, and the story of the sham funeral of Johanan ben Zakkai, Giṭ. 56a). Occasionally coffins were used, either of wood or of stone (M. Ḳ. 8b; Yer. M. Ḳ. i. 80d), those of wood suggestive of the tree which brought death to man (Gen. R. xix.); cedarwood, “which does not decay,” being preferred (Test. Patr., Simeon, 8; compare Levi, 19; Zebulon, 10). In France it became customary to use for the coffin-boards the table upon which food for the poor had been served (Baḥya b. Asher, commentary to Ex. xxv.).

    At first the bier used for the rich was more elaborate than that used for the poor; later, simplicity and equality became the rule (M. Ḳ. 27b).”

    So the Jewish custom was to use a bier or bed, rarely a coffin — no makeshift stretcher of linen here. And how did John say Jesus was buried? By Jewish customs.

    According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia at

    “Missionaries and natives of Syria tell us that it is still customary to wash the body (compare Acts 9:37), anoint it with aromatic ointments (compare Jn 12:7; 19:39; Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1), swathe hands and feet in grave-bands, usually of linen (Jn 11:44a), and cover the face or bind it about with a napkin or handkerchief (Jn 11:44b).”

    According to

    “Bodies were buried clothed and carried to the tomb on a bier (II Sam. 3:31), but not in a coffin. Joseph’s coffin is to be understood as Egyptian custom (Gen. 50:26).”

    John 19:39 states Nicodemus brought 75 to 100 lbs of myrrh and aloes mixture (KJV says 100 lbs). Seeing as how the crucifixion and burial was outside the city gates/camp (again following Jewish custom as shown in Luke 7:12, John 11:30 and elsewhere) it’s highly unlikely Nicodemus by himself and in old age (John 3:4) carried these by hand alone. Either he had help or he brought them with some form of transportation (chariot, wagon, horse, etc) and so a bier could have been brought along by whatever means was used for this or even itself used to carry the spices, we simply are not told how but only that the Jewish burial custom was indeed followed and we know the custom always had a bier/bed/coffin for body transport and fortunately for elder men like Joseph and Nicodemus it was not a long transport (John 19:41).

    1. Colin isn’t saying the Shroud was the actual transport linen, he’s saying a medieval audience may have been convinced it was a transport linen. The medieval audience wouldn’t have known the Jewish burial customs. There is medieval art that shows a linen being used when Jesus is taken from the cross.

      If the Shroud is authentic it is not likely a transport linen but a burial linen given the image characteristics. But Colin’s theory is premised on a medieval forgery.

      1. Thanks again David. Spot on as ever, which is impressive, given you are correcting the record on views that are not necessarily your own (though i suspect you are one of the few here to see some merit in them). Yes, this blogger sees the doubly-imprinted body envelope (what some choose to call the ‘shroud’ ;-) as having started in someone’s head as a thought experiment, one that was finally realized in an artisan’s workshop. As you and I say, the recreated scenario did not have to pass the test of 21st century biblical scholarship. It had only to seem credible to 14th century pilgrims who were drawn to a must-see relic that claimed to be a bigger-and-better version of the Veil of Veronica, both having natural or semi-supernatural images captured as a result of brief contact between body and linen, the Veil’s en route to the cross, the ‘recently discovered’ rival en route from cross to tomb in J of A’s linen used in up-and-over mode, possibly but not necessarily as a makeshift stretcher.

        That book of yours, David, re your childhood experiences in a family home that also served also as your father’s undertakers’ business: is it still available? I’d love to read it. You’re someone who clearly shares my love of words.

        1. “Thanks again David. Spot on as ever”

          Aren’t you being a bit smarmy and disingenuous by failing to clarify that the main issue we’ve been discussing isn’t whether or not the shroud is the actual transport linen (we know you don’t think it’s the actual one mentioned in the gospels, you think it’s a medieval fake, yes we know) but whether or not Joseph’s linen was intended to be used for burial in the first place? David has confused the issue and you’re encouraging him. lol you people are unreal! This new tactic speaks volumes!! Your back-peddling from your “makeshift stretcher” has been noted as well.

        2. I refuse to engage, here or elsewhere, with folk who resort to that kind of rhetoric. I’ve just this minute put up a new posting on my own site, summarizing recent comments here and elsewhere, notably the News-Sentinel site.That’s where I can be found for the forseeable future while tempers cool, and scientific detachment (with a dash of creativity) returns.

        3. ‘ It had only to seem credible to 14th century pilgrims who were drawn to a must-see relic that claimed to be a bigger-and-better version of the Veil of Veronica’.

          The Veil was an impression of the face of Christ when still alive. It was the top papal relic, the subject of enormous crowds when exhibited in St.Peter’s in 1350.

          So how do you go bigger and better than that ? Clearly it was a PA disaster if only because no one at the time saw any resemblance to the image of a living Christ (cf. Image of Edessa), and the double image of a dead Christ.

          The choice of venue was also a serious mistake- far too out of the way for a serious relic cult. Compare the Shroud of Cadouin which was on a major pilgrim route so you could hardly miss it!

          It was also extremely easy to get it suppressed in c.1355. Altogether an enormous flop.

        4. Well Lirey isn’t THAT far from Paris…and who knows, there could have been a certain ‘mystique’ in venturing into the wilderness to see a relic…I know I for one like exploring off beaten tracks.
          Also to what extent did Paris temporarily depopulate in the wake of the Black Death??

        5. Just googling and I see Lirey is in the Champagne region (images here of a drunk genius whipping up the shroud…).
          But I come to a serious point…Champagne was reunited with the Kingdom of France in 1361….Wonder if the Shroud had any connection with all this???

      2. “Colin isn’t saying the Shroud was the actual transport linen”

        He apparently believes Joseph’s linen (shroud) mentioned in the synoptic gospels was not intended for burial and feigns indignation at the use of “burial” to describe the Turin shroud which he asserts is not authentic. I show that Joseph’s linen was very much intended for burial not some ad hoc makeshift stretcher with no place in Jewish burial customs and that nothing supports the idea that Nicodemus brought any burial linen which Joseph had already brought anyways. This is the whole point of the discussion.

        Colin is basically saying even if he can’t duplicate the image, you still shouldn’t see the image as being formed during the resurrection because it wasn’t used during the resurrection.

        He concocted a story that an imaginary makeshift linen stretcher was provided by Joseph (admittedly, as some misinformed painters imagined, likely the spark that inspired this new farce) and was later removed for some other imaginary linen Nicodemus brought for the final burial (totally made up which no one was nutty enough to come up with previously) — while carefully ignoring and downplaying all the proof positive against this, biblical and historical.

        If that wasn’t bad enough, Colin then projects this delusion back into the minds of alleged conspirators trying to sucker Christians in the middle ages we’re told, yet no evidence that such a conspiracy was ever dreamed up exists. Sorry published accusations of fraud with no evidence proves nothing; would we be as gullible if the same had asserted authenticity? And we’re supposed to believe anyone who doesn’t go along with this conspiracy theory has an agenda up their sleeve? Where’s all the howls and hisses of “tin hatter” “moon bat” “crack pot” now?

        1. I think what has caused confusion, and this is just my opinion, is that both Colin and his critics (and supporters) are sometimes thinking out loud and, given the theory, this requires mentally entering the mindset of a medieval artisan — trying to figure out what he may have known about the crucifixion and how this would affect his forgery.

          This becomes confusing because in the comments it’s difficult to know who’s ‘head’ we are in.

          Colin has to defend the linen stretcher as plausible scripturally, because if it’s not defensible then the medieval artisan theory makes no sense either.

          Yes, if you look back at some of Colin’s comments it appears he’s saying that the Shroud is the transport linen – but I assumed he was arguing the plausibility of this from the point of view of the medieval artisan. I know Colin does not believe the Shroud is authentic, so I have always assumed when he debates for the stretcher linen angle it is to show a medieval artisan may have interpreted the scriptures likewise.

          For the record I’m not a proponent of his theory (I’ve listed some of the challenges under Thomas’ post), but I’m a proponent of a rationally constructed argument and this is one.

          If I’ve added to anyone’s confusion, it was not my intent.

        2. AONU, you should know Colin is never wrong, usually he vanishes and comes back with a “paradigm shift”.

          Next time he’ll explain you why the shroud was not the actual transport linen according to his latest comments on his blog.

        3. “I’m a proponent of a rationally constructed argument and this is one.”

          It might be if it wasn’t already hopelessly devastated by some elementary facts: 1) John states Jesus’ burial followed Jewish customs which never included a linen stretcher but rather a bier/bed for body transportation; 2) the Synoptics together make clear Joseph brought the burial linen and used with the burial spices; and 3) John makes plain Nicodemus provided the burial spices. There’s no shred of evidence anywhere Nicodemus provided any linen nor would he need to as Joseph did.

          Once you dodge all those pesky facts, you then have to shut off critical thinking and embrace a desperate conspiracy theory with absolutely zero evidence. Wait I thought conspiracy theories were deeply frowned upon on this blog? Now we like them? Stephen Jones is like a curse word around here, but at least his take on the C14 fiasco has some interesting facts and circumstantial evidence going for it. Can’t say the same about Colin’s theory I’m afraid. Again, where’s all the indignation and cheap one-liners?? Instead he gets defended and hyped up with promos??? Unreal.

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