"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.”
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.
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."
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