Colin Berry’s Long Running Investigation of the Shroud

imageI call your attention to Hugh Farey’s piece, LOTTO V. LUWU – A LONG RUNNING INVESTIGATION BY COLIN BERRY, appearing in the latest newsletter, issue 81, of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS).

The photograph is of Colin.

It begins:

For several years Colin Berry has been investigating ways by which the image on the Shroud could have been manufactured, and he has finally arrived at what he hopes is a satisfactory explanation. In many ways, though, the journey has been more valuable than the final achievement, as the variety and imagination of his experiments have enhanced our understanding of many of the characteristics of the Shroud, and demonstrated inaccuracies in long held beliefs.

And ends:

Although Berry says he has hung up his test tubes for the present, several loose ends are still available for tying up. Although Ray Rogers was convinced there was a thin starch coating all over the Shroud, Heller and Adler, in 1988, didn’t find any. And if the image relates, as the STuRP team suggested, only to the material of the Shroud and not to any coating or imprinting medium, then some interaction between the xanthoproteic events on the medium and the underlying linen should be investigated.

But you must read all of it.

69 thoughts on “Colin Berry’s Long Running Investigation of the Shroud”

  1. Bob Brockie is a well-known NZ scientist, cartoonist and commentator, a leading light of the NZ Skeptics scene, and was awarded the NZ Order of Merit in the 2013 NZ Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He has provided a weekly popular science column in the Wellington Dom-Post for as many decades as I can remember. For some reason, this morning’s contribution seemed particularly apt.

    1. English scientist David Icke thinks Queen Elizabeth & Al Gore are shape-shifting aliens. 2. Scientist Rodney Cliff of Mexico argues the earth is hollow. 3. Cosmologist Dr Paul LaViolette thinks that drawing a line between certain pulsars in the night sky forms an arrow pointing to a vast alien communications network. 4. Another scientist thinks that universe is a gigantic molecule of plutonium. 5. Mathematician Jim Jastrebski thinks Einstein was an evil-doer who perpetrated the illusion that the universe is expanding. 6. Another mathematician has proved that the height of the pyramids exactly fits the English alphabet. 7. Dr Boyd E Groves a US medical researcher has released secret government documents promoting the “phantom time hypothesis, that the years 600 – 900 AD never existed. Etc. etc.

    Brockie concludes: “There’s no idea so preposterous that you’ll find a scientist who’ll back it.” My comment – Feel free to add to the list!

  2. Look at Colin’s site

    Topic 6. As he wrote:
    “Here comes the crucial test of the new model: how do my linen fibres compare with those of the Turin “Shroud” under a low power light microscope?”

    Great !

    His first photograph looks promising.
    Of course, we need much more.

    Thanks in advance Colin.

    1. If it is so important to have scientists to comment on the Shroud why have non-scientists been encouraged to comment by means of personal attacks and by hitting below the belly? I trust readers will remember who has been engaging the most with non-scientists cum trolls.

      1. Since i have recently been accused of trolling and this other accusation appears in a thread i have not commented yet, could you at least quote a single comment you deem as a troll hitting below the belly?

        Just for the record.

      2. Hi Anoxie
        Comment allez-vous?
        There was no reference to you at all. It is easy to detect who I was referring to, for they are not scientists and have filled the blog with comments with personal attacks and with tactics like hitting below the below, also indulging in plagiarism.
        It does seem that Dan has blocked these things,at least so far, and that helps to carry on some discussions in peace.
        However,I have noted that they are being invited to the blog again, which means that there are people who view it also as a means of entertainment and this is also a demonstration of lack of ethics.
        I see no objection to what you post.

  3. David Icke is not a scientist. He left school at 15 and had no further education.
    Rodney Cluff (not Cliff) is not a scientist. He was working as a farm hand at 16.
    Jim Jastrebski is neither a scientist nor a mathematician; he’s a sculptor.
    Boyd E Groves does not feature on the internet at all. No evidence that he’s a scientist.
    Paul LaViolette is a scientist and his ideas, fair enough, fairly preposterous.

    Feel free?

    Isabel Piczek is not a scientist.
    John Jackson is a scientist.
    Joseph Accetta is a scientist.
    Colin Berry is a scientist.
    Daveb is not a scientist.
    Ray Rogers’s was a scientist.
    Luigi Garlaschelli is a scientist.
    Paolo di Lazzaro is a scientist.

    I wonder what Bob Brockie thinks of the Shroud?

    1. Bravo Hugh for setting the record straight!

      Have just been mulling over the microscopy which Thibault has flagged up (thanks). Interestingly the micoscopy now works hand in hand with the R&D, each giving useful and productive feedback to the other.

      The combination of SOLID white flour and WET linen at the imprinting stage offers a possible explanation not only for negligible reverse-side imaging, but maybe for image being predominantly though not exclusively on the crowns of the threads. There would a tendency of flour to stick to the highest part of a wettened farbric anyway, since once wet it will tend to stay put and not migrate into the weave. One wonders whether the wetting might also temporarily block off the pores/interstices of the weave, assuming that the threads swell when made wet. That shouldn’t be too difficult to check (like tomorrow). Thanks for write-up in the BSTS Newsletter by the way. Most of it’s already out-of-date needless to say, such is the productive nature of the flour hypothesis. It could be a totally wrong direction needless to say, but that’s science bizz… The microscopy looks promising, as TH acknowledges… ;-)

      1. Colin,

        I have seen:

        Now you are proposing a new model, namely white flour onto WET linen.
        Why ?

        Do you realize that some people (like me) are simply unable to follow you ?

        A given model has to be studied in depth before switching to another one.

        1. I’m surprised that you of all people do not understand the need for WET linen,Thibault. Wet linen is obligatory when using dry flour straight from the bag as imprinting medium (instead of wet slurry) as in the latest upgrade to the model. It’s the dry particulate flour that gives the fuzzy image. I seem to recall someone protesting not so long ago at the sharp borders to the wet imprint.

          “A given model has to be studied in depth before switching to another one.”

          That’s news to me. But then what do I know? I’m merely a non-medically qualified researcher. When should I return for a repeat prescription?

        2. “However it’s very difficult to follow you.”

          What is it you don’t follow, Thibault? Is if the science, the technology or the exposition? I can hardly be expected to make myself understood if you make no effort to explain where the difficulty lies.

          Where the science and the technology are concerned, nothing could be simpler. The subject is dusted with flour, wet linen is draped over and manually moulded to contours, transferring most of the flour to the linen. The fabric with its negative flour imprint is then placed briefly in a hot oven to convert the flour to a brown pigment. The linen is then washed in soap and water, leaving a final faint yellow fuzzy imprint. From what I’ve seen so far, the appearance of that final image under the microscope bears a close resemblance to that of “Shroud” image fibres in the Mark Evans photomicrographs.

        3. Thanks Colin,

          When I wrote that it’s difficult to follow you, I had in mind three things:

          – Your blog(s): you have now 3 blogs. “science buzz”, “” and the last one ( I don’t have it in my bookmarks).
          Your thoughts, experiments, comments etc. are scattered in both (first) blogs so that it is (and it was) difficult to follow you.

          – Your posts are long and contain many digressions so that it’s difficult for me to extract the important things. Please, remember I am French. By the way, English was not the first foreign language I studied at school. It was German.

          – Anyway, you are jumping from a given model to another ( scorch, nitric acid, flour/water paste, dry flour) without explanation.

  4. Pope John Paul II left the matter of authenticity to science and in this case we will need experts in image analysis. Where are they? Perhaps some well-known experts will have something to say on this blog when they see that Dan has blocked trolls once and for all and fruitful discussion becomes possible.
    We are running short of time and the more prominent “Shroudies” should prod the experts so that they comment here. If not, there is no point in lecturing about the relic. Why? Have a look at the Pope’s attitude when he went to the Exposition. Neither Shroud lectures nor Shroud studies have convinced him about anything. That is fine because the relic in a part of the Deposition of Faith.
    So, if anyone believes that he can deal a blow to the Catholic Church or to Christianity in general by means of what we can learn about the Shroud he is badly mistaken.

  5. If non-scientists created the shroud image then why today’s expert scientists can’t create a similar image?

  6. “All things excellelent are as diffificult as they are rare.” Spinoza

    Many scientists have attempted experiments to explain he shroud. None have come close to the excellence of the shroud nor have they diminished its rarity.

    So far, the shroud is the holy grail of historical enigmas. That which remains is the sublime, the mystery and transcendence.

  7. Just for sake of truth…
    Here I am forced to go quite off topic
    because I have not yet received an answer
    about the possible explanation regarding the STURP
    and the lack of “NaClO works” (an “unsolved problem”,
    underlined by Colin Berry).

    Alan Adler (source: “The orphaned manuscript”)
    wrote something about one class of the test objects
    that can be clearly identified as ferric iron oxides particles
    (= reddish, birefringent, pleochroic, with a positive spot test
    for iron only if predigested with HCl)…
    In any case he (= Dr. Adler) underlined that these objects
    were found predominantly only in the scorched blood areas
    and in waterstain margins.
    The combustion of blood is known to produce ferric oxide
    and its presence in the scorched blood area was expected…

    Perhaps these particles were also present on
    original Holland backing cloth.
    But it should not exist a role of them in the case
    of thin layers on linen fibrils (= then: no as chromophore
    for Bodily Image).

    Here what I wrote few days ago (in
    August 14, 2015 at 5:17 am):

    >Yesterday, rethinking what you wrote about “Mc Crone’s tunnel vision” and the mis-identification: “iron oxide as the chromophore” I was able
    to solve the simple problem.
    >In other words: the use of diimide can be understood starting from the fact of iron oxide presence, because … if you treat cotton stained with iron oxides then you create an hole on your cotton cloth.
    >The same can happen on linen fibrils.
    >So, if you destroy your proof you cannot win …

    >This was the point to consider.
    >Probably they (= “STURP”) had feared iron’s oxides presence.
    >Then I hope you want to pardon my previous waste of time with useless discussion.
    >Am I wrong in my conclusion?

    … etc., etc. …

    >Try to treat a cloth with particles of rust and
    then try to use NaClO in order to show what happens (at different pH)…
    >And also I think you can adequately distribute rust particles in order
    to make pinholes in a cloth…
    … etc., etc. …
    — — —
    >In Industrial works the bleaching equipment
    should be made of stainless steel, to avoid the
    catalytic degradation of the cellulose in presence
    of copper and iron [tank construction is stainless steel (AISI 316, etc.)].

    >Before to end, few other “chemical words”.
    >If you want to become a good worker (…sorry!)
    in this textile field, then you can add an organic sequestering agent to chelate the ferrous ions and prevent redeposition or adsorption of iron compounds onto the fibers, and recovering the bleached substantially iron-free fibrous cellulose.
    … etc., etc. …
    — —
    So: why no one told me about my solution to
    the “problem of the lack of use of NaClO”?
    The use of diimide simply allowed to bypass
    the possible problems due to the possible presence
    of iron oxides…

    Am I only an internet troll?
    Sorry for my long exposure (perhaps a little in
    “Baroque way”) for the “NaClO / or / HNNH problem”.

    1. In any case Alan Adler (on the same famous paper
      [= “Chemical and physical aspects of the sindonic images”=
      the orphaned manuscript!] a bit after his previous words
      about the ferric iron oxide particles, the scorched blood areas
      and the waterstains margins, etc., etc.) wrote a clarifying phrase:
      >… particles of this iron oxide type are not found in the
      body image area samples.

      Instead McCrone did sustained another idea about
      the chromophore (as Colin Berry underlined in his message).

      Then, here, the key-issue to remember is the following:
      the lack of professionalism (= thus: scientist’s observations
      as professional works) can lead to the wrong results…

  8. Hugh Farey says:

    Feel free?

    Isabel Piczek is not a scientist.
    John Jackson is a scientist.
    Joseph Accetta is a scientist.
    Colin Berry is a scientist.
    Daveb is not a scientist.
    Ray Rogers’s was a scientist.
    Luigi Garlaschelli is a scientist.
    Paolo di Lazzaro is a scientist.

    ***Angel says: Although I am not a regular on this board, I am a retired research and development chemist.

    I have performed pioneer research on non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking drugs (those that relax or paralyze skeletal muscle).

    I’ve also worked in a particle accelerator or cyclotron (Hot Cell) on positron emitters like Fluorine-18; specifically 2-fluorodeoxyglucose (2-FDG), used for Positron Emission Tomography (PET scanning). I’ve researched and developed Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS)inhibitors and have synthesized novel and innovative compounds in the therapeutic areas of diabetes and osteoporosis.

    My research involved the presentation of posters at National Chemistry Seminars and I am published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, such as, Tetrahedron Letters, Journal of Organic Chemistry and Synlett.

    Further, I hold a U.S. patent for a cancer antiemetic.

    Why do you state Isabel Piczek is not a scientist? Isn’t she a particle physicist?

  9. Way to go, Angel! My point is that the word ‘scientist’ can be used as term of adulation or abuse somewhat indiscriminately, and has come to mean virtually nothing. Scientist is what scientist does in, my opinion, and although even Colin would admit that to a layman, a bloke in a kitchen smearing flour on his face seems very different from a bloke in a university laboratory with a squillion-volt laser, it seems that both these gentlemen have achieved a discolouration of the upper fibrils of a cloth which at least visually, even under a microscope, has many of the characteristics of the Shroud. Daveb’s gentle ribbing of Colin’s work by saying that there is no idea so preposterous that some scientist doesn’t promote it is fair enough, but we must remember that this swings both ways. John Jackson has impeccable scientific credentials, but his current attempts at explaining the ‘fall through’ hypothesis make Colin’s experiments appear the very essence of respectability.

    Bob Brockie, who ought to have known better, made the popular journalist error of describing anyone who uses the words ‘quantum’, ‘hologram, or even ‘UFO’ as, by definition a scientist. To the best of my knowledge Isabel Piczek has been a working artist since she left Hungary at the age of 14. A couple of years ago I wrote on this site: “None of her papers on are physics based, and a question and answer article entitled “Isobel Piczek, Artist and Physicist” makes no mention at all of any science. A paper entitled ‘The Event Horizon of the Shroud of Turin’ on shows no understanding of particle physics or quantum theory, or even of the meaning of event horizon.” I have had no reason to change this since. I did make some effort to find out when the label was first attached to her, and by whom, but nobody owned up!

    1. Popular journalist error? I don’t know about others but I havê never described anyone who uses the words Quantum, UFO as a scientist. Many years ago I consulted a friend, also a scientist with NASA experience, about Dame Isabel Piczek’s theory. He told me that she was wrong.
      I think I know what she was getting at, and can even agree with her, except that it cannot be demonstrated on the Shroud. At the Resurrection Jesus was released from the bounds of time and space and returned to his pre-earthly form of existence.

  10. “The fabric with its negative flour imprint is then placed briefly in a hot oven to convert the flour to a brown pigment.”

    “There was also the small matter of claiming priority before someone else does (sorry, but scientific research and its reporting is, always has been and always will be competitive).”

    I think someone has published something about Maillard reaction. Since the “paradigm shift”, you’re just playing around with Maillard reaction in a forgery narrative.

  11. It’s time that I took another break from this tiresome troll-tolerating site. Folk know where I can be found (click on my blue hyper-linked name).

    1. PS: In my very first week of research into the TS image (Jan 8 2012) I made this reference to the Maillard reaction.
      For the moment, let’s address just two extra details. How was the cloth sensitized to scorch superficially in those parts closest to the hot skeleton? Check my 5 or 6 previous posts and you will find one possible method, using linen that had been lightly coated with charcoal slurry (maybe starch and/or simple sugars too) and then dried. The charcoal acts as a thermosensitizer, absorbing heat rays (infrared), producing a light tanning effect on the part of the cloth in immediate contact with the charcoal. The chemistry might involve caramelisation, or a carbohydrate/protein reaction to form Maillard reaction products). The latter can be washed out later, leaving just the sepia “stencil” and the bemused (overawed) medieval religious pilgrim with no clue as how it was produced. It’s a process that I have dubbed thermo-stencilling.

      Alternatively, the cloth may simply have been impregnated with lemon juice or similar, relying on the old “invisible writing” trick we used to so as children with paper, lemon juice, a pen nib and a hot clothes iron.

      It was totally in the context of my first “scorch at a distance” model, one I called thermostencilling.

      To suggest that the current role seen for Maillard reactions in my latest flour-imprinting model is derivative of someone else’s model, presumably Rogers’, though not specifically named, is simply not borne out by the facts. In fact it’s downright ludicrous, since my model depends on elevated temperatures of 200 degrees C and higher that are only relevant in the proposed scenario of a medieval modelling of an aged sweat imprint.

      I think a retraction is in order. If it stands, in spite of this corrective, then it’s yet another attack on both character and professionalism, albeit not quite as serious as a previous one from the same individual, having once accused me on this site of selecting/ distorting/ ignoring data that were inconvenient to my case. I seem to recall David Goulet coming to my defence, deploying the T word (and quite rightly so).

      Wheat flour and Maillard reactions are both topics close to this investigator’s heart, having spent 12 years at the UK’s Flour Milling and Baking Research Association, first as Head of Biochemistry in the Nutrition and Toxicology Section (Principal Scientific Officer Grade), and later appointed to the new post of Head of Nutrition and Food Safety.

      1. I’ve been following your experiments daily.

        For 2.5 years you’ve been directly scorching linen with a hot template, eventually bragging about having cracked the mystery. It is rather ironical, and unbelievable, i agree, that you didn’t consider Maillard reaction earlier.

        Maybe your obsession with Rogers’ bashing has been blinding for a while.

        But experiments are always to be welcomed.

        1. Two responses in the following interview are relevant in this discussion. They are questions 6 (heating effects) and 10 (Maillard recation):

          Apparently Ray Rogers thought about Maillard as a component in image formation and Di Lazzaro invites more experiments to obtain a Shroud-like colouration of cloth.
          I rejected Maillard effect on a body wrapped in a tomb,for reasons given in the interview. So let us see what results can be obtained in a forgery hypothesis.

        2. OK. I’ve tried my hardest to be restrained in my comments re Ray Rogers (RIP) but the charge of Rogers-bashing keeps popping up on this site again and again, and is apparenty the reason why a particular troll is still allowed to make attacks on my character and professionalism. Time then to take the gloves off re Raymond N. Rogers RIP and tell a few home truths about his professionalism, or rather lack thereof.

          Chemistry is an exact science, based on a precise nomenclature. When one says “starch” one means the macromolecular form of polymeric glucose, whether linear (amylose) or branched (amylopectin). When one refers to “crude starch” it is taken by a chemist to mean starch and some unspecified non-starch impurities. When one refers to “starch fractions” it could mean anything, unless specified. When one tests a “starch impurity” coating hypothesis using commercial dextrins, one is not testing starch but sugary fragments of starch produced under laboratory conditions, like exposure to strong acids or enzymes, something that does not occur in nature, except by action of yeasts and other microorganisms. When one refers to “reducing sugars” , especially if starch-derived, one has to demonstrate that starch has been degraded, with enzymes or acids. Fail to do that, and one is being totally unscientific.

          Raymond N. Rogers, chemical explosives expert, used the terms starch, crude starch, starch fractions, dextrins and reducing sugars INTERCHANGEABLY when attempting to promote his Maillard hypothesis. That was a travesty of chemistry, and a TOTAL ABUSE of chemical nomenclature. I realized as much within a week or two of entering Shroud research, but have tried to avoid criticizing “someone no longer around to defend himself”.

          Sorry, but as I say, the gloves are now off, thanks to the persistemt trolling on this site. linked to those whom I regard as romanticizing Rogers “groupies”.

          When Rogers signed up to STURP he went ‘out of area’. He was a fine explosives chemist, of that I have no doubt. But he was a lousy carbohydrate chemist, and essentially misdirected Shroud research. His baleful influence can be seen and felt to this day, thanks to his misguided pro-authenticity fan club employing their troll tactics. They frankly do not understand the basics of carbohydrate chemistry, being even more ignorant – or blissfully indifferent – than Raymond N.Rogers.

          This blogger put a hitherto barely recognized form of starch – so called “resistant starch” – now acknowledged as valuable man-made “dietary fibre” – on the map with a highly cited single-author paper. The attempts by a handful of trolls, one in particular, to undermine his research credentials will not work. All these trolls do is to display their ignorance and delusions of adequacy.

        3. Maillard is not the answer. But it may be a link in the answer. Thus there is value in anyone, repeat anyone, who explores the process. If we could let the observations speak for themselves without the accompanying narrative commentary the farther we’ll get in less time.

        4. The problem is that although Ray Rogers was an honoured scientist there is a cult-like devotion to him in some Shroud circles, where things are said to which he would certainly have taken exception.

          One reason I always appreciated Stephen Jay Gould’s approach was because he was fair. “Objectivity”, he wrote, “must be operationally defined as fair treatment of data, not absence of preference”. Of course, a problem arises when a preference is strongly linked to a worldview.

          It is recorded that in the beginning Rogers thought that those who believed that the Shroud was authentic belonged to the “lunatic fringe”. If he had read C. G. Jung he would never say that.

          I think that he was not always objective, and this is evident in question/response numbers 8 and 10:

          There is definitely an example where attempts were made to make worldview and findings meet, however unconvincing that may have been.

        5. Sorry David, but i’m feeling free to have a critical look on any experiment.

          Could you explain me why Colin has given up scorching?

        6. Sorry to butt in, but I think it is due to the heating effects mentioned in Dr. Di Lazzaro’s interview. I mentioned both Maillard and Heating effects in my comment of August 18, on this thread.

        7. Hi Anoxie
          It is not that he asked Dr. Di Lazzaro for help, he bases some of his research on what was stated in my interview, as he himself commented indirectly.
          The Italian physicist wants to see someone experimenting with Maillard to obtain a Shroud-like colouration of cloth and also talks about Heating effects, which of course includes scorch.
          Well, Maillard involves heating as well, as any baker knows.

  12. Daveb is not a scientist in the sense that a retired qualified professional who has drawn on the fruits of science to produce something worthwhile for humanity is not a scientist. In such fields we might find engineers of various specialities, mechanical, civil, electrical, electronic; medical practitioners, surgeons, those who specialise in particular ailments, or those in general practice, even dare we admit it, forensic pathologists. Some of us even dare to call ourselves “applied scientists”. My own training did happen to include the basic sciences, which then advanced to various studies of assorted materials, the analysis of structures, some four years of fluid flow and hydraulics, and various branches of mathematics which your run of the mill scientist is unlikely to have heard of. There’s also the business of learning how to apply all this useful knowledge in a productive manner, how to design and put things together. Of course that’s only the core stuff, and one grows in one’s own chosen profession according to one’s own particular calling. And one need not restrict one’s interest, but with such training can easily extend the horizons to other extra-curricular activities. I recall that I had at various times consulted those whose business was supposed to be pure science, but I always had the devil of a job getting any kind of a decision or recommendation out of them that I could fruitfully put to good use, and so seldom bothered. But then I’m not a scientist, so what would I know ?!

    1. Thank you, Hugh, for such a detailed explanation.

      I’m not as qualified as you guys. I don’t hold a PhD and as a matter of fact, I only have 6 graduate credits toward my Master’s Degree. I had to drop out of the graduate program when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, followed by my father’s liver cancer.

      Yet, I’ve achieved quite a bit for someone who didn’t have a PhD, like Colin or you. I was in line for another patent on a neuromuscular blocking drug, but our company was sold, prior to patent issue. That really hurt, since I had worked on that particular compound for such a long period of time, in an effort to reduce the duration of the drug.

      Although Colin’s experiments may seem ridiculous to a person not familiar with scientific technique, all avenues leading to image formation on the Shroud must be explored and for this reason alone, I give credit to and appreciate the effort Colin Berry has expended, referencing his research methodology.

      I may be incorrect, but I seem to recall either a documentary or a DVD on the “Event Horizon” that introduced Isabel Piczek as both an artist and a particle physicist.

      When I posted this information on an Amazon atheist site, in defence of the Shroud and Jesus, as God, all the scientists on that forum informed me Isabel Piczek was not a physicist, since they had thoroughly researched her background. As well these scientists asked me to link them to Isabel’s university credentials. I couldn’t find that specific information on the internet.

      Those scientists, who are atheists, can be extremely brutal at times and even today, they not only refer to the Shroud as the MIT (Magic Italian Tablecloth) but they trumpeti the work of Garlaschelli. And since they don’t believe Jesus existed at all (there’s no historical record) they have come to the conclusion the entire biblical story was merely fantasy.

      It’s hurtful for a true believer to read such negative comments, concerning Jesus. For this reason I am hoping scientists will either find some archaeological evidence for His existence or perform a novel type of scientific test on the Shroud that proves, without a doubt, the linen cloth dates to the first century.

      Regarding non-scientists, my belief is anyone is capable of presenting an hypothesis that eventually proves fruitful, in respect to the image on the Shroud. It really matters not whether he or she is a scientist or not. :)

      1. Angel:

        La historicidad de Jesús está ampliamente demostrada y sólo razones “oscuras” explicarían la negativa de algunos historiadores a aceptarla.

        Veamos cuáles son la totalidad de los escritos “originales”del siglo I d.C que nos ha legado la Imperial Roma (a excepción de los de Filón)

        De los años 30 y 40 d.C:
        – Una historia de Roma por Vellius Paterculus, un oficial retirado del ejército de Tiberio. Fue publicada en el 30 d.C.
        – Una inscripción que menciona a Pilato.
        – Fábulas escritas por Fedro, un liberto Macedonio, en los 40s d.C.

        De los años 50 y 60 d.C
        – las obras filosóficas y cartas de Séneca
        -un poema de su sobrino Lucán
        -un libro sobre agricultura por Columella, un soldado retirado
        – fragmentos de la novela El Satiricón de Gayo Petronio
        -unas cuantas líneas de un satírico Romano, Persio
        -Historia Naturalis de Plinio el Viejo
        -fragmentos de un comentario sobre Cicerón por Asconius Pedianus,
        -una historia de Alejandro Magno por Quinus Curtius.

        De los años 70 y 80 d.C:
        -algunos poemas y epigramas por Marcial
        -obras de Tácito (una obra menor sobre oratoria) y Josefo (Contra Apión, Las Guerras de los Judios).

        De los años 90 d.C:
        -obra poética de Estacio
        – doce libros de Quintilliano sobre oratoria
        -la biografía escrita por Tácito sobre su suegro Agricola, y su obra sobre Germania.

        ¡Impresionante escasez!

        Qué pocos textos nos ha legado desde Roma el siglo I y cuán poquitos autores .

        Cuatro historiadores:

        -Paterculus que publica en el año 30 ¡qué iba a hablar de Jesús!.
        -Quinus Curtius que escribió sobre Alejandro Magno…. poco relacionado con Jesús.
        – Tácito que no habla de Jesús en su obra de Oratoria,¡ ni en la biografía de su suegro!, pero SÍ hablará años más tarde en sus Anales cuando trate la historia de Roma.
        -Josefo que SÍ habla de Jesús.

        O sea que de 4 historiadores, y he incluido a Paterculus aunque era amateur, SÓLO 2 podían haberse referido a Jesús y así lo hicieron.

        Cada disciplina tiene sus normas y las que tiene la Historia para considerar a un personaje como “ser histórico” se cumplimentan en el caso de Jesús de Nazareth. Guste o no guste.

        Sus adversarios confunden y mezclan en grado extremo el concepto de “ser histórico” con “cuántos datos históricos tengamos sobre ese ser”, que son bastante pocos, aunque desde luego bastantes más que infinitud de “otros personajes históricos” de los que tan sólo se conserva el nombre.

        Los intentos de atacar esta “historicidad” como “ser o personaje” se observa ya tan sólo en círculos de pensamiento ateo.


        1.-La primera información independiente proviene del judío acomodaticio, colaborador romano e historiador José Ben Matías, conocido como Josefo.
        Vivió aproximadamente unos 60 años (del 37 d.C al 100 d.C). Fue protegido de los emperadores romanos Flavios, Vespasiano y sus hijos Tito y Domiciano.
        En “Antigüedades Judías”, Josefo narra cómo el Sumo Sacerdote Anano el Joven, aprovechando que tras la muerte del Procurador Romano Facio, su sucesor Albino en el año 62 todavía no había llegado a Palestina, decidió deshacerse de algunos de sus enemigos

        Antiquitates judaicae 2O, 2OO.

        “Siendo Anán de este carácter, aprovechándose de la oportunidad, pues Festo había fallecido y Albino todavía estaba en camino, reunió al sanedrín. Llamó a juicio al hermano de Jesús, llamado Cristo; su nombre era Santiago, y con él hizo comparecer a varios otros. Los acusó de ser infractores de la Ley y los condenó a ser apedreados. Pero los habitantes de la ciudad más moderados y afectos a la Ley, se indignaron”.

        Estos hechos los narra Josefo para indicar que Anano fue destituído porque había ordenado la ejecución ilegalmente sin el consentimiento del Procurador Romano.
        Siendo Jesús un nombre comúnmente usado por los judíos, es muy probable que el historiador Josefo al referirse a Santiago decidiera identificarlo mejor añadiendo que era hermano del Jesús llamado Mesías.

        2.-La segunda información independiente sobre Jesús, proviene del historiador romano Publio Cornelio Tácito, en sus “Anales” (XV, 44), quien vivió del año 52 al 118 .

        Tácito describe cómo Nerón culpó a los cristianos del incendio de Roma, ya que el rumor público se lo achacaba al mismo emperador: 

        “Para acallar el rumor, Nerón creó chivos expiatorios y sometió a torturas más refinadas a aquellos que el vulgo llamaba cristianos, odiados por sus abominables crímenes. Su nombre proviene de Cristo, quien bajo el reinado de Tiberio, fue ejecutado por el procurador Poncio Pilato. Sofocada momentáneamente, la nociva superstición se extendió de nuevo no sólo en Judea, la tierra que originó este mal, sino también en la ciudad de Roma, donde convergen y se cultivan fervorosamente prácticas horrendas y vergonzosas de todas clases y de todas partes del mundo”.

        3.-La tercera información independiente proviene de Suetonio, otro historiados romano, comentó sobre el reinado de Claudio (41-54 de nuestra era):

        “Debido a que los judíos en Roma constantemente causaban disturbios por instigación de Cresto, él [Claudio] los expulsó de la ciudad”. Incidentalmente, Hechos 18:2 describe cómo una pareja de judíos llamados Aquila y Priscila tuvieron que salir de Roma debido a la persecución de los judíos.
        “Cresto” es otra forma de escribir “Cristo”
        La confusión Khrestus por Khristos está atestiguada.
        Tertuliano (160-220 d.C), dice que los gobernantes romanos pronunciaban erróneamente chrestianus por christianus (Apologético 3).

        Después Suetonio comenta acerca de la persecución de los cristianos en el reinado de Nerón:

        “Después del gran incendio de Roma… también se aplicaron castigos a los cristianos, una secta que profesaba una creencia nueva y malévola”. Esta referencia a la existencia de un grupo llamados “cristianos” en el primer siglo sugiere que una persona llamada “Cristo” existió a comienzos de ese siglo.

        4.- Otras fuentes:

        a.-Plinio el Joven, en una carta del año 111 ó 112 al emperador Trajano (carta XCVII), explica (en el marco del maltrato hacia los cristianos) que “en presencia mía… (algunos cristianos arrepentidos) han lanzado imprecaciones contra Cristo… Decían que todo su error se limitaba a… (reunirse y cantar himnos) en honor de Cristo, como si fuese Dios.” “Cartas de Plinio” traducido al inglés por W. Melmoth, Vol 2, X:96).

        b.- Luciano de Samosata (125-192) escribió en “La muerte de Peregrino” 11-13, “de aquel hombre a quien siguen adorando, que fue crucificado en Palestina por haber introducido esta nueva religión”, la de los cristianos, cuyo “primer legislador les convenció de que todos eran hermanos…, y adoran a aquel sofista crucificado y viven de acuerdo a sus preceptos.””Las Obras de Luciano”, Vol. 4, traducción de Fowler y Fowler).

        c.-. El Talmud, en Sanedrín 43a se refiere a la muerte de Jesús. Es aceptado que esta parte del Talmud data del primer período de la compilación de ese libro (es decir, en los años 70 a 200 de nuestra era):

        “En la víspera de la pascua Yeshu [Jesús] fue colgado. Durante 40 días antes de que se realizara la ejecución, un heraldo proclamó: ‘Él va a ser apedreado porque ha practicado la brujería y ha incitado a Israel a que apostatara. Cualquiera que pueda decir algo a su favor, que pase adelante en su defensa’. Pero en vista de que nada se presentó en su favor, fue colgado en la víspera de la pascua”.

        El mismo tratado del Talmud da otra noticia: “Nuestros rabinos enseñan: que la mano izquierda rechace, pero la derecha atraiga siempre, no como Eliseo, que rechazó a Gejazí con ambas manos, y no como Rabí Yoshua ben Perahjah, que rechazó a Jesús (el Nazareno) con ambas manos” (T.B. Sanh 107b). 

        Estas dos noticias del Talmud se pueden considerar tannaíticas, esto es, anteriores a la Misná y son importantes desde el punto de vista histórico, pues dan por probada la existencia de Jesús, aunque interpreten su actividad como obra de magia y su misión como la de un seductor y agitador
        El Sanedrín 43a también describe cómo cinco discípulos de Jesús fueron sentenciados a muerte, mostrando de nuevo que los judíos habían creído tradicionalmente en la existencia del Jesús histórico. En Sanedrín 106b incluso dice que Jesús tenía 33 años cuando murió; exactamente como lo requiere el Nuevo Testamento. Maier (“First Easter”, pgs. 117,118) cita del documento judío del siglo V, “Toledoth Jesu”, que afirma que los discípulos trataron de robar el cuerpo de Jesús después de su muerte, pero que un jardinero llamado Judá se enteró de sus planes y trasladó el cuerpo de Jesús a otra parte entregándolo después a los judíos. Entre ellos, estos puntos de evidencia muestran que los judíos de los primeros siglos de nuestra era creían en la existencia y muerte violenta del Jesús histórico.

        Son sus adversarios los que comentan algo respecto de Jesús. Esto es muy significativo porque no son los amigos los que hablan, sino los adversarios. Esto quiere decir que de alguna manera se tiene en cuenta la persona, y no tiene caso iniciar un debate sobre una persona que se sabe jamás ha existido. Al hacer pues un debate, un comentario supone pues la existencia de Jesús.

        d.- “Testimonium Flavianum”.Antiquitates judaicae,18, 63 – 64

        Se ha conservado en cuatro versiones diferentes:
        -griega (Historia Eclesiástica de Eusebio de Cesarea)
        -latina (De Viris Illustribus de San Jerónimo)
        -árabe (Historia Universal de Agapios, s. X)
        -siríaca (Crónica Siríaca de Miguel el Sirio, s. XII).

        El texto en columnas paralelas puede verse en A. Paul, Intertestament (Cahiers Évangile, 14), París 1975, 22-23; hay traducción castellana: Cuadernos de Evangelio, 12, Estella (Navarra); cf. también H. Lichtenberger, “Josephus über Johannes den Täufer, Jesus und Jakobus”, Bibel und Kirche 53 (1998) 67-71 donde el autor indica las expresiones de este texto que no pueden proceder de un interpolador cristiano, las que no pueden ser de Flavio Josefo y las expresiones neutrales que pueden provenir ya de Flavio Josefo ya de un interpolador.

        “Por aquel tiempo existió un hombre sabio, llamado Jesús, si es lícito llamarlo hombre; porque realizó grandes milagros y fue maestro de aquellos hombres que aceptan con placer la verdad. Atrajo a muchos judíos y muchos gentiles. Era el Cristo. Delatado por los príncipes responsables de entre los nuestros, Pilatos lo condenó a la crucifixión. Aquellos que antes lo habían amado no dejaron de hacerlo, porque se les apareció al tercer día de nuevo vivo: los profetas habían anunciado éste y mil otros hechos maravillosos acerca de él. Desde entonces hasta la actualidad existe la agrupación de los cristianos que de él toma nombre”.

        Este celebérrimo texto es conocido como el “Testimonium Flavianum”.Como se ve, el párrafo parece una confesión de fe cristiana, pues contiene la explícita aceptación de que Jesús “era el Cristo” y la afirmación casi tan expresa de su resurrección.
        Pero Josefo no era ciertamente un cristiano, tal como se desprende del conjunto de su obra y de la precisa puntualización de Orígenes (185 – 253), según el cual el escritor judío no creía en el mesianismo de Jesús.
        En los últimos años se multiplican los intentos por rehacer un texto originario de Josefo que sea neutral respecto a Jesús. Recientemente P. Winter y G. Vermés.

        El texto así reconstruído vino a coincidir significativamente con una versión árabe del Testimonium Flavianum que Agapio, obispo de Hierápolis , siglo X, cita en su historia universal cristiana. Este texto fue alegado por primera vez en el debate sobre el Testimonium el año 1971, por el autor judío S. Pines (An arabic Version of the Testimonium Flavianum and its Implications,Jerusalem ,1971).
        Dice así:
        “Josefo refiere que por aquel tiempo existió un hombre sabio que se llamaba Jesús. Su conducta era buena y era famoso por su virtud. Y muchos de entre los hebreos y de otras naciones se hicieron discípulos suyos. Pilato lo condenó a ser crucificado y a morir. Pero los que se habían hecho discípulos suyos no abandonaron su discipulado. Ellos contaron que se les había aparecido tres días después de su crucifixión y que estaba vivo; quizá, por esto, era el Mesías, del que los profetas contaron maravillas”.

        Salta a la vista la sobriedad de esta versión árabe, en la que faltan justamente las expresiones del texto griego que la simple crítica interna tendía ya de por sí a eliminar. Las afirmaciones “cristológicas” que permanecen son puestas en labios de los discípulos (“contaron…”), dejando de ser una afirmación directa de Josefo .

        Los denominados como Evangelios Canónico, Evangelios Apócrifos, Cartas, Epístolas etc,etc,etc


        1. Gracias, Carlos.

          Back in the 50s and 60s, I was able to speak and write spanish fluently, but I have been away from it for too many decades and, as a result, I have forgotten many words. In fact, too many to respond with a meaningful paragraph.

          Comprende espanol un poquiito, pero no mucho.

          I believe I am interpreting your reply to be verifying the history of Jesus through Pilate, Tiberias, Flavius Josephus, etc.

          There are some sources you quote that are considered by today’s scholars to be either forgeries or later Christian additions to the text.

          See the link: Josephus on Jesus – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
          … includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books … (meaning the testimony of Flavius … to be a total forgery, the majority of modern scholars …

          Although I thank you for such an extensive post on the history of Jesus, I am unable to give you a comprehensive reply in Spanish, nor do I know for certain the texts you have quoted are considered to be legitimate sources of information or later Christian additions.

          Thank you, Carlos.

        2. Angel
          Wikipedia is just a basic source. Msgr. J. P. Meier has convincingly demonstrated that Josephus did indeed refer to Jesus and there are other sources as well. He says:
          “Although most people are unaware of it… in all probability this extra-biblical evidence not only provides evidence of Jesus’ existence, but, as I shall try to show, includes a number of salient facts about his life that confirm the basic outlines of the four canonical Gospels.”
          For more on biblical studies:

        3. Louis, I sent you a query re an unrelated item, some hours ago. Can you please check for it. Even a nil response would be welcome. daveb

      2. Angel, while Carlos provides a long list of historical quotes (just because something is disputed does not make it false or outside reasonable consideration), one can go to the Gospels as historical records attesting to Christ’s life. Some would argue they do not accept these records because they do not agree on every detail. I would argue that makes their authenticity and reliability ever more powerful. One would expect forgers who were trying to create a water-tight document would eliminate any conflicts between eyewitness accounts. Yet the fact remains most eyewitness accounts of the same event often contain variances, so that 4 writings that did not conflict at all would be unbelievable.

        1. Louis says:
          “Although most people are unaware of it… in all probability this extra-biblical evidence not only provides evidence of Jesus’ existence, but, as I shall try to show, includes a number of salient facts about his life that confirm the basic outlines of the four canonical Gospels.”
          For more on biblical studies:

          ***Angel says: Thanks, Louis.

          I was including what was being disputed by atheists. I could find no information on the historicity of Jesus, one way or another.


        2. Doc Andy,

          I appreciate the information you have included in your post; however, I need something that is completely factual, with no ambiquity or possible Christian insertions into the text that is proof positive and serves as an historical record of Jesus’ existence. The links provided by Carlos will be thoroughly investigated. :)

          Thanks again!

      3. Angel, Louis mentions J P Meier, whose approach in “A Marginal Jew” has the advantage of being minimalist, only accepting what he considers authoritative.

        I found Bart Ehrman’s “Did Jesus Exist?” more comprehensive in scope, and persuasive for the historic reality of Jesus’ existence. Ehrman is a noted NT scholar at North Carolina University. He became an evangelical Christian in his teenage years, but like many scholarly evangelicals abandoned his belief to become an agnostic. Nevertheless I believe he makes an excellent case, even though I found fault with a few of his arguments. I’ve noted that Louis tends to be somewhat dismissive of Ehrman, but B.E. still has the advantage of reputation, being a noted NT scholar, and I consider several of his arguments quite sound.

        1. Hi Angel

          I have been a Religion Writer for around twenty years, interviewing some world-renowned biblical scholars, reviewing dozens of books, writing articles, making on-site research into various religions and sects (some with weird rituals) and so on and can tell you something about what I could gather during this time.

          Bart Ehrman came from a fundamentalist evangelical background, so one must presume that he believed that when it came to the Bible, “Everything is true or nothing is true.” There are many cases where fundamentalists become agnostics, atheists and even anti-Christian when they realise they are wrong.

          Ehrman made some interesting points in his studies, but was wrong in considering that almost everything could be questioned. He did not take the oral tradition into consideration and his mistake was his inability to distinguish Bible from Scripture (as understood by all Christian denominations today).

          I could tell you much more, but suffice it to say that Ehrman does not even figure in a 1000+ page book on Jesus, where there are essays by prominent biblical scholars, which I will be reviewing.

          There this really no need to read what the atheists say, as most of them, while not believing in Jesus’ divinity, do acknowledge his existence. In the following link you will note how even non-Christian scholars acknowledge the existence of Jesus:

          If you want to learn much more, read:

          When the so-called James ossuary was announced to the press some people thought that it was concrete proof that Jesus existed. Nothing could be further from the truth:

          As you go deeper into New Testament studies you will understand that there is no need for inscriptions and ossuaries to prove the existence of Jesus and why exactly the Christ movement, Christianity today,came into existence.
          Best wishes.

    2. daveb, I knew your training included science, judging from your exceptionally detailed replies, deductive reasoning and excellent analyses of the various topics, pertaining to the Shroud.

      I love reading your posts. :)

  13. Four years in hydraulics. Sounds like Daveb is a scientist after all. Joining us among the ranks of “There’s no idea so preposterous that you’ll find a scientist who’ll back it,” no doubt!

    1. I omitted to mention a couple of years in Engineering Geology and Applied Soil Mechanics; it’s of some use in Foundation Engineering, Dam Construction, and when you have to solve a problem of 50 acres of ground support on the move heading into the river. But that’s only incidental.

      As I sometimes had to be reminded by my engineering supervisors, the Pure Scientist pursues the truth with all the time in the world to discover it. The Engineer needs the truth now as he has to make decisions within a finite time frame. He recognises that ignorance is normative, and incorporates his factors of safety to include it.

      Yes, like some other scientists, I do have a preposterous idea. I believe that the Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus Christ. But not so preposterous because it’s based on persuasive circumstantial evidence. Engineers, like members of the judiciary and most of the rest of mankind, do that when faced with a difficult problem!

      1. When Mr. Farey called Daveb is not an engineer, as an (civil/environmental) engineer I realised what is the real meaning of ignorance.

        1. Sorry When Mr. Farey called Daveb is not a scientist, as an (civil/environmental) engineer I realised what is the real meaning of ignorance.

        2. Yes, quite so. I was indeed ignorant of daveb’s credentials. My incorrect guess was entirely the result of his quotation of Bob Brockie’s article. Still, now we’re all scientists, and all have preposterous beliefs, we can get on with the investigation. I’m glad to have been of service to Sampath in helping his understanding of the meaning of ignorance.

      2. I have no problems with Louis’ yahoo answer link. Scientists query and hope to find an answer; engineers do, and hope to produce a useful result; teachers teach, with the hope that they may impart competence! But as I mentioned earlier, the few times I wanted to consult a scientist, I seldom received a recommendation that I could fruitfully use. As one of the yahoo comments stated, engineers supply what nature has not provided. But in those cases, we bend nature to our will! I have often seen it as the privilege of a small share in the divine Creator’s work. Jesus Christ was a carpenter, but not all carpenters are Jesus Christ. His father was an engineer. You don’t believe me? Who else would place a sewer outlet next to a recreation area? Yes, we can clown and laugh at ourselves too!

      3. daveb, I knew you were a scientist from the start,since I clearly recall on one of your posts (possibly on another thread) you mentioned you were an Engineer.

        During my years in chemistry, I worked with many engineers, (including chemical engineers) and they were always considered scientists.


  14. It will be interesting to see how Colin will add the actual blood, blood image and serum onto the linen.

  15. Interesting summary. This really makes his work (which sounds interesting) more accessible because, quite frankly, there were too many distractions to try to follow the actual research as it happened.

  16. This is just to let folk on this site know that my investigations are now reaching a denoument, since the dry flour/wet linen thermal imprinting model is not only able to reproduce the crucial microscopic characteristics of the TS image (halftone effect, discontinuities etc) but account for them as well (via a proposed and briefly tested oil migration effect).

    Yes, this morning’s experiment with flour and vegetable oil, while fairly crude, does show the new model to have some predictive utility, as all decent scientificmodels should. See Topic 6 at top of the current posting:

    No disrespect to Dan, but I don’t intend to participate further in discussion on this site, given the generally negative reception given here to my re-modelling of what I consider was a 14th century project, but would be happy to receive serious comment on my WordPress site (click on my hyperlinked name). I also intend to do a more succint summary of the model for my sciencebuzz site in the next day or two.

  17. Thank you Colin for your determination. However either on 1st century or 14th century no one had that sort of technology to print an imgage similar to image like Shroud of Turin. Shroud is 14 feet long and 3 feet wide. If they had the technology, today we could have seen many diferent type of images printed in either 1st or 14th century.

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