Home > Uncategorized > Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

September 1, 2015

imageStephen has been discussing the side strip: Sidestrip #5: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

< CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE >

Problem for the forgery theory. That the Shroud has almost invisible stitching in its seam that is identical to stitching found elsewhere only at the Jewish fortress of Masada, which was last occupied in AD 73, is yet another (see #1, #3 and #4) problem for the forgery theory. Since a medieval forger would be most unlikely (to put it mildly) to even know about almost invisible first century Jewish stitching; and even if he did know about it, he would be even more unlikely to go to the trouble of adding it to his forgery (what use would almost invisible stitching be to a forger?); and even if he wanted to use it, he would be most unlikely to have the high degree of skill needed to do such stitching. So again the forgery theory would need to resort to the pre-1988 fall-back position of the late leading anti-authenticist Walter McCrone (1916-2002), that "a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image":

"A carbon-dating test would be final if it led to a date significantly later than the early first century. A first century date, on the other hand, would remove almost all obstacles to universal acceptance of the `Shroud’ as authentic. Only the careful objective scientist might still point out that a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image"[18].

But, leaving aside whether that would be "objective," for anti- authenticists to claim that a medieval forger forged the Shroud’s image on a 1st century cloth would, as we saw in parts #3 and #4, mean admitting that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud claim was wrong…

Does Stephen mean this is overwhelming – the emphasis on the word in the title of his posting is his – or that this argument, in conjunction with a gazillion other (or a few other) arguments, is overwhelming. I think he means the latter. I’m just not a big fan of piling up weak arguments one on top of the other. But then, again, that’s just me. And maybe it’s not weak.

Your thoughts?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Hugh Farey
    September 1, 2015 at 9:22 am

    I think this is one of a collection of pieces of evidence that together form Stephen’s “The Evidence is Overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Authentic!” project. He has several ongoing projects simultaneously, which it is sometimes difficult to keep track of. Others include: The Turin Shroud Dictionary, The Turin Shroud Encyclopaedia, the recent Shroud of Turin News, and of course, My Theory that the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratories were Duped by a Computer Hacker.

    Commenting exclusively on the extract you posted:

    “The Shroud has almost invisible stitching in its seam that is identical to stitching found elsewhere only at the Jewish fortress of Masada.” This is simply not true. The source is Mechthilde Flury-Lemberg’s examination, as reported in Sindon (Dec 2001). “The seam that connects the 8 cm wide strip to the larger segment is not a simple one. The type of seam construction chosen clearly displays the intention to make the seam disappear on the face of the cloth as much as possible. This is another reason to believe that the Shroud was planned and produced by professionals. The sewing has been done from the reverse of the fabric and the stitches have been executed with great care and are barely noticeable on the face of the Shroud (fig. 3a). The seam appears flat on the face (fig. 3b) and raised like a roll on the reverse of the fabric (fig. 3c). Examples of this same kind of seam are again to be found among the textile fragments of Masada [5] (fig. 3a), already mentioned above. To conclude this chapter it can be said that the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin does not display any weaving or sewing techniques which speak against its origin as a high quality product of the textile workers of the first century A.D.” This is far from saying that the seam is at all unique to Masada, or to any particular time. As it happens, I don’t agree with some of Flury Lemberg’s interpretations. Try this: “The intention to make the seam disappear on the face of the cloth as much as possible.” Almost all seams are designed to make the seam disappear on the face of the cloth – check your own clothing if you don’t believe me! Nothing special about that. Next: “The sewing has been done from the reverse of the fabric and the stitches have been executed with great care and are barely noticeable on the face of the Shroud.” Actually there are two lines of stitches, both, as far as I can judge, overcast, one sewn from one side and one from the other. “The seam appears flat on the face (fig. 3b) and raised like a roll on the reverse of the fabric.” If the diagram reproduced by Stephen is anything to go by, this is not so. The seam appears identical on both sides. (Try it with a piece of paper if you don’t believe me.) Anyway the seam is a fairly common lapped fell seam (look it up), and although today it would be held together with running stitch, in medieval times (such as at Viking sites in Denmark) an overcast stitch, as here, was certainly used.

    If I may, I think this illustrates a common failing among researchers, and one which I have consistently reiterated, which is the need to examine primary sources, not merely opinions based on them. Here, Stephen’s references are to Thomas de Wesselow’s The Sign and Ian Wilson’s 2010 Shroud, and there has been no attempt to verify the original source, or to derive an original interpretation from it. Of course, if all one is looking for is confirmation of ones own views, then a book agreeing with them is all you need, but for the education of others who want to make up their own minds, something of a little more depth is required.

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