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New, Very Short Video from National Geographic

November 29, 2015

Newly published on Nov 16, 2015 by National Geographic, this video is only three minutes long and very well done.  includes short comments by Steven Schaffersman, Ian Wilson and Barrie Schwortz:

The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud (Italian: Sindone di Torino) is a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man that is believed by some Christians to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. Radiocarbon dating has dated it to the Medieval period. The shroud is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy.

Categories: Video
  1. November 29, 2015 at 8:03 am

    The amazing thing to me is how some scientists accept the miedval original fable without ever indicating any critical analysis of the carbon data whatsoever.

    Accepting at face value the flawed carbon dating is an easy out for agnostics, atheists and others who find the authenticity issue an afront to their belief systems,

    For the, authenticity is a slippery slope up [down] to accepting the Resurrection as an historical event.

    There are even some Christians who believe that pure faith is enough.

    • November 29, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Lots of good Catholics think that the Shroud is medieval. The scientific question of whether the Shroud is fourteenth century or first century is independent of anyone’s faith.
      The Shroud does not show any process of Resurrection- it is of a dead man.

      • Devadoss
        November 30, 2015 at 12:05 am

        Faith need not be blind.The Shroud gives a sound and genuine reason to believe. We pick up a portion of passion narratives and find confirmation on the shroud. This gives a veracity to the rest of the narratives from the Last supper to Resurrection. You may call it faith but for me it is discernment.

  2. Louis
    November 29, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Since it is now owned by Rupert Murdoch, NatGeo will probably have a more balanced, if not a Catholic, approach.
    Will that help people who are sitting over the wall, undecided about whether what the Bible says is true and even about the existence of God? It is difficult to say. Scholars are now ruthlessly adopting the bottom up approach, questioning everything under the sun.
    Recently a renowned scholar said that no one doubts Jesus’ crucifixion although Golgotha is a myth, while saying that the Exodus was a myth and leaving the door open to the story of Moses that can be interpreted in many ways, all of them leading to Egypt. The big differences arise when it comes to the origin of monotheism.
    There is no proof of the Exodus, the Josianic conquest, that the kingdom of David and Solomon was as big as described in the Bible. In fact, some scholars have described the two kings as “petty chieftains”. The Temple Solomon built actually used a North Syrian pagan temple as a model. There are very few positive indications in archaeology:
    https://www.academia.edu/18994343/The_key_role_of_Biblical_Archaeology_in_Exegesis_An_Interview_with_Professor_Israel_Finkelstein
    What happens when it comes to New Testament archaeology? The best scholars, epigraphers and archaeologists I have spoke to rightly dismiss the James ossuary, and although Dr. Dan Bahat, former Jerusalem District Archaeologist, believes that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the site where Jesus was buried, one or two doubts remain. The Garden tomb, “Gordon’s tomb” — General Gordon was not an archaeologist — does not mean much.
    Given that the Turin Shroud does not form a part of the Catholic Church’s deposit of faith, believers are ultimately left with Jesus’ post-Easter appearances as described in the New Testament.
    But, what about Scripture as a whole? How did Jesus view Scripture or what parts of it did he judge to be true? That is what historiographers are studying, but that is another story…

    • Matthew L.
      November 29, 2015 at 10:23 am

      “What happens when it comes to New Testament archaeology? The best scholars, epigraphers and archaeologists I have spoke to rightly dismiss the James ossuary”

      Don’t believe that is the case at all.

    • Matthew L.
      November 29, 2015 at 10:26 am

      And their is a ton of positive archeology evidence for the New Testament, and more and more findings will come in. Same with the Old Testament there is a lot being found that supports the OT narratives.

      • Louis
        November 29, 2015 at 10:56 am

        Really? It is nice to see someone who can provide evidence that I have overlooked. Do you have any paper, review or interview that you have published to substantiate your claims?

        • Matthew L.
          November 29, 2015 at 9:41 pm

          You’re actually disputing this? I thought it was just common knowledge that most of the archeology finds collaborate in significant ways the NT, and OT. John Meier can be quoted saying about 85-90% of archeology finds confirms the biblical record. This mentions some. http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/archaeology-and-the-historical-reliability-of-the-new-testaments

        • Louis
          November 30, 2015 at 6:09 am

          You have directed me to a dead link. However, let’s start from the beginning and let me tell you something that about what I have gathered after 20 years as a Religion Writer.
          I would not rely that much on what J. P. Meier writes. In his latest book he has Jesus uttering just four parables, nothing more. He will not address the Resurrection topic in his series. What is the reason for this? Other biblical scholars, who are also historians, have done this, and it will be the topic of my next review. If you are one to buy books my recommendation is “The Real Jesus”,by Professor Luke Timothy Johnson.
          Father Joseph A. Fitzmyer, SJ has more clout. He is considered to be one of the 20th century’s greatest biblical scholars:
          https://www.academia.edu/18994343/The_key_role_of_Biblical_Archaeology_in_Exegesis_An_Interview_with_Professor_Israel_Finkelstein
          It does not seem that you have read the text below:
          https://www.academia.edu/18994343/The_key_role_of_Biblical_Archaeology_in_Exegesis_An_Interview_with_Professor_Israel_Finkelstein
          If you had you would understand that it is the big events that matter, not small archaeological finds. There is one well-known Jewish scholar who believes that since there was no Exodus the Passover ritual began as something to ward off evil spirits. We do indeed have archaelogical finds that point to something or the other in the Bible, however they are not that significant. We can say something about a fortification built by Antiochus Epiphanes, for instance.
          As for the James ossuary you cited in your first comment, let me tell you that the second part of the inscription was forged and that was also the view of the Israel Antiquities Authority: https://www.academia.edu/13960422/The_James_Ossuary_Much_Ado_About_Nothing

    • November 30, 2015 at 11:09 am

      No Exodus? I think some scholars don’t trust their own birth certificates. “How do I know I was actually born at all?”

      This is nonsense. The Flood happened. The Exodus happened. David fought Goliath. Did they happen as recorded in the OT, who knows. But I assure you a regional flood likely did happen, a group of Hebrews made their way out of Egyptian exploitation at some point, and a plucky David led his men to victory against greater odds. The germ of these stories is true — common sense tells us this. Can archeology ever prove them completely, maybe – maybe not.

      It is good to question the historicity of everything — that’s why this blog exists. But if one left it to the so-called experts I’d be led to believe that the Israelites didn’t do much of anything — just sat around the tent making up wild stories to amuse their kids. I doubt they’d have survived as long as they did twiddling their thumbs like that.

  3. November 29, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Those who assume the imprinted linen to be the final burial shroud, as per the tomb-arrived account in John, might do well to study the above artwork closely. It shows the Matthew/Mark/Luke account that preceded the John account, i.e. Joseph of Arimathea’s double-body length linen being used to receive the body from the cross, with imprinting opportunities (real or imagined). There is absolutely need to imagine that the linen was intended to be dual-purpose, i.e to serve as final burial garment also.

    Viewing the linen as intended solely for receiving a body and transporting it discreetly to the tomb, there to be replaced by more specialised burial garments, straightaway rules out fanciful 20th/21st century speculation of late-stage imprinting of a body image via radiation, corona discharges, protons, neutrons etc.

    So RIP, Di Lazzaro- style ‘resurrection physics’ via matter-energy conversions, ones that somehow managed to avoid the full force of Einstein’s e = mc squared (which would have reduced 1st century Jerusalem to glass).

    Medieval artists possessed something that is missing from the modern internet, to say nothing of intellect, namely plain, down-to-earth common sense.

  4. Hugh Farey
    November 29, 2015 at 9:01 am

    “Without ever indicating any critical analysis of the carbon data whatsoever.” Oh, pur-lease!

    “Accepting at face value the flawed carbon dating”. Oh, for goodness’ sakes!!

    “…the authenticity issue an affront to their belief systems…” Well, hush my mouth!!!

    John, do remember that the people who disagree with you include people you have met and held discussions with on this very blog. Do you honestly think I have never critically analysed the carbon data? Do my posts suggest that I have accepted anything at all about the Shroud at face value? Do you know anything at all about my belief systems, or whether the authenticity of the shroud would be an affront to them? What about the other sceptics who occasionally post comments here? Do their comments suggest blind faith in the carbon date?

    Now what about the authenticists? Do they accept anything without critical analysis? Has any of them ever commented on the bright blue bands across the quad mosaic photos? Has any of them ever even looked at Shroud 2.0 and found evidence of mending? At the St Louis conference, did any of them think there was anything dubious about Ray Schneider’s 99.9% inverse correlation between interpolation and date, or Jeffrey Skurka’s absurd misinterpretation of an explanatory pamphlet? No, no, no, no and no. You want critical analysis – find a non-authenticist!

    I have made this point before, and reiterate it here, and will almost certainly reiterate it again, but if there are any accusations of blind faith to be tossed carelessly around, they apply almost exclusively to the authenticist camp, and hardly at all to the non-authenticist one, although there are notable exceptions on both sides. So who are these ‘agnostics, atheists and others’ who fail in ‘critical analysis’? Can you name a single one?

    So, John, what has been your ‘critical analysis of the carbon date’? Have you evaluated the Nature paper? Have you carried out any experiments? Have you worked with OxCal to evaluate the carbon data for yourself? Have you read Riani and Atkinson? Have you understood Remi van Haelst? Have you considered Flury-Lemberg’s criticism of the patch hypothesis? Have you ever seen an example of invisible mending? Do you understand the significance of David Pearson’s comments about a ‘definite’ patch? Have you examined the results of Christopher Ramsey’s carbon monoxide experiment, or looked into the primary sources of the earthquake hypothesis? Because I have, and the pages of this blog are witness to it. Have you? Or are you simply blindly following Benford, Marino and Rogers because they have written a paper?

    The amazing thing to me is how some authenticists accept any supportive opinion without ever indicating any critical analysis of it whatsoever.

  5. Hugh Farey
    November 29, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Hey, ho. Red rag to a bull, I’m afraid!

    • John Klotz
      November 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

      I guess I succeed in giving Dan some more traffic. However, I don’t see any utility to my repeating the rebuttals to the skeptics who is posted their usual skeptical analysis.

  6. Louis
    November 29, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I do not believe that any power that emanated from the body of Jesus would cause even the slightest destruction, therefore the association of the cure of the woman with the haemorrhage and the possible image formation process on the Shroud. Paragraphs 1 and 2 are clear: https://www.academia.edu/11355553/Dr._Paolo_Di_Lazzaro_explains_his_research_on_image_formation_on_the_Shroud_of_Turin
    I do, however, believe, like Charles, that many good Catholics do not accept the Shroud. And also that: there are some Christian “Shroudies” who look to the Shroud for “proof” of the Resurrection.

  7. daveb of wellington nz
    November 29, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    CB: “There is absolutely need (sic??) to imagine that the linen was intended to be dual-purpose, i.e to serve as final burial garment also.” [Freudian slip ??]

    It is quite reasonable that medieval artists should show the foot of the cross at the site of the burial rite.

    John 19:41-42:
    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.

    • November 29, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Correction noted: “no need”.

      It is NOT “reasonable” that medieval artists should show the base of the cross if the linen was merely intended to be deployed in the tomb as the final ‘perishable’ burial garments as described in John.

      Why not? Because the final burial garment, seen by few eyes, and destined for rapid deterioration, would not have needed to be the “fine” linen as supplied by Joseph of Arimathea specifically to the cross (synoptic gospels).

      There is, or should be, a self-evident reason for Joseph supplying costly fine linen to the cross. It was intended to signal to the Romans and spectators that the victim of that execution was still regarded, albeit in death, as a highly-esteemed individual in the eyes of his disciples and other followers. Whilst the subject of a humiliating drawn out ordeal, being made a public spectacle, there was nothing in law to prevent him being honoured just as soon as he had been pronounced dead. That’s especially so in view of the fact that Pilate had been approached and given his personal authorisation for the body to be handed over to Joseph, a noteworthy citizen, as distinct from being cast into a pit or similar. In short: Joseph’s linen was intended to be seen as first and foremost a mark of respect. To say it MIGHT have served subsequently as the final burial shroud as well is not incorrect, merely improbable, and some might think an attempt to extend the time scale for imprinting opportunities into the tomb, and indeed right through (in some minds) to the instant of resurrection, so as to suggest the body image was a byproduct of resurrection.

      The short distance between cross and tomb is not a problem in the medieval narrative, at least my version thereof, which sees the TS as an attempt on the part of forgers to create a Mk2 version (post mortem) of the Veil of Veronica. The Mk1 version, according to legend, was the result of brief contact between the face of Jesus, captured en route to the cross, by a sympathetic bystander with a head shawl. If that incident of legend was sufficient to capture the image of the face, then why not the considerably longer time required to transport the body from cross to tomb, even if nearby?

  8. Louis
    November 29, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Actually Jews were buried wrapped in two shrouds till the time of Rabban Gamaliel II and he changed the custom in AD 50. It is possible that Joseph used just one piece of cloth because he had little time.
    Israeli archaeologists have dismissed the Garden tomb as a myth and even thought that General Gordon suffered from spiritual hallucination;
    Not a single tomb from the Second Temple Period has been found in the area and the tombs there have been dated to the Iron Age.
    Unfortunately there are Protestants who insist on the Garden Tomb, led by emotion rather than rational thinking. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in the hands of the Catholic and several Orthodox Churches.
    Whatever, Jesus was certainly not buried in the East Jerusalem district of Talpiot:
    https://www.academia.edu/7471223/Jesus_was_not_buried_in_Talpiot_-_Part_III

    • November 29, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      It’s frankly pointless arguing the case on this site for a medieval provenance, based on what forgers thought could be foisted as a Veronica-inspired narrative (imprinting en route from cross to tomb) if the responses are centred, as they invariably are, on what is surmised to have happened, or might have happened, in the 1st century.

      The two are almost but not quite entirely divorced from each other, having only the one thing in common ,namely the sequence of events set out in the 4 gospels that may or may not conflict (synoptics v John) depending on whether Joseph’s “sindon” is the same or different from the “othonia” of John. I say they are different, and the putative medieval fabricator of the imprinted linen also thought they were different.

      I’ve made my views clear on this issue, and frankly see no need to go repeating myself over and over agin, merely because some folk here keep repeating their views over and over again.

      The key objective has not changed where this hands-on investigator is concerned: to account for the ‘enigmatic’ body image. I am presently addressing the uv-fluorescence issue about which much self-serving and ill-informed nonsense has been written, misrepresenting the margins of the 1532 burn holes as if they were generic scorch imprints (which they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, being semi-carbonized). I hope to produce a preliminary report in a couple of weeks or so after I get back from Cyprus (my present location)

  9. Hugh Farey
    November 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    “Actually Jews were buried wrapped in two shrouds.” Have we any evidence for that? Shrouds seem pretty hard to come by, archaeologically speaking, and I’m not sure what textual evidence there is for pre-Gamaliel custom, although I accept that he was critical of the overelaborate burial routine that seems to have been common by the time he died.

  10. Louis
    November 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    “Shrouds seem pretty hard to come by, archaeologically speaking.”
    Quite true, but who said that Jews in general were buried wrapped in the finest material available? No surprise if they were laid to rest in coarse cloth and we know that the population in general was am-haaretz. We cannot judge first-century burial shrouds looking at the Turin Shroud and it is likely that it was never intended to be a burial cloth. Joseph was a rich man and got hold of what he could in a very short period of time.
    We can be sure about one thing: first-century Jews treated their dead with dignity, and their descendants still do so today.
    They would never throw naked dead bodies in tombs. That was done by the Nazi criminals:

  11. Louis
    November 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    As I wrote in my first comment, not everyone believes in the existence of God. The existence of material goods available at low prices sometimes is never doubted by us humans made of flesh and blood.
    The Church of England has had problems with an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer in England:
    http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com/lords-prayer-cinema-ban-described-as-chilling-7353
    So, God is “out”, Black Friday is “in”:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30241459

  12. daveb of wellington nz
    November 29, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Joseph may well have intended the “fine linen” as his own burial shroud, regardless of whether it would have been visible in the tomb or not . The time precedes that of Gamaliel II, and until 50 AD Jewish burials could be quite elaborate to the point of incurring family penury. This was the reason that Gamaliel II prescribed plain cloth as his own burial shroud, to set an example.

    Regardless of where archaeologists might have concluded the location of the burial site of Jesus, the gospel of John claims as its author a “witness to these things”, and it claims that there was a garden and the tomb was close by. This does not seem to have been at any kind of municipal cemetery necessarily, but seems to have been a singular tomb that Joseph had hewn for himself, and therefore might well have even been on his own land. This could account for the absence of other burials at the traditional garden site. I suppose it just might be credible that he purchased a standard plot and then hewed out his tomb.

    • Louis
      November 29, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      As I said, the people in general were am haaretz. There are scholars who think that the sicarii set the Temple records on fire because they objected to the Temple tax. That was when Titus was besieging Jerusalém.
      It is possible that Joseph stored our Turin Shroud for his owm burial, however Israeli archaeologists havê said that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre área was honeycombed with tombs. The majority of them believe that that was the place where Jesus was buried. They havê also dismissed the Talpiot tomb as fiction, with documentary/companion book meant to fill coffers.
      Unfortunately some Protestantes havê concentrated on the Garden tomb, apparently to get at the Catholics and Orthodox who control the church.They are no real scholars and archaeologists and seem to be guided by emotion, which began with General Gordon’s “spiritual hallucination”.

  13. Hugh Farey
    November 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    You’ve lost me, Louis. Have we any evidence that pre-Gamaliel Jews were wrapped in two shrouds? That was the question.

  14. Louis
    November 29, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    No, Hugh, there is no evidence at all. The Akeldama Shroud was made of linen and wool and was a single piece. There was also a separate head piece. Well, it was not a typical case as the man was a leper.
    I make it a point to convey facts as far as possible and always look for evidence. My recent meeting with Professor Israel Finkelstein for an interview taught me even more how important that is. You are correct in your approach.

  15. daveb of wellington nz
    November 30, 2015 at 1:17 am

    I should think that one of the reasons why there are so few shrouds discovered, is that up until 70 AD, it had become quite a common practice to place the bones in an ossuary after one year, and it was not only a Jewish Christian practice, but possibly even dates from before the 1st century BCE, and was probably practised by Pharisees who believed n the resurrection. The ossuaries of Simon of Cyrene, his two sons, and also even that of Caiaphas the high priest ( a Sadducee) are known. Being unclean, the shrouds would probably be disposed of, possibly burnt, unless exceptionally they were included with the bones in the ossuary. The Akeldama shroud being that of a leper would therefore be an exception. I recall reports claiming that his tomb was sealed.

  16. Louis
    December 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    For those in the US interested in attending a biblical studies conference at the John Paul the Great Catholic University, San Diego, California at which Drs. Hahn, Bergsma, Barber and Kincaid will speak:
    http://www.jpcatholic.com/Biblical_Conference.php
    Note: All the scholars are conservative and have published books.

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