There is an interesting discussions going between Teddi and Hugh in the comments for another posting. They are talking about Galatians 3:1, and and whether or not it is referring to the Shroud of Turin. I have snipped some of the discussion and pasted it below. Here is the verse:
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! (NRSV)
Here is a link to many Bible versions of this verse: https://biblehub.com/galatians/3-1.htm
Here are some useful papers from shroud.com
- The Crucified Christ As Seen By the Galatians 3.1
- A Galatian Sojourn of the Shroud of Turin? Pollen, Paul, and a Public Portrayal of Christ
- Are There Veiled References to the Shroud of Turin In the New Testament?
- BIBLICAL REFERENCE TO THE IMAGE? – A Comment by Dorothy Crispino, Indiana, USA
Here are some of the comments from another posting:
Some interesting views from a legal point of view, but not, to my mind, necessarily relevant to the process of scientific inquiry. Scientists do not prove; they demonstrate, as, perhaps, I hope to do now.
In referring to Galatians 3:1, and a “breakdown of the Greek words into English” being “evidence that what is now referred to as the Shroud of Turin had been shown to the Galatians” I think you are primarily supposing that the word ‘προεγράφη’ (proegraphe) implies some kind of image. It has been translated ‘presented,’ ‘described,’ ‘set forth,’ ‘displayed,’ and ‘portrayed,’ but to understand its true meaning, we have to look at as many instances as we can of its use in other circumstances. In my blog post “https://medievalshroud.com/προεγράφη/” I give seven examples, not one of which can be interpreted as having anything of the pictorial about it. That’s not to say that “προεγράφη” could never mean “shown as an image,” only that there is no evidence that it was ever used that way. Is it really a “real eyeopener”?
The word occurs near the beginning of Paul’s letter, which is overall an attempt to reconvert the Galatians to his point of view, from which they had been swayed by proponents of “another Gospel.” These are usually supposed to be the more Jewish-centred Christians (i.e. Peter and James and their disciples) with whom Paul had several quite bitter arguments. So when Paul says: “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” he is referring to the Jewish Christians as the ‘bewitchers.”
Given this feud, we must ask ourselves, if the shroud of Christ had in fact been rescued and kept, who is more likely to have kept it: Peter & James, or Paul? At this stage in the history of Christianity, it is overwhelmingly more likely that, if it existed at all, it was with Peter rather than Paul, who could not, therefore, have “displayed” it to anybody.
Now, have I proved anything? Certainly not. Have I demonstrated anything? I think so.
1) The word translated as “portrayed” has never been found to mean anything pictorial.
2) If the shroud existed at all at the time, it was overwhelmingly unlikely that Paul had it.
To my mind, and I hope to anybody’s who reads this, this is very good evidence that “what is now referred to as the Shroud of Turin had” NOT “been shown to the Galatians,” and I feel that, in order to maintain that it had been, “the burden of proof” now falls upon those who support that view.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Let’s get into the full verse of Galatians 3:1 (as translated from the Greek, word-by-word, on biblehub.com):
“O foolish Galatians! Who you has bewitched the truth not to obey WHOSE BEFORE EYES Jesus Christ was publicly PORTRAYED [as] having been crucified?” [Emphasis added.]
It is quite clear that someone publicly portrayed SOMETHING (like the Shroud has been documented to have been “publicly portrayed” on many occasions) that depicted Christ as having been crucified. Are you proposing that someone could have been doing a reenactment of the crucifixion? If so, I would say I disagree. Why? Because a reenactment does not speak to whether something is true or not. However, the display of a burial cloth with blood stains in all of the right places –to evidence the wounds of Christ’s particular crucifixion– is something quite different. Whether the body image was visible at that time, or not, is an open question, but I think that the probabilities tip in favor of the answer, “yes,” because it is stated that the truth of it should have been rather obvious to the viewers. This, perhaps, implies more than just bloodstains which could have, more easily, been “faked up.” The addition of a strange image –especially to people who might have seen what Christ actually looked like while alive– makes more sense. That’s why, I suspect, they are being called “fools.”
Also, the root word in “προεγραφη”/”proegraphe” is the word “graph” –which means “to write.” So, this portrayal was something displayed which had something on it that was showing Christ as crucified. (If it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck –the balance of probabilities tell us . . . it’s a duck.) I am not arguing that this evidence, alone, is all that is needed. But, it is evidence that goes into the pile the makes up a circumstantial case that the Shroud of Turin is the Shroud of Christ. Specifically, it is evidence that counters the argument made by skeptics that the Bible makes no mention that Christ’s burial cloth with an image (blood and/or body) on it. Would it have been better if this verse said in plain language, “You fools saw Christ’s burial cloth with his blood and mysterious body image that was not made by human hands, yet you do not believe?” Yes, of course, but, as Mick Jagger proclaimed, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.”
And, as C.S. Lewis stated about God and how He operates –so as to preserve our free-will– “He cannot ravish; He can only woo.”
God gave us the Holy Shroud as evidence, and God has permitted science to provide us with a mountain of evidence that this bloodied burial cloth in Turin with Christ’s face on it is, indeed, genuine. But, God will never give us so much evidence that it will, in essence, force everyone to bend the knee –in order to avoid Hell. This would overcome free-will, and it would defeat God’s purpose in only wanting to surround Himself in Heaven with people who want to be with Him. So, the evidence will never be 100% perfect, and, quite frankly, no piece of evidence is –except that which we have to prove our own earthly existence.
And, one last thing, science is nothing more than just one tool (albeit a very important one) for helping to prove certain things to some degree of certainty (or, exclude certain unviable ideas.) Science, at its best, only yields evidence. It, then, becomes necessary to use reason and logic and debate the issues to see what we must make of the evidence and to determine if the evidence is even credible.
Scientists forget something that lawyers do not: evidence can be faked. I’m not sure that there is any scientific experiment that can withstand scrupulous cross-examination. For example, how many experiments are videotaped from start to finish? Even if it is, one can claim the video has been altered. With the things that are shown on the video, does the viewer really know what is being shown? How does this viewer know whether if an experiment was done if it was done properly? How does the viewer know if the person conducting the experiment was honest? With studies that are done, how do we know that the people in the study are telling the truth to get into the study or are telling the truth about potential side effects they are experiencing, etc.
I think you understand what I am saying –which is, there is a tremendous amount of TRUST that we must have even with SCIENCE. Yep, I said it, and I mean it. But, we don’t have a better alternative. But, let’s not act like science is the end-all-be-all, because I will tell you that REASON can, sometimes, get to the truth of the matter better than science can.
And, this is one reason why a circumstantial case which is built with many pieces of evidence can, sometimes, be more compelling than a case that has just one or a few direct witnesses –since eyewitness testimony can, often, be incorrect.
So, science is a wonderful tool for helping us arrive at certain truths, but it, typically, isn’t the exclusive pathway.
I would like to reword what I said here:
“[B]ecause it is stated that the truth of it should have been rather obvious to the viewers.”
Instead, I should have said, “strongly implied.”
Thanks for getting back, but I don’t think I made myself clear. I didn’t mean to suggest any of the things you have suggested I might.
1) Yes. Paul’s epistle implies at least two visits to the Galatians before he wrote his letter. The first was by himself, in which he preached his version of the crucifixion and the resurrection, and conversion. I don’t know whether he had any visual aids; almost certainly not. His ‘portrayal’ probably consisted of his comparison of Christ to the messianic scriptures and his own conversion story. But you agree with me that he certainly did not have the shroud.
The second time was by Peter or one of the more Jerusalem centred Christians, who reconverted them (bewitched them) to what Paul describes as a “different Gospel.” This is usually interpreted as part of the early Christian debate about the primacy of “faith in Christ” over “following the law” or vice versa, and whether it was necessary to become a Jew first (with all its circumcision, dietary restrictions and temple-visiting duties) before you could become a Christian. For much of his letter Paul disparages the “following the law” party in the harshest possible terms; they are cursed, they are evil, and they bewitch people. You seem to be suggesting that this Petrine visit was when the shroud was displayed, which is not impossible, but that in spite of actually seeing an image Christ crucified, they nevertheless repudiated everything Paul had taught them.
Can Paul’s letter be interpreted as that? “O foolish Galatians! Even though Peter showed you Christ’s actual burial shroud, you were bewitched by him into false thinking.” That doesn’t make sense to me. What about: “O foolish Galatians! Just because Peter showed you Christ’s actual burial shroud, you were bewitched by him into false thinking.” That doesn’t make much sense either. Do you go along with either?
2) Moving on. The word “graph” certainly does not “specifically deal with a depiction of some sort.” Its primary meaning refers to writing. Saying so is not a “very literal” interpretation, it’s the normal meaning of the word. My favourite dictionary, Liddell and Scott, gives dozens of examples of the use of “graph” in literature, and Strong’s Greek Concordance (on biblehub) gives graptos, graphé, and graphó, and dozens of scriptural references, and not one single instance of the words suggests any kind of picture. Before you can claim that “graph” can be interpreted pictorially, I think you should find some examples. I agree with you that “over literal translations” can lead to disaster, but that doesn’t mean anyone can make up whatever meaning they like.
Thank you very much for putting the “focus” on the Galatians’ eyes, and what they saw with them with this new posting of yours.
I think that this is an important piece of evidence that the Shroud of Christ was preserved by Christ’s apostles and/or disciples. If one really thinks about it, it would be absolutely absurd to think that Christ’s apostles and/or disciples would not have kept, preserved and treasured the cloth which wrapped His lifeless body –most especially if they were able to see the body image on the cloth at that time.
Some might argue that they would not have wanted to be in possession of a graven image. But, this would not be the situation with this, because they would have known that this is Christ’s image –not some random, fake god. And, of course, it is not the image, itself, on the Shroud that is worshipped. Instead, it is still God who is everywhere that is being worshipped. BUT, the image brings God to us in a way that we can better relate to Him. It permits our “Christian eyes” to be “focused” on Him as He was on earth –when He sacrificed Himself in order to redeem us from our sins. but seeing the image just gives us such a closeness to God which is, otherwise, invisible.
When I gaze into photographs of Christ’s face, I look upon it with such love and, at times, I can become almost transfixed by the Holy Face. At its essence, the body image –and, especially, the Holy Face, is to give us a treasured “photograph” of sorts of someone who loves us. It can be likened to when we gaze at photographs of beloved family members and friends. It would be nonsensical to say that we are “worshipping” these photos just by looking at them. No, we merely look upon these photos to kindle a great warmth of love and affection for the person whose image we are gazing upon. As such, Christ’s disciples and apostles would have had this common sense, as well. And, they would have treasured this cloth not only because it had upon it Christ’s image, but because it, also, was soaked with the blood of Redemption. I do not believe for a moment that the apostles and/or disciples would have viewed Christ’s salvific blood as unclean. No, I am convinced that they would have understood that from Leviticus 17:14 that, in this most unique situation, ETERNAL life is in the blood of Christ.
As such, this special cloth containing Christ’s blood would have been treasured and protected –as it has, indeed, been treasured and protected for all of these years to the present day. It is there to see, but there will still be modern-day Galatians who will blind themselves to what even science and reason push us to acknowledge as true.
Also, Larry Stalley’s article that you attached to this post has a great discussion on the Galatians, but, also points out what the church historian Eusebius wrote around the late 3rd century about Peter’s traveling to Rome: “He [Peter], fortified with divine armor, bore the PRECIOUS MERCHANDISE of the revealed light from the east tot hose in the west, announcing the light itself . . .” (Christian Frederick Cruse, tr., “Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1955) II.XIV:64.)
Also, on another matter, post-resurrection, Jesus’ apostles and disciples were then putting together the many, repeated, falsifiable claims that Jesus made PRIOR to His crucifixion: that he would be killed and that He would rise from the dead.
People often tend to forget that the Shroud does not exist in a vacuum. Before Christ was crucified on the cross, he made many FALSIFIABLE CLAIMS that He would be killed and that he would then rise from the dead –just a couple of examples: John 2:18-22, Matthew 12:39-40, Matthew 16:21l The cloth that we have in Turin is compelling EVIDENCE that the numerous recorded falsifiable claims that Christ made that He would be resurrected were true. As such, this burial cloth was like no other and had –as it still does– the power to transform hearts and minds.
The Shroud of Turin is, ultimately, the evidence which God which contains a combination of the natural world with the supernatural world in order to provide those who have eyes that wish to see, compelling evidence that Christ was, indeed, telling the truth about who He said He was. I will close with the undeniable truth that C.S. Lewis proclaimed:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher He would either be a lunatic –on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg –or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You m use m make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Thanks, Teddi. Mere Christianity sits on the corner of my desk. I don’t look at it as much as I should but I do remember and completely agree with what is probably Lewis’ most famous quote. Thinking about your previous paragraph,. I was, in years gone by, more like you are, convinced about the shroud’s authenticity. Now, I’m pretty much on the fence. The history is all that keeps me up there. The science and the made-up science is abysmal. . But I’m hoping. Praying, too.
I first learned about the Shroud through a quick mention of it on television near Easter-time, and, perhaps it was the next day or so, I saw a magazine cover with the Shroud on it while in the checkout line at the grocery store. As soon as I looked closely at that magazine cover, I just had to learn more about it, and I asked my mother to take me to a bookstore so that I could get a book about it –and she happily complied. I read Gary Habermas’ and Kenneth Stevenson’s “Verdict on the Shroud,” and I’ve been “hooked” ever since. In my freshman year of college when the C-14 results came out, I told my mother that there had to be something wrong with the test. The likelihood that a mountain of evidence coming from so many different disciplines would all point one way, and that one test pointed in another told me (even then) that the C-14 test results were an outlier. For the past 2+ years, however, my research has become very steady concerning the Shroud and quite intensified.
I have discovered as many others have that when one goes to research one question, five new ones pop up. The natural order of things is that the more one studies something, the questions should become fewer and the understanding should become greater. With the Shroud, this situation is both “yes” and “no.” God gives us enough answers so that we have what we reasonably need to know that it is true, but all of the answers will never be available.
I have found through my Shroud research that God has quite the sense of humor, too. It never fails, with just about everything concerning knowledge about the Shroud, nothing is ever 100%. There’s always just a little something to not make it totally certain –but, I am convinced that this is so that God preserves our free will. As C.S. Lewis said of God: “He cannot ravish; He can only woo.” For the evidence to be too perfect would be for God to “ravish” us through the indisputable, undebatable Truth of Him. But, God wants to provide enough crumbs to provide a proper trail for the people who are inclined to want to come to Him to have enough confidence in Him so as to do so.
I am a criminal defense attorney, and I still continue to think (even now with my far more enhanced knowledge of a lot of the minutiae of the science and history surrounding the Shroud) that it has been proven BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT to be authentic. Yes, I stand very firm in my belief that I think that it is unreasonable to have a strong understanding of the evidence revolving around the Shroud and not believe in its authenticity. (I get a lot of “pushback” for making that bold statement, but I stand by it with every fiber of my being.) The more I deeply study the Shroud, the more I am in awe of God and this amazing miracle which He has left for us. I revel in the details, and while the Devil is in the details, so is God.
And, just in case anyone is wondering, I grew up in a rather laissez-faire Greek Orthodox church, and I firmly believed in God prior to learning about the Shroud and the evidence supporting it. BUT, in being truthful, I cannot say that I (prior to age 15) had belief in God to the degree I do now. Perhaps, at 15, I was 87% convinced or something like that. A doubt of two could enter my mind for a moment now-and-then, but, internally, I just thought God was real. But, the great beauty of the Shroud evidence (both the scientific and historical evidence), is that now I believe that I KNOW that God exists to about a 97% or more certainty. If ever even a moment of doubt enters my mind about whether God and Heaven are real, all I have to do is remind myself of the mountain of Shroud evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the supernatural IS, INDEED, real. And, WOW, that’s quite the quiver to have in one’s pouch!
All the best,
In response to your last comment to me (which is on Dan’s prior post regarding Colin’s attempt to reveal how the body image on the Shroud was made) you attributed a belief to me that I neither hold nor wrote when you stated: “But you agree with me that he [Paul] certainly did not have the shroud.” I don’t pretend to know whether Paul ever had the Shroud or not. I was just saying that from the context of his words to the Galatians, Paul was referring to their having previously seen the Shroud being publicly exhibited. That’s an important distinction that I think is worth emphasizing. What’s important is that they saw it being displayed by someone who, almost certainly, would have had to have been a very TRUSTED Christian in order to have possession of it.
But, this Christian would not, necessarily, have to have been one of the more famous apostles. After all, look at the treasured relics that Robert de Clari was given the huge responsibility of bringing to France from Constantinople after its sacking.
And, again, regarding the word “proegraphe,” you seem to imply that I am just “making up whatever I like” regarding my defining it as a “public portrayal,” yet this is not correct. I was getting that definition from EXPERTS in Koine Greek and English who were providing this interpretation of the word given the context of the sentence.
Thanks for that, and for clarifying that you “don’t pretend to know whether Paul ever had the Shroud or not,” although you “have every reason to think that it was NOT Paul who publicly portrayed this depiction of Christ crucified.” My apologies for confusing the two.
I agree with you that Paul was referring to a ‘presentation’ which occurred before he wrote the letter. It is generally supposed that it was he who gave that presentation, but that his preaching had subsequently been perverted by the Jewish Christians. He could not understand how, after all he had preached, the Galatians should slip away from his teaching so easily. That, to his mind, was foolish. He thought he had been as clear and convincing as necessary.
If, however, he knew that these perverters had produced the shroud to support their view, he must have understood that it was surely a powerful supporter of any preacher, and that the Galatians could hardly be blamed for changing their minds. Why call them foolish? Was he just being bitter?
I’m a bit confused by your mention of Robert de Clari. “After all, look at the treasured relics that Robert de Clari was given the huge responsibility of bringing to France from Constantinople after its sacking.” I don’t think there is any evidence that de Clari was given any such responsibility nor that he took any relics back to France. In his own account he specifically rails against all the more high-born crusaders, who took all the relics and stole most of the valuables, leaving only common silver to be distributed amoing the minor knights such as himself.
Finally, I do know that it was not you who made up the ‘pictorial’ meaning of ‘proegraphe.’ But I don’t know that it was “EXPERTS in Koine Greek and English.” Can you name some?
Hi Hugh, I hope this message finds you doing well!
I learned of this discussion taking place concerning Galatians 3:1 from Dan Porter’s website, ShroudStory.com. Apparently, this conversation is taking place on another, unknown site. I might be missing something as I write this, Hugh, as only some of the comments have been posted on Dan’s site. I am grateful to him for posting two of my papers as reference sources for interested readers.
May I join in on this discussion, please? In the past we have dialogued, and I found your comments (constructive criticism) both challenging and helpful.
In your dialogue with Teddi regarding the word “graph” you wrote:
“My favorite dictionary, Liddell and Scott, gives dozens of examples of the use of “graph” in literature, and Strong’s Greek Concordance (on biblehub) gives graptos, graphé, and graphó, and dozens of scriptural references, and not one single instance of the words suggests any kind of picture. Before you can claim that “graph” can be interpreted pictorially, I think you should find some examples.”
Then in your last entry you asked Teddi this question:
“Finally, I do know that it was not you who made up the ‘pictorial’ meaning of ‘proegraphe.’ But I don’t know that it was “EXPERTS in Koine Greek and English.” Can you name some?”
I see that you asked the question over one week ago. Might I offer a response, please?
An answer to your question is actually contained in one of my papers that Dan posted: “The Crucified Christ Seen by the Galatians (Galatians 3:1).” This is what I wrote on page 14:
γράφω (grapho) is the common Greek verb for “to write,” NOT “to speak” or “to preach.” Interestingly, the verb was also commonly used for ‘painting’ or ‘drawing’ and was used that way by both Plato and Josephus.85 In Homer γράφω was used for the tearing of the flesh by a lance.86 It is the word from which our English word “graphics” is derived. In light of the image on the Turin Shroud, isn’t that fact extremely interesting?
You will see, in footnote “85”, the “expert” or authority I cite in my paper for this assertion is Schrenk, “Προγράφω,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971) I.771. Kittel’s ten volume set is one of the most learned and respected resources for understanding Koine Greek. “There is nothing else quite like ‘Kittel’ in authority” (New York Times). “One of the few biblical studies of this generation that is destined for immortality” (Journal of Biblical Literature). Schrenk’s article on γράφω (grapho) and its cognates is over thirty pages in length, extensively footnoted, and printed in small font.
Footnote 85 of my paper is in reference to Schrenk’s discussion of the composite word προγράφω (prographo) for Galatians 3:1. I did not quote him word for word. His exact statement reads: “… γράφειν is often used for ‘to draw’ or ‘to paint’.” In my paper I mentioned Plato and Josephus as an examples. I failed to note exactly where the reader could find those statements. One can find Josephus using the verb in that manner in Against Apion 2.252.
In that passage, Josephus is discussing the innovative works of art that the Greeks use in depicting their gods and mythology. Here is an English translation for his Greek sentence:
“Painters, also, and sculptors enjoyed considerable license in this matter among the Greeks, each himself devising a particular form, one molding it from clay, the other painting; the artists who are most admired use ivory and gold as the material for their constant innovations.”
There are times when—in order to depict or to explain or to describe a matter a certain way—we find the Apostle Paul even coining a word found nowhere else. Take, for example, his usage of ἀνεκδιήγητος (anekdiegetos) in 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” The word is a composite made of four elements. It is likely a word that Paul coined himself. Impressive! [Before his time, the word is only found as a variant in the Letter of Aisteas, but that particular manuscript dates more than a thousand years after Paul. So, the word is very likely a word Paul coined himself.]
In my paper (p. 18), I show a picture dating back to 1613 (during the Middle Ages) when the Shroud was displayed in public on its feast day (May 4th) to large crowds of pilgrims. And I made this assertion: “If we attempted to describe the occasion, we would be pressed to do better than “before your very eyes the lasting effects of the crucified Christ were vividly/publicly depicted (or, posted up)!”
Hugh, if you wanted to describe that scene clearly, yet cryptically in Koine Greek, can you think of a better verb than προγράφω (prographo)? I cannot. Even though we might not find the verb being used precisely that way elsewhere, it does very fittingly describe the scene! I am not suggesting whoever “publicly displayed or posted up” the image like an edict in the background of Galatians 3:1 (Peter? Paul? Associates who claimed the backing of James or the party of the Judaizers?) before the eyes of the Galatians did so in front of a crowd the size of anything like that depicted in the picture of 1613 AD. But most readers acknowledge that Paul’s language (“casting the evil eye,” “before your eyes,” “posting up an edict” or “graphic,” featuring the “crucifixion”) strongly implies an image of some kind, whether it be a drawing or a painting or what have you. There is no need for me to post here the numerous sources who concur with such reasoning and have written about such.
The question, as I understand the matter and attempted to explain in my paper, is whether we can correctly understand Paul’s usage of the verb προγράφω (prographo) in Gal. 3:1 apart from a literal object? And, in doing so, are we really doing justice to Paul’s intent and grammar by substituting the sense of “hearing with one’s ears” for “seeing with one’s eyes”? Personally, I think not!
Hugh, the question I would like to ask you, please, is this:
Can you provide an example of where the verb προγράφω (prographo) is used in merely a metaphorical way … where there is no literal object involved (such as an edict) … where the object is only in one’s mind, never visible to the naked eye?
Both the paper by Frederick W. Baltz and the paper written by me refer to the peer-reviewed paper by Basil S. Davis, “The Meaning of ΠΡΟΕΓΡΑΦΗ In the Context of Galatians 3:1,” which was published on your side of the pond in the prestigious Oxford journal: New Testament Studies 45 (April 1999) 194-212. Davis had a problem with the common metaphorical understanding of this verse. I share his reservation and concern. I quoted him on page 12 of my paper:
“… the failure of attempts to find a literal context for the visual language of 3:1 led to the dominant view that προγράφω represents a purely verbal depiction…. the visual language is to be understood metaphorically” (referenced by footnote 77 in my paper).
Davis rejected a mere metaphorical interpretation of Paul’s full statement (due not only to προγράφω, but also to the emphasis on their eyes) and was persuaded a literal context or image is likely demanded. On page 13 of my paper, I provided this quote from his peer-reviewed paper and referenced it with footnote 83: a “purely metaphorical reading … fails to account for Paul’s overt emphasis (κατ΄ όφθαλμούς) on the visual element in 3:1.”
I concur and am persuaded the image on the Shroud (which was neglected, overlooked, lost, or forgotten about for centuries) is the best solution to that dilemma. Thus, the complete title for my paper: The Crucified Christ Seen by the Galatians: A Literal Context for ΠΡΟΕΓΡΑΦΗ (Galatians 3.1).
Galatians 3:1 is a riddle in keeping with “the practice of reserve” (oikonomia) in the early Church that eventually was labeled “the Discipline of the Secret.” (For readers who would like to learn more about that discipline, I would suggest the written works of Jack Markwardt). If all we had in the New Testament was Galatians 3:1, that in itself would be delightful. However, I am persuaded we fortunately and thankfully have much more! In my opinion, there exists seven or more additional, very good “veiled references” to the Turin Shroud (with its remarkable image) within the biblical canon.
Currently I am working on a revision of my paper posted by Dan above: “Are There Veiled References to the Shroud of Turin in the New Testament?” This upcoming revision will include four additional statements found in the Pauline corpus not originally included in the paper linked above to Shroud.com. In addition, a new exegesis will be included that I’ve done on a very important passage from the Johannine literature. Collectively, in my studied opinion, we have 8-10 cryptic and relevant statements in the New Testament that are, for the most part, riddles in search of solutions and understanding.
For example, what specifically was “the sign of Jonah” Jesus promised in two of the Gospels? The answer to that question has been the subject of much debate. In the late fourth century, John Chrysostom described it as “a dark saying.” The article found in Kittel on σημεῖον (sign) speaks of that particular, important “sign” as being “a riddle” (VII.233). So, I am not the only one who views these texts as being cryptic. What I have found fascinating and surprising, from my own exegesis of these passages, is that these riddles are best resolved by a common solution: the remarkable image on the Turin Shroud. Furthermore, I am persuaded these statements remain riddles, each one individually, without that particular solution.
I am neither suggesting nor inviting that we now open our discussion to all those other texts. Instead, I am suggesting (for all readers of this blog) to ponder the fact that if we only had Galatians 3:1 as our sole “veiled reference” to the Shroud in the NT, that would be a delight. But when these 8-10 riddles all seem to be individually pointing to the remarkable image on the burial Shroud, collectively they provide strong testimony for engendering and encouraging faith. This remarkable image on the Shroud, “the sacred tent pitched by God,” can reassure believers in their hope of eternal life because it is “the witness of the Father that He testified concerning His Son” (1 John 5:9).
I also need to update my paper on Galatians 3:1. As time passes, I become aware of additional thoughts or corrections to make. For example, commentators speak of “Paul’s preaching” as the solution to the riddle of this verse. That sounds like they perceive Paul as having repeatedly and powerfully preached about the Cross, time and time again. Yet, I think it is worth noting that Paul did not use the imperfect tense of προγράφω but, rather, the aorist tense. This fact suggests we should think of ONE occasion when “Christ was publicly depicted before their eyes as crucified.” Such implies his converts knew of that one occasion when he preached that one sermon, leaving a lasting impression (and picture) in their minds. I suspect that would imply their initial hearing of the Gospel from Paul in a public setting. I am suspect such is what Paul is alluding to! Hugh, I have trouble remembering what I preached last Sunday. And I suspect few of my congregants have lasting pictures in their minds from a particular sermon I preached a year ago. I am not suggesting my preaching is in any sense on par with Paul’s regarding persuasiveness or power, but the solution to this riddle being “Paul’s preaching” has holes in it (IMHO). Paul himself described how those at Corinth looked upon his preaching: “his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible” (2 Cor 2:10). And the Apostle himself stated: “Christ sent me to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void” (1 Cor 1:17) and “my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom” (1 Cor 2:4).
Thanks for listening! All the best to you!
And for any readers of this blog who would like to access my work or my other papers on the Holy Shroud, please visit my website: http://www.theincredibleshroud.com . Links to Academia.edu (where the current revisions to all my papers are published) can be found on the “Authenticity” webpage of my website. God bless! L.S.
What a tremendous post. I was up much longer than than my bedtime because I was so energised by it! So often (see Paolo di Lazzaro’s comments on Fast Checking) a statement made with confidence can become written in stone, when it is really no more than an aspiration, or at worse a guess.
So, I asked for experts, and you found some, although I have to say – and I’ve no doubt you’ll agree – that a “painting” association for “γράφ-” is rare, and even a “pictorial” meaning is uncommon. Liddell and Scott, Strong, and even Schrenk (although I can only get access to Kittel in German!) give dozens of examples, but few suggest imagery. I certainly concede your Josephus (although the more common Watkins translation can’t quite bring itself to admit a painting, and uses “a bare picture,” presumably suggesting some kind of outline). Schrenk mentions Aristophanes’ Frogs, Herodotus’ Histories, Xenophanes and Plato’s Gorgias, as well as Josephus, in all of which, I agree, the word certainly includes imagery, and probably actual painting (in the sense of colouring in) as well as outlining.
προγράφω, however, is slightly different. I’m sure you’re right that Paul sometimes made up words to suit his purpose, but he certainly didn’t make up this one. It is also true that people sometimes use words in an idiosyncratic way peculiar to themselves, but if so, it is even less likely to have a pictorial meaning. Paul also uses the word in Romans and Ephesians, where the prefix clearly means before in time rather than in space, and the root clearly means writing not drawing.
Can I think of a time when προγράφω is not used with reference to a literal object? Well, yes; Romans and Ephesians for a start, in which the word really applies to Paul’s teaching, although I suppose the writings were objects. In Heidi Wendt’s paper, ‘Galatians 3:1 as an Allusion to Textual Prophesy,’ she seems to think a non-literal interpretation was commoner than a literal one.
She also draws our attention to Paul’s use of the prefix ‘προ-‘ a little later in Galatians (3:8), where it seems to have a phophetic sense, not just ‘seen before’ but ‘foreseen.’ Her translation of 3:1, which she admits is too literal to be elegant, goes, “who has bewitched you, you to whom (or for whom) before your very eyes, Jesus Christ having been crucified was fore written?”
In this context it may be significant that the word is in the passive tense. Paul was not a shrinking violet, and if he had shown the Galatians something he would have said so. Instead, he uses the construction “it has been displayed to you,” as if his job was to interpret the prophesies already well known, not to produce them himself. This is entirely in keeping with the rest of his letter.
Anyway, leaving the semantics alone for a while, what makes you think that it was likely, or even possible, the Paul ever had the shroud in his possession? These early letters clearly demonstrate the divergence of his teaching from that of the Judean Christians. My interpretation here seems slightly different from Teddi’s; I think that Paul is writing that at one time in the passes he had explained the story, and meaning, of Jesus to the Galatians, and that he has now heard that they have been swayed from his interpretation to that of the Judeans.
If we dismiss the now fairly well discredited idea that the Image of Edessa was actually a burial cloth, we may (it we think the shroud was kept at all) find references to it in the hands of Peter or James. Given their hostility to Paul at that time, it is most unlikely that they gave it to him as a preaching aid.
So all in all I myself can’t find sufficient evidence in Galatians 3:1 to sustain the idea that the Shroud of Turin existed in the first century, and maintain my medieval hypothesis for the time being. But I do appreciate your taking the time to engage, so many thanks, again.
Thank you for your quick response and thoughts! I’ve had a lot going on, so excuse me, please, that I have not replied so quickly to your comments.
I would like to provide my thoughts and feedback on several things you wrote.
First, you stated: “I’ve no doubt you’ll agree – that a “painting” association for “γράφ-” is rare, and even a “pictorial” meaning is uncommon.” While I might agree, (a) one example is adequate (which I provided), and (2) I would rather point, once again, to what our agreed upon expert in koine Greek wrote (Schrenk, in his article in Kittel on “γράφω”—and specifically on “προγράφω,” I.771): “… γράφειν is often used for ‘to draw’ or ‘to paint’.” He said OFTEN used for “to draw” or “to paint.”
Second, I did not mean to imply that Paul coined the word προγράφω. I am quite aware of its usage elsewhere in the NT, as well as in Greek literature at the time outside the biblical canon. My intent was to assert that, even if we fail to come up with an example of προγράφω having been used of a posted edict that incorporated an image, we know that Paul is known to be creative with his vocabulary … and that most readers do not deny an image of some kind is very likely implied by Gal 3:1 due to his explicit wording: “casting the evil eye,” “before your eyes,” “posting up an edict” or “graphic,” featuring the “crucifixion”. Due to the verbiage, it still seems to me that readers are straining and forcing their interpretation—and not doing justice to Paul’s intent and grammar—when they choose to substitute the sense of “hearing with one’s ears” for “seeing with one’s eyes.” Agree?
Hugh, if I understand you correctly, you have concluded that there was likely no image behind Paul’s assertion in Galatians 3.1. Correct? The reason such an interpretation has been common and popular for Gal 3:1—ever since the translation by and writings of John Calvin—is because of a failure to come up with a literal object which the Galatians could have seen depicting the crucified Christ. [As I am certain you are aware, Calvin knew of the existence of the Shroud we now associate with Turin but was very iconoclastic and rejected its authenticity.] Yet, the possibility for a literal context behind Gal. 3:1 is exactly what we have with the image of Christ crucified on the Turin Shroud.
Third, in my paper on Galatians 3.1, I explained that the prefix προ- could be understood in either a temporal or a locative sense. I wrote:
On the one hand, the prefix προ– (before) can be understood in a temporal sense. The verb is then rendered “to write before(hand)” (45). Elsewhere we find Paul twice using προγράφω to refer to an earlier letter (46). However, it is very unlikely in our Galatian text that Paul has a previous letter in mind (47). The other way to understand this verb is to interpret the prefix προ– in a locative sense. The literal meaning for this preposition is “before” or “in front of” (48). This verb is then rendered “to show forth” or “portray publicly” (49). Προγράφω was used by Greek writers for posting an “official notice,” an “edict,” or a “warrant,” such as in the public square (50).
• “This was the common word for the posting of public notices” (51). [Gordon D. Fee]
• F.F. Bruce comments: “‘display before (one’s audience),’ as on a public placard—a thoroughly classical usage” (52).
So, we agree on the fact that the prefix προ– on προγράφω does often have a temporal meaning. I am surprised, therefore, that you chose to cite Paul’s usage of the verb in Romans and Ephesians for support that the verb is sometimes used in a metaphorical manner (without any kind of object in the background to be associated with the verb). Yet then, I see you at once you hedged your bet by stating: “although I suppose the writings were objects.” Yes, indeed! In the quote above, taken from my paper on Gal 3.1, I stated: “Elsewhere we find Paul twice using προγράφω to refer to an earlier letter (46). However, it is very unlikely in our Galatian text that Paul has a previous letter in mind” (47). Footnote #46 in my paper sited the texts you are referring to (Romans 15.4 and Ephesians 3.3). Actually, I need to correct the object as being “a previous letter.” Romans 15.4 speaks of “what was written in earlier times.” A quotation of Psalm 69.9 in verse three immediately precedes his assertion in verse four. Paul is, therefore, referencing the written Holy Scriptures, “the oracles of God” (3:2) which the Jews had been entrusted with. There is clearly an object here (i.e., written documents of Scripture) and not merely a metaphorical usage of προγράφω.
In Ephesians 3.3 the former object of writing is unclear: “Just as I wrote before briefly.” Since we are not aware of any previous letter Paul had written to the believers at Ephesus, his point of reference is unclear and debated: (a) a previous letter we are unaware of, (b) the few words about “the mystery” in Roman 16:25-27, (c) Colossians 1:25-27, (d) to the “mystery” previously mentioned in the present letter of Ephesians, such as in 1:9, or (e) 2:11-22, or (f) a portion of that last passage. (The aorist verb of 3:3 would be considered an epistolary aorist where the writer looks at his letter as the readers did.)
So sorry, Hugh, I do not see that you have provided a genuine example whereby προγράφω was used in a purely metaphorical manner without any object present in the background. Those two passages from the Pauline corpus certainly do not qualify! And, if I understand you correctly, you favor such an interpretation for Galatians 3:1. No literal object or image! Correct?
Most commentators follow a “signature of meaning,” whereby Paul is referring to a particular, “graphic” sermon he had preached. Although these commentators speak of his “preaching” as if the apostle repeatedly painted a picture of the crucified Christ into the minds of his converts, the verb is in the aorist tense rather than the imperfect tense. Therefore, technically speaking, we should perceive of Paul having one particular occasion in mind. And the reason commentators repeatedly turn to such a metaphorical interpretation is because they have failed to come up with a literal context for the verb. The blind leading the blind? I think so. The Turin Shroud is likely authentic and, therefore, could certainly have provided the literal context behind προγράφω.
Fourth, I think we do agree (at least in part) on the implications of the verb being in the passive voice. [You wrote, “passive tense.” However, προεγράφη is actually a 2nd Aorist tense form of the verb, in the passive voice and indicative mood. (I suspect—as you wrote—it was past your bedtime and, therefore, such a slip is understandable.) You gave the translation, “It has been displayed to you.” To me, that makes the verb sound like it is in the perfect tense, rather than the aorist.] I prefer a simpler translation: “he was (publicly) displayed”. We are not told who displayed the object (IMHO an image depicting the crucified Christ). It could have been Paul himself. But I agree with you that the passive voice is one matter in favor of concluding it was likely someone other than Paul. If so, I would think Peter—who had likely preached in Galatia (1 Pet 1:1)—would have been the most likely person.
I intend on updating my paper on Galatians 3.1 to include some thoughts on the above matter. Personally, I actually think a good case can be made for Paul, and a good case (probably a better one) for Peter as being the one who displayed the Shroud to the Galatians. But, at the same time, I would like to emphasize here the fact that identifying such a person is of secondary importance. Not knowing for certain who displayed the Shroud to the Galatians in no way discredits or invalidates Paul’s assertion that “before your eyes the Crucified Christ was publicly depicted or posted up”!
Again, thank you, Hugh, for sharing your thoughts and for taking the time to consider mine as well.
Teddi and Hugh,
Thank you for having allowed me to join in on your discussion regarding Galatians 3:1. And thank you, Dan, for posting this discussion on your website.
It appears this interaction has concluded. I would like to take the opportunity to summarize the matter, as I understand it.
Hugh asked for experts in koine Greek and an example whereby “γράφ-” was used in association with “painting.” In response, I pointed him to page 14 of my paper on Galatians and footnote #85 where I had suggested Josephus, Against Apion 2.252. Furthermore, I quoted the article on γράφω in Kittel’s TDNT where Schrenk wrote: “… γράφειν is often used for ‘to draw’ or ‘to paint’” (I.771). Hugh then acknowledged the validity of these examples.
In turn, I asked Hugh for an example “where the verb προγράφω (prographo) is used in merely a metaphorical way … where there is no literal object involved (such as an edict) … where the object is only in one’s mind, never visible to the naked eye?” Hugh responded with Paul’s own usage of the verb in Romans 15:4 and Ephesians 3:3.
While it is true that no particular manuscript or object is in Paul’s immediate mind, I explained it was certainly not true to (1) interpret and associate either of those two passages with a metaphor or (2) to disconnect them from words that had actually been written down somewhere earlier. For example, in Rom 15:3 Paul is quoting Psalm 69:9. Then he states: “For whatever was written in earlier times (προεγράφη) was written for our instruction, that through … the Scriptures (τῶν γραφῶν) we might have hope” (15:4). Paul’s assertion in verse 4 is clearly in reference to the sacred writings of the Jews (i.e., the Old Testament), written down centuries earlier, evidenced by the Psalm he had just quoted. The Jewish Scriptures existed in written form, written down on numerous manuscripts at the time. Further evidence that this is Paul’s intent is the repeated usage of γράφω in the perfect tense found throughout Romans. For example, earlier he had written: “What advantage has the Jew? … First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God…. As it is written, ‘That Thou mightiest be justified in Thy words, and mightiest prevail when Thou art judged’” (Rom 3:1-4, ending with a quote of Psalm 51:4).
Paul is clearly writing about Holy Scripture in its written form on manuscripts, originating centuries earlier. There is neither a hint nor any need whatsoever to understand Paul, in these texts, in some strange, metaphorical manner, like many are choosing to do with Galatians 3:1. Because they fail to perceive a literal context for προεγράφη—due either to ignorance or neglect of the Turin Shroud—they feel compelled to disassociate these verses from a literal interpretation. Instead, they strain and force an unnatural metaphorical interpretation upon the text—doing injustice to Paul’s intent and grammar—choosing to substitute the sense of “hearing with one’s ears” for “seeing with one’s eyes” and offering up a “preaching metaphor” for the image of crucifixion once having been cast before their eyes.
On another matter, Hugh suggested the fact προεγράφη “is in the passive tense” … and, therefore, “might be significant”, suggesting someone other than Paul himself had displayed whatever it was to the Galatians. Hugh offered the translation: “it has been displayed to you.”
At the time of his writing, Hugh mentioned it was past his bedtime. That might explain a couple of plunders he made. First, the verb is in the passive “voice,” not “tense.” The tense is aorist. Second, the subject of the verb is not “it” (such as a graphic of the crucifixion) but, rather, Jesus Christ.
Due to the passive voice of προεγράφη, some (like Hugh) insist this means Paul could not have been the one who displayed the crucifixion to the Galatians. For example, Jack Markwardt writes: “… exegetes of this passage have simply assumed that Paul was referencing his own evangelical work among the Galatians; however, every translation of this text has been expressed in the passive voice, thereby indicating that Paul was, in fact, referring to the apostolic preaching and evangelizing of another person—clearly Peter.” (Jack Markwardt, The Hidden History of the Shroud of Turin, 2021, p. 27).
This comment by Markwardt is inaccurate. While the passive voice might imply that Paul had not personally shown an image before their eyes, it does not “in fact” prove he had not. The subject of the verb is Jesus Christ. The passive voice represents the subject as acted upon. That is, someone had displayed an image of Jesus Christ as having been crucified. Someone other than Jesus himself! Jesus had not displayed an image of his crucifixion, someone else had done that. The sentence does not inform us who had performed the action. It could have been Paul, or it could have been someone else. Personally, I think a good case can be made for Paul having been that person but, perhaps, an even better case can be made for Peter.
Finally, I would like to say that I found the thoughts expressed by Teddi to be very close to my heart. When I first learned about the Turin Shroud, I thought “No Way!” I was very much a skeptic about its authenticity. However, the more I began to research the subject and became aware of all the good evidence supporting its genuineness—from forensic science and history—my mind was swayed.
I am persuaded a person’s heart and desire plays a great role in each one having biases. In speaking to His disciples, Jesus commented about them in contrast to the multitudes:
“To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted…. Therefore, I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says: ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn again, and I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, because they see and your ears, because they hear” (Matthew 13:11-16).
I am reminded of a statement made by the distinguished and former Princeton professor of philosophy, Thomas Nagel:
I want atheism to be true…. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God…. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that (Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (Oxford University Press: 1997) 130-131).
Thanks for that, Larry; an elegant summation of the controversy. I’m afraid I still can’t see Paul using the Shroud as a visual aide but I appreciate the argument you are making.
To say that I am elated that you joined us in this discussion on “Galatian Eyes” might be a bit of an understatement. Your deep and thorough analysis of the word “prographo”/”προγραφω” is very much appreciated –as well as your having referenced in one of your papers on Galatians 3:1 about Eusebius’ having written in his Ecclesiastical History in the 3rd century about Peter’s being fortified with “DIVINE ARMOR” and bearing the “PRECIOUS MERCHANDISE” of the “REVEALED LIGHT” from the east to the west, announcing the LIGHT itself.
First, there is the issue of the “divine armor.” We know from Gregory Referenadarius’ sermon –given the day after the Image of Edessa was brought to Constantinople in 944 AD– that he (Gregory) and the three patriarchs (Christophorous of Antioch, Job of Alexandria and Basil of Jerusalem) all went to read the state manuscripts contained within Edessa’s archives with regard to the evidence connecting the Legend of Abgar to the Image of Edessa. Within those manuscripts, Gregory announces in his sermon that Bishop Eulalios held up the Image of Edessa to protect Edessa from the invading Persians.
Here, the Image of Edessa (which I am convinced is the same cloth as the Shroud of Turin) is being used as a palladium which is, of course, “DIVINE ARMOR” –which is, as aforementioned, precisely what Eusebius said that Peter was being fortified with. And, of course, the “merchandise” is just a code word or metaphor for the linen bearing the “REVEALED LIGHT” –which, of course, John 8:12 tells us that Jesus said that He is the LIGHT of the World.
It is, also, important to note that Gregory’s sermon points out that the Abgar legend involved a linen with miraculous powers and that it “was not produced with ‘ordinary paint,'” and that it had Christ’s form on it from both above AND below the armpits.
The “REVEALED light” on the “precious merchandise” is the revealed image of Jesus Christ –the Light, Himself. (!) When one thinks about this, I think that this is so obvious as to knock one upside the head. To those who say it is not so obvious, well, yes, somewhat veiled/coded words are being given (as was done in those days.) But, of course, with the great benefit of hindsight that we are being given, this makes it rather obvious what is being referred to –and, not in a contrived way but in a way that reveals the Truth of the matter.
I agree with you that it is of secondary importance as to who displayed the Shroud to the Galatians. And, I lean towards thinking that it was NOT Paul, because, otherwise I think it would have been natural for him to reference that it was he who had publicly portrayed the Shroud to them.
Regarding the Shroud, I find that God has placed His imprimatur on It beyond His image. Notice the specific numbers in Galatians 3:1. They speak to the Holy Trinity in that God is 1 in 3 and 3 in 1. What telling numbers for such a passage that seems to be making reference to God’s image on the Shroud. If this is not a “God-wink,” then I don’t know what is. Moreover, the 3:1 herringbone weave that the Shroud is woven in, again, connects the physical cloth, itself, to the Holy Trinity and to Galatians 3:1. And, there is the bloodstain that looks like the Greek letter “epsilon” on the forehead of the man on the Shroud. The bloodstain, on the man, himself, would have had to have been in the shape of the number “3” in order to have created the “epsilon” on the Shroud. I submit that the “3” is rather obvious symbolism for God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. However, the very distinct, single and large teardrop bloodstain that “drops” from the “3” is, I believe, meant to symbolize Jesus Christ, the son, who, in his distinct capacity as God Incarnate, shed His blood for our redemption.
I will be criticized for such, admittedly, unscientific observations which do not profess to be scientific. But, many Truths in life are not scientific yet, nonetheless, real. As I have said before, science is neither God nor Truth but only an extremely useful tool that can help us understand both.
Also, I wanted to mention that the “prior discussion” that Dan referenced between Hugh and I was just in the comments section regarding Colin Berry’s newest effort in recreating the Shroud image.
Larry, we are in much agreement as to people having eyes but not seeing. As I had completed a deep research into the issue of hematidrosis and the passage in Luke 22:44 with Christ in agony in Gethsemane, I was inspired by the Image of the Holy Face on the Shroud and that heart-wrenching passage in Luke 22:44 to write the poem which I wish to share.
All the best,
“Come to Me”
I see Your face,
I see Your eyes,
And in Your blood,
No Christian dies.
And in Your flesh,
The wounds of Sin,
You took that Cup,
And drank It in.
I cry in pain.
I bend my knees.
I bow my head,
And whisper, “Please.”
And in the Darkness,
I use my sight,
To look to You,
And see the Light.
We all have eyes,
But don’t always see
You tell us, “Look,”
“And come to me.”
You had mentioned the following in an earlier comment to me:
“I’m a bit confused by your mention of Robert de Clari. “After all, look at the treasured relics that Robert de Clari was given the huge responsibility of bringing to France from Constantinople after its sacking.” I don’t think there is any evidence that de Clari was given any such responsibility nor that he took any relics back to France. In his own account he specifically rails against all the more high-born crusaders, who took all the relics and stole most of the valuables, leaving only common silver to be distributed amoing the minor knights such as himself.”
In “History of Those Who Conquered Constantinople,” Clari (as I know you know) wrote of the events before, during and after the 4th Crusade which, of course, he participated in. This survives in a single manuscript, MS 487 that is housed in the Royal Library in Copenhagen. However, in an additional manuscript, MS 527, Amiens, Bibliotheque municipale, the large inventory of Passion relics that Clari hauled from Constantinople.
My point about Clari is that he was “just” a knight –he was no Othon de la Roche –yet he was trusted to transport Passion relics. As such, it is possible that someone other than an Apostle displayed the Shroud to the Galatians. While it certainly may have been Peter, it could have, also, been someone else, too. That was just my point.
All the best,
Hi Teddi, that’s fantastic; I had not come across that document before. I can’t find Ms 527 online, so if you know how to get hold of it I’d be very grateful, but there is a transcript of it in “Mémoires de la Société des antiquaires de Picardie, Volume 8” on Google books. It is a list relics from Corbie abbey, of which Robert de Clari’s collection is about 20%. Interesting among the relics not from Robert is “de sindone Xpi.” Robert’s box includes several not from Constantinople, so he may have picked them up during his travels there or back again. I think the idea that he was “entrusted” with them needs more support. From his own account the treasures of Constantinople were first looted and then shared out as spoils of war (except that from his account he didn’t get his fair share, a claim which seems somewhat refuted by Ms 527).
I myself don’t think the crusaders carting off hauls of loot really compare with the fathers of the early church, but I agree that a trusted member of the Petrine party might, if the Shroud existed then and if it could be used as visual evidence, been as likely to use it as Peter himself. But not Paul, who was anything but a trusted member of the Petrine party!
I had found the information concerning the large cache of relics (many of which are Passion relics) that Robert de Clari transferred to the West from Anne E. Lester’s book, “Translation and Appropriation: Greek Relics in the Latin West in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, pp. 116-17.
And, obviously, I’m not trying to compare the early church fathers with those who sacked Constantinople. My point was that one does not have to be a famous member of a group in order to be a trusted member of a group. As such, we need not artificially limit who could have publicly displayed the Shroud to the Galatians to one of the apostles. It could have been a less famous, albeit still trusted, disciple of Christ.
Also, I don’t think that Clari was on some “scavenger hunt” for famous relics of the type that was in the container that he brought to the West. Constantinople was THE place in the world that was famous for its vast collection of relics, and we know for a fact that they had them and that they were looted during the Fourth Crusade.
Also, just to be clear, I am not intending to imply that Clari was the one who transported the Shroud. I merely brought him up to make the point that I made above.
All the best,
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