The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.
– Blaise Pascal
I often cheat when reading new papers. I like to jump to the conclusion, even the last paragraph of the conclusion, think about it, and only then go back and read the entire paper. I did so with Joe Marino’s new paper, The Shroud of Turin: a Matter of Clear Evidence or a Subtle Sign?
This is Joe’s final paragraph. But do read the entire paper:
Given that Jesus stressed the importance of faith, that he taught in parables and through signs, and that there has never been a knock-down proof of the truth of Christianity, it is unreasonable to believe or assert that the Shroud could be proof of the Resurrection. But as the quotes cited in this article express, it can speak in multiple ways to our hearts, which can be more persuasive than evidence and proofs.
Well said, Joe.
Thanks for sharing Joe.
Thanks, Dan and Guy.
The Shroud, itself –with nothing more– is a subtle sign of Jesus’ Resurrection. HOWEVER, the Shroud + science + forensics + history is, indeed, PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the God of Christianity is real.
To delve deeply into the scientific evidence for the Shroud’s authenticity is to understand the absurdity of anyone’s thinking that this was a cloth made by human hands. When one puts the pieces of the puzzle together –beginning with the Darkness during the Crucifixion– and ending with the body image and bloodstains on the Shroud, there is only one reasonable conclusion. Most Christians are too timid to speak this forthrightly, but I’m glad that I am not one of them. I know the evidence, I’ve studied it deeply, and I continue to study it and research it deeply, and the more you study this cloth the more puzzling it becomes. But, it is not puzzling in a way that points to inauthenticity. No, it becomes puzzling in the sense that because its images are not created naturally, we cannot fully explain everything. And, quite frankly, that is perfectly logical. If it were fully explainable and replicatable, its image would be of this earth. But, its image is not of this earth. Miracles would be cheapened if poor slobs like us could replicate them.
P.S.: If someone wants to learn a LOT about the science of the Shroud in one book, I highly recommend the out-of-print book “Report on the Shroud of Turin.” It can often be found on eBay for around $8-$12. It is the single most valuable book on the Shroud that exists –hands down. This book was written by Dr. John Heller who was the one half of the “dynamic duo” of “Heller and Adler.” These gentlemen were brilliant scientists who were absolutely obsessive-compulsive with their thoroughness regarding their work on the Shroud. This book is phenomenal because it gives a first-hand account of their work. The copy of my book has ten million highlights, underlines, notes in the margins as well as a spine that is falling apart from overuse. Don’t just read the book once. Study its contents regarding the science OVER and OVER again until you really understand it. It does not disappoint.
I agree that a combination of factors surrounding the Shroud can lead one to an unassailable conviction that the cloth is authentic, such that the dichotomy between evidence and sign can on one level be irrelevant.
Hi Teddi. Did you not mean “the absurdity of anyone’s thinking that this was [an image] made by human hands”? The Turin cloth, whether it is the one procured by Joseph of Arimathea or a circa fourteenth-century length of linen, was certainly made on a loom by human hands. Heller’s book is indeed a major contribution to the scientific understanding of the Shroud ($1.80 at Amazon) was published in 1983, five years before the carbon 14 dating. I, too, have an excellent book, “A Chemist’s Perspective On The Shroud of Turin,” by Raymond Rogers, the lead chemist for STURP ($76.00 at Amazon) It was published in 2008, though most of the research took place in the preceding decade. Rogers’ findings dispute Heller’s. Along comes Colin Berry and he has another point of view. Who is right and why? Did you read my previous posting, The Evidence? We are in the midst of reasonable doubt.
The rest of your comment makes sense to me. I am glad that you are not too timid to speak this forthrightly. I, too, have studied the Shroud deeply, and I continue to study it and research it deeply, and the more I study this cloth the more puzzling it becomes. In the end it comes down to envisioning and the definition of the Resurrection. See my post, Is Proof Possible.
Here is a vision for you: The evidence does argue quite strongly, probably beyond reasonable doubt, that the cloth is medieval. There is no getting around that for now – not Marino, not Fanti, not a bunch of statisticians. So, lo and behold, somewhere maybe in France or thereabouts, a cloth was woven and sold to some men of means. And when they unfolded it they are amazed to see upon it the images and bloodstains of our savior as he must have been in his tomb. It was a miraculous sign for those times of plague, famine and brutal warfare. It was a “medieval-modern-day” miracle, so to speak, and they said nothing of it for fear they would not be believed. And thus was born the rumor of a painter.
Having said that (that was fun), we need to do a lot more science before we can say that there is proof or even the likelihood of authenticity beyond a reasonable doubt. And we need to define resurrection in a physical/process sense before we can tie the Shroud to it. That is problematic. It seems it was the liberal German schools of theology, in response to the philosophers like Hume, that tried to inject scientific process into miracles. C.S. Lewis tried to warn us of this. Now the “liberal” view has come full flower in the radiation movements of Jackson, Antonacci, Tipler and Rucker. In my personal view, the miracle of the Resurrection happened without happening, as with the wine at Cana, the feeding of the multitude and Jesus vanishing from their sight at Emmaus – all very real miracles that by faith I believe in despite reasonable doubt of the evidentiary kind.
Heller’s book is forty years old and much in need of an update and some corrections.
I think that you would agree with me that just because a book is old does not make it less valid. You say that it needs an update and some corrections. Anything specific in mind?
I’ll be a champ and give you one –I’m going from memory here, and I’m about 99% certain that this was mentioned in his book– and, if not, it is mentioned in other STURP papers. But, an actual example of where scientific knowledge has caused a change in something that STURP reported is this: that the SPECIES of the blood is known and that it is primate blood. This was based upon immunochemical tests. (This was, indeed, accurate information back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s based on what scientists understood about cross-reactivity of blood between species.) But, as Dr. Kelly Kearse (who, as you know, is an expert in this area) has explained, scientists have been learning that there are for more examples of cross-reactivity between species than what was previously known. So, what we can say about the blood images on the Shroud is that they are genuine transfers of blood clots, but the species that created them is unknown. And, it should be specified that STURP had NEVER claimed that human blood was found –because their testing back then could only go as far as determining species.
So, sure, I’ll “throw you a bone” with that one –but, it doesn’t really make a difference in what I can argue about the blood on the Shroud, because what really matters is that it is, in fact, genuine blood. I can get around the species issue through building my overall circumstantial case regarding the evidence. I’m totally not concerned with that. So long as we have valid tests –which we do (many of them)– that demonstrate that it is, indeed, genuine blood on the Shroud –my arguments are just fine.
I, too, have Ray Rogers book, and it is a great book. But, in places where Rogers and the duo of Heller & Adler differ, I go with Heller & Adler. Even the best of experts can disagree on issues. But, I’ve not seen anything in Rogers’ work that undermines the authenticity of the Shroud.
And, I totally disagree with you that we can’t get around the claim that the Shroud is medieval. We sure can –and quite powerfully!
P.S.: Dan, thank you for drawing my attention to that careless error that I made. Yes, indeed, I meant to say an IMAGE not made by human hands –but I (in my haste) I incorrectly wrote a “cloth” not made by human hands.
Of course, nobody claims that the cloth, itself, on the Shroud was supernaturally made. The Shroud is called an “acheiropoetia” which mean, of course, an “image” not made with human hands.
Thanks, again, for bringing that to my attention.
Teddi. For all of mankind once and forever do it. Forget ontological, cosmological, teleological, etc. Since you say you can then write a definitive paper and be the first in history to actually provide the sindonological “PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the God of Christianity is real”?
If you want to get into the arena, get into it –and put some skin in the game by posting your identity.
And, the proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the God of Christianity is real is already out there in the public –and it has been –for a long time in a great many books and papers about the Shroud of Turin.
But, I am, actually, deep in the process of writing my own book about the Shroud.
And, while I certainly have a great respect for the other types of arguments that can be made for God’s existence, I think that the most powerful argument that requires the least amount of “faith” is one that involves the evidence for the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity. I think that all of these arguments –together– make the case even stronger.
And, “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is, obviously not saying that there can be no doubt whatsoever. It’s saying that –in light of all of the evidence– that one can come to a conclusion where the mind can easily rest, because whatever doubt there might be, it is not enough (and not reasonable enough in light of the evidence) to overcome one’s confidence in the arrived-at conclusion.
P.S.: It is because I am writing a book that I am extremely pressed for time. I really shouldn’t have even been taking the time to make these two responses. But, it’s like in “Godfather III” when Al Pacino says, “I keep trying to get out, and they keep pulling me back in!”🤣 Once I’m done with my book, I’ll have more spare time to engage with these arguments –and in more detail.
Comments are closed.