SSG Member Wants to Know

imageA member of the Shroud Science Group (unnamed at this time) asks:

I wish to know if there are reliable sources (especially of historical type) documenting answers to the following questions.

-  Of which material was composed the Chambéry’s reliquary?

-  Which was the composition of the silver alloy that probably composed the reliquary?

-  Did the reliquary contained lead perhaps in the silver alloy?

I think the emphasis is on reliable sources.

A Must Read Regarding the Othon de la Roche Hypothesis

I call your attention to this careful piece, The Castle of Ray-sur-Saône: Othon de la Roche and the Shroud of Turin by Mario Latendresse

The hypothesis that Othon de la Roche acquired the Shroud of Turin, during the conquest of Constantinople in 1204, has been proposed for many centuries….

But …

In summary, there is no known family tradition supporting the presence of a shroud of Christ at the castle of Ray-sur-Saône, neither in the family archives. There is also no family tradition or document supporting the authenticity of the coffer, still on display at the Castle, which would have been used to transport a shroud of Christ. It is still to be determined who in the Salverte family labeled and placed the small coffer on display.

The Sudarium: A Better Provenance and History?

imageThe Paranormal Report blog, just yesterday, posted a short report, The Sudarium of Oviedo – Better than the Shroud of Turin?

on the Sudarium of Oviedo:

Lying in the Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain in relative obscurity compared to its more famous cousin, the Sudarium presents a better provenance and history than the Shroud and may be the sole surviving relic of the crucifixion that has made it to modern times. Measuring 34″ by 21″, the Sudarium is a bloodstained cloth purported to have covered the head of Jesus of Nazareth after his burial. The cloth is mentioned to have been in the tomb in John 20:6-7 described as a cloth seperate from the shroud. It isn’t mentioned again until 570 A.D. when it was being kept by monks in a cave near Jerusalem. In 614, just before the Sasanian King of Persia Khusru II conquered Jerusalem, the cloth was taken to Alexandria, and within just a few years made its way to Spain through North Africa. Its been there ever since.

AND: here is a 1997 paper with pictures, The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin by Mark Guscin

Here are some postings on the Sudarium in this blog in just the past year:

What am I missing?

clip_image001Maybe it is because I haven’t had coffee yet today. Or maybe I’m just growing old. Stephen Jones wrote this baffling piece during  the past week:

… there is a 13th century wooden chest which according to de la Roche family tradition, was used to transport the Shroud from Athens to France, and indeed a label on it in modern writing states the family tradition that it was used by Otho de Ray to bring the "the Shroud of Christ … from Constantinople [in] 1206":

However, the style of the carving is late 14th century, although the bottom of the chest may be original[53]. The inner dimensions of the chest in centimetres are ~37.5 long x 16.5 wide x 25 deep[54]. This would neatly fit the 437 x 111 cms Shroud[55], if it were folded twelve times long and eight times wide, i.e. 437/12 = 36.4 cms x 111/8 cms = 13.9 cms[56]. This twelve by eight folds is a simple and economical folding arrangement of the Shroud, and since Othon’s family would be unlikely to know the true dimensions of the Shroud if they had never owned it, this ~37.5 cms long x 16.5 cms wide `floor plan’ of the bottom of the Ray-sur-Saône chateau chest, which is claimed to have once held the Shroud, is strong evidence that Othon de la Roche really did bring the Shroud with him from Athens (and before that from Constantinople) to his Ray-sur-Saône chateau in Burgundian, France in 1225!

Family tradition as evidence?

The bottom is maybe original?  What does that mean?  That the bottom is older than the rest of the chest? Did someone build this chest around an older bottom piece of wood?  Why?

Folded twelve times one way and eight times the other way? This is economical?  Can you really do so and have any semblance to the dimensions Stephen suggests? Try it with a bed sheet; just make the first fold widthwise and pretend you made it lengthwise. It will be close enough. Actually, I think Stephen meant fold it into twelfths and then eighths. Still, try it.

Thinking that the Othon de la Roche family would not have known the size of the shroud if they didn’t own it and hence would not perhaps have (or there wouldn’t be) a chest with a bottom that was 37.5 cm by 16.5 cm, which is only approximate to a speculated folding pattern does not seem to me strong evidence that Othon de la Roche really did bring the shroud from Athens.

What am I missing?

The Confusing Holy Tunic of Argenteuil

“I am speechless. Good grief.”

Yesterday, Berry Schwortz in his website update posted Holy Tunic of Argenteuil To Be Displayed in 2016.  A simple phrase, “Although not directly related to the Shroud of Turin,” got a reaction out of O.K. He responded:

Actually, several comparisons between bloodstains on the Tunic and the dorsal image on the Shroud have been performed, one back in 1930s, and more recently by late Andre Marion in 1997. Here you have two scans from Marion & Lucotte book “Le linceul de Turin et la tunique d’Argenteuil” (which provides excellent overview of the scientific reasearch of the Tunic):

http://i.imgur.com/mlHGNXv.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/4r50OeU.jpg

They claim there is a match. If so, then we should say that the Tunic is directly related to the Shroud -and very important material evidence.

That got me thinking. Just three months ago, I posted Remembering an Earlier Posting About The Seamless Robe

imageSomeone just wrote:

I hope your are the right person to write.

On the blog "Shroud of Turin blog" there was an article on november 2, 2011 "A Reaction to Giulio Fanti’s Suggestion" there ist also a photo.

I’m part of a student group at University of Hannover, Germany planning an exhibition about a seamless shirt in Steinhude. For this would like to design a map of europe with all the seamless clothes we found during our research and we would like to use the pictures. Who has the licence of this photo and can allow us to use it?

My response was:

No, I don’t know who has the license for the photo. You might try doing a Google image search on tunique d argenteuil. From there you can try all the many websites who are using the image. Such is the nature of the internet.  Moreover (at least in the U.S.) the image may not be copyrightable just as photographs of the shroud are not according to the U. S. District Court for Southern New York which has held that exact photographic copies of public domain images could not be protected by copyright.

 

As I mentioned in August, I’d forgotten about the November 2, 2011 posting – that was four years ago today, to the day on All Souls Day. That posting was A Reaction to Giulio Fanti’s Suggestion. Here it is:

A reader writes:

clip_image001With regards to the SSG posting about the Argenteuil robe and carbon dating by Giulio, I am speechless. Good grief.

In the Catholic Church there are two competing claimants to the title of the seamless robe or chilote of Christ. Legendary accounts of the robe at Argenteuil’s provenance has it being given by the Byzantine empress Irene to Charlemagne in the 9th century. In other words it came by way of Byzantium. The earliest extant written records go back only to 1195 and describe it as a child’s garment. We can’t know otherwise by looking at it because it was cut up into many pieces during the French Revolution and each piece was hidden away in a different secret location. Today only few pieces remain that have been seamed together. Some do claim that it is the seamless robe but there isn’t any good evidence for doing so.

A robe at Trier is an alternate claimant.  Like the Argenteuil robe it only has a certain documented history that goes back only to the 12th century, though legend takes it back to St. Helena. Over the years it has been repaired and patched so much that it is hard to tell what might be authentic and what might not be. It is as good a candidate as the Argenteuil robe.

The claims don’t end there. Allegedly, the robe, or at least some piece of it, is to be found in the Patriarchal Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, brought to that city by a Jewish Rabbi called Elias who bought the entire robe from a soldier who was present at the crucifixion. It is as good a story as any and I suppose it more likely true than the other stories. Portions of this robe are found at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in St. Petersburg, Kiev’s Sophia Cathedral and the Moscow Cathedral of the Dormition.

The Shroud of Turin, on the other hand, has a respectable history going back to the Hymn of the Pearl, the letters of Sister Egeria, the Mozarabic Rite, John of Damascus, the capture by Curcuas and the subsequent witness of Gregory Referendus and Constantine VII and the Pray Manuscript. All of this would be almost worthless information were it not for the distinct, still inexplicable image on the Shroud.

The Sudarium has a reasonably well documented history back to the seventh century. From bloodstains there are reasons to believe that these two cloths covered the same body at about the same time. The idea that they might have been forged, both or one or the other, to have such similar bloodstain patterns is implausible to anyone who traces their possible paths during the Medieval. The Shroud and the Sudarium have been carbon dated with very dissimilar results. There are valid reasons to doubts the correctness of those dates independent of their differences.

To throw the Argenteuil robe into the mix with the Shroud and Sudarium and claim that a series of undesirable radiocarbon dates suggest some supernatural aura attached to Jesus as a source of c14 rejuvenation is preposterous beyond scientific embarrassment.

 

On November 6th, two years later, there was also  Of Similarities: The Tunic of Argenteuil and the Shroud of Turin

By email, Joe Marino sends along some very interesting quotations from the new book, Witnesses to Mystery: Investigations into Christ’s Relics by Grzegorz Gorny (Author) and Janusz Rosikon (Illustrator). They are from a chapter “on the little-known ‘Tunic of Argenteuil,’” Joe writes, “believed to be the robe mentioned in Mt 27:31 and the tunic mentioned in Jn19:23-24.”:

In 1998 scientists at the Optics Institute in Orsay decided to compare the bloodstain patterns on the Tunic of Argenteuil and on the Turin Shroud  They created realistic and rotational computerized geometric models of what the tunic would look like if worn by a man of the same physical stature and morphology as the man depicted on the shroud.  The result was absolutely bewildering:  it turned out that the bloodstains on the tunic were aligned exactly with the imprinted wounds visible on the shroud.  Overlaying both images drove the scientists to the conclusion that both clothes were stained by the same bleeding man.

[…]

Linen from India?

imageA reader writes:

Recent revelations in Nature suggesting the cloth now called the Turin Shroud may have originated in India reminds us of the legends about the Apostle Judas Thomas who likely traveled to Muziris on the Malabar Coast in A.D. 52. There he founded several church communities. The story of his sea journey to India reminds us there was active trade with that city and other seaports on the Indian subcontinent. Maybe we should be looking in India for examples of linen cloth similar to the Shroud.

Pictured, the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle in Mylapore, India.

imageI copied the following from Wikipedia.  There is a lot more in Wikipedia that makes for interesting reading. So, yes, indeed, maybe we should be looking harder at India and the entire area of the land and sea routes of the ancient Silk Road:

Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban center in the Malabar Coast (modern day Indian state of Kerala) that dates from at least the 1st century BC, if not before it. Muziris has found mention in the bardic Sangam literature and a number of classical European historical sources.[1][2][3]

The port was a key to the trade between southern India and the Phoenicians, the Persians, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Roman Empire.[4][5] The important known commodities exported from Muziris were spices (such as black pepper and malabathron), semi-precious stones (such as beryl), pearls, diamonds, sapphires, ivory, Chinese silk, Gangetic spikenard and tortoise shells. The Romans brought money (in gold coins), peridots, thin clothing, figured linens, multicoloured textiles, sulfide of antimony, copper, tin, lead, coral, raw glass, wine, realgar and orpiment.[6][7] The locations of unearthed coin-hoards suggest an inland trade link from Muziris via the Palghat Gap and along the Kaveri Valley to the east coast of India. Though the Roman trade declined from the 5th century AD, the former Muziris attracted the attention of other nationalities, particularly the Persians, the Chinese and the Arabs, presumably until the devastating floods of Periyar in the 14th century.

The exact location of Muziris is still not known to historians and archaeologists. It is generally speculated to be situated around present day Kodungallur, a town situated 18 miles north of Cochin.[8] Kodungallur in central Kerala figures prominently in the ancient history of southern India as a vibrant urban hub of the Chera rulers.[9] A series of excavations were conducted at the village of Pattanam in North Paravur by Kerala Council for Historical Research (an autonomous institution outsourced by Kerala State Department of Archaeology) in 2006-07 and it was announced that the lost port of Muziris was found.[3][10][11] The rapid conclusion invited criticism from historians and archaeologists and started a healthy debate among historians of south India.[12][13][14]

image

The Shroud of Canterbury

imageLouis, in a comment, links to Raiders of the Lost Codex: Scholars Piece Together Ancient Bible by Matthias Schulz appearing in Spiegel Online International.

He then writes:

A bit off-track but worth reading.

What happens if the Turin Shroud is dated to the 1st century? Who will be its owner? Pope Francis, the Di Savoia royal family of Italy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Istanbul (Constantinople), the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Syrian Orthodox, Chaldean, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian patriarchs of Jerusalem…. or the Saint James Vicariate in Jerusalem (Hebrew Speaking Catholics, under the Jewish-born South African Jesuit David Neuhaus) successors of Saint James, first bishop of Jerusalem, and a cousin of Jesus?

The monks at the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, at the foot of Mount Sinai Egypt, are now saying that Constantin von Tischendorf stole the pages from the Codex Sinaiticus, and many of these pages are scattered in different places. HRH Prince Charles is the President of the Saint Catherine’s Foundation.

Tischendorff has been called an “adventurer” and “thief”, he had a doctorate in philosophy and was a very good New Testament scholar.

Actually, based on the The Treaty of Brétigny, signed on 8 May 1360, the Shroud of Turin belongs to Queen Elizabeth II of England.  How do you not see that?

Another Overwhelming Evidence Argument?

a wide loom, which existed in the Roman Period but not in the Middle Ages

imageStephen Jones has just about wrapped up one of his drawn out, serialized postings (he is nine tenths of the way done, he tells us) that are part of his overwhelming evidence drumbeat. Perhaps I should have waited a couple more days for him to finish the posting. But he was drifting away from the main thrust of his argument. Because he had moved from discussing the cloth’s selvedge into a rehash of his outlandish and obsessive conspiracy theory that the carbon dating results for the Shroud of Turin were manipulated by a computer hacker who was probably working for the then Soviet KGB, I concluded that his posting was finished. His posting is out there on his blog and finished as far as I was concerned.

The subject of the post is that the selvedge is overwhelming evidence that the Turin Shroud is authentic. His conclusion:

Problem for the forgery theory. This is yet another part of the problem for the forgery theory, that the Shroud is not medieval (see #1,#3, #4, #5). As we saw above, the two selvedges running down the lengthwise borders of the Shroud prove beyond reasonable doubt that: 1) and the main body of the Shroud and the sidestrip were evidently cut lengthwise from a larger cloth and then joined to form a composite cloth which became the Shroud, with the combined dimensions of 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits (see also Dimensions #3); 2) the cloth that the Shroud and sidestrip were cut from had evidently been woven on a wide loom, which existed in the Roman Period but not in the Middle Ages; 3) the sophisticated weaving and tailoring of the Shroud points to it having been manufactured in a textile `factory‘ which are known from Roman period Egypt and Syria but not from the Middle Ages; and 4)the unusual stitching, binding and finishing of the selvedges is, like the stitching of the seam joining the sidestrip to the main body of the Shroud (see Sidestrip #5), known only from the first century Jewish fortress of Masada.

So the shroud could not possibly be medieval?  But aren’t 1, 2, 3 and 4 debatable?

Significant Response to the Preview of the Thermochimica Acta Editorial

… if one of the points of peer-reviewed literature is to help fine-tune the author’s thinking,
it seems a bit questionable that this editorial comes 10+ years after the original article by Rogers and the death of the author.

imageThibault Heimburger contacted the editors of the journal and has been invited to offer a response to the Thermochimica Acta editorial that is currently in “accepted for publication” status. He has agreed to do so and we can look forward to that. But that will only address some of the scientific issues with this preview article.  There are 115 comments so far in the thread Editorial in Thermochimica Acta by Bella, Garlaschelli and Samperi on Rogers’ 2005 Article and many of them take issue with other elements of the article.  What follows, taken from recent comments by Joe Marino, offers a significant response to the historical questions surrounding invisible mending.


by Joe Marino

The Middle Ages is generally considered to have been between the 5th and 15 centuries and the Early Renaissance is generally considered between the 14th and 17th centuries, so there is actually a bit of an overlap. So, I don’t think the use of “medieval” [as suggested by one reader] is a huge issue here. Regarding the invisible mending being a “pseudoscientific hypothesis,” … I would like to address several points in the authors’ editorial in addition to a previous posting countering their assertion that the invisible mending idea was based on low resolution photographs. They use the phrase “so called invisible mending.” The use of the pejorative “so called” is obviously meant to belittle the idea of invisible mending as a technique. For the validity of the technique, see for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_mending

http://www.thefrenchreweavers.com/faq.htm

http://www.invisible-mending.com.au/

Also, if you look at 2 articles I co-authored, various people postulated that different types of repairs may have been made on the Shroud over the years (see pre-1988 entries). Those articles can be found at:http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/chronology.pdf (link to 2nd article can be found at end of aforementioned link).

I would also like to address the authors statement: ” “No one has hypothesized this before 1988 (before C14 analysis gave an ‘undesired’ date for the linen); …”

Not true. Discussing preparations for the 1986 planning meeting in Turin, Gove writes in his 1995 book “Relic, Icon or Hoax: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud” (Bristol and Philadelphia: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1996, pg. 90), “Tite felt there should be a textile expert present, if samples were to be taken, to make sure that we were getting a piece of cloth from the main body of the shroud on which the image was imprinted and not a rewoven area or a patch.”

Note that this 2 years before the 1988 dating.

The following passages about invisible mending on the Shroud are taken from the book “The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud” by Carlos Evaristo, the archivist for the Savoy family, who owned the Shroud until King Umberto died in 1983.

(pp.217-218).

According to the testimony of King Umberto II of Savoy (later recalled by friends, the exiled Monarch entertained in the 1950s, at Villa Italia, in Cascais, Portugal), oral tradition in the Savoy Royal Family confirmed that the Custodians of the Holy Shroud, from the earliest medieval period, had sporadically made copies of the Shroud,but also removed fragments from all around the outermost edges of the Burial Cloth, even as far inward as 10 centimeters and distributed these to close relatives, devotees and allies.

That a mysterious seam or pronounced crease mark is visible all along one length of the Shroud is a fact that has baffled Scientists, some of whom have gone as far as to ridiculously (?) propose that a removed section was used to bind the Shroud to the Body at the chin, hands and feet and then sewn back onto the sheet, at a later date.

What could also be probable is that this thick, long strip of the original cloth was removed at one point [and] cut up into sections for distribution in reliquaries.
Another possible scenario is that this strip was used in a transfer boiling ritual or else separated, thread by thread, so as to have been incorporated into Ex Extractum copies of the Holy Shroud.

Any one of these processes could have been carried out by the Canons guarding the Shroud at Lirey or Chambery without the consent or knowledge of whoever owned the Sacred Relic. Once carried out or the abuse discovered, the section could have ordered or rewoven, back onto the original whole or else the section in question was substituted with another piece of similar cloth.

pp. 218 & 220 (there is a picture on pg. 219)

According to King Umberto II, the pious practice of sharing Major Relics of the Holy Shroud was, according to tradition, continued by the first three Savoy Lords who possessed it, although they, unlike some of their predecessor Guardians, never purposely removed fragments from their areas with the image of the Corpus Sancti (Holy Body.)
Another fact confirmed by His Majesty was that it was traditionally affirmed, that at one point in the past, he edges of the Lenzuoli (Sheet) had become so tattered as to cause embarrassment or criticism of the Custodians, and those areas were repaired and rewoven using identical techniques, but obviously with similar, yet newer, materials containing dyes and other medieval manufacturing ingredients, in an attempt to better blend the new sections in, as best possible, with the original fabric.

In truth, the presence of medieval dyes was detected in these areas and this fact has been already pointed out by Scientists as additional proof of the inaccuracy of the 1988 Carbon 14 dating test results that placed the samples taken from these areas, as having been fabricated sometime in the middle ages.

In truth, any one of the aforementioned practices alone would also account, for not only the contamination of the fabric resulting in inaccurate Carbon 14 dating results, but also, the different types of linen, dyes, resins and fabric patches, discovered to have been present on the outermost edges of the sheet that usually held by Bishops during the exposition of the Sacred Relic to the public for veneration.

(pp. 265 & 267 (picture on pg. 266) of the Evaristo book.

The removal of all patches and of the reinforcement Holland Cloth backing of the Holy Shroud, in the year 2002, confirmed what King Umberto had stated, namely that small sections of the repaired and rewoven edges, had continually been removed from the Sacred Relic and probably as late as the second half of the 17th century. That the practice of removing small fragments and even full length or width threads from the outer edges [of] the Holy Shroud, was a family tradition only finally suppressed by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, was another fact Umberto II of Savoy confirmed to Blue Army Founder and Shroud Devotee John Mathias Haffert, in the mid 1960’s.

It was the same Vittorio Amedeo II, who along with his wife, the Infanta Anna d’Orleans, personally assisted Blessed Sebastiano Valfre on June 6th, 1694, in repairing the Sacred Burial Cloth of the The Christ, shortly before transferring the Sacred Relic to the new Chapel of the Guarini. Later, it became a tradition on June 6th of each year for the Savoy Royal Family to distribute relics of the backing cloth.

It was in 1694, that in accordance to the Savoy Family tradition, some of the removed sections of thread were then woven into full size replicas of the Sindone (Shroud) for private or public veneration in Convents and Cathedrals during popular Holy Week celebrations. Unlike the meticulous repair work that had been carried out in previous centuries by religious expert weavers following the damage caused to the Shroud by fires and which left little trace of the removed sections, the intervention of the Savoy and the Blessed was aimed primarily at replacing the cloth backing of the Relic giving it added thickness and strength and also a better contrast to the image.

The last intervention by religious sisters had been considered poor by the various members of the House of Savoy since, rather than reweaving the areas nearest the outermost edges that were either missing or had frayed from manipulation and wear, they had camouflaged them with cloth coverings and patches.

The backing of black cloth added by Blessed Sebastiano Valfre was later removed byPrincess Maria Clotilde di Savoia, (1843-1911) Consort of Prince Napoleon, who substituted it for a pink silk on April 28th, 1868, on account of the backing having also become deteriorated from manipulation and removal of pieces for relics.

Note what Piero Savarino, who was scientific advisor to the Turinese Cardinal Poletto, wrote.

In a 1998 booklet, he stated that the 1988 C-14 testing might have been erroneous due to “extraneous thread left over from invisible mending‟ routinely carried out in the past on parts of the cloth in poor repair. Savarino went on to emphasize: ―…if the sample taken had been the subject of invisible mending‟ the carbon-dating results would not be reliable. What is more, the site from which the samples actually were taken does not preclude this hypothesis. (Source: Savarino, P. and Barberis, B. “Shroud, Carbon Dating and Calculus of Probabilities.” London: St. Paul‘s, 1988, pp.21-22.)

Now, it’s possible that in the original Italian, “invisible mending” might not equate specifically to the type of technique we hypothesized, but it’s another strong example of the fact that it is known that repairs have been made to the Shroud, making such a technique plausible.

The authors of the editorial conclude “The work of the late Dr. Rogers has been exploited to support a pseudoscientific hypothesis which is in no way confirmed by the reported data.”

The ascription of the word “pseudoscientific” to a clearly scientific theory again suggests a bias on the part of the authors. I agree with the last part of their last sentence that “the scientific community and the general public can only be misled by this paper,” but with application to their own paper. Rogers was a brilliant scientist who was not easily exploited and was actually one of the founders of Thermochimica Acta. He actually thought he would be able to prove me and my late wife wrong in 5 minutes, and said he was actually embarrassed to have to say we were right. His 2005 paper fully supported our claims from 2000. In addition, another paper by me and my wife was published in 2008 in a peer-reviewed journal called Chemistry Today and was titled “Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin shroud (http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/benfordmarino2008.pdf)

Finally, if one of the points of peer-reviewed literature is to help fine-tune the author’s thinking, it seems a bit questionable that this editorial comes 10+ years after the original article by Rogers and the death of the author.

Interesting Discussion About the Percussio Blow and Barbet

image… taking place in the comments to Oy vey! We’ve got a problem?

  1. Click into  Oy vey! We’ve got a problem?
  2. Scroll down to daveb of wellington on  August 29 at 11:44 pm
  3. Any comments you have should go there, not here. This is just a pointer.

image

Show Me. Prove It.

If scientists are gradually losing their position as high priests of society,
generations educated in a system governed by the scientific method still carry the
burden of doubting Thomas. Although faith does not rest on scientific evidence, unbelievers
continue to clamor "Show me," "Prove it."


imageMUST READ:  Republished, yesterday, August 29, 2015, in the English edition of the Russian Orthodox internet portal, Pravosvie Ru, The Shroud of Turin: A Mystery Across the Ages warrants your full attention:

On this day, the Church celebrates the icon of the Savior "Made Without Hands" -the prototype of which is believed to be an image of Jesus Christ’s holy face, left on a cloth used to cover His face at burial after the crucifixion. An exhaustively researched and highly interesting article by Fr. Alexy Young, Nun Michaila, and Mary Mansur was published a number of years ago in the periodical, "Orthodox America" ​​on the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Napkin. We present it today in the spirit of the present feast.

Science, although not incompatible with faith when properly understood, has more often served to reduce the wonders of nature to molecular conglomerates than to awaken man to the infinite wisdom and power of God as reflected in His creation. Because it acts to unlock the mysteries of nature, science has long been cast in the role of a protagonist by those seeking to destroy the stronghold of faith. Historian Lewis Spitz writes:

"The scientific revolution, which made its first giant strides in the 17th century, has won such a total victory through its apparent domination of nature that the Western mind has virtually capitulated to its truth."

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.    (Heb. 11:1)

If scientists are gradually losing their position as high priests of society, generations educated in a system governed by the scientific method still carry the burden of doubting Thomas. Although faith does not rest on scientific evidence, unbelievers continue to clamor "Show me," "Prove it." Ultimately the case rests on the question of Christ’s Resurrection. While there is not, and can never be, a scientific test for the resurrection of Christ, skeptics have used the lack of material evidence in their favor. Is it not providential that today, in this age of science’s hegemony, they are being challenged by a mysterious piece of cloth, the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ?

To say that the Shroud is a challenge to hard-line materialists is not to say that the debate over its authenticity is neatly divided between believers and unbelievers. Not at all….

Read the full article, which leads to this interesting Conclusion:

As Orthodox Christians, do we need the relic of the Lord’s Shroud? As far as the fullness of the Faith, "given once and for all to the saints," is concerned, we do not. The image on the Shroud adds nothing doctrinal to what has already been revealed; neither does it take anything away. Had it not survived Apostolic times, as some think, our faith in Christ and His Church, the Ark of Salvation, would be the same. Nor do we seek after signs and wonders to confirm our faith in Christ. On the other hand, the Shroud provides a visual document of something that the Evangelists describe in only a few terse words: "They crucified Him,"

In the image on the Shroud there unfolds before our very eyes the story, the process of indescribable suffering, those physiological processes which took place in the human Body of Christ. This is all precisely documented on the Shroud, attesting to our Lord’s humanity and at the same time revealing His divine power, for He arose as God, rising in such a way as to leav e all the evidence imprinted upon the Shroud and miraculously undisturbed,., containing a providential meaning which is not being revealed."

The late Archimandrite Constantine (Zaitsev), an eminent Church writer who wrote these words, was so impressed by the powerful testimony of the Turin Shroud that he urged the widespread dissemination of this "discovery," which he said "lies with the conscience of each faithful Christian soul who becomes acquainted with it." [53] What precisely is the value of the testimony offered by the Shroud?

All in all it is a startling medical documentary of what was described so briefly in the Gospels. Dr. John Heller biophysicist

The Russian bishop-saint, Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783)–as so many spiritual directors–was alarmed at the cold-hearted insensitivity of people, at the callousness, indifference, and wordliness of the average soul, joined to complete love of self. In our own day, most pastors would add to this list the soul-killing sin of self-righteousness and "zeal not according to knowledge," which stems from the Luciferian sin of pride.

As a spiritual remedy, the Saint urged people to "keep in your house a picture of the passion of Christ, look at it often and with reverence …. the whole deepest content of the Gospel is portrayed in the passion of Christ and incites us to imitation."[54] To imitation of what?

St. Tikhon observed that "God descends to the humble as waters flow down from the hills into the valleys." And it was this awesome humility of the Lord on the Cross that St. Tikhon wished his spiritual children to imitate. But how to find humility? In union with all Orthodox Fathers, St. Tikhon taught that each individual must seek to know himself as he really is, without self-deception. Seeing thus his own wickedness, he must then consider "the suffering of Christ, the magnitude of whose love and suffering surpasses our understanding."[55] Christ’s example of humble obedience "even unto death" inspired this Saint to instruct his spiritual children to "remember often, especially during the night, the suffering of Christ. It will kindle in you love for the Sufferer; this love will preserve you from sin. Meditate upon His Passion …. The suffering Christ is like a saving bock from which we learn…repentance, faith, devotion to God, love of our neighbor, humility, meekness, patience, detachment from worldly vanities …" [56]

What is it, then, to follow Christ? To do good and to suffer for the sake of the will of God… to endure all, looking upon Christ Who suffered  St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

St. Tikhon was not here introducing some novelty into Orthodox piety or theology, It must be made perfectly clear that he was not suggesting the use of imagination–a common element in Western spirituality–in order to create dangerous emotions that lead to "prelest" or spiritual deception. St. Tikhon understood that the Son of God suffered not just a death such as might come to any man, but a terrifying emptying of His divinity joined to an unimaginable physical, mental, and spiritual agony that we cannot comprehend.  But we can, even with sinful eyes, gaze upon it, as those who put the Lord to death stood by and watched and some, like the blessed Centurion, even confessed Christ. The image on the Shroud vividly tells us, in ways that words often cannot, what unutterable suffering was endured for our sake, and the high price with which cur souls were ransomed from eternal death.

And then there is the cry in a scientific  age, “My Lord and My God!”:

Together with this universal significance which applies to all Christians at all times, the Shroud may also be said to be uniquely relevant to our 20th century, in which science has had such a powerful voice. Some believe that this image was encoded on the fibers of the cloth like a time capsule intended specifically for our materialistic age, when only the tools of modern science could begin to decode or unlock its secrets, when belief in God would be so weak or non-existent that even faith in science would testify to "the things of God."

There is a poster, plastered on walls in the Soviet Union, which shows a smiling astronaut flying through space. The caption reads: "There is no God," For individuals raised under the forced domination of ‘scientific-atheism," the inability of scientists to disprove the Shroud does not go unnoticed. And there is reason to believe that the scientific evidence in favor of the Shroud’s authenticity has been instrumental in opening doors to faith behind the Iron Curtain. (A report on the Shroud, written by a scientist in the Soviet Union, is said to be circulating there in Samizdat.)

We, too, in the free world, have been greatly influenced by the scientific-materialist outlook. And it seems that now, at a time which many believe to be the 11th hour, the suffering yet serene face looking at us from the Shroud confronts us with the REALITY of Jesus Christ. Can it be that in this age of diminishing faith, when even believers are crying out "Lord, help Thou my unbelief," the Lord in His mercy has condescended to reveal Himself to men in a special way, that seeing they might believe and exclaim with Thomas: "My Lord and my God!"

Who is Addai?

from newly published papers at shroud.com

imageIf you are fascinated by historical theory, like I am, read, FROM JERUSALEM TO EDESSA – THE SHROUD AND THE FAMILY OF JESUS:

Semitic name Addai, abbreviation for Adonija, does not derive from a person of the New Testament. It is necessary to wait until Eusebius – secondary source compared to the Doctrina (Illert 2007: 20) – to identify him with Thaddeus, one of the twelve Disciples (Matteo 10,3 / Marco 3,18) (HE I 12,3). According to the Doctrina, Addai came from “Panea, at the springs of Jordan River” (Howard 1981: 42s). The position against the conjecture that this is a reference to the Gospels is supported by the different name used in the Bible. As a matter of facts, it mentions the place as Caesarea Philippi (Marco 8,27 / Matteo 16,13). Because of this detail, Theodor Zahn’s position is still convincing. He presumes that «since it is totally impartial, this should be considered as a trustworthy tradition through the first, or one of the first, preachers of Christian faith in Edessa» (1881: 369). A significant role into the Doctrina is played by James the Brother of the Lord (Howard 1981: 22-25. 34s).

Yet there is a pre-existent source connecting James with Addai. According to the First Apocalypse of James, the Brother of the Lord had instructed Addai. The Gnostic apocryphal text in Coptic language brought to us, that we know also from the recently (re)published Codix Tchacos, contains Jewish-Christian translations and can be dated back to the 3rd century (Brankaer/Bethge 2007: 114-117; 84s). Richard Bauckham assumes that there had been a mission of the Family Members of the Lord towards East (1990: 66-70) and that Addai, before the year 70, had relations withJerusalem. Richard Bauckham also gives the Apocalypse of James for sure (2008: 265). Also M. L. Chaumont considers the Mission of Addai a verified historical fact (1988: 14-16), but, like Adolf von Harnack (1924: 681), he places it in a later period of time, around the year 100.

A superbly detailed exploration of the Image of Edessa

imageThat is how Hugh Farey, in a comment to another posting, describes Mark Guscin’s The Tradition of the Image of Edessa, a 400+ page PhD thesis recently published on a University of London website.

The abstract of this paper begins:

The Image of Edessa was an image of Christ, which according to tradition was of miraculous origin. It was taken from Edessa (mod. Sanliurfa, Turkey) to Constantinople in 944, and disappeared from known history in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. It generated, however, a vast amount of literature and hundreds of copies in churches all over the Byzantine world. This thesis is a study of the literature, paintings, icons and other aspects related to the Image of Edessa. It examines how it was used as a tool to express Christ’s humanity and for various other purposes, and how some of the related literature became completely decontextualised and was used as a magical charm, especially in the West….

The photograph of Mark is a publicity photo from ArcheBooks Publishing for his novel All the Diamonds in the World.

When is a Sindon Not a Sindon?

For anyone wanting more information, I highly recommend 
Diana Fulbright’s 20+ page  paper on the subject,
A Clean Cloth: What Greek Word Usage Tells Us about the Burial Wrappings of Jesus.


imageOn reading the following on Colin Berry’s blog, it occurred to me that a bit of clarification wouldn’t hurt any of us. Colin writes:

Why does this blogger [=Colin] now refer to the Turin “Shroud”? Why not just Turin Shroud? Answer: because the single sheet of linen in Turin was intended by a medieval entrepreneur, into the business of providing “relics”, to represent that used by Joseph of Arimathea to retrieve the body from the cross and transport it to the nearby tomb. That single sheet “sindon” must not be confused with the linen clothes (plural) aka winding cloths or bandages, Greek “othonion” that were used for final interment as described in the book of John. In other words, Joseph’s linen, imagined by our medieval entrepreneur to have captured a sweat/blood imprint, was replaced by those “bandages”, and indeed there is an illustration in the Humgarian Pray manuscript of that changeover in progress.

Is that what the Pray Manuscript shows?  Hmmm? And there is this:

Conclusion: referring to the imprinted linen as the Turin SHROUD was probably the biggest semantic goof in history, and it’s had enormous consequences as regards the speculation that has grown up around the mechanism that produced the double image.

clip_image001Kim Dreisbach, once upon a time over at shroud.com, clarified:

Students new to the study to the Shroud are sometimes confused by apparent inconsistencies in the description of Jesus’ burial cloth or cloths. In truth, the Bible – when read in Greek – uses a variety of terms to describe them.

The Synoptic Gospels use the word sindon in the singular to designate the Shroud (Matt. 27:59; Mk. 15:46 (twice); Lk. 23:53). Sindon appears only six times in all of the New Testament. In an anecdote unique to Mark, it is used twice in 14: 51-52 to describe the linen cloth left by an unnamed young man when he fled naked from the Garden of Gethsemane.

In Jn. 19:40, the Fourth Gospeller uses the word othonia [Gk.] (plural) to describe the linen cloths used in the Burial. Othonia, a word of uncertain meaning, but probably best translated as a generic plural for grave clothes. The same word is used by Luke or his scribe in Lk.24:12 what had previously been described as the sindon in Lk. 23:53. Note: vs. l2 (But Peter rose and ran to the tomb, stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths (plural) by themselves; and he went home wondering what happened.) does not appear in the most ancient manuscripts, but is added by later ancient authorities.

Next we discover (keirias) [Gk.] translated by the RSV as bandages in Jn. 11:44’s description of the raising of Lazarus. In actuality, linen strips used to bind the wrists and ankles and probably also used on the outside at the neck, waist and ankles to secure the Shroud to the body.

Finally we come to the word sudarion [Gk.] which is found in the canonical texts solely in John (11:44. 20:7) and Luke (l9:20; Acts l9:12). It is translated by the RSV as "the napkin which had been on his head" (Jn. 20:7) and earlier in 11:44 as the cloth with which Lazarus’ face was wrapped. Scholars like the late Dr. John A.T Robinson ( "The Shroud of Turin and the Grave Cloths of the Gospels") and J.N. Sanders regard it as a chin band going around the face/head for the purpose of keeping the corpse’s jaws closed. Certainly this appears to be the intent of the artist who drew the manuscript illustration for the Hungarian Pray mss, Fol. 27v, Budapest of 1192-95 which clearly illustrates that the Shroud’s full length image(s) were known in the 12th century. (See Ian Wilson, 1986, The Mysterious Shroud, Garden City, NY; Doubleday & Company, p.115. See also Bercovits, I. 1969, Dublin: Irish University Press. Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, pl. III.) .

imageFor anyone wanting more information, I highly recommend  Diana Fulbright’s 20+ page paper on the subject, A Clean Cloth: What Greek Word Usage Tells Us about the Burial Wrappings of Jesus.

Diana  has researched  the Shroud since 1980.  She formerly taught the History of Christianity and related languages at the University of Iowa and Biblical Studies and Hebrew at the Benedictine Abbey in Richmond.


From Constantinople to Lirey through the Sainte-Chapelle

A MUST READ

Between the date of this exposition in 1203 and the first exposition of the Shroud of Turin
at Lirey around 1356, there is a 153-year gap.  . . .   This silence was simply due to the lack of knowledge and attention by the Latins to the most obscure relic in the Grande Châsse
at the Sainte-Chapelle. The Shroud of Turin was lying silently in a reliquary of the Sainte-Chapelle waiting to be discovered by a more attentive and humble group of clerics.


Mario Latendresse writes to inform us about a long posting he made “about the thesis of the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris, which would explain the transfer of the Mandylion from Constantinople to Lirey through the Sainte-Chapelle.”  He provides:

An Introduction  &

Full text of the arguments in favor of the thesis of the Sainte-Chapelle

Take the time to carefully read both postings. The following from Mario’s conclusion may whet your appetite.

It is almost certain that the reliquary of the Mandylion did reach the Sainte-Chapelle as part of the relics ceded by Baudoin II to his relative Louis IX, and it is very likely that the Mandylion was in its reliquary. The size of the Mandylion, which is a cloth, appears large because 1) the first inventory states explicitly that it is large; 2) the Golden Bull of 1247 as well as the first inventory of the Grande Châsse does not mention any portrait in the reliquary and all the late reliquaries mention an image at the bottom of the reliquary, therefore the cloth appeared large enough to hide that image; 3) because no image is mentioned in the first inventory and the Golden Bull, the cloth also appears folded; 4) the reliquary of the Mandylion was large enough to contain a folded cloth as large as the Shroud of Turin, as a matter of fact, it was just the right size to do so. It is also likely that the Mandylion disappeared from the Sainte-Chapelle between the early 14th century and the early 16th century based on the presence of a cloth mentioned in the first inventory and the Golden Bull although none are mentioned starting in the early 16th century.

In natural sciences, it is customary to formulate an hypothesis to compare it to the observations. It is also a process that is easy to do because once an hypothesis is well described, the comparison is systematic and simple. That same process can be applied to the inventories, which are mainly observations about the reliquaries and relics. In the following, we propose two opposite hypotheses about the Mandylion and its reliquary and compare them to the inventories to see which hypothesis is the most coherent. The first one is similar to Andrea Nicolotti’s hypothesis whereas the second one is based on the thesis that the Mandylion is the Shroud of Turin.

[…]

Between the date of this exposition in 1203 and the first exposition of the Shroud of Turin at Lirey around 1356, there is a 153-year gap. The thesis of the Sainte-Chapelle explains this silence without referring to a complex and obscure scenario. This silence was simply due to the lack of knowledge and attention by the Latins to the most obscure relic in the Grande Châsse at the Sainte-Chapelle. The Shroud of Turin was lying silently in a reliquary of the Sainte-Chapelle waiting to be discovered by a more attentive and humble group of clerics.

How and why the Mandylion was passed to Geoffroy de Charny has not been discussed. But we can already see that the appearance of the Shroud at Lirey occurred during the disappearance of the Mandylion at theSainte-Chapelle….

The photograph, above, is appearing through an electronic window into Mario website. CLICK HERE or on the photograph to see a full size version of it on his site. The caption reads:

An elevated baldachin on a platform at the same location where the Grande Châsse containing the relics of Constantinople were kept in the choir of the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris.

© Mario Latendresse. Photo taken 26 April 2015.

Remembering an Earlier Posting About The Seamless Robe

preposterous beyond scientific embarrassment.

Simageomeone just wrote:

I hope your are the right person to write.

On the blog "Shroud of Turin blog" there was an article on november 2, 2011 "A Reaction to Giulio Fanti’s Suggestion" there ist also a photo.

I’m part of a student group at University of Hannover, Germany planning an exhibition about a seamless shirt in Steinhude. For this would like to design a map of europe with all the seamless clothes we found during our research and we would like to use the pictures. Who has the licence of this photo and can allow us to use it?

My response was:

No, I don’t know who has the license for the photo. You might try doing a Google image search on tunique d argenteuil. From there you can try all the many websites who are using the image. Such is the nature of the internet.  Moreover (at least in the U.S.) the image may not be copyrightable just as photographs of the shroud are not according to the U. S. District Court for Southern New York which has held that exact photographic copies of public domain images could not be protected by copyright.

NOVERMBER 2, 2011. I’d forgotten about that posting. So, for a slow news day in August, here is a repeat:


A Reaction to Giulio Fanti’s Suggestion

 

A reader writes:

clip_image001With regards to the SSG posting about the Argenteuil robe and carbon dating by Giulio, I am speechless. Good grief.

In the Catholic Church there are two competing claimants to the title of the seamless robe or chilote of Christ. Legendary accounts of the robe at Argenteuil’s provenance has it being given by the Byzantine empress Irene to Charlemagne in the 9th century. In other words it came by way of Byzantium. The earliest extant written records go back only to 1195 and describe it as a child’s garment. We can’t know otherwise by looking at it because it was cut up into many pieces during the French Revolution and each piece was hidden away in a different secret location. Today only few pieces remain that have been seamed together. Some do claim that it is the seamless robe but there isn’t any good evidence for doing so.

A robe at Trier is an alternate claimant.  Like the Argenteuil robe it only has a certain documented history that goes back only to the 12th century, though legend takes it back to St. Helena. Over the years it has been repaired and patched so much that it is hard to tell what might be authentic and what might not be. It is as good a candidate as the Argenteuil robe.

The claims don’t end there. Allegedly, the robe, or at least some piece of it, is to be found in the Patriarchal Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, brought to that city by a Jewish Rabbi called Elias who bought the entire robe from a soldier who was present at the crucifixion. It is as good a story as any and I suppose it more likely true than the other stories. Portions of this robe are found at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in St. Petersburg, Kiev’s Sophia Cathedral and the Moscow Cathedral of the Dormition.

The Shroud of Turin, on the other hand, has a respectable history going back to the Hymn of the Pearl, the letters of Sister Egeria, the Mozarabic Rite, John of Damascus, the capture by Curcuas and the subsequent witness of Gregory Referendus and Constantine VII and the Pray Manuscript. All of this would be almost worthless information were it not for the distinct, still inexplicable image on the Shroud.

The Sudarium has a reasonably well documented history back to the seventh century. From bloodstains there are reasons to believe that these two cloths covered the same body at about the same time. The idea that they might have been forged, both or one or the other, to have such similar bloodstain patterns is implausible to anyone who traces their possible paths during the Medieval. The Shroud and the Sudarium have been carbon dated with very dissimilar results. There are valid reasons to doubts the correctness of those dates independent of their differences.

To throw the Argenteuil robe into the mix with the Shroud and Sudarium and claim that a series of undesirable radiocarbon dates suggest some supernatural aura attached to Jesus as a source of c14 rejuvenation is preposterous beyond scientific embarrassment.

Is the Shroud the Inspiration for the Holy Grail Legends?

Today, Stephen Jones is back to working on his dictionary of the shroud. He posts. He is working on G:

Grail, Holy. The "Holy Grail" is a dish, plate, stone, or cup and is part of the Arthurian (King Arthur and the knights of the round table) legendary literature. But historian Daniel Scavone, professor Emeritus of history at the University of Southern Indiana, has shown that the Shroud of Turin is the real object that inspired the Holy Grail legend….

It is an interesting idea.  I’ve heard Dan talk about the idea a couple of times. A more recent paper on the subject, Edessan sources for the legend of the Holy Grail is from the Frascati conference in 2010. And here is an interview that Russ Breault conducted with Dan Scavone back in 1999.

A Rare Piece of Cloth

imageStephen Jones, now embarked on a series of posts to summarize the “overwhelming evidence” of authenticity, does have a point in his post yesterday, first in quoting from Edward Hall’s obituary in The Independent:

"Such total involvement got its reward especially in his [Hall’s] participation in the dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988 … `There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century,’ he bluntly told a British Museum press conference. `Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it.’"

and then in telling us:

… And in a sense Hall was right! If the Shroud were a medieval forgery, then the forger, to maximise his profit, would have "just got a bit of linen." That is, he would have used the least expensive "bit of linen" he could find that would still deceive his prospective buyers (and that wouldn’t require much-see #3). But the Shroud is not just any "bit of linen." As we have seen above the Shroud would have been expensive and rare in the first century. And it would have been even more expensive and rare in the 14th century, of which there is only one known  other example, but in fragments as opposed to the ~4.4 x 1.1 metre Shroud. So the medieval forger would have been most unlikely to have obtained a fine linen herringbone twill sheet the size of the Shroud in the first place.

Byzantine Coins Again

I think the Byzantine solidi are a meaningful part of a larger historical picture
by which I am persuaded the shroud is much older than its carbon dating suggests.

Is John Jackson and company pointing to something lower down?


BT, a longtime reader of this blogimage writes:

There are many depictions of Christ on Byzantine coins with features that correspond to features on the shroud.  But then there are the exceptions. Then too there are the questions about whether those features are really features at all.  This solidus is an exception. Look at the hair and beard on Christ. Yet the common motif of two parallel curved lines at the neckline of Christ’s shirt is maintained.  It also raises questions about the motif of parallel lines in the neckline of the garment. Fanti on page 113 of his new book compares the neckline on Jesus’ “dress” (shirt) to a “wrinkle on the neck (double-lined)” on the shroud. This is so for many solidi. But in this one we find this very same feature on the neckline of shirts worn by Justinian II  and his young son and co-emperor Tiberius. It is a common way of drawing a hemmed collar on a shirt, is it not?

imageYes.  But aren’t the co-emperors wearing armor (click on the above image to see a larger version)? And does that make a difference?  I also wonder what wrinkle we are referring to. In the Siefker, Propp, Koumis, Jackson and Jackson A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypothesis (v 2.1) we see:

image

I always thought it was the more visible wrinkle. Was I wrong? Is John Jackson and company pointing to something lower down? It makes sense.

MORE:  We had an interesting discussion in the blog with 69 comments about thie second-reign solidus in October of 2012 when Hugh Farey had asked:

The coins of Justinian II’s first reign (685 – 695 AD) are indeed remarkably shroud-like, and it is difficult not to think it was indeed the model. However, when, after a period of exile, Justinian returned to the throne (705 – 711 AD), the same sort of coins (with the same designation – Christus Rex Regnantium) have a closely shaven Christ with tightly curly hair. Can anyone suggest why the changed their mind about Christ’s appearance?

And we have had many other discussions in this blog about Byzantine coins:

I think the Byzantine solidi are a meaningful part of a larger historical picture by which I am persuaded the shroud is much older than its carbon dating suggests.

Stephen Jones on the Thomas De Wesselow Presentation

“de Wesselow’s Monty Pythonesque explanation”

imageStephen Jones reviews the Thomas De Wesselow Video in his blog. First he praises it:

The AGNOSTIC art historian Thomas De Wesselow is DEVASTATING against the Shroud being a medieval forgery.

He concludes that the Shroud can ONLY be Christ’s burial sheet or someone else crucified in the first (or early) century in imitation of Christ.

But then he goes on to tell us:

Being a non-Christian, de Wesselow cannot accept the Shroud image was caused by Jesus’ resurrection. So he argues for the Shroud body image having been caused by a Maillard reaction, as proposed by STURP chemist Ray Rogers….

[…]

But de Wesselow doesn’t mention that that explanation fails on several counts:

“[1] However the potential source for amines required for the reaction is a decomposing body, and no signs of decomposition have been found on the Shroud.

[2] Rogers also notes that their tests revealed that there were no proteins or bodily fluids on the image areas.

[3] Also, the image resolution and the uniform coloration of the linen resolution seem to be incompatible with a mechanism involving diffusion.” (Ibid. My numbers in square brackets) …

[4] there are no Shroud-like images on other burial shrouds, of which there are many Egyptian ones…. This invalidates de Wesselow’s Monty Pythonesque explanation that: “What the apostles were seeing was the image of Jesus on the Shroud, which they then mistook for the real thing. It sounds … as absurd as a scene from a Monty Python film.”

[5] a Maillard reaction would not explain the coin and flower images on the Shroud.

[6] a non-resurrection explanation does not explain how the Shroud was removed from Jesus’ (or another crucified in imitation of Jesus) body with the blood clots that adhered to both His body and the Shroud being intact and not tearing.

[7] Ockham’s Razor again: Jesus is the only person of whom it is credibly claimed that He was resurrected….

imageBUT:   I completely doubt the existence of coin and flower images. I question the nature of intact blood clots after centuries of rolling and folding. I find Stephen’s point about Jesus being “the only person of whom it is credibly claimed that He was resurrected” logically fallacious in this context. In fact, I agree with only one of Stephen’s seven points: the argument that the resolution is incompatible with a mechanism involving gaseous diffusion. And I’m not sure about that.

Too bad.

Picture for Today: Shroud on the Steps of the Cathedral by Enrie, 1931

hat tip to Stephen Jones

image

Challenging the Othon de la Roche Story

imageMario Latendresse has posted a wonderful set of photographs of the castle Ray-sur-Saône, where, supposedly, Othon de la Roche kept the shroud after bringing it from Constantinople via Athens following the crusades in 1204. Along with the pictures he tells us that  it is very unlikely that Othon de la Roche was been involved with the Shroud. (And more pictures and additional narrative).

Despite several historical hypotheses of the Shroud that have been put forward involving Othon de la Roche, it is very unlikely that Othon had anything to do with the Shroud of Turin. The main reason for this conclusion is that the seed of all these hypotheses is the dissertation in favor of the authenticity of the Shroud of Besançon, written in 1714, contained in the manuscript 826 of the archives of the Besançon library. That is, all subsequent historical documents mentioning Othon de la Roche as possibly having owned the Shroud are based directly or indirectly to that dissertation. But that dissertation has no solid foundation to state that Othon de la Roche was involved with any shroud: the dissertation refers to documents that never mention that Othon received a shroud or owned any shroud. The book Le Saint Suaire de Besançon discusses these hypotheses and has a complete transcription of the manuscript 826 (in French).

Moreover, the chest still at the Ray-sur-Saône appears unlikely to have been used to bring any shroud back from Greece. …

And any hypothesis stating that the Shroud came to Lirey through Jeanne de Vergy (second wife of Geoffroy de Charny), who would have been a descendant of Othon de la Roche, is fraught with other major issues. For example, the receipt of Humbert de Villersexel, given in 1418 to the clerics of the collegiate church of Lirey, states clearly that the reliquary containing the Shroud had the coat of arms of de Charny, not of de Vergy. The son and the grand-daughter of Geoffroy de Charny also stated clearly that the Shroud was from Geoffroy de Charny, not from Jeanne de Vergy.