Archive for the ‘How do we know’ Category

The Makeshift Body Bag of Turin

November 27, 2014 186 comments

New angle on that much over-hyped Hungarian Pray Codex . . .

image“Please be content for now with another new claim,” writes Colin Berry. . .

the so-called Turin Shroud was never intended to represent the final burial shroud. It was a makeshift body bag used to transport Jesus from the cross to his final resting place, the rock tomb. It was simply to provide a dignified transport of a blood and sweat-soaked victim pending the final washing and anointing prior to final burial, probably in WINDING sheets. It was the body bag that received the sweat and blood imprint, NOT the final burial shroud enclosing a washed, anointed, perfumed body.

(I used the same picture, above that Colin used because it effectively makes his point).

imageColin extensively examines scripture to support this contention. And then from left field:

New angle on that much over-hyped Hungarian Pray Codex: might that be Jesus on an opened-out body bag in the upper picture, with the replacement snake-like linen for winding in readiness?

But as Colin notes:

I never imagined for one moment that I was the first to propose the ‘body bag’ hypothesis, in view of the Gospel accounts making clear that ‘fine linen’ was used for immediate transport from cross to tomb. And here’s a comment from David Mo that includes a French quote (my italics) making precisely  the same point. My immediate response follows:

Here is what David Mo wrote (translation by Google):

More interesting: "The other Shroud which also bears an imprint of Jesus Christ is the one body called the Shroud of Besancon. The painting is not so strong or if the features that distinguish the Shroud of Turin. This is what has been told to those who gave the history of the one and the other, that of Turin had been used to wrap the body bloodied at the descent from the cross, and that of Besançon had been used to bury him after he was washed & embalmed. " It was a common belief que la mark Shroud of Turin Was Made with blood.

Colin tells us that:

Ian Wilson no less has expressed views that chime with mine (my bolding)

Wilson concurs with this as a possible explanation: "Although this may have been a me re chin band, it implies a more substantial piece of linen, and an alternative interpretation is that it could have been the Shroud we know today. The root meaning ofsudarion is sweat cloth, and the Shroud may have been intended as a temporary wrapping to soak up the sweat and blood from the body prior to a more definitive burial, which would have taken place after the Passover Sabbath." (emphasis is Colin’s)

Is the image disappearing?

November 25, 2014 3 comments

imageA reader asks a question:

A friend told me that the image is disappearing not because it is fading but because the whole cloth is getting darker while the image is not. Is that true? Can it be treated with something to prevent it from happening?

According to Bryan Walsh, Alan Adler offered the following comments at the Richmond Shroud Conference in 1999:

The image on the Shroud is a conjugated carbonyl. Since the image fibers are at or near saturation and the surrounding cloth isn’t, the surrounding cloth will gradually get darker and darker with time until the image first becomes a silhouette and later finally disappears altogether. It is imperative, therefore, that we MUST archive, using the best possible imaging techniques available, the entire Shroud if only to preserve it for posterity.

I don’t know if this information has been confirmed by others. It should be important to know this for sure.  As for treating the cloth, I don’t know, but I very much doubt that anyone would want to. It certainly isn’t a painting in want of restoration. Much better to examine it now, as best we can, and continue to make high definition images for future generations. 

Must See: The Informative Mark Evans Photomicrographs

November 18, 2013 56 comments

we should wonder if “the structure of the TS fibers itself and/or the presence
of a thin layer of impurities at the surface of the whole fabric
play a crucial role in the image forming process.”

imageThibault Heimburger has put together an extraordinary collection of Mark Evans photomicrographs (from 1978) to which he has added some comments. I had hoped to simply display all of the pictures here along with the captions. So far, I haven’t succeeded. These are large scale images contained in a single PDF file and I have not been able to extract some of them from the file. Nonetheless, I can provide you with the PDF file and you can view the images that way.

You should note the following from the first page of the PDF:


©Thibault Heimburger- November 2013 (for the captions and comments).

All the pictures are ©STERA, Inc. They are shown here with the kind authorization of Barrie Schwortz.

They can be used only for research purpose.

The pictures are shown “as received” although I have used a GIMP filter with the same parameters for all of the pictures to slightly improve the sharpness.

The single image on this blog page is a small piece of the image in Figure 4-1 in the PDF.

If I can find a better way to exhibit all the photographs, I will do so. In the meantime, load up the PDF file and explore. This, at least, should get the conversation going.

If you want the URL to paste into your viewer/browser of choice it is:

Today’s How do we know: the man’s bones were not broken

October 22, 2013 6 comments

imageJohn’s gospel offers prophetic fulfillment in telling us that none of Jesus’ bones were broken. This is important, theologically, because the law of Moses says that the Passover lamb must not have any bones broken.

Looking at the image of the man pictured on the shroud we see no convincing evidence of broken bones, although some have suggested that the man’s nose seems broken. But there is no way to know from the image on the shroud.

To use this observation as evidence of anything is trivial.

Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)- Salvador Dali

Categories: How do we know
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