Archive for the ‘News & Views’ Category

JFK and the Shroud of Turin

November 23, 2015 1 comment

imageJohn Klotz has an interesting posting in his blog, Living Free.  It’s called Yet again, JFK [and the Shroud]. Read it and follow the links.

THE BOOKENDS — beginning:

I am working to update and mold the material in Quantum Christ into a new book tentatively entitled "The Pope and the Apocalypse [and the Shroud?] Distractions abound including four matters that are still in litigation at one stage or another. Also, current events of an apocalyptic nature including the refugee crisis are a necessary distraction but a component of what I will be writing about.

— ending:

This morning there was published on Salon an excerpt from a new book by David Talbot. David is not only the founder and first editor of Salon; he has spent a lifetime digging deep in the JFK assassination. I thoroughly recommend the Salon posting. And the next time some scientific expert or skeptic derides the authenticity of the Shroud as being disproved by the "evidence," think JFK and the Warren Report.

(link shortened by me using Google URL Shortener)

Is it the evidence or the legitimizing and reporting of the evidence?

Categories: News & Views, Other Blogs

Dematerialization 101

November 16, 2015 78 comments

After too much wine, I guess I might imagine that dematerialization might have happened.

clip_image001Though my recent posting, The Process of Resurrection, got few comments (only 14), it did generate some emails to which I here respond without bothering to repeat the content of the emails; you’ll get the gist of them.

No, the Resurrection is not a scientific fact. No John Jackson did not prove any such thing. And no, the “fact” that Jesus walked through a closed door is not evidence that his post-resurrection body had dematerialized. Nor did Jesus tell Mary Magdalene not to touch him because he was mechanically transparent.

The Bible doesn’t even say that Jesus walked through anything. John 20:19 (New Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition) reads:

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

Where does it say that he walked or passed through a door or a wall? Now go read The Process of Resurrection if you haven’t already done so. Read about angels and the in-between. Understand, we are talking metaphorically.

Verse 26 doesn’t offer any support to the idea that Jesus passed through anything:

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

And verse 27 doesn’t say that Jesus had rematerialized mechanically while in the upper room with Thomas:

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”

It doesn’t say that Thomas touched Jesus.  Maybe this was history’s greatest bluff and Thomas was not only a doubter but someone who failed to call that bluff.

Verse 17 does not mean that Jesus’ body was dematerialized:

Jesus said to her “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father…

Wishful imagination is permitted. But it is only wishful imagination. The author of John’s Gospel, whoever he was, could have been more specific. And Jesus could have been clearer.

“Do not doubt but believe,” said Jesus to Thomas.

What we find in the Bible, in John’s Gospel, or in any of the Old or New Testament books, is not scientific fact. And no, it isn’t even evidence. To my way of thinking this is not only true in the fields of science but also so in the objective study of history.  It is not historical fact that Jesus appeared to anyone after his burial. Thus I don’t know if the events in the cenacle happened as John’s Gospel tells it. I don’t know if these events happened at all.

But I do believe the stories; that is a different way of thinking, altogether. I peg my faith on what I believe not on what I know to be fact.

“Do not doubt but believe,” said Jesus to Thomas.

So, I should also tell you what I don’t believe.  I don’t believe that Jesus’ body dematerialized and/or rematerialized, not as part of the Resurrection and not at any other time before the Ascension.  There is no biblical, scientific or historical basis whatsoever for thinking so.

I’m saying I don’t believe it. I’m not saying I believe it didn’t happen. The distinction is in why.

But the shroud proves dematerialization, nonetheless, right?

Wrong! The idea that Jesus’ burial cloth fell through a mechanically transparent body while something energetic created an image on the cloth is complete fantasy.  I turn to the best short answer anyone has ever written on the subject. There is nothing new in what Hugh Farey writes, just wonderfully, right-on, articulate brevity:

[You say:] “The fall-through hypothesis fits the data of the image characteristics.”

Well, of course. The trouble with the fall-through hypothesis is that, being imaginary, its parameters can be adjusted so that it fits whatever observations we want. If a critic were to say that the instantaneous disappearance of 70kg of mass would create a sudden large vacuum which would suck the shroud into a screwed up ball in the middle, then we simply have to invent a physics in which that doesn’t happen. If he says that the energy emitted by such a disappearance would exceed that produced by several megatons of nuclear bomb, vaporising the Shroud and most of Jerusalem with it, we simply invent a physics in which that doesn’t happen either. All we need is for a “body wrapped in the Shroud to become volumetrically radiant […] and simultaneously mechanically transparent, thus offering time-decreasing resistance to the cloth as it collapsed through the body space.” Simples. Made-up physics can explain anything.

After too much wine, I guess I might imagine dematerialization might have happened. After all, nobody can prove it didn’t.

Categories: News & Views

Another Perspective on the Shroud Copy Exhibited at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

November 15, 2015 Comments off

The amazing research that has gone into the identification and authentication of the Shroud of Turin (replica represented in the Exhibit) gave me pause

Kanwal Prakash Singh gives us an interesting perspective from his visit to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (related, see Facebook: Barrie Schwortz on Indianapolis) in the Punjab News Express:

What one sees at the “National Geographic Sacred Journeys” Exhibit that opened on August 29 at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is only one part; what the treasured iconic images and artifacts inspire in our heart and the “pilgrimage” into our deeper self may transform our perceptions and relationships with others may be the real major blessing and sure to initiate interfaith events and journeys of discovery closer to home. That will define the ultimate gift and triumph of the “Sacred Journeys” Exhibit, annual Indy Festival of Faiths, other faith-based efforts, and lead us to learn about and respect this diversity as an important dimension and spectrum of our humanity.

… The Sacred Journeys Exhibit at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis is a carefully-choreographed window to some selected panels of sacred heritage and faith traditions…

Towards the end of the article:

“Sacred Journeys” is especially important for children. In today’s multicultural society, schools, workplaces, an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world, it is important that we know about other cultures and neighbors. If for no other reason, then at least to develop respect: end suspicion, unfounded stereotyping, prejudice; problems of mistaken identity and wrongful associations that are causing many challenges for Sikh Americans and others.


“Sacred Journeys” helped my understanding and awareness. It did not intrude upon faith precepts, commandments, and traditions. The amazing research that has gone into the identification and authentication of the Shroud of Turin (replica represented in the Exhibit) gave me pause about the priceless surviving artifacts and vestments of Sikh Gurus, many hand-written sacred texts, the hallowed history and heritage that presently lie in less than ideal conditions and environment – in old suitcases, closets, untended places in Sikh shrines and with people that may not fully understand their historic and timeless spiritual significance. Witnessing the care, attention, scientific and technological advancements adopted by Abrahamic faiths, gave me a jolt of urgency to draw attention to preservation, safeguarding the sacred in Sikh and other faiths.

Categories: News & Views


November 14, 2015 26 comments
Categories: News & Views

The Process of Resurrection

November 8, 2015 16 comments

imageDuring the past several days, I have noticed several comments with the phrases “resurrection process” or the “process of resurrection.” Why do we think the resurrection was a process?

We are all familiar, at least in principle, with the way a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. It is a process. We can make a time-lapsed movie of it and see each and every step. Some will say they see a miracle unfolding. Others will say it is nothing of the kind; it is a perfectly explainable biological process.

If you were to take the first frame and the last frame from the movie of the process, splice them together and pretend that nothing happened in between then you could pronounce and demonstrate with a very short, two-frame movie that a miracle transformation had taken place without a process.

The resurrection, if we are to believe in it, was a miracle. And if we are to take our knowledge from scripture alone, there was a before and after, a first frame so to speak and a last frame. There was nothing in between that we know about. So, why do we think there was a process? Why do we think, for instance, the body dematerialized such that a cloth might fall through it or that that the body might releases some form of energetic byproduct during the resurrection? Why do we think, as Mark Antonacci suggests that Jesus might have passed through a traversable Lorentzian wormhole in space-time or as Frank Tipler suggests that the process of resurrection might have been a form of electroweak quantum tunneling and the images on the Shroud the consequence of a Sphaleron field?

imageThomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica tried to explain that angels in going from one place to another did not pass through the place in between. Nor did they consume time doing so.

By this sort of local movement an angel may, at will, be present successively in several places and thus may be said to pass through the space between the first and the last place of the series. Or an angel may cease to apply its powers in the first place and begin to apply them in the last, not passing through the space between.

Since there is succession, that is, before-and-after, in the application of an angel’s powers, now here and now there, it must be said that an angel’s local movement occurs in time, and is not instantaneous. This time, however, is not measurable in our minutes or seconds; these units of time are applicable only to bodily movement.

For angels, at least in how they traveled, there is only a first frame and a last frame, so to speak.

Thomas was much into angels and was brilliant at logical speculation. We can leave it at that. We don’t need to agree with the saint. Nonetheless, this notion of his provides a useful metaphor for pondering supernatural action. There is in his imaginings a change of state and no measure of time.

Might the resurrection have been that way? What about other miracles? When Jesus healed the blind man was there a moment in time when the man’s eyesight was partially restored? When Jesus turned water into wine were there moments in time, no matter how brief, when the wine was still mostly water and when – perhaps fractions of nanoseconds later – the water was mostly wine?

Might the resurrection have been just a miracle with a before and after and no in between process?

The problem, for us in the shroud world, is we need something to get that image on the cloth.  Or do we?

Fall Update to

November 1, 2015 3 comments

Here it is, as promised, and right on time. In an email to subscribers, Barrie Schwortz writes:

We are happy to announce that our major Fall Update is now online! Just visit our Late Breaking Website News page for all the details.

This update leads off with my full report on the 49th annual Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Jalsa Salana UK Convention that was held in Hampshire, England, in August of this year, where I was invited to speak by the publishers of the highly respected 113 year old journal, The Review of Religions. I was joined by Pam Moon, who displayed materials from her beautiful Shroud of Turin Exhibition, including a lifesize Shroud replica and lifesize prints. The article also includes many photographs and videos from the event.

We have also added the next ten issues of Rex Morgan’s Shroud News, a report on the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Exhibit, a memorial for the passing of two long time Shroud researchers and an article about another relic that is of interest to Shroud researchers.

You will also find a large selection of recently published Shroud articles and papers, a list of recently published books and newly released videos, news of a special sale on our backlit Shroud transparencies in PhotoGlow frames from our Website Store page, important information about our 20th anniversary update coming on January 21, 2016and much more.

This update is a big one and should keep you busy through the holidays, so enjoy reading all the new material!…

CONTRIBUTE:  With this update, STERA, Inc. begins its annual fundraising campaign.  STERA, which operates is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit. Here is a Financial Summary. As you can readily see by it, even a small tax-deductible contribution can make a big difference.

Here is a linked up table of contents for the Late Breaking Website News page:

Picture is inline at Caption reads:  “Arif Khan and Barrie Schwortz on Live TV to 50 Million Viewers in Africa. … ©2015 Review of Religions

Categories: Other Sites

Ye Denizens of Shroudsponge

October 29, 2015 2 comments

“You can prove anything with the Bible.”

— My Grandmother*

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Just About Everyone Who Ever Lived

* I looked long and hard for the original author of the phrase about proving anything with the Bible. Not finding anything in cyberspace, I concluded that my grandmother thought this up all by herself.

And if you need an example, Colin Berry, just a couple of days ago, offered this afterthought in a long multi-topic  blog post titled, Might flour-power have been used create the enigmatic “Shroud” of Turin body image? A retired FMBRA flour scientist says … (the ellipsis are his and the following reference to the “denizens of the shroudsponge” is certainly a reference to the readers of this blog):

Hard though it is to believe, the denizens of the shroudsponge site are STILL returning again and again to what are seen as allegedly conflicting NT accounts re burial garments. (oh no they’re not).

As stated here before, MANY, MANY TIMES, there is no conflict whatsoever between the “sindon” (single large linen sheet) supplied to the cross by Joseph of Arimathea (as per 3 synoptic gospels), intended for discreet transport of a naked or near-naked body to the nearby tomb, and the “othonia”, assumed to be a narrow winding strip (or strips) supplied by Nicodemus and taken direct to the tomb, along with that 100lbs of myrrh and aloes.

Even those 12th century Hungarian monks charged with providing simple pen-drawn illustrations for the Pray Codex had no difficulty whatsoever in reconciling those two separate sources of linen, providing us with a ‘snapshot’ of one replacing the other!

You may click on the image to see it on Colin’s website. The caption for the image reads:

Hungarian Pray Codex (1192). Note the presence of TWO separate linens – Joseph of Arimathea’s beneath the corpse, having served its transport function, and the narrow winding strip in readiness as the permanent burial shroud. (Whether the medieval mind was correct in assuming ‘othonia’ to represent a narrow bandage-like winding is an entirely separate issue from that of TWO separate linens (sensible interpretation) v the self-serving notion prevailing in sindonology that J of A’s linen was somehow intended to be dual-purpose, thereby air-brushing out John’s testimony re Nicodemus having supplied additional linen replacing J of A’s transport linen, to serve as final burial shroud).

Categories: Other Blogs
%d bloggers like this: