BING: My iPhone binged in the night to let me know an email I was waiting for had just arrived. Amazon was letting me know that the book I had pre-ordered, Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels, had arrived on 1) my laptop, 2) my iPhone and 3) my Kindle reader at 12:13 am on the very day the book was released. This is the book that is a companion to the upcoming CNN special.
If you haven’t ordered it yet, you can do so now and be reading the book in a matter of minutes. Your laptop is all you need though I prefer an iPad. In the U.S. the price is $12.99.*
I immediately turned to the last chapter of the book. It pertains to the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium. There are three major parts to the chapter:
- The Man of the Shroud,
- The Shroud of History and
- The Shroud of Science.
After 3 cups of way-too-early-in-the-morning strong coffee, I’m happy with what I read. It dovetails nicely, though not in every detail, with what I think is true about the shroud.
The authors even discussed one of my favorite elements of history, a third-century bit of Gnostic poetry from the Gospel of Thomas known as the Hymn of the Pearl (or the Hymn of the Soul). I quote from the book:
… but suddenly, [when] I saw the garment made like unto me as it had been in a mirror. And I beheld upon it all myself (or saw it wholly in myself) and I knew and saw myself through it, that we were divided asunder, being of one; and again were one in one shape.”
The last paragraph of the last chapter of the book reads:
Both the scientist and the cleric come to the same conclusion about where the Shroud fits in the story of mankind. “Personally, from my involvement in research on the shroud for almost forty years,” says physicist John Jackson,
“and the wealth of scientific data that we did acquire, I do think that this is the historical burial cloth of Jesus.” Fr. James Martin says, “When we look at the authenticity of the shroud, my gut tells me that it’s real.” At the same time, he ventures that the story will continue: “It is a relic that produces more questions than answers … I don’t think we’ll ever get to the heart of the mystery of the Shroud of Turin.”
ANOTHER BING: Another email. The audio version just arrived from Audible.com at 4:33 am. Perfect. I have a dental appointment later this morning and so I’ll put some ear buds in my ears and start listening to the book from the beginning.
* BTW: If you haven’t ordered John Klotz’ The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness, do that while ordering Finding Jesus. It will only set you back another ten bucks. John will thank you and you will thank me for recommending it.