Thursday, December 17, 2009

Burial shroud proves Turin Shroud not from 1st century C.E. Jerusalem?

The Web is abuzz with the news of the discovery (reported in 2003) in a Jerusalem tomb of fragments of a 1st century (part

[Above (click to enlarge): A sample of this shroud, showing its simple two-way weave: National Geographic.]

woollen) burial shroud with a simple weave which (somehow) proves that the Shroud of Turin was not from 1st century Jerusalem! See ABC, AFP, BBC, CNN, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Irish Times, Jerusalem Post, JTA, National Geographic, New York Daily News, ScienceDaily and The Times, for example.

But clearly it is statistically fallacious that, from a sample of two surviving 1st century Jerusalem shrouds, out of what must have been many thousands from that area and time that have not survived, to deduce that all those thousands of shrouds that did not survive were like only one of these two surviving shrouds, and therefore the other surviving one must be a fake.

Quite frankly the archaeologist who made this fallacious and unscientific claim, Shimon Gibson, should be ashamed of himself,

[Above (click to enlarge): Archaeologist Shimon Gibson inside a burial cave on the edge of Jerusalem's Old City, where shroud remains from the Jesus-era were discovered in 2000: Daily Mail.]

as should all those journalists who mindlessly regurgitated his press release without asking the obvious question of how exactly can the fact that one surviving 1st century Jerusalem shroud has a simple weave, prove that another burial shroud with a more complex weave (the Shroud of Turin), is not also from 1st century Jerusalem?

Anyway, there is a glaring contradiction in what Gibson says elsewhere that completely invalidates his argument against the Shroud of Turin (see below)!

I will here comment on the original press release, in EurekAlert! , with its words in bold to distinguish them from mine.

DNA of Jesus-era shrouded man in Jerusalem reveals earliest case of leprosy: Burial shroud proves Turin Shroud not from 1st century C.E. Jerusalem, EurekAlert! 16-Dec-2009, Rebecca Zeffert, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem My first comment is about the sub-title, "Burial shroud proves Turin Shroud not from 1st century C.E. Jerusalem." This is gratuitous and has nothing to do with the discovery that "DNA of Jesus-era shrouded man in Jerusalem reveals earliest case of leprosy." But then there is no fame and fortune (because the National Geographic article is independent of the press release, I suspect it is behind this anti-Shroud of Turin angle for a future TV documentary, like its fraudulent "Jesus Family Tomb" beat-up) in merely reporting the actual scientific facts, that a DNA test of the remains revealed the presence of leprosy. It is noteworthy that in Gibson's co-authored scientific paper, "Molecular Exploration of the First-Century Tomb of the Shroud in Akeldama, Jerusalem," PLoS ONE, December 16, 2009, there is no mention of the Shroud of Turin!

[Above (click to enlarge): The tomb where the shroud was found: Daily Mail]

The DNA of a 1st century shrouded man found in a tomb on the edge of the Old City of Jerusalem has revealed the earliest proven case of leprosy. Details of the research will be published December 16 in the PloS ONE Journal. .... The archaeological excavation was led by Prof. Shimon Gibson ... on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The burial cave, which is known as the Tomb of the Shroud, is located in the lower Hinnom Valley and is part of a 1st century C.E. cemetery known as Akeldama or 'Field of Blood' (Matthew 27:3-8; Acts 1:19) - next to the area where Judas is said to have committed suicide. The tomb of the shrouded man is located next to the tomb of Annas, the high priest (6-15 C.E.), who was the father in law of Caiaphas, the high priest who betrayed Jesus to the Romans [Jn 18:13] . It is thus thought that this shrouded man was either a priest or a member of the aristocracy. According to Prof. Gibson, the view from the tomb would have looked directly toward the Jewish Temple. Note how the Bible's place and names are archaeologically accurate!

No second burial What is particularly rare about this tomb is that it was clear this man, which is dated by radiocarbon methods to 1-50 C.E., did not receive a secondary burial. Secondary burials were common practice at the time, where the bones were removed after a year and placed in an ossuary (a stone bone box). This would help explain why so few Jewish burial shrouds have been discovered (there is only one other to my knowledge-from Jericho). But even when they are discovered, as in this case, they are just fragments, having covered a decomposed body. This is one of the proofs that the Shroud of Turin is Jesus' - that it was separated from its body before decomposition set in:

"The New Testament asserts that Jesus' body did not undergo corruption (Acts 2:22-32) but that he was raised from the dead. ... Here we will simply note the parallel with the Shroud. There are no signs of decomposition on the Shroud. Additionally, the bloodstains are anatomically perfect and have not been smeared by the linen being separated from the body. This parallel is especially interesting because we have many ancient burial shrouds showing decomposition stains. Thus we have to estimate the probability that another crucified man's body was somehow removed from its burial shroud before it decomposed, and in such a way that the wounds were not smeared. " (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R. , 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, p.127).

In this case, however, the entrance to this part of the tomb was completely sealed with plaster. Prof. Spigelman believes this is due to the fact that this man had suffered from leprosy and died of tuberculosis, as the DNA of both diseases was found in his bones. Historically, disfiguring diseases - particularly leprosy - caused the afflicted individuals to be ostracized from their communities. However, a number of indications - the location and size of the tomb, the type of textiles used as shroud wrappings, and the clean state of the hair -

[Above (click to enlarge): A sample of hair of the shrouded man, which had been ritually cut before burial: EurekaAlert!]

suggest that the shrouded individual was a fairly affluent member of society in Jerusalem and that tuberculosis and leprosy may have crossed social boundaries in the first century C.E. It is significant that this press release does not mention what "the type of textiles used as shroud wrappings" were, namely "something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles":

"The newfound shroud was something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles, the study found. The Shroud of Turin, by contrast, is made of a single textile woven in a complex twill pattern, a type of cloth not known to have been available in the region until medieval times, Gibson said. Despite its simpler weave, the new textile offers evidence for the apparently elite status of the corpse, he added. The way the wool in the shroud was spun indicates it had been imported from elsewhere in the Mediterranean-something a wealthy Jerusalem family from this period would likely have done." (Milstein, M., "Shroud of Turin Not Jesus', Tomb Discovery Suggests," National Geographic, December 16, 2009)

presumably because it would tend to undermine Gibson's comparison with the all-linen Shroud of Turin.

Disproves Turin Shroud? This is also the first time fragments of a burial shroud have been found from the time of Jesus in Jerusalem. The shroud is very different to that of the Turin Shroud, hitherto assumed to be the one that was used to wrap the body of Jesus. Unlike the complex weave of the Turin Shroud, this is made up of a simple two-way weave, as the textiles historian Dr. Orit Shamir was able to show. Note the question mark after "Disproves the Turin Shroud." Being scientists they must know that just because this shroud has one type of weave, that cannot logically be used to disprove that another shroud with a different type of weave, i.e. the Shroud of Turin, is also of 1st century Jerusalem.

Based on the assumption that this is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus, the researchers conclude that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem. That "assumption" is statistically invalid that this one burial shroud "is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus." In fact it is contradicted by Gibson's own claim in the National Geographic article above that:

"The way the wool in the shroud was spun indicates it had been imported from elsewhere in the Mediterranean - something a wealthy Jerusalem family from this period would likely have done."

So on Gibson's own admission, his shroud is not "representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus." As stated previously, this contradicts and completely invalidates Gibson's argument against the Shroud of Turin!

Besides, it has never been claimed as an argument in favour of the Shroud of Turin that it is typical of first century Jewish burial shrouds in the type and quality of its weave, because "we know from the Gospels that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and it was he who provided the Shroud used to bury Jesus":

"Dr. Raes reported that the Shroud was indeed woven of linen with a three-to-one herringbone twill with a Z-twist and that it is sewn with linen thread (all the warp, weft and sewing threads of the Shroud are of linen). He noted that the yarn was indicative of a good-quality workmanship and the weave density an average of a little over thirty-five threads per centimeter, corresponding favorably with the thirty thread per centimeter average of the finest Egyptian mummy fabrics. The normal weave in Palestinian, Roman and Egyptian loom-technology was a one-over-one. The three-to-one herringbone twill was a more refined weave. It would have been an expensive piece of cloth for the first century. However, we know from the Gospels that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and it was he who provided the Shroud used to bury Jesus (Mt 27:57-61). " (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin," p.13).

The excavation also found a clump of the shrouded man's hair, which had been ritually cut prior to his burial. These are both unique discoveries because organic remains are hardly ever preserved in the Jerusalem area owing to high humidity levels in the ground. Again, since the convergence of botanical evidence proves that the Shroud of Turin is from an area a "mere twenty miles between Hebron and Jerusalem," i.e. "the same environs in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and died":

"As Danin sums up ... superimposing the known distribution sites of Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum and Cistus creticus, together with three further specific pollen types confirmed to be on the Shroud ... the very narrow geographical region that all these plants share in common is the mere twenty miles between Hebron and Jerusalem ... the conclusion is inescapable ... at some time in its history the Turin Shroud positively must have been in the same environs in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and died." (Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," p.92).

and that shrouds (being made of linen or wool and therefore organic) are like other "organic remains ... hardly ever preserved in the Jerusalem area owing to high humidity levels in the ground," the rarity of this discovery supports the Shroud of Turin being Jesus' and its image of Him was formed supernaturally by His resurrection.

Social health in antiquity ... the origins and development of leprosy are largely obscure. Leprosy in the Old Testament may well refer to skin rashes such as psoriasis. The leprosy known to us today was thought to have originated in India and brought over to the Near East and to Mediterranean countries in the Hellenistic period. The results from the first-century C.E. Tomb of the Shroud fill a vital gap in our knowledge of this disease. .... This is the real scientific significance of this find. So Gibson's tacking on of the "disproves the Turn Shroud?" angle was, I suspect, to gain fame and funding from National Geographic.

But because the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus it will backfire in the end. Indeed, as already noted, the fragmentary and decomposed state of this shroud, its rarity due to the "high humidity levels in the ground" in "the Jerusalem area" and the fact that the Shroud of Turin is from the Jerusalem area (see above), is more evidence for the Shroud of Turin being the burial sheet of Jesus and bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

PS: Another reason why Gibson's argument is fallacious is that it assumes that the linen of the Shroud of Turin was intended to be a burial shroud. But the Bible only says that "Joseph [of Arimathea] bought some linen cloth ..." (Mk 15:46) which he then used as a burial shroud for Jesus' body. And that Joseph had to buy the linen cloth in a hurry, because "the Sabbath was about to begin" (Lk 23:54). Therefore it is entirely possible and consistent with the Biblical evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin was intended, not for a burial shroud, but for clothing, as Hoare pointed out:

"While the exact time and place of manufacture are uncertain, there can be no doubt that the Shroud is a beautifully made length of cloth, and probably cost a very great deal. This has prompted the suggestion that it was intended as apparel rather than a shroud. [Tyrer, J., "Looking at the Turin Shroud as a Textile," Textile Horizons, December 1981, pp.20-23, p.22] There is a lot of sense to this. A shroud would probably have been made from the simplest weave, which is why the funeral cloths that have been preserved from early times are nearly all plain weave. Garments do not survive so frequently. Incidentally, it is worth noting that this material would have been allowed under the Mosaic Law, for in the Mishna flax may have impurities of cotton. Mixtures of flax and wool were strictly forbidden, however; as it says in Leviticus (19:19), `Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not ... neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.'" (Hoare, R., 1995, "The Turin Shroud Is Genuine: The Irrefutable Evidence," Souvenir Press: London, p.18).

Stephen E. Jones, BSc.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!


"A Danin sums up, particularly from superimposing the known distribution sites of Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum and Cistus creticus, together with three further specific pollen types confirmed to be on the Shroud, 19 [Lomelosia (Scabiosa) prolifera (L) Greuter et Burdet, Cistus incanus-type and Cistus salvifoliustype] the very narrow geographical region that all these plants share in common is the mere twenty miles between Hebron and Jerusalem. [Danin, A., "Micro-traces of plants on the Shroud of Turin as geographical markers," in Scannerini, S. & Savarino, P., eds, "The Turin Shroud: Past, Present and Future," International scientific symposium, Turin, 2-5 March 2000," Effatà: Cantalupa, 2000, pp.495-500] So the conclusion is inescapable, in the very teeth of the radiocarbon dating, that at some time in its history the Turin Shroud positively must have been in the same environs in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and died." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B. , 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.92. Emphasis original).

Updated: 25 July 2015

22 comments:

gabirol said...

Thank you for your quick response to that unscientific claim.

I completely agree with you. The Gibson claim, as you say, is statistically fallacious at all. I think that it is totally absurd.

Curiously (and suspiciously), all these “news” are being released just before the forthcoming shroud exhibition at Turin.

Thank you once more.

Stephen E. Jones said...

gabirol

>Thank you for your quick response to that unscientific claim.

Thanks for comment. I regard it as important to rapidly counter any misinformation about the Shroud.

Most of the major Shroud sites are just too slow in responding to rapidly breaking news about the Shroud. This is a comparative advantage in me being a private blogger who is semi-retired.

>I completely agree with you. The Gibson claim, as you say, is statistically fallacious at all. I think that it is totally absurd.

Yes. It is so absurd that as a scientist Gibson surely cannot actually believe it? Especially when he admits that his shroud is not even Jewish, but was imported from elsewhere in the Mediterranean!

I therefore suspect it is an attempt by Gibson and/or National Geographic to make money by a book and/or TV documentary.

>Curiously (and suspiciously), all these “news” are being released just before the forthcoming shroud exhibition at Turin.

Yes. But actually it might have the reverse effect and make more people interested in the Shroud! As per the old Hollywood maxim: "there is no such thing as bad publicity"!

Stephen E. Jones

maria da glória said...

I guess this claim is absolutely preposterous how can the discovery of shroud fragment with a kind of twill prove that another shroud was not weaved in same period?
Experts in ancient textiles concluded that the Shroud of Turin was weaved in an middle east loom and textile expert Dr.Mechtild-Fleury Lembert stated that the Shroud of Turin had a kind of stitching similar to the ones found in Masada fortress
In the name of all Shroudies I thank you for your quick rebuttal

Maria da Glória

CENTRO PORTUGÊS DE SINDONOLOGIA

Stephen E. Jones said...

Maria

Thanks for your comment. And for your other comments in defence of the Shroud that I have read on the Internet.

>I guess this claim is absolutely preposterous how can the discovery of shroud fragment with a kind of twill prove that another shroud was not weaved in same period?

Yes. It is so preposterous that as a scientist Gibson surely could not believe it, so I assume he must have an ulterior motive, like money.

>Experts in ancient textiles concluded that the Shroud of Turin was weaved in an middle east loom and textile expert Dr.Mechtild-Fleury Lembert stated that the Shroud of Turin had a kind of stitching similar to the ones found in Masada fortress

Yes. Being made partly of wool and having been imported from the Mediterranean, as claimed by Gibson in the National Geographic article, it is Gibson's shroud that is not representative.

>In the name of all Shroudies I thank you for your quick rebuttal

Thanks for your feedback, which is much appreciated.

>CENTRO PORTUGÊS DE SINDONOLOGIA

I found your blog Centro Português de Sindonologia but I cannot read Portuguese. Your English is so good, as are your defences of the Shroud (e.g. on Silly Beliefs), I would encourage you to consider a parallel English translation of your blog.

Stephen E. Jones

George Weis said...

Well done Stephen!

I thank you for continuing this work.
Your collection of knowledge on this subject is wonderful, and I have used it more than one time to talk about Christ. Again, this is not the basis of my own faith, but it is what I like to think of as a nice little evidence trail pointing to the Messiah.

Belated Christmas blessings to you and yours,

-g-

Stephen E. Jones said...

George

>Well done Stephen!
>
>I thank you for continuing this work.

Thanks again for your comment.

>Your collection of knowledge on this subject is wonderful, and I have used it more than one time to talk about Christ.

Thanks for this encouragement, which is very much appreciated.

>Again, this is not the basis of my own faith, but it is what I like to think of as a nice little evidence trail pointing to the Messiah.

Same here. I was a Christian for nearly 40 years before I discovered the Shroud. So if the Shroud was a fake, it would not affect my Christian faith. There are also many (if not most) Christians who, either through ignorance or prejudice, like I did, just assume the Shroud cannot be authentic.

But for the majority of non-Christians, if they thought the Shroud was genuine, it would affect their faith in non-Christianity! Although it has to be conceded that there are a minority of non-Christians who do accept that the Shroud is authentic, because the evidence for it being Jesus' burial sheet is overwhelming, and they are somehow able to reconcile their non-Christianity with it.

>Belated Christmas blessings to you and yours,

Thanks. And the same to you and yours.

Stephen E. Jones

George Weis said...

Stephen, I have also been able to share this with many Christians... often I receive rather strange looks when I talk about it. It seems as though many Christians today of a variety of camps, think that something so fantastic is very questionable. But from my viewpoint, the same Lord that was raised to life, could certainly allow for such a blessing to be deposited in a physical form. He is just that wonderful to us!

Still others do receive it well, and it is so enjoyable to see their eyes light up. This item is good to think on. With all the overwhelming evidence, it only furthers the delight I have in Christ. He is worthy of our praises!

Blessings and peace,
-g-

Stephen E. Jones said...

George

>I have also been able to share this with many Christians... often I receive rather strange looks when I talk about it. It seems as though many Christians today of a variety of camps, think that something so fantastic is very questionable.

We are all infected to varying degrees with the dominant philosophy of our age, Naturalism, i.e. nature is all there is, there is no supernatural.

I have debated with Christians who are almost practical atheists, i.e. they live almost as though there is no God.

Then there are Protestant Christians who are opposed to the Shroud because it is Roman Catholic, not realising there were no Protestants until 1517 and the RC church did not own the Shroud until 1983 and it has always hedged its bets on the Shroud's authenticity.

A quote in historian Robert Drews' (a non-Christian who accepts the Shroud is 1st century and of Jesus but it is a form of imprinting now lost to us) book hits the nail on the head, why even most Christians (including me until 2005) dismiss the Shroud out of hand as a fake, "The Shroud ... is obviously too good to be true."

"That the scholarly world has been so reluctant to turn its attention to the Shroud may at first glance seem puzzling, but is explicable all the same. The Shroud is a sheet of linen bearing frontal and dorsal images of a body said to be the crucified body of Jesus Christ. This sensational, or even preposterous, claim is itself an explanation for the indifference of scholarly historians: an object touted as a memento from the crucifixion of Jesus, and so from the central episode in Western history, is obviously too good to be true." (Drews, R., "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Allanheld: Totowa NJ, 1984, p.2).

>But from my viewpoint, the same Lord that was raised to life, could certainly allow for such a blessing to be deposited in a physical form. He is just that wonderful to us!

Yes. But we Christians often forget that we worship a God "who is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we ask or IMAGINE" (Eph 3:20)!

>Still others do receive it well, and it is so enjoyable to see their eyes light up.

Great! Interest in the Shroud is definitely picking up. The news stories about the supposed debunkings only create more interest in it, as the public increasingly asks, "why all these continuing new claims to debunk the Shroud when it was supposedly proven to be a fake over 20 years ago?"

The 2010 exposition of the Shroud should create even greater interest in it. It will be for us Shroudies a VERY Happy New Year!

Stephen E. Jones

Maria da Glória said...

Dear Professor Stephen Jones
Thanks for your kind words.
If you allow me I´d like to add some textile facts that point the Shroud beeing woven in the first century.
Besides the stitching similar to the one found in Masada fortress clothes dating from 70 A.D. Shroud of Turin yarn has not uniform color due to chemical bleaching producing image artifacts the so called variegated pattern.In medieval times artisans after weaving the fabric used to bleach it by sunlight so it could have uniform color.
Another important aspect,topmost fibers of Shroud of Turin threads have a polysaccharide layer -which by a chemical process of dehydration and oxidation changed color producing the image effect.
this polysacccharide layer is just the residue of washing the cloth in a saponaria officinalis solution
The way the Shroud of Turin was made fits with the method described by roman historian of first century Pliny the Elder in his book Natural History.
The 3:1 herringbone twill of the Shroud indicates no doubt an expensive fabric but Joseph of Arimathea was wealthy enough to afford it.
Trying to disauthenticate the Shroud of Turin with such a weak claim is ludicrous.

best regards
Maria da Glória
CENTRO PORTUGUÊS DE SINDONOLOGIA

Stephen E. Jones said...

Maria

Thanks again for your comments. My added points below are for other readers, not for you, because I assume you already know them.

>Dear Professor Stephen Jones

Thanks, but it's just plain old Mister!

>If you allow me I´d like to add some textile facts that point the Shroud beeing woven in the first century.
Besides the stitching similar to the one found in Masada fortress clothes dating from 70 A.D.

Yes. See "Cloths from the Masada Fortress and their Implications in the Quest for the Historical Jesus."

>Shroud of Turin yarn has not uniform color due to chemical bleaching producing image artifacts the so called variegated pattern.In medieval times artisans after weaving the fabric used to bleach it by sunlight so it could have uniform color.

Another good point. That `medieval forger' must have been VERY clever to think of that also! ;-)

>Another important aspect,topmost fibers of Shroud of Turin threads have a polysaccharide layer -which by a chemical process of dehydration and oxidation changed color producing the image effect.
this polysacccharide layer is just the residue of washing the cloth in a saponaria officinalis solution

Which is a plant "Common Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) ... a common perennial plant from the carnation family ... The scientific name Saponaria is derived from the Latin sapo (stem sapon-) meaning "soap," which, like its common name, refers to its utility in cleaning. ... Soapwort's native range extends throughout Europe to western Siberia [including Israel] ... As the name implies, it can be used as a very gentle soap, usually in dilute solution. It has been used to clean delicate or unique fabrics, such as the Turin shroud for example." ("Common Soapwort," Wikipedia, 8 August 2009).

>The way the Shroud of Turin was made fits with the method described by roman historian of first century Pliny the Elder in his book Natural History.

Yes. See "Pliny the Elder - Natural History." How could a forger know all this? And why would he BOTHER in the 14th century (actually the 7th century or earlier because he would also have had to have forged the Sudarium of Oviedo) when the public then would have been fooled by FAR LESS?

>The 3:1 herringbone twill of the Shroud indicates no doubt an expensive fabric but Joseph of Arimathea was wealthy enough to afford it.

Yes. Mt 27:57 says that Joseph of Arimathea was "a rich man" and Mk 15:46 says he "bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock." That is, Joseph of Arimathea , who was "a disciple of Jesus" (Mt 27:57; Jn 19:38), and risked all to claim the crucified body of Jesus and then buried it in his own new tomb, would have bought the most expensive linen shroud available in Jerusalem. So in that sense the Shroud was not typical, because it was top-of-the-range 1st century Jewish.

>Trying to disauthenticate the Shroud of Turin with such a weak claim is ludicrous.

Agreed. All these claims are so weak they help confirm the Shroud IS what it appears to be: the burial sheet of Jesus, bearing the image of His crucified and RESURRECTED body!

Stephen E. Jones

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Stephen E. Jones said...

Thesis Writing Help

>this kind of blog always useful for blog readers, it helps people during research. your post is one of the same for blog readers.

Thanks. But if your poor English is an example of your thesis writing help, then it is a case of "Physician, heal yourself!" (Luke 4:23)!

And as I told another commenter whose pseudonym contained a link to a website where students can apparently buy papers that they can then submit as though it was their own work:

"If this is so, I regard it as a form of academic fraud and, however much I would like students to be aware of the information in my post ... I do not consent to the use of this or any information in my blog to help perpetrate academic fraud."

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

Many people speak in favor of the shroud of Turin. Some people are against the shroud. The Bible bears witness against the shroud and indicates it for false and a fake. This article points out in the light of the Bible that the shroud of Turin is a fake:

http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/shroudofturin.html

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>The Bible bears witness against the shroud and indicates it for false and a fake.

No. The Shroud is fully consistent with the Bible and in fact supports the Gospels' account of Jesus suffering, death and resurrection. As an evangelical Christian, the Shroud would never have got to first base with me if there were major discrepencies between it and the Bible.

There are many books on the Shroud by Christians who have pointed that out. For example, Stevenson & Habermas' "Verdict on the Shroud" (1981) have a whole chapter, "The New Testament and the Shroud." Their "The Shroud and the Controversy" (1990) answers many other Biblical objections. Habermas is a leading Bible-believing evangelical theologian and he fully deals with all the Biblical issues.

>This article points out in the light of the Bible that the shroud of Turin is a fake:

http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/shroudofturin.html

Thanks for the link. But the article is wrong on all its key points. Significantly his reference list does not include any actual books on the Shroud, which discuss the Biblical and Jewish issues at depth. It is typical of well-meaning but uninformed criticism of the Shroud by some Christians.

Also, many of the leading Shroud advocates are Jewish, including Barrie Schwortz, the owner of the world's leading Shroud website, Shroud.com, and in online interviews he has defended the compatibility of the Shroud with both 1st century Jewish custom and the Bible. A Jewish scholar called Victor Tunkel has defended the Shroud's compatibility with 1st century Jewish burial customs. A Google search on "Shroud" and "Tunkel" together will bring up quotes by him defending the Shroud's authenticity from a Jewish perspective. See also, "Jewish Burial Practices" at The Shroud Report.

I may answer that webpage in detail in a separate post. Or I may deal with those issues more generally in my new series, "Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus!" under #9 Objections.

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

I have a question for you. I've watched so many shroud shows I'm getting them all confused. It seems I saw one where they showed a painting on a cave house in Turkey or somewhere showing a nativity with the infant Jesus wrapped in herringbone swaddling clothes. This show was attempting to follow the history of the shroud. Do you know the name of that show?

Thanks
reply to:
M.R.
greenpilgrim50@yahoo.com

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>... shroud shows ... It seems I saw one where they showed a painting on a cave house in Turkey or somewhere showing a nativity with the infant Jesus wrapped in herringbone swaddling clothes.

Sorry, but I am not aware that there is any Shroud painting matching that description.

>This show was attempting to follow the history of the shroud. Do you know the name of that show?

I also am not aware of that show. Down here in Australia we don't get many TV Shroud documentaries.

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

I think the evidence Gibson has put-forth actually points this burial to a NON-Jew...Rich maybe but not a 'pias' Jew anyways. Two points you make in your blog; the mixture of linen and wool, and the fact Jewish law stated burial linens must be of 'common' make and not elaborate are very important...Plus the fact this man suffered of the so mentioned deceases and these deceases were not common in the Jewish population of the time. I think Gibson as you say should be ashamed of his 'Jumping to Conclusions' method of archaeology.

Keep up the good work Stephen!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>I think the evidence Gibson has put-forth actually points this burial to a NON-Jew... Two points you make in your blog; the mixture of linen and wool ... are very important...

Agreed. But I could have made it clearer that the Old Testament prohibited Jews wearing clothes "made of two kinds of material" (Lev 19:19); and in particular "You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together" (Dt 22:11); so the wearer of this shroud was most probably not a Jew.

>Plus the fact this man suffered of the so mentioned deceases and these deceases were not common in the Jewish population of the time.

Disagree. The Gospels record Jesus commanding His disciples to "cleanse lepers" (Mt 10:8), which implies that leprosy was then prevalent among Jews, since at that stage His ministry was only to Jews (Mt 10:1).

And Jesus' reply to John the Baptist's question whether He was the Messiah, including that "lepers are cleansed" (Mt 11:5; Lk 7:22), indicates it was a major part of Jesus' healing ministry.

>I think Gibson as you say should be ashamed of his 'Jumping to Conclusions' method of archaeology.

Agreed. But he gained fame and no doubt fortune by it.

>Keep up the good work Stephen!

Thanks for the encouragement.

Stephen E. Jones

John De Herrera said...

the Turin linen features an intricate twill weave. The newly found cloth is made up of a simpler two-way weave."
The Jesus burial shroud was supplied by Joseph of Arimathea, who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus. Joseph and Nicodemus brought abundant spices and wrapped Christ's body in a fine linen cloth. Joseph was a wealthy man, traveled to distant lands, obviously the shroud was the finest he could find – not a local weave. He had prepared the tomb and obviously the "fine linen' cloth for his own use. The fact that the recent found cloth was a 'simpler two-way weave' doesn't prove that the Turin Shroud could not be authentic????
In addition, perhaps the fact that the cloth was so fine/expensive, is the reason it was saved, not discarded after the resurrection???
jdh

Stephen E. Jones said...

John

Thanks for your comment.

>the Turin linen features an intricate twill weave. The newly found cloth is made up of a simpler two-way weave."

Yes, and that there was more than one style of weaving in the first century is nothing new.

>The Jesus burial shroud was supplied by Joseph of Arimathea, who donated his own prepared tomb for the burial of Jesus.

Which is itself an amazing proof of the overriding hand of God in the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. There `just happened' to be a rich man, who `just happened' to be a disciple of Jesus who `just happened' to own an unused tomb:

Mt 27:57-60. 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.

near to the site of Jesus' crucifixion:

John 19:38-42. 38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus ... asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also ... 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths ... 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

and who `just happened' to be a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, so he could obtain permission from Pilate to take Jesus body and bury it:

Lk 23:50-53. 50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council ... 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.

>... Joseph was a wealthy man, traveled to distant lands, obviously the shroud was the finest he could find – not a local weave.

It doesn't follow that the fine linen shroud which Joseph "bought" in the Jerusalem markets (Mk 15:46 "bought" is Gk. agorasas "bought in an agora - a market"), was "not a local weave".

>He had prepared the tomb and obviously the "fine linen' cloth for his own use.

The tomb yes, but not the cloth. Mt 27:60 says of the former that it was Joseph's "own new tomb," but none of the Gospels say that of the Shroud. And Mk 15:46 says that Joseph had "bought" the shroud but not that he had bought the tomb also. So there is a clear distinction that Joseph already owned the tomb but he had to buy the Shroud that day.

>The fact that the recent found cloth was a 'simpler two-way weave' doesn't prove that the Turin Shroud could not be authentic????

Agreed. It's so fallacious it is amazing that a scholar could have said it, and that a journalist could uncritically report it.

>In addition, perhaps the fact that the cloth was so fine/expensive, is the reason it was saved, not discarded after the resurrection???

It may have been a factor. But the fact that it was Jesus' burial shroud left behind after His resurrection was a more compelling reason why the disciples did not leave Jesus' burial clothes in the now empty tomb to be taken by graverobbers.

In support of this is the fact that another item of Jesus' graveclothes, the Sudarium of Oviedo, was also saved and not discarded, and there is nothing intrinsically valuable about that. It is just a small piece of blood and fluid stained cloth.

Stephen E. Jones

John De Herrera said...

There is research information that a "Linen Cloth" approximately the same size as the Shroud Linen cloth, was required as a tablecloth for certain religious feast events; perhaps a Linen tablecloth was used for the burial of Jesus?
John De Herrera

Stephen E. Jones said...

John

>There is research information that a "Linen Cloth" approximately the same size as the Shroud Linen cloth, was required as a tablecloth for certain religious feast events; perhaps a Linen tablecloth was used for the burial of Jesus?

Although Mark 15:46 is translated that Joseph of Arimathea "bought a linen shroud":

"And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb."

(see also Mt 27:59; Lk 23:53)

the original Greek translated "linen shroud" is sindona which is just a large linen cloth, which could have been used for a variety of purposes, including a burial shroud, a bed sheet, a tablecloth, or to cut and make smaller cloths, e.g. clothes, from it.

In Mark 14:51, the same word sindona, is translated "linen cloth":

"And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him,"

and presumably was a bedsheet, a nightgown, or even a tablecloth hastily wrapped around this young man's (presumably Mark's) naked body:

Mk 14:52 "but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked."

Stephen E. Jones
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