Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Shroud of Turin is the Burial Sheet of Jesus!

This is my overview page of what will eventually be a multi-page series explaining why the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus,

[Right (click to enlarge). Full Shroud of Turin showing head to head images of the front and back of the man on the Shroud: Wikipedia. This is how the Shroud actually is: a photographic negative, yet photographic negatives were not known until 1840, i.e. nearly 500 years after the Shroud first appeared in the undisputed historical record at Lirey, France, in the 1350s!]

bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

This is a work-in-progress - I will keep adding to it over time. Topics that become too long I will split off to their own separate pages and link them back to this page. References are linked to quotes at the foot of each page and/or to web pages.


THE SHROUD OF TURIN IS THE BURIAL SHEET OF JESUS!

© Stephen E. Jones

Introduction. The Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet measuring approximately 4.37 x 1.11 metres (14.34 x 3.64 feet) (Cassanelli, 2002, p.15; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.18).

The Shroud bears the front and back images, head to head (see above right), of a man who matches the Bible's description of the suffering, death and burial of Jesus.

On either side of the image are large triangular patches sewn on to repair damage caused by a fire in 1532 when molten silver burned through the folded cloth.

Since 1578 the Shroud has been located in Turin, Italy, in

[Left (click to enlarge): Shroud reliquary in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Turin, Italy: WhyGo Italy.]

the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.

The Bible and the Shroud. The image on the Shroud matches the Bible's description of Jesus: 1. a Jew (Mt 1:1,16; Jn 4:9; Heb 7:14); 2. in Jerusalem (Mt 20:18-19; Lk 24:18-20; Jn 19:20); 3. flogged (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Jn 19:1); 4. crowned with thorns (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17-18; Jn 19:2); 5. beaten (Mt 27:30; Mk 15:19; Lk 22:63-64; Jn 19:3); 6. carried His cross (Jn 19:17; Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26); 7. crucified (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:18); 8. by nails through His hands and feet (Lk 24:39; Jn 20:20,25-27; Acts 2:23; Col 2:14); 9. His legs not broken (Jn 19:31-33); 10. speared through His side (Jn 19:34; 20:25,27); 11. causing a flow of blood and water (Jn 19:34); 12. died (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37,39; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30,33); 13. buried in linen graveclothes (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:52-53; Jn 19:40); 14. in a rock tomb (Mt 27:60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:52-53; Jn 19:41-42); 15. His body not decomposed (Acts 2:22-27,31; 13:34-37); and 16. resurrected (Mt 28:5-6; Mk 16:6; Lk 24:1-6; Jn 20:1-9).

Atheist and Shroud critic Steven Schafersman agrees that because of these many specific matches between the Gospels' account of Jesus' passion and the image on the Shroud, "the odds [are] 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus" and therefore "If the shroud is authentic" (i.e. not a forgery), "the image is that of Jesus" (my emphasis):

"Either the shroud is authentic ... or it is a product of human artifice ... Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson and Stevenson and Habermas go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ ... I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus." (Schafersman, 1982, p.42).

Art and the Shroud. The Hungarian Pray codex of 1192-95 is clearly based on the Shroud, with the

[Right: The Hungarian Pray codex of 1192-95: Shroud of Turin for Journalists]

latter's nude Jesus (otherwise unknown in the Middle Ages), hands crossed in front, thumbs not shown, shroud with a herringbone weave pattern and even four L-shaped burn holes. This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Shroud was in existence at least 65 years before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260 (see below), and at least 130 years before the middle date of 1325, claimed by Shroud critics as the date of the Shroud. And then the Shroud would have had to have existed long before 1192 to have become an object of religious veneration in Hungary. Which in turn renders the forgery hypothesis even more untenable because the unknown forger would have had to have lived in or before the 12th century (in fact in or before the 7th century-see below)!

There is other very strong art evidence, including the Vignon markings, that the

[Left (click to enlarge): Vignon markings on the Shroud and found, to varying degrees, in Christian art since the 6th century: Ian Wilson, 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82d]

Shroud has been copied by Christian artists from at least the 6th century.

History and the Shroud. There is historical evidence that the Shroud has existed since the 1st century.

[Right: Tenth century depiction of King Abgar V of Edessa (4 BC-50 AD) receiving an image of Jesus: Wikipedia. Note Jesus' head is in highly unusual landscape view.]

But during the 1st to 10th centuries the Shroud was doubled in four to show only the head in landscape view and was known as the Image of Edessa.

Science and the Shroud. All the scientific evidence, with the

[Above: Triumphant announcement by Prof. Edward Hall, Dr. Michael Tite and Prof. Robert Hedges, on 13 October 1988, that the Shroud was radio- carbon dated to "1260-1390!": Ian Wilson, 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," pl.3b]

sole exception of the 1988 radiocarbon dating to 1260-1390 of a tiny sample from the edge of the Shroud, points to the Shroud being the burial sheet of Jesus. But that radiocarbon dating was seriously flawed on a number of counts, including the sample tested was part of a medieval patch, not the Shroud itself (Benford & Marino, 2008 & Benford & Marino, 2002), and should be set aside.

The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud. Bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo (i.e. "the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head" (Jn 20:5-7) match those on the Shroud, yet the

[Above: Perfect match of bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud, proving they once covered the head of the same crucifixion victim: Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image" Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, p.122]

Sudarium has been in Spain since 631 and has a historical record before that back to Palestine in at least 570. So the unknown forger would have had to create both the Shroud and the Sudarium in or before the 7th century!

The image on the Shroud. Features of the image on the Shroud of Turin that must be explained by any image formation theory include: photographic negativity, three-dimensionality,

[Left: Three-dimensionality of the Shroud image as revealed by the VP-8 Image Analyzer: Shroud.com]

superficiality, non- directionality, blood is real and was on the linen before the image, etc.

Image formation theories. All major image formation theories outlined and critiqued. All naturalistic image formation theories fail to account for the major features of the Shroud's image. Only supernaturalistic image formation theories based on the resurrection of Jesus can explain the image on the Shroud.

Objections answered. Common objections to the Shroud's authenticity answered.

Conclusion. The Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus, and bears the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

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


"The Shroud is in the form of a cloth strip, yellowish-white in colour, 4.37 metres long, 1.11 metres wide and 1.450 kg in weight." (Cassanelli, A. , 2002, "The Holy Shroud," Williams, B., transl., Gracewing: Leominster UK, p.15).

"Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," 1979, pp.51-53] and Stevenson and Habermas [Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, pp.121-129] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas [Ibid., p.128] even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.' [Schafersman, S.D., "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1982, pp.37-56, p.42]" (Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. Emphasis original).

"The occasion of the Shroud being housed in this new case, immediately prior to the expositions of 1998, also saw the removal by Swiss textile conservator Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, assisted by Sister Maria Clara Antonini, of a blue satin frame-type surround that had been sewn onto the Shroud in the nineteenth century, and its replacement by a new white cloth. This removal enabled the original cloth's dimensions to be measured rather more precisely than had been possible before, at 437 cm long by 111 cm wide." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.18-19).

14 comments:

Kelly said...

I have a replication of the shroud of Turin, hanging in my house. It was in my mother's house as a child and now it is in mine. I just stumbled across your blog, but I am very interested to read through it. Thank you!!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Kelly

>I have a replication of the shroud of Turin, hanging in my house. It was in my mother's house as a child and now it is in mine.

Thanks for your comment. It reminds me that a wall hanging of the Shroud is something I have been meaning to look into getting.

>I just stumbled across your blog, but I am very interested to read through it. Thank you!!

Thanks for your thanks which is very much appreciated.

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

Wow! That is interesting.
I did not know about the other head cloth artifact. Nor about the coins on the eyes.

It's funny. When I was initially reading about the 3D-like body image revealed by scan? in the cloth, it popped into my head the phrase, "Whose image and superscription is this?".

Then I read some more and came across your article on the coins!

Fascinating.

Thankyou,

Graeme

P.S. Is Adrian Van Leen the pastor at your church?

Tersio said...

What all skeptics do not notice (or simulate ignorance, according to their interests) is the fact that a forger only fakes something either preexisting or something which is known throughout the history. He never will fake something which he invented, because this is absolutely nonsense. Both conditions are not satisfied in the case of the Shroud of Turin, because neither the New Testament nor the apocryphal writings mention a single line about the existence of a cloth with the dorsal and frontal images of Jesus’ body. Christian tradition, on the contrary, mentions a cloth with only Jesus’ face (the Veronica veil). One would expect that this veil would be faked instead. Before the Middle Age, nothing is mentioned about it, as well. Why will a supposed forger be at the same time so skilled in order to make such an astonishing masterpiece (which even today is very difficult-if not impossible- to copy) and so silly in order to ‘fake’ something unknown at his time? This would be the greatest paradox of all time!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Tersio

>What all skeptics do not notice ... or simulate ignorance ... is the fact that a forger only fakes something either preexisting or something which is known throughout the history. ...

Thanks for your comment. I have started to prepare a reply, but it is getting so long, that I will make it a separate post.

But I have another post to TSoT in the pipeline, so I will post that first and then my response to your comment after that.

Stephen

Icthus Saltsa said...

I dispute Tersio's assertion about the motives of forgers (and deplore his cheap swipe at skeptics). There are cases of forged paintings reproducing the style of establshed painters. They are neither pre-existing nor known. I can see a case for someone fabricating a hitherto unknown religious artifact to either ingratiate himself with the authorities or maybe just make a buck.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Icthus Saltsa

>There are cases of forged paintings reproducing the style of establshed painters. They are neither pre-existing nor known.

If they are "establshed painters" then they are NOT "neither pre-existing nor known."

Thanks for confirming Tersio's point!

Stephen

Icthus Saltsa said...

Oh, please. It is the paintings that are not known. Tersio referred to something either preexisting or something which is known throughout the history. Obviously the artist is known, as is Jesus in the case of the shroud. I'm saying that a completely new item could be fabricated without reference to a known artifact. Someone could produce a sandal and claim it was worn by St. Paul.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Icthus Saltsa

>Someone could produce a sandal and claim it was worn by St. Paul.

If he wanted his forged "sandal ... worn by St. Paul to be accepted as genuine, the forger would attempt to make it as close as possible to KNOWN 1st century Jewish sandals.

A medieval or earlier forger would not (indeed COULD NOT) invent new features for his forgery that were not even known at his time and would not be known for CENTURIES LATER.

But that is the case for the Shroud, which has features (e.g. negative photography, correct venous and arterial blood circulation, blood serum halos that can only be seen in ultraviolet light, etc) that were unknown to medieval or earlier science.

However, since my stated policy is to not allow extended debate on an issue, you have had your last word on this topic.

Stephen

Gio said...

Hi Mr. Jones,

I found this blog post in a Google Search and am glad to have read it. I wanted to bring to your attention an article a skeptic pointed me to on the Shroud online. It's here:
http://www.sillybeliefs.com/shroud.html#heading-1rc

I wasn't totally convinced by it but couldn't answer all its points. You seem to be very knowledgeable on the topic so I figured you might be interested.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Gio

>I found this blog post in a Google Search and am glad to have read it. I wanted to bring to your attention an article a skeptic pointed me to on the Shroud online. It's here: http://www.sillybeliefs.com.

Thanks for your comment and the link. I have split my reply into two parts because of its length.

>I wasn't totally convinced by it but couldn't answer all its points. You seem to be very knowledgeable on the topic so I figured you might be interested.

I am now back working as a high school teacher, so I don't have the time to drop everything and answer this website's points one-by-one. However, when I do get the time, e.g. in a term break, I may do so.

However all of this website's "Strong evidence against the authenticity of the shroud" and "Circumstantial evidence against the authenticity of the shroud" has been plausibly answered.

And at least one of the claims is simply false, e.g.:

"There is no blood on the shroud: all the forensic tests specific for blood, and only blood, have failed."

The late Dr. Alan D. Adler, whose specialty was blood chemistry, after an exhaustive series of tests confirmed that, "the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!" (his emphasis):

"Adler was asked how he could answer McCrone's claim that there was no blood, but merely a mixture of red ocher and vermilion. Adler flashed on the screen the following table from our paper. Table 5 Tests confirming the presence of whole blood on the Shroud 1. High iron in blood areas by X-ray fluorescence 2. Indicative reflection spectra 3. Indicative microspectrophotometric transmission spectra 4. Chemical generation of characteristic porphyrin fluorescence 5. Positive hemochromogen tests 6. Positive cyanomethemoglobin tests 7. Positive detection of bile pigments 8. Positive demonstration of protein 9. Positive indication of albumin 10. Protease tests, leaving no residue 11. Positive immunological test for human albumin 12. Microscopic appearance as compared with appropriate controls 13. Forensic judgment of the appearance of the various wound and blood marks Then, after explaining each item briefly, Al said, `That means that the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!'" (Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, pp.215-216. Emphasis original).

Continued ...

Stephen E. Jones said...

[... continued].

And significantly, the website ignores the perfect match of the bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo as evidence for the Shroud's authenticity!

So the real silly belief is those who continue to claim that the Shroud is not the burial sheet of Jesus, when: 1. the positive evidence is overwhelmingly that it is; 2. the negative evidence that the Shroud is not authentic can be, and has been, plausibly answered; and 3. those who claim the Shroud is not authentic do not have an adequate alternative explanation of how the image was formed or faked.

Regarding the latter, significantly, the website states:

"Question: How do you think the image on the Shroud was formed? To be honest I don't know. But if I had to pick the most promising method, I would say it could have been constructed using a rubbing technique on a bas-relief model."

But the "bas-relief model," far from being "promising" is just another one of the many failed naturalistic alternatives of how the Shroud's image was formed.

Indeed, that the "bas-relief model" is just one of many so-called "promising" naturalistic methods of forming the Shroud's image, is itself evidence that other Shroud anti-authenticity advocates regard it as inadequate.

Also the "bas-relief model" conflicts with the website's own citing of "a Catholic bishop's [d'Arcis] report to Pope Clement VII, dated 1389, stating that ... a predecessor had `discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it'".

The website cannot have it both ways. If the Shroud was "painted" then it should be advocating the "painting model" not the "bas-relief model." But if the Shroud was not "painted" (which it wasn't) then this bishop's report was wrong (which it is)!

Stephen E. Jones

Carlos Santos said...

Mr. Jones, thanks so much for the informed blog and educating the people! Bless you Sir!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Carlos

>Mr. Jones, thanks so much for the informed blog and educating the people! Bless you Sir!

Thanks for your encouragement, which is much appreciated.

Stephen E. Jones