Thursday, February 16, 2012

Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date for the Shroud has to be wrong!: #2 The Vignon markings (2)

This part #2 (2) continues from "Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date for the Shroud has to be wrong!: #2 The Vignon markings (1)."

Examples of 6th to 12th century artistic representations of Christ's face which bear the Vignon markings found on the Shroud, include:

Christ Pantocrator mosaic, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church at Ravenna, Italy (6th century) The "Christ Pantocrator" ("Ruler

[Above (enlarge): Face of the Shroud (ShroudScope) compared with the face of the Pantocrator mosaic, Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna (Wikipedia).]

of All") mosaic in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, was completed within 526 AD [1]. According to Maher [2] this "early (sixth-century) ... mosaic of Christ enthroned" has "eight Vignon markings" which would be more than enough to identify the Shroud as the sixth century artist's model. But as can be seen above, the Ravenna Pantocrator mosaic has at least thirteen of the fifteen Vignon markings on the Shroud [see part #2 (1)] namely: "(2) three-sided `square' between brows, (3) V shape at bridge of nose, (4) second V within marking 2, (5) raised right eyebrow, (6) accentuated left cheek, (7) accentuated right cheek, (8) enlarged left nostril, (9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip, (10) heavy line under lower lip, (11) hairless area between lower lip and beard, ... (13) transverse line across throat, (14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes, (15) two strands of hair" [3]

The Greek word "pantokrator" is from the Greek words pas "all" and kratos "rule," and therefore means the "all ruling one," or the "Almighty." It appears in the New Testament at 2Cor 6:18; Rev 1:8; 4:8;11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6,15; 21:22 where it is translated "Almighty." It usually refers to God, but in Rev 1:8, in context, "the Lord God ... the Almighty” refers to the risen Christ. [4]. Which is presumably why the early Christian church ascribed the title Pantocrator to Christ, who the New Testament elsewhere states is ruling over all things (Mt 11:27; 28:18; Jn 3:35; 13:3; 17:2; 1Cor 15:27; Eph 1:20-22; Php 2:9-10; Col 2:10; Heb 2:8; 1Pet 3:22). [5] This also explains why the artists transformed the signs of death on the Shroud into signs of life, e.g. the trickles of blood on Jesus' forehead became tufts of hair. [6]

Christ Pantocrator, St Catherine's monastery, Sinai (6th century) The encaustic (hot wax on wood) icon of Christ Pantocrator

[Above (enlarge): The Vignon markings on the face of the Shroud of Turin [3] compared with that of the icon of Christ Pantocrator, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.]

at the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula has a strong resemblance to the face visible on the Shroud." [7] It is the earliest surviving portrait of Christ, its isolation enabling it to escape the waves of iconoclasm [Greek eikon + klastes breaker] in the 8th and 9th centuries. [8]

Vignon markings on this icon include: "the high right eyebrow (5), the very hollow right cheek (7), and the garment neckline (13)" [ibid.]. But as can be seen above, there are at least eleven Vignon markings on the icon which are found on the Shroud, including: "... (2) three-sided `square' between brows, (3) V shape at bridge of nose, (4) second V within marking 2, (5) raised right eyebrow, ... (7) accentuated right cheek, (8) enlarged left nostril, (9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip, (10) heavy line under lower lip, (11) hairless area between lower lip and beard, ... (13) transverse line across throat, (14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes, ..." [3]

Art historian, Professor Kurt Weitzmann of Princeton University has noted of this icon that:

"... the pupils of the eyes are not at the same level; the eyebrow over Christ's left eye is arched higher than over his right ... one side of the mustache droops at a slightly different angle from the other, while the beard is combed in the opposite direction ... Many of these subtleties remain attached to this particular type of Christ image and can be seen in later copies, e.g. the mosaic bust in the narthex of Hosios Lukas over the entrance to the catholicon ... Here too the difference in the raising of the eyebrows is most noticeable ..." [9]

Dr Alan Whanger, using his polarized overlay method, discovered 170 points of congruence between the face of this icon and that of the Shroud. [10] Some of these were merely creases and wrinkles that can still be seen on the Shroud. [8]

Vase from Emesa, now Homs, Syria (6th-7th century)

This hammered silver vase was discovered among church ruins at Homs (ancient Emesa) in Syria.

[Right: Face of Christ on a "Vase from Emesa," The Louvre, Paris]

and was presented to the Louvre in 1892 ("Vase from Emesa," Louvre Museum, Paris, 2000]

It is dated late 6th or early 7th century AD, and was used to hold wine during the Eucharistic ceremony (Ibid). It features medallions around the body of the vase decorated with biblical figures, including Christ (Ibid). The face of Christ on the vase has a strong resemblance to the face on the Shroud. [7] In common with other sixth to twelfth century depictions of Christ's face, it features "a very distinctive rigidly front-facing Jesus with long sidelocks, an individualistic long nose and a slightly forked beard, all strikingly similar to the face on the Shroud." [11] Christ's face is narrow, and the right side of the face is distorted, where the Shroud face has a swollen cheek [12] A comparison of this sixth century vase with the face on the Shroud and it looks very likely that whoever created it did so from the latter. [13]

Continued in part #2 (3).

References
[1] "Christus Ravenna Mosaic," Wikipedia, 9 April 2011. [return]
[2] Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, p.77. [return]
[3] Wilson, 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82e. [return]
[4] Bowman, R.M., Jr. & Komoszewski, J.E., 2007, "Putting Jesus In His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ," Kregel: Grand Rapids MI, p.180. [return]
[5] "Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator: S. Apollinare nuovo Basilica, Ravenna, Italy," 2007, Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, Vanderbilt University." [return]
[6] Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: San Gwann, Malta, pp.192-193. [return]
[7] Wilson, I., 1986., "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.105. [return]
[8] Scavone, D.C., 1991, "The History of the Turin Shroud to the 14th C" in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, p.186. [return]
[9] Weitzmann, K., "The Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai: The Icons," Princeton University Press, 1976, p.15; in Wilson, 1986, p.107. [return
[10] Whanger, M. & A.D., 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN, p.20. [return]
[11] Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.141. [return]
[12] Scavone, 1991, p.189. [return]
[13] Wilson, I., "The Shroud's History Before the 14th Century," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., 1977, "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, p.37.[return]

Posted: 16 February 2012. Updated: 23 February 2017

6 comments:

Gio said...

Hi Stephen, I previously asked this question to Dan Porter via E-Mail but he has not responded after several days, so I figured I would ask here.

I was recently discussing the Shroud of Turin with a friend and mentioned the Vignon markings, specifically in relation to the Christ Pantocrator you talk about here. He made an interesting point that deserves an answer - the beard of Jesus on the Christ Pantocrator is too short for a 1st century Jew, because they observed a law banning shaving (Lev 19:27). If this were based on the Shroud, this would indicate the beard on the Shroud is too short too - so it's less likely the Shroud is authentic.

Is this accurate? Or did Lev 19:27 allow some types of shaving or was not followed at Jesus' time?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Gio

>I previously asked this question to Dan Porter via E-Mail but he has not responded after several days, so I figured I would ask here.

In one of his recent posts Dan said he was on holidays.

>I was recently discussing the Shroud of Turin with a friend and mentioned the Vignon markings, specifically in relation to the Christ Pantocrator you talk about here. He made an interesting point that deserves an answer - the beard of Jesus on the Christ Pantocrator is too short for a 1st century Jew, because they observed a law banning shaving (Lev 19:27).

As I mentioned in one of my comments on the Pray Manuscript:

1) The Shroud as it is seen by the naked eye before the advent of photography is very faint and is a photographic negative. This includes the beard which, as the early artists would have seen it, is very faint. Photographs we see in books or on the Internet of the Shroud's natural photographic negative state enhance it. Those who have seen the Shroud in person all say that it is very faint and the image only appears when one stands back several metres from it. So the early artists may simply have not realised that Jesus had a full beard.

2) However, I think the real reason for Byzantine artists not depicting Jesus with a full beard is that they inevitably saw and depicted it through cultural filters. One of those filters was probably anti-semitism, of which the Middle Ages was regrettably rife. This is supported by the Pray Manuscript Entombment scene (Berkovitz, 1969, upper plate III), in which Jesus, a Jew, has a very minimal beard and no moustache, the Apostle John, a Jew, has no beard or moustache, yet Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, also Jews, have full beards and moustaches! Even in our day, or at least until the last few decades, in Western Gentile culture Jesus was often depicted as blue-eyed, blond, with a short back and sides haircut and a goatee (or no) beard!

>If this were based on the Shroud, this would indicate the beard on the Shroud is too short too - so it's less likely the Shroud is authentic.

This is a strange statement. How can a less than 100% accurate copy of something prove that the original is not authentic? That's like saying that if a counterfeit $100 bill is flawed, then original $100 bills can't be authentic!

We can see on the Shroud itself that Jesus has a normal Jewish beard. That some depictions of the Shroud (proven by them containing many of the Vignon markings on the Shroud) may not have as full a beard as the Shroud has, only proves that they are not photographs of the Shroud but artistic interpretations of it, which inevitably are going to be unconsciously influenced by the prevailing cultural and religious filters of the artists.

To claim that an early artistic depiction cannot be of the Shroud, because it is not 100% accurate in every detail, is simplistic and wrongly assumes the Shroud is a photograph. It is an example of what Jesus called, `straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel' (Mt 23:24), ignoring the mountain of positive evidence that the Shroud is authentic and focusing on molehills that don't even prove that it is not authentic.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Is this accurate? Or did Lev 19:27 allow some types of shaving or was not followed at Jesus' time?

No. See above. It is a false question whether the Old Testament Law did or did not allow Jewish males to have minimal or no beards (although according to one of my commentaries this prohibition against "round[ing] off the hair on your temples or mar[ring] the edges of your beard" was in the context about not adopting pagan mourning practices).

The fact is that the Man on the Shroud does have a full beard. And if Byzantine and Mediaeval Gentile artistic depictions of the Shroud (proven by them sharing Vignon markings and other unique features with the Shroud) don't have 100% of features that the Shroud has (e.g. a minimal or no beard) then that only proves that those depictions of the Shroud are just that-artistic depictions, not photographs!

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

I've done a fair amount of reading and research on the Shroud of Turin since I first read about it in 1975.Scientists have two problems being (1) they are afraid to say they believe in God, because if they do so, their scientist friends will giggle at them and (2) they think they are smarter than every one else, and they're not. I majored in language in college in the 1960's. I didn't understand science, however, the science majors were baffled by language courses.
Let me end with this. Recently I read the comments from a woman scientist from Israel. After researching the Shroud of Turin she said that she is a Jew and has no intentions of turning away from Judaism, but that the only thing she can conclude about the Shroud of Turin is that it is the burial cloth of Christ.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>I've done a fair amount of reading and research on the Shroud of Turin since I first read about it in 1975.

That's 30 years longer than me. I discovered the Shroud only in 2005.

>Scientists have two problems being (1) they are afraid to say they believe in God, because if they do so, their scientist friends will giggle at them and

That is indeed a problem. A scientist who is a Christian is under pressure to keep his private beliefs to himself. As it is for most Christians in this secular world, but even worse for scientists.

Modern science is dominated by the philosophy of Naturalism (i.e. nature is all there is, therefore there is no supernatural). All scientists imbibe this indoctrination without realising it.

I myself observed the beginning of this indoctrination first-hand when I did a Bachelor of Science degree in 2000-2004. But unlike my fellow students, I had been a committed Christian for 34 years and had already debated Creation/ Evolution on the Internet for 7 years, so I was aware of Naturalism and its problems.

Like a self-perpetuating cult, the science lecturers tell the students falsehoods (e.g. about the origin of life) that they were told as students by their lecturers, not even realising they ARE falsehoods.

The result is that scientists who are Christians tend to keep their working scientific life and their private Christian life in two separate compartments.

So it is hard for a scientist to even THINK that the Shroud could be: a) authentic; let alone b) that its image was the result of a supernatural event, namely the resurrection of Christ, even though as Christians they privately believe in His resurrection.

Nevertheless, there ARE scientists who are Christians and who also believe in the authenticity of the Shroud.

>(2) they think they are smarter than every one else, and they're not. I majored in language in college in the 1960's. I didn't understand science, however, the science majors were baffled by language courses.

There is an inbuilt arrogance in the natural sciences because their field is the basic building blocks of the Universe. But they don't realise that everything they see in nature is through the hidden filter of Naturalism.

The laws of nature are DESCRIPTIVE, not prescriptive, and there is no scientific law against God existing and intervening supernaturally in His Universe.

>Let me end with this. Recently I read the comments from a woman scientist from Israel. After researching the Shroud of Turin she said that she is a Jew and has no intentions of turning away from Judaism, but that the only thing she can conclude about the Shroud of Turin is that it is the burial cloth of Christ.

Although it is rare, one can be an adherent of Judaism and even believe in the resurrection of Christ, without being a Christian or a Messianic Jew. There was a Jewish theologian, the late Pinchas Lapide, who believed in the resurrection of Christ and even wrote a book about it, but who remained a non-Christian.

The same is true of the Shroud. A prime example is Barrie Schwortz, the owner of Shroud.com, who has said in online interviews that I have listened to, that he is an Orthodox Jew who is not a Christian nor a Messianic Jew.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

>To claim that an early artistic depiction cannot be of the Shroud, because it is not 100% accurate in every detail, is simplistic and wrongly assumes the Shroud is a photograph.

That should have been, "wrongly assumes that the COPIES of the Shroud are photographs."

The Shroud IS a photograph, i.e. a "`snapshot' of the Resurrection":

"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant the ... the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection." (Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.251).

Stephen E. Jones
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