This is my Shroud of Turin News for February 2012. The previous issue was January 2012. See that issue for more details. I have since reposted the first item to, "Old blood does not always degenerate to type AB, so the Shroud of Turin's and the Sudarium of Oviedo's blood group being AB is significant!" My comments are bold to distinguish them from the articles.
"King Tut's Dad's Toe Returns Home," Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery
News, April 15, 2010 ... A toe belonging to King Tutankhamun's father has been finally returned to Egypt, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said on Wednesday. The bone piece belonged to mummy KV55, which was identified as Akhenaton during a recent major genetic investigation into King Tut's family. The son of Amenhotep III and also the father of Tutankhamun, Akhenaton, (1353-1336 B.C.) is known as the "heretic" pharaoh who introduced a monotheistic religion by overthrowing the pantheon of the gods to worship the sun god Aton. The terminal phalanx of his great toe, probably from the left foot, was taken away in 1968, when the Department of Antiquities in Cairo, under the supervision of the then director, handed it over to the late Professor Ronald Harrison of Liverpool University. "Since then, the specimen has been held securely in my laboratory, but I decided it had to `go home,' particularly since very few people knew where it was," Robert Connolly senior lecturer in physical anthropology from the University of Liverpool's Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, told Discovery News. Connolly, who authored several scientific papers with Harrison, used the specimen to determine the blood-group of KV55, then believed to be Smenkharel, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty. "The remains appeared to be A2 with the antigens M and N present. This was identical to the blood group of Tutankhamun," Connolly said. ... I am posting this 2010 news item here on my Shroud news for February 2012, because of its importance, and it is the first I became aware of it. I was alerted by a commenter bippy123 to my blog post, "Re: Shroud blood ... types as AB ... aged blood always types as AB, so the significance of this ... is unclear" that King Tutankhamun's blood type was A2. The significance of this for the Shroud is that its blood type (and that of the Sudarium of Oviedo) is AB:
"The most striking thing about all the stains is that they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud. The first fact that confirms the relationship between the two cloths is that the blood on each belongs to the same group, AB. If the blood or each cloth belonged to a different group, there would be no sense in pursuing the comparative investigation, and little meaning in any further points of coincidence. This test is the starting point for all the others, and the results are positive. Blood of the group AB is also very common in the Middle East and rare in Europe." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, p.27).
But previously it had been stated that there was "a tendency among blood samples more than several centuries old always to test AB":
"In fact, quite independently of Drs Heller and Adler, other findings have served to confirm that what appears to be blood genuinely is blood. For instance the Italian pathologist Dr Pier Luigi Baima-Bollone, who has carried out thousands of autopsies, and who has had more Shroud `blood' sample than was accorded to Dr Adler, has not only confirmed it to be blood, but confidently identified it as of the AB group. [Baima-Bollone, P., Jorio, M. & Massaro, A.L., "Identification of the Group of the Traces of Human Blood on the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, Issue 6, March 1983, pp.3-6] Although this group is comparatively rare among Europeans and is found in only 3.2 per cent of the world's population as a whole, its incidence is 18 per cent among Jewish populations of the present-day Near East. [Garza-Valdès, L., "The DNA of God?," Doubleday: New York, 1999, p.39] Caution is needed, however, since some researchers have noted a tendency among blood samples more than several centuries old always to test AB." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, p.77).
But clearly since Akhenaton's (and his family's) blood type has been determined to be A2, a variant of type A, which is different from type AB, and they lived ~1,500 years before Jesus, making them now thirty four centuries old, then there is good reason to believe (and it certainly cannot now be ruled out) that both the Shroud and the Sudarium's blood was originally type AB, which in turn increases the likelihood that the blood on them came from the same Jewish individual, namely Jesus Christ! As I responded to bippy123's comment:
"While not a scientific journal, I regard this Discovery News science news report as sufficiently authoritative, especially as it quoted Dr. Connolly's words: `The remains appeared to be A2 with the antigens M and N present,' to establish that old blood does not necessarily degrade to AB. Especially bearing in mind that at 14th century BC King Akhenaton's ... remains are much older than the Shroud's presumed 1st century AD. Which means both the Shroud's and the Sudarium of Oviedo's blood group being AB is significant and cannot just be set aside by the claim that old blood always degrades to type AB."
See also "Another Tutankhamen puzzle," Research Intelligence, University of Liverpool, Issue 24, May 2005 and "King Tut's Mom and Dad ID'ed," LiveScience, 16 February 2010. The lead paper in the major genetic investigation of Tutankhamun's family is: Hawass, Z., et al., "Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family," JAMA, February 17, 2010, Vol. 303, No. 7, pp.638-647. I will get a copy of those papers in the investigation which mention the A2 blood group.
"Christian 'David' takes on PC 'Goliath'," Marisa Martin, WND, February 9, 2012 ...
[Right: "Jesus Christ the Word of Life," by Michael O'Brien. "This painting of Christ by Michael O'Brien was commissioned in the 1980s by Mount Angel Benedictine Abbey, in Oregon, USA. The figure is based on the oldest known icon of Christ, a sixth century "Christ Pantocrator" in St. Catherine's monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt: Living Bulwark]
You never know who you may meet mucking around a remote Canadian village. Take Combermere, Ontario, where mega-talented Christian artist Michael O'Brien pours forth enough work to stagger 10 ordinary souls. Not content with merely producing best-selling novels, O'Brien writes apologetics and essays, paints prolifically and illustrates books for other authors. On his days off he lectures on a variety of subjects such as Christian worldview and sexual abuse in the church. O'Brien's writing and visual art is unabashedly Christian, and he sees himself a type of cultural crusader venturing into the dark lands of pagan modernity ...
O'Brien's paintings echo his Catholicism, the use of Scripture and biblical stories almost exclusively ... Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon commissioned him in to do a series of icons similar to the earliest one known to exist, "Christ Pantocrator" from Mt. Sinai, Egypt ... His portraits of Christ often bear a likeness to the Shroud of Turin or older icons, which seem to have been influence by the relic ... A good thing about posting a Shroud of Turin news is that I find things about the Shroud that I didn't know and I can share them with readers who may not know about them either. I had not heard about this Michael O'Brien and I am pleased to see that he continues the 1,500 year old Christian tradition in basing his portraits of Jesus on the Shroud.
"Turin Shroud display set for Norwich Cathedral," Keith Morris, Network Norwich and Norfolk, 7 February 2012 ...
A full-size copy of the world-famous Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, is coming to St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich later this month ... The special educational exhibition features life-sized photographic replicas of the Shroud. They make up a visual aid to tell the story of Christ's crucifixion from his trial on Good Friday to the empty tomb on Easter Sunday ... The Shroud of Turin also offers a mystery story that ties together many different disciplines - religion, science, art, archaeology and history and yet even in the 21st century there are no answers to the question `How was the image formed?' Although I may be in the minority among my fellow Christians who believe the Shroud is authentic, I don't agree with them saying words to the effect, "there are no answers to the question `How was the image formed?'" What more "answers" could there be? The only explanation that fits all the facts (since the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong) is that the image on the Shroud was caused by some form of radiation from Jesus' resurrected body, considering that: 1) the image is a scorch; 2) the blood clots which were adhering to both the body and the cloth are unbroken; 3) the image is of both organic (the body and plant parts) and inorganic (coins over the eyes-regardless of whether they can be identified as Pontius Pilate leptons); 4. the ENEA report showed the image was only 0.0002 mm deep. ... In December 2011, Italian scientists said that because the image on the Shroud of Turin could not have been made by any technology available in medieval times the Shroud is probably the burial cloth of Jesus. The Shroud shows the image of a man who appears to have been crucified and the scientific team attempted to "identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a colour similar to that of the image on the Shroud." They tried to recreate the shade of colour, which is like a scorched ironing board cover and the depth to which it penetrates the cloth by using short bursts of ultra violet light, using lasers. They managed to re-create a small section of cloth with some of the properties of the Shroud (at least at a microscopic level) by this method. They concluded that "some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)" created the image on the Shroud of Turin. As ultra violet lasers were not available to medieval forgers it opens the possibility that the Shroud is actually Jesus' burial cloth, the image being created at the point of resurrection. It does much more than merely "open... the possibility that the Shroud is actually Jesus' burial cloth." The evidence now is overwhelming that it is! One of the scientists, Dr Paolo Di Lazzaro, the head of the team, said: "When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things like miracles and resurrection. But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals." I am thankful for the work of scientists like Dr. Lazzaro, but I don't agree with them `passing the buck' to the "experts" (what "experts"?) rather than coming right out and saying that the scientific inference to the best explanation, which has defeated all alternative naturalistic exlanations proposed, is that the Shroud image was caused by a "miracle," namely the "resurrection' of Jesus Christ, of which the image on the Shroud is a "literal `snapshot'":
"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 blood dematerializes, dissolved perhaps by the flash, while its image and that of the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection." (Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, 1978, p.210).