Sunday, May 27, 2012

My critique of "The Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011

These are my comments on the current (1 May 2011) Wikipedia article on the Pray Codex (or Pray Manuscript). Like the curate's egg, this Wikipedia article is "good in parts." That is, it contains both true and false information about the Pray Manuscript, as I will show.

See in particular points 11. and 12. below, which to my knowledge are two hitherto unrecognised features shared in common between the Pray Manuscript and the Shroud of Turin. The article's words are bold to distinguish them from mine.


Pray Codex
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Entombment of Christ (above) and Three Marys at the tomb (below). This third illuminated pen and ink drawing in the Pray Codex is reproduced in Plate III of Ilona Berkovits' book, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," 1969. The "Entombment of Christ" upper scene is evidently that in John 19:38-42 (ESV):

38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, 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, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. 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.

The three persons in the upper scene therefore are from left to right: Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish ruling council (Mk 15:43; Lk 23:50), the Sanhedrin, who bought Jesus' linen burial shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46) and whose tomb it was (Mk 15:46); Nicodemus, who was also a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin (Jn 3:1); and presumably the Apostle John, who was an eyewitness to Jesus' crucifixion and burial (Jn 19:26-27; 32-35; 21:24).

The "Three Marys at the tomb" lower scene depicts Mark 16:1-6 (ESV):

16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.

The title "Three Marys" is therefore a misnomer because the older woman on the right is not Mary the mother of Jesus, but her sister Salome, the Apostle John's mother. Ilona Berkovits in her book, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," 1969, p.19, more correctly titles this "Visit to the Sepulchre."

The images serve as one of the evidences against the radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin. It is indeed! The 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin claimed:

"The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is medieval. ... AD 1260-1390"

But the Pray Manuscript (hereafter PM) is reliably dated between 1192-1195, having been compiled in Hungary's Boldva monastery, which was built from 1175 and destroyed in 1285. Therefore if the above image of the Entombment of Jesus on the PM includes a burial shroud that has unique features shared in common with the Shroud of Turin, which can only reasonably be explained by the artist who created those particular PM images, having copied them from the Shroud, then the Shroud must have existed long before 1260, the earliest possible date of the 1988 radiocarbon dating.

The Codex Pray, Pray Codex or The Hungarian Pray Manuscript is a collection of medieval manuscripts. In 1813 it was named after György Pray, who discovered it in 1770. That the existence or whereabouts of the PM was unknown in Hungary until it was discovered by Pray in 1770 is one of a number of defeaters of the alternative, that a 14th century forger copied features of the PM to incorporate them into his forgery of the Shroud of Turin. Pray presumably discovered the PM papers in the archives of the University of Nagy-Szombat in nearby Slovakia, where he was professor of theology from 1750 to 1777, and they were among Pray's personal collection which he donated to the University of Budapest in 1784. So it is highly unlikely (to put it mildly) that a forger in 14th century France would have even known about the PM, let alone travelled the ~2,500 kilometres (~1550 miles) round trip from France to Hungary and back to copy it, in an age when the gullible public would be satisfied by far less. See my "Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?"

It is the first known example of continuous prose text in Hungarian. The Codex is kept in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest.

One of the most prominent documents within the Codex (f. 154a) is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer (Hungarian: Halotti beszéd és könyörgés). It is an old handwritten Hungarian text dating to 1192-1195. Its importance of the Funeral Sermon comes from that it is the oldest surviving Hungarian, and Uralic, text.

The Codex also features a missal, an Easter mystery play, songs with musical notation, laws from the time of Coloman of Hungary and the annals, which list the Hungarian kings.

One of the five illustrations within the Codex shows the burial of Jesus. It is sometimes claimed that the display shows remarkable similarities with the Shroud of Turin: that Jesus is shown entirely naked with the arms on the pelvis, just like in the body image of the Shroud of Turin, that the supposed fabric shows a herringbone pattern, identical to the weaving pattern of the Shroud of Turin, that the four tiny circles on the lower image, which appear to form a letter L, "perfectly reproduce four apparent "poker holes" on the Turin Shroud", which likewise appear to form a letter L. [1] These are the main features shared in common between the Shroud and the PM. But a more complete list includes at least twelve (12) unique features shared between the PM and the Shroud:

  1. Jesus is naked (uniquely in the medieval era);
  2. His hands are crossed over His pelvis;
  3. Jesus' left hand is over His right;
  4. there is a nail bloodstain in His right wrist (Plate IV);
  5. no thumbs are visible;
  6. Jesus' fingers are very long;
  7. there is a mark above Jesus' right eye corresponding to the reversed `3' bloodstain on the Shroud of Turin;
  8. the Shroud is more than double the body's length;
  9. the Shroud has a herringbone weave pattern;
  10. the Shroud has an L-shaped pattern of four `poker holes';
  11. and another pattern of five `poker holes';
  12. the end of the PM's shroud below Jesus' feet (upper scene) has a ragged edge which corresponds with (i.e. does not perfectly match) the Shroud of Turin's, with the latter's missing corner not yet removed.

The nail bloodstain in Jesus' right wrist on Plate IV, is exactly where it is on the Shroud (see below)! The significance of this is further

[Above (click to enlarge): Nail bloodstain in Jesus' right wrist (Berkovits, 1969, Plate IV) compared with that of the Shroud (ShroudScope).]

strengthened by the fact the Pray Manuscript artist depicted the nail wound on the left hand of plate IV (which is covered by the right hand on the Shroud) in the palm, as it was traditionally depicted by medieval artists. This is at least equal to the L-shaped `poker holes' (see below) in being proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Pray Manuscript artist worked directly from the Shroud!

Regarding points 10 and 11 above, a pattern of four L-shaped small circles on the PM matches a pattern of four `poker holes' burn marks on the Shroud of Turin; as also does a pattern of five small circles on the PM correspond with the same number of `poker holes' burn marks on the Shroud. See below. These refute the alternative that the Shroud was copied from the PM, because a forger would be most unlikely (again to put it mildly) to conclude from the patterns of small circles on the PM that he should fold his forgery in four and then thrust a hot poker four times through it! So these `poker holes' alone prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud of Turin is the original from which the 12th century PM is a copy.

[Above (click to enlarge): Illustrating points 10. and 11. above, the Shroud's L-shaped pattern of four `poker holes inverted (left); Pray Manuscript four L-shaped and five patterns of tiny circles (centre), and Shroud pattern of five `poker holes inverted (right).]

And as for point 12 above, that the end of the PM's shroud below Jesus' feet (upper scene), has a ragged edge which corresponds with the Shroud of Turin's, with the latter's missing corner not yet removed (see below). This, as far as I am aware, has not been previously stated anywhere. If this holds up it represents yet another proof beyond reasonable doubt (added to all the others!) that the PM was copied from the Shroud. And therefore the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has be wrong!

[Above (click to enlarge): Illustrating point 12. above, the Shroud frontal feet corner (Raes' corner) with the actual corner piece missing and ragged edge (left), and the Pray Manuscript frontal feet corner with corner intact and ragged edge (right).]

The importance of these details lies in the fact that if they're interpreted correctly, Codex Pray illustration may serve as evidence for an existence of the Shroud of Turin already prior to 1260–1390 AD, the alleged fabrication date established in the radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988.[2]

Agreed! And there simply is no other reasonable way to interpret these twelve unique features shared in common between the PM (1192-95) and the Shroud, but that the PM was copied from the Shroud. In which case the Shroud had to exist before the PM. But even 1195, the latest date for the PM, is 65 years before 1260, the earliest date for the radiocarbon dating. Therefore the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "medieval ... AD 1260-1390" (Nature, 16 February, 1989, p.611) has to be wrong!

On the other hand, there are significant differences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud of Turin. This is simply false. There are no significant differences between the PM and the Shroud. In the latter, the image has a beard and moustache, while in the former, the image has neither. This is only half-true. As can be seen below, the PM's Jesus has a beard (albeit not a heavy one), but He does not have a moustache: the dark line below His nose is apparently His upper lip, as the women also have a similar line. And as can also be seen below, the Man on the Shroud has only a faint beard and moustache. But this is hardly a "significant difference"! Indeed this faint `negative' image is what the PM's artist would have seen, only fainter because photography tends to enhance the Shroud's image. So far from it being a problem, the lightness of the PM's beard and no moustache is actually more evidence that the PM was copied directly from the Shroud!

[Above: The Shroud Man's face (left) compared with that of the PM. The PM's artist did give his Jesus a light beard, but no moustache. Note the faintly tinged red mark on the PM's right forehead, exactly where the `reversed 3' bloodstain is on the Shroud and, like it, slightly angled in a `northeast-southwest' direction! This actually is a Vignon Marking, the only one found on the PM, which is evidence that the Shroud was not copied from the PM. There also appear to be crown of thorns bloodstains in the PM Jesus' hair, corresponding with some on the Shroud. It is these positive unique similarities between the PM and the Shroud which are of far greater significance than negative minor differences like the PM having no moustache, which can readily be accounted for by cultural filters, artistic license or human error.]

Also, in the Shroud of Turin image, the right palm is over the base of the left hand, while in the Pray codex, the arms intersect above the wrists. This is an example of "straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!" (Mt 23:24). Ignoring all the major similarities between the PM and the Shroud (e.g. Jesus is nude in both; He has his hands crossed over His pelvic area in both; His left hand is over His right in both, etc), this anonymous Wikipedia critic focuses on a minor difference, the arms are crossed over in the PM, but only the hands are crossed over on the Shroud! However, it should be remembered that the PM is a work of Christian art, not a photograph, and the artist will have inevitably depicted how he saw the Shroud, through his prevailing cultural and religious filters. One might as well object that Jesus in the PM has a halo, but the Man on the Shroud doesn't have one!

Additionally, the shroud of turin is some 14 feet long, significantly larger than the small shroud depicted in codex. This anonymous Wikipedia contributor's prejudice against the Shroud is evident by him refusing to use good English in capitalising the proper noun, "Shroud of Turin." And also it is wrong, as can be seen in my green outline below of the Shroud in the upper Enthronement scene.

[Above: The Shroud outlined in green in the upper Entombment scene in Berkovits Plate III. As can be seen, it is long, about 3.0 times Jesus' body, compared to the Shroud of Turin's about 2.4 times the length of Jesus' body (see below).]

Jesus is about to be laid, not on the Shroud but on an item of clothing, consisting of two parts, joined in the middle, with a gap for the wearer's head. This item of clothing is wider than the narrow Shroud and its upper edge is obscured by Jesus' body. The Shroud itself begins under Jesus' head, on the same level as the foot end. The Shroud then goes around the back of Joseph of Arimathea's neck, and is being held in his left hand. It then goes behind Jesus and Nicodemus and emerges leading to John's left hand, where it goes under the descending shroud, up over John's left shoulder, around the back of his neck, where John may be holding it with his right hand against his cheek. The Shroud then comes around the back of John's neck again, down over itself and under John's left arm, under Jesus' feet and down to finish with a ragged end below Jesus' feet on the same level it started. I acknowledge with thanks to commenter The Deuce who pointed this out to me (although he does not agree with every detail of my subsequent interpretation).

I measured the length of the PM's Shroud along this circuitous route, on Berkovits' Plate III (upper), using a piece of plastic coated flexible thin wire, and its length was about 410 mm. The length of Jesus in that same scene is about 135 mm, which makes this depiction of the Shroud about 410/135 = about 3.0 times Jesus' body. So Wikipedia's "small shroud" criticism is clearly wrong. If Jesus' body length on the Shroud of Turin is about 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) and the Shroud's length is 437 cm (14 feet 4 inches), then the Shroud is 437/180 = about 2.4 times the length of Jesus' body. So it is evident that the PM's artist used "artistic license" to make the Shroud go around Joseph, Nicodemus and John, so as to depict them each being involved in Jesus' burial. That this made his depiction of the Shroud longer than the actual Shroud he was copying, might be the reason why the artist added another piece of cloth under Jesus to shorten his too-long Shroud? This is supported by the Shroud in the lower scene on Plate III, being 275 mm. Using the same 135 mm length of Jesus' body, that makes the lower scene Shroud 275/135 = 2.0 times Jesus' body, which is closer to the actual 2.4 ratio. So again Wikipedia's "small shroud" criticism is simply wrong!

These discrepancies call into question the assertion that the Pray Codex is an illustration of the Shroud of Turin. [citation needed] As can be seen above, these claimed "discrepancies" between the Shroud of Turin and the Pray Codex are comparatively minor, and readily explained as "artistic license" (and even human error) in what is after all, a work of 12th century Hungarian Christian art, not a photograph. That leaves the overwhelming weight of the at least twelve major similarities between the PM and the Shroud, which prove beyond reasonable doubt that the PM's "The Entombment" and "Visit to the Sepulchre" (Berkovits, Plate III), as well as "The Deposition" (Plate II) and "Christ Enthroned" (Plate IV) were copied from the Shroud, before 1192-95, probably before the Shroud disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204.

Italian Shroud researcher Gian Marco Rinaldi interprets the item that is sometimes identified as the Shroud as a probable rectangular tombstone as seen on other sacred images. Presumably this is referring to the lower, "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene. Why would there be a "tombstone" in a cave tomb? And why would the "tombstone" `just happen' to have herringbone weave as the Shroud has? And why would the "tombstone" have an L-shaped pattern of 4 tiny circles as well as a pattern of five tiny circles, corresponding to the `poker holes' on the Shroud? There is definitely a shroud in the upper, "Entombment" scene. So where is it in the lower scene, if the "tombstone" is not the Shroud? And where is the "tombstone" in the upper scene? Clearly the "tombstone" in the lower scene is the same Shroud as in the upper scene.

The alleged holes may just be decorative elements, as seen, for example, on the angel's wing. That there are circular "decorative elements" in the angel's wings and in Mary the mother of James' dress, is irrelevant. They are not on the depicted Shroud, nor are any of them in a distinctive four L-shaped pattern, matching those on the Shroud of Turin. Also, if they were merely "decorative elements" on the PM's depicted Shroud, why are there only one set of four L-shaped and one set of five on it? Instead the artist has repeated what definitely is a decorative element: the Shroud's herringbone weave on the lower part of the Shroud he has depicted as red crosses. If the group of five tiny circles were "decorative elements" the artist would have repeated them in between the red crosses throughout the lower part of his depicted Shroud. The PM's L-shaped pattern of four tiny circles, plus a pattern of five tiny circles, is together with the other ten (10) unique similarities between the Shroud and the PM, proof beyond reasonable doubt that the PM was based on the Shroud.

Moreover, the alleged shroud in the Pray codex does not contain any image.[3] As pointed out at the beginning, in the lower "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene the artist is depicting Mark 16:1-6 where the angel is telling the three women who had come to finish the anointing of Jesus body, that He had risen and was not there, pointing to the place where He had been laid. The angel does not say anything about Jesus' burial clothes, let alone point them to His image on the Shroud. Therefore the artist does not depict Jesus' image on the Shroud. But indirectly he does depict it by the head in profile behind Mary Magdalene's right hand, which can only be Jesus'.

References

1 Daniel C. Scavone. "Book Review of `The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?'". Shroud.com. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
2 E. Poulle, "Les sources de l'histoire du linceul de Turin, Revue Critique", Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, 104, 3-4, 2009, pp. 772-773.
3 G.M.Rinaldi, "Il Codice Pray", http://sindone.weebly.com/pray.html

This page was last modified on 1 May 2011 at 13:06.


Again that the Pray Manuscript has these at least twelve unique features which are also on the Shroud of Turin, proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Pray Manuscript was copied from the Shroud of Turin. Also, that the Pray Manuscript is reliably dated between 1192-95, is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud of Turin existed before 1192-95, probably long before it. And therefore that the 1998 "medieval ... AD 1260-1390" radiocarbon date of the Shroud, has to be wrong!

Which also means that Bishop d'Arcis 1389 "cunningly painted" memorandum is wrong, except that it confirms the Shroud did appear in Lirey, France about 1355. And also, the further back in time the Shroud is pushed back, the more and more implausible do all forgery theories become, because of the lack of required artistic ability even in the 14th century, let alone at least two centuries before that.

Wikipedia's "Pray Codex" article illustrates the strength and weakness of its open editing policy. It seems that anyone can edit a Wikipedia article, even if they know little or nothing about the topic. I will attempt to edit the Wikipedia "Pray Codex" article, and then I will immediately post here on my blog that proposed revision. This will be in case my revision is not approved, or if it is, in case it is later changed, to again "muddy the waters" with false and/or irrelevant claims about the Pray Manuscript's relationship to the Shroud of Turin.

I may also write an article for the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, on the Pray Manuscript, which I can then uses as a reference in my subsequent update of Wikipedia's "Pray Codex" article.

Posted: 27 May 2012. Updated: 17 May 2016.

42 comments:

Flagrum3 said...

Nice write up Stephen, when your done fixing up some misinformation on the Wiki 'codex' page, maybe you can fix some on the Wiki 'Shroud' page also. Seems there is alot of misinformation on Wiki and alot of young folk seem to use Wiki as their prime source of info nowadays. Anyways a couple of points to the Pray Manuscript drawing at the top of this page; 1. I tend to believe there is actually a second cloth represented in the bottom image, which extends beyond the Shroud slightly towards the Alpha symbol. I have not come to a conclusion of whether it is depicting the face cloth or 'more likely' the strips which would have been used to bind the Shroud around the body. I also think the face image cloth hanging from the ladies arm is depicting more likely the Sudarium...your thoughts? Secondly; I believe the image which many mistake for the sephulchre is actually the Shroud, with all the red x's as it also depicts the holes of the burn marks and I think the red is to imply blood on the inside of the cloth....Anyways, just a couple of thoughts.

Thanks,

F3

Matt said...

For me, there are many interesting things in this image, some of which are more compelling than others. But the two most compelling factors remain:
1. The position of the nude Jesus in the artwork, strikingly similar to the image of Christ on the shroud
2. The herringbone bone weave-like pattern at the bottom of the image, with the 4 poker holes in the L shape.Any notion that these holes are some kind of pattern or motif without any connection to the poker holes on the shroud is illogical. A decorative pattern comprising the circles would surely have been in a symmetrical pattern, rather than the asymmetrical pattern of the 4 L shaped poker hole alignment.

Flagrum3 said...

Matt I agree 100% with your comments. I'd like to add to the decorative pattern issue: If one looks closely, the artist depicted the decorative circles in basically a specific pattern throughout all drawings. This being two small circles followed by one large circle/or diamond, followed by two more small circles. Obviously to anyones eye this does not agree with the poker holes pattern. Making the poker holes and their pattern "blatantly destinctive", I would say.

F3

Anonymous said...

The beard is obviously there, but when it comes to the line interpreted as mustache (the upper line of three in the face region) I recognized that the same pattern of three lines can be found on the three women. So the mustache seems to have been left off, maybe due to the style of the artist that simply doesn’t left any space for such a detail.

When comparing details between the characters I think that the fingers seem to be quit long in general. But no thumbs are visible!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Nice write up Stephen, when your done fixing up some misinformation on the Wiki 'codex' page, maybe you can fix some on the Wiki 'Shroud' page also.

I will certainly consider that. But I will do my Wikipedia update first and see what reaction there is to it.

>Seems there is alot of misinformation on Wiki and alot of young folk seem to use Wiki as their prime source of info nowadays.

Agreed. But Wikipedia is usually OK for most things. As I said in my post above, Wikipedia's strength is its weakness: anyone can edit it. That means that an anonymous someone who has read little or no books in the Shroud but who relies on what he/she reads on the Internet, can edit a Wikipedia article on the Shroud, and it sounds authoritative to members of the public, including young people, who don't know any better.

>Anyways a couple of points to the Pray Manuscript drawing at the top of this page; 1. I tend to believe there is actually a second cloth represented in the bottom image, which extends beyond the Shroud slightly towards the Alpha symbol.

Yes there undoubtedly is a cloth arising out of the midst of the Shroud. But it is difficult to interpret. The upper Shroud border is visible through it, and the Xs on the Shroud continue across it, so presumably it is not intended to be a physical cloth but a symbol of the grave clothes that the angel is pointing to as evidence that Jesus was not there and had risen. This is supported by the face of the Shroud in profile, in a line with it and the letter, which could be an alpha.

I must remember that the artist was not probably not an expert on the Shroud, nor in 1st century Jewish burial practices, but simply drew what he saw on the Shroud before him and added information to better tell the Gospels' story of Jesus' burial and resurrection. As I mentioned in a previous comment, there is no Biblical reason for the artist not to depict other cloths, because in four places (Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40; 20:5,6,7) the Gospels mention that "linen cloths" were left behind in the empty tomb after Jesus' resurrection, without stating what they were.

>I have not come to a conclusion of whether it is depicting the face cloth or 'more likely' the strips which would have been used to bind the Shroud around the body.

Thanks for the insight! The `bar' across the head opening, which I had been puzzling over (and had just said a quick prayer to the One whose image is on the Shroud to help me understand what it is!) was probably meant to symbolise the chin-band, which was used in 1st century Jewish to keep the jaw from opening. And which many sindonologists thought was meant by the "napkin" [Gk. soudarion] in John 20:7 (KJV):

"And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself."

But since the discovery of the Sudarium of Oviedo, most now think that the soudarion was that, and the chin-band was among the "linen strips" [Gk. keira] used in 1st century Jewish burials to bind the hands, feet and jaw in place, and mentioned in the account of Lazarus' raising from the dead in John 11:44 (ESV):

"The man [Lazarus] who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips [Gk. keira], and his face wrapped with a cloth [Gk. soudarion]. Jesus said to them, `Unbind him, and let him go.'"

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>I also think the face image cloth hanging from the ladies arm is depicting more likely the Sudarium...your thoughts?

No. For one simple reason an artist in 12th century Hungary (and indeed anyone in Constantinople at the time) would be unlikely to know what the "Sudarium" (later called "of Oviedo") was. It was in Spain since at least the 9th century and took an entirely different route from the Shroud via Africa getting to Spain:

"According to this history, the sudarium was in Palestine until shortly before the year 614, when Jerusalem was attacked and conquered by Chosroes II, who was king of Persia from 590 to 628. It was taken away to avoid destruction in the invasion, first to Alexandria by the presbyter Philip, then across the north of Africa when Chosroes conquered Alexandria in 616. The sudarium entered Spain at Cartagena, along with people who were fleeing from the Persians. The bishop of Ecija, Fulgentius, welcomed the refugees and the relics, and surrendered the chest, or ark, to Leandro, bishop of Seville. He took it to Seville, where it spent some years. " (Guscin, M., "The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin," 1997)

So I interpret the face in profile behind Mary Magdalene's right arm as the artist's way of depicting Jesus having risen. His depiction of Jesus' image on the Shroud is the upper Entombment scene.

Remember that Byzantine and medieval artists did not depict Jesus as dead, but living and reigning. So they used the Shroud as a basis for their Christ Pantocrator ("Christ All-ruling" icons), and converted bloodstains on the Shroud into locks of hair, and red crosses (as you say below) etc, on their icons.

>Secondly; I believe the image which many mistake for the sephulchre is actually the Shroud, with all the red x's as it also depicts the holes of the burn marks and I think the red is to imply blood on the inside of the cloth....Anyways, just a couple of thoughts.

Agreed.

I have just received de Wesselow's book, and, as an art historian, he has useful things to say about the Pray Manuscript. He also agrees that the red crosses and `poker holes' are meant to be on the Shroud. He maintains the Hungarian artist saw the Shroud in Constantinople, and says there were close connections between Hungary and Constantinople in the 12th century.

De Wesselow also suggests that the reason the artist did not depict the Shroud itself was because at the time artists were not permitted to do that (presumably because that then would be a second Shroud).

While I regard de Wesselow's theory that Jesus' resurrection was the image on the Shroud as absurd, and against all the New Testament evidence, nevertheless, his agnostic art historian support for the Shroud being authentic will be immensely valuable to the Shroud pro-authenticity cause. I will use what de Wesselow's says about the Pray Manuscript in my Wikipedia update.

The Joe Nickell's of this world will find it more difficult to peddle their lies that those who believe the Shroud is authentic are all crazy Christian religious fanatics (I actually heard Nickell say words to this effect in a Coast-to-Coast radio debate with Barrie Schwortz).

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Matt

Thanks for your comment.

>For me, there are many interesting things in this image, some of which are more compelling than others.

Agreed. Some of the limitations of the Pray Manuscript's depictions of the Shroud are: 1) the PM it is not a photograph, but a work of medieval Christian art; 2) the codex itself is only 235 x 150 mm (Berkovits, 1969, p.103), so the artist had to fit a lot in a small space; 3) the artist worked only in ink and used only three colours-red, blue and black; 4) he may not have understood much about the Shroud itself, and 1st century Jewish burials, as we understand them today; 5) he may have not been a great artist (de Wesselow thinks he "was not particularly skilful") and may have made mistakes (e.g. did not exactly depict the `poker holes'-assuming he even intended to do that-he may have intended to symbolically depict them all by two compound patters); and 6) he may have been under what de Wesselow calls "a code of secrecy" which restricted what he could depict, e.g. he could not copy the Shroud itself, presumably because that would become a `second Shroud' and an object of veneration in itself-as later Shroud copies became.

Although surprisingly, and thankfully, the artist was allowed to depict Jesus nude, albeit modestly by placing both His arms and hands over His pelvic area. In plate II which depicts Jesus being taken down from the Cross, He is also nude but because His hands could not reasonably cover His genitals, the artist has Jesus wearing a girdle.

Personally I think the PM's artist was very skilfull and managed to fit in a lot of meaning, within the limits he faced.

>But the two most compelling factors remain:
1. The position of the nude Jesus in the artwork, strikingly similar to the image of Christ on the shroud

Yes. And art historian de Wesselow confirms that only the Pray Manuscript and the Shroud (and of course later post-1350 copies of the Shroud) show Jesus totally nude, his frontal modesty only being preserved by His hands crossed over His pelvic area.

While not shown on the PM, the dorsal side of the Shroud, showing Jesus' totally nude, with nothing to preserve His modesty, is even more inexplicable, unless the Shroud image really is 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 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 Shroud of Turin," 1979, p.251).

De Wesselow also confirms my point in my previous comment that the artist has depicted the Shroud symbolically (being not permitted to depict it literally).

>2. The herringbone bone weave-like pattern at the bottom of the image, with the 4 poker holes in the L shape.

I have just realised that on the Pray Manuscript there are 5 L-shaped circles, not 4 as I had been writing. So I am going to call them the 5 L-shaped and 5 P-shaped circles/`poker holes'.

>Any notion that these holes are some kind of pattern or motif without any connection to the poker holes on the shroud is illogical. A decorative pattern comprising the circles would surely have been in a symmetrical pattern, rather than the asymmetrical pattern of the 4 L shaped poker hole alignment.

Agreed. If the sets of L-shaped and P-shaped circles were a decorative pattern, they would have been repeated together across the whole Shroud depiction. They clearly are meant to represent the `poker holes' on certain parts only on the herringbone weave of the Shroud.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

Thanks for your comment.

>The beard is obviously there, but when it comes to the line interpreted as mustache (the upper line of three in the face region) I recognized that the same pattern of three lines can be found on the three women.

Good point.

>So the mustache seems to have been left off, maybe due to the style of the artist that simply doesn’t left any space for such a detail.

Now agreed that the moustache has been left off. But the artist could have depicted both it and a heavier beard if he had wanted to. He was able to depict the beard and moustaches of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

But he did not show John with a beard either. So it may be that he wanted to emphasise Jesus' youthfulness, and perhaps also to de-emphasise His and John's Jewishness (due to medieval anti-Semitism).

>When comparing details between the characters I think that the fingers seem to be quit long in general.

The fingers on the Shroud are long because they are are actually `xrays' of Jesus' finger bones, as are the teeth which are visible under the skin around His mouth

This is explicable by Jackson's "Cloth Collapse Theory".

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>But no thumbs are visible!

Yes. De Wesselow points out that on Jesus' left hand, in the upper "The Entombment" (which he calls "The Anointing") scene, the thumb should be clearly visible (because we are looking directly at the thumb side of Jesus crossed left hand).

This is inexplicable unless the PM artist was faithfully depicting Jesus' hands on the Shroud, which also have no thumbs visible (due to the thumb being retracted into the palm when the median nerve is damaged by a crucifixion nail).

This was one of the items of anatomical accuracy on the Shroud image which made surgeon Pierre Barbet ask, "Could a forger have imagined this?":

"But these experiments had yet another surprise in store for me. I have stressed the point that I was operating on hands which still had life in them immediately after the amputation of the arm. Now, I observed on the first occasion, and regularly from then onwards, that at the moment when the nail went through the soft anterior parts, the palm being upwards, the thumb would bend sharply and would be exactly facing the palm by the contraction of the thenar muscles, while the four fingers bent very slightly; this was probably caused by the reflex mechanical stimulation of the long flexor tendons. Now, dissections have revealed to me that the trunk of the median nerve is always seriously injured by the nail; it is divided into sections, being broken sometimes halfway and sometimes two-thirds of the way across, according to the case. And the motor nerves of the oponens muscles and of the short flexor muscle of the thumb branches at this level off the median nerve. The contraction of these thenar muscles, which were still living like their motor nerve, could be easily explained by the mechanical stimulation of the median nerve. Christ must then have agonised and died and have become fixed in the cadaverous rigidity, with the thumbs bent inwards into His palms. And that is why, on the shroud, the two hands when seen from behind only show four fingers, and why the two thumbs are hidden in the palms. Could a forger have imagined this? Would he have dared to portray it? Indeed, so true is this that many ancient copyists of the shroud have added the thumbs; in the same way they have separated the feet and shown their forward faces with two nail holes; but none of this is to be seen on the shroud. (Barbet, P., "A Doctor at Calvary," 1963, pp.118-119. Emphasis original).

And even in the unlikely event that a medieval forger could have imagined it, he wouldn't have depicted it because his contemporaries would not understand why he did it, and so would consider it a flaw.

Which is the another reason why the Pray Manuscript's "The Entombment" (Plate III) scene is based on the Shroud.

Significantly in the same artist's "The Deposition" (Plate II) and "Christ Enthroned" (Plate IV), where he is not depicting the Shroud, he shows Jesus with thumbs!

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting…however, according to John chapter 20, Jesus was wrapped in linen cloths (plural) and had a separate cloth wrapped around his head. If Scripture is correct (and I believe it is) then lets throw out the shroud.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>This is interesting…however, according to John chapter 20, Jesus was wrapped in linen cloths (plural) and had a separate cloth wrapped around his head. If Scripture is correct (and I believe it is) then lets throw out the shroud.

Thanks for your comment. I will respond to it in a separate post.

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

To Anonymous; Seriously, have you done any reading? The statement you raise has been covered by many many people. It has been brought to conclusion that the Shroud in no way contradicts the John passage, whatsoever, and in some ways along with the Sudarium of Oviedo, the Shroud enlightens us more on the scripture of John 20. I think Stephen has covered this before actually, in some detail. Further reading on your part is defiantely warranted.

Thanks,

Sorry Stephen for jumping in like this but it irks me when people make irresponsible comments.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>To Anonymous; Seriously, have you done any reading?

Probably not. But it's OK to ask questions about the Shroud, as long as its done politely as Anonymous did.

>The statement you raise has been covered by many many people.

Yes. And rather than answer it here, as I said, I will answer it in a separate post, which I am preparing.

>It has been brought to conclusion that the Shroud in no way contradicts the John passage, whatsoever,

I will demonstrate that. And when I do, I will provide a link here in comments, so Anonymous can check it up, if he wishes.

>and in some ways along with the Sudarium of Oviedo, the Shroud enlightens us more on the scripture of John 20.

Agreed.

>I think Stephen has covered this before actually, in some detail.

Have I? I can't remember. I will go back and check. I keep a copy of every one of my blogs so its easier to check what I have posted.

>Further reading on your part is defiantely warranted.

We probably cannot expect our fellow Christians, or non-Christians, to be experts in the Shroud. But what we should expect is that they then would not pontificate on a subject they have not studied in detail.

>Sorry Stephen for jumping in like this but it irks me when people make irresponsible comments.

The problem is that they don't see their comments as "irresponsible".

Here is what our attitude should be:

2Tim 2:24-25. 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,


Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Stephen I wouldn't have used such a hostile tone in most cases but this Anonymous, seems to be "trolling" as he has left the exact same comment word for word on other blogs including Dan's Shroud of Turin blog plus several other places.

But with that said, perhaps I shall strive to be more as that passage proposes.

Thanks,

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Stephen I wouldn't have used such a hostile tone in most cases but this Anonymous, seems to be "trolling" as he has left the exact same comment word for word on other blogs including Dan's Shroud of Turin blog plus several other places.

Thanks. I don't read Dan's blog's comments or any other places.

But if Anonymous is a troll, i.e. pretending to be a Christian when he is not, then he has `shot himself in the foot'.

Because I am going to respond to his comment in a separate post so that readers will see the fallaciousness of his claim that because John 20:5-7 says "linen cloths" [othonia] (plural):

"5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."

therefore one of those "linen cloths" could not be a sindon, a shroud, when that was in fact "the burial custom of the Jews":

Jn 19:40. So they took the body of Jesus and bound [Gk. edesan = "enfolded"] it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

>But with that said, perhaps I shall strive to be more as that passage proposes.

Thanks. Apart from it being more consistently Christian, in the long run it is better to respond calmly and courteously with the facts, and leave it up to the commenter (and readers) to accept or reject it.

If they don't accept it, then that's their problem, not ours.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

>>So the mustache seems to have been left off, maybe due to the style of the artist that simply doesn’t left any space for such a detail.

>Now agreed that the moustache has been left off. But the artist could have depicted both it and a heavier beard if he had wanted to. He was able to depict the beard and moustaches of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
>
>But he did not show John with a beard either. So it may be that he wanted to emphasise Jesus' youthfulness, and perhaps also to de-emphasise His and John's Jewishness (due to medieval anti-Semitism).

I have now corrected the post above, that the PM's Jesus:

"... does not have a moustache: the dark line below His nose is apparently His upper lip, as the women also have a similar line."

But in looking at my close-up of of the Shroud Man's face compared with that of the PM, I became more aware of, and added:

"... the faintly tinged red mark on the PM's right forehead, exactly where the `reversed 3' bloodstain is on the Shroud and, like it, slightly angled in a `northeast-southwest' direction! This actually is a Vignon Marking, the only one found on the PM, which is evidence that the Shroud was not copied from the PM. There also appear to be crown of thorns bloodstains in the PM Jesus' hair, corresponding with some on the Shroud. It is these positive unique similarities between the PM and the Shroud which are of far greater significance than negative minor differences like the PM having no moustache, which can simply be accounted for by human error."

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post.

Dan Porter said...

Stephen, I wish to call your attention to "A Masterly Demolition of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript? , an interesting, explosive thread on my blog resulting from your posting here. At my blog it is at http://tinyurl.com/6nozkvk or shroudblog.com .

The discussion in the blog may say a lot about how we see things one way and skeptics see things another way, and how difficult it is to convince anyone.

Dan Porter

Stephen E. Jones said...

Dan

>Stephen, I wish to call your attention to "A Masterly Demolition of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript?, an interesting, explosive thread on my blog resulting from your posting here. At my blog it is at "http://tinyurl.com/6nozkvk or shroudblog.com .

Thanks. I don't usually read your blog's comments since you blocked me from commenting on them in February, but I did read those particular comments since I still get emailed your posts (not comments).

I have found it a great time-saver not to have to respond to the `empty vessels which make the most noise' on your blog. So even if you unblock me, I won't be commenting any more on it.

>The discussion in the blog may say a lot about how we see things one way and skeptics see things another way, and how difficult it is to convince anyone.

Agreed. As I say in my policies statement, "Internet debates were [are] largely a waste of time":

-----------------------------------
Debates After over a decade (1994-2005) debating Creation/Evolution/Design on Internet discussion groups, I concluded that Internet debates were largely a waste of time, so I ceased debating and started blogging.
-----------------------------------

One of the major problems of Internet debates is the `empty vessels which make the most noise' syndrome of those who have done the least study of a topic, are the most frequent and confident posters on that topic.

Personally I think you give too much `oxygen' to those `empty vessels which make the most noise' on your blog. They tend to drive away all but the most hardcore debaters on it. That's why I have a limit of usually one or two comments on my blog, to deter them, and it works. They don't want to comment unless they can effectively take over my blog's comments with their noise.

You might want to ask those commenters on your blog who deny that the Pray Manuscript was copied from the Shroud, to state:

1) "What evidence would convince you that the Pray Manuscript was copied from the Shroud?"; and

2) "What evidence would convince you that the Shroud of Turin is authentic?"

If they answer by setting such a high bar that it would be effectively impossible to provide that evidence, then their position really is:

1) "Nothing would convince me that the Pray Manuscript was copied from the Shroud"; and

2) "Nothing would convince me that the Shroud of Turin is authentic."

In which case why bother debating them? One might as well debate a brick wall.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

In most things it would not matter if they disobeyed this principle of "follow the evidence wherever it leads." But because Christianity is true, and the Shroud is authentic, those who know the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity but refuse to accept will (if they don't repent before it is too late) have to give an account to Him whose image is on the Shroud, who will be their "judge on the Last Day":

"For ... that face ... bespeaks the very same questions as those that wracked the pilgrims to the Veronica: `Were those the lips that spoke the Sermon on the Mount and the Parable of the Rich Fool?'; `Is this the Face that is to be my judge on the Last Day?'" (Wilson, I., "Holy Faces, Secret Places," 1991, p.189).

And Jesus made it clear that the severest punishment was reserved for those who had received the most light, but chose to deny it:

Mt 11:20-24. 20Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."

The choice is theirs!

Stephen E. Jones

Dan Porter said...

Stephen, I don't have any blocks in place for you that I can see. Nor do I recall ever blocking a comment from you. Flukes happen. Sometimes the spam checker blocks something for some unknown reason.

Once I approve a moderated comment, that person is automatically approved from then on.

If something went wrong I apologize. If I made a mistake, perhaps, I apologize. There is no intent to block your comments, ever.

Dan Porter

Stephen E. Jones said...

Dan

>Stephen, I don't have any blocks in place for you that I can see. Nor do I recall ever blocking a comment from you.

Thanks. That's good to know. I must say I was surprised that you would block me, for my respectfully disagreeing with you.

Mind you, I am also surprised that you did not check for my reply to your comment of 8 February, which was on the same day, in which I mentioned that my reply had not appeared on your blog.

-----------------------------------
Shroud of Turin News, February 2012

Shroud Blog

>Stephen, as I say on my blog,

I posted my response to your blog, but it did not immediately appear, as it usually does,

But in case it is not going to appear, here is my copy of it:

[...]

Regards.

Stephen
-----------------------------------

I commented again late the same day that my comments were still not appearing on your blog.

Finally, there being no response from you, the next day, 9 February, I commented again:

-----------------------------------
Dan

>See my previous comment, being my response to your post, which has not yet appeared.

This morning I reposted my comment in response to your post "Why do we think the Resurrection was a process? What if it was not?" which mentioned me by name, to your Shroud of Turin blog and again it did not appear.

I then posted a short test message, with no hyperlinks in it (in case that was the problem), and again it did not appear.

So unless you advise me to the contrary, I assume that you have blocked me from making comments to your blog.

If so, I would be surprised and disappointed, because, as can be seen in my copy of it above, there was nothing objectionable about it, except that I respectfully disagreed with you on some (not all) things in your post.

But if you have blocked me from making comments to your blog, then that is your privilege, and I will confine my comments to this my own The Shroud of Turin blog.

Regards.

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------

Were you not interested to read what my reply to your comment on my blog was?

And did you not notice that I had stopped commenting on your blog?

>Flukes happen. Sometimes the spam checker blocks something for some unknown reason.

If that is the case, even a plain text test message from me did not appear.

And if my messages were marked as spam presumably they should be in your spam folder.

>Once I approve a moderated comment, that person is automatically approved from then on.

OK. But not in my case it seems.

>If something went wrong I apologize. If I made a mistake, perhaps, I apologize. There is no intent to block your comments, ever.

Your "If I made a mistake, perhaps, I apologize" seems strange. If you did not block my comments to your blog, then there would be no reason for you to apologize.

But, as I said, it was a blessing in disguise that I was unable to comment on your blog, because I have saved a lot of time from not having to respond to those commenters on your blog who seem to take no notice of what I, or anyone else writes, anyway.

So I still do not intend to resume commenting on your blog and indeed, I do not know if I can. The "unknown reason" why I suddenly could not post comments on your blog on 8 February, for all I know, is still in operation.

Regards.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Here is my comment to to Dan Porter's blog in response to his reposting my comments to him here above, as a separate post on his blog: "On Christ Naked in Medieval Art and `Empty Vessels'".

I decided to post my comment to Dan's blog here as I do not receive comments from Dan's blog and so I would otherwise not receive an email copy of what I wrote.

I acknowledge that this my comment appeared on Dan's blog shows that I am no longer blocked from posting to it.

-----------------------------------
Dan

I am surprised and disappointed you made a separate blog post out of an exchange of comments we had on my blog, under my post, "My critique of "The Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011". You did not ask my permission, and your post amounts to an attack on me. I find that unethical, and I have never, and would never, write a separate blog post attacking you, or any of my fellow Shroud pro-authenticists.

You also imply falsely that my "empty vessels [who] make the most noise refers to "my [your] readers" generally, when in the context it clearly did not. I made it clear I was only referring to "those who have done the least study of a topic" (the Shroud) but "are the most frequent and confident posters on that topic," and who "tend to drive away all but the most hardcore debaters on it" [your blog].

You claim you did not block me from posting to your blog, but the facts are:

1. On 8 February this year my comments to your blog ceased to appear, immediately after I respectfully disagreed with you. I tried reposting my comments and even sent a plain text test message but they did not appear.

2. I mentioned under a comment you had made on my blog the same day, 8 February, that my comments were not appearing on your blog. I repeated my comment to this effect late that same day and again the next day, but there never was a response from you.

3. I find it strange that you never checked to see what my response to your comment on my blog was, in which case you would have seen my comments to you that my comments to your blog were not appearing. Were you not interested to read what my response to your comment was? And did you not notice that I had stopped commenting on your blog?

4. I also find strange your comment today that: "If something went wrong I apologize. If I made a mistake, perhaps, I apologize. There is no intent to block your comments, ever." But as I commented back, "Your `If I made a mistake, perhaps, I apologize' seems strange. If you did not block my comments to your blog, then there would be no reason for you to apologize."

Quite frankly Dan, for the above reasons, I find it hard to believe that you did not block me, especially now after your hostile post against me.

But as I said in my last comment today to you on my blog, "it was a blessing in disguise that I was unable to comment on your blog, because I have saved a lot of time from not having to respond to those commenters on your blog who seem to take no notice of what I, or anyone else writes, anyway. So I still do not intend to resume commenting on your blog ..."

And now after what I can only regard as your above unprovoked hostile post against me, Dan, I certainly will not resume commenting on your blog!

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------

Stephen E. Jones

sciencebod said...

Identifying that panel with its zig-zag pattern and 4 tiny circles as the Shroud, when the latter is actually ON that panel, has to be one of Shroudology's Greatest Howlers Of All Time.

That panel is of course the raised lid of a sarcophagus, the latter having been a recurring feature in most of the artistic (and less than artistic) renderings of the period for the Entombment of Christ...

Stephen E. Jones said...

sciencebod

>Identifying that panel with its zig-zag pattern and 4 tiny circles as the Shroud, when the latter is actually ON that panel, has to be one of Shroudology's Greatest Howlers Of All Time.

Why the pejorative "one of Shroudology's Greatest Howlers Of All Time"? Why not just politely say with scientific detachment that it's an error? You who deride me as a BSc using "Proof," when I explained why I did:

----------------------------------
"Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong!: #1 Introduction"
... I have decided to flesh out those four lines of evidence (which I have called "proofs" in the title to reduce its length), in separate posts and in the order of their discovery: ..."
----------------------------------

Colin, your `body language' betrays you as deep down AFRAID the Shroud might be authentic and that Christianity might be true. Well your body is right: it is and it is!

>That panel is of course the raised lid of a sarcophagus, the latter having been a recurring feature in most of the artistic (and less than artistic) renderings of the period for the Entombment of Christ...

Yes. I had already agreed with that in a comment under, "`Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?'":

----------------------------------
>2) It is standard practice in medieval depictions of the resurrection to show a tomb lid and this is clearly one here, The burial cloths are shown discarded on the lid on the left.

Thanks for that insight. I am inclined to agree. But it is the Shroud depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid. Just another example of the artist's "artistic license" needed to fit all the information he wanted to convey in a small 235 x 150 mm space.

See my recent `Wikipedia' post for de Wesselow's point that the artist was probably restricted by the Constantinople authorities from depicted the Shroud directly, so he depicted it symbolically.
----------------------------------

Stephen E. Jones

sciencebod said...

"Thanks for that insight. I am inclined to agree. But it is the Shroud depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid. Just another example of the artist's "artistic license" needed to fit all the information he wanted to convey in a small 235 x 150 mm space."

Ingenious, almost unnervingly so, but I'm not allowed to say so, being rationed to one comment per post...

Stephen E. Jones said...

sciencebod

>>"Thanks for that insight. I am inclined to agree. But it is the Shroud depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid. Just another example of the artist's "artistic license" needed to fit all the information he wanted to convey in a small 235 x 150 mm space."

>Ingenious, almost unnervingly so, but I'm not allowed to say so, being rationed to one comment per post...

My policy (see below) is not "being rationed to one comment per post" but:

1. "Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear."

This is the main reason your comments don't appear here. Even your `answer' above: "Ingenious, almost unnervingly so ..." is substandard, because it doesn't deal with the substance of my position that "the Shroud is depicted in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene (Berkowits, 1969, plate II) "symbolically as a medieval tomb lid."

If you have a substantial criticism of my position above, then you may state it in a comment, that is not " off-topic, offensive or sub-standard" and it will appear and I will respond to it. Otherwise you have had your last comment under this post.

2. "Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post."

The key word is "usually". I have allowed commenters more than one comment if they are on-topic, not offensive and of a high standard.

That doesn't mean "agrees with me". The comment above that:

"It is standard practice in medieval depictions of the resurrection to show a tomb lid and this is clearly one here, The burial cloths are shown discarded on the lid on the left"

did not agree with me, but I accepted that it was correct and changed my position.

3. "Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post."

Again the key word is "usually".

And this is an all-important point. As I have explained, I debated creation/evolution/design on the Internet for more than a decade (1994-2005) and I found it to be largely a waste of time. The Internet is full of `empty vessels which make the most noise,' i.e. overconfident individuals who think they are the master of a subject just by reading internet articles and/or discussion groups on it, and have not taken the time, trouble and expense to seriously study what they are debating.

I no longer have the time, or the inclination, to participate in those interminable Internet debates that go nowhere and convince nobody, and who the only `winner' is the individual who is the `last man standing' who has exhausted all the others he was debating with.

Those who don't like my "no debate" and other policies are free to go elsewhere.

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post.

sciencebod said...

I have to say that I prefer academics - regardless of speciality - to be upfront about alternative explanations to their own preferred hypotheses. That's as distinct from ignoring them until others raise them by way of objection, and then to concede, as you have just done re the important tomb lid-cum-symbolic shroud artistic ambiguity, that there is at least some legitimate basis to their complaint...

Just a personal view you realize - and I'm happy to let matters rest there - unless you were now to introduce new points with which I might then wish to take issue, feeling that a fellow-blogger's right of reply to new information or criticism was a not unreasonable expectation...

Stephen E. Jones said...

sciencebod

>I have to say that I prefer academics - regardless of speciality - to be upfront about alternative explanations to their own preferred hypotheses.

My comment that I had changed my position and now agreed that "the Shroud [is] depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid, under my post, "`Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?'", was only posted on "May 30, 2012", i.e. only 8 days ago (I changed my position then also, while I was responding to the comment). So I haven't had the opportunity to post it in a separate blog post. But I will do it as soon as the opportunity arises, probably when I post my update to Wikipedia's "Pray Codex" article.

>That's as distinct from ignoring them until others raise them by way of objection,

Who am I supposed to have ignored? If anyone wants to know what I think then they can read my blog and its comments, and/or make a comment under my relevant post, as you did, and I'll tell them what my current position is.

>and then to concede, as you have just done re the important tomb lid-cum-symbolic shroud artistic ambiguity, that there is at least some legitimate basis to their complaint...

I don't "concede" anything. And what "complaint" are you talking about? I changed my position only 8 days ago, in my response to a comment on my blog. When you raised the matter with me via another comment above, I answered you with what my new changed position is.

>Just a personal view you realize - and I'm happy to let matters rest there - unless you were now to introduce new points with which I might then wish to take issue, feeling that a fellow-blogger's right of reply to new information or criticism was a not unreasonable expectation...

Colin, the record shows above that I gave you the opportunity to post here a comment giving your "substantial criticism of my position" that "the Shroud is depicted in the Pray Manuscript's `Visit to the Sepulchre' scene ... symbolically as a medieval tomb lid," but you declined. I can only assume that you `chickened out' because you knew that you would come off second best!

See my next comment for de Wesselow's influence on my change of mind that the Shroud is depicted symbolically as a sarcophagus (not only the lid) in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene.

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

Hi Steve,

A bit off topic, but I was wondering if you'd ever seen either of these papers:

The first one contains some dubious stuff (eg the idea that Jesus was buried alive, and some "Jesus Seminar" like speculation about him being an Essene and anti-Roman revolutionary), along with some good stuff, but what I found particularly interesting was the closeup photo that shows Jesus' teeth very clearly in the negative.

The other one is by August Accetta and contains some interesting comparisons of the Shroud image with an image formed by radiation from a patient. What I found most interesting here was the comparison of Jesus inward-bent thumb, which is visible on the Shroud.

These two things on their own pretty much force the conclusion that the Shroud was made by an actual human body. Any forgery theory that is meant to take account of these things, in order to even get off the ground, has to make the assumption that the supposed forger used a real human body (probably alive starting out), flogged it, crucified it, speared it, etc, and then somehow caused it to form an image in a way that included not only soft tissue in contact with the cloth, but also underlying bone tissue.

Stephen E. Jones said...

>See my next comment for de Wesselow's influence on my change of mind that the Shroud is depicted symbolically as a sarcophagus (not only the lid) in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene.

Although my position changed to, "... it is the Shroud depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid," on 30 May, in a response to a comment by Menedemus under my post, "`Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?'," as my above response to Matt's comment the day before shows, I was moving in that direction, having received de Wesselow's book "The Sign" and read his discussion, as an art historian, of the Pray Manuscript.

------------------------------------------------------
>For me, there are many interesting things in this image, some of which are more compelling than others. Agreed. Some of the limitations of the Pray Manuscript's depictions of the Shroud are: ... 5) he may have not been a great artist (de Wesselow thinks he "was not particularly skilful") and may have made mistakes (e.g. did not exactly depict the `poker holes'-assuming he even intended to do that-he may have intended to symbolically depict them all by two compound patters); and 6) he may have been under what de Wesselow calls "a code of secrecy" which restricted what he could depict, e.g. he could not copy the Shroud itself, presumably because that would become a `second Shroud' and an object of veneration in itself-as later Shroud copies became.
------------------------------------------------------

Here are quotes from de Wesselow's book in which he argues that the Shroud is depicted symbolically in the Pray Manuscript's "Three Marys" [aka "Visit to the Sepulchre"] scene as "an empty sarcophagus":

"We have yet to consider the most impressive evidence, which is found in the scene of the Three Marys below. The most conspicuous and peculiar features of this composition are the large, ornate rectangles beneath the figures. At first glance, these shapes seem quite incomprehensible. Anyone well versed in medieval iconography would expect this part of the picture to be occupied by an empty sarcophagus, but no sarcophagus was ever painted with crosses and zigzags like this. It is the zigzags that give the game away. As Andre Dubarle observes, they look like an attempt to imitate the herringbone weave of the Shroud. The artist has struggled to work out the design, but the stepped-pyramid pattern that fills the upper rectangle clearly evokes the visual effect of the Shroud's three-to-one twill weave ... If we follow the sloping, zigzagged rectangle downwards, we find that it meets the horizontal, cross-covered rectangle at an acute angle in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. This implies that the two rectangles are two halves of the same cloth, folded over on the left, in accordance with the depiction of the winding sheet in the scene above - and with the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign," 2012, pp.179-180).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

"This interpretation is confirmed by the most important details in the whole drawing: two tiny sets of circles, one on either half of the cloth. In the midst of the herringbone pattern is a group of four circles disposed like a knight's move in chess ... , while to the right, in among the crosses of the lower rectangle, is a similar group of five circles. These circles make no sense whatsoever as decorative motifs. They are plainly meant to signify something, and their meaning becomes clear the moment we recall the 'poker-holes' that disfigure the Shroud ... There are four sets of poker-holes, each set resembling a knight's move in chess, perfectly matching the configuration of the circles in the drawing. The artist has depicted the circles on either rectangle to show how the holes went through the cloth. Given that he was working from memory and was not particularly skilful, his rendering of the poker-holes is astonishingly accurate. They are an unmistakable mark of identity." (de Wesselow, 2012, p.180).

"We have now identified eight telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on a single page of the Pray Codex. The first five, found in the scene of the Anointing, are sufficient on their own to indicate that the artist of the Pray Codex knew the Shroud. Conclusive proof is provided by the three correspondences in the lower scene: the stepped-pyramid pattern in the upper rectangle, evoking the distinctive herringbone weave of the Shroud; the folding of the object in two halves; and the small circle formations, which match the pattern of the poker-holes. It is inconceivable that all these detailed links with the Shroud, several of which are found nowhere else, could have occurred on a single manuscript page by chance. The only reasonable conclusion is that the artist of the Pray Codex was aware of the Shroud." (de Wesselow, 2012, p.180).

"The realization that the Pray Codex contains a depiction of the Shroud begs an obvious question: why did the artist not depict the cloth's figure? There are several likely reasons. As someone privileged to view the relic, the artist may have been bound by the same code of secrecy as Nicholas Mesarites. He may have wanted to provide himself with a vivid portrayal of the events of Good Friday and Easter morning, focusing on the Shroud, but without revealing the secret to others. ... Instead of representing the Shroud figuratively, he could represent it symbolically. That is why the lower rectangle, representing the interior surface of the Shroud, is covered in red crosses: they symbolize the sacred, bloodstained image. ... From the mid eleventh century onwards the patriarchs of the Byzantine Church took to wearing a new type of liturgical garment, a robe covered with a field of black or red crosses, known as a polystaurion (`many-crossed'). The design of this garment matched the pattern drawn on the interior surface of the Shroud in the Pray Codex, and the liturgical context in which it was worn suggests that the symbolism was exactly the same. ... The Hungarian artist has simply appropriated this sign, using a 'many-crossed' cloth to stand in for the absent Shroud figure. In doing so, he ... confirmed the Byzantine provenance of the Shroud." (de Wesselow, 2012, pp.180-181).

Therefore I have now modified my position slightly from: "the Shroud is depicted symbolically [in the Pray Manuscript] as a medieval tomb lid," to: the Shroud is depicted symbolically in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" (Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary: XI-XVI Centuries," 1969, plate III, lower) scene as an empty sarcophagus.

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

Hi Steve,

The idea that the artist wanted to portray the Shroud symbolically is also supported by the face on Mary's right arm in the same picture, imo. At the very least, that face demonstrates that use of visual symbolism was part of the artist's modus operandi, so that we should suppose that the face and distinctive circle patterns are meant to signify something.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>A bit off topic, but I was wondering if you'd ever seen either of these papers:
>
>The first one contains some dubious stuff (eg the idea that Jesus was buried alive,

I haven't seen a paper on it, but I have the three books by the late Rodney Hoare, former British Society for the Turin Shroud's Chairman, agreeing that it is Jesus' image on the Shroud, but claiming He was not dead, and therefore was not resurrected. So I suppose that means he was "buried alive" in a cave tomb.

>and some "Jesus Seminar" like speculation about him being an Essene and anti-Roman revolutionary),

I haven't seen a paper on it, but I have heard of it somewhere.

>... but what I found particularly interesting was the closeup photo that shows Jesus' teeth very clearly in the negative.

What paper was that? I have posted photos of Acetta's xray comparisons with the Shroud image's finger bones and teeth at: "Shroud news - October 2007" and "Shroud of Turin News - August 2008."

>The other one is by August Accetta and contains some interesting comparisons of the Shroud image with an image formed by radiation from a patient. What I found most interesting here was the comparison of Jesus inward-bent thumb, which is visible on the Shroud.

I have read the paper, Accetta, A.D., et al., "Nuclear Medicine and its Relevance to the Shroud of Turin," 2000. Also, the above Shroud News posts mention Acetta's work.

And "Jesus' inward-bent thumb, which is visible on the Shroud" is in my, "John P. Jackson, "An Unconventional Hypothesis to Explain all Image Characteristics Found on the Shroud Image" (1991)."

"There is, however, one particular observation that definitively places the Shroud image in a unique category. Consider Figure 3 which shows a view of the hands. If we examine this image region carefully, we can see ... that the finger bones are visible well into the palm of the hands, extending right up to the base of the wrist. These cannot be interpreted as tendons, because tendons and ligaments are much too narrow. Rather, we see that the thickness of the fingers are individually preserved well into the palm of the hand. It thus seems as though we are looking at the internal skeletal structure of the hand imaged through the intervening flesh tissues onto the Shroud cloth. In addition, at the base of the top hand, we see a diffuse discoloration with a color the same as the body image. In transmitted light, this feature is transparent like the rest of the body image, implying that it, too, must reside only on the surface fibrils of the cloth. Its intensity falls within the range of intensities found in the Shroud body image. Thus, it appears that this discoloration, whatever it is, must be part of the body image. But, if so, what does this feature represent? An important clue is evident from the fact that are no thumbs visible in the hand image. Now, given the apparent fact that internal finger bones of the hand are imaged onto the Shroud, it is a small step to propose that this particular discoloration is, in fact, the thumb folded into the palm of the hand and likewise imaged through the hand onto the Shroud, in a manner similar to the finger bones found in the palm. If this interpretation is correct, then it follows that whatever mechanism produced the image of the body onto the cloth, it must be a radically different mechanism, than any physical mechanisms that have been considered to date. For what process is capable of rendering internal body structure into the image patterns that we see on the Shroud?"

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>These two things on their own pretty much force the conclusion that the Shroud was made by an actual human body.

Agreed.

>Any forgery theory that is meant to take account of these things, in order to even get off the ground, has to make the assumption that the supposed forger used a real human body (probably alive starting out), flogged it, crucified it, speared it, etc,

It would be progress of sorts if the Shroud anti-authenticists gave up their refuted painting and bas-relief powder theories and made their last stand on this `crucified victim' theory.

>and then somehow caused it to form an image in a way that included not only soft tissue in contact with the cloth, but also underlying bone tissue.

But then they would still have to explain how the corpse of this `crucified victim' imprinted its image on linen, complete with `x-rays' (I don't necessarily claim they are actual x-rays, although they may be) of his hand bones and teeth.

And also why no other known burial shrouds or mummy wrappings, etc, exhibit similar permanent imprints of the corpses they covered as the Shroud of Turin's does.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>The idea that the artist wanted to portray the Shroud symbolically is also supported by the face on Mary's right arm in the same picture, imo.

Agreed.

>At the very least, that face demonstrates that use of visual symbolism was part of the artist's modus operandi,

Good point.

>so that we should suppose that the face and distinctive circle patterns are meant to signify something.

I am preparing a separate blog post on my above recent exchange with Sciencebod (aka Colin Berry) which will feature his claim that:

---------------------------------
Identifying that panel with its zig-zag pattern and 4 tiny circles as the Shroud, when the latter is actually ON that panel, has to be one of Shroudology's Greatest Howlers Of All Time.

That panel is of course the raised lid of a sarcophagus, the latter having been a recurring feature in most of the artistic (and less than artistic) renderings of the period for the Entombment of Christ...
---------------------------------

and my agreeing with him that "the Shroud depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid" (later modified to an empty sarcophagus):

---------------------------------
Yes. I had already agreed with that in a comment under, "`Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?'":

>2) It is standard practice in medieval depictions of the resurrection to show a tomb lid and this is clearly one here, The burial cloths are shown discarded on the lid on the left.

Thanks for that insight. I am inclined to agree. But it is the Shroud depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid. Just another example of the artist's "artistic license" needed to fit all the information he wanted to convey in a small 235 x 150 mm space.

See my recent `Wikipedia' post for de Wesselow's point that the artist was probably restricted by the Constantinople authorities from depicted the Shroud directly, so he depicted it symbolically.
----------------------------------

This will enable me to post my changed position that, the Shroud of Turin is depicted symbolically in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene as an empty sarcophagus:

----------------------------------
Therefore I have now modified my position slightly from: "the Shroud is depicted symbolically [in the Pray Manuscript] as a medieval tomb lid," to: the Shroud is depicted symbolically in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" (Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary: XI-XVI Centuries," 1969, plate III, lower) scene as an empty sarcophagus.
----------------------------------

sooner than waiting until I post my update to Wikipedia's "Pray Codex" article:

----------------------------------
>I have to say that I prefer academics - regardless of speciality - to be upfront about alternative explanations to their own preferred hypotheses.

My comment that I had changed my position and now agreed that "the Shroud [is] depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid, under my post, "`Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?'", was only posted on "May 30, 2012", i.e. only 8 days ago (I changed my position then also, while I was responding to the comment). So I haven't had the opportunity to post it in a separate blog post. But I will do it as soon as the opportunity arises, probably when I post my update to Wikipedia's "Pray Codex" article.
----------------------------------

Stephen E. Jones

Matt said...

If you will Stephen, I am going to throw another possible interpretation out there....!!!
that is that the object at the bottom of the image with the red crosses is actually the "red stone" which was at the Church of the Pantocrator in Constantinople. The stone, greatly venerated,was the length of a man, upon which Jesus was wrapped in the shroud after the descent from the cross.
The five circles on this object, if it is indeed the red stone, might be the supposed tears of the Blessed Virgin which had dried in the stone "white as drops of wax"which a russian pilgrim to the church wrote of in the year 1200.
So this object could be this red stone with the virgin's "teardrops" being the five white circles, then the object above it is the shroud with the 4 poker holes in the L shape.
I've extracted this info from www.pemptousia.com
Many of the byzantine images of Jesus's entombment see him placed on a red slab - coincidence?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Matt

>... I am going to throw another possible interpretation out there...that is that the object at the bottom of the image with the red crosses is actually the "red stone" which was at the Church of the Pantocrator in Constantinople.

Thanks. But I cannot agree. The artist is depicting Mark 16:1-6, where an angel tells the three women, that Jesus is not there, He had risen from the dead, and points to the place where He had been laid:

-----------------------------------
16 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back— it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.
-----------------------------------

Therefore the Shroud had to be there, but it is depicted by the artist symbolically as a sarcophagus, with sets of `poker holes' and herringbone weave.

As de Wesselow explains in one of the quotes above:

"That is why the lower rectangle, representing the interior surface of the Shroud, is covered in red crosses: they symbolize the sacred, bloodstained image. ... From the mid eleventh century onwards the patriarchs of the Byzantine Church took to wearing a new type of liturgical garment, a robe covered with a field of black or red crosses, known as a polystaurion (`many-crossed'). The design of this garment matched the pattern drawn on the interior surface of the Shroud in the Pray Codex ... The Hungarian artist has simply appropriated this sign, using a 'many-crossed' cloth to stand in for the absent Shroud figure. In doing so, he ... confirmed the Byzantine provenance of the Shroud." (de Wesselow, 2012, pp.180-181).

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

Hi Steve, a few more things:

1. What paper was that [that shows the teeth]?

I was talking about the first paper I posted. On page 7, there's a closeup of the Shroud in negative, that makes the teeth very obvious and easy to see. Once you see them, they become easy to see in less zoomed-in photos, like the one on page 3 of the same paper.


2. I've been thinking more about your idea that the Shroud is being shown in Plate IV symbolically, and it helps to make sense of a number of things in that picture.

First of all, you've said before that the face on Mary's right arm is probably meant to symbolize the resurrected Jesus. I've always agreed with that. What else could it represent other than Jesus? However, I've nevertheless always thought it was weird. After all, the very next panel shows the resurrected and victorious Jesus, smiling and glorified, so why does the artist paint that somber, dead-looking face in panel III, and why does he put it on Mary's arm as part of her sleeve?

I think the answer is that the artist is alluding to the image of Jesus' face as seen on the Shroud. And the way he does it is in keeping with the way he alludes to other features of the Shroud in the same panel. He draws the poker holes and herringbone weave as part of the sarcophagus lid. In the same way, he blends the face into Mary's sleeve. These things are meant to represent features of the Shroud, without drawing the Shroud outright.

Again, the face helps to support this idea. It's undeniable that he deliberately painted a representation of a man's somber face on Mary's arm. It's also undeniable that he did so in such a way as to make the face part of her sleeve. So this establishes that the painter chose, in this panel, to symbolize or depict things by "hiding" them in depictions of other things. It gives us good reason to suppose that other things that "stick out" or seem out of place in the picture, such as the strange hole patterns on the sarcophagus lid, are also meant to allude to something else. And it all comes together in a parsimonious way if we conclude that all of these things are meant to symbolize the same thing: the Shroud and its features. And, of course, it fits together well with the uncanny resemblance of plate II's burial scene to the Shroud.

3. As you know, I interpret the outline of the burial cloth that would become the Shroud in panel 3 somewhat differently from you. FWIW, here's my interpretation. The parts that I've illustrated with a dotted line are an outline of where the Shroud goes after it disappears underneath John's cloak.

As you can see, I consider those rolls at Jesus' feet and buttocks to simply be folds in the Shroud. I know you've said that they're "un-Shroudlike" but I disagree. They're Shroudlike in that the Shroud is a cloth, and so can have folds and rolls in it just like any other cloth. The picture is showing Joseph, Nicodemus, and John as they hastily unfold the Shroud and apply spices. They've unrolled the bottom half and placed Jesus on it, but they haven't yet flattened it out. Those rolls are merely meant to communicate to the viewer that 1) we're looking at a cloth here, and 2) the men are working in haste and are still in the middle of unfolding and straightening it.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>>1. What paper was that [that shows the teeth]?

>I was talking about the first paper I posted. On page 7, there's a closeup of the Shroud in negative, that makes the teeth very obvious and easy to see. Once you see them, they become easy to see in less zoomed-in photos, like the one on page 3 of the same paper.

Thanks, I have saved your paper, "Why I believe the Turin Shroud to be authentic."

>2. I've been thinking more about your idea that the Shroud is being shown in Plate IV symbolically, and it helps to make sense of a number of things in that picture.

Yes. The artist showed great ingenuity in depicting the Shroud without depicting the Shroud!

>First of all, you've said before that the face on Mary's right arm is probably meant to symbolize the resurrected Jesus. I've always agreed with that. What else could it represent other than Jesus?

Agreed. Sciencebod claimed that it was God, in a comment I published but then deleted because I had already told him he had had his last comment under this post, if he failed to offer a substantial criticism of my position that in the Pray Manuscript's "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene (Berkovits, 1969, plate III), the Shroud is depicted symbolically as a medieval tomb lid (later modified to empty sarcophagus).

>However, I've nevertheless always thought it was weird. After all, the very next panel shows the resurrected and victorious Jesus, smiling and glorified, so why does the artist paint that somber, dead-looking face in panel III, and why does he put it on Mary's arm as part of her sleeve?

I assume it to be depicting what Mary Magdalene (and the other two women) were thinking: that they had come to complete the anointing of Jesus' dead body. As the angel said to them in Mark 16:6:

"You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him."

>I think the answer is that the artist is alluding to the image of Jesus' face as seen on the Shroud.

Agreed that it is the Shroud's image in profile is what he drew, but its otherwise strange position in between Mary Magdalene's right arm and hair and her garment is meant to depict her and the other women's thoughts, that they were expecting to find Jesus' dead body in the tomb.

>And the way he does it is in keeping with the way he alludes to other features of the Shroud in the same panel. He draws the poker holes and herringbone weave as part of the sarcophagus lid. In the same way, he blends the face into Mary's sleeve. These things are meant to represent features of the Shroud, without drawing the Shroud outright.

Agreed.

>Again, the face helps to support this idea. It's undeniable that he deliberately painted a representation of a man's somber face on Mary's arm. It's also undeniable that he did so in such a way as to make the face part of her sleeve. So this establishes that the painter chose, in this panel, to symbolize or depict things by "hiding" them in depictions of other things.

Good point.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>It gives us good reason to suppose that other things that "stick out" or seem out of place in the picture, such as the strange hole patterns on the sarcophagus lid, are also meant to allude to something else. And it all comes together in a parsimonious way if we conclude that all of these things are meant to symbolize the same thing: the Shroud and its features. And, of course, it fits together well with the uncanny resemblance of plate II's burial scene to the Shroud.

Agreed. I presume you mean upper plate III? Plate II is "The Deposition"-the taking down of Jesus' body from the Cross.

I have also just realised that the narrow Shroud in "The Entombment" (upper plate III) supports de Wesselow's thesis that the artist was forbidden to depict the Shroud itself.

>3. As you know, I interpret the outline of the burial cloth that would become the Shroud in panel 3 somewhat differently from you. FWIW, here's my interpretation. The parts that I've illustrated with a dotted line are an outline of where the Shroud goes after it disappears underneath John's cloak.

I am not sure what you mean by "a dotted line". But where the Shroud goes around John is not a major point with me. Although I note that right edge to John's cloak, between the Shroud and Jesus' left leg, so I assume that is not an elementary blunder by the artist, but a way of him indicating that what I interpret as an item of clothing that Jesus is about to be laid upon is John's.

>As you can see, I consider those rolls at Jesus' feet and buttocks to simply be folds in the Shroud. I know you've said that they're "un-Shroudlike" but I disagree. They're Shroudlike in that the Shroud is a cloth, and so can have folds and rolls in it just like any other cloth.

We will have to agree to disagree.

>The picture is showing Joseph, Nicodemus, and John as they hastily unfold the Shroud and apply spices.

Agreed.

>They've unrolled the bottom half and placed Jesus on it, but they haven't yet flattened it out.

Disagree. In "The Entombment" (Plate III upper): 1) the structure in the middle of the "bottom half" has no counterpart in the Shroud-it looks like one half of an opening for the head with ties over a shoulder joining the front and back of a two piece garment; 2) the two ends of the Shroud is evident, on the same level under Jesus' head and feet; 3) the foot end is ragged, just as it is on the Shroud (with the missing `Raes' corner' piece still present; and 4) the already too long Shroud (explainable by artistic license to fit the Shroud around Joseph, Nicodemus and John) would be even longer-by introducing another cloth, the artist is able to keep the Shroud's length down as far as possible.

>Those rolls are merely meant to communicate to the viewer that 1) we're looking at a cloth here, and 2) the men are working in haste and are still in the middle of unfolding and straightening it.

Agree to disagree.

These already too-long comments under this post, while they have been fruitful, are starting to `go around in circles.' Matt has now posted another comment defending his "red stone" hypothesis, which I am going to delete.

My problem is that time I spend answering comments is time I don't have to blog.

So, thanks all for your comments. I actually have two other Pray Manuscript blog posts that I am preparing, so anything you feel you must say (without `going around in circles' restating points you have already made) can probably be said in one of them.

Comments under this post are now CLOSED!

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

>Although I note that right edge to John's cloak, between the Shroud and Jesus' left leg, so I assume that is not an elementary blunder by the artist, but a way of him indicating that what I interpret as an item of clothing that Jesus is about to be laid upon is John's.

There should be an "is missing" between "Jesus' left leg" and "so I assume", as follows:

Although I note that right edge to John's cloak, between the Shroud and Jesus' left leg, is missing, so I assume that is not an elementary blunder by the artist, but a way of him indicating that what I interpret as an item of clothing that Jesus is about to be laid upon is John's.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>>...according to John chapter 20, Jesus was wrapped in linen cloths (plural) and had a separate cloth wrapped around his head. If Scripture is correct ... then lets throw out the shroud.

>Thanks for your comment. I will respond to it in a separate post.

See my belated response at `according to John chapter 20, Jesus was wrapped in linen cloths (plural) ... If Scripture is correct ... lets throw out the shroud'.

My apologies for the delay. I thought I had already responded to it.

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.