Saturday, May 19, 2012

`Or the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Pray Manuscript and incorporated these signs into his forgery?'

Anonymous

A belated thank you for your comment in October 2011 on my post "The Pray Manuscript." At the time I briefly responded that I would

[Above (click image to enlarge): "The Entombment" (upper) and "Visit to the Sepulchre" (lower), Hungarian Pray Manuscript or Pray Codex (1192-1195): Berkovits, I., 1969 , "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, pl. III]

reply in a separate blog post, but it was only when I replied to a recent comment under that same post that I realised I had not replied to your comment as promised. My apologies. Your words are >bold to distinguish them from mine.

>>"Also, since Pray Manuscript proves that the Shroud of Turin was already in existence before 1195"

>Oh my, oh my... Your attempt to give the impression of your superior knowledge in this matter is noted.

>Or, perhaps, it proves that the artist of the fake shroud knew of the Hungarian prayer manuscript, and incorporated these tell-tale signs into his forgery...? But your "prayer manuscript" reveals that you don't even know the name of what you are commenting on! It is the "Pray Manuscript" (or "Codex") which was named after a Hungarian historian György Pray who discovered it in 1770:
"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. It is the first known example of continuous prose text in Hungarian. The Codex is kept in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest." ("Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011)

And thanks for your tacit admission that the Pray Manuscript and Shroud of Turin share a number of common features that can only be reasonably explained by either the Shroud having being copied from the Pray Manuscript or the Pray Manuscript having been copied from the Shroud. If the latter, because the Pray Manuscript has a confirmed existence since at least 1192-95, the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to AD 1260-1390 has to be wrong.

Those features shared in common between the Shroud and the Pray Manuscript include: 1. Jesus is naked (uniquely in the medieval era); 2. His hands are crossed; 3. right over left; 4. nail mark(s) at the base of the hand (Plate IV); 5. no thumbs are visible; 6. long fingers; 7. double-length shroud; 8. herringbone pattern of shroud; 9. an L-shaped pattern of `poker' holes in the shroud; and 10. a mark above the right eye corresponding to reversed `3' bloodstain on the Shroud.

For the Pray Manuscript having been copied from the Shroud:

  • Artistic evidence proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud has been in existence since at least the 6th century (see my ongoing series on the Vignon markings). That's six centuries before the Pray Manuscript!

  • The `poker holes' are real burn holes on the Shroud, but only ink painted circles on the Pray Manuscript. A forger would be most unlikely (putting it mildly) to thrust a hot poker through four thicknesses of his Shroud forgery, four times, to make four sets of vertically matching four poker-holes in it, based on the ink painted circles on the Pray Manuscript.

  • There are bloodstains which are real blood on the Shroud, but there are no bloodstains on the body of Jesus in the Pray Manuscript's Entombment scene (upper Plate III above). The lack of bloodstains on the Pray Manuscript (there are only three red ink bloodstains on Plate IV and none on Plate II which depicts Jesus being taken down from the Cross) is readily explained by Byzantine and medieval artists being reluctant to show bloodstains on their copies of the Shroud, since they were seeking to depict the resurrected, living Christ. But if the Shroud was copied from the Pray Manuscript, a separate explanation is then required for the bloodstains on the Shroud (which have an anatomically accuracy unknown until Harvey discovered the arterial and venous circulation of human blood in the 17th century).

Against the Shroud having been copied from the Pray Manuscript:

  • That would require a separate explanation for the origin of the Pray Manuscript, with its unique features:
    "Perhaps most compelling of all is a drawing on a page of the Hungarian Pray manuscript preserved in the National Szechenyi Library, Budapest ... [Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," 1969, pl.III] Not only do we yet again see the awkward arm crossing, this time, most unusually, Jesus is represented as totally nude, exactly as on the Shroud. Again exactly as in the case of the Shroud, all four fingers on each of Jesus's hands can be seen, but no thumbs. Just over Jesus's right eye there is a single forehead bloodstain. Delineated in red, this is located in exactly the same position as that very distinctive reverse '3'-shaped stain on Jesus's forehead on the Shroud that we noted earlier. Exactly as in the case of the Shroud, the cloth in which Jesus is being wrapped is of double body length type, the second half, as known from other versions of the same scene, extending over Joseph of Arimathea's shoulder. If all this is not enough, the cover of what appears to be the tomb is decorated with a herringbone pattern in which can be seen four holes in an identical arrangement to the so-called 'poker-holes' on the Shroud that we have suggested were sustained during Caliph Mu'awiyah's 'trial by fire' experiment back around 680." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," 2010, pp.183-184).
  • It would be blasphemy, a capital crime in the Middle Ages, for an artist on his own initiative to depict Christ naked, unless He already was naked on the Shroud, which was regarded as acheiropoietos (Greek for "not made with hands").

  • It would require the forger in 14th century France to know about the Pray Manuscript, when it was only discovered in 18th century Hungary by Hungarian historian György Pray.

  • Why would the forger go to so much trouble, to travel from France to Hungary, to copy details from the Pray Manuscript for his Shroud forgery, and return (a round trip of about 2,500 kilometres or 1550 miles), when the gullible public in the 14th century would be satisfied with far less?:
    "Also is it not rather incredible that this unknown individual should have gone to so much trouble and effort to deceive in an age in which, as twentieth-century journalists have reminded us, a large proportion of the populace would have been very easily duped by a feather of the Archangel Gabriel or a phial of the last breath of St Joseph?" (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud," 1998, pp.59-60).
  • There is only one Vignon Marking on the Pray Manuscript: the `reversed 3' bloodstain on the Shroud image's right forehead, represented as a mark. That is readily explained by the ink painter of the Pray Manuscript working from the Shroud, but choosing to only depict that one Vignon Marking. But if the Shroud was copied from the Pray Manuscript, that would require a separate explanation for the other fourteen Vignon Markings on the Shroud.

  • There is no comprehensive and coherent explanation of how the Shroud was copied from the Pray Manuscript, as part of a comprehensive and coherent explanation of the Shroud itself. Anyone who attempted it would find (or had already found and abandoned it) that it would break down at many points, including those above.

>Oh wait, that makes much more sense... It only `makes sense' to one whose mind has been taken captive by the philosophy (Colossians 2:8) of Naturalism: that nature is all there is-there is no supernatural. But as can be seen above, that the Shroud was copied from the Pray Manuscript makes no sense.

>Lol! As can be seen above, the laugh is actually on you and your Shroud anti-authenticity ilk. The Pray Manuscript is just another piece of the overwhelming evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ, bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!:
"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant the blood dematerializes, dissolved perhaps by the flash, while its image and that of the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection." (Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," 1978, p.210).

Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!

25 comments:

The Deuce said...

Hi, Steve,

Thanks for another excellent post. I agree that between the depiction of Jesus cross-armed with long fingers and no thumbs, a herringbone weave, and the L-shape dots in the shape of the holes, the Pray Codex almost surely depicts the Shroud. There are a few things that bug me though, and I was wondering if you could comment:

1) The orientation of the L on the Pray Codex seems to be different from the pictures I've seen illustrating where the holes are on the Shroud, with the long side of the L on the Shroud being parallel with the sides, but on the Codex it seems to be parallel with the top and bottom. Any reason it might have been done this way?

2) On the bottom part of the cloth depicted in the Codex, there appears to be five holes. Does this correspond to anything on the Shroud? I don't see any pattern of five holes in the pictures I linked above, but I realize that there are smaller holes as well on the Shroud that may have been depicted by the Codex, but not in the linked illustration.

3) The weave is depicted differently on the front and back of the Shroud, with the side that the angel is standing on being drawn with lines in a herringbone pattern, and the other side depicted with red crosses. Why might this be?

The Deuce said...

Btw, I just noticed Ian Wilson's statement that in panel 3 of the Pray Codex, Joseph of Arimathea has the second half of the Shroud draped over his shoulder, and that we know this from other versions of the same scene.

I'm guessing that Joseph of Arimathea is the guy on the left? He's clearly holding a cloth in his left hand which appears to go over his left shoulder, and, it appears plausible, to come down across his right shoulder and connect to the cloth Jesus is laying on behind Jesus' head. It's not completely obvious from the Pray Codex alone, but if there are other scenes that depict Joseph this way as Ian Wilson alludes to, that would provide context. Does Wilson mention what any of those other scenes are?

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>... I agree that between the depiction of Jesus cross-armed with long fingers and no thumbs, a herringbone weave, and the L-shape dots in the shape of the holes, the Pray Codex almost surely depicts the Shroud.

And naked. The Pray Ms and the Shroud are, as far as I am aware, the only two medieval or older depictions of Jesus totally nude.

>... 1) The orientation of the L on the Pray Codex seems to be different from the pictures I've seen illustrating where the holes are on the Shroud, with the long side of the L on the Shroud being parallel with the sides, but on the Codex it seems to be parallel with the top and bottom. Any reason it might have been done this way?

One reason is that the Pray Ms is necessarily in portrait mode, being a picture on the cover of a codex, and to fully depict the 14 metre Shroud would require landscape mode, or else the artist had to make artistic compromises. Jesus' feet are not shown, etc.

The artist is trying to fit it all in, including the Biblical persons, in a miniature portait drawing using only black ink and only two coloured inks, red and blue. It is an artwork, not a photograph.

>2) On the bottom part of the cloth depicted in the Codex, there appears to be five holes. Does this correspond to anything on the Shroud? I don't see any pattern of five holes in the pictures I linked above, but I realize that there are smaller holes as well on the Shroud that may have been depicted by the Codex, but not in the linked illustration.

Yes, if you look at a close-up of the Shroud itself, e.g. on ShroudScope, the dorsal left-hand group of poker holes, which presumably were the uppermost and received directly the spattering of hot oil or sparks from the hot poker, have a five-hole pattern exactly as shown on the lower pattern of holes on the Pray Ms.

The five-hole pattern as well as the L-shaped four-hole pattern of `poker holes', actually further confirm that the Pray Ms artist was working directly from the Shroud, very close-up, front and back!

3) The weave is depicted differently on the front and back of the Shroud, with the side that the angel is standing on being drawn with lines in a herringbone pattern, and the other side depicted with red crosses. Why might this be?

Again, it is an artwork, not a photo. And a mediaeval Christian artwork at that. The Christian saints in the drawing didn't have halos in real life either. So presumably the Christian artist, having shown more realistically the Shroud's herringbone weave on one section of it, added a red Christian cross motif to the herringbone weave on the other lower section of his Shroud depiction.

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.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>Btw, I just noticed Ian Wilson's statement that in panel 3 of the Pray Codex, Joseph of Arimathea has the second half of the Shroud draped over his shoulder, and that we know this from other versions of the same scene.

The artist is presumably depicting the scene in John 19:38-42:

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.

where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (two members of the Jewish Sanhedrin), enfolded (Gk. edesan) Jesus' body in linen cloths, and entombed Him.

>I'm guessing that Joseph of Arimathea is the guy on the left?

Yes, presumably since according to the passage above he bought the Shroud and Nicodemus the spices.

The third person on the right with the youthful appearance is presumably the Apostle John, who was often depicted as an unbearded youth in early artworks (e.g. in Da Vinci's Last Supper), and may have also been there as an unmentioned eyewitness to the entombment of Jesus.

>He's clearly holding a cloth in his left hand which appears to go over his left shoulder, and, it appears plausible, to come down across his right shoulder and connect to the cloth Jesus is laying on behind Jesus' head. It's not completely obvious from the Pray Codex alone, but if there are other scenes that depict Joseph this way as Ian Wilson alludes to, that would provide context. Does Wilson mention what any of those other scenes are?

No, and I am unaware of what they are. There are two early deposition depictions on my 2010 "The Pray Manuscript" post but they don't seem to show Joseph of Arimathea with the Shroud over his shoulder.

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

On closer inspection of the Pray Codex, it looks like the front end of the Shroud goes behind Jesus' halo where it gets rolled up, over Joseph of Arimethia's right shoulder, around his neck and over his left shoulder, into his left hand where he is holding it up, then behind Nicodemus and into St. John's left hand, where he's holding the other end up. That's the only way to make sense of the paintings details, imo.

Stephen E. Jones said...

>and to fully depict the 14 metre Shroud

That should be ~4 metre (~14 foot) Shroud.

Actually the Shroud is 437 x 111 cm (i.e. 4.37 x 1.11 metres):

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

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>On closer inspection of the Pray Codex, it looks like the front end of the Shroud goes behind Jesus' halo where it gets rolled up, over Joseph of Arimethia's right shoulder, around his neck and over his left shoulder, into his left hand where he is holding it up, then behind Nicodemus and into St. John's left hand, where he's holding the other end up. That's the only way to make sense of the paintings details, imo.

Thanks for that and agreed. Even though I have Berkovits' book, I had not followed the Shroud past behind Jesus' head in the Entombment scene in upper Plate III.

But now looking at it more closely, it is clear that the Shroud is wound around the back of Joseph's neck, being held in his left hand, then around Nicodemus to John's left hand, up around the back of his neck where John is holding it with his right hand against his neck, then the Shroud goes around the back of John's neck again, down over the Shroud and under his left arm, over Jesus' feet and down to end on the lower part of the cloth (not the Shroud-see below) that Jesus' body is lying on.

And interestingly, that end of the Shroud looks ragged, just as it does today, and is probably the same end from where the C14 sample was taken!

It is an anonymous criticism on Wikipedia that "the shroud of turin is some 14 feet long, significantly larger than the small shroud depicted in codex" (note the lack of capitals indicating that part was added by a prejudiced Internet ignoramus who probably doesn't even own any books on the Shroud):

"On the other hand, there are significant differences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud of Turin. ... the shroud of turin is some 14 feet long, significantly larger than the small shroud depicted in codex. These discrepancies call into question the assertion that the Pray Codex is an illustration of the Shroud of Turin." ("Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011).

I measured the Shroud along the circuitous route above, on Berkovits' Plate III (upper), using a piece of plastic coated flexible thin wire, and its length was about 560 mm. The length of Jesus is about 135 mm, which makes the Shroud about 560/135 = 4.1 times Jesus' body! So Wikipedia's `not long enough' criticism is definitely wrong. Expect to see a `too long' criticism after the anonymous critic reads this comment!

But if the 110 mm cloth that Jesus is about to be laid on, with its un-Shroud like feature in the middle, near Jesus' buttocks, is not the Shroud, then 560-110 = 450 mm, which is 450/135 = 3.3 times Jesus' body. If Jesus' image on the Shroud is about 5 foot 10 inches (178 cm) and the Shroud is 437 cm, then the Shroud is 437/178 = 2.5 times Jesus body.

So it looks like the artist used `artistic licence' to make the Shroud go around Joseph, Nicodemus and John. That might be why he added another piece of cloth under Jesus to make the too-long Shroud less too-long?

This is borne out by the Shroud in the lower scene on Plate III, being 275 mm. Using the same 135 mm length of Jesus' body, makes it 275/135 = 2.0 times Jesus' body, and the far right hand corner of it may not be depicted.

That the same Shroud is too long in the upper scene and too short in the lower scene on the same Plate III, indicates the artist was not seeking for modern scientific exactitude.

Again, it must be remembered that the Pray Ms is a work of Christian religious art, not a photograph. Photographs, and with them the concept of photographic realism, were still over 600 years in the future! Critics who nit-pick some particular aspect of the Pray Ms to discount it being a copy of the Shroud are, in Jesus' words, "blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!" (Matthew 23:24).

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

Hi Steve,

I interpret it a bit differently from you. As I see it, the cloth that Jesus is laying on is part of the Shroud, and it connects behind his halo to the cloth Joseph has draped around his neck (notice how the cloth bunches up around Jesus' area).

It's not 100% clear to me what happens to the cloth to the right of St. John's left hand. Clearly, it doesn't just hang there, but is lifted back up by something as it appears to go under St. John's cloak, and I'm nearly certain that you're right about him pinning it against his neck with his right hand. However, as I interpret it, it doesn't wrap around his neck again and over Jesus' feet. Instead, what we're seeing is the outline of the Shroud underneath St. John's cloak. So, as I see it, it goes through his hand and under his cloak, then while underneath his cloak, it goes underneath his left arm and around his neck, where he holds the end of it down with his right hand.

The folds at Jesus' feet, as I see it, are under his feet, and are simply part of the cloth that his body is on, like the folds in the middle.

Anyhow, regardless of interpretation, it's very, very clear that the cloth goes around Joseph's neck and into his left hand, behind Nicodemus, through John's left hand, and then continues somewhere. Once you see it, it's so obvious that you can't unsee it. So it's definitely not a "short" Shroud that's depicted.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>... As I see it, the cloth that Jesus is laying on is part of the Shroud, and it connects behind his halo to the cloth Joseph has draped around his neck (notice how the cloth bunches up around Jesus' area).

Disagree. The part in the middle upon which Jesus' buttocks are about to be laid has no counterpart to the Shroud. It may be another cloth or the rock shelf. If it was the Shroud it would make it even longer when it is already too long, even allowing for artistic licence. So I interpret the head end of the Shroud as starting under Jesus' head, on the same level as the foot end.

>It's not 100% clear to me what happens to the cloth to the right of St. John's left hand. Clearly, it doesn't just hang there, but is lifted back up by something as it appears to go under St. John's cloak, and I'm nearly certain that you're right about him pinning it against his neck with his right hand.

Yes, otherwise the Shroud couldn't just hang there. It also means John's left hand is doing something. But because the Shroud is the same colour as the background it is not immediately obvious.

>However, as I interpret it, it doesn't wrap around his neck again and over Jesus' feet. Instead, what we're seeing is the outline of the Shroud underneath St. John's cloak. So, as I see it, it goes through his hand and under his cloak, then while underneath his cloak, it goes underneath his left arm and around his neck, where he holds the end of it down with his right hand.

You could be right but that part is hard to distinguish.

>The folds at Jesus' feet, as I see it, are under his feet, and are simply part of the cloth that his body is on, like the folds in the middle.

As stated previously, I interpret what Jesus is about to be laid upon as another cloth or the tomb's rock shelf. Remember that John 19:38-42 mentions "linen cloths" (plural) so the Pray Ms artist would have no Biblical reason not to add another cloth.

The big news is that I am now convinced that the ragged end of the Shroud below Jesus' feet, is the artist's depiction of the similarly ragged foot end of the Shroud, with the now missing corner still there! Check it yourself using ShroudScope.

If so, this is yet another, along with the L-shaped `poker holes' set, proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Pray Ms (1192-95) was based on the Shroud.

Which means that the Shroud would have to have existed at least decades before 1192. Which in turn means the 1988 C14 dating of the Shroud as "medieval ... AD 1260-1390" even more has to be wrong!

Which means the Bishop d'Arcis "cunningly painted" memorandum is wrong, except that it confirms the Shroud did appear in Lirey, France about 1355.

And the further back in time the Shroud is pushed back, the more and more implausible forgery theories become because of the lack of required artistic ability even in the 14th century.

>Anyhow, regardless of interpretation, it's very, very clear that the cloth goes around Joseph's neck and into his left hand, behind Nicodemus, through John's left hand, and then continues somewhere. Once you see it, it's so obvious that you can't unsee it. So it's definitely not a "short" Shroud that's depicted.

Agreed. Thanks again for pointing it out.

Stephen E. Jones

Justin said...

Hi,

I know this is off topic, but is there any news on whether the cut off portions of the shroud that were burnt will be allowed to be subjected to new radio carbon dating?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Justin

>I know this is off topic,

It is off-topic, but it is a good question so I will allow it.

>is there any news on whether the cut off portions of the shroud that were burnt will be allowed to be subjected to new radio carbon dating?

It has been proposed (even before the 1988 radiocarbon dating), that the areas of the Shroud charred in the fire of 1532 be radiocarbon dated, since:

1) their being burnt should not affect their C14 date, any more than the 1532 fire affects the C14 date of unburnt areas of the Shroud;

2) the charred areas cover all parts of the Shroud, even image areas; and

3) they have no aesthetic or religious value, and in fact since the 2002 restoration they have been removed from the Shroud.

But I have heard nothing about the Vatican allowing another C14 dating of those charred areas, or of any other area of the Shroud.

However, it is always possible it could be done in the future since the restorers were careful to record where the areas they removed came from.

But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it. There is nothing in it for the Vatican to allow another C14 test of the Shroud. It would be a huge cost in time and money for the Rome and Turin RC hierarchy, whose `day jobs' are already no doubt fully occupied in running the RC Church.

Also, because of the now known problems of C14 dating ancient linen, there is no guarantee that another C14 test would be conclusive.

And one can never rule out scientific fraud on the part of other C14 labs to support the 1988 C14 date of "medieval ... AD 1260-1390."

In fact I wonder if any C14 lab would be willing to go through the controversy that would inevitably ensue, if the Shroud was C14 dated again. The labs are also no doubt fully occupied with their `day jobs' too. I expect the three C14 labs that dated the Shroud in 1988 regretted doing it, because of all the time they have had to waste (from their perspective) defending their dating.

Finally, the evidence already is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic. See my series, "Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud has to be wrong!"

So even if for some reason the C14 date of the Shroud was again found to be 14th century, it would have to be rejected, unless there was a plausible explaining away of all that other evidence, which has never been done and in my considered opinion never can be done.

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.

Justin said...

Thanks Mr. Jones. I believe it to be authentic, too. Thanks for your insight and the blog. It's great!

Justin

Stephen E. Jones said...

>But now looking at it more closely, it is clear that the Shroud is wound around the back of Joseph's neck, being held in his left hand, then around Nicodemus to John's left hand, up around the back of his neck where John is holding it with his right hand against his neck, then the Shroud goes around the back of John's neck again, down over the Shroud and under his left arm, over Jesus' feet and down to end on the lower part of the cloth (not the Shroud-see below) that Jesus' body is lying on.

I have since realised that what I thought was the Shroud going "around Nicodemus" was just part of his clothing.

So the Shroud goes from Joseph's left hand to John's left hand. That reduces its length in the Pray Manuscript's upper Entombment scene by about 80 mm see below).

>And interestingly, that end of the Shroud looks ragged, just as it does today, and is probably the same end from where the C14 sample was taken!
>
>It is an anonymous criticism on Wikipedia that "the shroud of turin is some 14 feet long, significantly larger than the small shroud depicted in codex" (note the lack of capitals indicating that part was added by a prejudiced Internet ignoramus who probably doesn't even own any books on the Shroud):
>
>"On the other hand, there are significant differences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud of Turin. ... the shroud of turin is some 14 feet long, significantly larger than the small shroud depicted in codex. These discrepancies call into question the assertion that the Pray Codex is an illustration of the Shroud of Turin." ("Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011).

I am preparing a post responding to that Wikipedia article.

>I measured the Shroud along the circuitous route above, on Berkovits' Plate III (upper), using a piece of plastic coated flexible thin wire, and its length was about 560 mm. The length of Jesus is about 135 mm, which makes the Shroud about 560/135 = 4.1 times Jesus' body! So Wikipedia's `not long enough' criticism is definitely wrong. Expect to see a `too long' criticism after the anonymous critic reads this comment!

Not going around Nicodemus' body from that starting point, reduces that length of the Shroud by about 80 mm. See below for my new calculation.

>But if the 110 mm cloth that Jesus is about to be laid on, with its un-Shroud like feature in the middle, near Jesus' buttocks, is not the Shroud, then 560-110 = 450 mm, which is 450/135 = 3.3 times Jesus' body. If Jesus' image on the Shroud is about 5 foot 10 inches (178 cm) and the Shroud is 437 cm, then the Shroud is 437/178 = 2.5 times Jesus body.

But from this starting point of the Shroud below Jesus' head, not including the 110 mm cloth or rock shelf of the tomb that Jesus is about to be laid on, the Shroud's length is about 420 mm, i.e. 420/135 = about 3.2 times Jesus' body, only marginally less than the 3.3 times I previously thought it was.

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

I have since realised that what I thought was the Shroud going "around Nicodemus" was just part of his clothing.

Ah, that explains it. I knew there must be some disconnect between us there, but I wasn't sure what it was. I didn't realize that by "around" Nicodemus, you meant actually wrapped around him. Yeah, that's just his cloak. The Shroud goes directly from Joseph's hand to John's, with Nicodemus merely standing in front of it.

But from this starting point of the Shroud below Jesus' head, not including the 110 mm cloth or rock shelf of the tomb that Jesus is about to be laid on...

FWIW, I think the cloth underneath Jesus in that picture is supposed to be part of the Shroud, and not a separate cloth or a rock shelf. The weird shape in the middle under Jesus' buttocks, I think, is meant to be seen as a fold in the cloth. It's artistic license, meant to illustrate the cloth-like nature of it, and to help capture the fact that the men are still in the middle of hastily preparing the body and burial garments (that is, they haven't yet fully unfolded the cloth yet, or straightened out all the wrinkles and folds, and Nicodemus is still in the middle of applying the oils and spices).

...the Shroud's length is about 420 mm, i.e. 420/135 = about 3.2 times Jesus' body, only marginally less than the 3.3 times I previously thought it was.

I also think that the weird shape under Jesus' feet is also meant to be another fold in the cloth, and not a continuation of the cloth from John's cloak, which shortens it substantially. Also, I think that the cloak John is wearing is, like Nicodemus, meant to be his own clothing rather than part of the Shroud, so the Shroud ends either underneath John's right hand beneath his cloak (assuming that he's pinning the Shroud down with his right hand), or possibly under his left elbow (if he's merely holding his own cloak up with his right hand, and pinning the Shroud against his side with his left elbow). In any case, even if his cloak *is* meant to be part of the Shroud, I think it's well within the range of "artistic license" for a very sketchy and impressionistic artwork like this.

The Deuce said...

One reason I think that the cloak John is wearing is supposed to be his clothing, and not part of the Shroud, btw, is that there appears to be a hole in the cloak for John's left arm to come out of, and his left wrist is depicted as being on top of it. That couldn't be the case if it were a single cloth like the Shroud draped over top of him.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>>I have since realised that what I thought was the Shroud going "around Nicodemus" was just part of his clothing.

>... I didn't realize that by "around" Nicodemus, you meant actually wrapped around him. Yeah, that's just his cloak. The Shroud goes directly from Joseph's hand to John's, with Nicodemus merely standing in front of it.

Agreed.

>>But from this starting point of the Shroud below Jesus' head, not including the 110 mm cloth or rock shelf of the tomb that Jesus is about to be laid on...

>FWIW, I think the cloth underneath Jesus in that picture is supposed to be part of the Shroud, and not a separate cloth or a rock shelf. The weird shape in the middle under Jesus' buttocks, I think, is meant to be seen as a fold in the cloth.

There is nothing Shroud-like about it. There is no Shroud analogue to the piece in the middle. It is also much wider than the Shroud elsewhere in the scene. It has no upper border, Jesus' body being in the way of that.

It also has at least one different end, below Jesus' feet, which (as shall be seen in my next post) matches that same ragged end on the Shroud.

So I still assume it is a separate piece of cloth, maybe one of the disciples' cloaks, or the rock-shelf on which Jesus enshrouded body would be laid.

>It's artistic license, meant to illustrate the cloth-like nature of it, and to help capture the fact that the men are still in the middle of hastily preparing the body and burial garments (that is, they haven't yet fully unfolded the cloth yet, or straightened out all the wrinkles and folds, and Nicodemus is still in the middle of applying the oils and spices).

Agreed that they are yet to fully unfold the Shroud. Which is another reason why the fully unfolded cloth or rock shelf upon which Jesus body is about to be laid, is not the Shroud.

>...the Shroud's length is about 420 mm, i.e. 420/135 = about 3.2 times Jesus' body, only marginally less than the 3.3 times I previously thought it was.

I also think that the weird shape under Jesus' feet is also meant to be another fold in the cloth, and not a continuation of the cloth from John's cloak, which shortens it substantially.

I will draw a dark outline around what I interpret to be the Shroud in the upper scene and include it in my next post. Which will be a critique of Wikipedia's page on the Pray Manuscript.

>Also, I think that the cloak John is wearing is, like Nicodemus, meant to be his own clothing rather than part of the Shroud, so the Shroud ends either underneath John's right hand beneath his cloak (assuming that he's pinning the Shroud down with his right hand),

I agree with this part. John's cloak has no left border and there seems to be no left counterpart to his right sleeave.

>or possibly under his left elbow (if he's merely holding his own cloak up with his right hand, and pinning the Shroud against his side with his left elbow).

That seems unnatural. John ("the disciple whom Jesus loved") is more likely to be holding a tip of the Shroud with his right hand against the side of his head.

And also I interpret the Shroud coming down from John's right hand, over the back of his neck, down over his left shoulder, then under his left arm, over his cloak, then under Jesus' feet, to finish with its ragged end matching that ragged Raes' Corner end of the Shroud, over the cloak or rock shelf.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>In any case, even if his cloak *is* meant to be part of the Shroud, I think it's well within the range of "artistic license" for a very sketchy and impressionistic artwork like this.

Granted that the Pray Manuscript artist had to resort to a degree of "artistic license" to fit the Shroud around the three saints, so they could be depicted playing a role in Jesus' entombment. But for John's cloak to be part of the Shroud would be too impressionistic, for me at least! I prefer my interpretation which does not need that expedient.

The Deuce

>One reason I think that the cloak John is wearing is supposed to be his clothing, and not part of the Shroud, btw, is that there appears to be a hole in the cloak for John's left arm to come out of, and his left wrist is depicted as being on top of it. That couldn't be the case if it were a single cloth like the Shroud draped over top of him.

I have no problem with this. As I said in my above reply:

"... I interpret the Shroud coming down from John's right hand, over the back of his neck, down over his left shoulder, then under his left arm, over his cloak, then under Jesus' feet, to finish with its ragged end matching that ragged Raes' Corner end of the Shroud, over the cloak or rock shelf.

What I mean will be clearer when in my next post I will upload a picture of the Pray Manuscript's Entombment scene (Plate III upper), with a dark outline around where I interpret the Shroud to be.

But your referring to John's "cloak" helped me realise that what Jesus is about to be lowered onto is probably a cloak, with the piece in the middle being a hole for the head and a tie to hold the front and back of the cloak together. It could be intended to be John's cloak because it is not obvious that he is wearing one, the Shroud being his cloak. There is no right edge where John's cloak would be, for example.

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.

Menedemus said...

Steve. Two issues seem to come up when the Pray Codex is compared with other similar scenes in medieval art.
1) The cloth held by 'John' and the others is narrow, not the 111 cms of the Shroud. The illustration fits better with depictions of the burial of Christ where he is wrapped in strips of linen e.g. the account from John. Here are the strips waiting to be applied after the anointing.
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.

Gio said...

Menedemus - I'm certain Steve can answer your points better, but I just wanted to say I think the cloth in the Pray Codex is folded in half as it goes up onto John's shoulder (if you've ever held a long cloth over a long distance you'll notice it tends to fold upon itself), thus making it narrower than it should be. I can't do an exact measurement, but I think given the width of Jesus' body that would be too wide for a single strip anyway.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Menedemus

>Two issues seem to come up when the Pray Codex is compared with other similar scenes in medieval art.

Thanks for your comment.

>1) The cloth held by 'John' and the others is narrow, not the 111 cms of the Shroud.

The cloth starts wider under Jesus' head, becomes narrow and then later spreads out over John's left shoulder in the upper, "The Entombment," scene. See my green outline of the Shroud in that scene in my recent post, "My critique of "The Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011." This shows that the Pray Ms artist was depicting the Shroud as narrow to fit it in around the three saints, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and John.

>The illustration fits better with depictions of the burial of Christ where he is wrapped in strips of linen e.g. the account from John. Here are the strips waiting to be applied after the anointing.

A quick survey of four Bible translations shows "strips" of linen in the context of burial only in:

Lk 24:12 (NIV): "Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen [Gk. othonia "linen cloths"] lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Jn 11:44 (ESV): "The man [Lazarus] who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips [keiriais "bandages"], and his face wrapped with a cloth. ..."

Jn 11:44 (NIV) "The dead man [Lazarus] came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. ..."

Jn 19:40 (NIV) "Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen [othoniois] ..."

Jn 20:5 (NIV) "He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen [othonia] lying there but did not go in.

Jn 20:6 (NIV) "Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen [othonia] lying there,

So only in Jn 11:44 (ESV) is the word "strips" a correct translation of the Greek keiriais. In the other places the correct translation of othonia is "cloths", as the ESV does translate Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40; 20:5-7.

Since "The Entombment" scene is depicting Jn 19:38-42, it would probably depend on what the Latin Vulgate translated othoniois in Jn 19:40 as, as to whether the artist would have even thought of the Shroud as being a strip.

Probably he didn't because in the lower, "Visit to the Sepulchre" scene, he depicts strips of linen as well as a large burial garment.

>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

Stephen E. Jones said...

Gio

>Menedemus ... I just wanted to say I think the cloth in the Pray Codex is folded in half as it goes up onto John's shoulder (if you've ever held a long cloth over a long distance you'll notice it tends to fold upon itself), thus making it narrower than it should be.

Agreed. But even if naturally a 1.1 metre x 4.4 m linen cloth folded lengthways, as I pointed out in my reply to Menedemus, the artist would depict it as narrower given his lack of space to fit Joseph, Nicodemus and John in his small 235 x 75 mm (half of 235 x 150 mm) space.

>I can't do an exact measurement, but I think given the width of Jesus' body that would be too wide for a single strip anyway.

Yes. As I pointed out in my reply to Menedemus, "strips" is a mistranslation of othonia which is just the plural of "linen cloth."

"Strips" is based on a former misconception by Bible translators that Jewish burials wrapped the body in long bandages like Egyptian mummies. But Jewish burials covered the body with a large, plain, linen sheet, exactly as per the Shroud, and tied the arms, legs and chin with linen strips or bandages to prevent them from moving.

Part of the confusion was based on Lazarus being bound with strips and having to be untied:

Jn 11:43-44 ESV. 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, `Lazarus, come out.' 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, [keiriais] and his face wrapped with a cloth [sudario]. Jesus said to them, `Unbind him, and let him go.'

But they were the bandages tied around the arms, legs and chin to prevent them from moving until rigor mortis set in. As well as the sudario, a "napkin," which covered the dead person's face.

Lazarus would have also had a shroud [sindon], since he did not emerge naked, but that was not mentioned, since it did not need to be untied or removed completely.

Only the bandages needed to be untied which were preventing Lazarus moving freely and the face cloth, preventing him from seeing, after the sindon was moved off his head and over one shoulder.

Stephen E. Jones

Menedemus said...

Thanks for your thoughtful replies to my post.You have obviously thought about this a good deal. What is your considered view of where the Shroud was seen, obviously in its full length, by the person who produced the Codex? or do we just have to guess?
(Menedemus was the name given by Erasmus to one of his characters in a dialogue, a good Catholic who had his doubts about some of the relic cults of his day.)

Stephen E. Jones said...

Menedemus

>Thanks for your thoughtful replies to my post.You have obviously thought about this a good deal.

Probably almost every day since that day in January 2005 that I bought for $3.00 secondhand Stevenson & Habermas' book, "Verdict on the Shroud" (1981) and my life was changed forever. I already was a Christian, living a consistent Christian life, but the Shroud has added a new dimension to it.

Previously I believed Jesus rose from the dead but now I know that He has, in the same way that the Apostle John "saw the linen cloths lying there ... and believed":

Jn 20:3-8. 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 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. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;

>What is your considered view of where the Shroud was seen, obviously in its full length, by the person who produced the Codex? or do we just have to guess?

Since the Pray Codex was created in 1192-95, the artist must have seen the Shroud well before then. According to Wilson's, the Shroud is the Edessa Mandylion "doubled-in-four" theory, which I accept, the Shroud was in Constantinople from 944-1201.

De Wesselow, in discussing the Pray Manuscript, points out that "King Bela III [of Hungary] ... spent eight years as a young man in the imperial court at Constantinople" and "During his reign ... cultural links between Hungary and the Byzantine capital were strong" (p.178).

According to Wikipedia, that must have been between 1164-72:

"Béla III (Hungarian: III. Béla, Croatian: Bela III., Slovak: Belo III) (c. 1148 – 23 April 1196) was King of Hungary and Croatia (1172–1196). [Reign 4 March 1172 – 23 April 1196. Coronation 13 January 1173] He was educated in the court of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I [1118-80] who was planning to ensure his succession in the Byzantine Empire till the birth of his own son. ... In the beginning of 1166, Manuel I and Béla co-chaired the synod of the Byzantine Church in Constantinople" ("Béla III of Hungary," Wikipedia, 28 May 2012),

So I assume that the Pray Manuscript's drawings were probably commissioned by Manuel I as a gift to Bela III, upon his accession to the Hungarian throne, in 1172-73.

Stephen E. Jones

Menedemus said...

Many thanks for your post which makes an interesting link between Constantinople and Hungary- there is probably room for further research here.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Menedemus

>Many thanks for your post which makes an interesting link between Constantinople and Hungary-

Thanks for your question which made me do it.

>there is probably room for further research here.

As I said in my post, "My critique of "The Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011":

"I will attempt to edit the Wikipedia "Pray Codex" article ... I may also write an article for the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, on the Pray Manuscript ..."

I will include the Bela III - Constantinople connection in both.

Stephen E. Jones