Saturday, July 28, 2012

My critique of Charles Freeman's "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," part 4: "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo" (2)

Here is part 4, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo" (2), of my critique of historian Charles Freeman's,

[Above: Perfect fit of Sudarium of Oviedo (right) to the face on the Shroud of Turin (left), in Bennett, J., "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image," 2001, plate 20. This is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo once covered the bleeding head of the same man.]

"The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," May 24, 2012 [page 3-5]. The paper's words are bold. See previous parts 1, 2 and 3.

Having attempted to portray the Shroud of Turin as just another medieval fake relic, Freeman now attempts to do the same to Sudarium of Oviedo. That Freeman does this is tacit acknowledgment of my point in part 2 that:

"... The overwhelming majority of Shroud pro-authenticists believe that only TWO "of the thousands of ... first century ... relics [are] genuine: the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.

Freeman had previously made the patently false claim in part 1 that:

"the Turin Shroud is very much a cult of the past fifty years, not a medieval one"

He prefaces his attempt to discredit the Sudarium of Oviedo with the vacuous claim:

However, there is something about burial cloths and images that attract interest now in a way they did not in the Middle Ages.

What does Freeman mean by this? It is so vague ("burial cloths and images") that it virtually meaningless. This is the 21st century and "The Middle Ages [was] ... the period of European history encompassing the 5th to the 15th centuries" ("The Middle Ages," Wikipedia, 19 July 2012). So it goes without saying that "burial cloths and images ... attract interest now [in the 21st century] in a way they did not in the Middle Ages [5th to the 15th centuries]. So Freeman's statement, as it stands, is trivially true.

Freeman continues:

Many people have heard of the Sudarium of Oviedo (in Spain), a bloodstained cloth purporting, like the Shroud, to come from the tomb of Jesus.

Indeed! Classics scholar Mark Guscin explains:
"In the cathedral town of Oviedo in the north of Spain there is a cloth measuring approximately 84 x 53 cm on which there are bloodstains, fold marks, and other things invisible to the naked eye, such as pollen, but definitely no image. What makes this cloth special is that the bloodstains are claimed to be those of Jesus. ... Such a cloth is known to have existed from the gospel of John:
Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. (John 20.6-7)
... John describes in detail the cloths he saw in the tomb. First he mentions the linen cloths, or as other translations of the gospel call them, the linen wrappings. The Greek word is, `ta othonia', which means `pieces of fine linen'. It is a different word from that used in the other gospels, but the meaning is the same, and the curious thing here is that the word is plural. The other gospels only refer to the one cloth in which Jesus was wrapped, whereas John mentions at least two. ... The interesting point is the other piece of material that John saw -'the cloth that had been over his head'. The word he uses is, `to soudarion', which is an adaptation of the Latin `sudarium'. This word ... means a `face cloth' or `towel', used for drying or wiping the face. John saw this cloth rolled or folded up ... separate from the other cloths. On seeing these cloths, John tells us that he believed. ... Early Christian writers ... attribute John's believing on seeing the cloths to his realisation that if the cloths were still there, the body could not have been stolen, as no robbers would have taken the time and trouble to unwrap the corpse and leave the cloths folded or wrapped up, each in its own place." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," 1998, pp.8-11).

As can be seen below, the Sudarium of Oviedo is so unremarkable (if not revolting!) that there would be no reason for it to have been

[Above: The Sudarium of Oviedo: Mark Guscin, "The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin," 1997]

kept in the first place, let alone treasured, unless it actually was "the cloth [Gk. soudarion] that had been over his [Jesus] head" mentioned in John 20:7. And in fact (as can be seen in the photo at the beginning of this post) when the Sudarium stains are superimposed on the Shroud, "they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud":

"The most striking thing about all the stains [on the Sudarium of Oviedo] is that they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud. The first fact that confirms the relationship between the two cloths is that the blood on each belongs to the same group, AB. ... The length of the nose which produced this stain has been calculated at eight centimetres, just over three inches, which is exactly the same as the length of the nose on the Shroud. ... This, however, is not the only point of coincidence between the nasal areas on the two cloths. Both of them, especially the Shroud, contain a high concentration of ground particles and dust in this area. When a man was being led to the place of crucifixion, he had to carry the horizontal bar of the cross, which was probably tied to his outstretched arms and placed across the back of his neck. This meant that whenever he fell, which would have been often after being whipped and with such a weight to carry, he could not protect his face from the impact of the fall. This also explains why this nose was swollen, slightly displaced and bleeding ... Perhaps the most obvious fit when the stains on the sudarium are placed over the image of the face on the Shroud, is that of the beard; the match is perfect. This shows that the sudarium, possibly by being gently pressed onto the face, was also used to clean the blood and other fluids that had collected in the beard." (Guscin, 1998, pp.27-29).

The Sudarium might look like a simple cloth, but in fact it has a set of folds, which its some of blood and lung fluid stains correspond to as mirror images:

"The stains on the sudarium also show that when the cloth was impregnated with blood, it was folded over although not in the middle. The blood was so abundant that it stained all four sides of the folded cloth, so there is a fourfold stain in a logical order of decreasing intensity. When the body was lying on the ground face down, the liquid flow was so heavy that the stains on the part of the cloth farthest away from the face (i.e. the part that had direct contact with the hand that was holding the cloth to the face) are more extensive than the other. Numbered from one to four, Face One is the side that was in direct contact with the face, and Face Two is the reverse side if this. As the cloth was then folded back over itself, Face Three is on the same side of the cloth as Face Two, and Face Four on the same side as Face One. It is clear which part of the cloth was in direct contact with the face because actual dried blood, like scabs, is visible under the microscope." (Guscin, 1998, pp.25-26).

These stains in turn fit those on the head of the Shroud Man:
"If stain 13 is placed over the nose of the image on the Shroud, stain 6 is seen to proceed from the right hand side of the man's mouth. This stain is hardly visible on the shroud, but its existence has been confirmed by Dr John Jackson, who is well known for his studies on the Shroud using the VP-8 image analyser. Using the VP-8 and photo-enhancements, Dr Jackson has shown that the same stain is present on the Shroud, and the shape of the stain coincides perfectly with the one on the sudarium. The gap between the blood coming out of the right hand side of the mouth and the stain on the beard is mapped as number 18. This gap closes as the stains get progressively more extensive on faces 1, 2, 3 and 4 while at the same time they are less intense. Stain number 12 corresponds to the eyebrows of the face on the Shroud. As with the beard, this facial hair would have retained blood and this would have produced the stains on the sudarium when it was placed on Jesus' face. There is also blood on the forehead, which forms stain number 10 on the sudarium." (Guscin, 1998, p.28).

See the video "Shroud Report Interview with Mark Guscin on the Sudarium of Oviedo for how the Sudarium of was used.

[Above: How the blood and lung fluid stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo are mirror images along the major folds: Bennett, 2001, plate 18.]

The fit between the bloodstains on the Sudarium and the Shroud is too close and complex to have been mere coincidence. Yet for this to have been the work of a forger, he would have had to have access to the Shroud of Turin. But as Freeman himself admits, the Sudarium was "in Spain ... in 1030," that is, 230 years before 1260 which is the earliest radiocarbon date of the Shroud! So the only reasonable explanation is that the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin, once covered the body of the same crucifixion victim: Jesus!:

"I do not believe that anyone could seriously propose a scenario whereby the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo ... could have been fabricated. Their historical circumstances negate that possibility. That the Church would have cherished, hidden, and venerated two cloths that came from someone other than Christ, who happened to have died in exactly the same way and with wounds completely identical to His, is hardly possible ... " (Bennett, 2001, p.187).

But again Freeman withholds this vital information from his readers and so he continues to mislead them. That Freeman knows this information is evident from what follows, which is in Guscin's book.

It was found in a chest, supposed to have been made by the Apostles to contain their relics, that arrived in Spain in the seventh century but which had a legend attached to it that no good would come to anyone who opened it. Indeed when a bishop attempted to do so in 1030 there was a flash of white light and several people were blinded. What was inside it was not known. It took a more resolute figure, no less than a king, Alfonso VI, to dare to open it in 1075. It was crammed with relics of the Passion of Jesus, including, as was typical of these caches, a piece of the wood of the Cross, his Sacred Blood, bread from the Last Supper, a robe of the Virgin Mary, a stone from the tomb, as well as the Sudarium.

Freeman is again using the "guilt by association" tactic:

1. The Sudarium of Oviedo was kept in a chest with fake relics;
2. Therefore the Sudarium of Oviedo is a fake relic.

and:

1. There are legends associated with the Sudarium of Oviedo;
2. Therefore the Sudarium of Oviedo itself is legendary.

But again this is a form of the "Association fallacy ... which asserts that qualities of one thing [fake relics] are inherently qualities of another [the Sudarium of Oviedo], merely by an irrelevant association [they are both Christian relics and they both have legends associated with them]":

"An association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion... " ("Association fallacy," Wikipedia, 24 June 2012).

Freeman continues with yet another false claim that:

Later the chest was given a `history' that took it back to Jerusalem in 614.

But in fact the Sudarium of Oviedo already had a history that does take it back to Jerusalem in 614":
"The history of the sudarium is well documented, and much more straightforward than that of the Shroud. Most of the information comes from the twelfth century bishop of Oviedo, Pelagius (or Pelayo), whose historical works are the Book of the Testaments of Oviedo, and the Chronicon Regum Legionensium. 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. Saint Isidore was later bishop of Seville, and teacher of Saint Ildefonso, who was in turn appointed bishop of Toledo. When he left Seville to take up his post there, he took the chest with him. It stayed in Toledo until the year 718. It was then taken further north to avoid destruction at the hands of the Muslims, who conquered the majority of the Iberian peninsula at the beginning of the eighth century. It was first kept in a cave that is now called Monsacro, ten kilometres from Oviedo. King Alfonso II had a special chapel built for the chest, called the `Cámara Santa', later incorporated into the cathedral. The key date in the history of the sudarium is the 14th March 1075, when the chest was officially opened in the presence of King Alfonso VI, his sister Doña Urraca, and Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid. A list was made of the relics that were in the chest, and which included the sudarium. In the year 1113, the chest was covered with silver plating, on which there is an inscription inviting all Christians to venerate this relic which contains the holy blood. The sudarium has been kept in the cathedral at Oviedo ever since." (Guscin, 1997).

The bankruptcy of Freeman's Shroud and Sudarium anti-authenticity stance is evident when he admits that he has no answer to his own question, "why is the Sudarium [and the Shroud] still venerated today when the other more prestigious relics found with it are now forgotten?:

So why is the Sudarium still venerated today when the other more prestigious relics found with it are now forgotten? It was beyond the scope of my own researches, which remained within the Middle Ages, to explore why some relics resonate today and others do not. However, the Shroud of Turin, for whatever reason, is the most popular of all but other veils and cloths such as the Sudarium of Oviedo also attract special veneration at a time when so many other surviving medieval relics gather dust in sacristies. Who today notices the ‘genuine’ relics from Christ’s Passion when visiting the Treasury of St. Mark’s in Venice?

The answer is staring him in the face but Freeman's atheism/ agnosticism won't let him accept it. Which is that unlike all those other fake relics, the reason why "the Shroud of Turin ... [and] the Sudarium of Oviedo ... attract special veneration at a time when so many other surviving medieval relics gather dust" is because only the Shroud and the Sudarium have been confirmed by the preponderance of historical, artistic and scientific evidence to be authentic. That is, they both really did cover the body of Jesus Christ!

Freeman continues to mislead his readers by selectively concealing from them relevant information in his claim that the Sudarium has had "a radiocarbon-14 dating apparently of c. 700 AD":

Those trying to assess the authenticity of the Sudarium of Oviedo have to contend with a radiocarbon-14 dating apparently of c. 700 AD.

But Freeman's claim is misleading (and what's more, since he surely must have read Guscin's book, he knows it is misleading) that "the Sudarium of Oviedo "had ... a radiocarbon-14 dating ... of c. 700 AD." What Freeman does not tell his readers is that Guscin went into this very thoroughly in his book, detailing his correspondence with the Tucson Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory, and he concluded:

"The only conclusion that can be drawn from this, and the Tucson laboratory would seem to agree, is that the whole affair was something of a shambles. Mr Jull ends his fax to me offering to carry out a serious radiocarbon dating on a sample of interest. The samples were not taken with permission for radiocarbon dating, and had presumably been taken by Monsignor Ricci about 15 years before being sent to Tucson. When sent, insufficient provenance information accompanied them; one of the samples was even stated to be 11th century. Paul Damon says the dating was never carried out, and in the results sent to Italy the sample numbers do not coincide. The laboratory suggests a serious experiment. Taking all this into account, the supposed results of the carbon dating of the sudarium can safely be ignored." (Guscin, 1998, pp.83-84).

Freeman continues with a true statement that both the Sudarium and the Shroud have the same "rare AB group." But then he adds a dubious factoid, that the "AB group ... would have been ... virtually unknown before AD 900":

The blood on it has been analysed and is of the rare AB group. This is the newest blood-group in evolutionary terms and results from the mingling of Caucasian blood-group A and Mongoloid blood-group B. At first such a mutation would have been very rare and is virtually unknown before AD 900. It probably only came more common between 1000 and 1100, an age of migrations in central Europe where the highest percentage of AB blood groups are still found. The AB blood-group still only accounts for five per cent of the human population, many still found in the areas where the mingling took place. A similar AB blood-grouping on the Turin Shroud and an apparent link between the two cloths through their bloodstains suggests a medieval date for both, but, surely, further work needs to be done to confirm the AB result which is the work of only one independent researcher (Baima Ballone) and has not been replicated. (If the Shroud and the bloodstains on it are authentic will we eventually learn something of the DNA of God?)

But for this to be true, that the "AB group" was the result of "mingling of Caucasian blood-group A and Mongoloid blood-group B," yet it was "virtually unknown before AD 900": 1) there would have to be little or no "mingling of ... blood-group A and ... blood-group B ... before AD 900;" and 2) there would have had to be a comprehensive, worldwide, human ABO blood group survey "before AD 900"! But clearly 1) is highly unlikely (to put it mildly); and 2) did not happen. Besides, since the bloodstains on the Shroud and the Sudarium are blood group AB, and the evidence is overwhelming that they are both authentic and therefore first century, they themselves prove that the "AB group" existed long "before AD 900"!

A day after I posted the above, I caught up with a comment by a Bippy123 under my post, "Old blood does not always degenerate to type AB, so the Shroud of Turin's and the Sudarium of Oviedo's AB blood group is significant!," in which he cited the abstract of an article which stated there was a full range of ABO blood groups in pre-European Peruvian Indians:

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1978 Jul;49(1):139-42. ABO blood groups in Chilean and Peruvian mummies. II. Results of agglutination-inhibition technique. Allison MJ, Hossaini AA, Munizaga J, Fung R. Abstract ABO blood groups of Peruvian and Chilean mummies were determined with the agglutination-inhibition method. In Peru all ABO blood groups were found in the period from 3000 B.C. to 1400 A.D.; from this period to 1650 only A and O were seen. In Chile no B or AB was noted either in pre-Columbian or Colonial mummies. This confirms the archeological concept that the Chilean Indian was culturally as well as genetically different from the Peruvian Indian. Further studies using other genetic markers are in order, as well as changing certain preconceived notions on blood groups of American Indians.

The above implies that AB was among the "all ABO blood groups [which] were found in the period from 3000 B.C. to 1400 A.D." in Peruvian Indians. I then found a related abstract of an article which explicitly stated that there were "A, B, AB and O blood groups in America prior to known European contact" :

ABO blood groups in Peruvian mummies. I. An evaluation of techniques† Marvin J. Allison 1,*, Ali A. Hossaini 1, Nora Castro 1, Juan Munizaga 2, Alejandro Pezzia 3 ... American Journal of Physical Anthropology Volume 44, Issue 1, pages 55-61, January 1976 ... Abstract Blood groups of Peruvian mummies of known origin were determined by three different methods: agglutination-inhibition, induction of antibody production and mixed cell agglutination. The three techniques gave identical results, but the last two were useful in establishing the presence of H (O) antigen, while the first technique would not. The results indicate the presence of A, B, AB and O blood groups in America prior to known European contact. This suggests the need for a revision of concepts of blood groups in the American Indian.

Since the AB blood group was found in Peruvian Indian mummies "from 3000 B.C. to 1400 A.D." Freeman's already dubious claim that the "AB group" was "virtually unknown before AD 900" is actually false.

And as for Freeman's claim that, "the AB result which is the work of only one independent researcher (Baima Ballone) and has not been replicated," this also is false, because in 1993, "Dr Victor Tryon ... established that the sample was human blood of the AB group, just as Baima-Bollone had before them":

"On ... 21 April 1988 ... after having cut off the snippets of the Shroud used for radiocarbon dating, the Italian microscopist Dr Giovanni Riggi took a 1.5 mm `blood' sample from the back-of-the-head region. In June 1993 he provided some of this sample to a visiting American microbiology professor, Dr Leoncio Garza-Valdès, who took it back for analysis at the University of Texas' Center for Advanced DNA Technologies at San Antonio, Texas. There [in September 1994] the laboratory director, Dr Victor Tryon, and his technician wife, Nancy Mitchell Tryon, quickly established that the sample was human blood of the AB group, just as Baima-Bollone had before them." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," 2000, pp.76-77).

Continued in part 5, "The Image of Edessa (1)."

Posted: 28 July 2012. Updated: 26 May 2016.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Shooting the fox is not killing the fox!

I have in the past week been unpacking more of my 3,000+ books, following our downsizing to a smaller house about a year ago. In the process I

[Right: Allen R., "How To Win Arguments: The Complete Guide To Coming Out On Top," Thorsons: London, 1996]

unpacked this secondhand book, "How To Win Arguments" (1996) by the late Robert Allen, then Director of Mensa Psychometrics, and eventually Editorial Director of Mensa Publications. I bought the book in 2001, to help me in my debates on Creation/Evolution Internet forums. I hasten to add that I did not buy the book to discover tricks to help me win my arguments, but rather to help me recognise such tricks being used against me!

The only `trick' I used, is what I still use, the "powerful winning technique" of "knowing your stuff":

"Thus we come to another powerful winning technique: knowing your stuff. If you listen to many arguments you will quickly notice how many people have very little grasp of the facts. They depend mainly on their own prejudices and inclinations. To these they will add selectively from bits and pieces they have read, or television and radio programmes they have listened to. However, you can safely bet that their knowledge of the facts is sketchy at best, and probably most of their so-called facts are downright wrong. Someone who has the patience to commit facts, figures, names and dates to memory is in a very powerful position to win arguments. ... Nothing, but nothing, is more destructive to your case than to be caught out in an error of fact. If you want to be taken seriously you must have the facts straight. What is more, you must be able to quote the source of your facts." (Allen, 1996, pp.49-50).

The book has a section on the Shroud of Turin (pages 71-72), which presumably I read, but since I did not seriously consider the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity until 2005, I cannot remember it making any impression on me.

Later, after I had become "persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ and bears His crucified and resurrected image," I realised how fallacious Allen's arguments against the Shroud were, and a good example of how a highly intelligent person, as Allen presumably was, being a Director of Mensa, and an expert in arguments, can nevertheless deceive himself by not wanting the Shroud to be true. Here is that section with Allen's words bold, to distinguish them from my comments.

Shooting the Fox

There are two main ways of dealing with foxes. Ladies and gentlemen dress up smartly, mount fine horses, and have a splendid time chasing them all over the countryside before finally watching them being torn to bits by hounds. Farmers shoot them. It is considered unsporting but is quick and effective. Using Allen's metaphor, it is not enough to merely shoot a fox, one must actually kill it! One might have merely have temporarily stunned the fox, and if one wishes that the fox was dead, then one is more likely to deceive oneself that the fox is dead, when it is not, and will live to fight another day.

For our present purposes to shoot a fox is to bring an argument to a sudden conclusion by cutting through the peripherals and getting to the heart of the matter in one stroke. This might work if "the peripherals" themselves are not soundly based facts in their own right. In that case they are part of "the heart of the matter" and need to be actually refuted, not just ignored, because there happens to be one line of evidence that seemingly contradicts them.

Often people get to love an argument for its own sake. Indeed they can get so wrapped up in it that they lose sight of its original purpose. If you have the wit and presence of mind to grasp what is essential you can score a speedy and decisive victory. This sounds like the sort of "speedy victory" that US Senator George Aitken was supposed to have proposed during the Vietnam war, that "the U.S. should declare victory and bring the troops home." Or, in other words, "Let's declare victory and get the hell out"! The problem again is that it is not enough to wish that one has "score[d] a speedy and decisive victory," one has to actually do it. But for that to have really happened, the enemy has to be defeated and to admit that it has been defeated.

Take as an example the controversy surrounding the Shroud of Turin. This holy relic was traditionally supposed to be the shroud that had covered the body of Christ. In some miraculous way the image of Jesus' body had become printed on the cloth and could, using a photographic negative, be clearly seen. But was it genuine? Allen has mentioned one of "the peripherals" that must be plausibly explained, and not merely an Aitkenesque "speedy and decisive victory" being declared over it. Which is that, as mentioned in my previous post, the Shroud image is

[Above: "The Shroud of Turin: modern photo of the face, positive left, negative right. Negative has been contrast enhanced": "Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 6 July 2012]

actually a "photographic negative," because when it is photographed, using the now old-fashioned medium of photographic film, the imprint on the film, which is called the negative, in the case of the Shroud's image is uniquely a positive. Which means that the Shroud's image is itself a photographic negative!

It was a truly fascinating argument with endless ramifications. For example, the image was only clearly visible, as mentioned before, if you first photographed the cloth and then viewed the photographic negative. Yet, even if the shroud was, as some suspected, a fake, it certainly predated the invention of photography by many years. How could anyone produce a fake that was only visible using a process that had not yet been invented? Indeed, "How could anyone produce a fake that was only visible using a process that had not yet been invented"? And why would he, even if he could? Allen asks the question but doesn't answer it. And since the very concept of a photographic negative was unknown until the early 19th century:

"In 1839, John Herschel made the first glass negative, but his process was difficult to reproduce. ... the Langenheim brothers of Philadelphia and John Whipple of Boston also invented workable negative-on-glass processes in the mid 1840s." ("History of photography," Wikipedia, 22 June 2012)

the Shroud did not merely "predate... the invention of photography by many years," but by at least six hundred years! Even if the Shroud was a fake (which it isn't), it should then have pride of place in the history of photography and/or art. But it is simply ignored, because it is too uncomfortable for modern, secular man to acknowledge its existence.

The complications were endless. The nail holes in the body were in the correct place. Traditionally painters and sculptors had shown Christ's wounds to be in his hands. Anatomically and historically this was nonsense because the hands would not have borne such a weight. The actual method of crucifixion was to drive the nails through the wrist bones. The shroud showed this quite accurately. On the other hand the image on the shroud showed the hands modestly covering the genitals, but if a body has been `laid out' the hands would not normally reach so far. Also the image showed that blood had run from the wounds. Biblical evidence tells us that the body was washed before burial and, of course, dead bodies do not bleed. Allen is right that the Shroud does have "The nail holes ... in the correct place ... through the wrist bones" yet "Traditionally painters and sculptors had shown Christ's wounds to be in his hands" which "would not have borne such a weight." So even if the Shroud's 14th century or earlier forger knew that (when it seems that no one else did), why, if he wanted his forgery to be accepted, would he not depict the nails in the Shroud man's hands?

But as for Allen's claim that "if a body has been `laid out' the hands would not normally reach so far" as to be "covering the genitals," the fallacy is in his assumption that Jesus' body would have had to

[Above: The most likely position in which Jesus died, based on the flow of blood stains on the shroud: World Mysteries]

be "laid out" flat. But the gospels record that Jesus was left hanging on the Cross for several hours following His death soon after "the ninth hour" (3PM) (Mt 27:46-50; Mk 15:34-37; Lk 23:44-46; Jn 19:28-30). And that Jesus' body was not brought down from the Cross and hastily entombed until just before the Sabbath began at sunset (Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:42-46; Lk 23:50-54; Jn 19:38-42), which in Jerusalem in late April is about 7:20PM. So Jesus' body would have been set by rigor mortis in a bent-forward position, and it would then have been laid in the tomb in that same position. In which case, as can be seen below, Jesus' crossed hands would have easily covered His genitals. So Allen here didn't follow his own advice to "know your stuff" and has been "caught out in an error of fact"!

[Above: Artist Isabel Piczek's reconstruction of how if Jesus body was bent forward slightly, as it would have been due to rigor motis having set in while Jesus' dead body was left hanging on the Cross for several hours, His hands could have easily covered His genitals: Isabel Piczek, "Alice In Wonderland and the Shroud of Turin," 1996]

And as for Allen's claim that "dead bodies do not bleed," in fact they do:

"Derek Barrowcliff, who has died aged 92, worked as a pathologist on a number of post-war murder cases ... He was back in the limelight later in the 1970s, when his research on the propensity for corpses to bleed was quoted in the controversy over the authenticity of the so-called Shroud of Turin. Barrowcliff gave an expert opinion in the case of Hans Naber, a German black marketeer and convicted fraudster, who claimed to have had a vision in 1947 in which Jesus told him He had survived the Crucifixion to rise again from the tomb. Naber claimed too much blood was present on the shroud for it to have swathed a dead body. Corpses do not bleed, he asserted - or at least the large quantity of blood on the shroud did not correspond to the blood emissions from a typical corpse. In his eyes, the shroud proved that Christ had only been wounded. But Barrowcliff had shown that bodies do indeed bleed after death for a time, and demonstrated that cuts on the back of the head of a corpse (comparable to the wounds made by the Crown of Thorns) `would bleed freely, continuously'. ... A midlife convert to Roman Catholicism ... When he was invited to be an expert witness in connection with the Shroud of Turin, Barrowcliff was delighted to be able to combine his religious principles with his scientific practice." ("Obituaries: Derek Barrowcliff," The Telegraph, 15 November 2011).

As this photograph of bleeding dead animals in an abattoir graphically demonstrates, dead bodies do bleed. My first job, while I was still in high school, was in a

[Right: Dead animals bleeding in an abattoir: Carmen4thepets]

butcher's shop, and included sweeping up the blood-soaked sawdust sprinkled over the floor to absorb any blood which dripped from the meat, so I know from personal experience that dead bodies do bleed! Again Allen has been "caught out in an error of fact" due to him not following his own advice to "know your stuff"!

This argument looked set to go on for ever. It got extremely heated and some of the scholars involved got so emotionally and intellectually bound up in the struggle that religious conversions were reported to have taken place among them. Indeed! While not strictly speaking a "religious conversion" in the sense of becoming a Christian, a noteworthy example of someone who one might not have expected to accept wholeheartedly the authenticity of the Shroud, was the late Bishop John A.T. Robinson, author of the theologically liberal book Honest to God:

"This month, with very deep regret, came the news of the parsing of Dr. John Robinson, Dean of Chapel at Trinity College, Cambridge, and one of the founders of the British Society for the Turin Shroud. Dr. Robinson's active association with the Shroud began with a memorable letter of 30 July 1976, addressed to Father Peter Rinaldi: `You won't know me, though you may know me by name as the notorious bishop who wrote Honest to God and therefore about the last person to be a believer in the Shroud, if that is the right word! But for a long time I have been very much impressed by the evidence ... that there is here something that cannot easily be explained away ... ' Following this letter Dr. Robinson was introduced to those in Britain researching the Shroud at a time the subject was still little known. Via articles supportive of the Shroud's authenticity, and his personal participation in the Silent Witness film, he gave immense encouragement, the impetus from which greatly assisted the formation of the B.S.T.S. The Society's very name, carefully chosen to avoid any foregone conclusions, was John Robinson's personal inspiration. At the time of the exposition of the Shroud in 1978 Dr. Robinson travelled to Turin to view the cloth for himself. He was so moved by the concluding Mass in Turin cathedral that in a true spirit of ecumenism he received Catholic communion." ("Obituary: Dr. John Robinson, of Trinity College, Cambridge, a founder of the B.S.T.S.," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 6, September/December 1983, pp.4-5).

So the sceptical, theologically liberal, Dr. John A.T. Robinson was not only, by his own admission, "about the last person to be a believer in the Shroud," he was one of the founding members of the British Society for the Turin Shroud!

Then, at long last, permission was given to take a small portion of the shroud and subject it to carbon dating. The results were conclusive. The cloth was of such late manufacture that the image could not be genuine. The fox had been shot. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of this `fox's' death have been greatly exaggerated! The Pray Manuscript (1192-9) with its at least 12 unique features it shares with Shroud, is alone proof beyond reasonable doubt that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "medieval ... AD 1260-1390" (Nature, Vol. 337, 1989, pp.611-615) simply has to be wrong." Even Prof. Christopher Ramsey, current Director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Unit, and a co-signatory of that 1989 Nature paper, has admitted that "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow":

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that we continue to test the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests as we are already doing. It is equally important that experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information." (Ramsey, C.B., "Shroud of Turin Version 77," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, 23 March, 2008).

In a way it was a pity that such an entertaining argument should come to such an abrupt end. Many of the issues that had been raised were interesting and worthy of serious consideration but, once the fox was dead, they were quickly disregarded by all but a dedicated few. Allen was deceiving himself if he really thought that one tiny postage stamp sized sample, taken from the worst possible part of the ~4.4 x 1.1 metre Shroud, could overturn all the other evidence for the Shroud's authenticity.

Even on its own published data in Nature there clearly were major problems in the three laboratories' dating of the Shroud.Here we had three specialist radiocarbon dating laboratories, all dating the same tiny 8cm x 1.2cm piece of linen, sub-divided between them into three approximately equal parts, using the same AMS method, who each dated the Shroud significantly differently from each other and even from within each laboratory!

[Left: Extract from the main table of the three laboratories' radiocarbon dates of the Shroud (Sample 1): Damon, P. E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February 1989, p. 612]

As can be seen, Arizona laboratory's ages of the Shroud ranged from a low of 561 (591-30) years to a high of 734 (701+33) years, a span of 173 years or 31%. Oxford's ages were from a low of 685 (730-45) years to a high of 860 (795+65) years, a range of 175 years or 26%. Zurich's ages ranged from a low of 578 (635-57) years to a high of 794 (733+61) years, a span of 216 years or 37%!

Arizona had the lowest age of 561 (591+/-30) years, while Oxford laboratory had the highest age of 860 (795+65) years, a range of ages of the Shroud between the three laboratories of 299 years, or 53%!

This is a shambles of a result, considering that the three laboratories between them were dating by the same AMS method, the same tiny postage stamp sized sample of the Shroud! And yet they had the effrontery (if not the scientific dishonesty) to claim that, "The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390":

"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich. As controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated. The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... The age of the shroud is obtained as AD 1260-1390, with at least 95% confidence" (Damon, P.E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, 1989, pp.611-615, p.612).

Rather, the results provided conclusive evidence of the late physicist Richard Feynman's First Principle - "you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool":

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. I would like to add something that's not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the layman when you're talking as a scientist ... I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen. ... One example of the principle is this: If you've made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results." (Feynman, R.P., "Cargo Cult Science," in "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman!," 1990, p.343)

Stephen E. Jones
My other blogs: Jesus is Jehovah! and CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My critique of Charles Freeman's "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," part 3: "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo" (1)

Here is part 3, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo,"

[Above: "The Shroud of Turin: modern photo of the face, positive left, negative right. Negative has been contrast enhanced": "Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 6 July 2012]

of my critique of historian Charles Freeman's, "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," May 24, 2012 [page 3]. The paper's words are bold. See previous parts 1 and 2.

Freeman continues with his thesis that the Shroud of Turin is just another one, among many fake medieval relics:

The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo
If the Shroud of Turin had not been photographed in 1898 and its haunting image revealed, it is unlikely that it would have stood out from the rest. It was never recognized as anything very special until the sixteenth century and was in its own time considered a fake, although such denunciations were often made by shrine guardians who feared their own lucrative relic cults might be threatened by rivals. Calvin probably is aware of it but lists it among many others. The shroud at Compiegne had the most respectable pedigree, the abbey had held it since 877. The shroud at the Abbey at Cadouin on the pilgrimage route to Compostella was probably the most lucrative. The abbey claimed that its shroud had been brought back from the Holy Land after the First Crusade had captured Jerusalem in 1099. Indeed it had been, but we know that, as it still exists, that it is a fine piece of cloth from the Fatimid workshops, as were many other cloths and veils brought back as genuine relics by gullible crusaders.

Freeman omits to explain to his readers that the reason the "haunting image" of the Shroud was "revealed" in 1898, despite reformer John Calvin (1509–1564) having been "probably ... aware of it" three centuries before, is that it was only when the Shroud was photographed in 1898, it was realised that the Shroud's image was a photographic negative! That omission saves Freeman having to further explain to his readers that photography, and therefore the very concept of a photographic negative, was not known until the early 19th century:

"In 1839, John Herschel made the first glass negative, but his process was difficult to reproduce ... the Langenheim brothers of Philadelphia and John Whipple of Boston also invented workable negative-on-glass processes in the mid 1840s." ("History of photography," Wikipedia, 22 June 2012).

Yet in this very article Freeman hypocritically criticises Ian Wilson because allegedly:

"Wilson fails to tell his readers that it [The Doctrine of Addai] contains relevant material which might undermine his case" [page 15]!

But quite clearly the image on the Shroud of Turin being uniquely a photographic negative, at least six centuries before the very concept of a photographic negative was known, not only undermines Freeman's case, that the Shroud of Turin is just one of many fake medieval relics: it totally destroys it!

And Freeman cannot claim ignorance, because Ian Wilson points this out in his latest book which Freeman is discussing in his paper:

"[Secondo] Pia returned to the cathedral the night of 28 May, accompanied by Don Nogier and cathedral security guard Felice Fino, another amateur camera enthusiast. He began at around 9.30 p.m. with two trial exposures, and Don Nogier and Fino seem to have taken some unofficial photos of their own at this time. For the proper, definitive photos that he intended to take, Pia loaded his camera with the first of four 50 X 60 photographic plates, applied his most prized Voigtlander lens, then took four exposures, the maximum of fourteen minutes, the minimum of eight, only two of which he would officially record. In his darkroom later that night, as the best of the four plates revealed itself under the developer, Pia was able properly to verify the odd effect he had observed on his first trial negatives. There slowly appeared before him not the feeble ghosts of the shadowy imprints visible on the cloth, as anyone might expect, but something altogether more extraordinary. In negative, the Shroud's head-to-head double figures could be seen to have undergone a dramatic change. Instead of their former difficult-to-interpret shadowiness, which so many of the copyists had 'seen' as grotesque, they had now acquired quite unmistakably natural light and dark shading, giving them meaningful relief and depth. The bloodstains, showing up in white, could be seen to flow very realistically from the hands and feet, from the right side, and from all around the crown of the head. Instead of a mask-like, almost gingerbread-man appearance, the man of the Shroud could be seen as a well-proportioned individual of an impressive build. Most striking of all was his face, so dignified in death, so incredibly lifelike against the black background - yet all on a photographic negative. With that eerie chill that can accompany such experiences, Pia found himself thinking that he was the first man for nearly 1,900 years to gaze on the actual appearance of the body of Christ as he had been laid in the tomb. He had discovered what could only be interpreted as a real photograph, hitherto hidden in the cloth, until it could be revealed by the eye of the camera." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.18-19)

But neither the word "photographic" nor "negative" appear in Freeman's paper. So here (and as we shall see elsewhere in his paper) Freeman, by his own professed standards which he applied to Wilson, is guilty of "fail[ing] to tell his readers ... relevant material which might [indeed would] undermine his case"!

I have decided to split this part 3, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo" into parts 3 and 4, so I can comment in a separate post on Freeman's dismissal of the Sudarium of Oviedo also as just another fake medieval relic.

Continued in part 4, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo."

Stephen E. Jones.
My other blogs: Jesus is Jehovah! and CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old blood does not always degenerate to type AB, so the Shroud of Turin's and the Sudarium of Oviedo's AB blood group is significant!

I am reposting this excerpt from my "Shroud of Turin News for February 2012," because I have been asked a comment about the topic under my old, superseded post, "Re: Shroud blood ... types as AB ... aged blood always types as AB, so the significance of this ... is unclear." The commenter may not have been able to find, using a search engine, my update under the uninformative title of "Shroud of Turin News."

My comments are bold to distinguish them from the article.


"King Tut's Dad's Toe Returns Home," Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery

[Right: Mummified remains of a toe of Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaton (c.1353-1336 BC): National Geographic]

News, April 15, 2010 ... A toe belonging to King Tutankhamun's father has been finally returned to Egypt, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said on Wednesday. The bone piece belonged to mummy KV55, which was identified as Akhenaton during a recent major genetic investigation into King Tut's family. The son of Amenhotep III and also the father of Tutankhamun, Akhenaton, (1353-1336 B.C.) is known as the "heretic" pharaoh who introduced a monotheistic religion by overthrowing the pantheon of the gods to worship the sun god Aton. The terminal phalanx of his great toe, probably from the left foot, was taken away in 1968, when the Department of Antiquities in Cairo, under the supervision of the then director, handed it over to the late Professor Ronald Harrison of Liverpool University. "Since then, the specimen has been held securely in my laboratory, but I decided it had to `go home,' particularly since very few people knew where it was," Robert Connolly senior lecturer in physical anthropology from the University of Liverpool's Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, told Discovery News. Connolly, who authored several scientific papers with Harrison, used the specimen to determine the blood-group of KV55, then believed to be Smenkharel, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty. "The remains appeared to be A2 with the antigens M and N present. This was identical to the blood group of Tutankhamun," Connolly said. ... I am posting this 2010 news item here on my Shroud news for February 2012, because of its importance, and it is the first I became aware of it. I was alerted by a commenter bippy123 to my blog post, "Re: Shroud blood ... types as AB ... aged blood always types as AB, so the significance of this ... is unclear" that King Tutankhamun's blood type was A2. The significance of this for the Shroud is that its blood type (and that of the Sudarium of Oviedo) is AB:

"The most striking thing about all the stains is that they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud. The first fact that confirms the relationship between the two cloths is that the blood on each belongs to the same group, AB. If the blood or each cloth belonged to a different group, there would be no sense in pursuing the comparative investigation, and little meaning in any further points of coincidence. This test is the starting point for all the others, and the results are positive. Blood of the group AB is also very common in the Middle East and rare in Europe." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, p.27).

But previously it had been stated that there was "a tendency among blood samples more than several centuries old always to test AB":

"In fact, quite independently of Drs Heller and Adler, other findings have served to confirm that what appears to be blood genuinely is blood. For instance the Italian pathologist Dr Pier Luigi Baima-Bollone, who has carried out thousands of autopsies, and who has had more Shroud `blood' sample than was accorded to Dr Adler, has not only confirmed it to be blood, but confidently identified it as of the AB group. [Baima-Bollone, P., Jorio, M. & Massaro, A.L., "Identification of the Group of the Traces of Human Blood on the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, Issue 6, March 1983, pp.3-6] Although this group is comparatively rare among Europeans and is found in only 3.2 per cent of the world's population as a whole, its incidence is 18 per cent among Jewish populations of the present-day Near East. [Garza-Valdès, L., "The DNA of God?," Doubleday: New York, 1999, p.39] Caution is needed, however, since some researchers have noted a tendency among blood samples more than several centuries old always to test AB." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, p.77).

But clearly since Akhenaton's (and his family's) blood type has been determined to be A2, a variant of type A, which is different from type AB, and they lived ~1,500 years before Jesus, making them now thirty four centuries old, then there is good reason to believe (and it certainly cannot now be ruled out) that both the Shroud and the Sudarium's blood was originally type AB, which in turn increases the likelihood that the blood on them came from the same Jewish individual, namely Jesus Christ! As I responded to bippy123's comment:

"While not a scientific journal, I regard this Discovery News science news report as sufficiently authoritative, especially as it quoted Dr. Connolly's words: `The remains appeared to be A2 with the antigens M and N present,' to establish that old blood does not necessarily degrade to AB. Especially bearing in mind that at 14th century BC King Akhenaton's ... remains are much older than the Shroud's presumed 1st century AD. Which means both the Shroud's and the Sudarium of Oviedo's blood group being AB is significant and cannot just be set aside by the claim that old blood always degrades to type AB."

See also "Another Tutankhamen puzzle," Research Intelligence, University of Liverpool, Issue 24, May 2005 and "King Tut's Mom and Dad ID'ed," LiveScience, 16 February 2010. The lead paper in the major genetic investigation of Tutankhamun's family is: Hawass, Z., et al., "Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family," JAMA, February 17, 2010, Vol. 303, No. 7, pp.638-647. I will get a copy of those papers in the investigation which mention the A2 blood group.


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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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

Anonymous

Thanks for your comment of May 31, 2012 under my post, My critique of "The Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 1 May 2011. As I then

[Above: Pray Codex (or Manuscript) "Visit to the Sepulchre" lower half of Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," 1969, Plate III. Depicting the scene in:Mark 16:1-6 where the three women disciples: Mary Magdalene; Mary the mother of the James the younger (Mk 15:40) and wife of Clopas (Jn 19:25); and Salome, sister of Mary the mother of Jesus and mother of the Apostle John (Mt 20:20; 27:56; Jn 19:25) came to finish the anointing of the body of Jesus and were told by an angel ("a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe") that Jesus was not there but had risen:

"1When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3And they were saying to one another, `Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?' 4And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back- it was very large. 5And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6And 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.'"]

briefly replied, I would respond to your comment in a separate (this) post. My apologies for the delay-I thought I had already published this my response. Your words are bold to distinguish them from mine.

>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.

The reason I posted the above angel appearance to the women, is that it is the same apparent problem, where one gospel (Mark 16:5) mentions only one man/angel and another gospel (Luke 24:4) mentions two, for the same incident. And the solution is the same for those of us who believe that "Scripture is correct," namely, "If there were two angels in the tomb, then there was at least one":

"How many men or angels appeared at the tomb?

Matt 28:2; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:1-2, 12

An angel of the Lord on the stone (Matthew 28:1-2) - "Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it."

A young man (Mark 16:5) - "And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed."

Two men (Luke 24:4) - "And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel."

Two angels (John 20:1-2,12) - "Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him. 12and she beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying."

There is no discrepancy at all. An angel of the Lord moved the stone and was sitting upon it outside (Matthew 28:2). The two men (Luke 24:4) were angels (John 20:12). Mark 16:5 presents the only potential issue and it isn't the only one at all. If there were two angels in the tomb, then there was at least one. This one was on the right. Therefore, we see that there was one angel outside and two on the inside of the tomb." ("How many men or angels appeared at the tomb?," Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, 2011)

There is a similar apparent problem in Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:1-16; Lk 8:26-36 where Matthew mentions "two demon-possessed men" but Mark and Luke mention only one "man" in what is clearly the same incident. Then there is Mt 20:29-34, which records that Jesus healed "two blind men" near Jericho. But Mk 10:46-52 and Lk 18:35-43 say that only one "blind beggar"/"blind man" was healed.

The Bible-believing solution is the same in each case: "If there were two [angels, linen cloths, demon-possessed men, blind men] in the same incident, then there was at least one." Bible-believing Christians who reject the Shroud, on the basis that John's gospel (Jn 20:5-7) mentions "linen cloths" (plural), not a "linen cloth" (singular), to be consistent should reject Luke's account that there were two men/angels in the empty tomb (Luke 24:4) because Mark mentions there was one (Mk 16:5). They should also reject Matthew's account that Jesus healed two demon-possessed Gadarene/Gerasene men by sending the demons into a herd of pigs (Mt 8:28-34) because Mark and Luke mention only one (Mk 5:1-16; Lk 8:26-36). And they should also reject Matthew's account which says that Jesus healed two blind men near Jericho (Mt 20:29-34), because Mark and Luke record there was one (Mk 10:46-52; Lk 18:35-43).

And there is not even that problem in the case of the Shroud, because nowhere does any gospel state that that there was only one burial cloth. And no one on the Shroud pro-authenticity side, as far as I am aware, claims that the Shroud was the only burial cloth of Jesus. As far as I am aware, everyone in the Shroud pro-authenticity community accepts that the Sudarium of Oviedo is "the face cloth [Gk. soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths [othonia] but folded up in a place by itself" in Jn 20:7.

The gospel accounts of Jesus' burial mention two linen cloths individually: a sindon (singular), a large linen sheet; and a soudarion (singular), a small linen cloth. And they also mention those same linen cloths collectively: othonia (plural).

In Mk 15:46 Joseph of Arimathea "bought a linen shroud" [Gk. sindona], and after taking Jesus down, from the Cross, "wrapped him in the linen shroud" [sindoni], and laid Jesus in the tomb. Lk 23:53 also says that Joseph took Jesus' body down, "wrapped it in a linen shroud" [sindoni] and laid it the tomb. Jn 19:40 adds that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths [othoniois] ... as is the burial custom of the Jews."

In John's account of Peter and himself at the empty tomb, he stooped to look in and "saw the linen cloths [othonia] lying there" (Jn 20:5), and then Peter entered the tomb and he also "saw the linen cloths [othonia] lying there" (Jn 20:6). Then John entered the tomb and saw "the face cloth [soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths [othonion] but folded up in a place by itself" (Jn 20:7). Note that there were "linen cloths" (plural) as well as the soudarion. These would have been the sindon (Shroud) and the keiria mentioned the account of Lazarus' raising from the dead in Jn 11:44. They were strips of linen used to bind the dead person's jaw, arms and legs, until rigor mortis set in.

Significantly Luke in Lk 24:12, having already stated in Lk 23:53 that Jesus' body had been "wrapped it in a linen shroud" [sindoni], Luke also records that Peter, looking into the tomb, "saw the linen cloths [othonia] by themselves." So Luke states that the "linen shroud" [sindoni] was among the linen cloths [othonia]!

Here are quotes from Shroud literature, supporting that there is no contradiction between the gospels accounts of Jesus' burial (including John 20) and the Shroud of Turin:

"... othonia refers to all the grave clothes associated with Jesus' burial-the large sindon (the shroud), as well as the smaller strips of linen that bound the jaw, the hands, and the feet ...":

"The Grave Clothes. Another issue concerns the difference in the words chosen by the gospel writers to describe the grave clothes that Jesus was wrapped in. The synoptic evangelists say that he was wrapped in a sindon, a Greek word meaning a linen cloth which could be used for any purpose, including burial. John, on the other hand, says Jesus was wrapped in othonia, a plural Greek word of uncertain meaning. Othonia is sometimes translated as `strips of linen,' a meaning that would seem to be incompatible with a fourteen-foot-long shroud covering the front and back of the body. However, it is likely that othonia refers to all the grave clothes associated with Jesus' burial-the large sindon (the shroud), as well as the smaller strips of linen that bound the jaw, the hands, and the feet. This interpretation of othonia is supported by Luke's use of the word. He says (23:53) that Jesus was wrapped in a sindon, but later (24:12) that Peter saw the othonia lying in the tomb after Jesus' resurrection. Luke, then, uses othonia as a plural term for all the grave clothes, including the sindon. Furthermore, as seen earlier, Jewish burial customs do not support the idea that John's othonia refers to the wrappings of a mummy. Jews did not wrap up their dead like mummies, but laid them in shrouds, as indicated by the Gospel of John, the Essene burial procedures, and the Code of Jewish Law. John himself insists that Jewish customs were followed Jesus' case (19:40). Thus, there is good scriptural evidence that Jesus was laid in the tomb wrapped in a shroud. Therefore, the gospels refer to the grave clothes in both the singular and the plural. When a single cloth is spoken of, it is obviously the linen sheet itself. However, since Luke (or early tradition) had no difficulty in using the plural (24:12) to describe what he earlier referred to in the singular (23:53), the term `clothes' may still refer to a single piece of material. On the other hand, if more than one piece is meant, `clothes' is most probably a reference to both the sheet and the additional strips which were bound around the head, wrists, and feet, as indicated in John 11:44 (cf. John 19:40). Interestingly enough, bands in these same locations can be discerned on the Shroud of Turin. At any rate, it is a reasonable conclusion that at least one major linen sheet is being referred to in the gospels." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, pp.48-49. Emphasis original).

"... othonia is to be understood as a `collective singular,' just like the English word `clothes' could refer to one article of clothing, or two or three or four":

"At question is the exact meaning of the Greek word used for the linen in which Jesus' body was enfolded. Matthew tells us that Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus' body and wrapped it in a linen Shroud (see Mt 27:59-60). The Greek word usually translated as shroud is sindon. In the literature of the time, it usually refers to the type of winding sheet of which the Shroud of Turin is representative. The author of the first Gospel makes no mention as to what became of this cloth after the Resurrection. Mark, likewise, tells us that the body of Jesus was wrapped in a linen shroud, and again, the Greek word is sindon. Like Matthew, Mark does not mention the sindon after the Resurrection. Luke also records that Jesus' corpse was wrapped in a sindon. However, when Peter is described as finding the linen lying by itself after the Resurrection (see Lk 24:12), the word used is othonia, which is plural, and has occasioned nearly all translators to render it as `linen cloths' or `linen wraps.' John speaks of the body being wrapped also in othonia (see Jn 19:40). Then, when he recounts his arrival (or that of `the disciple whom Jesus loved') with Peter at the empty tomb, he says, `Then Simon Peter came, following [John], and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself' (Jn 20:6-7). The Greek word usually translated as `napkin' is sudarion. We have two problems. According to John, the grave clothing of Jesus is described in plural. John also specifies that the body of his Lord was wrapped in two types of graveclothes: the othonia (linen cloths) and the sudarion (napkin). Some have said that othonia refers to strips like those in which the Egyptians wrapped their mummies. ... Others have said that othonia is to be understood as a `collective singular,' just like the English word `clothes' could refer to one article of clothing, or two or three or four. Certainly Luke uses both the singular sindon and the plural othonia to refer, evidently, to the same thing." (Ruffin, C.B., "The Shroud of Turin," 1999, p.46).

"... othonia means cloths in general, which could incorporate shroud and bands":

"As we have already mentioned, it was normal for Jews to be buried in clothing, more specifically the white garments they wore for festivals. In the case of Jesus we would not necessarily expect this, as we know his clothing was taken from him at the time of crucifixion. ... Here again we are in a hornets' nest of controversy over gospel interpretation that exists quite independently of the Shroud. It all stems from apparent conflicts of information between the synoptic writers and St. John. The synoptics speak only of the sindon purchased by Joseph of Arimathea (Mt. 27:59; Mk. 15:46; Lk. 23:53). This is often translated as shroud, although it should be pointed out that it does not have a specifically sepulchral meaning. St. Mark, for instance, used the same word to describe the garment lost by the young man at Gethsemane who fled at the arrest of Jesus (Mk. 14:51, 52). St. John, on the other hand, does not use the word sindon, but instead says the body of Jesus was wrapped in othonia. And in his account of the discovery of the linens in the empty tomb again he uses the word othonia (which he describes as lying at the scene), and refers also cryptically to a mysterious soudarion, rolled up and lying in a place by itself (Jn. 20:7) . The precise meanings of othonia and sindon in their gospel context have been hotly debated. Some have contended that othonia (which is a plural form) means linen bands and that Joseph must have torn up the sindon into strips to wind Jesus mummy-style. Quite neutral exegetes such as Pere Benoit have pointed out that it would surely have been easier for Joseph to purchase ready-made bandages rather than tearing up a large sheet for this purpose. The most balanced modern view is that othonia means cloths in general, which could incorporate shroud and bands." (Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," 1978, pp.44-42).

See also my post, "Re: In my humble opinion, the Shroud of Turin is a hoax #3."

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My critique of Charles Freeman's "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," part 2: "First Century Relics in Medieval Europe"

Continuing from part 1, this is part 2, "First Century Relics in Medieval Europe," of my critique of historian Charles Freeman's, "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," May 24, 2012 [pages 1-3]. Freeman's words in his paper are bold.

[Above: John Calvin's 1543, "A Treatise on Relics": Amazon.com]

Freeman begins this part of his `misguided journey' to portray the Shroud of Turin as just one of many fake medieval relics by quoting from the 16th century Protestant reformer John Calvin's 1543 "A Treatise on Relics."

First Century Relics in Medieval Europe
`Let us begin with Jesus Christ, about whose blood there have been fierce disputations; for many maintained that he had no blood except of a miraculous kind; nevertheless the natural blood is exhibited in more than a hundred places ... Now let us consider how many relics of the true cross there are in the world ... In short, if we were to collect all these pieces of the true cross exhibited in various parts, they would form a whole ship's cargo ...' (John Calvin, 1543)

But as I pointed out in my "Re: John Calvin on the Shroud #1":

".... Calvin is here using the same logical fallacy that atheists use against Christianity: `1. All religions contradict each other in their core truth claims; 2. Therefore all religions are false.' The fallacy is that one of those religions can be true, and all the rest be false, which is Christianity's (and therefore Calvin's) claim (Jn 3:16-18; 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 10:38-43). So also, the Shroud of Turin can be authentic (i.e. the very burial sheet of Jesus) and all the other relics listed by Calvin can be false."

Freeman continues:
Welcome to the world of medieval relics. The Protestant reformer John Calvin writing in 1543 reminds us just how many relics there were scattered throughout Europe, often in triplicate or more. Some of the grander churches had a sequence that took worshippers through from Abraham and Moses to the apostles and Paul and early martyrs but there was a special concentration on the Passion and Crucifixion. In a hierarchy of relics, the Cross and the Blood of Christ trumped the others which is why there are so many different churches claiming parts of the originals. The Crown of Thorns was also a special hit.

Freeman employs the "guilt by association" tactic beloved of atheist/agnostic Shroud anti-authenticists like Joe Nickel:
1. Most Christian relics are fake;
2. The Shroud of Turin is a Christian relic;
3. Therefore the Shroud of Turin is a fake

But this is a form of the "Association fallacy ... which asserts that qualities of one thing [a fake Christian relic] are inherently qualities of another [the Shroud of Turin], merely by an irrelevant association [they are both Christian relics]":

"An association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion... " ("Association fallacy," Wikipedia, 24 June 2012).

Having tried to `poison the well':
"Poisoning the well (or attempting to poison the well) is a rhetorical device where adverse information about a target is pre-emptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing everything that the target person is about to say. Poisoning the well can be a special case of argumentum ad hominem ... The origin of the term lies in well poisoning, an ancient wartime practice of pouring poison into sources of fresh water before an invading army in order to diminish the invading army's strength." ("Poisoning the well," Wikipedia, 4 February 2012).

in his readers' minds that all Christian relics (including the Shroud of Turin) are false (although he can't actually say that without committing the "Begging the Question" fallacy - assuming in the premise of his argument what he is seeking to prove), Freeman now moves on to "images with the face of Christ ... said to be ... imprinted on a cloth while he was alive":

Next come images with the face of Christ said to be painted or imprinted on a cloth while he was alive. The Edessa Image, later known as the Mandylion (a word not known from any other source), was the most important before 1200 when it fades from view (but probably goes to Paris). This was just at the time when another image in Rome, the Veil of Veronica, an imprint of the face of Christ taken as he walked to Calvary, became the most celebrated relic in Rome. Vast crowds gathered to see it when it was exposed and often pilgrims died in the crush.

"The Edessa Image, later known as the Mandylion," is in fact the

[Above: "Icon of Abgar holding the mandylion ... 10th century, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai" ("Abgar V," Wikipedia, 21 May 2012). "Image of Edessa ... According to Christian legend, the Image of Edessa was a holy relic consisting of a square or rectangle of cloth upon which a miraculous image of the face of Jesus was imprinted - the first icon ("image"). In Eastern Orthodoxy, the image is known as the Holy Mandylion, a Byzantine Greek word not applied in any other context. ... Ian Wilson has put forward a theory that the object venerated as the Mandylion from the 6th to the 13th centuries was in fact the Shroud of Turin, folded in four, and enclosed in an oblong frame so that only the face was visible. For support, he refers to documents in the Vatican Library and the University of Leiden, Netherlands, which seem to suggest the presence of another image at Edessa. A 10th century codex, Codex Vossianus Latinus Q 69 found by Gino Zaninotto in the Vatican Library contains an 8th-century account saying that an imprint of Christ's whole body was left on a canvas kept in a church in Edessa: it quotes a man called Smera in Constantinople: `King Abgar received a cloth on which one can see not only a face but the whole body' ... " ("Image of Edessa," Wikipedia, 11 June 2012).]

Shroud of Turin (as it was later called), first doubled between the two head images, and then doubled a further three times (a total of

[Above (click to enlarge): How the Shroud doubled-in-four produces the face of Jesus in landscape mode, exactly as it is in copies of the Image of Edessa!: "Tetradiplon: The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ," 15 January 2010]

four doublings), so the face of Jesus appears in landscape mode, exactly as the Image of Edessa/Mandylion is depicted (see above)!

Freeman next tries to equate the arrival of the Mandylion/Image of Edessa in Constantinople with that of other relics, to support his thesis that the Mandylion is not the Shroud, and both are merely another couple of fake relics:

As one can readily understand, tracing a specific relic over time is a nightmare for historians. Descriptions lack precision, there are endless duplicated examples, everyone is trying to outdo rival shrines through publicizing their own relic and the miracles it effects. On the whole, however, we know when a relic moves from one church to another because there were processions and a traditional ceremony of welcome, the translatio, the date of which is usually recorded because the relic was often exposed on each anniversary. When the Mandylion arrived in Constantinople from Edessa in 944, it was a major event, so too with the Crown of Thorns when it arrived in Paris, again from Constantinople, in 1239. These were, of course, first class relics ... Shrouds, burial cloths, cloths claiming to have covered the head of Jesus in the tomb (as described in John's gospel), were never as prestigious as pieces of the cross, nails or thorns from the Crown and bones or dust from the major figures of the New Testament but it has been calculated that there were about forty on show in the fourteenth century.

But what other relic did a Byzantine Emperor personally send an eighty-thousand-strong army for the sole purpose of obtaining it?:

"IT WAS SPRING IN THE YEAR 943 ... In Edessa, the city's Muslim emir looked out with dismay over his walls at a sight his messengers had warned him to expect, and which had now become hard reality: an eighty-thousand-strong Byzantine army led by John Curcuas, a hugely successful Armenian-born commander-in-chief ... But to the emir's utter astonishment, Curcuas made no attempt to attack. Instead he offered him an immediate deal. He said that he was prepared to spare the city and release two hundred high-ranking Muslim prisoners he was holding all for just one thing: the safe hand-over of the Image of Edessa. ... Curcuas's demand ... had come directly from Byzantium's septuagenarian and now ailing emperor Romanos Lecapenos. ... When the Edessa emir's emissary arrived in Baghdad with the news of Curcuas's extraordinary demand, the then caliph, al-Muttaqi, duly convened his qadis (his chief legal advisers) to consider the problem. Their debate was prolonged, with some strong stands taken. All sides exhibited quite remarkable respect for the Image of Edessa - hardly what might be expected among the highest echelons of image-abhorring Islamic society had the Image genuinely been just the 'some old icon' modern-day historians often suppose ... Edessa's emir was duly instructed that he should surrender the Image in return for the two hundred high-ranking prisoners held by Curcuas, but with the extra proviso that Byzantium should issue a special decree promising Edessa and its near neighbours perpetual immunity from any future Byzantine attack. Curcuas duly agreed to the deal ... " (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," 2010, pp.156-159. Emphasis original).

And of what other relic did the Eastern Orthodox Church declare "a permanent annual feast day" commemorating its arrival in Constantinople on 16 August 944, which it "continues to observe" to this day, even though the relic "has been lost to them for more than eight hundred years"?:
"So, within months of the Image of Edessa's arrival in Constantinople, Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos at last properly succeeded to the imperial throne that had been rightly his throughout the past thirty-three years ... Certainly Constantine, no less superstitious than his fellow countrymen, very quickly gave the Image of Edessa the appropriate recognition for the long-hoped-for turnabout in his fortunes, reinforcing this for all time in a variety of ways. First, he had the date of the Image's 'official' arrival in Constantinople, 16 August 944, instituted on the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar as a permanent annual feast day for the Image. (Remarkably, the Orthodox Church continues to observe this feast day, even though the Image itself has been lost to them for more than eight hundred years.)." (Wilson, 2010, p.167).

Freeman reaches his predetermined atheist/agnostic conclusion on first century relics (which includes the Image of Edessa/Shroud of Turin), that "almost certainly" none of them are genuine:

Were any of the thousands of `first century' relics genuine? Almost certainly not. The fact that there were so many duplicates makes the point at once but there are other reasons. Relic collecting is first attested only in the fourth century, especially after 380. Just as the Protestant tradition has little reverence for relics (Protestants burned thousands of the medieval ones during the Reformation) relics were not important for the early Christians. The words of Christ at John 20:29: "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" seems to have resonated (as we shall see). So there was no reason for early Christians to keep relics, belief in Christ was all the more honoured if it did not need a material object to sustain it, as the Protestant reformers preached later. It was all too easy for a relic became worshipped in itself, not for what it represented. (This certainly appears the case among some Shroud enthusiasts.) There may have been extra reasons, such as Jewish taboos associated with bloodstained burial shrouds, that would have inhibited preservation of specific items. (It goes without saying that Christ's burial was a Jewish not a Christian one.) There were taboos as late as 1000 against representing Christ dead and these certainly influenced early relic collection. These relics did, of course, exist at some point, Christ did die on the Cross and was buried in a linen cloth but wood and linen decay, especially in the damp around Jerusalem, so most relics, never collected in the first place by the early Christians, would have disappeared naturally.

Freeman's arguments above are both fallacious and irrelevant. First, they are fallacious in that are based on a "strawman" misrepresentation of the Shroud pro-authenticity position:

"A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To `attack a straw man' is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the `straw man'), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position." ("Straw man," Wikipedia, 29 June 2012).

The strawman in this case is Freeman's misrepresentation of the Shroud pro-authenticity position that it requires all, or most, "of the thousands of `first century' relics [to be] genuine." But the core Shroud pro-authenticity position is that only ONE"of the thousands of ... first century ... relics [is] genuine: the Shroud of Turin. The overwhelming majority of Shroud pro-authenticists believe that only TWO "of the thousands of ... first century ... relics [are] genuine: the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo.

Second, Freeman's argument that, "The fact that there were so many duplicates makes the point at once" is also fallacious. That there are "dozens of the surviving replicas" of the Mona Lisa "from the 16th and 17th centuries" does not thereby mean that the original is a fake:

"The earliest copy of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, Mona Lisa, has been found in the vaults of a Spanish museum, looking younger and more ravishing than the original. Art historians have hailed the discovery, made during conservation work at the Prado Museum, as one of the most remarkable in recent times. Museum officials said it was almost certainly painted by one of Leonardo da Vinci's apprentices alongside the master himself as he did the original. ... There are dozens of the surviving replicas of the masterpiece from the 16th and 17th centuries." ("The REAL face of Mona Lisa," Daily Mail, Nazia Parveen, 2 February 2012).

Third, there are no true "duplicates" of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud's image is that of a full-sized man, front and back, head to head, filling most of the cloth's ~4.4 metres length; it is extremely faint and cannot be seen up close; it is a type of photographic negative; it is extremely superficial, being only 0.0002 mm thick; it has three-dimensional information encoded in it; the cloth has no artist's outline, it has no directionality; there is no paint, pigment or dye on it which forms its image; the bloodstains are real blood, and there is no image under the bloodstains, i.e. the blood was on the cloth before the image.

And all attempts to produce a duplicate of the Shroud with all these major features have failed. The latest such failed duplication, that of Luigi Garlaschelli, who only produced a face, not a full length image on

[Above: `Duplicate' of the `Shroud' by Prof. Luigi Garlaschelli: Sindonology.org, October 11, 2009. "More information about the tentative reproduction of the Shroud of Turin, made by an Italian researcher, came out in the last few days. Luigi Garlaschelli made public a few digital images of the result of his reproduction on the Web. The result is clearly not like the Shroud. Here are the major differences of this reproduction compared to the Shroud of Turin: *The anatomical details of the face and body do not have the precision of the Shroud. *The 3D effect does not have the precision found on the Shroud. On the tentative reproduction there are many locations where no image appears whereas one is perceivable on the Shroud of Turin. This is due to the technique used: an image made by contact. *The color of images of the reproduction has a red hue (images after washing red ocre) whereas on the Shroud of Turin it has a yellow-straw hue. *No microphotographies of the reproduction are provided. They should show that the images are superficial like the Shroud of Turin. Based on the technique used to create these images, we can infer that the images are not superficial. *In summary, the tentative reproduction of Luigi Garlaschelli is very far from being a reproduction of the Shroud of Turin."]

a ~4.4 x 1.1 metre sheet of linen. And as one commentator pointed out, "... the modern [Garlaschelli's] copy is garish, lacking any gradations of tone" and is "completely inferior":

"As recently as October 2009 came yet another claim to have `reproduced' how the Shroud was faked. Luigi Garlaschelli ... Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Pavia in Italy, has made something of a speciality of debunking claims of religious paranormal phenomena. ... In the case of the Shroud, Garlaschelli's method was to place a linen sheet flat over a volunteer model, then rub this with a pigment containing acid. The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven, then the cloth was washed. This process removed the pigment from the surface but left an image reputedly similar to that of the Shroud. Garlaschelli's claim, presented at a conference in northern Italy for atheists and agnostics, prompted a flurry of news headlines around the world. Yet even the most cursory comparison between his 'negative' ... and that on the Shroud reveals the former as hardly the 'definitive proof' of the Shroud's fraudulence that he has claimed for it. As remarked by one 'general public' commentator on the Reuters news story, `Why isn't anyone saying the obvious? Compare these two images ... the modern copy is garish, lacking any gradations of tone ... it's completely inferior, especially when one contrasts the faces and the chest areas.'"." (Wilson, 2010, p.29).

Moreover, Garlaschelli's `Shroud duplicate' is disqualified, because he applied the `blood' after he made the image, whereas on the Shroud of Turin, the blood was on the cloth before the image (which would be the case if the image was caused by Jesus' resurrection):

"Actually, the technique describes by Garlaschelli to reproduce the Shroud demonstrates that he did not reproduce it. For example, he added blood stains after he created the image. On the real Shroud of Turin, there is no image underneath the bloodstains. A basic fact known since 1978." Sindonology.org, October 9, 2009).

See also Thibault Heimburger, "Comments about the Recent Experiment of Professor Luigi Garlaschelli," November 2009.

The rest of Freeman's points above about relics in general are largely irrelevant as to the question whether the Image of Edessa was the Shroud of Turin, which in turn is the burial sheet of Jesus. There is no Shroud pro-authenticity claim, or requirement, that for the Shroud to be authentic, relic-collecting in general had to be popular in the early church.

Surprisingly, Freeman concedes that "These relics did, of course, exist at some point, Christ did die on the Cross and was buried in a linen cloth ..." However his, "but wood and linen decay, especially in the damp around Jerusalem, so most relics, never collected in the first place by the early Christians, would have disappeared naturally," commits another fallacy, that of "begging the question", i.e. assuming the conclusion of one's argument in its premise:

"Begging the question (Latin petitio principia, `assuming the initial point') is a type of logical fallacy in which a proposition relies on an implicit premise within itself to establish the truth of that same proposition. In other words, it is a statement that refers to its own assertion to prove the assertion. Such arguments are essentially of the form "a is true because a is true" though rarely is such an argument stated as such. "Begging the question," Wikipedia, 9 July 2012).

Because if, as the Gospels indicate (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:3-8), Jesus' linen burial clothes, including the Shroud, were in the empty tomb after His resurrection, and they were "collected ... by the early Christians," then they would not have "decay[ed] and so "disappeared naturally"!

Continued in part 3, "The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo (1)."

Stephen E. Jones.
My other blogs: Jesus is Jehovah! and CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)