Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Shroud of Turin: 3.1 The Bible and the Shroud: Introduction

This is "3.1. Introduction" of "3. The Bible and the Shroud," being part 19 of my series, "The Shroud of Turin." The previous post in this series was part 18, "3. The Bible and the Shroud." See part 1, the main Contents page, for more information about this series.


THE SHROUD OF TURIN
3. THE BIBLE AND THE SHROUD
3.1 INTRODUCTION
© Stephen E. Jones

The Shroud must be consistent with the Bible If the Shroud of Turin is the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, then it must be consistent with what the Bible says about Him, and particularly about His suffering, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection:

"If the Shroud is the actual burial garment of Jesus, then it should be consistent with the New Testament texts. This condition must be satisfied before anyone can identify the cloth as Jesus' burial garment."[1].

[Above: Depiction of the most likely position in which Jesus died, and then was fixed by rigor mortis, based on the blood stains on the Shroud of Turin[2]. Note the injuries on the Shroud which are consistent with the injuries that the New Testament records of Jesus.]

Because, as Stevenson and Habermas' second sentence above implies, if the image on the Shroud was not consistent with the Bible says about Jesus, and particularly about His suffering, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection, then there would be no reason to believe the Shroud was "Jesus' burial garment"[3]. For example, if the Gospels said nothing about Jesus having been scourged with a Roman flagrum, crowned with thorns and speared in the side, that would be sufficient reason to believe that the Shroud imprint is that of another crucifixion victim, as proposed by the theory that the man on the Shroud is that of "a Crusader crucified by the Saracens," or that he is "Jacques de Molay the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar"[4].

The Shroud is consistent with the Bible There is no injury sustained by the man on the Shroud that does not correspond to the injuries to Christ described or implied in the Gospels[5]. Some of the parallels between the Gospel evidence and the Shroud evidence are summarised below in table form[6]:

Gospel evidenceVersesShroud evidence
Jesus was scourged.Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Jn 19:1The body is covered with the wounds of a severe scourging.
Jesus was struck blows to the face.Mt 27:30; Mk 15:19; Lk 22:63; Jn 19:3There is a severe swelling below the right eye and other face wounds.
Jesus was crowned with thorns.Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2Bleeding from the scalp indicates that a `cap' of thorns was thrust upon the head.
Jesus was made to carry a heavy crossbeam.Jn 19:17Scourge wounds on the shoulders are blurred, as if by the chafing of a heavy burden.
Jesus' cross had to be carried for him, suggesting he fell under its weight.Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26The knees are severely damaged, as if from repeated falls.
Jesus was crucified by nails in His hands and feet.Jn 20:25-27; Col 2:14There are blood flows as from nail wounds in the wrists and at the feet.
Jesus' legs were not broken, but a spear was thrust into his side as a check that he was dead.Jn 19:31-37The legs are not broken, and there is a large wound in the right side.

The Bible does not exclude the man on the Shroud being Jesus Nothing in the Bible rules out the man on the Shroud being Jesus[7]. There is no detail in the Gospels' account of the suffering, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus that contradicts the witness of the Shroud[8].

Shroud sceptics concede the image on the Shroud matches the Gospels' description of Jesus As we saw in part 5, "1.3 The central dilemma of the Shroud," even leading Shroud sceptics concede that the image of the man on the Shroud matches the Gospels' description of Jesus' suffering, crucifixion and death. For example, the late Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856-1939), a leading early 20th century Roman Catholic Shroud sceptic, admitted that:

"As to the identity of the body whose image is seen on the Shroud, no question is possible. The five wounds, the cruel flagellation, the punctures encircling the head ... If this is not the impression of the Body of Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other personage since the world began could these details be verified."[9]

Conclusion "The comparison of the New Testament and the Shroud image lines up at every point"[10]. As can be seen above in this introductory overview, the Shroud of Turin is fully consistent with the Bible's description of the suffering, crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. In succeeding posts in this section, "3. The Bible and the Shroud," we will see the above in more detail, as well as that the Shroud is fully consistent with the burial and resurrection of Jesus.

NOTES
1. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, p.43. [return]
2. "World Mysteries - Strange Artifacts - Shroud of Turin." [return]
3. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.43. [return]
4. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1998, p.10. [return]
5. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.49. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.51-52. [return]
7. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.53. [return]
8. Ruffin, 1999, p.49. [return]
9. Thurston, H., 1903, "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, p.19, in Wilson, 1979, p.53 (my emphasis). [return]
10. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]


Continued in part 20, "3.2. The man on the Shroud."

Last updated: 22 June, 2013.

6 comments:

benJephunneh said...

Howdy, Mr. Jones.

If you consider that Jesus was killed on a stauros (stake) as it's written in the NT, and that Rome never had a history of killing people on two crossed pieces of wood but always on a stake, the stains on the arms shown in the shroud are more reasonable, given their straight pathway down the arm.

Stephen E. Jones said...

benJephunneh

>Howdy, Mr. Jones.

Thanks for your comment. I assume you are a Jehovah's Witness, as it is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's un-Biblical and un-historical teaching that Jesus was not executed on a two-beamed cross but on a single-beamed stake.

See my series on my now inactive "Jesus is Jehovah!" blog, "Jesus was executed on a cross, not a stake!".

See also my post, "Re: The Shroud of Turin: Evidence that Jesus was crucified on a cross, not a stake."

>If you consider that Jesus was killed on a stauros (stake) as it's written in the NT,

You are misled. Stauros does not ONLY mean "stake", but it ALSO means "cross".

Here are quotes stating that fact from my NT Greek lexicons (my emphasis bold):

"stauros, -ou, o, l. an upright pale or stake ... 2. In late writers .. of the Roman instrument of crucifixion, the Cross: of the Cross on which Christ suffered, Mt 27:32, 40, 42, Mk 15:21, 30, 32, Lk 23:26, Jo 19:17, 19, 25, 31, Col 2:14, He 12:2; thanatos staurou, Phl 2:8; t. aima tou s.., Col 1:20." (Abbott-Smith, G., 1937, "A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament," p.415).

"stauros, ou, o the cross ... in the sense 'upright pointed stake' or `pale') in our lit. of the instrument by which the capital punishment of crucifixion was carried out .. a stake sunk into the earth in an upright position; a cross-piece was oft. ... attached to its upper part, so that it was shaped like a T or thus † ... 1. lit., w. other means of execution ... 1. Used in the case of Jesus Mt 27:40,42; Mk 15:30, 32; J 19:25,31; Phil 2:8... submit to the cross Hb 12:2. " (Bauer, W., Arndt, W.F., Gingrich, F.W. & Danker, F.W., 1979, "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature," p.764).

"stauros ... 1. stauros is an upright "stake" such as is used in fences or palisades. 2. The stauros is an instrument of torture for serious offenses. It may be a vertical pointed stake, an upright with a cross-beam above it, or a post with an intersecting beam of equal length." (Kittel, G. & Friedrich, G., eds., 1985, "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament", p.1071).

"stauros, -ou, o ...1. an upright stake, esp. a pointed one, .... 2. a cross; a. the well-known instrument of most cruel and ignominious punishment, borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians ... This horrible punishment the innocent Jesus also suffered: Mt. xxvii. 32, 40, 42; Mk. xv. 21, 30, 32 ; Lk. xxiii. 26; Jn. xix. 17, 19, 25, 31 ; Col. ii. 14; Heb. xii. 2... " (Thayer, J.H., 1901, "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament," 1961, p.586).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

"stauros. A cross, a stake, often with a cross-piece, on which criminals were nailed for execution. The cross was an instrument of most dreadful and agonizing torture. This mode of punishment was known to the Persians (Ezra 6:11; Esth. 7:10); and the Carthaginians. However, it was most common among the Romans for slaves and criminals, and was introduced among the Jews by the Romans. It was not abolished until the time of Constantine who did so out of regard for Christianity. Persons sentenced to be crucified were first scourged and then made to bear their own cross to the place of execution. A label or title was usually placed on the chest of or over the criminal. Crucifixion was at once an execution, a pillory, and an instrument of torture. In biblical Gr., stauros occurs only in the NT and refers to: (I) A Roman cross consisting of a straight piece of wood erected in the earth, often with a transverse beam fastened across its top and another piece nearer the bottom on which the crucified person's feet were nailed, as was the cross on which the Lord Jesus suffered (Matt. 27:32, 40, 42; Mark 15:21, 30, 32; Luke 23:26; John 19:17, 25, 31; Phil. 2:8; Col. 1:20; 2:14)." (Zodhiates, S., 1992, "The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament," pp.1308-1309).

>and that Rome never had a history of killing people on two crossed pieces of wood but always on a stake,

This is simply FALSE. See the above NT Greek lexicon references that crucifixion on a cross was a Roman method of execution, for starters. And here are two quotes from Roman classical literature which describe Roman crucifixion as being with "arms outstretched", "spread-eagled on a cross" :

"SCELEDRUS: ... But I must keep my mind on this job, and my eye on this door. [He plants himself squarely across the door with arms outstretched, facing the door.] I'll stand this way. Nobody's going to make a mug of me. ... PALAESTRIO: You're just in the right position to be spread-eagled on a cross outside the gate ... I know I'm going to end up on a cross; that's where I shall follow my ancestors - father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather. " (Plautus, 1965, "Miles Gloriosus," 359-360, in "The Pot of Gold and Other Plays," pp.166-167. Words in square brackets original).

and having "stretched out both his arms and fastened them to a piece of wood which extended across his breastand shoulders as far as his wrists":

"A Roman citizen of no obscure station, having ordered one of his slaves to be put to death, delivered him to his fellow-slaves to be led away, and in order that his punishment might be witnessed by all, directed them to drag him through the Forum and every other conspicuous part of the city as the), whipped him, and that he should go ahead of the procession which the Romans were at that time conducting in honour of the god. The men ordered to lead the slave to his punishment, having stretched out both his arms and fastened them to a piece of wood which extended across his breast and shoulders as far as his wrists, followed him, tearing his naked body with whips." (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 1950, "The Roman antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnassus," Book 7.69, pp.355,357).

See also "The facts on crucifixion, stauros, and the `torture stake'" by Leolaia (who is a Classics Professor at a USA University).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>the stains on the arms shown in the shroud are more reasonable, given their straight pathway down the arm.

This is the only part of your comment which is about the Shroud, and saved it from being deleted as being "off-topic" (see my policy below).

In fact the bloodstains on the arms of the man on the Shroud (who the evidence overwhelmingly points to as being Jesus), are down the arms and then off at two angles of 55 and 65 degrees from the arms:

"We are now drawn to the wounds of the crucifixion itself. First we must establish that we can be quite confident we are dealing with a crucifixion victim. The principal evidence for this lies in the flows of blood from the wound in the left wrist. One of the most important aspects is the angle of the two streams of blood closest to the hand, flowing toward the inner border of the forearm. Other, interrupted streams run along the length of the arm as far as the elbow, dripping toward the edge of the arm at angles similar to the original flows. The first two flows are about ten degrees apart, the somewhat thinner one at an angle of about fifty-five degrees from the axis of the arm and the broader one closer to the hand at about sixty-five degrees. This enables us to do two things: (1) to compute that at the time the blood flowed, the arms must have been raised at positions varying between fifty-five and sixty-five degrees from the vertical, i.e., clearly a crucifixion position; (2) to compute that because of the ten-degree difference the crucified man must have assumed two slightly different positions on the cross, that at sixty-five degrees representing full suspension of the body, that at fifty-five degrees a slightly more acute angle of the forearm produced by flexing the elbow to raise the body.(Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," pp.39-40).

which is what drops of blood under gravity would follow from nails in the wrists of a victim with arms outstretched affixed to a horizontal cross-beam.

It is NOT what drops of blood would follow under gravity from nails in the wrists of a victim with arms over his head affixed to a vertical stake, as the Watchtower always depicts Jesus' execution (see my "Jesus was executed on a cross, not a stake! #2: Biblical").

As you yourself, wrote, if the Watchtower was right, the blood flow from the nail wounds in Jesus' wrists, would follow a "straight pathway down the arm".

But they DON'T! They flow down the arm a short distance of varying lengths and then they flow off the arms at two angles of 55 and 65 degrees! See the photo at "Shroud Scope."

Stephen E. Jones
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Comments I consider to be off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that the current post can be on any Shroud-related topic. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

bippy123 said...

hello Stephen , Hope you are yours are doing well. Another great shroud.

I was on a religious forum debating the shroud, and some guy keeps bringing up a guy named fredicus and claims it was a historic fact that he was crucified in the same exact manner as Christ.

I have looked high and low and havent been able to find any info at all on this guy, and he seems very releuctant to supply a link , which tells me that his claim is a hoax.

Anyways, for me this is the single best source online (as well as shroud.com) to keep adding to my knowledge of the shroud.

Thank you so much for this great service you are providing us.
God bless
Bippy123

Stephen E. Jones said...

bippy123

>hello Stephen , Hope you are yours are doing well. Another great shroud.

Thanks.

>I was on a religious forum debating the shroud, and some guy keeps bringing up a guy named fredicus and claims it was a historic fact that he was crucified in the same exact manner as Christ.

There were probably tens (if not hundreds) of thousands who were CRUCIFIED in the exact same manner as Christ, namely on a cross; with nails in the hands and feet.

It is not the CRUCIFIXION of Jesus which was unique. It is the COMBINATION of: 1) crucifixion with nails through His hands and feet; 2) the extremely severe scourging that Jesus suffered(see my "The man on the Shroud was scourged"); 3) Jesus was crowned with thorns (see my next post) because of His unique claim to be the King of the Jews, when there is no evidence that anyone else in history was crowned with thorns and no reason why they would have been; 4) Jesus legs were not broken; 5) He was speared in the side; 6) He was given a decent burial (unlike almost all Roman crucifixion victims); and 7) Jesus burial Shroud was found in His tomb, intact and separated from His body.

>I have looked high and low and havent been able to find any info at all on this guy, and he seems very releuctant to supply a link , which tells me that his claim is a hoax.

It MUST BE a hoax. Do you think we would not have already heard long ago about this "Fredericus," if he really had been, as Jesus was: 1) crucified; 2) scourged; 3) crowned with thorns; 4) his legs not broken; 5) speared in his side; 6) buried and 7) his burial shroud found intact and separated from his body?

>Anyways, for me this is the single best source online (as well as shroud.com) to keep adding to my knowledge of the shroud.
>
>Thank you so much for this great service you are providing us.

Thanks. My next post, "The man on the Shroud was crowned with thorns" is in the final stages of preparation and hopefully should be posted this Sunday.

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If you like this my The Shroud of Turin blog, and you have a website, would you please consider adding a hyperlink to my blog on it? This would help increase its Google PageRank number and enable more people who are Google searching on "the Shroud of Turin" to discover my blog. Thanks.
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Stephen E. Jones