Monday, October 21, 2013

A 9th century depiction of Christ being scourged naked from behind with the scourgers' fingers in the shape of the reversed 3 bloodstain on the Shroud!

Dan Porter had yesterday (20 October) allowed a guest-posting on his Shroud of Turin blog, "An Intriguing 9th Century Image Suggestive of the Shroud – A Guest Posting by Max Patrick Hamon".

[Above (click to enlarge): "The flogging of Christ, Carolingian iconography, early 9th c. CE, Stuttgart Psalter, fol. 43v, Wurttenmbergische Landesbibliothek, Germany": Max Patrick Hamon. If the image at the end of this link is clicked repeatedly it will progressively enlarge.]

As can be seen, Christ is depicted naked from the back, with realistic, bleeding scourge marks, something that is very rare, if not non-existent, in the Middle Ages, as the agnostic art historian, Thomas de Wesselow, who believes the Shroud is authentic, wrote:

"Once again, though, it [the scourge marks on the Shroud] differs dramatically from anything envisaged in the Middle Ages. The vast majority of medieval images of the dead or dying Christ fail to depict any scourge marks at all ... This may be because it was generally assumed that the flogging affected only Christ's back, or it may be to avoid distracting from the more significant wounds in the hands, feet and side. Christ is sometimes shown bleeding in depictions of the flagellation, but the effect is always rather crude. In Duccio's rendering of the scene, for example, the scourge marks are represented as red dribbles all over the body, including the arms but not the legs ... The artist displays no knowledge of the Roman flagrum, nor any conception of how it was wielded. Even a fifteenth-century artist as accomplished as Jean Colombe, who definitely knew the Shroud, was unable to reproduce its convincing pattern of scourge marks ... To attribute the marks on the Shroud to a provincial unknown working in the mid fourteenth century is therefore ridiculous." (de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," p.123).

Moreover, the artist accurately depicted a Roman flagrum, of the three-thonged, lead ball tipped, type which made the marks on the Shroud.

[Right: A reconstruction of a Roman flagrum made by Paul Vignon, based on the man on the Shroud's scourge wounds. A flagrum similar to this was found in the ruins of first-century Herculaneum but is now lost: de Wesselow, 2012, p.144O.]

Also the artist depicted two scourgers, which is not mentioned in the Gospels, but which can be deduced from the pattern of scourge marks on the Shroud; Jesus' feet are at an angle (as the man on the Shroud's appear to be); Jesus' hands would have been crossed in front of him (his right arm is not visible) at about his groin area as on the Shroud; Jesus has long hair (as has the man on the Shroud); and the circlet loosely confining Jesus' legs looks like the Crown of Thorns relic, now in Notre Dame Cathedral, which is documented to at least the 11th century.

Up to this point all this could be dismissed by Shroud sceptics as mere coincidence. But the `smoking gun' evidence that the artist was working from the

[Left: The Shroud's epsilon or reversed 3 bloodstain superimposed by Hamon near to the scourger on the right's unnaturally long and strangely configured fingers: Max Patrick Hamon. It is difficult (if not impossible) to configure one's fingers with the index finger pointing, the next two fingers curled into the palm, and the little finger bent down-try it!]

Shroud, is, as pointed out by Hamon, the unnaturally long and strangely configured fingers on the free hand of the scourger on the right, is in the shape of the epsilon (or reversed 3) bloodstain on the Shroud man's forehead!

However, the curve of the scourger on the right's fingers is the opposite of the reversed 3 bloodstain on the Shroud. But if that

[Above (click to enlarge): Triptych of the fingers of the scourger on the left of Jesus on the Stuttgart Psalter (left); the reversed 3 bloodstain on the Shroud horizontally flipped (centre); and the fingers of the scourger on the right of Jesus on the Stuttgart Psalter (right). As can be seen there is a close match between the shape of reversed 3 bloodstain on the Shroud and the fingers of the scourger on the right.]

bloodstain photo is flipped horizontally (because the scourgers' fingers are at the back of Jesus but the reversed 3 bloodstain is at the man on the Shroud's front), it then has the same basic shape as the scourger's fingers! Readers can verify this for themselves by printing out the above triptych and cutting out the centre (reversed 3) panel. Then hold the cut out reversed 3 panel where it would be on Jesus' forehead, keeping the other two panels at Jesus' back. The reversed 3 bloodstain can be seen to be in the correct orientation as it is on the Shroud!

Additional evidence that the artist intended to depict the Shroud's reversed 3 bloodstain in the shape of the scourger on the right's fingers is that he is pointing to Jesus' head and the scourger on the left is pointing to his own head, but there would seem to be no other reason why they would be doing this during a scourging. Also the scourger on the right has no thumb visible on his free hand, when it should normally have been visible, but then that would have detracted from the hand's match with the Shroud's reversed 3 bloodstain.

And since the Stuttgart Psalter is dated 820-830 this is further

[Above: Date of the Stuttgart Psalter (820-830): The Library of the Medieval Institute]

evidence (if not proof beyond reasonable doubt) that the cloth today known as the Shroud of Turin existed in at least the early 9th century. Which would then be the final nail in the coffin of the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390."

And also that the Shroud's full-length image, front and back, was known at least in the 9th century. According to Ian Wilson's

[Above (click to enlarge): "Travels of the Shroud," Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," 1978, inside front cover]

chronology of the Image of Edessa/Shroud (which I mostly accept), this 9th century Stuttgart Psalter depiction of a naked Jesus being scourged, which is based on His burial sheet, now known as the Turin Shroud, was painted when the Shroud was in Edessa, before it was transferred to Constantinople in 944!

This is truly a major Shroud discovery by Max Patrick Hamon. Again congratulations to him and thanks to Dan Porter for first posting it.

3 comments:

Zach James said...

I thought I would also mention (and both these points may have been discussed already) that the scourge marks end pretty well relative to where the shroud scourge marks end around the back of the knees. Also, Christ pictured in the icon has his hands in front of his groin (like the shroud).

Zach James said...

I'm a huge shroud enthusiast and lean heavy toward it's authenticity. However, after looking up images of the Stuttgart Psalter, I don't find this piece of evidence particularly compelling. I do think it's interesting how the scourge marks end around the knees and how Christ is depicted with his hands towards his groin, but in regard to the roman soldiers finger, there are several examples in the series that show the same figuration with the fingers. Here is an example http://www.google.com/imgres?safe=off&sa=X&rlz=1C1ASUT_enUS498US498&espv=210&es_sm=93&biw=1745&bih=860&tbm=isch&tbnid=Wi5cwjDFITQWHM:&imgrefurl=http://benedante.blogspot.com/2011/04/charlemagnes-soldiers.html&docid=cmqtiZvrvZ_4lM&imgurl=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LOCnjSNWHho/TbRTqQXcC_I/AAAAAAAAE4o/26kRIRTen60/s1600/StuttgartWarriors5.jpg&w=513&h=471&ei=x_RlUsDwCefi2QWhioHgDg&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:18,s:0,i:135&iact=rc&page=1&tbnh=178&tbnw=186&start=0&ndsp=29&tx=117&ty=64

Stephen E. Jones said...

Zach

>I'm a huge shroud enthusiast and lean heavy toward it's authenticity.

Thanks for your comments. I am responding only to your second one since it includes points you made in your first comment.

>However, after looking up images of the Stuttgart Psalter, I don't find this piece of evidence particularly compelling.

Even though: 1) the scourgers' fingers (especially the one on the right) is a very close match to the horizontally flipped reversed 3 bloodstain on the Shroud; 2) the scourger on the right is pointing with his free hand to Jesus' head and the one on the left is pointing to his own head, for no otherwise apparent reason; and 3) their fingers are unnaturally long and unnaturally configured (it is very difficult to configure one's hand like that, especially one's little finger (try it).

>I do think it's interesting how the scourge marks end around the knees and how Christ is depicted with his hands towards his groin,

These are MORE reasons to think that the artist was painting from the Shroud. And given that, it is more probable that the scourgers' fingers were intended by him to depict the reversed 3 bloodstain on the Shroud (horizonally flipped) than it is just a coincidence.

>but in regard to the roman soldiers finger, there are several examples in the series that show the same figuration with the fingers. Here is an example http://tinyurl.com/mf2rowa.

Thanks for proving my point! NONE of their fingers match the reversed 3 bloodstain (horizontally flipped) on the Shroud.

Stephen E. Jones

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