Here belatedly, is part 24, "3.6. The man on the Shroud and Jesus were crucified," of my series, "The Shroud of Turin." My previous post was part 23, "3.5. The man on the Shroud and Jesus were crowned with thorns." See part 1, "Contents" for more information about this series.
3. THE BIBLE AND THE SHROUD
3.6 THE MAN ON THE SHROUD AND JESUS WERE CRUCIFIED
© Stephen E. Jones
Introduction The man on the Shroud was crucified as the New Testament records that Jesus was. The first century BC Roman orator Cicero called crucifixion "the most cruel and atrocious of punishments" and the first century Jewish historian Josephus, described it as "the most pitiable of deaths".[Above: "G. Ricci, `Crucifixion,' sculpture in wood according to research carried out on the Holy Shroud".]
Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus carried a cross Jesus carried His own cross (Jn 19:17), at least part of the way to the site of His crucifixion (see below). It was an integral part of Roman crucifixion that the condemned man carried his own cross to the site of his execution (Mt 10:38; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23; 14:27). Historical sources indicate that it was not the full cross that was carried, as depicted in Christian art, but rather the crossbeam only, called in Latin the patibulum, to which the victim's outstretched arms were bound. It was also part of Roman crucifixion that the victim was made to carry his cross naked through the streets to the site of his execution, but as a concession to Jewish morality, Jesus was given back his clothes after being scourged (Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20).
Abrasions on the shoulders of the man of the Shroud, particularly on the dorsal image of the right shoulder, indicate that he carried a heavy object, such as the transverse beam of a cross. This must have occurred after he was scourged because the scourge wounds are underneath the shoulder abrasions. But if the crossbeam had been in direct contact with his scourged shoulders, the lacerations would have widened, but on the Shroud, they have kept their shape. This is consistent with the man on the Shroud carrying his cross under which was a garment protecting his scourge-wounded shoulders, as we saw that the gospels of Matthew and Mark recorded of Jesus.
[Above: Abrasions (circled) on the back right shoulder (left because it is a negative photograph) over the scourge marks.]
Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus fell. The man on the Shroud has cuts to both knees, especially to his left knee, indicating an unprotected fall onto a hard surface. A Roman crucifixion victim was made to carry the horizontal crossbeam tied to his outstretched arms and placed across the back of his neck. Which meant that when he fell, which would have been often in his scourged-weakened condition under the heavy weight of the crossbeam, he could not protect his face from the impact of the fall. This explains why the man on the Shroud's nose is swollen, displaced and had been bleeding. It also explains why the nasal area of the Shroud contain a high concentration of ground particles and dust.
The gospels do not record that Jesus fell carrying the crossbeam. However three of the gospels say that that a passerby named Simon of Cyrene was compelled by the Romans to carry Jesus' cross for him (Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26), and this implies that Jesus, weakened by his unusually severe scourging (see part 21, "The man on the Shroud and Jesus were scourged"), was unable to carry the crossbeam all the way to the place of His crucifixion. It is therefore very likely that it was Jesus' stumbling and falling under the weight of the crossbeam which prompted his executioners to compel Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for him.
Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus were crucified. The man of the Shroud was nailed to a cross. He has a bloodstain on the back of his left hand, which overlays his right hand, showing that his hands were pierced by nails through his wrists, not through his palms. This is anatomically accurate as French surgeon Dr. Pierre Barbet (1884–1961) demonstrated, that nails through the palms would tear through by the weight of a man's body on a cross. The man's left foot appears to have been forced over his right foot and both fixed to the cross by a single nail driven through the insteps.
The skeleton of a first-century crucifixion victim named Jehohanan (or Yehohanan), revealed he was nailed to his cross. His heel bones had been transfixed by a single nail and his legs had been broken There were no nails found in Jehohanan's wrists, but there were marks of scratching on the radial bones of his forearms consistent rubbing against nails.
All four Gospels record that Jesus was crucified (Mt 27:31-38; Mk 15:20-27; Lk 23:24-33; Jn 19:16-20). There was no need for the Gospel writers to describe details of Jesus' crucifixion since these were common knowledge, as the Romans carried out their crucifixions along public thoroughfares so that the greatest number could watch and be deterred. Like Jehohanan, Jesus was nailed to the cross (tying with rope was an option). To prove that He had risen bodily from the dead, Jesus showed the disciples (absent the Apostle Thomas) the wounds in "his hands and his side" (Jn 20:20), and later to the Thomas, "in his hands the mark of the nails" (Jn 20:25,27). Then to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the risen Jesus said, "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself" (Lk 24:39-40), which can only mean that Jesus had nail wounds in both hands and both feet.
Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus died on a cross The man on the Shroud is dead. He has a swollen abdomen which indicates that he died of asphyxiation, the way crucifixion victims died. Also, the body of the man on the Shroud is in a state of rigor mortis, in which the muscles stiffen, keeping the body in the position it was immediately prior to death. Signs of rigor mortis on the Shroud man include: his head is bent forward, the chest and abdomen are "frozen", and his whole body is rigid and stiff, occupying some of the positions it did on the cross, especially his left leg. Further evidence that the man on the Shroud was dead is the post-mortem blood flows, especially from the chest wound. If the man's heart had been beating the blood would have spurted out onto the cloth, instead of oozing out as it did.
All four gospels record that Jesus died on a cross (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30). The gospels of Mark and Luke explicitly state that Jesus "breathed his last" on the cross (Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46). The Roman centurion in charge of Jesus' crucifixion confirmed to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate that Jesus, who was then still on the cross, was dead (Mk 15:44-45).
Both the man on the Shroud's and Jesus' legs were not broken The legs of the man on the Shroud are not broken. This is despite the crurifragium, the breaking of a crucifixion victim's leg-bones with a heavy mallet, to hasten his death, because he
[Right: As can be seen, the legs of the man on the Shroud are straight and unbroken.
then would be unable to use his legs to raise himself up to breathe , being the norm in Roman crucifixions. As we saw above, Jehohanan's legs had been broken and the Gospel of John records that the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the two robbers crucified with Jesus, to bring about their immediate deaths (Jn 19:31-32).
The Roman soldiers, having broken the legs of the two robbers crucified with Jesus, when they came to Jesus they saw that he was already dead, and so they did not break His legs(Jn 19:32-33). Despite breaking of the legs of crucifixion victims was the norm in Roman crucifixions, neither the man on the Shroud nor Jesus had their legs broken, which is further evidence that the man on the Shroud is Jesus.
Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus were speared in the side. The man on the Shroud was speared in his right side[ 61]. Clearly visible on the Shroud is a lance stab wound in the man's right side together with an effusion of blood and clear fluid. The wound is on the left-hand side of the Shroud image but because of mirror reversal it was in the right side of the man of the Shroud. The wound and its bloodstain is immediately adjacent to one of the triangular-shaped burn marks from the fire of 1532 (see "part 12"), yet miraculously was not covered by it.
[Above: The wound on the right side of the man on the Shroud (on our left because the Shroud is, like a plaster cast, a mirror image). Note the wound (circled in red) which corresponds to the incision of a Roman lancea and the light and dark stains corresponding to blood and lung cavity fluid. The dark border to the right is the remains of a burn from a fire in 1532.]The origin of the flow of blood and fluid is an elliptical wound at its top edge about 4.4 cm long by 1.1 cm wide (1.75 x 0.44 inches). The size and shape of the wound in cross-section conforms perfectly to a Roman lancea (Greek λογχη - logche). The wound is in the intercostal space between the right fifth and sixth ribs. From below this is directly in line with the right auricle of the heart which fills with blood after death. From the angle of flow the body must have been erect and leaning forward when the side was pierced, for the blood and the fluid flowed downwards and frontwards from the wound.
There was a second flow of blood and fluid from the wound in the side across the small of the back, evidently from when the body was laid on the Shroud.
[Above: the flow of blood across the small of the back from the wound in the side[78.]
As we saw above, the Roman executioners did not break Jesus' legs because they could see that he was dead. But to make absolutely certain that Jesus was dead, one of the soldiers speared him in the side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water (Jn 19:32-34). The Greek word logche), for the Roman lancea, was the very word used in John 19:34 to describe the weapon used by the Roman soldier to check that Jesus was dead.
This eyewitness testimony of the Apostle John of "blood and water" flowing from the lance-wound in the dead Jesus' side, matches the blood and fluid on the right side, under the heart, of the man on the Shroud(see above). Most medical specialists agree that the "water" was probably fluid that had steadily accumulated in Jesus' lung cavity as a result of the unusually brutal scourging (see part 21) He was subjected to. The lance then released this watery type fluid from the lung cavity followed by blood from the perforated heart. A mixture of blood and lung fluid is also the basis of the stains around the nasal area of the Sudarium of Oviedo, which is more evidence that both it and the Shroud once covered the same body. But the Sudarium of Oviedo has been in Spain since the 6th century. This will be covered in more detail in "7. The Sudarium of Oviedo."
More problems for the forgery theory:
• Christian art has consistently depicted Jesus as having been nailed through His palms, even though, as we saw above, medical experiments have shown that nails through the palms could not support the weight of a man's body. But it would be unlikely that a medieval forger would have known this and even if he had, he would have conformed to prevailing Christian tradition and depicted the nail wounds in Jesus' palms[89, §27].
• Crucifixion was outlawed by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 313 and was not practiced since then in the Western world. Yet a forger of the Shroud would have to know a lot about crucifixion to produce such an anatomically and historically accurate representation[91, §28].
• Three dimensional computer processing of Shroud photographs has revealed a slight forward lean of the man on the Shroud's body, consistent with him having been suspended by the arms on a cross, and then that forward lean having been set by rigor mortis. It is highly unlikely (to put it mildly) that a medieval or earlier forger could have encoded light intensity information into his composition which would accurately depict in three-dimensions, the forward lean of a crucified man[93, §29].
• A medieval or earlier forger would have been most unlikely to have gone to the trouble of depicting the man on the Shroud's nose as swollen, displaced and bleeding, let alone added ground particles and dust to his nasal area, consistent with his having fallen on his face while carrying his crossbeam, given that the Gospels do not explicitly mention those (see above)[§30].
• A medieval or earlier forger is unlikely to have been able to depict the convincing medical detail of the lance wound in the side of the man on the Shroud, given that none of the many depictions of that lance wound in Jesus' side in mediaeval or earlier art do so[94, §31].
• The Gospels do not tell us in which side (right or left) Jesus was pierced by a Roman soldier's lance, so a medieval forger would most likely assume it was the left side, as he would be unlikely to realise that the last beat of a heart empties its left ventricle of blood while the right auricle fills with blood after death[95, §32].
• That the Sudarium of Oviedo has blood and lung fluid stains around its nasal area, indicating that both it and the Shroud once covered the same crucifixion victim's body, yet the Sudarium has been in Spain since the 6th century, means that either there were two forgers or a single forger would have had to forge both the Shroud and the Sudarium in or before the 6th century[§33].
Conclusion. There is an amazing correspondence between the details that are observed on the Shroud, and the description of Jesus's crucifixion as narrated in gospels, given that each crucifixion was "personalized" according to the victim executed, the crime committed and the whims of the executioners. The Shroud supplements the Gospels as a photograph supplements a verbal description:
"The Gospels say only that Christ carried His cross. The Shroud depicts Him bent under the transverse beam lying across the shoulders, with His outstretched arms bound to the instrument of His death. And there are the excoriations on the shoulder-blades, the oozing and the aggravated wounds of the scourging. He was crucified, is all the Evangelists say of the awful climax of the drama. The Shroud re-enacts the scene. It raises the arms of Christ to the angle at which they were extended on the cross. It shows the point where the hands were pierced, and how the fingers and thumbs responded to the pressure on the median nerve. It crosses the feet and shows how they were pierced with a single nail through the insteps, how the wounds bled at the beginning of the crucifixion, how they bled again when the nail was extracted. It reconstructs the position in which the body was left by death, because the body grew rigid on the cross and remained so while impressing its image on the Shroud. There is also the final outrage committed upon that sacred Body. The Shroud evokes the vision of the soldier plunging his spear into the right side between the fifth and the sixth rib. It shows us the very wound into which Thomas was invited to thrust his hand, and it almost analyses the issue of blood and water which was such a marvel to John"In conclusion:
"In summary, the man of the Shroud was crucified the way Jesus was. The comparison of the New Testament and the Shroud image lines up at every point"
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.44. [return]
2. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.61-62. [return]
3. Ricci, G., 1978, "The Way of the Cross in the Light of the Holy Shroud," Center for the Study of the Passion of Christ and the Holy Shroud: Milwaukee WI, Second edition, Reprinted, 1982, p.61. [return]
4. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961, pp.42-43. [return]
5. Robinson, J.A.T., 1978, "The Shroud and the New Testament," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud ," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, p.78. [return]
6. Wuenschel, 1954, pp.42-43. [return]
7. Wuenschel, 1954, p.42. [return]
8. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, p.45. [return]
9. Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, p.125. [return]
10. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.38-39. [return]
11. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.44. [return]
12. Wuenschel, 1954, p.43. [return]
13. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.44. [return]
14. Ricci, G., 1977, "Historical, Medical and Physical Study of the Holy Shroud," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., 1977, "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, p.69. [return]
15. Ibid. [return]
16. Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical (inverted). [return]
17. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]
18. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.28. [return]
19. Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.165. [return]
20. Guscin, 1998, p.28. [return]
21. Ibid. [return]
22. Ibid. [return]
23. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, p.86. [return]
24. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.44. [return]
25. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]
26. Ibid. [return]
27. Wuenschel, 1954, p.43. [return]
28. Wuenschel, 1954, p.44. [return]
29. Ibid. [return]
30. Wuenschel, 1954, pp.43-44. [return]
31. Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, p.90. [return]
32. McNair, P., 1978, "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in Jennings, 1978, p.36. [return]
33. Ibid. [return]
34. McNair, 1978, p.36. [return]
35. Friedman, M., 2012, "In a stone box, the only trace of crucifixion," Times of Israel, March 26. [return]
36. Wuenschel, 1954, p.43. [return]
37. Ibid. [return]
38. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.62. [return]
39. Wuenschel, 1954, p.43. [return]
40. Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, p.90. [return]
41. Wuenschel, 1954, p.43. [return]
42. Bulst, 1957, p.48. [return]
43. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]
44. Ibid. [return]
45. Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, pp.112-113. [return]
46. Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, p.113. [return]
47. Ibid. [return]
48. Ibid. [return]
49. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]
50. Ibid. [return]
51. Wuenschel, 1954, p.45. [return]
52. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]
53. McNair, 1978, p.24. [return]
54. Antonacci, 2000, p.120. [return]
55. Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical. [return]
56. Wilson, 1979, p.42. [return]
57. McNair, 1978, p.24. [return]
58. Robinson, 1978, p.78. [return]
59. Ibid. [return]
60. Stevenson & Habermas, 1990, pp.90-91. [return]
61. Wilson, 1979, p.43. [return]
62. Robinson, 1978, p.78. [return]
63. Wilson, 1979, p.43. [return]
64. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.24,26. [return]
65. Wilson, 1979, p.24. [return]
66. Wilson, 1979, p.43. [return]
67. Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical. [return]
68. Antonacci, 2000, p.33. [return]
69. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.63 [return]
70. Wilson, 1979, p.48. [return]
71. Wilson, 1986, p.34. [return]
72. Ibid. [return]
73. Wilson, 1986, p.26. [return]
74. Wilson, 1979, p.44. [return]
75. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.37. [return]
76. Wuenschel, 1954, p.46. [return]
77. Wilson, 1979, p.44. [return]
78. Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical (inverted). [return]
79. 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.44. [return]
80. Wuenschel, 1954, p.45. [return]
81. Wilson, 1979, p.49. [return]
82. Wilson, 1996, pp.132,133. [return]
83. Robinson, 1978, p.78. [return]
84. Wilson, 1996, pp.132,133. [return]
85. Bucklin, R., 1997, "An Autopsy on the Man of the Shroud," Third International Scientific Symposium on the Shroud of Turin, Nice, France, 12 May. [return]
86. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.78. [return]
87. Guscin, 1998, p.31. [return]
88. Robinson, 1978, p.77. [return]
89. Ibid. [return]
90. Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.69. [return]
91. Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, pp.235-239, p.238. [return]
92. Jackson, J.P., Jumper, E.J., Mottern, R.W. & Stevenson, K.E., ed., 1977, "The Three Dimensional Image On Jesus' Burial Cloth," in Stevenson, 1977, p.92. [return]
93. Ibid. [return]
94. Wilson, 1998, p.38. [return]
95. Oxley, 2010, p.167. [return]
96, Bennett, 2001, p.89. [return]
97. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.229. [return]
98. Bulst, 1957, p.49. [return]
99. Wuenschel, 1954, p.55. [return]
100. Wuenschel, 1954, pp.55-56. [return]
101. Stevenson & Habermas, 1981, p.45. [return]
§27, §28, §29, §30, §31, §32, §33.. To be further examined under "9. Problems of the forgery theory". [return]
Continued in part 25, "3.7. The man on the Shroud and Jesus were buried (1)."
Last updated: 27 February, 2014.