Sunday, October 26, 2014

My critique of Charles Freeman's claim that the Turin Shroud was made for a medieval Easter ritual

"Turin shroud was made for medieval Easter ritual, historian says," The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins, 24 October 2014.

I have decided to interrupt my preparing of entry #9 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia: "The Servant of the Priest," which is unexpectedly turning out to be both very complex (and also very important), to respond to this news item. The words of the article are in bold to distinguish them from my words.

[Above: "Displaying the Shroud in Turin, 1613. Engraving by Antonio Tempesta. AKG Images / De Agostini Picture Library": "The Origins of the Shroud of Turin," Charles Freeman, History Today, Vol. 64, Issue 11, 24 October 2014. See a larger copy at Medievalists.net.]

Charles Freeman believes relic venerated as Jesus Christ's burial cloth dates from 14th century and was used as a prop As I pointed out in part #10 of my series, "My critique of Charles Freeman's `The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey,'" according to his entry in Wikipedia (which presumably he wrote), Freeman is a "freelance historian specializing in the history of ancient Greece and Rome" (not medieval art, nor the Shroud). According to that entry, Freeman has never held an actual historian position in any university, his highest listed history position being head of history at "St. Clare's, Oxford, an international school" (for "Ages 16–18+"):

"Charles P. Freeman is a scholar and freelance historian specializing in the history of ancient Greece and Rome ... He has taught courses on ancient history in Cambridge's Adult Education program and is Historical Consultant to the Blue Guides. He also leads cultural study tours to Italy, Greece, and Turkey ... In 1978 he was appointed head of history at St. Clare's, Oxford, an international school" ("Charles Freeman (historian)," Wikipedia, 3 August 2014).
This should be borne in mind when assessing the headline "... historian says."

Moreover, as I documented in part #1 of the above series, Freeman is evidently an atheist/agnostic having published papers critical of Christianity in the New Humanist online magazine, the subtitle

[Above (click to enlarge): Charles Freeman's page at New Humanist: Ideas for godless people listing his online papers, critical of Christianity, relics and the miraculous]

of which is "Ideas for godless people", and is "produced by the Rationalist Association ... dedicated to reason, science, secularism and humanism."

Freeman in his review of philosopher James Hannam's book, "God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science" (2009), describes Hannam as "a Catholic convert," in contrast to himself, "(I have passed the other way)":

"Hannam is a Catholic convert (I have passed the other way) and he presents himself as an apologist (in the old sense of the word as "defender") for the positive role of Christianity in Western society."
so presumably Freeman was once a Catholic but is now a non- (or even anti-) Christian. If so, then according to Freeman's presumed personal atheist/agnostic philosophy, there is no supernatural, so Christianity must be false, and the Shroud of Turin must be a fake.

Indeed, so prejudiced is Freeman against the Shroud, that on his own admission, in his book on medieval relics, Freeman left out the Shroud of Turin, on the preposterously false basis that it was "a cult of modern times, not a medieval one":

"When I was researching my book on medieval relics, Holy Bones, Holy Dust, I decided to leave out the Shroud of Turin. It is essentially a cult of modern times, not a medieval one." (Charles Freeman, "The pseudo-history of the Shroud of Turin," Yale Books Blog: Yale University Press London, May 25, 2012).
This also should be borne in mind when assessing Freeman's claims about the Shroud.

I hasten to add that I am a Protestant evangelical Christian and, unlike Freeman who needs the Shroud to be a fake to preserve his atheistic/agnostic worldview, I do not need the Shroud to be authentic to preserve my Christian worldview. As I have previously pointed out, I had been a Christian for nearly 40 years when in 2005 I was persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin was authentic. So if the Shroud was proven to be not authentic, I would still be the same Christian I have been all along.

As Shroud scholar Joe Marino pointed out, if the Shroud was proven to be authentic it would not affect a Christian's faith, but it would affect an atheist's faith!:

"It is usually stated, and with good reason, that the Shroud is not necessary in Christian faith. ... Skeptics who deny the authenticity of the Shroud are often atheists, and many of these atheists are in the forefront of Shroud opposition. They are not willing to acknowledge the possibility of the supernatural and find it safer to dismiss the Shroud as a forgery, even when it flies in the face of all the evidence. Quite simply, the reality of the Shroud and its possible ramifications scares them. They know that an authentic Shroud of Turin puts their atheism on shaky ground. A comment by a bishop to one such skeptic really puts the whole significance of the Shroud in perspective. The bishop told him, `If the Shroud turned out to be 2,000 years old, it wouldn't really affect my faith, but it might affect yours'. Thus in a real sense, the Shroud is more important for skeptics than it is for Christians. It penetrates to their deepest philosophical levels." (Marino, J.G , 2011, "Wrapped up in the Shroud," p.272).
When it is exhibited next year in Turin, for the first time in five years, 2 million people are expected to pour into the city to venerate a four-metre length of woven cloth as the shroud in which Jesus Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion, and on to which was transferred his ghostly image. Instead of the Shroud being "essentially a cult of modern times, not a medieval one," what Freeman should have written is that the Shroud is the only `medieval' relic which still attracts millions of modern people, including not only Roman Catholics and Orthodox, but also Protestants (like me) who have no other reason to be attracted to the Shroud except that the evidence for its authenticity is overwhelming.

Despite the fact that the cloth was radiocarbon-dated to the 14th century in 1988, an array of theories continue to be presented to support its authenticity – including, this year, the idea from scientists at the Politecnico di Torino that an earthquake in AD 33 may have caused a release of neutrons responsible for the formation of the image. See my post, "Shroud of Turin: Could Ancient Earthquake Explain Face of Jesus?" for the flaws in this "earthquake in AD 33" explanation.

The neutron flux argument has the major flaw that for it to convert a first-century shroud to not just any date, but 1260-1390, or 1325 ±65, which `just happens' to be 25-30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in Lirey, France, in the 1350s, would be a miracle (and a deceptive one by God at that)! Such a miracle would even extend to the very part of the Shroud the radiocarbon dating sample was taken from:

"The same issue of Nature [as the carbon-dating of the Shroud-16 February 1989] carried the letter from T J Phillips, High Energy Laboratory, Harvard University, and a letter in reply (solicited by Nature) from Robert Hedges of Oxford. The two letters were headlined 'Shroud irradiated with neutrons?' Phillips' letter opened with, `If the shroud of Turin is in fact the burial cloth of Christ, contrary to its recent carbon-dated age of about 670 years, then according to the Bible it was present at a unique physical event: the resurrection of a dead body. ...' ... The neutrons could have been captured by carbon-13 (a stable isotope present with all the carbon in the shroud) to form carbon-14. This extra production of carbon-14 (radiocarbon) could give the shroud a much later radiocarbon age. He pointed out that this extra radiocarbon would vary in amount from place to place on the shroud. Presumably it would be greater closer to the image where this postulated production of neutrons occurred. ... But the most devastating argument against Phillips' idea was the fact that the samples were taken at just the right spot on the shroud to produce its historic date. A sample taken closer to the image would have produced an even more modern date-even a date into the future!" (Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," pp.301-302).
But as I have shown in my post, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker #5," the 1989 Nature article, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," which claimed:
"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich ... The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 ..."
is contradicted by Table 2 of the same Nature paper, which is accompanied by the fatal admission that:
"An initial inspection of Table 2 shows that the agreement among the three laboratories for samples 2, 3 and 4 [non-Shroud controls] is exceptionally good. The spread of the measurements for sample 1 [the Shroud] is somewhat greater than would be expected from the errors quoted" (my emphasis).

[Above (click to enlarge): Table 2 in the 1989 Nature paper showing that Sample 1 (the Shroud)'s average radiocarbon age for each laboratory was widely different, unlike the non-Shroud samples (2, 3 and 4). This is inexplicable if the Shroud samples' dates were real, because each dating run consisted of the Shroud and control samples all being on the same ~29 mm carousel wheel and rotated through a caesium beam in turn for 10 seconds each, the entire run taking a minute. But it is explicable if the Shroud sample dates were computer-generated. E.g. by a

[Right: Photograph of Linick and report that "He died at the age of forty-two on 4 June 1989, in very unclear circumstances, shortly after the campaign of the Italian press reporting our [Fr. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard's] accusations" (my emphasis).]

computer hacker, whom I have provided evidence in my soon to be completed series, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker," was Arizona Radiocarbon Laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), aided by self-confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–89), who both died of suspected `suicide' within days of each other, presumably executed by the KGB to ensure their silence.]

But, according to research by British scholar and author Charles Freeman, to be published in the journal History Today, the truth is that the shroud is not only medieval, just as the radiocarbon dating suggests, but that it is likely to have been created for medieval Easter rituals – an explanation that flies in the face of what he called "intense and sometimes absurd speculation" that coalesces around it. Freeman simply ignores (and relies on most of his readers not knowing about) the large amount of historical, archaeological and artistic evidence for the Shroud having existed (much of the time as the Edessa Cloth folded in eight-see my "Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin") many centuries before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date (and indeed all the way back to the first century). Even Prof. Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Director of the Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory, and who as "C.R. Bronk" was a signatory to the 1989 Nature paper, has admitted, "There is a lot of other evidence that suggests ... 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., 2008, "Shroud of Turin," Version 77, Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, 23 March).
Freeman is a good (or bad) example of "the blind leading the blind" (Mt 15:14; Lk 6:39). He presents his ignorance of Shroud studies as a problem for the Shroud! For example, in his History Today article Freeman falsely states:
"No one appears to have investigated the kinds of loom, ancient or medieval, on which a cloth of this size may have been woven. Nor has anyone closely examined the many early depictions and descriptions of the Shroud that illustrate features now lost."
But in his 2010 book, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," pp.71-73, Ian Wilson discusses ancient textiles specialist Dr Flury-Lemberg's research on the type of loom which produced the Shroud (presented 14 years ago at the 2000 Shroud conference in Turin and reported in the online BSTS Newsletter, No. 51, June 2000, "News from Around the World"), including a drawing of its extra-wide woven linen sheet output (see below).

[Above: "Reconstruction of the likely size of the bolt of cloth of which the two lengths of the Shroud (shaded) formed part. This wider cloth was very expertly cut lengthwise, then the raw (i.e. non-selvedge) edges of the shaded segments joined together by a very professional seam to form the Shroud we know today." (Wilson, 2010, p.73).]

And as for Freeman's assertion that, "Nor has anyone closely examined the many early depictions and descriptions of the Shroud ...", in issues #12 and #13, September and December 1984, of Shroud Spectrum International, which are online, the late Shroud scholar Don Luigi Fossati (1920-2007), who was regarded "the greatest expert" on "the existing full-size copies" of the Shroud, wrote a two-part paper entitled: "Copies of the Holy Shroud: Part I" and "Copies of the Holy Shroud: Parts II & III." At the start of part I, Fossati wrote:

"Many aspects of Shroud history can be better understood by a study of the copies made in past centuries. Such a study can reveal precious information little known or insufficiently considered by modern researchers, justly concerned with the Object itself. The list of copies presented here is by no means complete, because of the difficulty at present to locate some of the examples. Even less complete is the gallery of illustrations, due to the difficulties of reproduction. Limiting our research to copies in natural size or of particular historical/artistic interest, we do not include the almost incalculable numbers of small-format copies, executed in every conceivable technic. This review is in three parts: Part I lists in chronological order the copies which carry a date upon them. Those which are not dated are listed in Part II in alphabetical order of the localities in which they are conserved. The information acquired in studying the copies can help to clarify particular aspects of the history of the Holy Shroud, and Part III gives a brief synthesis of that new knowledge."
Since these examples are online, readily found by a Google search, there is especially no excuse for such ignorance by Freeman if he purports to be a Shroud scholar. But like most (if not all) Internet Shroud sceptics, Freeman relies on his readers being as ignorant of the Shroud as he is ("the blind leading the blind").

Freeman, the author of Holy Bones, Holy Dust: How Relics Shaped the History of Medieval Europe, studied early descriptions and illustrations of the shroud. None predates 1355, the year of its first documented appearance in a chapel in Lirey near Troyes in France, before it was acquired by the House of Savoy in 1453 and "converted into a high-prestige relic" to shore up the power base of the insecure Alpine dukedom. See above that by his own admission, Freeman "... decided to leave out the Shroud of Turin" in his book Holy Bones, Holy Dust! By his "None predates 1355..." FGPFreeman ignores the Hungarian Pray Codex (or Manuscript) which is dated 1192-95 and yet clearly is a depiction of the Shroud, at least 160 years before 1355.

[Above: "The Entombment" (top) and "The Visit to the Sepulchre" (bottom), "The Pray Manuscript," Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," plate III).]

The agnostic but pro-authenticist art historian, Thomas de Wesselow, after reviewing the similarities between the Pray Codex and the Shroud, concluded:

"We have now identified eight telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on a single page of the Pray Codex. The first five, found in the scene of the Anointing, are sufficient on their own to indicate that the artist of the Pray Codex knew the Shroud. Conclusive proof is provided by the three correspondences in the lower scene: the stepped-pyramid pattern in the upper rectangle, evoking the distinctive herringbone weave of the Shroud; the folding of the object in two halves; and the small circle formations, which match the pattern of the poker-holes. It is inconceivable that all these detailed links with the Shroud, several of which are found nowhere else, could have occurred on a single manuscript page by chance. The only reasonable conclusion is that the artist of the Pray Codex was aware of the Shroud. The Shroud existed and was already damaged, then, by 1192-5, when the illustrations in the Pray Codex were drawn. Given the close links at the time between Hungary and Byzantium, it can hardly be doubted that the artist saw the relic in Constantinople. ... The Shroud of Turin, then, was once the Sindon of Constantinople."(de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," pp.180-181. My emphasis).
Leaving aside whether Freeman's pejorative claim that "the House of Savoy ... `converted [the Shroud] into a high-prestige relic' to shore up the power base of the insecure Alpine dukedom" is even true, it is irrelevant to the question of the Shroud's authenticity. But from what I have read the Savoy dukedom in the 15th century was anything but "shaky" and they were a genuinely devout and pious Catholic family. Besides, would they (not to mention the millions of modern-day people who queue to see the Shroud) be fooled by what Freeman claims is a "crude and limited" painting of the 14th century (see below)?

In particular, he turned up a little-known engraving by Antonio Tempesta, an artist attached to the Savoyard court, who made a meticulously detailed image of one of the ceremonial displays of the cloth to pilgrims in 1613. First, this is just an "engraving," not a full-size copy of the Shroud, of which there are at least 52 (see below). And it measures only 25 x 18 inches (see below), or about 64 x 46 cms, compared to the Shroud's 437 x 111 cms. So it seems that Freeman has `cherry-picked' the copy of the Shroud that best supports his argument and ignored all the rest which don't. If so, it is the very antithesis of scholarship.

It is also false that the engraving by Antonio Tempesta of the 1613 exhibition of the Shroud is "little known" in the sense that Shroud scholars are unaware of it. I have the following four mentions of Tempesta's 1613 exhibition engraving on my system which shows that they are well aware of it (my emphasis below):

"However one speaker totally new to me whose talk I did happen to hear and found particularly fascinating was Professor John Beldon Scott, head of the department of Art History at the University of Iowa. The title of his talk `Ostension of the Shroud. Architecture and ritual in Piazza Castello' might not sound world-beating stuff. However, by homing-in close-up on details from old prints depicting historic showings of the Shroud, Professor Scott explained aspects of the 16th and 17th century Shroud expositions that were certainly completely new to me. In particular, studying the Antonio Tempesta engraving of 1613 depicting the Shroud being exhibited in Turin's Piazza Castello, he explained how rosary-like strings of beads called `corona di Cristo' were thrown up to the bishops holding up the Shroud, in order that they should press these against the cloth, then throw them back down to their owners, the corona now being sanctified by direct contact with the Shroud." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The 3rd International Shroud Studies Congress, Turin, 5-7 June, 1998: Report by the Editor," BSTS Newsletter, No. 48, December).

La Sindone Nei Secoli nella Collezione di Umberto II, Palazzo Barolo, 18 aprile-14 giugno, Gribaudo, Turin, 1998, 224 A4 size pages, profusely illustrated throughout, several in full colour, softback. Published to accompany an exhibition of old prints and similar depicting historic showings of the Shroud and ancillary materials, as shown at Turin's Palazzo Barolo from 18 April to 14 June of this year, this superbly produced book includes excellent depictions of each print, and is an invaluable resource for the Shroud's history from its arrival in Turin in 1578, through to the age of photography. Only in the case of certain prints, such as the Tempesta engraving of 1613, is the original print so large and detailed that the small scale reproduction fails to do it justice." (Wilson, I., 1998, "Recent Publications," BSTS Newsletter, No. 48, December).

"In 1613, the engraver Antonio Tempesta produced an ambitious twenty-five-inch-by-eighteen-inch souvenir engraving that was the first properly to depict the sheer spectacle of these occasions (fig. 36). In the engraving, a sea of people can be seen filling every possible vantage point. Servants perch precariously on rooftops. Every balcony is filled to capacity, the one on the Castello, at the top centre of the picture, brimming with the leading ladies of the Savoy court. At the sides of the square, temporary 'corporate boxes' provide a high vantage point for those willing to pay for this privilege, while at ground level thousands of the humbler folk fill the square, surrounded by the ducal cavalry. In the foreground, in what seems to be the first of two separate moments that the artist has conflated into one, we see musketeers and halberdiers struggling to open a path for the procession of torchbearers who accompany the high square canopy beneath which the Shroud is being carried by mitred Church dignitaries. This procession leads our eye to the second moment the print encapsulates: the showing of the Shroud from a high platform that has been erected in the middle of the square. At a height that is comfortably beyond the crowd's reach, eight mitred bishops and archbishops hold out the Shroud to the populace. Below them, members of the crowd throw up corone di Cristo, rosary-like strings of beads, for the bishops to press against the Shroud then return duly sanctified to their owners. Behind the bishops can just be glimpsed the faces of Savoy's duke and duchess. In the sky above, a banner reads 'Happy House of Savoy, which, endowed by so great a pledge [i.e. to keep and protect the Shroud] is glorified by this sacred gift'." (Wilson, 2010, p.265).

"When in 1684 Charles Emmanuel II's son Victor Amadeus II married his first wife, Anna d'Orleans, a particularly lavish public showing of the Shroud was staged in the Piazza Castello. To supplement the usual souvenir prints, Dutch artist Pieter Bolckmann was commissioned to create a huge commemorative oil painting, which today hangs in Turin's Castello di Racconigi (pl. 31a). In the distance, beneath a large red canopy, the usual line of bishops and archbishops can be seen unfurling the Shroud's red silk cover to display the cloth to the crowds, which are even more extensive than in the Tempesta engraving of seven decades earlier, with every rooftop filled. And just behind the Royal Palace in the background can be seen the spire of Guarino Guarini's chapel showing that externally it was complete." (Wilson, 2010, p.270).
Indeed, Wilson has a two-pages `centrefold" photograph of Tempesta's engraving on pages 266-267 of his 2010 book!

"Astonishingly," he writes, "few researchers appear to have grasped that the shroud looked very different in the 16th and 17th centuries from the object we see today." What is truly astonishing, is that Freeman does not consider that the Shroud was the same all along, but artistic styles and abilities of the artists who copied the Shroud have varied!

By an amazing coincidence, this morning (25 October) I scanned and word-processed the following in my daily work of helping to put Shroud Spectrum International progressively online. As can be seen, in it Fossatti mentions that there are 52 full-sized copies of the Shroud, but "not one copy comes anywhere near a resemblance" of the Original:

"Based on the 52 copies [of the Shroud] located and catalogued, a few points should be emphasized: 1. Twenty-seven have the date written on the cloth. 2. All 52 show the frontal and dorsal imprints and are approximately the same dimensions as the Original. 3. The principal motive was to have a relic like the Original and for this reason the copy was laid in contact with the Shroud. 4. Some accompanying documents declare that the copy is "exactly equal" to the Original. 5. The copies do not show the characteristics of a true negative, proof that the artists did not understand negativity, even though it is often claimed that Byzantine iconographers were able to interpret the negative image. The copies confirm that the Shroud is an unicum inimitabile, a proof, even though indirect, of its authenticity. 6. A comparison of these copies with the Original eloquently refutes a manual production of the Shroud; not one copy comes anywhere near a resemblance."(Fossati, L., 1990, "The Shroud: from Object of Devotion to Object of Discussion," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 37, December, pp.9-19, p.16. My emphasis)
The Tempesta engraving, as well as a number of 15th- and 16th-century first-hand descriptions, emphasise a feature that is much less obvious now – that the figure was covered in blood and scourge marks, relating to Christ's flagellation.

This is fallacious. Working with only a 25 x 18 inch engraving, the thinnest flagellation mark would necessarily be much thicker relative to the whole body of the Man on the Shroud.

[Left: Extracted and vertically rotated copy of the Shroud in Tempesta's engraving found on Medievalists.net. Compare this with a positive photo of the Shroud on Shroud Scope and it can be seen there are a lot more, but thinner, flagellation marks on the 437 x 111 cm Shroud itself than on Tempesta's 64 x 46 cms engraving, where the flagellation marks are necessarily thicker but fewer.]

Looking at the close-up of Tempesta's engraving on the left, and making allowances for the differences in scale, it does not appear to be particularly more "bloody" than the Shroud itself. Indeed, it does not even show the major bloodstain of the spear-wound in the Man's side, which if Freeman's thesis that this engraving represents "a focus on blood in depictions of the crucifixion that emerged in the 14th century" (see below) it would surely depict it!

These extensive markings can be explicitly related, argues Freeman, to a focus on blood in depictions of the crucifixion that emerged in the 14th century – a "dramatic" change in iconography that sharply differentiates depictions of the crucified Christ from those of earlier centuries, and which reflects revelations of a bloody, wounded Christ reported by mystics such as Julian of Norwich in the 14th century. Apart from the Pray Manuscript (and a few other similar artworks) there were no Shroud-based depictions of the crucified Christ from earlier than the 14th century, after the Shroud was first publicly displayed in European history at Lirey, France in about 1355. Clearly it is no problem for the Shroud's authenticity, indeed the opposite, if there was "a focus on blood in depictions of the crucifixion that emerged in the 14th century"!

The original purpose of the shroud, argues Freeman, is likely to have been as a prop in a kind of medieval, theatrical ceremony that took place at Easter – the Quem quaeritis? or "whom do you seek?" "On Easter morning the gospel accounts of the resurrection would be re-enacted with `disciples' acting out a presentation in which they would enter a makeshift tomb and bring out the grave clothes to show that Christ had indeed risen," he said. This is mere idle speculation by Freeman, which is not even worth responding to. As I have previously written, with words to the effect:

`What Shroud anti-authenticists (like Freeman) need to do is propose a comprehensive and internally coherent Shroud anti-authenticist theory that plausibly: 1) Positively accounts for all the major features of the entire full-length, front and back, Shroud image (including photographic negativity, three-dimensionality, extreme superficiality, etc), with technology that was indisputably in use before the 1350s. Such an account should include a reproduction of the Shroud and its image that has all the major features of the entire Shroud, with that same pre-1350s technology. And 2) Negatively explains away all the historical, archaeological and artistic evidence for the Shroud having been in existence from the 14th century, all the way back to the first century. No such comprehensive and coherent Shroud anti-authenticity theory exists, which suggests that if anti-authenticists have attempted to propose one, they quietly gave up, because they realised the difficulties of such a theory!'
Freeman's idea was shored up by his study of the earliest illustration of the shroud – on a pilgrim badge of the 1350s found in the Seine in 1855. On it, two clerics hold up the shroud, and beneath is an empty tomb. Freeman's idea certainly needs all the shoring up it can get! But the Cluny Museum pilgrim's

[Above: A pilgrim's medallion made of lead, found in the mud of Paris' Seine River in 1855, and today held in Paris' Cluny Museum. The 4.5 cms high by 6.2 cms wide medallion has front and back images, head to head, of the Shroud, being held by two clergymen, as well as the coats of arms of the first recorded owners of the Shroud, the 14th century French Knight Geoffrey I de Charny (left) and his wife Jeanne de Vergy (right). It had probably been worn by a pilgrim to an exhibition of the Shroud at Geoffrey's church in Lirey, France in 1355, since he was killed in battle in 1356 and according to a memorandum by Bishop d'Arcis of nearby Troyes, Geoffrey was exhibiting the Shroud at Lirey, "thirty-four years or thereabouts" before 1389, in the time of his predecessor, Bishop Henri of Poitiers, who only arrived at Troyes in 1354: "A Souvenir from Lirey." See also my "The case for fraud in the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud #1: Introduction" for references.]

badge, is an item of evidence for the existence of the Shroud in the 1350s that all Shroud theories, pro- and anti-authenticity, must conform to. And again Freeman is seeking support for his position, not from the over 50 full-size copies of the Shroud, but from another miniature copy of the Shroud, this one even smaller at only 4.5 x 6.2 cms!

The church officially regards the shroud with an open mind: as a object to be venerated as a reminder of Christ's passion, rather than, necessarily, the physical imprint of his body. As I have stated before, the Vatican is dishonest in this. From its actions in spending the equivalent of millions of dollars preserving the Shroud and holding exhibitions for millions of people to see it, clearly the Vatican regards the Shroud as authentic. So presumably the reason it refuses to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic is that the Vatican would then have to say which of its other relics were authentic or fakes, and most of them would be the latter. It might be good church politics to suppress the truth in this matter but it is not Christian (Rom 1:18; 2Cor 4:2; 13:8; Eph 4:15, 25; 6:14).

Next year, millions of pilgrims will beg to disagree – as they will with Freeman's argument that places the shroud at the birth of northern European drama rather than at the dawn of Christianity, and that identifies the images on it as traces of a "crude and limited" painting of the 14th century. Well put! Freeman had actually claimed in his History Today article that the Shroud is a "painting" that is "crude and limited":

"What can we say about the painting on the Shroud? The images are crude and limited in tone. They show none of the expertise of the great painters of the 14th century, who, even on linen, were capable of mixing a variety of pigments into rich colours. The join of the head and the shoulders on the frontal image is particularly inept. Although the artist did try to reproduce images that might have touched a crucified body and left a mark, the two images are not even simultaneous representations of the same body. This can be seen from the arms as they are shown in the early depictions. If you lie on the ground and place your elbows in the same position as those on the back image of the Shroud, you can quickly see that it is impossible to hold the position of the crossed arms in the front. There is a difference of seven centimetres between the lengths of the two bodies. Then again the heads do not meet, suggesting that this was not a cloth that was ever folded over an actual head. A cloth laid on a body would pick up its contours, but there is no sign of this. Again, the hair of the body would have fallen back if the figure had been lying down but the blood is as if it is trickling down the hair of a standing figure. In short, it appears to be a painting made by an artist whose only concession to his subject is to imagine that this is a negative impression of the body (as shown by the wound on the chest being on the left of the image in contrast to the conventional right, as seen in the Holkham crucifixion scene) that had been transferred to the cloth."

But in this Freeman displays further ignorance of Shroud literature. One thing that STURP did show in 1978 and its aftermath is that the Shroud's image is NOT a painting, because "No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils" that make up the image (there are random spots of paint, pigment and dye on the Shroud from artists pressing their copies against the Shroud to `bless' them):
"After years of exhaustive study and evaluation of the data, STURP issued its Final Report in 1981. The following official summary of their conclusions was distributed at the press conference held after their final meeting in October 1981: `No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils [i.e. that make up the image]. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional information encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography.'" ("A Summary of STURP's Conclusions," October 1981, Shroud.com. My emphasis).
And all the above objections have been fully answered in Shroud literature, of which (again) Freeman seems to be (presumably because he wants to be) ignorant. "There are none so blind as those who will not see!"

Posted: 26 October 2014. Updated: 19 September 2016.

23 comments:

alanborky said...

I suspect what this author may've done's confuse for scourge marks blood clots etc a very careful attempt on the engraver's part t'capture just how intensely the image itself an' the weave an' the knotting etc of the fabric're intertwined.

From the point o' view o' many artists one o' the most fascinating things about the shroud's how much it's nearly entirely bare *canvas* makin' its hypothetical creator arguably a direct ancestor o' many modern especi'ly abstract artists.

Whether or not any o' this's true what amazes me's how readily an' unquestioningly many members o' both sides o' the argument rush t' embrace an' promote any "intense and sometimes absurd speculation" which claims t'confirm their preciously held beliefs.

Nabber said...

Stephen, Excellent post. There is certainly more that could be pointed out about Freeman's deceptiveness, and I hope you will do so at some point.

Stephen E. Jones said...

alanborky

>I suspect what this author may've done's confuse for scourge marks blood clots etc a very careful attempt on the engraver's part t'capture just how intensely the image itself an' the weave an' the knotting etc of the fabric're intertwined.

Certainly Freeman has failed to consider that flagellation marks on the 437 x 111 cms linen Shroud cannot possibly be represented accurately on a 64 x 46 cms engraving.

>From the point o' view o' many artists one o' the most fascinating things about the shroud's how much it's nearly entirely bare *canvas* makin' its hypothetical creator arguably a direct ancestor o' many modern especi'ly abstract artists.

I doubt that the Shroud has had any influence on modern abstract artists. Art historian Thomas de Wesselow says in his book, "The Sign" (2012) that the modern art world simply ignores the Shroud, as though it doesn't exist.

But as John Walsh pointed out, the Shroud is either authentic, or it is the greatest work of art of all time:

" Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground." (Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," pp.xi-xii)

>Whether or not any o' this's true what amazes me's how readily an' unquestioningly many members o' both sides o' the argument rush t' embrace an' promote any "intense and sometimes absurd speculation" which claims t'confirm their preciously held beliefs.

This is too sweeping a generalisation.

But it certainly is true of Freeman in regards to the Shroud. In Freeman's atheist/agnostic worldview the Shroud simply MUST be a fake and so ANY argument, no matter how weak, against the Shroud's authenticity will suffice!

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
MY POLICIES Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that comments under my latest post can be on any Shroud-related topic without being off-topic. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Nabber

>Stephen, Excellent post.

Thanks.

>There is certainly more that could be pointed out about Freeman's deceptiveness,

Agreed. I did so in my unfinished series, "My critique of Charles Freeman's `The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey.'"

>and I hope you will do so at some point.

Sorry, but I have bigger fish to fry than Freeman.

My focus will be on: 1) finishing my series, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker";

2) continuing with my "Turin Shroud Encyclopedia," by completing entry #9 "The Servant of the Priest," which is unexpectedly very important) (e.g the Shroud (sindon) was not in the empty tomb but the risen Jesus took it with Him and gave it to "the servant of the priest," as recorded in the early 2nd century "Gospel of the Hebrews, who was either: a) Malchus (Jn 18:10); b) Peter (confused by a copyist error); or more likely c) John (who tradition records was a priest and is supported by the New Testament but too complex to give in this comment), and is supported by John knowing the name of the High Priest's servant Malchus (see above), and being known to the High Priest, the High Priest's servant girl and having easy and authoritative entry into the High Priest's house (Jn 18:15-16); and therefore John may have even been a servant in the High Priest's household, and his code name (in that early era of persecution was "the servant of the priest).

And 3) Continuing with my series, "The Shroud of Turin".

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

bippy123 said...

Great Post again Stephen. My guess is that this medieval easter ritual theory is being acclaimed highly by people like hugh Farey who just want the shroud to be a fake, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

I was recently going through some old posts there and I happened to come across an old post by Yannick Clement and he theorizes that because God made himself known in a very subtle way twice to Yannick that the shroud couldn't be authentic because God couldn't have made his presence known in such a powerful and obvious way, and only makes himself known to everyone in the same exact way he did for Yannick.

This is ridiculous because Christ made himself known in a very powerful way when he appeared post resurrection to his disciples and 500 people.

I can understand why freeman and his ilk would want the shroud to be fake to the point of ignoring other strong evidences for its authenticity but people like farey and others totally confuse me.

Its like there is a hidden bias already in there apriori before they even look at the evidences.

as for this

alanborky

"Whether or not any o' this's true what amazes me's how readily an' unquestioningly many members o' both sides o' the argument rush t' embrace an' promote any "intense and sometimes absurd speculation" which claims t'confirm their preciously held beliefs."""

It took me 2 years to even consider having an opinion on the shroud, and when I first studied it I made myself only visit anti authenticist shroud sites to make sure I wasn't wasting my time researching the shroud.

So no, not all people on both sides embrace any theory as true.
Im sure it took Stephen jones even longer to come to a conclusion on the shroud, not without much research and contemplation.


Stephen E. Jones said...

bippy123

>Great Post again Stephen. My guess is that this medieval easter ritual theory is being acclaimed highly by people like hugh Farey who just want the shroud to be a fake, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Thanks. I presume so. But I haven't read Dan Porter's blog since 8 May, now over 5 months.

>I was recently going through some old posts there and I happened to come across an old post by Yannick Clement and he theorizes that because God made himself known in a very subtle way twice to Yannick that the shroud couldn't be authentic because God couldn't have made his presence known in such a powerful and obvious way, and only makes himself known to everyone in the same exact way he did for Yannick.

Since the Shroud IS authentic, then Clement must be deluded on that matter (if you are correctly reporting him). Ruling out massive objective evidence for the Shroud's authenticity on the basis of one's own private visions is just self-delusion, or worse.

>This is ridiculous because Christ made himself known in a very powerful way when he appeared post resurrection to his disciples and 500 people.

That wouldn't preclude Christ making Himself known to people thereafter - indeed the New Testament contains several examples: the Ascension (Acts 1:6 - unless that was the appearance to the 500 brothers); Stephen (Acts 7:55-56); Paul (Acts 9:4; 1Cor 15:8), Peter ( Acts 10:9-16), John (Rev 1:12-17) - up to and including today. But whether He did so in any individual case is another matter.

>I can understand why freeman and his ilk would want the shroud to be fake to the point of ignoring other strong evidences for its authenticity but people like farey and others totally confuse me.

Is there any difference? Except that Farey with his "an accidental 14th century origin" of the Shroud:

"Unlike my predecessors, whom I think are more or less committed to a pro-authenticity point of view, I myself currently incline more towards an accidental 14th century origin for the cloth now preserved in Turin." ("Editorial - by Hugh Farey," BSTS Newsletter No. 78 - December 2013)

is even more an extreme anti-authenticist than Freeman, who at least believes that the Shroud was forged by an unknown 14th century painter.

Albeit without paint, pigment, dye or stain, because there is none on the Shroud that comprises its image!

>Its like there is a hidden bias already in there apriori before they even look at the evidences.

Agreed, they and their anti-authenticist ilk are afflicted with "invincible ignorance":

"The invincible ignorance fallacy is a deductive fallacy of circularity where the person in question simply REFUSES TO BELIEVE THE ARGUMENT, IGNORING ANY EVIDENCE GIVEN. It is not so much a fallacious tactic in argument as it is a refusal to argue in the proper sense of the word, the method instead being to MAKE ASSERTIONS WITH NO CONSIDERATION OF OBJECTIONS." ("Invincible ignorance fallacy," Wikipedia, 8 September 2014. My emphasis).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>as for this

>alanborky

>"Whether or not any o' this's true what amazes me's how readily an' unquestioningly many members o' both sides o' the argument rush t' embrace an' promote any "intense and sometimes absurd speculation" which claims t'confirm their preciously held beliefs."""

I wasn't sure if Borky was trying to set me up. It's an old rhetorical trick, declaring oneself to be in the middle and everyone else on either side is an extremist (which could even include me if that was Borky's intent).

That is basically the Fence-Sitter's tactic. He sits on his fence, claiming not to believe the Shroud is, or is not, authentic, so he can criticise all sides as he sees fit.

That's why I answered Borky's "members o' both sides o' the argument ..." (has he got a keyboard problem where his "f" key returns an apostrophe?), by pointing out it was a "sweeping generalisation," too general to be useful. It is the EVIDENCE that matters.

>It took me 2 years to even consider having an opinion on the shroud, and when I first studied it I made myself only visit anti authenticist shroud sites to make sure I wasn't wasting my time researching the shroud.

It took Shroud.com's Barrie Schwortz 17 years:

"Mr Schwortz referred to the scientific evidence that is `the basis for my opinion that the shroud cannot be an artwork. STURP's data provided empirical evidence to that effect, although the sceptics of the world continue to deny it'. He continued: `Remember that I am Jewish (not Messianic), and it took nearly 17 years after our direct examination of the cloth before the scientific evidence actually convinced me of the shroud's authenticity. It was the science that did it." (Barrett, D.V., "Expert dismisses historian's claim that Turin Shroud was made for medieval ritual," Catholic Herald, 29 October 2014).

>So no, not all people on both sides embrace any theory as true.

Agreed.

>Im sure it took Stephen jones even longer to come to a conclusion on the shroud, not without much research and contemplation.

Actually, after I was midway through reading Stevenson & Habermas' book, "Verdict on the Shroud" (1981), in January 2005, which only took a few days, I provisionally accepted the Shroud was authentic, subject to it passing the tests of further evidence.

Which is still my position today. Except that after 9 years of continually exposing myself to all the evidence for and against the Shroud, and it passing all tests with flying colours, it is extremely unlikely that there is any evidence out there that would negate the MOUNTAIN of evidence for the Shroud's authenticity that I now know.

Indeed, the WEAKNESS of the LEADING anti-authenticist's (like Freeman) evidence and arguments is itself evidence that the Shroud is authentic. They are these days just a RABBLE of mutually CONTRADICTORY theories (e.g. Freeman's 14th century painter and Farey's 14th century accident), who are united only in their antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud!

Stephen E. Jones

Hugh Farey said...

Hi Stephen.

I don't comment on your blog, as you know, but recent comments perhaps need some contradiction as they are untrue.

a) Bippy123 "hugh Farey who just want the shroud to be a fake." For the record, I do not want the Shroud to be a fake. I would much rather it was authentic. I just do not find the evidence in favour of authenticity sufficiently convincing. I know you find it overwhelming, and I respect that, but I don't.

b) Bippy123 again. "people like farey and others totally confuse me.Its like there is a hidden bias already in there apriori before they even look at the evidences." I do not mind if Bippy is confused, but I can assure him, and you, that there is no hidden bias.

c) You. "Farey with his "an accidental 14th century origin" of the Shroud" Yes, you've had a lot of fun with that. Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words. By accidental, I do not, of course, mean that the image arrived wholly by chance. I think it possible that the image as we see it today is the accidental result of the passage of time on some other image, which I wholly agree was not acccidental at all when it was made.

d) You. "united only in their antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud!" I cannot speak for Freeman, who seems to have drifted away from Catholicism, but I certainly have no antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud, nor to those who think it authentic. I look forward to the day when a definitive identification can be made, authentic or otherwise.

Best wishes
Hugh

Stephen E. Jones said...

Hugh Farey

>I don't comment on your blog, as you know, but recent comments perhaps need some contradiction as they are untrue.

>a) Bippy123 "hugh Farey who just want the shroud to be a fake." For the record, I do not want the Shroud to be a fake. I would much rather it was authentic. I just do not find the evidence in favour of authenticity sufficiently convincing. I know you find it overwhelming, and I respect that, but I don't.

You forget Hugh, that I was on the receiving end of a stream of defamatory and false comments by you on Dan Porter's blog, which Porter did not lift a finger to moderate, despite my protests, and which caused me to leave Porter's blog.

Also you wasted no time in writing falsehoods about me and my blog in the December 2013 BSST Newsletter.

As I have said before, I go by the wise words of one of my university lecturers:

"Don't believe what people SAY. Believe only what they DO!"

And what you (and Porter) DO is Shroud anti-authenticity. So I DON'T BELIEVE you when you claim, "I do not want the Shroud to be a fake." Although I accept that it is possible you are self-deluded in this, and are not aware of your own motives.

>b) Bippy123 again. "people like farey and others totally confuse me.Its like there is a hidden bias already in there apriori before they even look at the evidences." I do not mind if Bippy is confused, but I can assure him, and you, that there is no hidden bias.

If you really think you have "no hidden bias" against the Shroud, then I agree with you-it is not "hidden" but PLAIN to see! But if you claim that you have "no bias" against the Shroud at all, then in my opinion you ARE self-deceived in this.

>c) You. "Farey with his "an accidental 14th century origin" of the Shroud" Yes, you've had a lot of fun with that. Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words.

It was what you wrote in a BSTS Newsletter Editorial. I cannot accept that you didn't mean it, but I can understand that you now regret writing it.

>By accidental, I do not, of course, mean that the image arrived wholly by chance. I think it possible that the image as we see it today is the accidental result of the passage of time on some other image, which I wholly agree was not acccidental at all when it was made.

Same difference. It is still PREPOSTEROUS that the Shroud's image could have resulted from "the accidental result of the passage of time on some other image."

Microscopic and ultraviolet, etc, examinations of the Shroud by STURP, and others, have failed to find any evidence of an original image on the Shroud, and they would have found evidence of it if it had been there.

Also you simply ignore all the historical and artistic evidence for the Shroud's existence well before the 14th century and all the way back to the 1st century.

You HAVE TO be biased against the Shroud's authenticity to do that.

The evidence is so strong for the Shroud's authenticity that even agnostics like Thomas de Wesselow and Ian Wilson, have been forced by that evidence to accept that the Shroud is authentic.

And I myself, an evangelical Protestant, who had no reason to believe a `Roman Catholic medieval relic,' as I regarded the Shroud to be, was authentic, was also forced by the evidence to accept that it is.

And do you really think that Jesus, who is ruling over all (Acts 10:36; Rom 9:5; Eph 1:21-22; Php 2:9), would allow millions of Christians down through the ages (including me) to be fooled by such a convincing "accident"?

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>d) You. "united only in their antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud!" I cannot speak for Freeman, who seems to have drifted away from Catholicism, but I certainly have no antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud, nor to those who think it authentic. I look forward to the day when a definitive identification can be made, authentic or otherwise.

Again, I don't believe you when you write that: "I ... have no antipathy towards the authenticity of the Shroud." I can only go by what you DO, not what you SAY.

And you certainly had an antipathy towards ME who argued for "the authenticity of the Shroud" on Porter's blog.

Not only the stream of defamatory comments from you against me, even touching on my alleged mental state. But also forwarding without my permission my early comments on Porter's blog, about my hacker theory, to Profs Jull and Ramsey, and then posting their replies under the heading (from memory) "Let's hope this is the end of it." Not to mention the outright LIE by you that I linked the Pope with Satan in one of my blog posts.

These were the ACTIONS of an extreme Shroud anti-authenticist, who felt THREATENED by my arguments and evidence that the Shroud is authentic.

However, I can accept that you may be self-deceived and don't understand your own motives in this area.

But in the end it is the same thing. Your ACTIONS make you an extreme Shroud anti-authenticist, whatever you SAY.

>Best wishes
Hugh

Nevertheless I have forgiven Porter and you for your non-Christian treatment of me on Porter's blog, which I presume is still happening, although I haven't read Porter's blog or comments under it for over 5 months now. But forgiving is not the same as forgetting. I will leave it to Jesus to repay any evil (Romans 12:17-19) directed at me on Porter's blog, because of my seeking to serve Jesus in this way. You and your ilk might want to think about that.

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
MY POLICIES ... Debates After over a decade (1994-2005) debating creation/ evolution/ design on Internet discussion groups, I concluded that Internet debates were largely a waste of time, so I ceased debating and started blogging. Therefore I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.

Stephen E. Jones said...

>Microscopic and ultraviolet, etc, examinations of the Shroud by STURP, and others, have failed to find any evidence of an original image on the Shroud, and they would have found evidence of it if it had been there.

By "original image" I mean the "some other image" in Farey's "... the image as we see it today [on the Shroud] is the accidental result of the passage of time on some other image ...".

Stephen E. Jones

Hugh Farey said...

Thank you for replying, and, indeed, for forgiving. You're still wrong about my opinions, but that's OK. As long as you don't think that the Catholic Church's 'dishonesty' is Satanically inspired I can live with that.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Hugh Farey

>Thank you for replying, and, indeed, for forgiving.

Thanks for your thanks.

>You're still wrong about my opinions, but that's OK.

You clearly have little or no insight into your motives that are behind your EXTREME anti-authenticist views and actions.

But that is your problem, not mine. If the Shroud is authentic, as the evidence OVERWHELMINGLY indicates, then you will need to give account to Jesus (Mt 16:27; 25:31-32; Ac 10:42; 2Cor 5:10; 2Tim 4:1, 1Pet 4:5) for your antagonism towards His Shroud, and towards me His servant who is only seeking to serve Him in this.

>As long as you don't think that the Catholic Church's 'dishonesty' is Satanically inspired I can live with that.

That you even THOUGHT that of me, when my post, "Shroud of Turin News, October 2013" clearly did not say it, is just another symptom of your underlying anti-Shroud authenticity (and anti-Shroud authenticist) problem.

But again, that is your problem, not mine.

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

"">As long as you don't think that the Catholic Church's 'dishonesty' is Satanically inspired I can live with that. ""

That is surely one of the most bizarre posts I have seen .
Stephen never alluded to anything such as this . What I can't understand is why even allude to this ?

I'm a Catholic myself Hugh and I see in Stephen someone who is passionately pursuing the truth, and he isn't the only one that is persuaded by the evidence for the shroud's authenticity .

I am also, but there are also some that desperately want the shroud to be a forgery. I have encountered them not only in evangelical circles but in Catholic circles as will and it seems.that they are motivates by emotions then the evidences .

I never knew about the shroud until 2009 and I found out about it from atheists of all people . Oh the irony

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>">As long as you don't think that the Catholic Church's 'dishonesty' is Satanically inspired I can live with that. ""

>That is surely one of the most bizarre posts I have seen .
Stephen never alluded to anything such as this . What I can't understand is why even allude to this ?

In an attempt to get Farey to reflect on his what might be underlying his extreme antipathy to the Shroud's authenticity, and in particular his antipathy towards me, a Shroud pro-authenticist, on Porter's blog, I confronted him with:

1. "Not only the stream of defamatory comments from you against me, even touching on my alleged mental state."

2. "But also forwarding without my permission my early comments on Porter's blog, about my hacker theory, to Profs Jull and Ramsey, and then posting their replies under the heading (from memory) `Let's hope this is the end of it.'"

and

3 "Not to mention the outright LIE by you that I linked the Pope with Satan in one of my blog posts."

But Farey simply ignored the first two, as though they had never happened, and all he said about the third was the above, which he had already said on Porter's blog.

This confirms that Farey has little or no insight into his Shroud anti-authenticity motives.

If so, that is even more reason why Farey should not be the Editor of the BSTS Newsletter. But it appears that no one in the BSTS cares. Expect a guest article in the BSTN by Joe Nickell, in the interests of `being fair to both sides'!

>I'm a Catholic myself Hugh and I see in Stephen someone who is passionately pursuing the truth, and he isn't the only one that is persuaded by the evidence for the shroud's authenticity .

Farey's problem is not "evidence". His opposition to the Shroud is clearly non-rational. Indeed, he declines to even offer a rational defence of it.

It may be that Farey, like Porter, is a `Christian' who is opposed to the supernatural. I encountered many `Christians' like that in my Creation/Evolution Internet debates. Indeed, they existed even in the first century:

2Tim 3:5: "having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>I am also, but there are also some that desperately want the shroud to be a forgery. I have encountered them not only in evangelical circles but in Catholic circles as will and it seems.that they are motivates by emotions then the evidences .

It is understandable that Protestants may be opposed to the authenticity of the Shroud as part of a general opposition to Roman Catholic relics. But what seems surprising is that some Roman Catholics are also opposed to the authenticity of the Shroud, and two in particular were among the most zealous (if not fanatical) opponents of the authenticity of the Shroud.

Canon Ulysse Chevalier (1841–1923) who "In the controversy on the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin ... he worked by tracing back the history of the cloth, which was undoubtedly used as a shroud, but he argued was not produced before the 14th century and was probably no older" but "In 2006 French historian Emmanuel Poulle wrote in a peer-reviewed journal that Ulysse Chevalier showed in this case intellectual dishonesty. According to Poulle, Chevalier deliberately did not correctly mention the Papal bulls of antipope Clement VII issued in 1390. In fact Clement VII never opted for the forgery thesis." ("Ulysse Chevalier," Wikipedia, 2 June 2014).

And in fact Chevalier's intellectual dishonesty regarding the Shroud, was much worse than that. He forged a crucial heading to Bishop Pierre d'Arcis 1389 Memorandum that wasn't there. Read Markwardt, J., 2001, "The Conspiracy Against the Shroud," BSTS Newsletter, No. 55, June 2002).

Fr Herbert Thurston (1856–1939) was another Roman Catholic leading opponent of the Shroud, although Wikipedia doesn't say much about that:

"Fr. Herbert Henry Charles Thurston, S.J. (15 November 1856 – 3 November 1939) was an English priest of the Roman Catholic Church, a member of the Jesuit order, and a prolific scholar on liturgical, literary, historical, and spiritual matters. ... In his day, he was considered something of an expert on spiritualism. ... Thurston wrote more than 150 articles for the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907-1914) [including the online article on the Shroud of Turin]... He was a close friend of the Modernist theologian, Father George Tyrrell, who was harshly sanctioned by the Church. Many of Thurston's articles show a skeptical attitude ... about holy relics [especially the Shroud of Turin] and his treatment of spiritualism and the paranormal was regarded as `too sympathetic' by some sections of the Catholic community." ("Herbert Thurston," Wikipedia, 8 October 2014. My words in square brackets)

Read Markwardt BSTS article above for details of Thurston's intellectual dishonesty also in further `improving' on Chevalier's already `improved' d'Arcis Memorandum.

>I never knew about the shroud until 2009 and I found out about it from atheists of all people . Oh the irony

When I `discovered' the Shroud in 2005 and posted a comment to a news article about it shortly after, on my now closed CreationEvolutionDesign Yahoo group, I found the atheists in the group knew a lot about it. Having only read Stevenson & Habermas' 1981 "Verdict on the Shroud" I didn't know anything about the Shroud's 1988 C14 dating, but I was in the midst of my Bachelor of Science degree, so I answered them using what I knew about C14 dating in general, until I could catch up on my reading about that.

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Stephen, good points. I really think what we have here are 2 possibilities .

1. They have a very liberal theology kind of stance towards the supernatural or
2. They are afraid of being embarrassed in front of their materialistically leaning colleagues .

It's clear that something emotional is motivating this anti authenticity or anti super naturalism bias of theirs.

Hughes slandering posts and then his inability to back them up just smacks of hidden intentions and diversionary tactics.

I usually see these tactics by pseudo skeptics not from believers.



bippy123 said...

"'And in fact Chevalier's intellectual dishonesty regarding the Shroud, was much worse than that. He forged a crucial heading to Bishop Pierre d'Arcis 1389 Memorandum that wasn't there. Read Markwardt, J., 2001, "The Conspiracy Against the Shroud," BSTS Newsletter, No. 55, June 2002).

Fr Herbert Thurston (1856–1939) was another Roman Catholic leading opponent of the Shroud, although Wikipedia doesn't say much about that:"'

Wow thanks Stephen for these 2 examples .I knew there were some Catholics that were against the shroud but I never knew the extent that they went to to try to discredit it.

One more question Stephen. Have you ever done a blog post on the fire in 1997 that almost destroyed the shroud.was there any information gleaned by the local turin authorities as to who was involved in that arson?

Thanks and God bless

Stephen E. Jones said...

Bippy123

>Stephen, good points. I really think what we have here are 2 possibilities .
>
>1. They have a very liberal theology kind of stance towards the supernatural or

From what I have read of Chevalier and Thurston, they were `progressive' Catholics who sought to rid the Catholic Church of its links with `embarrassing' medieval relics.

They had their contemporary counterparts in liberal Protestant theologians who wanted to rid the Protestant Church of links to `embarrassing' Biblical miracles.

I don't disagree that most RC relics are fakes and it is dishonest that the Vatican refuses to state which relics are authentic, like the Shroud, and which are fakes.

But the problem with Chevalier and Thurston is that they sought to `throw out the baby with the bathwater." Indeed, they LIED in order to discredit the Shroud, which shows that concern for truth was not what motivated them.

>2. They are afraid of being embarrassed in front of their materialistically leaning colleagues .

That may have been true at the beginning of their careers, but so powerful is the indoctrination in Naturalism in Science, and Academia generally (including many theological colleges), that from my experience of over a decade (1984-2005) debating Creation/Evolution, these `Theistic Naturalists' are VERY enthusiastic in denying the supernatural, even Biblical miracles.

>It's clear that something emotional is motivating this anti authenticity or anti super naturalism bias of theirs.

The emotion probably comes from the inner tension of trying to serve two incompatible masters.

Mt 6:24: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

in this case supernatural Biblical Christianity and Naturalism ("nature is all there is: there is no supernatural").

And so Christians like me, who try to be consistent supernaturalists (i.e. accept supernatural causation when the evidence points to it and naturalistic explanations don't work), presumably make them feel guilty deep-down, which is why the Fence-Sitter and his `Christian' ilk are so opposed to me, and tolerant of, if not actually on the side of, Anti-Christians like Charles Freeman.

It doesn't bother me, indeed on the contrary it confirms to me that I am on the right track:

Jn 15:18-20: 18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours."

And I know that if they don't repent, the Lord with repay them for any evil:

Rom 12:19. "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, `Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"

they have directed at me for simply seeking to serve Jesus as the Man on the Shroud.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Hughes slandering posts and then his inability to back them up just smacks of hidden intentions and diversionary tactics.

I presume you mean Hugh Farey? I haven't read The Fence-Sitter's blog since 8th May, so I am blissfully ignorant of any "slandering posts" against me on that site, since then.

They might consider that if the Shroud is authentic (as the evidence OVERWHELMING indicates), and bears the RESURRECTED image of Jesus, then Satan might be using them to try to silence my witness to that fact.

But of course they will probably scoff at that, because, being anti-supernaturalists, they probably wouldn't believe in the reality of Satan, let alone that he could be using THEM. But:

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." (McQuarrie C., 1996, "The Usual Suspects," Faber & Faber: London, p.89)!

>I usually see these tactics by pseudo skeptics not from believers.

What makes you think they are CHRISTIAN "believers"? Again, "don't believe what people SAY. Believe only in what they DO."

And what they DO is act like anti-Christian "skeptics" as you noted.

And oppose me, who seeks to be a consistent Biblical Christian, in my support of the authenticity of the Shroud, and they support ANTI-Christians like Charles Freeman.

Jesus warned that there would be MANY on the Day of Judgement who THOUGHT they were Christians but WERE NOT:

Mt 7:21-23. "Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven. 22 On that day MANY will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, `I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from me, you WORKERS OF LAWLESSNESS.'" (my emphasis).

Who are those "many" if it does not include them? Was Jesus wrong? Or did the Apostle Matthew wrongly report what Jesus said?

But they will probably just scoff at that too. In particular, The Fence-Sitter will probably dismiss it yet another "metaphor"!

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

Stephen E. Jones said...

bippy123

>"'And in fact Chevalier's intellectual dishonesty regarding the Shroud, was much worse than that. He forged a crucial heading to Bishop Pierre d'Arcis 1389 Memorandum that wasn't there. ...
>
>Fr Herbert Thurston (1856–1939) was another Roman Catholic leading opponent of the Shroud ...

>Wow thanks Stephen for these 2 examples .I knew there were some Catholics that were against the shroud but I never knew the extent that they went to to try to discredit it.

From what I have read, before Secondo Pia's 1898 photos of the Shroud which revealed it was a photographic negative, such that even a leading agnostic scientist like Yves Delage, due to the LIES of Chevalier and Thurston, even most Catholics thought the Shroud was a fake. >One more question Stephen. Have you ever done a blog post on the fire in 1997 that almost destroyed the shroud.

No I haven't done post on the 1997 fire that nearly destroyed the Shroud. But there is a Shroud.com article by Barrie Schwortz on it: "The 1997 Fire" with photos and links to news articles about it.

>was there any information gleaned by the local turin authorities as to who was involved in that arson?

From memory, arson was suspected, but not proved. However, Wilson in 1998 (see below) says the 1997 fire was arson. Here are quotes about the 1997 fire on my system mentioning "arson" (my emphases below):

"Then, in the hour before the midnight of April 11, came the highly publicised fire. Although the Shroud itself was saved, all that had been its environs during the last four hundred years lay a tangled, blackened and water-drenched mess. The once gleaming bullet-proof display case had had to be most energetically smashed in order for the Shroud to be rescued. Where once there had been a three hundred year old wall of glass separating the Royal Chapel from the main body of the Cathedral there was now empty space. The Royal Chapel's dome was now in a far more dangerous state than before the restoration work began. Worst affected of all was the actual lining of the walls of the Royal Chapel. Likewise the adjoining part of the Royal Palace where STURP did its testing work in 1978, much of its splendid baroque ornament and valuable paintings having been ruined beyond repair. And BEHIND THE WHOLE EPISODE LAY THE DARK SPECTRE OF ARSON and sabotage on the part of as yet unidentified enemies of the Shroud, the Church and all that these represent. ... The Cause of the fire. According to the latest available information, as given at a Press Conference on 24 April, the exact cause of the fire is not yet known. However an overloading of the Palace electrical circuits has been ruled out, and ARSON SEEMS STRONGLY SUSPECTED. Some reports have spoken of a cryptic telephoned warning shortly beforehand, also signs that it started seemingly in two separate places at the same time (i) in wooden and aluminium scaffolding just above the roof of the passageway connecting the palace with the Royal Chapel, and (ii) inside the Chapel itself. The finding of a discarded petrol can has also been mentioned. The difficulty lies choosing between the several plausible categories of possible suspects. ... Whoever was responsible, if the fire was arson, then it will certainly not have been the first attempt to destroy the Shroud is this way. There was another in 1972, in which an intruder broke into the Royal Chapel after climbing over the Palace roof." (Wilson, I., 1997, "Editorial: When Everything Seems Against You...," BSTS Newsletter, No: 45, June/July).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

"Yet less than two decades since the Shroud came into the Church's ownership, and less than a decade since radiocarbon dating declared the Shroud a fake, the Church has begun to behave as if it has the genuine article, against all the odds, including a determined attempt to destroy that article (for all THE LATEST FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT THE CHAPEL FIRE WAS INDEED ARSON). So why this sudden volte-face? Does the Church have some very good reason for believing that the radiocarbon dating was wrong and that the Shroud may be genuine after all?" (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," p.12).

"The Guarini Chapel, totally guttered by fire, was left a smoldering, blackened ruin, and its entry wall adjoining the rear of the Cathedral was extensively damaged. Although the fire could have been caused by a short circuit, POLICE INVESTIGATORS SAID IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN ARSON. A mystery telephone caller had given a warning a half an hour before the blaze that there `might be a fire in the cathedral'. A petrol can was found later in the gardens. Whatever the cause of the fire, Cardinal Saldarini said the rescue of the Shroud was `a miracle'." (Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," p.176)

>Thanks and God bless

You're welcome. But according to my, "normally ... only one comment per individual under each one of my posts" (see above) this has been your last comment under this post.

I am hoping to post tomorrow the next entry #9 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia on "The Servant of the Priest." It mightn't sound like much but it (or rather they, since it is so long I have had to split it into two) will be among the most important posts I have posted, or ever will post. I was going to give more details here but that could generate comments, and I want any comments to be under that next post.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

>I haven't read The Fence-Sitter's blog since 8th May, ...

The Lord spoke to me in my quiet time this morning, that I should cease mentioning Dan Porter (aka "The Fence-Sitter"), and his blog, in my blog.

He can attack me all he likes, but I will from now on ignore him and his blog, unless he or any of his blog's members make comments on this my blog.

So mentioning of Dan Porter, and his blog, and his blog's members in connection with Porter's blog, is henceforth off-topic on my blog.

Stephen E. Jones