Friday, March 18, 2016

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: 31-176

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: 31-176

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is the fifth and final installment of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: 31-176," which is part #2 of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud" series. See the Index, part #1 for more information about this series. These parts of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud" series are a work in progress. It will take a lot of time researching and writing each part, so after I have posted it, I will continue updating it in the background and report the updates in the Editorials of my Shroud of Turin News.

[Index] [Previous: AD 30] [Next: 177-]

c. 31 Healing and conversion of King Abgar V of Edessa. According to the early church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260–340), Edessa's King Abgar (whom he calls Prince Agbarus), heard of Jesus' healing miracles and sent Him a letter by a courier, Ananias, asking to be healed of an incurable, wasting disease[2]. According to Eusebius, Jesus replied by letter carried back by Ananias, saying that He could not come but after His resurrection and ascension, He would send one of His disciples to heal Abgar and bring eternal life to him and his subjects[3]. After Jesus' resurrection and ascension in AD 30 (see part #1), the Apostle Thomas sent Thaddeus, one of the seventy (Lk 10:1-20) to Abgar in Edessa and through him Abgar was healed and converted to Christianity, along with many Edessans[4].

[Above (enlarge)[5]: King Abgar V (c.25 BC-AD 50) of Edessa is depicted in this 10th century icon at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai[6], receiving the Image of Edessa/Mandylion (the Shroud "four-doubled" (tetradiplon)) from Jesus' disciple Thaddeus[7]. Abgar's face is that of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (r. 913-959)[8], to commemorate the arrival of the Mandylion/Image of Edessa (Shroud) in Constantinople on 15 August 944[9].]

Writing in about AD 325[10], Eusebius stated that he had read in Edessa's archives Abgar's letter to Jesus and Jesus' reply letter to Abgar, written in Syriac (i.e. Aramaic)[11]. But Eusebius did not mention anything about Abgar seeing or receiving an image of Jesus from Ananias or Thaddeus[12]. And as we shall see in a future part, while Abgar V may have been healed and converted to Christianity through the preaching of Thaddeus (Addai in Syriac[13]), the Abgar-Jesus correspondence may have been a pious fraud[14] inserted into Edessa's archives during the reign of Abgar VIII (177-212)[15].

c. 42 Apostle John left Jerusalem. Paul mentions in Galatians 2:9 that he met with the "pillars" of the Jerusalem church which included the Apostles Peter and John. That was probably Paul's first meeting with the Jerusalem church leadership mentioned briefly in Acts 11:30[16], which was before the death in 44 of Herod Agrippa I (11BC–44AD) (Acts 12:20-23). Due to the severe persecution by Agrippa in which John's brother James was executed (Acts 12:1-3), the Apostles had left Jerusalem by 44[17]. Neither Peter or John are mentioned in Paul's second meeting with the Jerusalem church leaders in Acts 15, which was in 48-49[18], indicating that they had left Jerusalem by then[19]. On the assumption that the Apostle John was "the servant of the priest" to whom Jesus gave His Shroud after His resurrection (see part #1), I assume that John took the Shroud with him out from Jerusalem in about 42.

50 Death of Abgar V. Abgar V died in 50[20]. He was succeeded by his infant son Ma'nu V (50-57)[21], who was in turn succeeded by another of Abgar's sons, Ma'nu VI (57–71)[22]. Ma'nu VI reverted to paganism[23] and persecuted the Edessan Christians[24]. According to Ian Wilson's reconstruction (which I don't accept), the Image of Edesss/Mandylion (Shroud) was then hidden with a tile later called the Keramion[25], in a niche in the wall above Edessa's west gate[26], where according to the tenth century "Story of the Image of Edessa"[27], it was rediscovered in 525 (see future parts) after a major flood of Edessa's river Daisan uncovered its hiding place[28].

c. 60 Apostle John in Ephesus. According to early church tradition, the apostle John wrote his Gospel while residing in Ephesus[28]. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215) wrote that the Apostle John returned to Ephesus after the death of the Emperor Domitian (81–96)[29]. Irenaeus (c. 130-202) wrote that John remained at Ephesus until the time of Emperor Trajan (r. 98-117)[30]. There is no information about when John first took up residence in Ephesus[31]. However, there is evidence that the Gospel of John was written in the 60s[32]. The earliest known portion of the New Testament, papyrus p52, is a fragment containing Jn 18:31–33[33]. As with the other gospels, there is no mention of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, indicating they either were all written before AD 70, or long afterward[34]. But John 5:2 refers to "the Sheep Gate" and the "pool ... called Bethesda" in Jerusalem as presently existing:

"Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades." (my emphasis).
The natural way to understand this is that they were still existing when John wrote his gospel[35]. But they were not existing after AD 70: the five porches were found in the 1960s by archaeologists, buried beneath the rubble of Jerusalem's destruction[36]. Eusebius recorded that, "the whom Jesus loved, apostle alike and evangelist, even John" lived on in Asia, "directing the churches there"[37]. A Bishop of Ephesus, Polycrates (c. 130–196), wrote that John died in Ephesus[38], and according to Irenaeus it was during the reign of Trajan (see above), that is about the year 100. I assume that John had the Shroud with him at Ephesus from c. 60. I also assume it may be significant that Ephesus (near modern Selçuk, Turkey) and Edessa (modern Sanliurfa, Turkey) are only 1271 kms (789 miles) apart):

[Above (enlarge): Distance between Ephesus (near modern Selçuk) and Edessa (modern Sanliurfa)[39].]

To be continued in part #3, "177-", of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to here. [return]
2. Eusebius, c. 325, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Book I, Chapter XIII, Cruse, C.F., transl., 1955, Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, pp.43-44. [return]
3. Eusebius, p.44. [return]
4. Eusebius, pp.44-47. [return]
5. "Image of Edessa or Holy Mandylion," Digital Journal, 28 March 2012. [return]
6. "Abgar V," Wikipedia, 31 January 2016. [return]
7. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 154-155. [return]
8. Wilson, 1979, pp.151,154. [return]
9. Wilson, 1979, pp.116,151,255; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.148,268; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.4-5; Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.24; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.165,300. [return]
10. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.133. [return]
11. Eusebius, pp.44-45, 47; Wilson, 1979, p.127. [return]
12. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, p.81; 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.54; Guerrera, 2001, p.2. [return]
13. Wilson, 1979, p.128. [return]
14. Markwardt, J., 1998, "Antioch and the Shroud," in Walsh, B.J., ed., 2000, "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, p.94; Markwardt, J.J., 2009, "Ancient Edessa and the Shroud: History Concealed by the Discipline of the Secret," in Fanti, G., ed., "The Shroud of Turin: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Enigma," Proceedings of the 2008 Columbus Ohio International Conference, August 14-17, 2008, Progetto Libreria: Padua, Italy, p.384. [return]
15. Scavone, D.C., 2010, "Edessan sources for the legend of the Holy Grail," Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Scientific approach to the Acheiropoietos Images, ENEA Frascati, Italy, 4-6 May 2010, pp.1-6, p.1. [return]
16. Marshall, I.H., 1980, "The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Reprinted, 1987, pp.204-205. [return]
17. Walker, W., 1959, "A History of the Christian Church," [1918], T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh, Revised, Reprinted, 1963, p.23. [return]
18. Polhill, J.B., "Acts," in Grudem, W., ed., 2007, "The ESV Study Bible," Crossway Bibles: Wheaton IL, p.2114. [return]
19. Culpepper, R.A, 2000, "John, the Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend," [1994], T&T Clark: Edinburgh, p49. [return]
20. Wilson, 1979, p.135; Ruffin, 1999, p.54; Wilson, 2010, pp.120, 297. [return]
21. Wilson, 1998, pp.134, 170; Wilson, 2010, p.120. [return]
22. Wilson, 1979, pp.135, 252; Wilson, 1998, p.170; Wilson, 2010, p.120. [return]
23. Wilson, 1979, p.135; Scavone, D.C., "The History of the Turin Shroud to the 14th C.," in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, 1991, pp.171-204, 184. [return]
24. Wilson, 1979, pp.131, 135; Guerrera, 2001, p.3; Wilson, 2010, pp.132, 297. [return]
25. Wilson, 1979, p.132; Wilson, 2010, pp.132-133. [return]
26. Wilson, 1979, pp.136, 138, 252; Wilson, 1998, p.162; Wilson, 2010, pp.131-132. [return]
27. Wilson, 1979, p.138; Wilson, 2010, p.132. [return]
28. Wilson, 1979, pp.138, 254; Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, pp.33-34; Wilson, 1998, p.162; Guerrera, 2001, p.3; Wilson, 2010, pp.132, 142. [return]
28. Kruse, C.G., 2003, "The Gospel According to St. John: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, p.31. [return]
29. Kruse, 2003, p.31. [return]
30. Ibid. [return]
31. Ibid. [return]
32. Ibid. [return]
33. Morris, L.L., 1971, "The Gospel According to John," The New International Commentary on the New Testament," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Reprinted, 1984, p.30; Kruse, 2003, p.31. [return]
34. Robinson, J.A.T., 1976, "Redating The New Testament," SCM Press: London, Second Impression, 1977, p.13; Morris, 1971, pp.33-34Morris, 1971, p.30; Kruse, 2003, p.31. [return]
35. Robinson, 1976, p.278; Morris, 1971, pp.33-34. [return]
36. Robinson, 1976, p.278. [return]
37. Stott, J.R.W., 1988, "The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale New Testament commentaries, [1964], Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Revised Edition, Reprinted, 2004, p.43. [return]
38. Tasker, R.V., "John," in Douglas, J.D., et al., eds., 1982, "New Bible Dictionary," [1962], Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Second edition, Reprinted, 1988, p.602. [return]
39. "Distance between Selçuk and Sanliurfa," Google Maps. [return]

Posted: 18 March 2016. Updated: 23 March 2016.

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