Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity": Shroud of Turin News - February 2016

Shroud of Turin News - February 2016
© Stephen E. Jones[1]

[Previous: February 2016, part #1] [Next: March 2016, part #1]

This is part #2 of the February 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The articles' words are in bold to distinguish them from mine. See also "Modern-day 'Indiana Jones' links Shroud to 1st century": Shroud of Turin News - March 2016 and My review of "The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God" (2016) by Philip E. Dayvault.


"Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity, Nickcole Watkins, Morgan James Publishing, New York. February 16, 2016, Christian Newswire. Philip E. Dayvault chronicles an epic exploration and reveals a revolutionary discovery. Words like

[Left: Dayvault's book, "The Keramion, Lost and Found" (2016): Amazon.com]

"epic" and "revolutionary" bring another word, "hype," to my mind! But presumably these are not Dayvault's words but his book's publicist's.

For millennia the world has debated over the story of Jesus Christ. His deity, resurrection, and even existence have been brought into question, and believers and nonbelievers alike have endlessly searched for definitive proof that Christ walked the earth. Only extreme atheists like Richard Dawkins deny, or question, whether Jesus existed:

"It is even possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all, as has been done by, among others, Professor G. A. Wells of the University of London in a number of books, including Did Jesus Exist? Although Jesus probably existed ..."[2]
Dawkins omits to inform his readers that "Professor G. A. Wells" is a "Professor of German"[3]! Professional historians, like Prof. Michael Grant (1914–2004), who while not a Christian (he described himself as "an unbeliever"[4]), not only accepted that Jesus existed because:
"... if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned" (my emphasis)[5]
Grant rightly regarded Jesus as," The most potent figure ... in world history":
"The most potent figure, not only in the history of religion, but in world history as a whole, is Jesus Christ: the maker of one of the few revolutions which have lasted. Millions of men and women for century after century have found his life and teaching overwhelmingly significant and moving. And there is ample reason, as this book will endeavour to show, in this later twentieth century why this should still be so."[6]
After years of investigation and research, former FBI Special Agent and longtime Shroud investigator Phil Dayvault has compiled his studies and findings into his revealing narrative, The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God. Dayvault is (or was) the Director of Dr Alan and Mary Whanger's Council for the Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST)[7]. I don't have this book but I have recently ordered it. When I get it I will report on it in a future Shroud of Turin News.

Having been long accepted among Christians as the greatest physical evidence for Christ's life, passion and death, many still question the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus. The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is authentic! That is, the very burial sheet of Jesus, bearing the image of His beaten (Mt 26:67-68; 27:30; Lk 22:64; Jn 18:22; 19:3), scourged (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Lk 23:16; Jn 19:1), crowned with thorns (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2,5), crucified (Mt 27:35,38,44; Mk 15:24-27,32; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:16-18), dead (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37,39; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30), legs not broken (Jn 19:32-33), speared in the side (Jn 19:34), wrapped in a linen shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:40), buried in a rock tomb (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:38-42) and resurrected (Mt 28:1-6; Mk 16:1-6; Lk 24:1-6; Jn 20:1-9) body!

But now, after a quest to find ancient oil lamps in Turkey, Phil Dayvault has discovered what he believes to be the truth about the Shroud of Turin. I hope Dayvault did not write this but his over-enthusiastic publicist, because it implies that no one else but Dayvault knows "the truth about the Shroud of Turin," which is clearly false!

With a compilation of vivid historical writing, photographs of ancient sites and sacred arts, and the discovery of a small mosaic which actually depicts an image of Jesus Christ, From Googling "Keramion" and selecting "images" this evidently is the

[Above (enlarge): "ISA Mosaic Tile - Sanliurfa Turkey": Dayvault's 2002 photo on his website[8].]

same mosaic face of the Image of Edessa in Ian Wilson's 2010 book, "The Shroud" (see below). Wilson and Mark Guscin visited Sanliurfa (ancient Edessa) in 2008[9]. A local archaeologist and museum

[Above (enlarge): "Mosaic face of Jesus, sixth century. Fragment from an unidentified location in Sanliurfa"[10].

As can be seen, the Sanliurfa mosaic has the following "Vignon markings" (see 11Feb12) evident on the Shroud face below

(enlarge)[11]: "(2) three-sided `square' between brows" (a rectangle of dark tiles joining the eyebrows), "(6) accentuated left cheek," "(7) accentuated right cheek." "(8) enlarged left nostril," "(9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip," "(11) hairless area between lower lip and beard,", "(12) forked beard," "(14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes," and "(15) two strands of hair" (two unusually shaped light tiles) [12]. In addition, the Shroud has two vertical darker areas joining the right eye to the upper right cheek, and the Sanliurfa mosaic has two dark lines of mosaic tiles starting in the right eye as a "Y" shape and becoming one line of tiles joining the upper right cheek. That is at least nine (9) Vignon markings plus one that is not a Vignon marking but is a feature on the Shroud face! This is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Sanliurfa mosaic, dating from "between the sixth and seventh centuries" (see next) ultimately derived from the Shroud! And since the Sanliurfa mosaic is a copy of the Image of Edessa (see next), that is also further proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Image of Edessa/Mandylion was the Shroud four-doubled (tetradiplon) - see my "Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin."]

director showed the mosaic to Wilson and Guscin, telling them that it had been "hacked ... out" of a Sanliurfan house, and they recognised it as dating from "between the sixth and seventh centuries":

"DR MEHMET ONAL sipped a glass of tea as we looked out over his excavation site. `I have a surprise for you both,' he said. `We have a mosaic of your "Image of Edessa" here in Sanliurfa.' ... As Sanliurfa's museum director Erman Bediz explained to us, it was just a six-inch-by-eight-inch fragment some local citizen had found while making structural alterations to his house. He had hacked it out then sold it to the museum on a no-questions- asked basis. It was not even on public display, kept hidden away in one of the museum's storerooms. Even so, as the very Islamic Dr Onal and his companions had already perceived, this was quite unmistakably some early mosaicist's interpretation of the prophet Jesus's face as imprinted on this city's one-time 'Image of Edessa' ... The point also immediately apparent to Mark Guscin and me, from our familiarity with depictions of the Image of Edessa to be found elsewhere, was that stylistically this unique Sanliurfan example dated somewhere between the sixth and seventh centuries. It was therefore not only the earliest- known such depiction; it came from the very city from which the legend of this mysterious cloth had originated"[13].
Wilson and Guscin were not at that time permitted to photograph the mosaic, but they found a high-quality photo of it (above) in a Turkish journal[14].

The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God ties together a fascinating and factual defense for the authenticity of the famous Shroud. Dayvault claims that this Sanliurfa mosaic IS "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion":

"While conducting ancient oil lamp research in museum depots in Turkey during May 2002, Philip E. Dayvault, of Raleigh, NC, discovered a mosaic which depicts the Face of Christ and is remarkably derived from the Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus Christ. By comparing its image with various ancient Christological depictions, i.e., paintings, Icons, frescoes, and mosaics, he subsequently determined this mosaic to be the prototype of numerous Christological depictions; and also, the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion"[15]
But the Sanliurfa mosaic is only "a six-inch-by-eight-inch [~15 x ~20 cms] fragment" (see above), not a "roof-tile" onto which "the image of Jesus' face on the cloth" had "miraculously copied itself":
"The following is from a précis of the longer source known as the `Festival Sermon', and it describes the legendary origin of the Keramion: `8-9. On his way to Edessa, Ananias (Hanan) spent a night in the city of Mabbog, in the yard of a factory where roof-tiles were made, and hid the cloth under a stack of newly made tiles. During the night there was a great fire, during which the image of Jesus' face on the cloth miraculously copied itself onto one of the tiles."[16]
Even credulous early century Edessans would know that a mosaic was not a single image but a lot of tiny tiles which together form a composite image. Also the fragment had been "hacked ... out" of a Sanliurfan house (mentioned by Dayvault in his 2011 article"[17]) and dated by Wilson and Guscin to "between the sixth and seventh centuries" (see above). Dayvault may not have known this, but should have, because Wilson's 2010 book was published before Dayvault's 2011 article.

And as I wrote in my comment under this post to Dayvault himself:

"If Wilson and Guscin are right that the date of the mosaic is `between the sixth and seventh centuries' (see above), and I assume that they are, since they (particularly Guscin) are world authorities on the Mandylion/Image of Edessa, then it cannot be THE Keramion, because that was `mid first century':
"Accordingly, it would have been this same ceramic, or tile, version of Jesus's face, rather than the Image itself, as described in the Story [of the Image of Edessa], which Abgar's second son ordered to be removed from above the gate when he reverted to paganism and began persecuting Edessa's Christians. Whoever carried out this removal may have simply turned the tile around so that its 'face' side was turned inwards to the cavity behind. The clay oil lamp reportedly found in the same cavity suggests that this operation was carried out at night. And someone seems to have had the idea of using this same cavity to hide the Image/Shroud until the persecutions of Edessa's Christian community had blown over. By daybreak the gateway's brickwork would have been sealed up with mortar, no evidence of any Christ portrait remaining. If this was indeed how and where the Shroud lay hidden between the mid first century and some time in the first half of the sixth century, it would certainly have enjoyed near hermetically sealed conditions' throughout."[18]

In this new nonfiction, readers are ushered in to join Dayvault and his guide and translator Hafize on his exciting adventure and to experience illuminating new discoveries right along with him. Even though Dayvault is evidently wrong about this Sanliurfa mosaic being "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion," as I also wrote in my comment to him, he deserves credit for discovering this important, earliest known copy of the Image of Edessa, which Guscin acknowledged in 2015:

"I later came across an unpublished and decidedly non-scholarly article on Internet entitled ‘Face of the God Man’, by Philip Dayvault, at http://www.datument.com/article-face-of-the-god-man.html (last accessed: 15 July 2014). The article claims a first or second-century date for the mosaic. The author saw the mosaic in the museum of Urfa [Sanliurfa] in 2002, and reproduces low-quality photographs of the same from the back too. The measurements are approximately 18 x 15 cm, and it was apparently torn out of a wall. No justification is given for such an early dating. The article ends with a request for financial aid to self-publish a book on the subject."[19]
Presumably Wilson also was unaware in 2010 that Dayvault had discovered and photographed the mosaic in 2002. It would be a pity if Dayvault had sat on his important discovery for nine years (2002-2011) and only published it in 2011 after Wilson had beaten him to it in his 2010 book. It is a further pity that Dayvault has detracted from the importance of his discovery in its own right by making the grandiose (and evidently false) claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion."

The Keramion, Lost and Found brings history to life and leaves readers feeling enlightened and satisfied. Since Dayvault's central claim is evidently false that this mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion," then if Dayvault's readers believe that, they will be deceived rather than "enlightened." As I wrote above, I will report on Dayvault's book in a future Shroud of Turin News. I am open to Dayvault overcoming Guscin and Wilson's "between the sixth and seventh centuries" dating and proving that this Sanliurfa mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion." However, I have just re-read Dayvault's 33-page PDF 2011 Shroud University article but despite it being later than Wilson's 2010 book, there is no reference to the latter nor any mention, as far as I can see, of what Wilson wrote in his book about the mosaic. Much of the article is fallacious in claiming that because the Sanliurfa mosaic is based on the Shroud (on which we agree), other early depictions of Jesus must be based on the mosaic! There is a critical lateral inversion error on page 25, which if it is repeated in Dayvault's book, will further invalidate his claim that this Sanliurfan mosaic is THE Keramion!

This real life journey leaves no stone unturned, and no questions hanging in the balance. I look forward to reading in his book how Dayvault justifies his claim that this Sanliurfa mosaic is "the actual, historical 1st Century Keramion."

The truth is out there, and The Keramion, Lost and Found: A Journey to the Face of God has found it! See above on "hype"!


Notes:
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to it. [return]
2. Dawkins, R., 2006, "The God Delusion," Bantam Press: London, p.97. [return]
3. "George Albert Wells," Wikipedia, 7 March 2016. [return]
4. Grant, M., 1977, "Jesus," Rigel: London, 2004, reprint, p.198. [return]
5. Grant, 1977, pp.199-200. My emphasis. [return]
6. Grant, 1977, p.1. [return]
7. Dayvault, P.E., "CSST-An Overview," in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, p.145. [return]
8. Dayvault, P.E., 2011, "`FACE of the GOD-man': A Quest for Ancient Oil Lamps Leads to the Prototype of Sacred Art...and MORE!," Shroud University, May 11. [return]
9. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.1. [return]
10. Wilson, 2010, plate 19a. [return]
11. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
12. Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82E. [return]
13. Wilson, 2010, p.2. [return]
14. Wilson, 2010, p.296; Guscin, M., 2015, "MARK GUSCIN PhD THESIS 05.03.15," Royal Holloway, University of London, p.275. [return]
15. Dayvault, P.E., 2011, "Face of the God-man: A Quest for Ancient Oil Lamps Leads to the Prototype of Sacred Art...and MORE," Christian Newswire, May 17. [return]
16. Dayvault, 2011, p.5. [return]
17. Dayvault, 2011, p.7. [return]
18. Wilson, 2010, pp.132-133. [return]
19. Guscin, 2015, p.276 n.546. The link to Dayvault's article that Guscin cites is now password protected. But it evidently is the article at reference 8 above. [return]

Posted: 13 March 2016. Updated: 25 April 2016.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen-

First of all, may I say that I have enjoyed your blog for years and appreciate your mentioning my new book, The Keramion, Lost and Found. However, several points in your recent message need to be clarified.

Yes, you are correct; the descriptive words were specifically chosen and used by my publisher in their press release. After you read the book, however, you may also concur that they were good word choices.

It was my privilege to have served as Director of the Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin, CSST, from 1994 to 2003, with the exception of an 8-month separation. The Whangers, I and several others co-founded the organization in 1994.

I agree, as you said, “The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is authentic!” However, there are still many skeptics and non-believers regarding the Shroud. In order to provide additional and new compelling evidence, i.e., the Keramion, I wrote this book. As discussed, for the Shroud to be considered authentic, it must first be shown to be from AD1st Century AND associated to Jesus Christ. The Keramion, Lost and Found confirms exactly this!

Thanks, Stephen, for ordering my book…I hope you enjoy the read!

Best regards,

Phil Dayvault

Stephen E. Jones said...

Phil

>Hi Stephen-

>First of all, may I say that I have enjoyed your blog for years and appreciate your mentioning my new book, The Keramion, Lost and Found.

Thanks.

>However, several points in your recent message need to be clarified.

OK. I will relax my "normally ... only one comment per individual under each one of my posts" policy (see below) so that you can respond to points in each installment, if you wish.

>Yes, you are correct; the descriptive words were specifically chosen and used by my publisher in their press release. After you read the book, however, you may also concur that they were good word choices.

I doubt it (see below).

>It was my privilege to have served as Director of the Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin, CSST, from 1994 to 2003, with the exception of an 8-month separation. The Whangers, I and several others co-founded the organization in 1994.

OK.

>I agree, as you said, “The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is authentic!”

Great!

>However, there are still many skeptics and non-believers regarding the Shroud.

Especially on the Internet.

>In order to provide additional and new compelling evidence, i.e., the Keramion, I wrote this book.

If Wilson and Guscin are right that the date of the mosaic is "between the sixth and seventh centuries" (see above), and I assume that they are, since they (particularly Guscin) are world authorities on the Mandylion/Image of Edessa, then it cannot be THE Keramion, because that was "mid first century":

"Accordingly, it would have been this same ceramic, or tile, version of Jesus's face, rather than the Image itself, as described in the Story [of the Image of Edessa], which Abgar's second son ordered to be removed from above the gate when he reverted to paganism and began persecuting Edessa's Christians. Whoever carried out this removal may have simply turned the tile around so that its 'face' side was turned inwards to the cavity behind. The clay oil lamp reportedly found in the same cavity suggests that this operation was carried out at night. And someone seems to have had the idea of using this same cavity to hide the Image/Shroud until the persecutions of Edessa's Christian community had blown over. By daybreak the gateway's brickwork would have been sealed up with mortar, no evidence of any Christ portrait remaining. If this was indeed how and where the Shroud lay hidden between the mid first century and some time in the first half of the sixth century, it would certainly have enjoyed near hermetically sealed conditions' throughout." (Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.132-133)

>As discussed, for the Shroud to be considered authentic, it must first be shown to be from AD1st Century AND associated to Jesus Christ. The Keramion, Lost and Found confirms exactly this!

There is already compelling evidence that the Shroud is 1st century. But if Wilson and Guscin are right (as I assume that they are), then your claim that the Sanliurfa mosaic is "The Keramion" is not part of that evidence.

However, you deserve credit for discovering the Sanliurfa mosaic in 2002.

>Thanks, Stephen, for ordering my book…I hope you enjoy the read!

So do I.

>Best regards,

>Phil Dayvault

Regards.

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 normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.

Anonymous said...

"OK. I will relax my "normally ... only one comment per individual under each one of my posts" policy (see below) so that you can respond to points in each installment, if you wish."

Hi Stephen,
Did Mr. Dayvault make any more comments ? It would have been interesting to read his point of view.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>>"OK. I will relax my "normally ... only one comment per individual under each one of my posts" policy (see below) so that you can respond to points in each installment, if you wish."

>Did Mr. Dayvault make any more comments ?

No.

>It would have been interesting to read his point of view.

Yes it would have been!

Stephen E. Jones
----------------------------------
"By way of guidance as to what I mean by `offensive' and `sub-standard,' I regard comments to my blog as analogous to letters to the Editor of a newspaper. If the Editor of a newspaper would not publish a comment because it is `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' then neither will I. It does not mean that if I disagree with a comment I won't publish it. I have published anti-authenticist comments and other comments that I disagreed with, and I have deleted `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' comments that are pro-authenticist. `Sub-standard' includes attempting to use my blog as a platform to publish a block of text of the commenter's own views, and also bare links to other sites with little or no actual comments. By `off-topic' I mean if a comment has little or nothing to do with the topic(s) in the post it is under (except for the latest post-see above)." [05Jan16]

Otto M. Wildensteiner said...

I have an observation that casts doubt on the authenticity of the shroud. Jesus died around 3 PM according to the Bible, and his body was taken down from the cross shortly before sundown according to Jewish law and/or custom. Let's assume that he died at 3:30 PM, and was taken down from the cross at 5:30 PM. That means that his body was hanging from the cross for 2 hours. Jerusalem is in a desert, with very dry air; if there were a breeze this would have increased the rate of drying of the blood. Regardless of what the weather might have been on that exact day, it seems to me that all the blood on his body would have been dry when the shroud was placed over him and that there would have been no transfer of blood to the shroud. Further, the shroud would have been lightly placed on his body, which further militates against blood transfer to the shroud. The fact that there is blood on the shroud indicates, to me, that the person who created the shroud put blood on it in order to be sure that there was no mistake as to who it was placed over. By not considering the fact that in reality the blood would probably have dried by the time the shroud was placed over Jesus's body, the person who made the shroud inadvertently left evidence that it is not authentic.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Otto

>I have an observation that casts doubt on the authenticity of the shroud. Jesus died around 3 PM according to the Bible, and his body was taken down from the cross shortly before sundown according to Jewish law and/or custom.

[...]

This comment is off-topic under this post, which does not have anything about Jesus on the cross, nor His blood.

So I have copied it to under my latest post (see my policies below), where I have started to respond to it.

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. To avoid time-wasting debate I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.