© Stephen E. Jones
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
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 ..."Dawkins omits to inform his readers that "Professor G. A. Wells" is a "Professor of German"! Professional historians, like Prof. Michael Grant (1914–2004), who while not a Christian (he described himself as "an unbeliever"), 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)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."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). 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
As can be seen, the Sanliurfa mosaic has the following "Vignon markings" (see 11Feb12) evident on the Shroud face below
(enlarge): "(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) . 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."]
"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".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.
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"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."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") 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."
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."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"!
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.