© Stephen E. Jones
This is part #2 of the March 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The article's words are in bold to distinguish them from mine.
"The Shroud of Turin," Homiletic & Pastoral Review, March 23, 2016, Raymond F. Hain III ... The Shroud of Turin was on
[Above (enlarge): "Burial of Christ," by Michelangelo Caravaggio, 1602-1604. This painting by Michelangelo da Caravaggio (1571–1610), featured in this article, while a great work of 17th century Italian art, is almost completely opposite to what the burial of Jesus as revealed by the Shroud, was (see the photo in the previous post, "Problems of the Forgery Theory: Index G-M"). In Caravaggio's painting there are no wounds or blood on Jesus' head, body, hands and feet; but there is a large bloodstained spear wound in the right side of the Man on the Shroud (Jesus), as well as large Roman nail wounds in His wrists and feet and rivulets of blood from the crown (or cap) of thorns on the Shroud man's forehead. Also, Caravaggio's Jesus has a loincloth to preserve His modesty, but the Man on the Shroud is completely naked. This further shows that the Shroud is not a medieval forgery because no medieval forger would have depicted Jesus with bloody wounds and completely naked.]
public display from April 19, 2015 through June 24, 2015 in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. More than two million visitors came to Turin from around the world to view the Shroud. "Some say the 14-foot piece of linen is Christ's burial cloth. They point to what appears to be the imprinted image of a man bearing wounds from a crucifixion. Others say the whole thing is a medieval forgery. Agnostic but pro-authenticist art historian Thomas de Wesselow pointed out that so foreign is the Shroud to medieval artistic culture, that a better explanation than that it "is a medieval forgery" is that "the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens":
"Given credence, the [1260-1390] carbon-dating result effectively raises the Shroud to the status of a miracle, an object that defies, if not a law of nature, a law of culture. All artefacts are linked to the art and technology of the society in which they originate. Something that cannot be explained in terms of its (presumed) cultural context invites a supernatural explanation. As far as I am aware, no one has yet argued that the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens, but ... There is no better explanation, though, for a fourteenth-century Shroud".Regardless, the shroud has remained a wildly popular attraction for pilgrims from around the world."1 The Shroud is certainly one of the most controversial relics in recent times. It has been displayed several times in this century, the last time in 2005. [sic] 2015. I was one of those fortunate visitors to view the Shroud. The viewing was part of a pilgrimage my wife and I made to Italy in May 2015. ...
[Above: "Figure 1: Shroud of Turin on Display" in the 2015 exposition.]
... The cloth itself measures 14.3 x 3.7 feet. This is a rather strange size for the cloth unless one takes into account a length measurement of the time - the Assyrian cubit. Doing this the size of the cloth is 8 cubits by 2 cubits - a much more regular measurement. Indeed! See my post, "Dimensions #3: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" Since the dimensions of the standard Assyrian cubit of Jesus' day were not known until the 19th century, a medieval forger would not know, let alone care, that his cloth should have these first century dimensions.
The cloth is woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils. Which was extremely rare and therefore expensive in the Middle Ages. Too rare and expensive for a medieval forger to use, because that would severely reduce his profit margin. So Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Professor Edward Hall (1924-2001) was right on one point, in "the 14th century" a forger would have "just got a bit of linen" to create his forgery upon:
"There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century ... Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it." (my emphasis)But the Shroud is not just "a bit of linen"! If it existed today as a sheet of herringbone twill linen, without its image, it would be priceless. See my post, "Weave #4: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!"
There appears a faint image of the front and back image of a naked man with his hands crossed over his groin. The front and back views meet nearly at the middle of the cloth with no outline of the figure. The two views are aligned along the mid-plane of the body and point in opposite directions and nearly meet in the middle. The image is so faint that it can only be seen from about 2–9 feet away. When viewed any closer, it tends to disappear, and any further away, it becomes rather indistinct. Confirming the point made in my post, "Faint #11: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!," that a forger would not create Jesus' image on a shroud that could not be seen close-up. This article is too long for me to comment on in full, but it is well worth reading.
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. "The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)," Wikipedia, 22 March 2016. [return]
3. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.167-168. [return]
4. "Obituaries: Professor Edward Hall," The Independent:, 16 August 2001. [return]
Posted: 3 April 2016. Updated: 4 April 2016.