Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"The Shroud of Oviedo: A Legendary Cloth Connected to the Death of Jesus": Shroud of Turin News - April 2016

Shroud of Turin News - April 2016
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: April 2016, part #3] [Next: May 2016, part #1]

This is part #4 of the April 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The article's words are in bold to distinguish them from mine.

"The Shroud of Oviedo: A Legendary Cloth Connected to the Death of Jesus," Ancient Origins, 2 April, 2016, Natalia Klimczak. ... The Sudarium of Oviedo, also known as the Shroud of Oviedo is

[Above (enlarge): "Perfect fit of Sudarium of Oviedo (right) to the face on the Shroud of Turin (left)." The article wrongly referenced this back to Dan Porter's now closed "Shroud Story" blog, when it was just another case of Porter routinely pirating without proper attribution the work of others, in this case me. As is evident (but not evident enough for this Ancient Origins journalist), if one follows the link within "Shroud Story" one arrives at Porter's 2012 post, "How good is the match up between the Sudarium and the Shroud?." At the top of that post there is a link within the words, "Stephen Jones ... critique of Charles Freeman’s `The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey'." If that link is clicked one arrives at my 2012 post, "My critique of Charles Freeman's `The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey,' part 4 ..." It can then be seen that both the image and the words are mine, the former scanned by me from the book, Bennett, J., "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image," 2001, plate 20. I have submitted a comment under the article requesting that this error be corrected and to Ancient Origins' credit it has been corrected and now says "The Shroud of Turin". Because these links to the Ancient Origins article are slow to load, I have substituted them with the originals.]

one of the most important relics of Christianity. Next to the Shroud, the Sudarium of Oviedo is the most important relics of Christianity, because the Sudarium is the "face cloth" [Greek soudarion in John 20:7, "which had been on Jesus head," and found in the Empty Tomb by the Apostles Peter and John:

John 20:7 "and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."
See my posts 09May15, 06Nov14, 21Sep14, 28Jul12, 04Jun10 & 26Jun08.

It is believed to be a cloth which was wrapped around Jesus' head after his death. The Sudarium of Oveido, which measures 85.5 x 52.6 cms = 33.7 x 20.7 in.)[2] would have been wrapped around

[Above (enlarge): "The Sudarium of Oviedo. (Mark Guscin)." This link in "Mark Guscin" is also to my post "My critique of Charles Freeman's ...."]

Jesus' head to cover His disfigured face until He was covered by the Shroud[3].

Evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the cloth that was wrapped around Jesus' head after his death on the cross[4], and was found by Peter and John in Jesus' tomb (John 20:6-7)[5], includes: ■ Vatican archivist Giulio Ricci (c.1913-95) in 1965 and 1979 examined the Sudarium and found that the bloodstain patterns on it closely resembles those on the head area of Shroud[6]. Dr Alan Whanger using his polarized image overlay technique examined Ricci's photographs of the Sudarium and found 130 congruent blood stains between the Sudarium and the Shroud face[7]. ■ Since these are complex patterns, their congruence cannot be coincidental[8]. ■ As these are both marks of real blood, both cloths must have been in contact with the same body at the same time[9]. ■ In 1979 pioneer forensic scientist Max Frei (1913–83) took pollen samples from the Sudarium[10], and these were found to include Gundelia tournefortii a Middle-Eastern thorn plant the pollen of which also occurs on the Shroud[11]. Frei also found pollen on the Sudarium consistent with it its route from Jerusalem to Spain via North Africa[12] but no pollen on it from Turkey, France or Italy[13]

Evidence against the Sudarium being a medieval forgery includes: ■ The Sudarium can be traced historically from Jerusalem[14], through Africa[15] to Spain in the 7th century[16], in the Asturias region around Oviedo since the ninth century[17] and indisputably in Oviedo since the 11th century[18]. This provides further evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[19] was wrong[20]. ■ There is no image on the Sudarium[21]. ■ There has been no attempt to advertise the Sudarium, apart from a benediction given with the cloth three times a year but only in recent centuries[22], and so even few Spaniards know of its existence[23]. ■ Claims that the Sudarium had been radiocarbon dated to around 700 AD are false[24].

The shroud It is unnecessarily confusing and just plain wrong to call the Sudarium a "shroud." A shroud is a sheet which covers the whole body: "shroud, ... a cloth or sheet in which a corpse is wrapped for burial" (my emphasis)[25]; "a cloth that is used to wrap a dead body" (my emphasis)[26]; "A cloth used to wrap a body for burial; a winding sheetl" (my emphasis)[27]. In the New Testament the same Greek word soudarion which is translated "face cloth" in Jn 20:7, and in Jn 11:44 of Lazarus "his face wrapped with a cloth" (my emphasis), is elsewhere translated "handkerchief(s)" in Lk 19:2 & Acts 19:12. is currently the greatest treasure in a cathedral of Oviedo, Spain. The Sudarium, and the Shroud, are the greatest treasures in the entire world! Because they both have on them the very blood of Jesus. As I wrote in previous posts:

[23Jun15] "Most accounts of seeing the Shroud, talk about the image. But to me the blood on the Shroud would be the most significant, since it actually is Jesus' blood! The very `precious blood of Christ' which `ransomed' me:
1Pet 1:18-19. 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."
[23Jun15] "As a Christian first and a Shroud pro-authenticist second, I believe that the blood on the Shroud is `the precious blood of Christ" [1Pet 1:18-19] and indeed in that sense it is `the blood of God':
Acts 20:28: "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood."
Therefore I believe that the blood on the Shroud, being Christ's blood, is more precious (perhaps even infinitely so) than His image which is on the linen."

The Shroud of Oviedo is located in the chapel of St. Michael, also known as the Holy chamber of Oviedo, which nowadays belongs to the city's cathedral. The Holy chamber of Oviedo, is known in Spanish as Camara Santa (see below). In the early

[Above (enlarge): "The Camara Santa, or Holy Chamber, of the Cathedral of Oviedo, built in the 9th century by Alfonso II [c. 760–842] for the holy chest of relics."[28], which can be seen past the metal bars in the centre background.]

medieval period it was a separate pre-Romanesque church located next to the Tower of San Miguel. The Oviedo Cathedral was built in front of the 9th century church (below) within which is the

[Above (enlarge)[29]: The 9th century church built under King Alfonso II of Asturias, to house the Holy Chest (see below) which contained the Sudarium[30].]

Camara Santa, the Holy Chest and the Sudarium. The chamber, which was built in the times of the fall of the Visigothic kingdom, The Visigoths were the western branches of tribes of nomadic Germanic peoples, who had invaded the Roman Empire in 376[31]. The Visigothic Kingdom occupied southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to the 8th centuries[32]. However in 711 a Muslim invasion defeated the Visigoths and by 725 most of the Iberian Peninsula was under Islamic rule[33]. However in Asturias, a mountainous region in Spain's north-west, a Visigothic nobleman named Pelagius or Pelayo (c. 685–737) revolted in 718 and defeated the Muslims at the battle of Covadonga[34]. Pelagius founded the Christian Kingdom of Asturias, ruling it from 718 until his death in 737[35]. Oviedo is the capital of Asturias[36]. became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1998.

The chamber was built during the 9th century as a palace chapel for King Alfonso II of Asturias. Alfonso II built the chapel in 812 to house the Holy Chest (or Arca Santa)[37] (below) within

[Above (enlarge)[38]: The Holy Chest (or Arca Santa).]

which the Sudarium was transported from Jerusalem in 614[39], via Alexandria[40], to Cartagena and Seville in Spain in 616[42]; taken to the Monastery of San Vicente near Oviedo in 761[43], deposited in the Holy Chamber (Camera Santa) within the chapel by King Alfonso II in c.812[44], opened by Bishop Ponce (1025–1028) in 1030[45] and again opened by King Alfonso IV (1040–1109) in 1075[46].]

It was destroyed in the 14th century and then replaced with the present day Gothic Cathedral of Oviedo. This is misleading. Neither the chapel nor the chamber (Camera Santa) were destroyed in the 14th century, although they were severely damaged by a terrorist bomb in 1934[47]. The Cathedral was "destroyed" in the 14th century, in the words of a tourist guide, but that is referring not to a natural or human disaster but to a rebuilding project[48].

The Cloth of Jesus Christ The Sudarium of Oviedo is a piece of cloth measuring 84 x 53 cm (33 x 21 inches). This is slightly wrong. The Sudarium's dimensions are 85.5 x 52.6 cms = 33.7 x 20.7 in. (see above), or approx 85 x 53 cms = 34 x 21 in. According to the Bible (John 20:6-7), it's a piece which was wrapped around the head of Jesus. No! The Greek preposition in Jn 20:7, "and the face cloth that had been on [epi] his head" is epi = "on" not peri "around."[49, 50]. And there is a space between the frontal and dorsal head images wide enough to allow for the soudarion to have been on the crown or top of the Shroud man's head, since there no image

[Above (enlarge)[51]: Gap of about 6½ inches (~16.5 cms) (see below) between the front and back head images, where the bloodstained "face cloth [soudarion] which had been on [epi] Jesus' head", but the image being vertically collimated[52], i.e. straight up and down from the body[53], no image would have been formed there.]

would have formed:

"Still more interesting, there is no imprint of the crown of the head between the forehead and the dorsal view. If the sweat cloth [soudarion] was tied above, no imprint could be formed there on the Shroud. The space between the frontal and dorsal view is wide enough to allow for the sweat cloth, especially if we suppose that the Shroud was not loosely laid, but drawn quite taut over the head"[54]
Agnostic art historian Thomas de Wesselow, agrees (albeit arguing for a chin-band which I don't) that "something fairly thin must have lain across the crown of the head":
"There is, in fact, clear evidence that such a band covered the crown of the head: the gap between the frontal and dorsal images. If the Shroud had lain directly on the man's crown, the body-image would have formed here as elsewhere, joining the two figures via a long, sausage-shaped head. The length of the gap, roughly 6½ inches, is too short to allow the cloth to have been raised beyond the range of the image-forming process (somewhere in the order of 2 inches). Therefore, something fairly thin must have lain across the crown of the head, preventing the imprint forming on the Shroud."[55]
But a chin-band would have been "around" [peri] Jesus' head and it is not mentioned in the Gospels. The "face cloth [soudarion, which had been on [epi] his [Jesus'] head, not lying with the linen cloths [strips] but folded up in a place by itself" (Jn 20:7) is mentioned in John's gospel, it is thin and so would have easily fitted in the gap on [epi] the top of the Shroud man's head, and unlike a chin-band it was not part of the othonia] from which it is distinguished.

Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloth lying on the ground, This is a misquotation. It evidently is of Jn 20:5 from the Catholic Online Bible, which has "linen cloths" plural. The Greek is othonia[56], which is a plural diminutive[57], hence "linen strips"[58]. So the Shroud was not there, having been taken by Jesus out of the tomb and given by Him to the Apostle John (see my "Servant of the priest (1)" and "(2)"). and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Continuing the misquotation. However, despite the errors, this is a comprehensive article on the Sudarium of Oviedo, which taught me a lot in responding to it.

This concludes the April 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. But I will continue to add in the background evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the cloth that was wrapped around Jesus' head, evidence against the Sudarium being a medieval forgery, and references.

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. Cruz, J.C., 1984, "Relics: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of Januarius. ..: History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.54; Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, pp.13,67. [return]
3. Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, p.11. [return]
4. 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.47; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.41. [return]
5. Guerrera, 2001, p.41. [return]
6. Whanger, A.D. & M.W., "A Quantitative Optical Technique for Analyzing and Authenticating the Images on the Shroud of Turin," in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, pp.303-324, p.312; Ruffin, 1999, p.47. [return]
7. Whanger & Whanger, 1991, pp.312-313; Ruffin, 1999, p.48; Adler, A.D., 2000, "The Shroud Fabric and the Body Image: Chemical and Physical Characteristics," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., 2002, "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, pp.113-127, 124. [return]
8. Adler, 2000, p124. [return]
9. Ruffin, 1999, p.48; Adler, 2000, p124. [return]
10. Danin, et al., 1999, p.11. [return]
11. Danin, et al., 1999, p.23. [return]
12. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.22; Guerrera, 2001, p.44. [return]
13. Guscin, 1998, p.22; Guerrera, 2001, p.44. [return]
14. Bennett, 2001, pp.28, 194. [return]
15. Bennett, 2001, pp.29, 194; Guerrera, 2001, p.42. [return]
16. Adler, 2000, p124; Bennett, 2001, p.13; Guerrera, 2001, pp.41-42. [return]
17. Bennett, 2001, p.13; Guerrera, 2001, p.43. [return]
18. Bennett, 2001, p.79. [return]
19. Damon, P.E., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, 611. [return]
20. Adler, 2000, p124. [return]
21. Whanger & Whanger, 1991, p.312; ; Guerrera, 2001, p.41. [return]
22. Bennett, 2001, p.14. [return]
23. Bennett, 2001, p.14. [return]
24. Guscin, 1998, pp.76-78; Bennett, 2001, pp.78-79; "Sudarium of Oviedo," Wikipedia, 16 May 2016. [return]
25 "Shroud,", 2010. [return]
26. "Shroud," Merriam-Webster Dictionary, n.d. [return]
27. "shroud," The Free Dictionary, 2016. [return]
28. Bennett, 2001, pl.3. [return]
29. Ho Diéguez, C.V., 2011, "Patrimonio Ibérico – Monumentos de Oviedo y el Reino de Asturias," ("Iberian heritage - Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of Asturias" - Google Translate), 26 May. [return]
30. "Cámara Santa," Wikipedia, 29 February 2016. [return]
31. "Visigoths," Wikipedia, 20 May 2016. [return]
32. "Visigothic Kingdom," Wikipedia, 24 April 2016. [return]
33. Ibid. [return]
34. Ibid. [return]
35. "Pelagius of Asturias," Wikipedia, 13 May 2016. [return]
36. Ibid. [return]
37. Bennett, 2001, p.195. [return]
38. "Arca Santa," Wikipedia, 30 June 2015. I used the Wikipedia image of the Arca Santa, instead of the one in the article because it is the unacknowledged original. [return]
39. Bennett, 2001, p.194. [return]
40. Bennett, 2001, p.194. [return]
41. Bennett, 2001, p.196. [return]
42. Bennett, 2001, p.194. [return]
43. Bennett, 2001, p.195. [return]
44. Bennett, 2001, p.195. [return]
45. Bennett, 2001, pp.195-196. [return]
46. Bennett, 2001, p.196. [return]
47. Bennett, 2001, p.196. [return]
48. "Oviedo Cathedral de San Salvador," Asturias Tourist Guide, 21 October 2011. [return]
49. Green, J.P., Sr., ed., 1986, "The Interlinear Bible: One Volume Edition," [1976], Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA., Second edition, p.839. [return]
50. Thayer, 1901, p.231, 501; Abbott-Smith, G., 1937, "A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament," [1921], T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh, Third edition, Reprinted, 1956, pp.166, 231; Bauer, W., Arndt, W.F., Gingrich, F.W. & Danker, F.W., 1979, "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second edition, pp.285-286; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.51. [return]
51. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical," [return]
52. Whanger, A.D., 1998, "Radiation in the Formation of the Shroud Image - The Evidence," 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, pp.184-189, p.188; Adler, A.D., "Chemical and Physical Aspects of the Sindonic Images," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., 2002, "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, p.18. [return]
53. Whanger & Whanger, 1998, p.118; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.35, 130. [return]
54. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, pp.95-96. [return]
55. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.147-148. [return]
56. Green, 1986, p.839. [return]
57. Abbott-Smith, 1937, p.311; Bauer, et al., 1979, p.555; Zodhiates, S., 1992, "The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament," AMG Publishers: Chattanooga TN, Third printing, 1994, p.1028. [return]
58. Thayer, 1901, p.439; Zodhiates, 1992, p.855. [return]

Posted: 25 May 2016. Updated: 26 March 2017.

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