Tuesday, May 8, 2018

'you claim that the shroud is genuine, yet this is contrary to scripture'

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

Bob

This is my response in a separate post to your comment under my 2015 post, "The man on the Shroud #8: The evidence is over- whelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" I had replied in an interim comment referring to my 11 July 2012 post, "`according to John chapter 20, Jesus was wrapped in linen cloths (plural) ... If Scripture is correct ... lets throw out the shroud'" where a reader

[Right (enlarge): Photograph of the Shroud in National Geographic[2], which shows that the wounds and blood- stains on the Shroud are fully congruent with the Gospels' description of Jesus' suffering and death.]

made the same logical error as you: that if there were two (or more) cloths in the Tomb, one of them cannot be the Shroud! But as I advised in the "Comments" section of my April 2018 Shroud of Turin News, and by a further comment yesterday (7 May 2018), I had decided to respond to your comment by a post rather than a comment because: 1) your comment was long with many points; 2) it enables me to once again respond to the logically fallacious claim that, since there were two or more burial cloths in Jesus' tomb, the Shroud cannot be one of them; and 3) it allows me to post for the first time on the issue of a Christian (indeed a Christian Elder), knowing the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity (including having seen the Shroud in Turin - see below), yet rejecting it as a mere "artefact" (again see below). Your words are in bold and prefaced by "<" to distinguish them from mine. I have corrected your typos. Bible verses I quote are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise indicated.

>you claim that the shroud is genuine, yet this is contrary to scripture No, the Shroud is fully congruent with Scripture. See photo above and my 2013 series, "The Shroud of Turin: 3.1 The Bible and the Shroud." Both Jesus and the man on the Shroud:

  1. Were struck by blows to the head and body (Mt 26:67; 27:30; Mk 14:65; 15:19; Lk 22:63; Jn 19:3) [06Aug13].
  2. Were scourged with a Roman flagrum (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Jn 19:1) [15Jul13];
  3. Were crowned with thorns (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2) [08Sep13];
  4. Carried a heavy crossbeam (Jn 19:17) [02Dec13a];
  5. Fell while carrying their crossbeam (Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26) [02Dec13b];
  6. Were crucified by nails through their hands and feet (Jn 20:25-27; Col 2:14) [02Dec13c];
  7. Died on a cross (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30) [02Dec13d];
  8. Legs were not broken (Jn 19:31-3 [02Dec13e];
  9. Were speared in the side by a Roman lance (Jn 19:34) [02Dec13f].
  10. Were wrapped in a Jewish linen sovev i.e. sindon (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53) [30Sep15];
  11. Had a hasty burial (Mk 15:42; Lk 23:54; Jn 19:14,31,42; Mt 27:62) [27Feb14];
  12. Were buried in a Jerusalem rock tomb (Mt 27:60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:41-42) [22Mar13];
  13. Were resurrected within 3 days (Mt 28:1-67; Mk 16:1-6; Lk 24:17; Jn 20:1-9)! [14Mar17; 04Sep17; 05Nov17; 18Jan12 & 22Dec11].

>which surely must be the final authoritative evidence. As a Bible-believing evangelical Christian for these last ~52 years, continuously attending evangelical Christian churches over all that time, I agree. But again there is no conflict between the Bible and the Shroud (see above). So yours is a false dichotomy.

>The shroud is a complete body image, that is, in direct contact with the body... No. A a contact image of a three-dimensional body would be extremely distorted when laid out flat, as anti-authenticist Marvin M. Mueller (c.1929-2015) pointed out:

"... there is no way that an image of the quality and beauty of the Shroud image could have been produced by contact of the cloth with a full relief (body or statue) - projection distortion in mapping a full relief onto a plane alone guarantees that, as has been made manifest in several experiments. To cite an extreme example: A sheepskin laid out flat does not much resemble a sheep"[3]
And while there are points on the Shroud where it contacted the body,

[Above (enlarge): Enrie 1931 negative photograph of the Shroud face[4], showing that the image was imprinted also on low relief areas immediately adjacent to high relief areas such as the nose, eyebrows and chin. This and the sharpness of the image proves that it was not formed simply by direct contact but by some form of radiation acting over a distance.]

e.g. the high points such as the tip of the nose, chin and knees, there are points where the Shroud cannot have made contact with the body, e.g. low areas immediately adjacent to high points, yet the image is there also. As another anti-authenticist, David Sox (1936-2016), accepted that, "the image seemed to be present even where the cloth could not have touched the body", which "suggest[s] a process acting over a distance":

"Ever since Pia's 1898 photographing, it had been noted that the image darkness on the Shroud varies from point to point suggesting a process acting over a distance. Paul Vignon had observed that the image seemed to be present even where the cloth could not have touched the body"[5].
This shows the image formation process involved some kind of radiation that projected across space. Experiments under the auspices of Italy's ENEA agency have shown that the closest to the Shroud man's

[Left (enlarge): ENEA's excimer (ultraviolet) laser which produced an image on linen closest to that of the Shroud, but "the total power ... required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height ... [would be] ... 34 thousand billion watts"[6]!]

image is that produced by a high energy, high frequency, ultraviolet laser [see 22Dec11]!

>but Scripture indicates this cannot possibly be the case as the body of Jesus was wrapped in TWO separate pieces of cloth As already mentioned above, this is an example of the fallacy that because there were two (or more) burial cloths of Jesus, one of them could not have been the Shroud. But no Shroud pro-authenticist, as far as I am aware, claims that the Shroud was the only burial cloth of Jesus in the Tomb. The Gospels state that Jesus' burial cloths included (Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament): 1. a "linen shroud" [Greek sindon] (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53); 2. a facecloth [Gk soudarion] (Jn 20:7); and 3. "strips of linen" [Gk othonia] to bind His hands and feet (see keiriais Jn 11:44) and the spices (Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40; 20:5-7).

Moreover, most (if not all) Shroud pro-authenticists, as far as I am

[Above (enlarge): "Comparison of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin"[7]. "The most striking thing about all the stains [on the Sudarium of Oviedo] is that they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud"[8].]

aware, maintain (as I do) that the facecloth [soudarion] is the Sudarium of Oviedo (above) [see 25May16, 24Jan17, 25Mar17 & 27Jul17].

>one described as linen... You are evidently relying only on the NIV (published in 1978 - 40 years ago), which while it accurately translates othonia as "strips of linen" in Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40 and 20:5-7 (see Mounce Interlinear above), it inaccurately translates sindon as "linen cloth" in Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53 (again see Mounce Interlinear above). Since you presume to be a Christian teacher of others (including me), then you should heed Scripture's warning that teachers of Christian things will held by God to a higher standard:

"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness" (Jas 3:1)
That means you must do your homework and buy and read books on the topic (in this case the Shroud-see my library of ~200 Shroud-related books), and when quoting Scripture you must refer to the original languages, at least in interlinear Greek-English (one of which, Mounce's, is online) or Hebrew-English translations. Especially in this case when the Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet (according to the overwhelming weight of the evidence) and therefore you are "fighting against God" (Acts 5:39 NIV)! See future below on the consequences of that for Christians.

>which was wrapped around the torso & legs, No. It was "the body" of Jesus which was wrapped in a linen shroud:

"And Joseph took the body [of Jesus] and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud" (Mt 27:59); "This man [Joseph] went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud" (Lk 23:52-53)
It was "him", Jesus, who was wrapped in a linen shroud:
"And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him [Jesus] down, wrapped him in the linen shroud" (Mk 15:46).
You are an Elder of a Christian church, yet you are twisting Scripture (2Pet 3:16) to force it to fit your anti-Shroud position. By contrast, I don't need to twist Scripture to fit my pro-Shroud position-it already does!

>the other a 'cloth' wrapped around the head, according to John 20:7 (NIV) 'as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head. That is a mistranslation by the NIV. The Greek rendered by it as "around" is epi "on" (e.g. "epidemic" = "on" + "the people"), not peri "around" (e.g. "perimeter" = "around" + "measure"). The ESV translates Jn 20:7 accurately by rendering it: "the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head." As does Jn 20:7 (Mounce).

>The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen Again the ESV translates this better: "...and the face cloth ... not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself" (Jn 20:7). The soudarion or facecloth (Jn 20:7), that is the Sudarium of Oviedo, was placed over Jesus' dead face while He was still on the cross (see video "Mark Guscin - Sudarium of Oviedo" and below). The soudarion was

[Above (enlarge): How the soudarion (i.e. the Sudarium of Oviedo was placed over Jesus' head after He had died hanging on the Cross[9]. See 26Jun08.]

then removed from Jesus' head when He was taken down from the Cross and enfolded in the Shroud. And then in the Tomb the soudarion was placed on the Shroud where it covered the very top of Jesus' head. 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

[Above (enlarge)[10]: Gap of about 6½ inches (~16.5 cms) between the front and back head images, where the bloodstained "face cloth [soudarion] which had been on [epi] Jesus' head" (Jn 20:7) was, but the image being vertically collimated[11], i.e. straight up and down from the body[12], no image would have formed there. See 25May16.]

the Shroud man's head, since there no image 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"[13].
>Some versions describe the body cloth as 'bandages' or strips... not one continuous piece of cloth as the shroud is. You are confusing the sindon a "linen shroud" (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53 Mounce) with the othonia "strips of linen" (Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40; 20:5-6 Mounce). In this instance the NIV translates more accurately than the ESV: Lk 24:12 (NIV) "Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves ..."; Jn 19:40 "Taking Jesus' body, the two of them [Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus] wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen ..."; Jn 20:5-6 (NIV) "He [John] bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there...". A mistake that most Shroudies have made is that they wrongly assume that the sindon (Shroud) must have been left behind in the empty tomb and therefore the Shroud must be either included in the othonia, or be the soudarion. But see my 2014 "Servant of the priest" series where I provide evidence that Jesus took the sindon with Him out of the Tomb.

>Having personally seen the shroud in Turin a few years ago As I have mentioned previously [see 14Feb16] I have never seen the Shroud (nor attended a Shroud conference, nor even met another Shroudie) because I live in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, which is "one of the most isolated major cities in the world" (Wikipedia), and I am the full-time carer of my wife who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which has rendered her a near-quadriplegic. So I had assumed that I probably never would be able to see the Shroud. But recently my wife has started having blocks of 2 weeks respite care in nursing homes, so it is now feasible that I can see the Shroud at its next exposition, depending on when that will be.

>I can agree that it is a fascinating artefact. I don't agree. If the Shroud were an "artefact" (i.e. man-made) modern science would have long ago discovered that, but it hasn't. What Ian Wilson pointed out in 1998 applies even more today, 20 years later:

"Indeed, if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally. Yet so far this has not even begun to happen"[14].
Indeed, the very existence of many, mutually exclusive, sceptical theories of how the Shroud's image was formed itself shows that all "artefact" (i.e. forgery) theories have failed! Moreover, if the Shroud were a work of human art it would be the greatest artwork of all. But instead of featuring prominently in books of the world's great artworks, the Shroud is simply ignored by the art world, as though it didn't exist!

Furthermore, there are immense problems of the forgery (i.e. artefact) theory. See my series, "Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory." Also step through the "Problem for the forgery theory" sections in my, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" series: #1, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25 & #27 ...

And as leading Shroud anti-authenticists have conceded, if the Shroud is not a work of human art, then it is authentic, there being no third alternative:

Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856–1939) - "As to the identity of the body whose image is seen on the Shroud, no question is possible. The five wounds, the cruel flagellation, the punctures encircling the head, can still be clearly distinguished ... If this is not the impression of the Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other person since the world began could these details be verified"[15]

Steven Schafersman (quoted approvingly by Joe Nickell) - "As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson[16] and Stevenson and Habermas[17] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate)[18]. I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic [i.e. not "a product of human artifice"], the image is that of Jesus'"[19].

>but NOT the shroud of Jesus... Why does one who is a Christian Elder, who claims to believe the Bible which states that Jesus was buried in "a linen shroud" (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53), dismiss out of hand that that linen shroud has survived down to this day as the Shroud of Turin? [For my answer see future below.] Even the agnostic Professor of Anatomy at the Sorbonne, Yves Delage (1854–1920), on the basis of the anatomical perfection of the man's image on Secondo Pia's 1898 negative photographs of the Shroud declared:

"I recognize Christ as a historical personage and I see no reason why anyone should be scandalized that there still exist material traces of his earthly life"[20].
>>They don't even know where the real tomb is.... That is both irrelevant and false. It is irrelevant because even if it were true it

[Above (enlarge)[21]: Cross-section showing that the Church of Holy Sepulchre was built over both the Tomb of Jesus and the site of His crucifixion (L. Calvary, Gk. Golgotha - Mt 27:33; Mk 15:22; Jn 19:17): "Today's Church of the Holy Sepulcher sets over two sites: Calvary and the tomb of Jesus. Both these sites were in the same garden outside the walls of Jerusalem in 30 AD, and now they are under one roof. John wrote that they were close to each other: `At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.' - John 19:41-42 [NIV]"[22].]

would not have any bearing on the authenticity of the Shroud. But it is false because there is no good reason to doubt that the Church of Holy Sepulchre was built over the site of Jesus' Tomb (and also over the site of His crucifixion-see above). The Gospels state that both Christians (Mt 27:60-61; 28:1-8; Mk 15:46-16:8; Lk 23:50-24:12; Jn 19:38-20:18) and Jews (Mt 27:62-66; 28:11-15) in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' death and resurrection knew where His tomb was. The early church historian Eusebius (c.260-340) recorded that there were Christians living in Jerusalem up to immediately before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, when the Christians, warned in prophecy, left Jerusalem to live in Pella across the Jordan River:

"The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella"[23].
That Christians had returned to live in and/or around Jerusalem soon after AD 70 is evident from there having been 14 Jewish Christian Bishops of Jerusalem from 107 up to the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-136[24]. Then from 135 to 325 there were 24 Gentile Christian Bishops of Jerusalem[25]. So from 30/33-325 [see below] there never was a time when Jerusalem Christians could have forgotten where Jesus' tomb had been!

About ten years after Jesus' death, King Herod Agrippa I (r.41-44), the "Herod the King" of Acts 12:1-23, began the construction of Jerusalem's Third Wall[26], which enclosed within the city the Tomb and Golgotha, which at the time of Jesus' death were outside Jerusalem's then wall (Heb 13:12; Mk 15:20; Jn 19:17)[27]. In 130 the Roman Emperor Hadrian (r.117–138) visited the ruins of Jerusalem and decided to rebuild it as a city dedicated to the god Jupiter and renamed Aelia Capitolina[28]. Then in 136, following the crushing of the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-136, Hadrian formally reestablished Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina and forbade the presence of both Jews and Christian in the new Roman city[29]. From 136–140 Hadrian built a temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount and also a temple to Venus on the site of Golgotha/Calvary[30]. The Tomb was buried under the rubble of the ruins of Jerusalem used to level the site, but the location of nearby Golgotha was marked by the temple to Venus[31]! After Hadrian's death in 138 his successor, Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161), relaxed the restrictions on Christians' presence in the city[32].

In 325 Macarius, the Bishop of Jerusalem (r. 312-335), at the Council of Nicaea, petitioned the Emperor Constantine I (r. 306-337) to demolish Hadrian's temple to Venus and uncover the tomb of Christ[33]. So Macarius knew, presumably from accurate but now-lost traditional sources, where the Tomb was underneath the rubble[34]. Constantine granted Macarius' petition and in 326 Constantine's mother, Empress Helena (c. 246-c. 330), travelled to Jerusalem and having been told by Macarius the exact location ofGolgotha/Calvary and Christ's tomb[35], ordered the demolition of Hadrian's Venus temple and their excavation[36]. That by 326 these sites were inside Jerusalem's wall but Scripture states that Jesus was crucified and buried outside the city's walls [see above] adds credibility to Macarius' correct identification of these sites[37]. Then in 326 Constantine ordered the construction of two churches, connected by a great basilica (the Martyrium) an enclosed colonnaded atrium (the Triportico) with the site of Golgotha in one corner, and a rotunda which contained the Aedicula (Edicule), which in turn enclosed the rock-cut Tomb that Helena and Macarius had identified as the burial site of Jesus (see above)[38]. Construction of the Church of Holy Sepulchre was completed in 335[39].

In 614 the Church was damaged by fire when the Persian king Khosrow II (r. 590-628) invaded Jerusalem [see "614"][40]. In 630, the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (r. 610-641) restored Jerusalem and rebuilt the Church[41]. But then in 1009 the Muslim caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (996–1021) ordered the complete destruction of the Church[42]:

"... the 'basilica of the Lord's Sepulchre [was] destroyed down to the ground'. ... everything was razed 'except those parts which were impossible to destroy or would have been too difficult to carry away' ... The Church's foundations were hacked down to bedrock. The Edicule and the east and west walls and the roof of the cut-rock tomb it encased were destroyed or damaged ... the north and south walls were likely protected by rubble from further damage. The `mighty pillars resisted destruction up to the height of the gallery pavement, and are now effectively the only remnant of the fourth-century buildings'"[43].
In 1048 partial reconstruction of the ruined Church by order of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos (r. 1042-1055) was completed[44]. But despite spending vast sums on the project, construction was concentrated on the rotunda and its surrounding buildings, leaving the great basilica in ruins[45]. The rebuilt Church consisted of a court open to the sky, with five small chapels attached to it[46]. In 1099 Jerusalem was recaptured by soldiers of the First Crusade [see "1095"][47]. The crusaders unified the chapels on the site by placing them all under one roof, completing their reconstruction

[Above (enlarge): The Church of the Holy Sepulchre today. The large dome on the left is over the Tomb, the smaller middle dome is over the church itself (the Katholikon) and the small dome below and to the right of the latter (not the one in the courtyard) is over the site of Golgotha/Calvary[48], i.e. the Rock of Calvary-see "8" on this plan.]

during the reign of crusader Queen of Jerusalem, Melisende (r. 1131–1153) in 1149[49] [see "c.1149"].

In 1555 Franciscan friars rebuilt the Edicule and extended it to create ante-chamber[50]. A protective marble sheath was also then installed over the Tomb[51]. A fire in 1808 caused the dome of the rotunda to collapse and smash the Edicule's exterior, but these were rebuilt in 1809–1810 by a Greek architect Nikolaos Komnenos[52]. The current

[Above (enlarge): The rotunda (which contains the Edicule, which in turn contains the Tomb of Jesus-see future below) and its ante-chamber extension, from the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre[53].]

dome of the rotunda dates from 1870 and was restored during 1994–1997, as part of extensive modern renovations to the Church[54]. During the 1970–1978 restoration works and excavations inside the building, and under the nearby Muristan, it was found that the area was originally a quarry, from which white meleke limestone was mined[55].

In 2016, restoration works were performed in the Edicule, including temporarily removing the 1555 marble cladding (see above) which

[Above (enlarge): A restorer removes debris beneath a broken marble slab to expose the original limestone rock surface of the burial bed of Jesus[56]! The Shroud has limestone dust adhering to it, particularly its underside, which matches the limestone of Jerusalem cave tombs [see 22Mar13]!]

protected the burial bed of Jesus[57]. The original limestone burial bed of Jesus was revealed intact, meaning that the Tomb location had not changed and confirming the existence of the original limestone cave walls within the Edicule[58]! The Tomb was then resealed shortly after[59].

>and NOTHING pertinent to the crucifixion or the Burial has survived. Wrong! See above that the sites of Jesus' crucifixion, Golgotha, and His burial Tomb, have survived, having been preserved, against all the odds, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. But why would one who is a Christian, let alone a Christian Elder, claim that "NOTHING" (emphatic) "pertinent to the crucifixion or the Burial has survived"? Anti-Christian atheists like Richard Dawkins:

"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 [1926–2017] of the University of London in a number of books, including Did Jesus Exist?. Although Jesus probably existed, reputable biblical scholars do not in general regard the New Testament (and obviously not the Old Testament) as a reliable record of what actually happened in history, and I shall not consider the Bible further as evidence for any kind of deity"[60].
would be very happy with your claim and see it as further evidence for their position that Christianity is false and atheism is true.

>Anyway it is totally irrelevant.... I don't know you, so I can only go by your words, that "NOTHING pertinent to the crucifixion or the Burial has survived" (your emphasis) and that it is "totally irrelevant" the overwhelming evidence that Jesus, who is ruling over all (Acts 10:36; Rom 9:5; Eph 1:21-22; Php 2:9) has graciously left us in the Shroud of His suffering, crucifixion, death and resurrection, which has brought and kept untold millions to Christ. These words of yours tell me that your mind has been taken captive by an anti-realist, anti-historical, anti-truth and therefore anti-Christian philosophy (Col 2:8). Presumably a form of Gnosticism, with its radical dualism denying that God has any involvement in the material world.

>as the Angel said, 'He is not here...He is risen' Again you are twisting Scripture (see above). The angel also showed the women the material evidence that Jesus had risen, "the place where he [Jesus] lay":

Mt 28:5-6 "But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.'"

Mk 16:6 "And he said to them, 'Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.'"
And Jesus has graciously provided that twenty centuries later, we can "see the place where he lay" (see above)!

>and that in itself is far more important and relevant than any piece of cloth. The Shroud is not just "any piece of cloth". You yourself went to Turin to see it and you admitted that it is "fascinating" (see above). But the Shroud is far more than merely "fascinating". Again the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is the very burial sheet of Jesus!

>how is the Shroud in any way relevant to the Gospel.? The Shroud provides complementary, extra-Biblical confirmation to a post-Christian world that does not accept the Bible as evidence, that the Gospel accounts of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus are true. Protestant evangelical Christian apologist Gary Habermas included the Shroud in his "Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus" (1984):

"The description of the man who was apparently buried in the shroud has also been enlightening. The scientific team pathologist and other medical doctors determined that the man was crucified and was dead, with his body in a state of rigor mortis. The more the wounds were studied, the more it became obvious that this man's injuries were the same as the gospel reports of Jesus' crucifixion. The most interesting facet of this study is that many unnatural things were done to Jesus and these same things appeared on the shroud. Both men suffered a series of punctures throughout the scalp from many sharp objects, a seriously bruised face, a horrible whipping (over 100 wounds from this beating have been counted on the shroud), abrasions on both shoulders from a rough, heavy object, and contusions on both knees. Both men had the more normal wounds associated with crucifixion; namely, punctured feet and wrists. Strangely, both men escaped having their ankles broken, as was normal, but both had post-mortem chest wounds instead, from which blood and watery fluid flowed. Both men were buried hastily in fine linen and were buried individually. Strong indications that the man buried in the shroud is Jesus comes from the correspondence between the two. They agree even down to the small details in about one dozen areas which were not normal crucifixion procedures. The chances are quite minimal that two men would have so many agreements, especially in points of abnormal circumstances. Also, no areas of contradiction apparently exist"[61].
For the first ~1500 years of Christianity there was no Gospel in the common people's own languages. The Image of Edessa/Shroud has had a huge role in the `icon evangelism' of Europe and Russia in that interim from the early 6th century, almost a thousand years before the written Gospel was translated beginning in the mid-16th century, from the original Greek and Hebrew into the languages of the common people :
"But thanks to a remarkable manuscript discovery made at St Catherine's Monastery in 1975, which included a cache of early Georgian manuscripts whose contents were translated only subsequent to 1994, we now know that there was in the sixth century a specific movement to disseminate this very likeness, and that this movement stemmed from Edessa and its environs. Tradition in Georgia, the former republic of the old Soviet Union, has long held that some time around the mid 530s twelve Assyrian monks left Mesopotamia and travelled north to found several monasteries in Georgia. Present-day tour groups to Georgia can follow in these missionary monks' footsteps, and in Georgia's capital Tbilisi there is a very badly worn sixth-century Chris Pantocrator icon, the Anchiskhati - an almost exact counterpart to the one at St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai - which is thought to have been brought to Georgia by this mission ... The quite remarkable new insight from one of the recently discovered Georgian documents from Sinai is what it tells of the activities of two of these Assyrian monks, Theodosius from Edessa and Isidore from Edessa's sister city Hierapolis. Theodosius is specifically described as 'a deacon and monk [in charge] of the Image of Christ' in Edessa. As Georgian scholars recognize, this Image can be none other than our Image of Edessa ... one evidently sufficiently important to have its own `carer'. Theodosius's companion Isidore was apparently responsible for a tile image belonging to Edessa's sister city Hierapolis. Both monks travelled to Georgia specifically to paint interpretative versions of their charges for the newly founded churches there. Never before have we been afforded a glimpse of who lay behind the rash of Christ portraits that appeared in the sixth century. It is quite evident from the Georgian document that they were Assyrian artist-monks from Edessa and its environs who saw themselves as missionaries or icon evangelists for the newly revealed 'divine likeness' that had been so recently rediscovered in Edessa"[62].
My own Shroud blog has had almost 900,000 pageviews since June 2007 (an average of ~226 a day), a large percentage of them in Russia and China (see Google Analytics map of today, 23 May 2018, at 11:15 pm) [Right: enlarge], preach- ing the `fifth gospel':

"If it is authentic, the Holy Shroud is unquestionably the greatest religious relic known to Christianity and one of the most fascinating antiquities known to mankind. If it is authentic, the Shroud can rightfully take its place as `The Fifth Gospel,' for what it reveals of Jesus and his suffering far exceeds the scant Gospel words of the evangelists. If it is authentic, and if no completely satisfactory natural explanation can account for its unusual physical properties, then the Shroud is indeed the most miraculous of Holy Miracles - an enduring, self-made portrait of the man who would be called Savior by millions of Christians throughout the world"[63].
where the written Gospel is not generally available.

>Focus on Jesus. 'The Author & finisher of our Faith' That is exactly what I am doing. But it is not what you are doing, commenting on my blog against the Shroud!

>Keep the main thing.... the main thing. See above that that is exactly what I am doing but you are not!

>Blessings! BobM. Thanks.

As I mentioned at the start, one of the reasons I responded to your comment by this post was, it allowed me to post for the first time on the issue of a Christian, knowing the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, yet rejecting it as a man-made. I have posted previously [25Apr14] on the issue of non-Christians, knowing the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, yet rejecting it as a man-made:

If Christianity is true and the Shroud is authentic, then endlessly debating about the Shroud is not a neutral activity. Jesus Himself stated the principle, that the more one has been given, the more will be required:
Lk 12:48. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more" (my emphasis).
According to that principle, Jesus warned the unrepentant cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida the inhabitants of whom witnessed first-hand His miracles, but didn't believe in Him, that the judgement on those Jewish cities would be greater than that of the wicked pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon:
Mt 11:20-22. "20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 `Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.'"

Luke 10:13. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes."
If Jesus caused His scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified and speared in the side image to be imprinted on His burial sheet and then has preserved it against all the odds down to this day, then it is highly likely (to put it mildly) that He expects those who become aware of His image on the Shroud, to repent and believe in Him and His death on the cross to pay for their sins. So those who become aware of the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, yet refuse to believe in Jesus and His death for them, will, like Chorazin and Bethsaida receive a more severe judgment than if they had never heard of the Shroud.
Also in my comment of 04Dec15, after quoting the above verses, I wrote:
By analogy this applies to those sceptics who know the evidence of the Shroud's authenticity but don't accept it. It does not apply to those who don't accept the Shroud is authentic, but are ignorant of that evidence. The former are in the same position as those residents in those towns in Israel who personally witnessed Jesus' miraculous works but didn't believe in him. The latter are in the same position as residents in other towns in Israel who did not personally witness Jesus' miraculous works. They will still be judged (if they are non-Christians), but less severely.

Jesus stated His principle: "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required." (Lk 12:48).

So Shroud sceptic, you who know the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, but refuse to accept it, Jesus invites you to "repent" (Gk. metanoia = change your mind) and believe in Him, who is God in human flesh (Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1,14; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Php 2:5-6; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2Pet 1:1; 1Jn 5:20), and died a horrific death on the cross for YOUR sins (Php 2:8; Heb 12:2), so that YOU may be saved, escape God's righteous Judgment (Jn 3:16-18), and receive from Jesus eternal life (Jn 3:15-16,36; 5:24; 6:40,47; Acts 13:48; 1Tim 1:16; 1Jn 5:13).
I had previously in comments of 14Dec15 and 03Apr16 added that:
"... it occurred to me that my assumption that the refusal of Shroud sceptics to accept the overwhelming evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, will be judged most severely by Jesus (2Cor 5:10; Mt 16:27; 25:31-32; Ac 10:42; 2Tim 4:1, 1Pet 4:5), has a Biblical basis. If the Shroud is authentic, as the evidence overwhelmingly indicates, then it is a MIRACULOUS WORK of Jesus (Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle, pp.174-177). And in the Gospels Jesus called on those who witnessed His miraculous works to believe in Him on the basis of those works [Jn 10:25,37-38; 14:10-11] ... or else face a more severe judgment than they otherwise will, if they had been ordinary unbelievers ..." [followed by quotes of Mt 11:20-22 and Lk 10:13-15]
As my, "They will still be judged (if they are non-Christians)" above indicated, Jesus' judgment of Christians who know the evidence of the Shroud's authenticity but reject it, will be different from that of non-Christians who do the same. That is because although the Bible teaches that both Christians and non-Christians will appear before Jesus at the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-32; Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11-13) Christians, unlike non-Christians (Mt 25:41-46; Rev 20:15), will survive it (Mt 25:31-34), because they had accepted Jesus' sacrifice of Himself for their sins (Mt 20:28; Jn 3:16-18; 2Cor 5:20-21; Heb 7:25-27). However Christians, while they will be saved, will receive greater or lesser rewards, depending on the quality of their works:
1Cor 3:10-15. "10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire."
As the late, great, Anglican scholar Leon Morris (1914-2006) explained:
"12... "The picture is that of fire sweeping through a building. It consumes what is combustible, but leaves metal and stone. The quality of the work will be shown, for the Day will bring it to light, 'show it in its true character', 'reveal it for what it is'. The 'it' in It will be revealed may be the work, but is more probably the Day. The meaning is 'the Day reveals itself (or, is revealed) in fire' (cf. Mal. 4:1); the present tense perhaps gives a greater sense of certainty. 14-15 The test in fire will determine whether or not a man will receive a 'wage' (misthos, see on v. 8; here it is the wage of the building worker whose work is approved; cf. Lk. 19:16-19; Rev. 22:12). All those considered here are saved, for they have built on the one foundation, Jesus Christ [v11]. Even of the one whose work is burnt up it is said that he himself will be saved. The distinction is not between the lost and the saved, but among the saved between those who have built well and those who have built poorly. He will suffer loss means he will lose his wage, a workman fined for poor workmanship. Being saved 'as through fire' (RSV) may have been a proverbial expression to indicate one saved and no more (like the brand plucked from the burning, Am. 4:11; Zc. 3:2). The imagery is that of one who has to dash through the flames to escape to safety. The fire is, of course, a fire of testing, not one of purifying, and the passage lends no support to the doctrine of purgatory as some claim" (emphasis original)[64]

Since the evidence is overwhelming that Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet, Christians who oppose the Shroud are, as pointed out above, unwittingly "fighting against God (Acts 5:39 NIV)! Moreover, they must employ falsehoods to do it (as you do above Bob). A notable example was evangelical Christian apologist Josh McDowell, who in the 1980 edition of his "Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith," [Right] used the falsehoods, half-truths and lies of anti-Christian atheists/agnostics to argue against the Shroud. The result was not that sceptics were more receptive to the Christian faith, but rather at least one anti-Christian cited McDowell's arguments against the Shroud as further evidence for his position that Christianity was false! Jesus who is "the Truth" (Jn 14:6) will surely reduce the rewards of Christians (including you Bob) who employ untruths to oppose His very burial Shroud!

Notes:
1. This post is copyright. I grant permission 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 title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. Weaver, K.F., 1980, "Science Seeks to Solve ... The Mystery of the Shroud," National Geographic, Vol. 157, June, pp.730-753, 737-740. [return]
3. Mueller, M.M., in Meacham, W., 1983, "The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology," Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 3, June, pp.283-311, 299. [return]
4. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
5. Sox, H.D., 1978, "File on the Shroud," Coronet: London, p.99. [return]
6. Tosatti, M., 2011, "The Shroud is not a fake," The Vatican Insider, 12 December. [return]
7. 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, p.122. [return]
8. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.17.27. [return]
9. Bennett, 2001, p.118. [return]
10. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical," Sindonology.org. [return]
11. 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]
12. Whanger, M. & Whanger, A.D., 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN, p.118; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.35, 130. [return]
13. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, pp.95-96. [return]
14. Wilson, I., 1998,, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY p.235. [return]
15. Thurston, H., 1903, "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, p.19, in Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.52. [return]
16. Wilson, 1979, pp.51-53. [return]
17. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, pp.121-129. [return]
18. Stevenson. & Habermas, 1981, p.128. [return]
19. Schafersman, S.D., 1982, "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring, pp.37-56, p.42; in Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. [return]
20. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961, p.26; Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, p.107; Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, p.235; Wilson, 1979, p.34; Borkan, M., 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University, Vol. X, No. 2, Winter, pp.18-51, 47; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.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.186; Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, p.196; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.32; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.20. [return]
21. "Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Jerusalem, Israel," Steemit, 2017. [return]
22. "The Church of the Holy Sepulcher," Jerusalem 101, 2 December 2014. [return]
23. Eusebius, "Ecclesiastical History," Book III:V, Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1966, p.86. [return]
24. "Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem: Jewish Bishops of Jerusalem," Wikipedia, 27 February 2018. [return]
25. "Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem: Bishops of Aelia Capitolina," Wikipedia, 27 February 2018. [return]
26. "Walls of Jerusalem: Jewish postexilic city," Wikipedia, 21 April 2018. [return]
27. Biddle, M., 1999, "The Tomb of Christ," Sutton Publishing: Stroud UK, p.1. [return]
28. "Timeline of Jerusalem: Late Roman period (Aelia Capitolina)," Wikipedia, 15 May 2018. [return]
29. Ibid. [return]
30. Ibid. [return]
31. Biddle, 1999, p.1. [return]
32. "Timeline of Jerusalem: Late Roman period (Aelia Capitolina)," Wikipedia, 15 May 2018. [return]
33. "The Church of the Holy Sepulcher," Jerusalem 101, 2 December 2014. [return]
34. Perkins, P., "Sepulchre, Church of the Holy," in Achtemeier, P.J., et al., eds, 1985, "Harper's Bible Dictionary," Harper & Row: San Francisco CA, pp.925-926. [return]
35. "The Church of the Holy Sepulcher," Jerusalem 101, 2 December 2014. [return]
36. "Helena (empress): The `True Cross' and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre," Wikipedia, 12 May 2018. [return]
37. "The Church of the Holy Sepulcher," Jerusalem 101, 2 December 2014. [return]
38. "History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Construction," Wikipedia, 12 December 2016. [return]
39. "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Construction (4th century)," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
40. "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Damage and destruction (614–1009)," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
41. Ibid. [return]
42. Ibid. [return]
43. Ibid. [return]
44. "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Reconstruction (11th century)," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
45. Ibid. [return]
46. Ibid. [return]
47. "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Crusader period (1099–1244)," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
48. Biddle, 1999, p.3. [return]
49. Ibid. [return]
50. "History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Later periods," Wikipedia, 12 December 2016; "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Ottoman and later periods," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
51. Ibid; Ibid. [return]
52. Ibid; Ibid. [return]
53. Romey, K., 2017, "Exclusive: Age of Jesus Christ's Purported Tomb Revealed," National Geographic, November 28. [return]
54. History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Later periods," Wikipedia, 12 December 2016; "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Ottoman and later periods," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
55. History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Later periods," Wikipedia, 12 December 2016. [return]
56. Romey, 2017, National Geographic, November 28. [return]
57. "Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Ottoman and later periods," Wikipedia, 18 May 2018. [return]
58. Ibid. [return]
59. Ibid. [return]
60. Dawkins, R., 2006, "The God Delusion," Bantam Press: London, p.97. [return]
61. Habermas, G.R., 1984, "Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, p.158. [return]
62. Wilson, 2010, pp.135-136. [return]
63. Humber, T., 1974, "The Fifth Gospel: The Miracle of the Holy Shroud," Pocket Books: New York NY, p.12. [return]
64. Morris, L.L., 1985, "The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament commentaries, [1958], Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Second edition, Reprinted, 1987, p.66. [return]

Posted: 8 May 2018. Updated: 4 June 2018.

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