Monday, May 29, 2023

The Shroudman and Jesus were wrapped in a linen shroud #41: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is the eighth installment of part #41, "The Shroudman and Jesus were wrapped in a linen shroud," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!." For more information about this series, see the "Main index #1" and "Other marks and images #26." Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Main index #1] [Previous: The Shroudman and Jesus died on a cross #40] [Next: The Shroudman and Jesus were buried in a rock tomb #42]

  1. The Bible and the Shroud #33
    1. The Shroudman and Jesus were wrapped in a linen shroud #41

The Shroudman and Jesus were wrapped in a linen shroud Both the man on the Shroud and Jesus were wrapped in a linen shroud[SH81, 127; SH90, 91; IJ98, 80; AM00, 1].

The Shroudman was wrapped in a linen shroud[SH81, 127; SH90, 91; DA99, 3; IJ98, 75; AM00, 1].

[Right (enlarge): The Shroud after the 2002 restoration[HR14].]

Jesus was wrapped in a linen shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53)[SH81, 80; BM95, 18, 48; GV01, 31, 37; TF06, 64]. In Mt 27:59 & Lk 23:53 the Greek word translated "wrapped" is enetylixen, which means "to wrap" or "to fold"[GV01, 37], to "wrap around"[ZS92, 595-596]. In Mk 15:46 it is eneilesen, meaning "wrapped" or "confined"[GV01, 37], to "wrap up in"[ZS92, 588].

The man on the Shroud is Jesus
If the Shroud is not a forgery, then the man on the Shroud is Jesus Shroud sceptics admit this:

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 in spite of the darkening of the whole fabric. If this is not the impression of the Body of Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other personage since the world began could these details be verified"[TH03, 19; WE54, 40].
Joe Nickell (1944-) and Steven Schafersman (1948-):
"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[SS82, 42]: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson[WI79, 51-53] and Stevenson and Habermas[SH81, 121-129] 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[Ibid, 128] 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). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus'"[NJ87, 141].
Probability of the man on the Shroud not being Jesus[2]. This is the probability of all the major independent features of the Shroud occurring together, which is found by multiplying their individual probabilities[ZT84, 31]. For example, the probability of a head or tail in a toss of a coin is 1/2 each. The probability of tossing a coin and getting 3 heads in a row is 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/8. My estimates of probability below are conservative. The reader can substitute his/her own.

Shroud Most crucifixion victims were criminals (like the two robbers crucified alongside Jesus[Mt 27:38; Mk 15:27]), who were not individually buried in a shroud. They were either left on their crosses to rot and/or to be eaten by animals, or they were thrown into common graves. The crucified man on the Shroud had an individual burial in a linen shroud[SH81, 127; ZT84, 31]. Probability 1/100.

Expensive The Shroud's three-to-one herringbone twill weave would have been rare and expensive[IJ98, 13; WI10, 74; DT12, 98]. Normal first century Jewish practice was a simple shroud, even for a member of the priestly aristocracy[TS10] But Jesus was buried by his disciples as their King[Jn 19:39-40]. Probability 1/100.

Survived Only one fragment of a first century Jewish woollen burial shroud has survived[SO15], out of the many thousands of shrouds. A shroud would have decomposed with its body. Also first century Jews practiced secondary burial where after the body had decomposed its bones were placed in an ossuary. Jesus was resurrected so his body did not decompose[Ps 16:10; Acts 2:27, 31; 13:34, 35-37]. Jesus' shroud was recovered and kept by his disciples (see Prehistory). Probability 1/1,000.

Beaten severely Jesus and the man on the Shroud were beaten[SH81, 126]. This was not part of Roman crucifixion. The Gospels record that Jesus received three beatings [Jn 18:22; Mt 26:67-68; Mk 14:65; Lk 22:63-64; Mt 27:30; Mk 15:19; Jn 19:2-3]. Probability 1/100.

Scourged severely Jesus and the man on Shroud were severely scourged[Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15]. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate (r. 26-37), before whom Jesus was on trial, intended Jesus' scourging as an alternative to crucifixion[Lk 23:20-25; Jn 18:38-40; 19:2-6]. Having been severely scourged with over 100 scourge wounds (see Bible), Jesus was too weakened to carry His crossbeam[Mt 27:31-32; Mk 15:20-21; Lk 23:26], and Pilate was surprised that Jesus had died so soon on his cross[Mk 15:43-45]. Probability 1/100.

Crowned with thorns Jesus was crowned with thorns to mock his claim to be the King of the Jews[Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17-18; Jn 19:2-3]. History does not record anyone else being crowned with thorns, and there would be no reason for there having been anyone else. Probability 1/1,000.

Crucified with nails Jesus and the man on Shroud were crucified by nails[Jn 20:25; Col 2:14]. The alternative was rope and nails were expensive. Probability 1/2 = 5/10.

Legs not broken Jesus'[Jn 19:33] and the man on Shroud's legs were not broken. This, the crurifragium, was a normal part of Roman crucifixion, to break the lower legs of those hanging on a cross to bring about their immediate death by asphyxiation (see Man on the Shroud). The two thieves crucified alongside Jesus had their legs broken[Jn 19:31-32] and so did Jehohanan, the only Jewish Roman crucifixion victim known to archaeology. Probability 1/100.

Speared in the side. Jesus[Jn 19:33-34] , and the man  on the Shroud were speared in the side. However, it may be that if a crucifixion victim's legs were not broken, he/she was always speared in the side. Probability 1/1.

Cumulative probability that the man on Shroud is not Jesus:

1/100 x 1/100 x 1/1,000 x 1/100 x 1/100 x 1/1,000 x 5/10 x 1/100 x 1/1

= 1/(100 x 100 x 1,000 x 100 x 100 x 1,000 x 5/10 x 100 x 1)

= 5/(100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000)

= 1/(20, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000)

That is, the probability that the man on the Shroud is not Jesus, based only on these 9 major features of the Shroud, estimated by me conservatively, is 1 in 20 thousand, million, million, or 1 in 20 trillion!

To be continued in the ninth installment of this post.

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. This is from chapter 20, "Is he Jesus?," of my book, "Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus!" (see 06Jul17, 03Jun18 & 04Apr22). I am not fully referencing my book at this stage, so I don't yet have references for all of these points. [return]

AM00. Antonacci, M., 2000, "The Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY.
BM95. Borkan, M., 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University, Vol. X, No. 2, Winter, 18-51.
GV01. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL.
DA99. Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO.
DT12. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.108-109.
HR14. "High Resolution Imagery: Image of Full 2002 Restored Shroud," Shroud University, Peachtree City GA, 2014.
IJ98. Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY.
NJ87. Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000.
SH81. 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.
SH90. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN.
SO15. Shamir, O., 2015, "A burial textile from the first century CE in Jerusalem compared to Roman textiles in the land of Israel and the Turin Shroud," SHS Web of Conferences, Vol. 15, No. 10.
SS82. Schafersman, S.D., 1982, "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring, 37-56.
TF06. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition.
TS10. "Tomb of the Shroud: Latest News," Current World Archaeology," No. 39, January 6, 2010.
TH03. Thurston, H., 1903, "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, January, 17-29.
WE54. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WI10. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.74-75.
WS00. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B.M., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London.
ZT84. Zeuli, T., 1984, "Jesus Christ is the Man of the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 10, March, 29-33.
ZS92. Zodhiates, S., 1992, "The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament," AMG Publishers: Chattanooga TN, Third printing, 1994.

Posted 29 May 2023. Updated 10 June 2023.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

The three Hebrew/Aramaic letters under the Shroudman's chin are numbers!

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

It occurred to me in April 2023, while writing Chapter 7, "Other marks and images," of my book, "Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus!" (see 06Jul17, 03Jun18 & 04Apr22), on the topic of "Writing on the Shroud," that the three Hebrew/Aramaic letters under the Shroudman's chin, revealed by Dr Petrus Soons' hologram of the Shroud face (see 01Nov08), are, from right to left, tsade-'aleph-gimel (the last not waw or nun as I had previously thought), are numbers!

[Above (enlarge): Hologram of the Shroud face by Dr Petrus Soons, showing three Hebrew letters under the beard of the man on the Shroud (best enlarged and viewed through red-green, three-dimensional, anaglyph glasses)[SP08a].]

[Above (enlarge): From right to left, today's shape of the Hebrew letters tsade, 'aleph and gimel. The middle letter in the above hologram is clearly 'aleph. The rightmost letter is closest to tsade. The leftmost letter is the least clear but is closest to gimel.]

The numerical value of tsade is 90, 'aleph is 1, and gimel is 3. "The Hebrew numeric system operates on the additive principle in which the numeric values of the letters are added together to form the total"[HNW], so the number would be 90 + 1 + 3 = 94. It is plausible that the Romans had a criminal and/or capital punishment identification numbering system. And since the Romans used Jews to do their clerical work (e.g. the Jewish tax collectors, Matthew and Zacchaeus - Mt 10:3; Lk 19:2), it is plausible that the numbers were Hebrew, not Latin. If these numbers were on an amulet, why didn't the disciples who buried Jesus (Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-50) remove it? They might not have had time since the Sabbath was about to begin (Lk 23:54). It also would likely have been illegal to remove a Roman criminal identification number.

Shroud Scope Enrie negative and Durante positive show a place under the man's chin where an amulet could be, but they do not show an amulet or Hebrew letters. I don't understand holograms, so I have to rely on Dr. Soons' expertise in this:

"My presentation summarizes work connected with digitizing Shroud photographs taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931, enhancing the digitized images to improve details, translating the enhanced images `gray scale data into depth data', generating a sequence of up to 625 images of each of these, and combining these images with a Holoprinter to produce holograms (3D images) of the Shroud. It also summarizes my study of these holograms and discovery of heretofore unseen details, which confirm many previous findings and reveal some surprises"[SP08b, 370].
That these three Hebrew letters are numbers, part of a Roman criminal identification system, is more plausible than they are a three-letter word of obsure meaning placed under Jesus' chin by Joseph of Arminathea or Nicodemus.

And, as I wrote in my 2008 post:

"I agree that on the hologram below the beard of the man of the Shroud there are three Hebrew letters, which itself is further evidence that the Shroud is that of Jesus, because why would, or even could, a medieval forger add three Hebrew letters to his forgery, such that they could only be detected by 21st century science?"

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]

HNW. "Hebrew numerals," Wikipedia, 11 May 2023.
SP08a. Soons, P., 2008, "The Shroud of Turin: The Holographic Experience," Lecture by Dr. Petrus Soons, Shroud Encounter. 9 Aug 2014.
SP08b. Soons, P., 2008, "The Shroud of Turin: The Holographic Experience," in Fanti, G., ed., 2009, "The Shroud of Turin: Perspectives on a Multifaceted Enigma," Proceedings of the 2008 Columbus Ohio International Conference, August 14-17, 2008, Progetto Libreria: Padua, Italy, 370-375.

Posted 27 May 2023. Updated 3 June 2023.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

John Calvin, Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones

John Calvin #24

This is "John Calvin," part #24 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. I had overlooked that John Calvin (1509-64) was an early Shroud sceptic between Pierre d'Arcis #19 and Ulysse Chevalier #20. See my previous "Re: John Calvin on the Shroud #1" and #2. As mentioned in my previous Pierre d'Arcis #19, this series will help me write chapter "18. Sceptics and the Shroud" of my book, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!" See 06Jul17, 03Jun18, 04Apr22, 13Jul22 & 8 Nov 22.

[Index #1] [Previous: How was the Image Formed? (1) #23] [Next: To be advised #25]

John Calvin (1509–64) was a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation[JCW].

[Right (enlarge[FJC]). Portrait of John Calvin, c.1550, by an anonymous artist.]

I prefaced my response to anti-Christian Ed Babinski in my previous "Re: John Calvin on the Shroud #1": "Although I am a life-long [i.e. since the late-1960s] Calvinist, owning Calvin's two-volume `Institutes of the Christian Religion' and a 12-volume set of his New Testament Comment-aries, as well as his commentaries on Genesis and Daniel, I regret to say that while Calvin was right about a lot of things, he was wrong about the Shroud!"

Here are Calvin's arguments against the Shroud in his "A Treatise on Relics" (1543):

"It is now time to treat of the `sudary,' about which relic they have displayed their folly even more than in the affair of the holy coat; for besides the sudary of Veronica, which is shown in the Church of St Peter at Rome, it is the boast of several towns that they each possess one, as for instance Carcassone, Nice, Aix-la-Chapelle, Tréves, Besançon, without reckoning the fragments to be seen in various places. Now, I ask whether those persons were not bereft of their senses who could take long pilgrimages, at much expense and fatigue, in order to see sheets, of the reality of which there were no reasons to believe, but many to doubt; for whoever admitted the reality of one of these sudaries shown in so many places, must have considered the rest as wicked impostures set up to deceive the public by the pretence that they were each the real sheet in which Christ's body had been wrapped. But it is not only that the exhibitors of this one and the same relic give each other mutually the lie, they are (what is far more important) positively contradicted by the Gospel. The evangelists who speak of all the women who followed our Lord to the place of crucifixion, make not the least mention of that Veronica who wiped his face with a kerchief. It was in truth a most marvellous and remarkable event, worthy of being recorded, that the face of Jesus Christ was then miraculously imprinted upon the cloth, a much more important thing to mention than the mere circumstance that certain women had followed Jesus Christ to the place of crucifixion without meeting with any miracle; and, indeed, had such a miracle taken place, we might consider the evangelists wanting in judgment in not relating the most important facts" (emphasis original)[CTR, 175-176].
In the above, Calvin confuses: 1) the Shroud; 2) copies of the Shroud; and 3) other cloths which are neither. Calvin's "sudary" is evidently his French translation of the Latin sudarium. Latin had no word of its own for the Greek sindon "shroud" of Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53. So sudarium, the face cloth (soudarion) of Jn 20:7, was often confused in Latin writings to mean the Shroud[GM98, 11]. None of the shrouds mentioned above by Calvin is the Shroud! The closest is "Nice" where the Shroud had been from 1537-39[WI98, 11]. The "sudary of Veronica, which is shown in the Church of St Peter at Rome" (i.e. the so-called "Veil of Veronica") was a copy of the Image of Edessa (the Shroud "four-doubled" tetradiplon) given by Constantinople to Rome in c. 1011, when Pope Sergius IV (r. 1009-12) consecrated an altar to it in John VII's chapel, in Old St Peter's Basilica[WI98, 269-711].

The issue of "had such a miracle taken place, we might consider the evangelists wanting in judgment in not relating[it"] doesn't arise because the story of Veronica's veil is fourteenth century[VVW]. Which Calvin, a former Roman Catholic and and very erudite would surely have known. Calvin is dishonest in the above because he does know of "the `sudary'" (i.e. the Shroud) but smothers it under a morass of irrelevant cloths. Calvin also comes across as an arrogant intellectual, dismissing as "bereft of their senses" those ordinary people who made "long pilgrimages ... to see sheets" which they believed were Jesus'. Would Jesus, who had "compassion on the crowd[s]" (Mt 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; Mk 6:34; 8:2) have described them so?

Calvin continued in his Treatise:

"The same observations are applicable to the tale of the sheet in which the body of our Lord was wrapped. How is it possible that those sacred historians, who carefully related all the miracles that took place at Christ's death, should have omitted to mention one so remarkable as the likeness of the body of our Lord remaining on its wrapping sheet? This fact undoubtedly deserved to be recorded"[CTR, 176].
Calvin's argument here is similar, if not identical, to Bishop Pierre d'Arcis' in his 1389 memorandum! See "Pierre d'Arcis #19." So my answer to Calvin will be similar to my answer to d'Arcis. Calvin here commits the Argument from Silence fallacy: `Jesus' image on the Shroud is not mentioned in the Gospels, therefore there was no image'. Calvin fails to consider reasons why Jesus' image could be on the Shroud, but the Gospel writers did not mention it, including: The Shroud is only mentioned in the Gospels while Jesus was hanging on the cross (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53). The Shroud (sindon) was not in the tomb when Peter and John entered it (Jn 20:3-7) - see next. The image may not have been visible until after the Gospels were written, but developed slowly over time as the image fibres prematurely aged compared to the non-image fibres (Latent Image Theory)[SD89, 70]. If the disciples had announced they had Jesus' shroud with his image on it, their more numerous and powerful enemies, the Jews and Romans, would have demanded they hand it over to be destroyed[IJ98, 97-98; SD89, 70]. Also it would lend credence to the Jewish religious leaders' false explanation for Jesus' empty tomb, that the disciples had stolen Jesus' body (Mt 28:11-15).

"St John, in his Gospel, relates even how St Peter, having entered the sepulchre, saw the linen clothes lying on one side, and the napkin that was about his head on the other; but he does not say that there was a miraculous impression of our Lord's figure upon these clothes, and it is not to be imagined that he would have omitted to mention such a work of God if there had been any thing of this kind"[CTR, 176].
Calvin, who could read Greek, is `twisting the Scriptures' (2Pet 3:16). The Greek of Jn 20:6-7 does not say that when Peter and John entered the tomb they saw the sindon (shroud), but rather the othonia "linen wrappings" (Mounce) or "strips of linen" (NIV), and the "face cloth" (soudarion)(Jn 20:7. New Testament professor William Hendriksen (1900-82) in his Commentary on John (1959), in which he provides his own Enlish translation of the Greek, renders Jn 20:6-7 as follows:
"6, 7. Then Simon Peter also came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he observed the linen bandages lying (there), and the sweatband, which had been around his head, not lying with the linen bandages but folded up in a place by itself" (my emphasis)[HW64, 450]
The German shroudie theologian Werner Bulst (1913-95) admitted:
"Most interpreters of Scripture, Catholic and non-Catholic, take the Sindon of the Synoptics as a large cloth and distinguish it from the cloths mentioned by John: the Othonia, taken to be bandages, and the Sweat Cloth [face cloth soudarion] ... The most serious difficulty in this interpretation is that John makes no mention at all of the Sindon, the largest of the cloths ... neither at the burial of Lazarus or Jesus, nor at the discovery of the cloths on Easter morning"[BW57, 83].
Likewise, the Irish Shroudie theologian Patrick A. Beecher (1870–1940) pointed out, "After the resurrection there is no mention of the Sindon as having been found in the tomb":
"The three Synoptic Evangelists, Saints Matthew, Mark and Luke, tell us that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Our Lord in a Sindon (Matt. xxvii. 59; Mark xv. 46; Luke xxiii. 53). The Sindon was a large white linen sheet that covered the entire body. The Evangelists carefully distinguish between it and the sudarium (napkin), which latter was in shape and size like a handkerchief, and was used for the head. In addition, as we know from St. John (xix. 40), linen cloths (ta othonia) were used, with spices, according to Jewish custom. After the resurrection there is no mention of the Sindon as having been found in the tomb. St. John tells us that Peter `saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place' (xx. 6,7). And St. Luke tells us that `Peter rising up, ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths laid by themselves' (xxiv. 12)"[BP28].
So the reason why "St John, in his Gospel ...does not say that there was a miraculous impression of our Lord's figure upon these clothes [othonia] is that they were not the Shroud (sindon) but "strips of linen" used to tie the hands and feet of Jewish deceased at burial, as Lazarus' were (Jn 11:43-44). According to the late 1st century-early 2nd century Gospel of the Hebrews Jesus had taken the Shroud with him out of the tomb and had given it to "the servant of the priest," i.e. the Apostle John (see my 3-part series, "Servant of the Priest."

"Another point to be observed is, that the evangelists do not mention that either of the disciples or the faithful women who came to the sepulchre had removed the clothes in question, but, on the contrary, their account seems to imply that they were left there."
This is another Argument from Silence fallacy by Calvin. The only passage which refers to the aftermath of Peter and John seeing Jesus' graveclothes, that is the "strips of linen" (othonia) and the "facecloth" (soudarion, but not the Shroud (sindon, in the tomb is Jn 20:8-10. And it says, "Then the disciples went back to their homes":
"8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes"
First, it doesn't say "Peter and John" but "the disciples". So it is likely that by this time some of Jesus' other disciples had reached the tomb. Second, Peter or John, or the other disciples, would almost certainly not have left Jesus' graveclothes in the tomb for grave-robbers to scavenge, but would have taken them as mementos of Jesus' earthly life among them. Also, there was the valuable "mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight" (Jn 19:39) that Nicodemus, or another disciple, would surely have removed from the tomb, but nothing is said about that.
"Now, the sepulchre was guarded by soldiers, and consequently the clothes were in their power. Is it possible that they would have permitted the disciples to take them away as relics, since these very men had been bribed by the Pharisees to perjure themselves by saying that the disciples had stolen the body of our Lord?"
Calvin forgets that Mt 28:2-5, 11 says that when the angel came down and rolled back the large stone at the entrance of the tomb, "the guards trembled and became like dead men" and then evidently they had fled before the women arrived at the tomb, because some of the guards went into Jerusalem and told the chief priests what had happened:
"2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified ... 11 While they were going [the women disciples from the tomb], behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place."
It is amazing that Calvin did not realise that if the guards were still at the tomb when Peter and John arrived, they would not have been allowed inside it!
"I shall conclude with a convincing proof of the audacity of the Papists. Wherever the holy sudary is exhibited, they show a large sheet with the full-length likeness of a human body on it. Now, St John's Gospel, chapter nineteenth, says that Christ was buried according to the manner of the Jews; and what was their custom? This may be known by their present custom on such occasions, as well as from their books, which describe the ancient ceremony of interment, which was to wrap the body in a sheet, to the shoulders, and to cover the head with a separate cloth"[CTR, 177].
First, "the Papists" (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church) did not own the Shroud until 1983 when ex-King Umberto II of Savoy (1904-83) left the Shroud in his will to the Pope and his successors:
"In 1453 the Shroud was purchased by the Duke of Savoy, and the Savoy family owned it thereafter until 1983. The Savoys ultimately ruled over all of Italy, which was unified in the nineteenth century. Umberto II was deposed as king of Italy in June 1946 and lived in exile in Portugal until his death in 1983. He was titular head of the House of Savoy during his lifetime and owner of the Shroud, and regularly consulted with the archbishop of Turin, who was the Shroud's custodian. By his will, Umberto gave the Shroud to the pope of the Roman Catholic Church and his successors; the bequest was accepted by Vatican announcement of October 18, 1983. On February 7, 1984, the Vatican secretary of state announced that under the terms of Umberto's will, the Shroud was to remain in Turin, and that the archbishop of Turin would be the pope's personal representative for all future Shroud matters"[TF06, 5].
Second, it is fallacious for Calvin to assume thaat that the Jews' 16th century "present custom" of burial was the same as it was in the 1st century. Also, Jesus (the man on the Shroud) died a bloody death, for which Jewish law prescribed the body be totally enveloped in a sovev - a single sheet around the entire body:
"As any true expert in Jewish burial tradition will point out, the particular deceased person whom we see on the Shroud would have needed some very different funerary arrangements, because he self-evidently died a violent death - i.e. of crucifixion - during which his body became extensively stained with his life-blood. As has been explained by Jewish-born Victor Tunkel of the Faculty of Laws, Queen Mary College, University of London … The belief among the Pharisees of Jesus's time, shared by Jesus's own followers, was that the body would be physically resurrected at the end of time, thereby requiring that anything and everything that formed an essential part of it, such as an amputated limb, or its life-blood, should be buried together with it in anticipation ... the Shulhan Aruch, the great sixteenth-century Code of Jewish Law which modern-day Jewish scholars recognise as codifying laws and practices that go back to ancient times ... prescribe, over any clothes, however bloodstained, that the deceased may have been wearing when he died, those preparing him for burial were expected to wrap a white shroud ... `a sheet which is called sovev' ... The sovev therefore had to be an all-enveloping cloth, that is, a `single sheet ... used to go right round' the entire body.' The Hebrew verb from which sovev derives specifically means `to surround' or `to go around', thus perfectly corresponding to the `over the head' type of cloth that we see in the case of the Shroud ..."[WI98, 54-55].
Calvin concludes his Treatise argument against the Shroud:
"This is precisely how the evangelist described it, saying, that St Peter saw on one side the clothes with which the body had been wrapped, and on the other the napkin from about his head. In short, either St John is a liar, or all those who boast of possessing the holy sudary are convicted of falsehood and deceit"[CTR, 177-178].
Calvin is wrong! Peter saw in the tomb the "linen strips" (othonia) and the "face cloth" (soudarion) but not the Shroud (sindon) (see above). It is Calvin who in this is "convicted of falsehood and deceit," not those who possessed the Shroud in 1543 when Calvin wrote his Treatise, namely Charles III, Duke of Savoy (r. 1504-53)!

I will now comment on Calvin's only other attack on the Shroud (as far as I am aware), in his, Commentary on John (1553):

"[John 20:5]. And seeth the linen cloths lying. The linen cloths were, so to say, the slough, which should produce faith in Christ's resurrection. For it was improbable that His body would be stripped to be taken elsewhere. This would have been done neither by a friend nor by a foe. That His head was wrapped in a napkin refutes the falsehood of the Papists, who pretend that the whole body was sewn up in one linen cloth, which they show to the unhappy masses to adore"[CJ53, 193].
Calvin confused the "napkin," i.e. the "face cloth" (soudarion) with the Shroud (sindon). Jesus' "whole body" was, not "sewn up" but "wrapped" entylissō (Mt 27:59 & Lk 23:53); "enveloped" eneileō (Mk 15:46) "in one linen cloth"!
"I overlook their ignorance of Latin, which led them to make the word `napkin' (which was used to wipe sweat off the face) into a covering for the whole body"[CJ53, 193].
Calvin continues his confusion with the Latin "sudarium" which can mean both "face cloth" and "shroud" (see above). But the Latin Vulgate was just a translation of the Bible's Old Testament Hebrew and Aramaic and the New Testament's Greek. And the New Testament clearly distinguishes between sindon "shroud" (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53) and soudarion "face cloth|" (Jn 11:44; 20:7).
"I overlook also their impudence in boasting-in five or six different localities-that they have this same napkin. But this gross falsehood is intolerable, for it openly contradicts the Gospel history"[CJ53, 193-194].
Since Calvin had earlier distinguished between the "napkin ... which was used to wipe sweat off the face" (soudarion = face cloth) and "a covering for the whole body" (sindon = Shroud) his argument against the "napkin" is irrelevant to the Shroud, which was at Vercelli, Italy in the 1540s when Calvin was writing his Commentary on John (1553):
"1541: The Shroud is once again at Vercelli, where it will stay for the next twenty years"[WI96].
And since the "napkin" is the Sudarium of Oviedo, which was in Spain, Calvin's argument against that is irrelevant also.
"To this is added the fabulous miracle which they have invented, that the likeness of Christ's body is impressed on the linen"[CJ53, 194].

[Left (enlarge): The likeness of Christ's body IS impressed on the linen[STW]!]

Calvin is wrong again! The Roman Catholic Church did not invent "the likeness of Christ's body ... impressed on the linen." For example, the French Fourth Crusader knight Robert de Clari (c.1170-1216) saw in Eastern Orthodox Constantinople in 1203 a sindon on which "the figure of Our Lord could be plainly seen" (which can only have been the Shroud):

"... there was another of the churches which they call My Lady St. Mary of Blachernae, where was kept the shroud [sydoines = sindon] in which Our Lord had been wrapped, which stood up straight every Friday so that the figure of Our Lord could be plainly seen there, and no one, either Greek or French, ever knew what became of this shroud when the city was taken"[DP82, 13].
Calvin concluded with:
"I ask you, if such a miracle had been performed, would the Evangelist have suppressed it, when he is so careful to relate less important things?"[CJ53, 194].
Calvin again (see above) commits the Argument from Silence fallacy: `John didn't mention that "the likeness of Christ's body is impressed on the linen," therefore there was no "likeness of Christ's body ... impressed on the linen." But John in his gospel does not mention the sindon in the empty tomb, because it wasn't there when Peter and John entered it (see above)!
"Let us be content with this simplicity, that by laying aside the tokens of death, Christ meant to testify that He had put on a blessed and immortal life"[CJ53, 194].
It is not up to Calvin, or anyone, to dictate what Christ should, or should not do! Calvin forgot what he wrote in his c. 1546 Commentary on Ephesians, commenting on Eph 3:20 (the verse on the ring I gave my wife of 51 years at our wedding in 1972!):
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"
Calvin commented:
"The expressions exceeding abundantly and above all that we ask or think, should be noted ... For however many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts"[CJ46, 170].
And the Shroud, with its "likeness of Christ's body ... impressed on the linen" is the ultimate proof of that!

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]

BP28. Beecher, P.A., 1928, "The Holy Shroud: Reply to the Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J.," M.H. Gill & Son: Dublin, p.16
BW57. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI.
CJ46. Calvin, J., 1553, "The Gospel According to St. John, Part Two 11-21," Parker, T.H.L., transl., Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1959, Reprinted, 1979.
CJ53. Calvin, J., 1553, "The Gospel According to St. John, Part Two 11-21," Parker, T.H.L., transl., Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1959, Reprinted, 1979.
CTR. Calvin, J., 1543, "A Treatise on Relics," Krasinski, V., transl., Johnstone, Hunter & Co: Edinburgh, Second Edition, 1870.
DP82. Dembowski, P.F., 1982, "Sindon in the Old French Chronicle of Robert de Clari," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 2, March, 13-18.
FJC. "File:John Calvin Museum Catharijneconvent RMCC s84 cropped.png," Wikimedia Commons, 5 June 2022.
GM98. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK.
HW64. Hendriksen W., 1964, "A Commentary on the Gospel of John: Two Volumes Complete and Unabridged in One," [1959], Banner of Truth: London, Third Edition, Vol. II.
IJ98. Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY.
JCW. "John Calvin," Wikipedia, 2 May 2023.
SD89. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA.
STW. "Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 24 May 2023.
TF06. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition.
VVW. "Veil of Veronica," Wikipedia, 11 April 2023.
WI95. Wilson, I., 1995, "A Shroud Symposium in Nice for 1997?," BSTS Newsletter, No. 41, September.
WI96. Wilson, I., 1996, "Highlights of the Undisputed History: 1500's,"
WI98. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.

Posted 7 May 2023. Updated 29 May 2023.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: Twentieth century (6)

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present
© Stephen E. Jones

This is part #30, "Twentieth century" (6) of my "Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 - present" series. For more information about this series see the Index #1. I will use in-line referencing to save time in renumbering out-of-order footnotes. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated. This page was initially based on Ian Wilson's 1996, "Highlights of the Undisputed History: 1900."

[Index #1] [Previous: 20th century (5) #29] [Next: 21st century (1) #31]

20th century (6) (1989-2000).

1989a 15 February. In a talk at the Logan Hall, Institute of Education, London, the Director of Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory, Prof. Edward Hall (1924-2001), lectures to the British Museum Society on 'The Turin Shroud: A Lesson in Self-Persuasion'. He very forcefully declares anyone continuing to regard the Shroud as genuine a 'Flat Earther' and 'onto a loser'[WI89, 10; WI98, 185, 311]. But since the evidence is that the Shroud (as the Image of Edessa) was in Edessa in 544 (see "544"), which is "more than seven centuries (716 years) before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud"[04Oct18], it is Prof. Hall and his anti-Shroud ilk who were and are the victims of "Self-Persuasion," are "onto a loser" and are the "Flat Earthers," refusing to consider all the other non-radiocarbon evidence! However Hall made the significant point that Oxford's dating was "blind," so the other two laboratories could have been, but weren't:

"He [Hall] said that at Oxford at least the carbon dating was done `blind'. After the combustion of the samples to gas, they were recoded so that while he, Prof. Hall continued to know the identity of the samples, Hedges, who was actually carrying out the work, did not"[WI89, 10]
1989b 16 February. Publication, in the scientific journal Nature, of the

[Right (enlarge): Extract from Table 1 in the 1989 Nature paper, showing the dates of each run at each laboratory of Sample 1, the Shroud[DP89, 612]. The dates are years before 1950[DP89, 611]. Thus the corrected mean of Arizona's first date was actually 1950-591=1359, i.e. it overlapped by 4 years the first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in c.1355. In fact, as pointed out in 23Jun18b, the mean of Arizona's first date `just happened' to be the lowest of all the laboratories' means! And because lowest is most recent, it is the upper limit of all the datings' years! Also, as I had previously mentioned (see 03Aug19) the "1350" date (as it originally was[GH96, 264, 278-279]) was leaked by Linick (see below) to create a climate of expectation so that the 1260-1390 = 1325 ±65 average of all three laboratories' dates would be accepted without question, as it was. Hall confirmed this was the leak's effect: "So it was `leaked' by the press ... long before ... Everyone was resigned to it being a fake long before the announcement ... it was out of the bag from the very beginning"[GV01, 134]! And I also now propose (which from memory I haven't posted before) that Arizona's first "1350" date was the starting point of the "extremely mathematically gifted"[JS89] Linick's hacking algorithm, to ensure that no hacked date was more recent than it.]

official results of the Shroud radiocarbon dating. This has twenty-one signatories. It declares that the results 'provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is medieval'[DP89; WI98, 311].

1989c 9 March-2 September. London's British Museum holds exhibition entitled 'Fake. The Art of Deception'. This includes a life-size transparency of the Turin Shroud[WI98, 311-312].

1989d 20 March. Retirement of Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero (r. 1977-89) as Archbishop of Turin, to be succeeded by Giovanni Saldarini (r. 1989-99). Ballestrero temporarily remains official custodian of the Shroud[WI98, 311].

1989e 24 March. A press release to the UK press announces that forty-five businessmen and 'rich friends' have donated 1 million pounds to create a chair of archaeological sciences at Oxford to perpetuate the radiocarbon-dating laboratory created by Edward Hall. The first incumbent is to be the British Museum's Michael Tite[WI98, 185-186, 311; GV01, 134]. Rochester's Prof Harry Gove (1922-2009) noted that there were "unworthy foreign whispers" against the appointment of Michael Tite, of the British Museum's Research Laboratory, as an independent coordinator of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating because, "the head of the Oxford Research Laboratory, Professor Edward Hall, is a trustee of the British Museum"[GH96, 273]. One would have to be naive not to think that Hall, with £1M funding of his Oxford laboratory depending on a medieval radiocarbon date of the Shroud, did not say to Tite, words to the effect,`get it right Mike and the Director of Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory job is yours'!

1989f 28 April, Interviewed by journalists during a plane journey forming part of the papal visit to Africa, Pope John Paul II (r. 1978-2005) was asked if he thought the Shroud was a relic [Jesus actual burial cloth] or an icon [a depiction of it], and the Pope replied: "It certainly is a relic!"[GV01, 29], while adding that 'the Church has never pronounced on the matter'[WI98, 311].

1989g 6-7 May. International Shroud Symposium 'La Sindone e Le Icone' ("The Shroud and Iconography"[RP06, xxi].) held in Bologna'[WI98, 311; GV01, 141]. Historical and technical data were presented showing the impossibility of a Middle Ages date for the Shroud[RP06, xxi]

1989h 1 June. Burnt body of German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89)

[Above (enlarge): From my post of 27May19: Partially burnt forest trees from the gasoline fire that killed Karl Koch[FP14]. Note that a fire which can partially burn dry trees would not go out until all the wood was burned, unless it was controlled by at least one person using a fire extinguisher, hose or buckets of water. But Koch couldn't have extinguished the gasoline fire that killed him and there was no fire extinguisher, hose or bucket at the scene anyway. Therefore Koch's death was murder, not suicide! See further. See also 21Jul14, 17May15, 02Jun16 & 15Jul18.]

found by West German police[21Jul14; 17May15; 02Jun16; 27May19; 03Aug19; 03Feb21]. The last reference has a summary of my theory relating to Koch (footnotes omitted):

"According to my hacker theory: • Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89); • working for the KGB; • wrote a program which converted the radiocarbon date of samples from the first-century Shroud of Turin to a combined average across three laboratories of 1260-1390, the mid-point of which was 1325 ±65, only ~30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in c. 1355. • After installing his program on Arizona laboratory's AMS computer; • Linick then passed it to the KGB to have it installed on Zurich and Oxford laboratories' identical AMS computers. • The KGB used one of its hackers, West German Karl Koch (1965-89), to install Linick's program on Zurich and Oxford's AMS computers. • In mid-1987 West German hacker Markus Hess, was arrested for hacking into USA military and commercial installations. • In early 1988, Koch and Hans Heinrich Huebner, members of the same German hacker ring as Hess, took advantage of an amnesty for espionage in West German law and confessed their hacking for the KGB to the West German authorities. • Koch, a recovering drug addict, became a Christian and started talking about his hacking of the Shroud's radiocarbon dating. • On 23 May 1989, Koch went missing from his Hanover workplace. • On 1 June 1989 a burnt body, murdered made to look like suicide, was discovered on the edge of a forest outside Hanover with Koch's work vehicle nearby. • On 3 June 1989 the West German police publicly identified the body as Koch's. • The next day, 4 June 1989, Timothy Linick's body was discovered in Tucson, Arizona, also murdered made to look like suicide!"
1989i 4 June. Death of University of Arizona physicist Timothy Weiler Linick (1946-89)[JS89], one of the authors of the Nature report

[Left: Photograph of Linick and report that "He died at the age of forty-two on 4 June 1989, in very unclear circumstances ..." (my emphasis)[BB00].This is consistent with my theory (see "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker") that the KGB executed confessed KGB hacker Karl Koch (1965–89) between 23 and 30 May 1989[21Jul14; 02Jun16; 17May15; 27May19; 03Feb21], and police publicly identified the body as Koch on 3 June 1989, and the KGB executed Linick a day later on 4 June 1989[05Jul14; 17May15; 31Mar15; 30Jun15; 03Aug19; 30Dec15; 22Feb16; 02Jun16; 30Jul16]; where their murders by the KGB were made to look like suicides to stop them revealing that the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as 1260-1390 (1325 ±65) was the result of a KGB-sponsored computer hacking by Linick, aided by Koch[05Jul14; 13Dec14; 31Mar15; 22Feb16; 02Jun16]; 30Jul16; 03Feb21].]

on the Shroud's radiocarbon dating[WI98, 311]. Chapter 16 of my book, "Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus!" (see 06Jul17, 03Jun18, 04Apr22, 13Jul22 & 8 Nov 22) will be, "Were the laboratories duped by a hacker?"

1989j 7-8 September. Shroud Symposium organized by the French Shroud group CIELT (Centre international d'études sur le linceul de Turin) is held in Paris. The speakers include Michael Tite[WI98, 311]. When asked in an interview at the symposium why blind testing of the Shroud did not occur, Tite answered, "We had decided it could not be a blind test because they'd [the laboratories] been given whole pieces of the Shroud which they could immediately identify and therefore it could not be a blind test:"'[AM00, 182]. This wasn't true. See above that Oxford's dating was blind.

1989c 30 September. New Scientist reports findings of the scientific workshop at East Kilbride that 'the margin of error with radiocarbon-dating ... may be two or three times as great as practitioners of the technique have claimed' "In 1989 Britain's Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) decided to conduct a trial in which the carbon-dating technique itself would be tested. Thirty-eight laboratories were involved in the trial, each being asked to date artefacts whose age was already known:

"Murdoch Baxter, the director of the Scottish Universities Research andReactor Centre at East Kilbride near Glasgow, and one of the organisers of the trial ... says that accelerator mass spectrometry, used last year by a laboratory at the University of Oxford to date the Turin shroud, allegedly the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, came out of the survey badly. Five of the 38 participating laboratories used this technique, for which samples weighing a few milligrams are acceptable. The other techniques require grams of the sample. Baxter says that some of the accelerator laboratories were way out when dating samples as little as 200 years old. Because so little material is used in accelerator mass spectrometry, the effects of chemical pre-treatment are likely to be more serious, says Baxter"[CA89, 26]
The Oxford laboratory, one of those that had dated the Shroud the previous year, declined to participate[WI98, 193, 311]. It was found that 'The margin of error with radiocarbon dating ... may be two to three times as great as practitioners of the technique have claimed ... Of the thirty-eight [laboratories], only seven produced results that the organizers of the trial considered to be satisfactory.' In other words, about 80 per cent of the laboratories failed the test. The three laboratories that dated the Shroud the previous year employed a technique known as Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), which 'came out of the survey badly'. According to one of the organizers of the trial, `some of the accelerator laboratories were way out when dating samples as little as 200 years old'[CA89, 26]. So, just a year after the Shroud was damned by AMS, the authority of this carbon-dating technique itself took a severe blow"[DT12, 163]. Further evidence that the 1325 ±65 carbon date of the Shroud was the result of a computer hacking!

1989l 8 November. The Spanish Center of Sindonology (CES) began their complete, multidisciplinary study on the Sudarium of Oviedo[BJ01, 273].

1989m c. December. Alan and Mary Whanger submit for publication their article, "Floral, Coin, and Other Non-Body Images on the Shroud of Turin"[WA90] but it is rejected[DB98, 202-203, 214; DA10, 8]. In the article they reported:

"While there are vague or partial images of hundreds of flowers on the Shroud, we feel that we have tentatively identified 28 plants whose images are sufficiently clear on the Shroud to make a good comparison and to be compatible with the drawings in Flora Palaestina ... Of the 28 plants we identified on the Shroud, 23 are flowers, three are small bushes, and two are thorns. All 28 grow in Israel, and 20 grow in Jerusalem itself (i.e., in the Judean mountains) ... Of the eight plants not growing in the climate of Jerusalem itself, all eight grow either in the Judean Desert or the Dead Sea area or in both. Hence these plants or flowers would be available in Jerusalem markets in a fresh state"[WA90, 13; IJ98, 26-29; WA98, 78-79; AM00, 112; WA08, 142; GV01, 149; DA10, 12].
There is a strong correlation between the flower images and pollen

[Right (enlarge): Fifteen plant species on the Shroud common to Frei (pollen)[WI79, 293-297], Whanger[WA90, 17-18] and Danin[DA10, 92, 94]. (both flower and plant parts). As can be seen, there are 10 species common to Frei and Whanger, 4 species common to Whanger and Danin, and 2 species common to Frei, Whanger and Danin! All of these plant species grow around Jerusalem. Even one would be fatal to the medieval European forgery theory, let alone 15!]

grains found on the Shroud[AM00, 112]. Of the twenty-eight different plants identified by Whanger, Frei had previously identified the pollens of twenty-five of the same or similar plants[AM00, 112; GV01, 149-150].

1990a January. Publication in the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, of an article, "The Shroud and the Cubit Measure," by Ian Dickinson (1942-2015) of Canterbury, England, an expert in early

[Left (enlarge). [See 08Apr20]: Shroud photograph with an 8 x 2 grid overlay showing that the Shroud divides evenly into 16 squares, each 438/8 = 54.75 cm (~21.6 in.) by 113/2 = 56.5 cm (~22.2 in.). The slightly greater (1.75cm = 0.7 in.) width unit is readily explained by the attachment of the sidestrip (see 24Aug15). These units are too close to the Assyrian cubit of Jesus' day: 21.4-21.8 inches to be a coincidence.]

Syriac. It had occurred to Dickinson that the Shroud's then best measurements of "14 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 7 inches" seemed odd. He wondered if they would have seemed odd in first century Jerusalem where the unit of measure was a cubit? Dickinson found that the Shroud's length divided by 8 and its width divided by 2, were 21.4 and 21.5 inches respectively, which was very close to the Assyrian Standard Cubit of Jesus' day of "21.6 plus or minus 0.2 inches"! The Bible mentions cubits (e.g. Gen 6:15; Rev 21:17) but it doesn't say how long they were. So a medieval forger would not know about an Assyrian Standard Cubit as it was only discovered in the 19th century, let alone what length it was, to cut his cloth to 8 x 2 of those cubits. And if the medieval forger somehow obtained a first century linen cloth of 8 x 2 cubits, then both Bishop d'Arcis (see "1389d") and the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud would be wrong! The simplest, indeed the only, viable explanation is that the Shroud is Jesus' burial shroud recorded in the Gospels (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53)! [see 04Feb15; 10Jul15; 08Apr20; 24May20].

1990b March. Publication in Shroud Spectrum International of STURP's John Jackson's "Is the image on the Shroud due to a process heretofore unknown to modern science?":

"The picture that results is that of a cloth-covered body that for some reason became mechanically transparent to its physical surroundings and, as it did so, emitted radiation from all points within and on the surface of the body. This radiation was highly absorbed in air. As the top part of the Shroud fell into the mechanically transparent body, the radiation began to interact with the cloth so as to produce a time integrated record of the cloth's passage through the body region[JJ90, 12].
See also 18Jan12. This is Jackson's "Cloth Collapse Theory." He presents it as a physics theory, with no mention who the "cloth-covered body" was. But clearly this is only compatible with the body in the Shroud having been Jesus and it "became mechanically transparent" due to His resurrection! As Jesus' resurrected body was able to pass through the walls of a locked room:
"On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, `Peace be with you.' ... Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, `Peace be with you.'" (Jn 20:19,26).

1990c 4 May. During celebration of the Feast of the Holy Shroud in the Royal Chapel, Turin, several chunks of stone crash to the floor from the roof ninety-eight feet above. These are due to shifts on the part of exterior sustaining arches. The Chapel is closed and a temporary canopy erected over its altar[WI98, 1, 312].

1991 22-23 June. Scholars from Italy, Spain, France, Australia and the United States gather at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, for a Symposium on the Shroud[WI98, 312]. In his paper "The Coin of

[Above (enlarge): Comparison of right eye of Enrie's sepia negative photograph of the Shroud face (left) showing what appears to be the letter "Α" (red arrow) but its slightly open vertices means it is actually the lower part of a "Κ" (Greek kappa (Κ); the front curve of a lituus (orange arrow); the handle of the lituus (yellow arrow) and the mark of the pliers that held the hot coin while it was being struck (blue arrow); with Moroni's diagram of the lituus as a question mark shape on a photographic negative of the Shroud (right). The tiny, 1/32 of an inch (8.3 millimetres) high letter "Α" (actually "Κ") above can be clearly seen (the image has not been enhanced or manipulated by me - I don't have the software - only enlarged).]

Pontius Pilate (r. 26-37) on the Right Eye of the Man of the Shroud in the Light of New Archaelogical Finds," numismatist Mario Moroni showed that the coin over the man's right eye was a Pontius Pilate dilepton, which had a lituus in the shape of a question mark. And as Moroni discovered, there

[Right (enlarge): A Pontius Pilate dilepton coin with its lituus in the shape of a question mark, as it is on the Shroud.]

was a dilepton lituus coin minted in AD 29 by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea from c. 26-36 (Lk 3:1; Acts 4:27; 1Tim 6:13), who sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion (Mt 27:24-26; Mk 15:15; Lk 23:20-25; Jn 19:12-16) in AD 30, which had a lituus in the shape of a question mark (above). See 10May13, 03Mar18, 18Apr20 & 04Aug21.

1992 A conservation committee is set up by Cardinal Saldarini, consisting of five textile experts: England's Sheila Landi; Switzerland's Mechthild Flury-Lemberg (1929-); the USA's Jeanette M. Cardamone; Italy's Silvio Diana and Gian Luigi[OM10, 261; WI98, 312]. The objective of this committee was to: `set in motion a complete cycle of studies on the fabric and on the best conditions for its conservation'[OM10, 261]. On 7 September. The Shroud is brought out for examination in the sacristy of Turin Cathedral before the five textile experts. Optical observation only is permitted and no samples are taken. The Shroud is re-sealed in its casket[WI98, 312].

1993a Hilda Leynen (1922-97) of Antwerp, by research at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, fully confirmed Brother Bonnet-Eymard's conclusions[BB91] that the so-called 1389 "Memorandum" of Pierre d'Arcis [see Pierre d'Arcis #19] was in fact a fraudulent non-memo crafted by Chevalier [see Ulysse Chevalier #20] from a clerk's draft in poor Latin, never dated nor signed nor sent to the Vatican, and with no official copy either in Troyes or in the Vatican[TF06, 46].

1993b June. Italian microscopist Giovanni Riggi (1935-2008) provided a blood sample to a visiting American microbiology professor, Dr Leoncio Garza-Valdes (1939-2010). Riggi had on 21 April 1988, after having cut off the sample of the Shroud used for radiocarbon dating, took a 1.5 mm blood sample from the Shroudman's back-of-the-head region. Garza-Valdes took the sample back for analysis at the University of Texas' Center for Advanced DNA Technologies at San Antonio, Texas. There the laboratory director, Victor Tryon, and his technician wife, Nancy Mitchell Tryon, established that the sample was human blood of the AB group. They also determined that it had both X and Y chromosomes, indicating that the individual from whom it came was male. Three unmistakable gene segments were identified, beta globin from chromosome 11, amelogenin X from chromosome X and amelogenin Y from chromosome Y.[AM00, 28; GV01, 148; WS00, 76-78].

1993c 24 February. Because of the repairs to the Royal Chapel, the Shroud, without being taken out of its casket, is removed from its normal shrine in the Royal Chapel and transferred to a specially designed but temporary plate glass display case [Left (enlarge)[SB97].] behind the High Altar, in the main body of Turin Cathedral[WI98, 312].

1993d 28 February. Death of Fr. Peter Rinaldi (1910-93), who though in poor health, had flown from the USA to be present at this transfer, but had collapsed and was taken to a Turin hospital. Rinaldi was one of the co-founders of the Holy Shroud Guild and, along with Frs. Adam Otterbein (1915-98) and Francis Filas (1915-85), among the main people responsible for helping STURP obtain permission to perform their examination of the Shroud in 1978[WI98, 312].

1993e 10-12 June. Shroud Symposium, organized by CIELT, held at the Domus Mariae conference center, on the outskirts of Rome.[WI98, 312]. At the symposium the French geneticist Dr. Jerome Lejeune (1926-94) delivered a paper on the Pray Codex[GV01, 105], based on his own visit to Budapest where he had been able to study the codex at first hand. Lejeune remarked that:

"The artist who produced the Codex of Pray had before his eyes ... a model that possessed all of the unique characteristics of the Shroud of Turin!"[GV01, 106]

[Above (enlarge): The Shroud highlighted in green in the Pray Codex's upper Entombment scene [see 27May12]. As can be seen, it is: 1. Long, more than twice the length of Jesus' body. Also, 2. Jesus is naked; 3. His hands are crossed awkwardly near the wrists; 4. Jesus' fingers are long; 5. Jesus' thumbs aren't visible as on the Shroud; 6. There are red puncture bloodstains depicted in Jesus' hair as from the crown of thorns; 7. There is a red bloodstain above Jesus' right eye where the reveersed 3 bloodstain is on the Shroud. Too many correspondences with the Shroud to be by chance. Yet the Pray Codex is dated 1192-95, which is 65 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud and 160 years before the Shroud's first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France, in c.1355!]

In particular:

"Lejeune noted the following common characteristics between the Pray Codex and the Shroud. o The Shroud was twice the length of a man. o The Shroud has a herringbone weave. o The cloth had L-shaped hole marks on the front and back. o Jesus wore a beard and long hair. o There is a scar above the right eye corresponding to the "3"-shaped bloodstain on the Shroud. o The body was completely naked. o The right hand was laid over the left. o The fingers were unnaturally elongated, and the thumbs invisible. o The wound on the left hand is in the palm, but on the right hand the wound is on the wrist. o One panel shows only three nails used for crucifixion"[GV01, 105].
Another paper delivered at the 1993 Rome symposium is by Prof. Gino Zaninotto (c. 1936-2016), a Rome-based specialist in ancient classical languages, who quoted the 10th century Codex Vossianus Latinus Q69 [Right (enlarge[LJ13]), in support of awareness of a full-figure imprint on the Image of Edessa (the Shroud "four-doubled" tetradiplon) stretched back as early as the eighth century[WI93, 4]. This document makes reference to an eighth-century account of Syrian origin which relates that Jesus left the imprint of His entire body on a cloth kept in the great church in Edessa[GV01, 151]. Adding to Jesus' legendary reply to Abgar V, the codex reads:
"... If you really want to see what my face looks like, I am sending you this linen cloth, on which you will be able to see not only the form of my face but the divinely transformed state of my whole body" (my emphasis)[GM09].
This is an unmistakable reference to the Shroud[PM96, 251; GV01, 151]. And because of its Carolingian (800-888) handwriting, the codex cannot date later than the tenth century[WI10, 177].

Yet another paper presented at the 1993 Rome symposium is by Australian Rex Morgan, editor of Shroud News, who showed Sylvia Bogdanescu's photographs of a fresco from the catacombs which, although badly effaced by time, may be one of the earliest portraits of Christ[WI93, 4]. Bogdanescu's photograph of the fresco in the Orpheus Cubiculum section of the Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome, was inferior,

[Left (enlarge[MR97, rear cover.]). Photograph by Christopher Morgan in May 1969 of a first-century Shroud-like fresco in the Cubiculum of Orpheus catacomb in Rome, which is the earliest portrait of Jesus by an unknown artist who could have seen Jesus.]

so in May 1996, Rex Morgan and his archaeologist son Christopher, took high quality photographs of it[MR97, 80]. A copy of that fresco was painted by English artist Thomas Frank Heaphy (1813-73) in the 1850s, soon after that section of the Catacombs of

[Above (enlarge)[MR86, pl. 1]: Painting by Heaphy of a fresco in the ceiling of the earliest section of the Catacomb of Domitilla, dated to the time of Nero (54–68). A Shroud-like Jesus is depicted in profile, naked with a white cloth over his shoulder[MR93, 28]. Presumably sitting up at His resurrection with the Shroud still partly covering Him! If so, this is the earliest, mid-first century, depiction of the Shroud! See 05Jun21]

Domitilla was opened by the Italian archaeologist Giovanni Battista de Rossi (1822–94). Jesus is Shroud-like with shoulder length hair and a beard, a white cloth is over His right shoulder. De Rossi dated that section of the catacomb to the time of the Roman Emperor Nero (r. 54-68)[MR93, 28]. The Apostle Paul, writing from Corinth in 55-57 and then not having yet been to Rome (Rom 1:11-15), lists in Romans 16 many Jewish Christians he knew who were then living in Rome. So there would have been Christians alive then who had seen Jesus, making this Shroud-like depiction of Him an independent confirmation that the Shroudman is Jesus!

1993f 1 October. STURP's official charter was dissolved by the Secretary of State for the State of Connecticut[WI98, 312; WI96b].

1994a November. The First International Congress on the Sudarium of Oviedo is held in Oviedo by EDICES (Equipo de Investigacion del Centro Espanol de Sindonologia = Research Team of the Spanish Sindonology Center)[BJ01, 18, 197]. Papers were presented about the Sudarium. The pollen work of Max Frei (1913-83) was confirmed, and enlarged on, including his identification of Quercus caliprimus or Palestine Oak, which is limited to Palestine[GM97]. Residues of myrrh and aloe have also been discovered, which are mentioned in John 19:39-40, "Nicodemus came as well ... and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes ... They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, following the Jewish burial custom"[GM97]. The very fact that the cloth was kept at all is a sign of its authenticity, as it has no artistic or monetary value at all[Centre international d'études sur le linceul de Turin">GM97]. All the studies carried out so far point in one direction, with nothing to suggest the contrary the Sudarium was used to cover the head of the dead body of Jesus of Nazareth from when he was taken down from the cross until he was buried[GM97].

1995a 4 January. At Paris' Palais des Congres the French Shroud group CIELT held a reunion in honour of the late Professor Jerome Lejeune (see above). The first main speaker was Professor Yvonne Bongert (1921-2012) of the Université de Droit de Paris, who outlined Professor Lejeune's special interest in the 12th century Pray codex preserved in the National Széchenyi Library, Budapest. Showing four drawings from the codex photographed by Prof Lejeune on a special visit to Budapest, Prof Bongert pointed to a whole series of features which make it, in her view, certain that the 12th century artist who drew these knew the Shroud. In the case of the

[Right (enlarge): "Entombment" (upper) and "Visit to the Sepulchre" (lower), ink drawings in the Hungarian Pray Codex (1192-95)[BI69, pl. III].]

codex's familiar Entombment drawing these are (i) the so Shroud-like crossed hands (ii) the same figure's total nudity, very unusual for Byzantine art at that time; (iii) the fact that the same figure is represented with four fingers but no thumbs, exactly as on the Shroud; (iv) the fact that the Shroud's "poker holes" seem to be represented in the Visit to the Sepulchre scene below this. In the case of the

[Left (enlarge): Christ Enthroned[BI69, pl. IV].]

codex's less familiar Christ Enthroned drawing these are [i] three nails on the patibulum of the cross - indicating that the artist believed that Jesus's feet had been transfixed by a single nail - exactly as indicated on the Shroud; [ii] the fact that while the figure of Christ in this scene is conventionally depicted with a nail-wound through the palm of his left hand, the nail-wound in his right hand would appear to be through his wrist. For Prof Bongert the accumulation of these features conclusively indicates that the Shroud must have been known to Byzantine artists well before the 1260-1390 dates decreed by carbon dating[WI95, 5-6].

1995b 5 September. In a broadcast on Italian television, Cardinal Saldarini announces that expositions of the Shroud will be held in 1998 and 2000[WI98, 313].

1995c September. The Whangers visit the home in Jerusalem of Prof. Avinoam Danin (1939–2015), author of Flora of Israel Online, and after showing him a life-size Enrie photograph of the head area, they ask Danin if he could see images of flowers in the photograph[DA10, 8]? After looking at the photograph for about ten seconds, Danin exclaims, "Those are the flowers of Jerusalem"![WS00, 85; WA08; WA98, 79; DA10, 8]! One of those flower images on the Shroud that

[Above (enlarge): Image of a Chrysanthemum coronarium flower (circled in red) on the Shroud[LM10]. This is one of the clearest flower image on the Shroud[DA99, 16].]

Danin had no difficulty perceiving, was the very first one that Alan Whanger had identified, Chrysanthemum coronarium[WS00, 85-86; Subsequently, after several years of investigations of those photographs, Danin declared his findings at international conferences and in articles on the following issues: the origin of the Shroud is from an area between Jerusalem and Hebron; only in that area could people bring fresh plants of these species from the field and put them onto a dead man's body[DA10, 8]. These plants indicate that the time of the year was March through April[DA10, 8]. Jesus was crucified in April[FJ64, 296, 300; DK15]! Three of those plant images that Danin saw on the Shroud were: Gundelia tournefortii[DA10, 54], Cistus creticus[DA10, 54] and Zygophyllum dumosum[DA10, 17]. Danin found that there is only one place in the world where these three

[Above: Distribution map showing the only place on earth where three of the plant species whose images are found on the Shroud: Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum and Cistus creticus, are all found growing together[DA10, 52], the area around Jerusalem (green circle)[DA99, 21-22]!]

species of plants can be found growing together - between Hebron and Jerusalem[DA10, 8]., a distance of only ~28 kilometres (~18 miles)!

1996a 21 January. The Shroud of Turin Website goes online. The website is produced by Barrie Schwortz, STURP's Official Documenting Photographer during the 1978 examination. It quickly becomes the largest Shroud resource on the Internet[WI96a].

1996b February. The conservation committee of five textile experts set up by Cardinal Saldarini in 1992 (see above) produces a report which makes a number of suggestions and recommendations for the best conservation of the Shroud. One of these was that it was necessary to study in depth the question of the removal and substitution of the backing Holland cloth which had been put in place in 1534, as well as the possible removal and replacement of the patches stitched on to the Shroud at the same time. It was also agreed that, in future, the Shroud would be laid out flat and in a horizontal position, free of stress and tension, rather than being kept rolled up around a wooden cylinder. This report was submitted to the Papal Custodian of the Holy Shroud, the Archbishop of Turin, and also to the Vatican[OM10, 261-262].

1996c October. Prof. Pierluigi Baima Bollone (1937-) and Prof. Nello Balossino, a computer scientistt, both from the University of Turin, confirmed the presence of coins on the eyes. They reported that the coin on the left eye was higher, probably due to facial swelling. Traces of the coin on the left eye match a Julia lepton struck only in 29 by

[Above (enlarge): Enlargement of object over the left eyebrow of the Shroud showing a Roman simpulum which is the major feature of a Julia lepton[SL98, 31].]

Pontius Pilate (r. 26-37) upon the death that year of Julia (aka Livia), the mother of Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar(r. 14-37)[IJ98, 38]. Prof. Baima-Bollone emphatically states:

"No more must we rely on tests or calculations; we now have an 'intrinsic' proof, clearly stamped, as it were, upon the Shroud itself. No medieval forger could have accomplished this. ... In my opinion, this latest research is just about 100% proof that the Shroud of Turin truly held the body of the crucified and buried Christ"[GV01, 99]
1997a February. During a visit to the Whangers' home in Durham, North Carolina, Danin makes a careful and detailed examination of their Enrie Shroud photographs and of the plant images on them. Danin states that he agrees with confidence with twenty-two of the twenty-eight plant identifications that we had made. Of the remaining six identifications, he said that three are probably correct and the other three are possibly correct, but he could not identify them with certainty because the images are too fragmentary. In no case did he totally disagree with the Whangers' original tentative identifications or fail to see some imaging. Moreover, Danin discovered a large number of additional flower images that the Whangers had not found. Having previously plotted the locations of multiple thousands of plant species in Israel, Danin was able to state that twenty-seven of the twenty-eight plants whose images are on the Shroud grow within five areas measuring five by five kilometers (three by three miles) immediately around Jerusalem and between Jerusalem and Jericho. The twenty-eighth plant is found at the south end of the Dead Sea. One of the plants, Zygophyllum dumosum,grows only in Israel, Jordan, and Sinai, with its northernmost boundary in the world being at the sea level sign on the highway between Jerusalem and Jericho.

[Above (enlarge): Distribution map of Zygophyllum dumosum which is confined to Israel, Sinai and Western Jordan[DA10, 12].]

The image of this plant on the Shroud, according to Danin, shows both a winter leaf and the remnants of the stalk from the preceding year, proof that the plant was plucked in the spring. For Danin as a Jewish botanist, the presence of the image of this one plant is sufficient to establish Jerusalem as the place of origin of the Shroud[WA98, 80; DA10, 12]!

1997b 11 & 12 April. Shortly after 11 p.m. fire breaks out in Turin's Guarini Chapel, quickly threatening the Shroud's bulletproof display case (see above). Fireman Mario Trematore uses a sledgehammer to break open this case [Right (enlarge)[DL06]] and the Shroud, in its traditional casket, is taken temporarily to Cardinal Saldarini's residence. Signs of arson are found in the Royal Chapel, the walls of which are very badly damaged. Also damaged are the whole High Altar end of the cathedral and the part of the Royal Palace directly adjoining the Chapel[WI97; WI98, 313; OM10, 82].

1997c 14 April. In the presence of the Cardinal and several invited specialists, including Flury-Lemberg, Prof. Baima-Bollone and Rosalia Piazza of Rome's Istituto Centrale del Restauro, the Shroud is brought out from its casket and its condition carefully examined. It is found to be completely unaffected by the fire. It is taken to an undisclosed place of safety[WI98, 313].

1997d 11-14 May. An International Symposium on the Shroud is held in Nice, France. The event is sponsored by CIELT, the French sindonology organization[WI98, 313]. One of the papers presented is by Mark Guscin: "The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin"[GM97], in which he listed the coincidences between the Sudarium and the Shroud: • The first and

[Above (enlarge[BJ01, 122]): The exact fit of the stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo (right) with the beard on the face of the man on the Shroud (left)! This is a `two factor authentication' which proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Shroud is the "linen shroud" (sindon) of Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46 & Lk 23:53 and the Sudarium is the "facecloth" (soudarion) of Jn 20:7! The Sudarium is known to have entered Spain in the 7th century, so a medieval forger would have had to forge both the Shroud and Sudarium no later than the 7th century! Either way this proves that the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud is wrong!]

most obvious coincidence is that the blood on both cloths belongs to the same group, namely AB. • The length of the nose through which the pleural oedema fluid came onto the sudarium has been calculated at eight centimetres, just over three inches. This is exactly the same length as the nose on the image of the Shroud.• If the face of the image on the Shroud is placed over the stains on the sudarium, perhaps the most obvious coincidence is the exact fit of the stains with the beard on the face. As the sudarium was used to clean the man's face, it appears that it was simply placed on the face to absorb all the blood, but not used in any kind of wiping movement. • A small stain is also visible proceeding from the right hand side of the man's mouth. This stain is hardly visible on the Shroud, but John Jackson, using the VP-8 and photo enhancements has confirmed its presence. • The thorn wounds on the nape of the neck also coincide perfectly with the bloodstains on the Shroud. ... • The only possible conclusion is that the Oviedo sudarium covered the same face as the Turin Shroud"[GM97]!

1997e 13-14 September. A group of independent sindonologists meets in Kaufman, Texas to discuss the collection and archiving of the important and diverse Shroud materials residing in private collections in the United States. Curators of the Wuenschel and Boston collections, two of the largest collections in the world, attend[WI98, 313].

1997f November/December. Prof. Avinoam Danin (1939–2015) publishes an article, "Pressed Flowers: Where Did the Shroud of Turin Originate?" in Israel's Eretz Magazine[DA97]. Prominent in the article Danin featured the photo below of Chrysanthemum coronarium. Also

[Above (enlarge): "A coronal image of a chrysanthemum produced by Oswald Scheuermann [1933-2019] (left) the image on the Shroud of Turin (center) and an illustration of the flower (right)"[DA97].

in the article Danin pointed out that Max Frei (1913-83), who, concentrating on taking pollen samples, was oblivious to the flower images, found the pollen of Cistus creticus exactly where Danin found images of that same plant:

"A bouquet of rock rose [Cistus creticus], which I had noted along with the crown chrysanthemum [Chrysanthemum coronarium since renamed Glebionis coronaria] in 1995, appears on the right cheek of the human profile on the shroud. Frei had placed his adhesive tape No. 6Bd [see 09Sep18] at that spot and actually found some grains of rock rose pollen long before anyone had discovered images of the plant on the shroud. The fact that the existence of this plant’s image on the shroud has been demonstrated by two independent botanical methods proves beyond a reasonable doubt that plants of this species were placed on the shroud at one time" (my emphasis)[DA97].
1998a 18 April to 14 Jun. Public exposition of the Shroud is held

[Left (enlarge): The Shroud displayed in Turin Cathedral during the 1998 exposition [WS00, ii]. A huge temporary screen hides the fire damage to the Royal Chapel behind it, and upon the screen is painted a trompe l'oeil (illusory perspective) scene of how the interior of the Chapel would have looked in the 1820s[WI10, 284].]

to commemorate the centenary of Secondo Pia's first photograph of the cloth, the discovery of its hidden negative image and the beginning of the scientific era of its study. Over two million pilgrims visit the Shroud during the eight week exhibition[WI96a; WI98, 313].

1998b 24 May. Pope John Paul II visits the Shroud as it is displayed in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, in Turin. The visit occurs on the exact day that Secondo Pia made the first photograph of the Shroud 100 years earlier, on May 24, 1898. This is the first time the pope has seen the cloth since a private viewing in 1980[WI96a].

1998c 5-7 June. The Third International Congress for the Study of the Shroud is held in Turin. Nearly 100 researchers come to present their work at the well attended but poorly organized event, officially opened by the Honorable Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, President of the Republic of Italy, and Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, Archbishop of Turin[WI96a]

1998d 9 June. Death of Adam Otterbein (1915-98), co-founder of the Holy Shroud Guild[WI96a].

1999a 16 March. Publication of pediatrician and University of Texas microbiology professor, Dr Leoncio Garza-Valdes (1939-2010)'s (see above) sensationalist, if not blasphemously, titled book, "DNA of God?"[DG99]. In the mid-1980s Garza-Valdes discovered that some Mayan jade artifacts had a lustrous "bioplastic" coating caused by a rock fungus, Lichenothelia[GV98, 13-19]. But Lichenothelia are "borderline lichens" as algal cells are associated with them[ML12]. A lichen is a fungus in a symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic cyanobacteria, from which it derives its energy[LNW]. So evidently Lichenothelia could not survive on exposed rock surfaces separately as a fungus. In 1991 Garza-Valdes had one of his Mayan jade artifacts radiocarbon dated by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory and its radiocarbon date was 1535 ±240 years[GV98, 18]. This was too recent as the Mayan culture flourished between AD 200-900[GV98, 11]. So Garza-Valdez assumed that the Lichenothelia "bioplastic coating" contained new carbon which caused the jade artifact to carbon-date too young[GV98, 18-19]. Years before, Garza-Valdez does not say when, he came to believe that the Shroud was Jesus'[GV98, 4-5]. But it was not a strong belief so when in 1988 the Shroud was radiocarbon dated 1260-1390, Garza Valdes was surprised but not shocked[GV98, 20-21]. Garza Valdes then formed the absurd hypothesis that the rock fungus, Lichenothelia, was living on the linen Shroud and was responsible for its 1260-1390 radiocarbon date[GV98, 21-22]! In April 1993 STURP chemist Alan D. Adler (1931-2000) gave Garza Valdes a poor quality sticky tape Shroud sample which originally belonged to another STURP chemist, Ray Rogers (1927–2005). Looking through a microscope Garza-Valdes deluded himself that all the blood on the Shroud sample "had been completely replaced by fungi and bacteria"[GV98, 21]! To cut a long story short, in 1999 Adler delivered a devastating critique of Garza-Valdes' "bioplastic coating" claim:

"In `The DNA of God?' Garza-Valdez makes a large number of extravagant claims, many of them self-contradictory, at odds with accepted Shroud scientific literature, or at odds with basic accepted biochemical, chemical, or physical knowledge ... His … contention is that the entire cloth is more or less covered by a bioplastic coating deposited by a novel microbe [sic] that he himself has discovered in the Shroud samples in his possession. He claims this bioplastic has corrupted the radiocarbon date and even suggests that the microbes may be responsible for creating the body image [55-57] ... Are we to take seriously the notion that such microbial growth could produce the VP-8 characteristic? It should be noted that to corrupt the observed radiodate from a first century date to that reported [1260-1390] requires about a 50% increase in the C14 mole fraction. This is a prodigious amount of bacterial metabolism. Even if we ignore the Second Law of Thermodynamics and only satisfy the First Law, where does all this energy for growth come from? Are the organisms photosynthetic? Where does the mass come from? Does this microorganism fix the nitrogen from air as required for its growth and metabolism? Where does it get its sulfur, phosphorus, and minerals from and to where have they disappeared ... It seems that his evidence for large amounts is based on what he sees in a microscope. Looking at his micrographs, however, gives us pause for new concerns. He shows us a magnified picture of the weave of the whole cloth and says see how shiny it is — bioplastic coated. Unfortunately, he seems to be unaware that all linen looks like this. It is called luster and it is one of the characteristics by which linen is distinguished from other fabrics. For many of the pictures … a question arises as to whether one is really seeing … only diffraction artifacts, as the smaller objects in the field show pronounced diffraction rings, indicating that the field is simply out of focus. His work lacks hard convincing quantitative evidence on which one can judge the merit of his claims …"[AA99, 108-109].
Garza Valdes even rules out the resurrection of Jesus as an explanation of the Shroudman's image and will only accept a fully naturalistic explanation[GV98, 55]. Which makes me question whether Garza Valdes believed in Jesus' resurrection and was a Christian!

1999b 18-20 June. The Shroud of Turin Center of Richmond, Virginia, hosts the Richmond Conference, an international Shroud meeting with the theme "Multidisciplinary Investigation of an Enigma." The focus of the meeting is new research and sindonologists from around the world attend[WI96a].

1999c August. An article titled, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin" by Avinoam Danin, Uri Baruch and Alan and Mary Whanger is published by the Missouri Botanical Garden Press, a highly respected international botanical scientific press. Not only does the article document the pollen evidence they discovered on the Shroud in detail, but it also presents their discovery of actual flower images on the cloth[WI96a]. In the book Danin makes a similar point to one above, "This assemblage of Z. dumosum and ... Gundelia tournefortii, Cistus creticus, and Capparis aegyptia occurs in only one rather small spot on earth ... the vicinity of Jerusalem":

"The physical location of the bouquet containing Zygophyllum dumosum appears on the body image's upper chest ... The chronological significance of Z. dumosum in the phenologic stage of bloom seen on the Shroud (it has a flower and two kinds of leaves) is that it was cut between the months of December and April (in the context of the Judean Desert). This is the particular season when both leaf types and flowers are found together on the plant. The geographical implications of Z. dumosum are significant beyond that of other species associated with the Shroud because the plant is endemic [see above]. Zygophyllum dumosum grows only in Israel, Sinai, and a small area of Jordan [see above]. This assemblage of Z. dumosum and additional species such as Gundelia tournefortii, Cistus creticus, and Capparis aegyptia occurs in only one rather small spot on earth, this being the Judean mountains and the Judean Desert of Israel, in the vicinity of Jerusalem[DA99, 18]

1999d 5 September. Archbishop Severino Poletto (r. 1999-2010), becomes the new Archbishop of Turin and Pontifical Custodian of the Shroud, following the resignation in June 1999 of Cardinal Saldarini due to health problems[GV01, 155; WI96a].

1999e October (assumed). The Conservation Committee (see above and above), becomes the Commission for Conservation. The names of the members of the Commission are published. They include: Monsignor Giuseppe Ghibert; Alan Adler-chemist; Pierluigi Baima-Bollone-forensics specialist; Bruno Barberis-mathematician; Karlheinz Dietz-historian; Methchild Flury-Lemberg-Swiss textile expert and Silvano Scannerini-microbiologist. Adler, the only member of the original STURP team on the Commission, died suddenly in June 2000. So, scientists were in a minority on the Commission and only one of the original members remained on it, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg[OM10, 264-265].

2000a 2-5 March. An International Symposium on the Shroud called "The Turin Shroud: Past, Present and Future," is held at the Villa Gualino in Turin, Italy. The attendees include noted sindonologists from around the world like Alan Adler, John Jackson, Dr. Alan Whanger and Ian Wilson[WI96a]. The first speaker was Mechthild Flury-Lemberg (1929-). In preparing the Shroud for the 1998 Exposition (see ), she removed the blue surround that had been sewed on in 1868 by Princess Maria Clotilde of Savoy (1843-1911) [WI98, 97], enabling an accurate calculation of the Shoud's dimensions as 437 cm long by 111 cm wide[WI00] or 14ft 4in. by 3ft 8in. Next Flury-Lemberg explained the origin of the sidestrip (see "Sidestrip #5" and "Selvedge #6"). Looms in antiquity, particularly those in Egypt, could be up to 3.5

[Above (enlarge)[See 11Sep15]: Flury-Lemberg's explanation of how the cloth from which the Shroud came was originally woven much wider than the Shroud. Then the cloth was cut lengthwise and the two outer pieces bordered by the selvedge (shaded) were joined together by a seam to form the Shroud cloth[WI10, 73].]

metres wide, enabling them to turn out continuous lengths of cloth far longer and wider than the Shroud. The side-strip at the time of its manufacture formed part of a much wider cloth which was then cut lengthwise into four pieces, one narrow, this latter being the side-strip, which retains selvedge along its length, just as does its opposite number. With the central section removed, the wide and narrow pieces were very expertly joined by a seam to form the Shroud as we know it today[WI00]. Finally, Flury-Lemberg reported that the Shroud's hem (top and bottom) and the seam joining the sidestrip and the main body of the Shroud (see selvedge (far left), sidestrip (left), seam (centre left), hem (bottom centre) and main body of the Shroud (right), had an

[Right: enlarge: Sketch of unusual stitching found on cloth fragments at the first-century Jewish fortress of Masada[WI10, 74], which is "identical to that found on the Shroud and nowhere else"[DT12, 109].]

unusual type of stitching, nearly invisible on one side, and closely resembling that of ancient Jewish textiles as found at Masada, the Jewish fortress that was overthrown by the Romans in AD 73-74, never to be occupied again. This is further evidence against the 1230-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud, because how could, and why would, a medieval forger include first-century stitching that is nearly invisible? Flury-Lemberg told the Sunday Times, "In my opinion the Shroud is not a mediaeval fake. The parallels I have found indicate that it could have existed at the same time as Jesus Christ and in what is now Israel"[WI00]!

2000b 12 August 12 to 22 October. A ten week public exhibition of the Shroud is held in Turin to commemorate the Jubilee anniversary of the birth of Jesus. It marks the fifth such exposition of the Shroud since it was first photographed in 1898 and modern science took an interest in the cloth. It also has the distinction of being the longest ever public exhibition in recorded Shroud history[WI96a].

2000c 27-29 August. A major International Shroud Symposium, called "Sindone 2000," is held in Orvieto, Italy. Papers presented at the symposium that are online include: A. Acetta: "Nuclear Medicine and Its Relevance to the Shroud of Turin"; J. Marino, M.S. Benford: "Evidence for the Skewing of the C-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin Due to Repairs" & B. Schwortz: "Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory".

2000d 22 October. Archbishop of Turin Severino Poletto officially closes the longest Shroud Exhibition in history and announces the next planned public exhibition will occur during the next Holy Year, in 2025[WI96a]. I hope to see the Shroud in 2025, and to publish my book in conjunction with that 2025 exposition. But as far as I am aware there has been no official confirmation of that date.

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]

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Posted 21 March 2023. Updated 13 May 2023.