Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!: #8 Bears the faint image, front and back, head to head, of a naked man

This is part #8 "Bears the faint image, front and back, head to head, of a naked man" which is part of my series, "Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!." The series is based on a PowerPoint presentation that I am preparing. The previous post in this series was part #7 "Kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578." For more information about this series, see parts "#1 Title Page" and "#2 Contents" .

[Click on the above image to enlarge it.]

Here are some quotes in date order (oldest first) which serve as references to the points I make in the PowerPoint slide:

"FOR MORE than half a century, scholars in the most divergent fields have been at loggerheads over the authenticity of what is commonly called the Shroud of Turin. An immense literature both pro and con has grown up over the decades. The Cloth in question is a piece of linen, 171 inches long by 43¼ inches wide (4.36 by 1.10 m.), preserved in a chapel of the cathedral of Turin. The Cloth today is marred by numerous burn marks and water stains, sustained in 1532, during a fire in the castle chapel of Chambéry. But over and above these, it has peculiar markings of its own-the frontal and dorsal image of a full grown man." (Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, p.1. Emphasis original).

"There are marks on the Turin Shroud. Some (the most obvious) are accidental and easily explained. Other are remedial and present no problem. But the central markings seem to be intentional and baffle all natural explanation. The accidental marks are burns and singes caused by molten silver in a fire which broke out in the Sainte-Chapelle at Chambéry on the night of 3-4, December 1532. The remedial marks are triangular linen patches applied to the worst of these burns by the Poor Clares of Sainte-Claire-en-Ville in April 1534. But the marks down the centre of the Shroud's length are mysterious in the extreme. Quite what they are, or how they were caused, no one can honestly say, least of all the scientists who have examined therm. They are not marks caused by paint or any pigment. They have not penetrated the linen fibres, as paint would have done, nor have they insinuated themselves between the fibres, nor do they appear on the back of the cloth. These marks have shape and figure. At first sight they might suggest two ghostly brass-rubbings of some medieval knight bereft of armour. On closer inspection they are seen faintly but perceptibly to represent the naked body - both back and front - of a mature bearded male with long hair who would have stood about 5 feet 11 inches [178 cms] tall and weighed in the region of 12½ stone, or 175 pounds [79.5 kgs]. It appears that he has been laid supine on one half of the cloth, while the other half has been doubled back to cover him from face to feet, so that the two life-size images lie head to head down the centre of the Shroud." (McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud ," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, pp.22-23).

"The Turin Shroud is a linen cloth the color of old ivory measuring 4.4 by 1.1 m. It bears the faint front and back, head to head, imprint of a naked man. This remarkable image depicts all the stigmata of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. As a result, it is thought by many to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus. The shroud's known history dates back to about the year 1357 when it was displayed in a church in Lirey, France. The shroud, or some version of it, eventually passed into the hands of the House of Savoy. The shroud was stored in a silver chest in a chapel in Chambery, France and in 1532 a fire raged through the chapel. Part of the chest melted and gouts of molten silver burned through the shroud, fortunately outside the image, in a symmetric fashion due to the way it was folded in the chest. The shroud was doused with water before further damage could occur and the burn holes were later patched. In 1578 the seat of the House of Savoy was moved to Turin, Italy and the shroud moved with it. In 1983 the last king of Italy, Umberto II, a member of the House of Savoy, willed the shroud to the Vatican. It is presently stored in a silver reliquary in a glass case behind the main altar of the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Turin, under the custody of the Archbishop of Turin." (Gove, H.E., Mattingly, S.J., David, A.R. & L.A. Garza-Valdes, 1997, "A problematic source of organic contamination of linen," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research - Section B, pp.504-507, p.504. My emphasis).

"In November 1973, while I was living in Bristol, England, a call came through from the United States alerting me that for the first time in forty years the Shroud was to be brought out for public gaze from its then normal repository in the Royal Chapel. It was to be shown on Italian television, and there was also to be an unprecedented opportunity for journalists and interested individuals such as myself to view the cloth at first hand. ... By lunch-time on 22 November I found myself, with some thirty others, being given a brief preliminary introduction by Turin's then archbishop, Cardinal Michele Pellegrino. The group was escorted up a grand marble staircase of Turin's Royal Palace and into a huge, frescoed hall, the Hall of the Swiss. At the far end of this the Shroud hung upright in a simple oak frame, its fourteen- foot length brilliantly illuminated by high-powered television lights. ... It did not look at all as I had expected. Everything that I knew of the Shroud up to this point - and I thought I knew quite a lot - had been based on black-and-white photographs that, whether they are in positive or negative, make it look a lot darker than it really is ... To see the original's faintness and subtlety was really quite breath-taking. Framed by the burns and patches from the other fire in which the Shroud came perilously close to destruction - a similarly ruinous chapel blaze while it was being kept at Chambéry in 1532 - there was the familiar `body image' that to me was the Shroud's central mystery. If you stood back you could make it out readily enough: a bearded face, a pronounced chest, crossed hands, legs side by side, together with, as one looked up at the back-of-the-body image, a long rope of hair, taut shoulders and buttocks, and soles of the feet. But the image colour was the subtlest yellow sepia, and as you moved in closer to anything like touching distance .. it seemed virtually to disappear like mist. Because of the lack of outline and the minimum contrast to the ivory-coloured background, it became well-nigh impossible to `see' whatever detail you were trying to look at without stepping some distance back again. To me, as a practising life-painter and an enthusiast of art history, it seemed absolutely impossible that any artist-faker could have created an image of this kind, certainly not one of centuries ago. The succeeding day and a half during which I was allowed some eight hours of further direct examination served to reaffirm my conviction, despite all the obvious rational objections, that this cloth simply had to be genuine." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.3-4. Emphasis original).

"All around the forehead of the face can be discerned overlying trickles in a distinctively redder colour. Although the only logical interpretation of these trickles is as blood stains, their colour under artificial lighting is more magenta than is normally associated with blood which is even a day old, let alone twenty centuries. In room interior daylight ... they can appear more maroon, deepening in places where the trickling of droplets has terminated. In this same colour there is also a large `blood' flow overlying the right-hand side of the figure's chest. More, similar-coloured `blood' trickles down the figure's forearms, one larger, distinctively V -shaped stain at the one visible wrist seemingly indicating the source of this. In the `body' image colour, bony-looking hands are very clearly discernible crossed over the genitals region. And yet more `blood' is apparent at the cloth's far left end, where the figure's feet might be construed to have been. ... When we turn our attention to the right-hand half of the cloth there are several more `blood' trickles in the back-of-the-head area, resembling those earlier noted on the forehead. These trickles overlie a head-shaped `body' image suggestive of long hair, together with what seemed ... to be an unbound pigtail lying in parallel with the spine ... Again in the `body' image coloration, there is the impression of shoulders that became peppered with faint but distinctively regular-size marks, each having a characteristic dumb-bell shape. In the `blood' colour a chain-like complex of rivulets runs across what would appear to be the small of the figure's back, while a scattering of more 'body'-coloured dumb-bells can be discerned on faintly indicated buttocks. Limbs are similarly vaguely indicated in the `body' image colour, the back of the figure's upper or left-hand leg seemingly slightly more strongly imprinted than its partner. At the cloth's far right we can make out the surprisingly well-defined sole of a foot, with its `body' image colour almost completely covered over with heel-to-toe `blood'. From the heel/ankle area a rill of more `blood' seems to have spilled sideways directly onto the cloth, arguably as the figure was laid in it, while a complex of further `bloodstains', as from a second foot, is also evident, though rather less clearly delineated. Yet, although this enigmatic `body and blood' imprint is the Shroud's very raison d'etre ... it is by no means its most conspicuous feature. That most doubtful `honour' must instead go to two lines of brownish marks and add-on patches that each run the length of the cloth transversely, only just beyond the sides of the two head-to-head figure imprints, thereby effectively framing these. These brownish marks are scorches from a fire in December 1532, when the Shroud was being kept in the Savoys' then capital of Chambéry, high in what are now the French Alps. As the cloth lay in an ornate silver casket, secure behind a multi-locked iron grille, the Savoys' Sainte Chapelle burst into flames, leaving no time for the clergy to obtain the keys from the various worthies holding them. Although a hastily summoned blacksmith managed to prise the grille open in the nick of time, the Shroud's casket was found to have melted in the heat. Inside the cloth had been stored away folded up in forty-eight folds, and upon its being opened up a drop of molten silver fell on one corner, causing it to burst into flame, and necessitating a hurried dousing with water. Although the Shroud had not been destroyed, as some rumoured at the time, it was undeniably seriously scarred and blemished with a sorry patchwork of burn-holes, scorchmarks and water-stains." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.19-22).

"The Shroud of Turin ... is a sheet of linen fourteen feet six inches long by three feet nine inches wide [442.5 cm x 113.7 cm], these dimensions being a broad approximation because of two missing corners. Most of those who have had the opportunity to view it close up describe its general background coloration as ivory. Even so, one of the first surprises on any viewing is just how clean the fabric appears for an object theoretically two thousand years old. ... Another surprise is the Shroud's general state of repair. Any examination in close-up clearly reveals the cloth's tight herringbone weave, and how fundamentally strong it remains, with no sign of disintegration. Yet the texture is not at all coarse in the manner of sailcloth or sacking. Instead, as was possible to determine with a surreptitious touch during the 1973 showing, it has the basic lightness of a modern-day linen bed- sheet. But what principally draws the eye during any direct viewing is the Shroud's famous and all-important double image. Like the subtlest of shadows, cast on the cloth can be seen faint imprints of the back and front of the body of a man with long hair and a beard. He seems to be quite naked, bloodstained in places, and laid out in the attitude of death. To those unfamiliar with the Shroud, the head-to-head arrangement of the two imprints ... can only appear most curious without some explanation of the basic theory behind how they seem to have been formed. First the body the Shroud wrapped was laid on one half of the cloth, thereby creating the back-of- the-body imprint; the remaining half of the cloth was then drawn over the head and down to the feet, creating the front-of-the-body imprint. Given a corpse soaked in sweat and blood, each side of the body thereby acted like some kind of printing plate. Yet another of the surprises arising from viewing the Shroud directly rather than via a photograph is discovering just how pale and subtle the two body imprints appear. First-hand assessments of their colouring range from straw-yellow to sepia, much depending on the prevailing light conditions. Nevertheless there is universal agreement on their most enigmatic property: the closer one tries to examine them, the more they seem to melt like mist." (Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.6-7, 311n1).

The next post in this series is part #9, "The man has wounds and bloodstains matching the Gospels' description of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ."

Stephen E. Jones, BSc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign Jesus is Jehovah!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!: #7 Kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578

This is part #7, "Kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578" which is part of of my series, "Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!," which is based on a PowerPoint presentation that I am preparing. The previous post in this series was part #6, "An old, yellowed, rectangular, linen sheet about 4.4 x 1.1 metres." For more information about this series, see parts "#1 Title Page" and "#2 Contents" .

[Click on the above image to enlarge it.]

Here are some more quotes, in chronological order (earliest first), which mention the Shroud being kept in in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578, i.e. over 430 years, except for comparatively brief periods, e.g. when it was moved to a secret location southern Italy, later revealed to be the Abbey of Montevergine, in Avelino, Italy:

"What is the Shroud of Turin? The Shroud of Turin is a large piece of linen cloth (14 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 7 inches) which is preserved today in a chapel attached to the cathedral in Turin, Italy. It is called the Shroud be cause tradition says that the Body of Christ was wrapped in this cloth at the time of His burial. It is called the Shroud of Turin because since 1578 the Shroud has been preserved in Turin. Historians trace the cloth back to France where in 1389 it was the subject of a controversy between the Canons of the Cathedral at Lirey and the Bishop of Troyes. The Canons claimed that it was the Burial Cloth of Christ, while the Bishop said that the image on the cloth was a painting. .... From May 25th to June 2nd, 1898 the Shroud was displayed publicly in the Cathedral at Turin. Permission was sought to photograph the cloth for the first time ... When permission was granted, Secondo Pia was chosen to take the photograph. ... The resulting photograph was anything but routine. .... The image on the glass plate was not negative, but positive! ... the only possible explanation for the positive image was that the image on the cloth ... was itself a negative image! But how could this be? Photography was less than a hundred years old. This cloth was certainly five hundred years. It existed long before anyone knew what a negative image was. When Pia's discovery was reported in scientific journals, scientists became curious about the origin of this `negative' image which ante-dated photography by several hundred years. In Paris at the Sorbonne University under the direction of Dr. Paul Vignon a group of scientists studied the glass plates provided by Secondo Pia. The group included ... Dr. Yves Delage, a member of the French Academy of Science and, incidentally, a professed agnostic. After an intensive investigation of eighteen months the scientists were convinced of the authenticity of the Shroud, and they believed that they had discovered a process by which the imprints could have been formed (Vignon's vaporograph theory). On April 12, 1902, Delage presented a report to the French Academy of Science. Delage rejected categorically the possibility that the image had been painted. All evidence indicated that the image was actually the imprint of a human corpse. Accepting the Gospels as historical records, Delage the agnostic, went one step further and on purely scientific and circumstantial evidence accepted the identification of the Man of the Shroud as Christ of the Gospels." (Otterbein, A.J., "Introduction," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., 1977, "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, pp.3-4).

"Evasively was also the way Cardinal Fossati had answered the Nazis' repeated request, during World War II, to see the shroud. Although they said they wanted to view it for scholarly and devotional purposes, the cardinal had already spirited the shroud from its resting place over the altar in the shroud chapel to a stone fortress overlooking Avellino, 140 miles south of Rome. Built in the twelfth century and accessible only by a dirt road, the building now was the Benedictine monastery of Monte Vergine. When the shroud arrived, it was placed in a wooden box, sealed, and placed under the main altar in the chapel. If the monastery were bombed, the monks could rush it to a cave in the heart of the mountain. In 1946, in gratitude for their preserving the shroud while war raged up and down the country, Cardinal Fossati gave the monks and several invited guests a private showing of the shroud." (Wilcox, R.K., 1977, "Shroud," Macmillan: New York NY, p.18).

"Except for the duration of the Second World War (when it was hidden high up in the Southern Italian Province of Avellino in the crypt of the Abbey of Montevergine ... the Shroud has remained for the last four hundred years at Turin. It was brought there from Chambéry in September 1578 (hence its exposition throughout the month of September 1978 and the date of the publication of this book), ostensibly to shorten the journey of the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, St Charles Borromeo (1538-84), who wished to venerate it, but more probably as part of a political move on the part of its owner, Duke Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy (1528-80), who was planning to transfer his capital from Chambéry to Turin. Since 1694 it has been preserved in a chapel specially built for it between the apse of the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista and the Royal Palace, known as both the Cappella Reale and the Cappella della Santa Sindone. This shrine is the work of the Theatine architect, Guarino Guarini of Modena (1624-83), and was commissioned by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II (1666-1732), the first King of Sardinia. The bold dome of this impressive black marble rotonda is 195 feet high, and soars beyond the top of most internal photographs. The Shroud - when not exposed - is kept rolled up round a pole inside a silvered wooden reliquary behind a grille above the altar. Although jealously guarded and protected by asbestos, it has been the target of pyromania even in this decade: on 1, October 1972 some acrobatic Herostratus climbed over the palace roof, broke into Guarini's chapel through the dome and tried to set fire to Christendom's most precious relic, repeating his gesture twenty days later." (McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, pp.23-24).

"WHAT IS THE HOLY SHROUD? The Holy Shroud of Turin is a piece of cloth measuring 14'3" by 3'7" which bears an image of a man laid out in death. The Shroud is kept today in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John in Turin, Italy. It is regarded by many millions of people as the genuine burial shroud of Jesus Christ. Its documented existence takes us back over 600 years and there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence to indicate its continuous existence back to the time of Christ 2,000 years ago in Palestine. Since the end of the nineteenth century an enormous amount of scientific investigation has been carried out on the Shroud and on photographs of it whose enigmatic properties have baffled highly acclaimed scientists in many parts of the world." (Morgan, R., 1983, "Shroud Guide," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, p.7. Emphasis original).

"What is the Shroud of Turin? ... The Shroud, often called the `Holy Shroud,' is most commonly referred to as the Shroud of Turin because it has been physically located in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy for over 400 years. This precious cloth is considered by millions of Christians throughout the world to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ - a direct witness to His passion, death and resurrection 2,000 years ago. The Shroud is the holiest relic in Christianity. Physically, the Shroud is a remarkably well-preserved oblong piece of linen cloth 14'3" long (4.36 meters) and 3'7" wide (1.1 meters), weighing approximately 5 1/2 lbs. (2.45 kgs.). The linen fibers are woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill with a Z-twist and consist of a fairly heavy yarn (34/100 of a millimeter thick) of Near Eastern or Mediterranean basin flax. Down the left side of the Shroud is a border approximately 3 1/2 inches wide (8 centimeters from the edge) running the full length of the linen cloth. Once thought to be a side-strip sewn onto the main cloth, it has now been determined to be a selvedge, that is, a piece of cloth woven into the main cloth so that it will not unravel. It is done in such a manner as to require no hem. The reason for adding the selvedge is not known for certain. However, historian and renowned English sindonologist Ian Wilson speculates that the selvedge may have been added at a later date perhaps to center the image on the cloth for viewing. He considers this the most logical explanation and points out that the selvedge was added at the same time as the fringe and gold covering, the overall purpose being to transform the cloth from a shroud to what seems to have been some sort of `portrait.'" (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.1-2. Emphasis original).

"The burial cloth known today as the Shroud of Turin has been kept in the city of Turin (Torino), Italy, since 1578. In 1694, the Shroud was placed in a special chapel within the Italian cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Except for a brief period during World War II when the cloth was moved elsewhere for safety, the Shroud remained in this cathedral until the night of April 11, 1997, when a raging fire necessitated its removal. The Shroud was not damaged, and was kept elsewhere in the city until again placed in the cathedral for public display from April 18 through June 14, 1998 (Van Biema, 1998)." (Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, 1999, p.3).

"Emmanuel Philibert, the Duke of Savoy, brought the Shroud to Turin, Italy on September 14, 1578. One of the principal reasons for doing so was so that St. Charles Borromeo might venerate it. The saint had been the first resident archbishop of Milan in more than eighty years. ... The Shroud was never returned to Chambery and was exposed for veneration each year on the 4th of May in front of the Palazzo Madama. ... On June 1, 1694, the Shroud was placed in a chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist designed by the abbot, Guarino Guarini. Except for a brief period during World War II, it has been kept there ever since. In 1939, Cardinal Maurilio Fossati, Archbishop of Turin, secretly moved the Shroud for safekeeping to the Benedictine Abbey of Montevergine located at Avellino, about 140 miles south of Rome. There it remained until it was returned to Turin in 1946. That year the last Duke of Savoy, King Umberto II, was deposed. He died in Geneva on March 18, 1983. In his will he bequeathed the Shroud to the Holy See, but the Pope left the relic in the custodial care of the Archbishop of Turin." (Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.18-20).

"In 1453 Marguerite de Charny, the last descendant of the family, gave custody of the Shroud to Anna di Lusignano, the wife of Duke Lodovico of Savoy, who transferred it to Chambery, then Capital of Savoy. Here, in the `Sainte Chapelle' during the night of 4 December 1532, the Shroud suffered very severe damage as a result of a fierce fire; the damage caused, even though lovingly repaired by the Poor Clares, is still evident. In 1578, in order to ease the exhausting pilgrimage for St Charles Borromeo, who was travelling on foot and fasting to Chambery, Duke Emanuel Philibert moved the Shroud to Turin, his new capital. Since 1694, the Shroud has been preserved in the Chapel of the same name built between the Cathedral and the Royal Palace, to a design by the Theatine father and architect, Guarino Guarini. Venerated beneath the famous dome, it is contained in an ornate urn, the three keys to which are separately in the possession of the Custodian, the Archbishop, and the Proprietor. The latter, by virtue of the will of Umberto (Humbert) of Savoy, the last king of Italy, is now, since 1983, the Holy Father himself. The Shroud, stretched and stitched on to a backing of Holland canvas, has been preserved rolled up for its entire length around a wooden cylinder.Only on occasions associated with the Church or the history of the House of Savoy was the Shroud exposed for the viewing of the faithful. The relic has thus never left Turin, a city with which it has such deep associations, except that in 1706, during the siege by the French, it was taken for safe-keeping to Genoa, while in the terrible years of the Second World War, after a stay in the Quirinale, it was hidden in the Benedictine Monastery of Montevergine (Avellino)." (Cassanelli, A. , 2002, "The Holy Shroud," Williams, B., transl., Gracewing: Leominster UK, p.14).

"The Fire of 1997 Before midnight on 11 April, in the Guarini Royal Chapel of the Holy Shroud adjoining the Turin Cathedral, a fire broke out, the flames quickly engulfing the Chapel. The seventeenth-century altar was set ablaze, with debris raining down upon it from the high dome above. Because of restoration work that had been going on in the Chapel, including rewiring, the fire alarms had been switched off and there was no night watchman on duty. Fortunately, the Shroud, in its silver casket, had been removed earlier from its place above the elaborate Bertola altar and placed in a temporary display case in the Cathedral, behind the main altar. When the fire brigade arrived at the scene and burst into the Cathedral, the nave was filled with smoke billowing in from the Chapel entrance. As almost 200 firemen set about quenching the blaze, one of them rushed to the Shroud's display case and flailed a sledgehammer at its 4 centimetre-thick toughened glass panel. At great personal risk, fireman Mario Tematore smashed a hole in the glass - even though it was reputedly unbreakable. He withdrew the Shroud's 1.4 metre-long silver casket and rushed it to safety. .... The Guarini Chapel, totally guttered by fire, was left a smoldering, blackened ruin, and its entry wall adjoining the rear of the Cathedral was extensively damaged. ... Some days later, with the Shroud casket safely in the Cardinal's residence, it was opened and the cloth was removed and rolled onto a long table for examination. To the relief of all persons present, it had survived unharmed. In the aftermath of the fire ... the Shroud ... was transferred into a new, high-tech, bullet-proof glass conservation case, weighing 3 tons .... In an air-conditioned atmosphere of nitrogen and the inert argon gas, specially created for the cloth's protection, the Shroud was stretched out full length. The case was placed behind the cathedral's high altar and was surrounded by black curtaining." (Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, pp.175-177, 179. Emphasis original).

The next post in this series is part #8 "Bears the faint image, front and back, head to head, of a naked man."

Stephen E. Jones, BSc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign Jesus is Jehovah!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Earlier issues of the BSTS Newsletter now online

I have been scanning old issues of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter (from issues #54, then #42 backwards) which Ian Wilson loaned me for that purpose.

[Right (click to enlarge): My scan of the front cover of the BSTS Newsletter, issue 42, January 1996.]

And then, with Wilson supplying photos and art-work from his original copy masters, sending them to Barrie Schwortz for his final editing, conversion to PDF, and adding them to his The Shroud of Turin website.

In his latest Shroud.com update, Schwortz writes:

"Earlier Issues of the BSTS Newsletter Now Online
As most of you know, we have been reprinting the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS) Newsletter on this website since we first went online in 1996. Of course, we only reprinted each current issue once it was published, so the 42 earlier issues of the newsletter previous to 1996 were not available online. However, that is all changing thanks to Stephen E. Jones, BSTS member living in Australia. Stephen has begun the major task of scanning and using optical character recognition to archive the earlier issues and is working backwards from Issues #42 through #1. By using optical character recognition after scanning, the resulting pdf files that we publish are completely searchable by the individual reader as well as by major search engines. In today's update, we are including Issue #54, which was previously not on the site, along with Issues #42, 41 and 40. My thanks not only to Stephen, but also to Ian Wilson, former BSTS Newsletter editor, who has helped in reviewing the earlier issues and making high quality cover art available to us.

In the next website update we will include at least five more back issues (#35-39) and will continue to do so until the entire archive is completed and online (or Stephen throws in the towel). You will also notice some other changes to the BSTS page, including the addition of a Pick an Issue navigator bar, which allows you to quickly pick the specific issue you wish to view by issue number. My sincerest thanks to Stephen and Ian for their willingness to take up this time consuming but important work, from which we will all benefit. Of course, we will continue to publish the latest issues as we always have, so watch for Issue #74 in our January 21, 2012 update."

I emailed Barrie Schwortz (cc. Ian Wilson) yesterday:

"It's great to see the `missing' BSTS Newsletters finally being webbed! Thanks for doing it.

I have been reading Ian's old Newsletters from #1 forward and am up to #24 of January 1990. I have `lived through' the BSTS' dark days following the 1988-89 carbon-dating of the Shroud as `medieval'. It is fascinating reading and I am looking forward to the day when those immediately pre- and post-carbon dating issues are webbed."

Having read those old post-carbon dating BSTS Newsletters, I feel I must pay tribute to Ian Wilson, who like a good Captain, remained at the helm of the apparently sinking (or even sunk) ship Shroud, first leading the damage control, and then spearheaded the counter-attack, so that today, all but the `true believers' in the Shroud's inauthenticity and the blissfully ignorant, at least doubt, if not reject, the 1989 claim in Nature that:

"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich. As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated. The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval." (Damon, P.E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, No. 6208, 16th February, 1989, pp.611-615. My emphasis).

Here is a quote from a 1988 BSTS Newsletter, in response to pervasive leaks that the Shroud had been carbon-dated to the 14th century, where Wilson coined the brilliant metaphor of "the captain of an Atlantic-crossing jumbo Jet" who does not, having "spotting that his fuel gauges suddenly read empty, immediately ... ditch his aircraft in the sea without a few further checks":

"But if there was one feature of the British Museum press conference that particularly astonished, and frankly annoyed me, it was Professor Hall's flat assertion, on the basis merely of the averaged `1260-1390 AD' dates quoted (scientific publication of details will follow in another few months), that the carbon dates have overwhelmingly proved the Shroud's fraudulence. Effectively we are supposed to believe that on the basis of one single branch of science, nuclear physics (and all involved with the carbon dating, including Gonella and Tite, were physicists), every other scientific and historical contribution to the subject must now be tossed aside as totally worthless. As Hall admitted, it did not matter to him that there remained no clear explanation for how some hypothetical forger created the Shroud's image. The laboratories' instruments had spoken, and that was it. Now although a mere arts graduate, I have always understood that to be truly scientific, any hypothesis needs to be checked from at least two different directions. For instance we do not expect the captain of an Atlantic-crossing jumbo Jet, spotting that his fuel gauges suddenly read empty, immediately to ditch his aircraft in the sea without a few further checks. In the case of the Shroud it may be argued that just such further checks were provided by the `blind' control samples supplied by the British Museum. The fact that the laboratories agreed on the datings of these latter as well as on the Shroud samples has seemed to the media effectively the final proof positive that the Shroud really does date from the fourteenth century. To plead anything else is, as BBC Science Correspondent James Wilkinson put it to me, `clutching at straws'." (Ian Wilson, "The Carbon Dating Results: Is this the End?", BSTS Newsletter 20, October 1988, pp.2-10, p.4).

There are rich veins of gold in those old BSTS Newsletters, which are well worth reading. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to serve in this way the One whose image He graciously had imprinted on His burial shroud, and then preserved it for us these past ~2,000 years.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!: #6 An old, yellowed, rectangular, linen sheet about 4.4 x 1.1 metres

This is part #6 "An old, yellowed, rectangular, linen sheet about 4.4 x 1.1 metres," which is part of my PowerPoint presentation-based series, "Shroud of Turin: Burial sheet of Jesus!" The previous post in this series was part #5 "What is the Shroud of Turin?" See parts "#1 Title Page" and "#2 Contents" for more details.

[Click on the above image to enlarge it.]

Attached are quotes that expand on this topic in date order (oldest first):

"Before them was a long, narrow piece of cloth that had once been white, but now had the tone of old ivory. It was about fourteen feet in length and less than four feet wide. From one end to the other it presented a bewilderingly mottled appearance: a series of large and small patches, darkened areas, discolorations and brownish stains. The gaze of the onlookers immediately went to the stains: though vague and diffused, they gave an irresistible impression of a human body. On one half the length of the sheet could be dimly seen the front of the body, with head, arms, chest and legs discernible. On the other half, the back of the head and the broad expanse of shoulders tapering down to hips and legs were visible. The figures had no sharp outlines. Yet, somehow, the stains, fading here and darkening there, managed to convey the image of a man. Smears and trickles of a darker hue, like blood, marred the figure in places. The face was a grotesque thing, mask-like and expressionless. Owlish white spots indicated the position of the eyes. The nose was a dark line running down the middle of the face from arched brows, the mouth a small, dark blob beneath which stains seemed to form a beard. Separately, another stain straggled up from the level of the beard, over the head and down the other side of the face. Long hair." (Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, 1963, pp.7-8).

"... the Turin Shroud ... This length of ivory-coloured cloth measures 14 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 7 inches, or 4.36 metres by 1.10 metre. Its exact age has not yet been determined, but it is at least six hundred years old, and there is nothing in its fabric or weave to invalidate the claim that its manufacture is of the first century AD. From the purely textile angle it can be described as a three-to-one herring-bone twill, the material being linen with a small admixture of cotton (as the Belgian Professor Gilbert Raes reported in 1976 after his microscopic examination of carefully selected and extracted threads of it in his textile laboratory at Ghent University). The presence of cotton fibres in the weave is considered by experts to be conclusive in ruling out a European provenance for the fabric of the Shroud, since cotton was not grown or used in Europe in any possible epoch of the manufacture of this cloth. But it is entirely consonant with a Palestinian provenance, as the fibres are of the Gossypium Herbaceum variety which is cultivated in the Middle East. The total absence of wool in the Shroud's composition is instructive to anyone versed in the Mosaic Law with its prohibition of textile mixture, for Leviticus 19:19 commands: `Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.' The presence of even one wool fibre would have excluded this cloth from ever having been a Jewish burial shroud." (McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, pp.21-22).

"What is it pilgrims see when, during the seldom recurring expositions of the famous Relic, they flock by the thousand to the Cathedral of Turin? A long strip of yellowish cloth (14 feet 3 inches long and 3 feet 7 inches wide) variedly marked with stains, burns and patches, forms the great centre of attraction for those eager and reverent eyes. .... The spectators perceive two rather vague imprints of a human body in natural size, placed head to head, outlined in the centre of the linen. ... The two dark streaks that run parallel to the sides of the Cloth are the traces left by a fire which nearly destroyed the Relic at Chambéry [France] in 1532. At that time, the Shroud, folded eight times lengthwise and four times crosswise, was kept in a silver chest. When the chest was rescued from the flames, one side had already been partly melted. A corner of the folded Shroud was charred where a piece of the red-hot metal had fallen, and the scorching reproduced itself symmetrically through all the several layers of the Cloth. Other stains were made by water poured on to quench the fire. The mended portions are the work of the Chambéry nuns who used altar linen in repairing the precious Cloth. The burns, patches and water stains, and even the many creases on the Cloth, tend to divert the eye from what should be its great point of attraction: the two shadow-like images in the centre of the Shroud. On the fourteen-foot length of cloth it is not easy for the viewer to grasp and interpret their significance. Photography has made it possible for us to view the Shroud as a whole, at one glance and yet correctly, reducing that long expanse of cloth into small compass. Yet even when seen on photograph these images appear somewhat blurred and formless: they are the imprints of the Body of our Saviour. ... The reader ... I do not expect him to be impressed to any degree from his study of this picture. Perhaps he may even be disappointed. He may have already thought that those shadow-like imprints constitute no portrait of Jesus at all; that it takes no small effort of the imagination to see in those stains the traits of the Crucified One. This is all very true. The images of the Shroud are both meaningless and disappointing. The detail of the face as seen on the Shroud ... is even more disconcerting; it looks unnatural, expressionless, more like a mask than a face. It is certainly not a portrait. ... And rightly so, for on the Shroud the images are shown reversed in light and shade and position from what they are in reality. They are a perfect negative, and they look as meaningless and grotesque as would the picture of any one of us on a negative film. We know this because photography gave us the positive version of the Shroud's mysterious imprints, thus revealing to us the true nature and significance of those stains that make the Turin Shroud the most precious cloth in the world." (Rinaldi, P.M., 1978, "The Man in the Shroud," [1972], Futura: London, Revised, pp.25-27).

"The linen, although ivory-colored with age, was still surprisingly clean looking, even to the extent of a damasklike surface sheen. It was possible to study closely the herringbone weave of the linen. In the areas untouched by the ravages of history it was in remarkably good condition. Even when examined under a magnifying glass, the fiber showed no signs of disintegration. The texture was also surprising. Some writers have described it as 'coarse.' This is quite definitely not so. Although any handling was officially disapproved, the temptation was too great not to touch the linen gently when at close range. It was light and almost silky to the touch. The dimensions of the cloth are impressive: 14 feet 3 inches long by 3 feet 7 inches wide. It was created in a single piece, apart from a strip approximately 3½ inches wide running the length of the left-hand side and joined by a single seam. It is the imprint of the all-important `double image' that principally draws the eye. There, like a shadow cast on the cloth, is the faint imprint of the back and front of a powerfully built man with beard and long hair, laid out in the attitude of death. To anyone who has not seen a photograph of the Shroud before, the two figures could only appear most curious, until one understands the manner in which the image seems to have been formed-that the body was first laid on one end of the cloth, with the remaining half of the cloth then drawn over the head and down to the feet. The sixteenth-century Italian artist Clovio illustrated this beautifully in an aquatint of the Shroud in which, below the angel-borne cloth, he painted Joseph and Nicodemus wrapping Jesus in just such a manner after the descent from the cross. The astonishing aspect of seeing the Shroud itself rather than a photograph is discovering how pale and subtle the image appears. The color of the imprint can best be described as a pure sepia monochrome, and the closer one tries to examine it, the more it melts away like mist." (Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.21).

"Along these same lines has been a study of the shroud's dimensions as recently made by an expert in early Syriac, Ian Dickinson, from Canterbury, England. [Dickinson, I., "Preliminary Details of New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud: Measurement by the Cubit," Shroud News, April 1990, pp. 4-8] Curious at the shroud's, by British units of measurement, anomalous 14 foot 3 inch by 3 foot 7 inch overall size, Dickinson wondered if these dimensions might make more sense if converted to the cubit measure as prevailing in Jesus's time. Establishing that the first-century Jewish cubit was most likely to the Assyrian standard, reliably calculated at between 21.4 and 21.6 inches, Dickinson found that if he chose the lower of these measures there was an astonishing correlation, accurate to the nearest half-inch:

 Length of Turin shroud 14 feet 3 inches
 8 cubits at 21.4 inches 14 feet 3 inches
 Width of Turin shroud  3 feet 7 inches
 2 cubits at 21.4 inches 3 feet 7 inches

Such conformity to an exact 8 by 2 Jewish cubits is yet another piece of knowledge difficult to imagine of any medieval forger. It also correlates perfectly with the `doubled in four' arrangement by which we hypothesized the shroud to have been once folded and mounted as the `holy face' of Edessa, for the exposed facial area of this latter would have been an exact 1 by 2 Jewish cubits." (Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.181).

" The Turin Shroud is, in fact, a rectangular sheet, strong and solid, made of pure flax of a yellowish colour .... The Shroud is 4.36 metres long and 1.10 metres wide. Originally it was probably longer by about 30 centimetres; there are various reports of small fragments having been cut from the relic and then distributed to churches and monasteries. One of these relics is to be found in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. Perhaps concessions of pieces from the Shroud continued for years and it proves that the Shroud was an object of veneration even in much older times. The thickness of the cloth, about one third of a millimetre, is greater than that of cloth usually used to make covers for mattresses; this does not prevent the linen from being soft and easy to fold. The Shroud was woven in one whole piece in a diagonal weave shape of `three to one': the transversal thread of weft passes alternatively over three and under one of the longitudinal threads of the warp. This type of weave helps to guarantee its strength. The twill that runs along its length varies its inclination at every centimetre, giving the cloth its characteristic `herring-bone' aspect. A nearly 8 centimetre wide strip, incomplete at its extremities, forms part of the sheet on the topmost side. The missing pieces were 14 and 36 centimetres long. This side strip is made from the same twilled cloth of the Shroud, of which it originally formed part; in fact, the irregularities of the weave, clearly visible in the principal section, extend exactly to the side strip, as can be seen from the radiographies carried out in 1978 ..." (Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, pp.161-162).

"The `Holy Shroud' is a large, oblong linen cloth, of great but contested age, which is normally housed in a chapel built especially for it in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in the city of Turin, in northern Italy. It is displayed only on rare occasions, contained in a frame that shows the length of the cloth parallel to the ground. The cloth, marked by various blemishes and stains, measures fourteen feet three inches long and three feet seven inches wide - or, according to the measurement in use in the Middle East in the first century, eight cubits by two. [Wilson, I., "Holy Faces, Secret Places," Doubleday: London, 1991, p.181] Experts in the field of textiles have determined that the threads were hand-spun and the fabric hand-woven in what is known as a `three-to-one herringbone twill.' This was a type of weaving practiced in the Middle East at least as far back as two thousand years ago." (Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, p.11).

"The occasion of the Shroud being housed in this new case, immediately prior to the expositions of 1998, also saw the removal ... of a blue satin frame-type surround that had been sewn onto the Shroud in the nineteenth century, and its replacement by a new white cloth. This removal enabled the original cloth's dimensions to be measured rather more precisely than had been possible before, at 437 cm long by 111 cm wide. In describing its most salient features, we shall use terms such as `left', `right', `top' and `bottom' to refer to the mode in which it was displayed in 1998, that is landscape-wise, with the imprint of the front half of the `Christ' body ranged to the left, and the back half imprint ranged to the right ... This has the virtue that it is also the mode in which it has most commonly been displayed since as early as the 1350s ... When the Shroud is viewed in this `landscape' way the two `Christ body' imprints appear somewhat incongruously head to head. Yet, as was deduced by artist-copyists nearly four centuries ago, this is actually very readily explained. Whether the Shroud is authentic or a forgery, the theory behind the imprints' origination is that the `Christ' body was laid on the half of the cloth that now bears the `back' imprint, the other half of the cloth then being brought over the head and down to the feet, thereby creating the `front' imprint. Inevitably the more impressive of these two imprints is the left, or 'front-of-the-body' half, on which can be discerned a ghost-like front-facing face, complete with hair, nose, beard, moustache and eyebrows. The coloration of this and all related so-called `body' imprinting is so subtle and evanescent that it is extremely difficult to describe. `Sepia' was the term that I adopted following my 1973 viewing, but `straw-yellow' was preferred by the STURP scientists of 1978 ... But in any event the body image's prime characteristics are its lack of apparent substance (as from any pigment), also its failure to exhibit optically meaningful contours, and its imperceptible fading into the background colour of the natural cloth itself, without any defined edges.." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.18-19).

"THE Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth of ivory color measuring fourteen feet three inches long by three feet seven inches wide or eight cubits long by two cubits wide, according to first-century Jewish measurements. (A cubit is equivalent to 21.7 inches.) The cloth is made of a three-to-one herringbone weave with a `Z' twist. Parallel to one side of the cloth is sewn a six-inch-wide strip of the same weave pattern. It is generally believed that this piece was added to the Shroud in order to insert a rod to facilitate its exposition. The Shroud bears the frontal and dorsal image of a naked, crucified, bearded man, approximately five feet eleven inches tall, between the ages of 30-35, weighing about 175 pounds. Many people believe that this Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ." (Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.1. Emphasis original).

"Ian Dickinson, a researcher from Canterbury, England, was struck by the fact that the measurements of the Shroud-14'3" by 3'7"-seemed odd. Research indicated that the international standard unit of measurement at the time of Jesus was the Assyrian cubit (21.4 inches). When measured in Assyrian cubits, the Shroud is 8 cubits by 2 cubits, a strong indication that this standard unit was used to measure the linen cloth. [Dickinson, I., "Preliminary Details of New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud: Measurement by the Cubit," Shroud News, 58, April 1990, pp.4-7]" (Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.115).

"The Shroud of Turin has been described as the single most studied artifact in history. Whether this is true or not it is certainly one of the most controversial subjects of all time. To the true believer it is the burial shroud of the crucified Christ, left in his tomb at the time of the Resurrection. ... The Shroud has given rise to its own branch of science, known as sindonology. To the sceptical it is a piece of mediaeval trickery which has been fooling the gullible for the last six hundred years or more. The Shroud itself is an ivory-coloured cloth with a herringbone weave. It measures 14 feet 3 inches long by 3 feet 7 inches wide. These measurements may seem a little odd. They make far more sense when converted into first-century Jewish cubits. Using a measure of 21.4 inches to the cubit, based on the Assyrian standard, the measurement of the Shroud converts to exactly 8 cubits in length by 2 cubits in width. It was made in a single piece, apart from a strip approximately three and a half inches wide running the entire length of the left-hand side of the Shroud. This strip is attached to the Shroud by a single seam. ." (Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, pp.3-4).

The next post in this series is part #7 "Kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Turin, Italy, since 1578."

Stephen E. Jones, BSc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign Jesus is Jehovah!