Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is N.T. Wright a Shroud pro-authenticist?

I bought Bishop N.T. Wright's monumental, ~838 page, "The Resurrection of the Son of God" (2003), several years ago but had never found the time to read it. I started last night to read a few pages of it at night as a `bedtime story,' to switch my mind off from whatever I had been doing, to help me get to sleep.

[Right: "The Resurrection of the Son of God: (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3)" by N.T. Wright. Amazon.com.]

Much to my surprise, on the third page of the book, I read:

"Just as the book could have grown considerably if I had entered into debate with, or even simply cited, all the writers from whom I have learned, whether in agreement or disagreement, it could easily have doubled in length if I had explored all the interesting-looking secondary roads that lead off this particular highway. There are lots of side-issues that get a cursory mention, if that. Those who continue to work on the Turin Shroud, for instance, may be disappointed to find no further mention of it here.1" (Wright, N.T., "The Resurrection of the Son of God," Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3, Fortress Press: Minneapolis MN, 2003, p.xvii. My emphasis.)

The reference is: "1See e.g. Whanger and Whanger 1998." That is Whanger, M. & Whanger, A.D., 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN.

That Wright, a former Anglican Bishop of Durham, and a leading New Testament scholar, even mentioned the Shroud at all is amazing, given that Christian academics tend to ignore it, for fear of

[Left: "N.T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, St Mary's College, The School of Divinity, University of St Andrews," Scotland.]

being thought of as belonging to the so-called `lunatic fringe'.

And that Wright referenced not a more well-known Shroud book, like one of Ian Wilson's, but one that is less well known, by the Whangers, argues for Wright not only being a Shroud pro-authenticist, but having read widely in Shroud literature.

If anyone has any more information on Wright's position on the Shroud, I would appreciate a comment below detailing it, preferably with a link or reference to the source. It would also be interesting to know how many other leading Christian scholars have quietly been persuaded by the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is authentic.

Posted 19 August 2014. Updated 5 November 2023.

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