Thursday, January 29, 2015

Problems of the forgery theory: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
© Stephen E. Jones

Problems of the forgery theory

[Index] [Previous: Linen sheet] [Next: Dimensions]

Introduction. As we saw in the previous entry, "Linen sheet," the central dilemma of the Shroud is that, either the Shroud of Turin is authentic, or it is a forgery. As author John E. Walsh put it in 1963,

[Right: The cover of Walsh's early, important, book on the Shroud.]

either the Shroud is a "relic of Jesus Christ" (i.e. it is authentic[1]), or it is "a product ... of the human mind and hand" (i.e. a forgery[2]), there being "no middle ground" (my emphasis):

"Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground"[3].

The following is a list of all the problems of the forgery theory that I encountered in writing this Encyclopedia. Since there is no plausible third alternative[4], evidence against the forgery theory is evidence for the Shroud's authenticity. The numbering is sequential, in order of posting, not in order of importance. For more details of each problem see the hyperlinked entries in square brackets.

§1. Forger had to obtain a first century Syrian or Palestinian fine linen ~4.4 x ~1.1 metre cloth. Since the only known examples of the same stitching as the Shroud's seam and its selvedge were found in the first century Jewish fortress of Masada [Linen sheet]. And the cloth's dimensions above were 8 by 2 Assyrian cubits [Dimensions].

1. A "relic usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person" ("Relic," Wikipedia). [return]
2. By "forgery" I include the theory that the Shroud was a work of an artist but not "with the intent to deceive" ("Forgery," Wikipedia). If the Shroud was the work of an artist, he did not sign his name to his work (as most artists do, but forgers don't) and he would in fact have deceived countless millions. And my evidence and arguments against the "medieval artist theory" will be the same. [return]
3. Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, pp.x-xii. [return]
4. See "Linen sheet." [return]

Created: 29 January, 2015. Updated: 10 February, 2015.

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