Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Gr-Gz": Turin Shroud Dictionary

Turin Shroud Dictionary
© Stephen E. Jones


This is page "Gr-Gz" of my Turin Shroud Dictionary. For more information about this dictionary see the "Main index A-Z" and page "A."

[Index] [Previous: "Gn-Gq"] [Next: "H"]

[Grail, Holy] [Gregory Referendarius] [Guerreschi, Aldo] [Gundelia tournefortii] [Guscin, Mark]

[Above (enlarge): "King Lucius (middle) from the East Window in York Minster." But as we shall see, there never was an English King Lucius: he was in fact Edessa's King Lucius Septimius Severus, aka. Abgar VIII (r. 177-212)!]

Grail, Holy. The "Holy Grail" is a dish, plate, stone, or cup and is part of the Arthurian (King Arthur and the knights of the round table) legendary literature. But historian Daniel Scavone, professor Emeritus of history at the University of Southern Indiana, has shown that the Shroud of Turin is the real object that inspired the Holy Grail legend.

The Venerable Bede (c. 672-735), an English monk, learned from a friend Nothelm in Rome that in the 6th century Liber Pontificalis ("Book of the Popes"), Pope Eleutherius († c. 174-189) "... received a letter from Lucio Britannio rege asking for assistance in converting his lands to the Faith." Bede wrongly included this in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in c. 731, as "Lucius King of Britain" and cited it as evidence that Britain had become Christian in the second century. But German Church historian Adolph Harnack (1851–1930) knew there were no British kings in second century Britain when it was a province of Rome. And that there was only one King Lucius who converted to Christianity in the second century: Lucius Abgar VIII of Edessa, who had visited Rome in the time of Pope Eleutherus. Harnack also revealed that Edessa was sometimes referred to by the name of its citadel: in Syriac Birtha and in Latin Britium. The late second century Church Father, Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–c.215) had written that the tomb of St. Jude-Thaddaeus (1st-2nd century) was known to be in Britio Edessenorum, the citadel of Abgar.

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100–1155), an English historian, in his Historia Regum Britanniae ("History of the Kings of Britain"), did not mention Bede's King Lucius, but did mention a first-century British king named Arviragus, whom he found in the Roman satirist, Juvenal (fl. 98-128), who wrote in jest: "Veiento ... will capture some king - perhaps Arviragus will tumble out of his British wagon". Since, like Lucius, there never was a King Arviragus in Britain, Juvenal presumably was referring to Edessa's King Abgar VII (109-116), pronounced "Avgarus", who had led a failed revolt against Rome in 116. But since Geoffrey placed Arviragus between AD 44-54, he presumably had in mind Edessa's King Abgar V (r. BC 4-AD 7, 13–50) of the same period.

In the version of the Abgar story current in Geoffrey's time, the Acts of Thaddaeus, Edessa's King Abgar V had suffered a crippling ailment, and sent his agents to the Roman governor at Eleutheropolis, a town near Hebron in Israel. Abgar V was then healed by a portrait of Jesus' face painted in "choice pigments" on a "towel" which was "acheiropoietos" ("not made by hands"), and was further called a "sindon tetradiplon," ("linen sheet four-doubled"). This can only be the Shroud as the Mandylion/Image of Edessa (see my "Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin"). However, this can only be a reference to Edessa's King Lucius Septimius Severus Abgar VIII, who (as we saw) sent a letter to Pope Eleutherus asking for missionaries to come and preach the Faith in Edessa and had also paid a visit to Rome in Pope Eleutherus's time (174-189). This is because it was only in Abgar VIII's time that Roman emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (145–211) renamed the town of Beth Gubrin in Israel to Eleutheropolis in c. 200, and it was Abgar VIII who took that Emperor's names as his own. Geoffroy also included in his "History of the Kings of Britain" stories about another non-existent British king, "King Arthur," who according to folklore led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century.

Chrétien de Troyes (1130-91), a French poet, in his c. 1191 romance, Perceval, the Story of the Grail, introduced the Grail into Western literature as a large platter or dish holding only a single communion wafer, representing the body of Jesus. Although French, Chrétien set his story of the Grail in Britain, presumably ultimately based on Bede's misunderstanding of "Lucio Britannio rege" to mean "Lucius King of Britain," when it actually meant "Lucius [Abgar VIII], King of Britio [Edessa]" (see above). The grail dish was carried in procession to a crippled king, reminiscent of the crippled King Abgar V in the Acts of Thaddaeus. The theme of the poem was the quest for the Holy Grail by Perceval, a knight of King Arthur.

Wolfram von Eschenbach (c. 1170-1220) was a German knight and poet. His epic poem Parzival, written about 1210, was based on Chrétien de Troyes' unfinished Perceval, the Story of the Grail. In it von Eschenbach introduced the idea of the Knights Templars being guardians of the Grail.

Robert de Boron (fl. late 12th-early 13th centuries) was another French poet who, like Chrétien de Troyes, based his story in Britain, presumably also ultimately due to Bede's above misunderstanding. De Boron was the author of the poems Joseph d'Arimathe and Merlin. In the former, de Boron first introduced Joseph of Arimathea into the Grail literature, giving him the responsibility of keeping the Holy Grail and taking it to Britain. The Grail in de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathe is the cup of the Last Supper (Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:19-20; 1Cor 11:24-26) in which additionally, according to de Boron, Joseph of Arimathea caught the last drops of blood from Jesus's body as he hung on the cross. De Boron thus created for the first time a Christian back-history of the Holy Grail legend.

In his "Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and the Edessa Icon" (2002), as well his paper hyperlinked "Edessan sources for the legend of the Holy Grail" (2010), historian Dan Scavone presents compelling evidence, too long to list here, that the cloth known today as the Shroud of Turin is the real object that inspired the Holy Grail legend. So in that sense, the Shroud of Turin is the Holy Grail!

grave clothes.
Green, Maurus

Gregory Referendarius was the Archdeacon of Constantinople's Hagia Sophia cathedral when the Shroud arrived, as the sindon tetradiplon "linen sheet four-doubled" Mandylion (see above and my "Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin") in Constantinople from Edessa on 15 August 944. The next day, 16 August 944, after having had the opportunity to personally examine the Mandylion/Shroud close up, Gregory preached a sermon in which he said:

"But Jesus, undergoing the passion of his own free will, believing that human nature fears death – indeed death comes upon the very nature that was made to live – taking this linen cloth he wiped the sweat that was falling down his face like drops of blood in his agony. And miraculously, just as he made everything from nothing in his divine strength, he imprinted the reflection of his form on the linen. ... This reflection, however – let everyone be inspired with the explanation – has been imprinted only by the sweat from the face of the originator of life, falling like drops of blood, and by the finger of God. For these are the beauties that have made up the true imprint of Christ, since after the drops fell, it was embellished by drops from his own side. Both are highly instructive – blood and water there, here sweat and image. Oh equality of happenings, since both have their origin in the same person. The source of living water can be seen and it gives us water, showing us that the origin of the image made by sweat is in fact of the same nature as the origin of that which makes the liquid flow from the side" (My emphasis)[2]

The mention by Gregory of "blood" is a significant advance on the Edessan explanation of the Mandylion's image being due to Jesus' sweat having been imprinted on a towel during His ministry. Gregory must have noticed blood on the Mandylion/Shroud and attempted to explain it away as having been imprinted on the cloth in the Garden of Gethsemane when:
"his [Jesus'] sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44).
But that would not explain his reference to "drops from his own side" and "blood and water" which occurred after Jesus' death on the cross:
"one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." (John 19:34)

So Gregory presumably undid the Mandylion's fastenings on the night of 15 August to examine it more thoroughly and discovered that behind it was the full-length Shroud!

This is consistent with a depiction (below) in a work by Greek historian John Skylitzes (c. 1040s—1101) of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (c. 870–948) receiving the Mandylion in Constantinople, and behind it is a full-length Shroud!:

Guscin later retreated from this implication:

"Originally agreeing with Dubarle's translation, I had understood that paragraph meant that it was the Image itself that was embellished with blood from Christ's side, although I now think this interpretation cannot be defended either from the Greek text or from the internal logic of the text. If the Image had indeed been embellished with blood from Christ's side, this could only have taken place after his death on the cross, whereas Gregory's text clearly states that the Image was formed before the crucifixion and the resulting contradictions are excessive even for a Byzantine mentality."[3]
But then as Fanti pointed out, "otherwise the side wound detail would have no reason to be mentioned":
"Zaninotto underlines the unexpected element in this work, also not required for the structure of the story: the detail of the side wound is senseless since the tradition sets the image formation after [sic "before"?] the crucifixion. ... By consequence we can observe that the image described by Gregory the Referendarius is the relic ... otherwise the side wound detail would have no reason to be mentioned."[4]

And it ignores what Gregory said about: "[Jesus] ... imprinted the reflection of his form on the linen," not just His "face," and that Gregory by his, "and by the finger of God," tacitly admitted that his "falling like drops of blood" did not explain "the reflection of his form on the linen." So Guscin was right the first time:
"Gregory's lack of inquisitive spirit about the origin of the image and the side wound is most frustrating, yet no matter what he did or did not think about the origin of the blood from the side, one thing is clear – according to this sermon, the Image of Edessa had a bloodstain from the wound inflicted on Christ's side, and therefore contained a full body image. No amount of contrived pseudo-translations or explanations can get away from this simple fact" (my emphasis)[5]!

Guarini Chapel
Guerreschi, Aldo
Gundelia tournefortii.
Guscin, Mark

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted 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 subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Guscin, M., 2004, "The Sermon of Gregory Referendarius," [return]
3. Guscin, M., 2007, "Addendum to Translation of Sermon by Gregory Referendarius," [return]
4. Fanti, G. & Malfi, P., 2015, "The Shroud of Turin: First Century after Christ!," Pan Stanford: Singapore, p.57. [return]
5. Guscin, 2004. [return]

Posted 30 July 2015. Updated 1 January 2023.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #1

Copyright ©, Stephen E. Jones[1]

[Index: #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10 & #11]

Introduction. This is part #1 of my concluding summary of the evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[2] was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89)[3], aided by German hacker Karl Koch (1965–89)[4], on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. I will list the main headings as bullet-points, linking them back to my previous "My theory ..." posts on those topics. In future I will link back to this post whenever I state that "the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as `mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390' was the result of a computer hacking." The next post in this series is part #2.

■ In 1988 the Shroud of Turin was radiocarbon dated to 1260-1390 [#10(1) & #1]. Between May and August 1988[5], three radiocarbon dating laboratories at universities in Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, all using the same new Accelerator Mass spectrometry (AMS) method[6], radiocarbon dated samples that had been cut from the Shroud on 21 April 1988[7]. At a press conference in the British Museum, on 13 October 1988, following leaks that the Shroud had been dated "1350"[8], Prof. Edward Hall (Oxford), Dr Michael Tite (British Museum) and Dr Robert Hedges (Oxford) [Right[9]], announced that the Shroud's radiocarbon date was "1260-1390!"[10].

■ In 1989 Nature reported that the Shroud was "mediaeval ... 1260-1390." [#10(1) & #1]. In February 1989 the scientific journal Nature reported:

"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich ... The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 ..."[11].
Signatories to the paper included: "A.J.T. Jull," "T.W. Linick," "C.R. Bronk," "E.T. Hall," "R.E.M. Hedges," "W. Woelfli," and "M.S. Tite."

■ Yet the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic [#10(1) & #1]. Yet the evidence as a whole is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic[12]. There is abundant historical and artistic evidence that the Shroud existed well before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260[13] and indeed all

[Left (enlarge): The Hungarian Pray Codex[14] which has at least "eight telling correspondences" with the Shroud[15], yet is dated 1192-95[16], and so is least 65 years before 1260 and 160 years before 1355!]

the way back to the first century[17]. So strong is this evidence that even Prof. Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Director of the Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory, and a signatory (as "C.R. Bronk") to the 1989 Nature paper, has admitted:
"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests ... that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow ..." (my emphasis)[18].

■ The probability that the Shroud being 1st century has a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 is "astronomical" [#10(2) & #1]. At the above British Museum press conference, "those on the platform collectively insisted ... [that] the odds against ... were now `astronomical'" that the Shroud could be 1st century, yet have a "1260-1390" date[19]. This was confirmed by Prof. Harry Gove (1922-2009), the unofficial leader of the Shroud radiocarbon dating project[20], who pointed out that the statistical probability of the Shroud having a radiocarbon date between 1260 and 1390, yet it's actual date being first century, is "about one in a thousand trillion" (my emphasis)[21]. That is the equivalent of finding by chance, at the first attempt, a particular grain of sand, 1 mm in diameter[22] among a thousand trillion (1,000,000,000,000 = 1012) similar grains of sand, on the surface of a strip of beach ~5.4 metres wide by 145 kilometres[~90 miles] long[23]. Which is about the length of the Ninety Mile Beach in Victoria, Australia, only a part of which is shown right[24]. Therefore the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "1260- 1390"[25] has effectively no chance of being correct, given that the Shroud is authentic (see above), and therefore first century. Indeed, Prof. Hall stated it was "totally impossible" (his emphasis) that the Shroud could have a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390, yet its actual date was "AD 100" or less[26].

■ Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail. [#10(2) & #1] Attempts by Shroud pro-authenticists to explain by conventional means the discrepancy between the Shroud being 1st century, yet its radiocarbon date is 1260-1390, all fail.

Carbon contamination. All carbon contamination explanations (including a bioplastic coating) of why the 1st century Shroud has a 1260-1390 radiocarbon date fail, because "79% of the shroud would have been composed of such carbon contamination," but this "is preposterous, as anyone viewing the shroud samples before they were cleaned can attest"[27]. In fact Arizona laboratory still has an undated part of its Shroud sample as it came from Turin, and it has "no evidence for either coatings or dyes, and only minor contamin-ants"[28]. See photomicro-graph [Left (enlarge) and "Weave: Twill"] taken by pro-authenticist Barrie Schwortz in 2012, of Arizona laboratory's remaining undated part of its Shroud sample[29].

Invisible reweaving repair with 16th century cotton. Similarly, Benford and Marino's invisible reweaving repair theory requires that the repair be "approximately 60 percent of the C-14 sample consisting of 16th century threads while approximately 40 percent were 1st century in origin"[30]. Oxford laboratory did find some old cotton threads in their sample, but they were only "two or three fibres"[31]. Prof. Hall estimated that it would require "65 per cent of the mass of the shroud ... to give a date of 1350 to a fabric originally dating from the time of Christ" but there was "less than 0.1 per cent" of such contamination in the Shroud (my emphasis)[32]. Benford and Marino claimed that the green colour of the Shroud sample area in the "Blue Quad Mosaic" photograph [Right (enlarge) [33]] supported their theory that the sample area was 60% 16th century cotton[34]. But as can be seen, the wrinkles in the Shroud near the radiocarbon dating sample area (see here) are the same green colour. And as Benford and Marino admitted, "it is possible that the Quad Mosaic's chemical-color signature ... may represent carbon" (my emphasis)[35]. But "carbon" includes all contamination with younger carbon, not only cotton. And since the wrinkles in the Shroud in the sample area are the same green colour, it is likely that both are the result of ordinary contamination by carbon-containing grime, sweat, oils, etc. Particularly since this corner is one of the most contaminated parts of the Shroud, it being one of the corners from which the cloth was held by "hundreds of sweaty hands" at Shroud expositions down through the centuries (#10(1))[36]. Benford and Marino concluded with another frank admission that, "it is impossible to quantify the amount of surface carbon, other contaminates, and/or intruded newer material in the radiocarbon sampling area based upon the Quad Mosaic" (my emphasis)[37]. Moreover, textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg inspected the Shroud as part of its 2002 restoration[38] and she denies there is any evidence of reweaving[39].

Neutron flux at Jesus' resurrection created new carbon 14. The neutron flux argument was first proposed by Harvard University physicist Thomas J. Phillips in the same issue of Nature which carried the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud paper[40]. Phillips pointed out that "If the shroud of Turin is in fact the burial cloth of Christ" then the resurrection of Jesus' dead body "may also have radiated neutrons" which could "have converted enough 13C to 14C to give an apparent carbon-dated age of 670 years"[41]. Oxford's Dr. Robert Hedges replied in the same issue, that it would be "an amazing coincidence that the neutron dose should be so exactly appropriate to give the most likely date on historical grounds" and that it "implies that the dose has been `fine-tuned' to better than one part in a hundred million" (my emphasis)[42] . Gove echoed Hedges' points and added his own "most devastating argument against Phillips' idea [which] was the fact that the samples were taken at just the right spot on the shroud to produce its historic date. A sample taken closer to the image would have produced an even more modern date-even a date into the future!" (my emphasis) [43].

■ The midpoint of 1260-1390 is 1325 ±65 years[#10(1) & #1][44], which `just happens' to be a mere ~30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in Lirey, France, in c. 1355[45]. This is the major flaw in the neutron flux theory, and also of all carbon contamination theories. For a neutron flux or carbon contamination to shift the Shroud's first-century radiocarbon date fourteen centuries into the future, to not just any date, but to ~1325, a mere ~30 years before the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history, would be "a miracle"[46]. And a deceptive miracle by God at that!

■ Fraud is the only remaining viable explanation [#10(2) & #2]. Given that: 1) the Shroud is authentic, according to the overwhelming weight of the evidence (see above), and therefore first century; 2) the probability that the Shroud being first century, yet has a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 is "astronomical", "about one in a thousand trillion," "totally impossible," indeed "a miracle" (see above); and 3) conventional explanations of the discrepancy of how the first century Shroud can have a 1260-1390 century radiocarbon date all fail (see above); some form of fraud is the only remaining viable explanation:

"... when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth ..."[47]
This is the flip-side of the assumption by the laboratories [Left (enlarge)[48]] that the Shroud must be a fake because the odds against it being first century and having a radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 is effectively impossible. Therefore, since the Shroud is authentic and for the above other reasons, it must be the radiocarbon date of 1260-1390 itself which was the fake[49], the result of scientific fraud! The question then is: "what kind of scientific fraud was it?"

■ Accusations of conventional fraud (e.g. sample-switching) also fail. [#10(2) & #2]. Following the laboratories' report in the scientific journal Nature which claimed that "... the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[50], some Shroud pro-authenticists saw clearly that since the Shroud is authentic, then "it was the radiocarbon dating, not the Shroud, that must be the fraud"[51]. The foremost spokesman for this view is the French Roman Catholic deacon Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard [Right [52]], of the ultra-conservative "Catholic Counter-Reformation in the Twentieth [now 21st] Century"[53]. The target of Bonnet-Eymard's attack was that, although the cutting of samples from the Shroud on the 21st April 1988 was videotaped, the placing of the samples into their coded canisters was not[54]. Dr. Tite and the Archbishop of Turin, Cardinal Ballestrero (1913-98), took the samples into a private area, out of view of the others and the camera, and put the samples into numbered canisters which were then brought out and presented to the representatives of the three laboratories[55]. This was done to preserve the pretense of blind testing (the Shroud's distinctive weave was easily recognisable by the laboratories[56]). Bonnet-Eymard seized on this as `proof' that Tite had switched the samples, so that the samples which the laboratories thought were from the Shroud were actually from a medieval control sample, while those from a control sample of first-century date was in fact from the Shroud[57].

But Ian Wilson personally knew Dr. Tite and most of the radiocarbon dating laboratory leaders and he dismissed as "absurd and far-fetched as it is unworthy" accusations that "one or more of these men may have `rigged' the radiocarbon dating" by switching samples[58]. It is also highly unlikely that leaders of the radiocarbon dating project like Dr. Tite would commit major scientific fraud by switching control and Shroud samples, since they would have too much to lose if the fraud was discovered[59], as it would have been because of the Shroud's distinctive weave[60]. Besides, since Tite thought the Shroud was medieval[61] why would he switch samples to ensure the Shroud's radiocarbon date was medieval?

Nevertheless, agnostic pro-authenticist art historian Thomas de Wesselow considers fraud in the Shroud's radiocarbon dating to be a real possibility (albeit by conventional sample-swapping), because of the "1325 ± 65 years" date:

"The third possibility is that a fraud was perpetrated, that genuine Shroud samples were deliberately swapped with cloth of a later date ... Most sindonologists regard these fraud theories as plainly incredible. Some, like Ian Wilson, refuse to contemplate such `unworthy' accusations. However, scientific fraud is by no means unknown, as the editors of science journals are well aware. ... One important consideration weighs in favour of the possibility of deception. If the carbon-dating error was accidental, then it is a remarkable coincidence that the result tallies so well with the date always claimed by sceptics as the Shroud's historical debut. But if fraud was involved, then it wouldn't be a coincidence at all. Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve" (my emphasis)[62].

Those like Bonnet-Eymard who claimed that there had been fraud in the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud had correctly reasoned that that since the Shroud is authentic, there had to have been fraud for the first century Shroud to `just happen' to date to shortly before 1355, when Bishop Pierre d'Arcis had wrongly claimed in his 1389 Memorandum that the Shroud had been painted 34 years before[63]. However, they all assumed that the fraud had to be by conventional sample-switching[64]. No one seems to have considered that there is another type of fraud that the fully computerised AMS radiocarbon dating process[65] was vulnerable to, and which was rife in the 1980s, namely computer hacking!

Continued in part #2.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp. 611-615, p. 611. [return]
3. Jull, A.J.T. & Suess, H.E., 1989, "Timothy W. Linick," Radiocarbon, Vol 31, No 2. [return]
4. "Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 5 May 2015. [return]
5. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.131. [return]
6. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.178. [return]
7. 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.5-6. [return]
8. Gove, H.E., 1996, "Relic, Icon or Hoax?: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud," Institute of Physics Publishing: Bristol UK, p.279. [return]
9. Wilson, 1998, p.7 & pl.3b. [return]
10. Wilson, 1991, pp.8-9. [return]
11. Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
12. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ, p.86; Rinaldi, P.M., 1988, "For the Holy Shroud, the Hour of Truth," April, in McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, p.243; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, p.60; Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH, p.27; Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.76; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.6. [return]
13. Wilson, 1998, p.141; Maloney, P.C., "Researching the Shroud of Turin: 1898 to the Present: A Brief Survey of Findings and Views," in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, p.33. [return]
14. Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, plate III. [return]
15. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.178-180. [return]
16. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.114-115; Wilson, 1991, pp.150-151; Wilson, 1998, p.146; Guerrera, 2001, pp.104-105; de Wesselow, 2012, p.178. [return]
17. Moroni, M., "Pontius Pilate's Coin on the Right Eye of the Man in the Holy Shroud, in the Light of the New Archaeological Findings," in Berard, A., ed., 1991, "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, pp.275-301; "Turin shroud 'older than thought'," BBC, 31 January, 2005; Rogers, R.N., 2008, "A Chemist's Perspective on the Shroud of Turin," Lulu Press: Raleigh, NC, pp.42-43, 129; Tornielli, A., 2013, "New experiments on Shroud show it's not medieval," Vatican Insider, 26 March; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.73-74; Fanti, G. & Malfi, P., 2015, "The Shroud of Turin: First Century after Christ!," Pan Stanford: Singapore, pp.204, 207, 246. [return]
18. Ramsey, C.B., 2008, "Shroud of Turin," Version 152, Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, 16 June 2015. [return]
19. Wilson, 1998, pp.6-7. [return]
20. Antonacci, 2000, p.192. [return]
21. Gove, 1996, p.303. [return]
22. "In terms of particle size as used by geologists, sand particles range in diameter from 0.0625 mm (or 1⁄16 mm) to 2 mm. An individual particle in this range size is termed a sand grain." ("Sand," Wikipedia, 3 December 2014). [return]
23. By my calculations, the 1 mm diameter cross-section of a spherical grain of sand, i.e. 0.001 m. diameter, has a radius of 0.0005 m. Area of a circle = πr2, therefore the area of 1 grain of sand of 1 mm diameter is π x 0.00052 = ~ 7.854 x 10-7 m2. A thousand trillion of them has an area of ~ 7.854 x 10-7 + 12 m2. That is ~ 7.854 x 105 m2 = ~785400 m2. Now 145 km = 145,000 m. Area of a rectangle = length x width, therefore width = area/length. So the width of an area of 785,400 m2 = 785,400 m2/145,000 m = ~5.42 m. I have assumed for simplicity of calculation that the grains of sand are perfectly spherical and I have ignored the tiny gaps between the curves of each grain. [return]
24. "Seacombe-Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park," Holidayz, n.d. [return]
25. Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
26. Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK, pp.114-115. [return]
27. Gove, 1996, p.303. [return]
28. Freer-Waters, R.A. & Jull, A.J.T., 2010, "Investigating a Dated [sic] Piece of the Shroud of Turin," Radiocarbon, Vol 52, No 4. [return]
29. Schwortz, B.M., 2012, "New Photographs of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Samples,", November 21. [return]
30. Benford, M.S. & Marino, J.G., 2008, "Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin Shroud," Chemistry Today, Vol. 26, No. 4, July-August. [return]
31. "Rogue fibres found in the Shroud," Textile Horizons, December 1988, p.13. [return]
32. Hall, E.T., 1990, "Letter to Textile Horizons, January, in Wilson, 1991, p.177. [return]
33. Benford & Marino, 2008, pp.1 & 4. Photos superimposed. [return]
34. Benford & Marino, 2008, pp.2-7. [return]
35. Benford & Marino, 2008, p.7. [return]
36. Wilson, 1998, pp.191-192. [return]
37. Benford & Marino, 2008, p.22. [return]
38. Wilson, I., 2002, "The New, Restored Turin Shroud," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 56, December. [return]
39. de Wesselow, 2012, pp.169-170. [return]
40. Phillips, T.J., 1989, "Shroud irradiated with neutrons?," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, p.594. [return]
41. Ibid. [return]
42. Hedges, R.E.M., 1989, "Hedges replies," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, p.594. [return]
43. Gove, 1996, pp.301-302. [return]
44. Wilson, 1998, p.7; McCrone, 1999, p.1. [return]
45. Wilson, 2010, p.222. [return]
46. Tipler, F.J., 2007, "The Physics of Christianity," Doubleday: New York NY, pp.178-179; 216-217. [return]
47. Sherlock Holmes to Watson, in Doyle, A.C., 2001, "The Sign of the Four," Penguin: London, p.42. Emphasis original. [return]
48. Sheridan, M. & Reeves, P., "Turin Shroud shown to be a fake," The Independent, London, 14 October 1988, in Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B.M., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.94. [return]
49. Wilson, 1998, p.8. [return]
50. Damon, 1989, p.611. [return]
51. Wilson, 1998, p.8. [return]
52. Pagès, Abbé Guy, 2012, "Aux Sources du Coran par le frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard," YouTube, November 29. [return]
53. Wilson, 1998, p.8. [return]
54. Wilson, 1998, p.8. [return]
55. Meacham, W., 2005, "The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity's Most Precious Relic was Wrongly Condemned and Violated," Lulu Press: Morrisville NC, p.91. [return]
56. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," The Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, pp.137-138. [return]
57. Wilson, 1998, pp.8-9. [return]
58. Wilson, 1998, p.11. [return]
59. Picknett, L. & Prince, C., 2006, "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," [1994], Touchstone: New York NY, Second edition, Reprinted, 2007, p.13. [return]
60. Wilson, 1998, p.1. [return]
61. Dupont, C., 1990, "An interview with Dr. Mike Tite," Radio Courtoisie, Paris, British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 25, April/May, pp.2-5. [return]
62. de Wesselow, 2012, p.170. [return]
63. Wilson, 1998, p.7. [return]
64. McDonnell, D.J., 2003, "The Great Holy Shroud Dating Fraud of 1988," 4 November. [return]
65. Gove, 1996, p.264; Sox, 1988, p.147. [return]

Posted: 23 July 2015. Updated: 13 February 2022.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Topic index: The Shroud of Turin blog: "N-R"

I have abandoned this Topic Index because it was too time-consuming.

This is page ("N-R") of a topic index in alphabetic order of my posts to this my The Shroud of Turin blog. It was formerly page "A-Z" but it

[Right (enlarge): "The Entombment of Christ," (1181) by Nicholas of Verdun, Klosterneuburg Abbey, Vienna. Note that Jesus is wrapped in a double body length shroud, with his hands crossed awkwardly in front, exactly as on the Shroud (and on the Pray Codex (c. 1192)), 79 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date!]

grew too large and so I split it off from now pages "A-G," "H-M" and "S-Z." See page "A-G" for more information about this topic index. This index is complete up to and including 28 Mar 12 (partly).

[A-G] [H-M] [N] [O] [P] [R] [S-Z]

N [top]
nails: foot: 04Feb12
name index: 11Feb08(1), 11Feb08(2), 11Feb08(3), 15Feb08, 17Feb08, 24Feb08, 01Apr08
naturalism: 30Jun07, 12Feb08, 17Apr10; "nature is all there is": 22Dec11; "science," "scientific": 22Dec11
naturalistic explanation: none: 04Oct10
negative, photographic: 25Jul07, 27Jul07, 08Dec09, 04Oct10, 05Jan11, 18Oct11, 04Feb12; forgery impossible: 05Jan11
Nice: Shroud at 1543: 11Jan11
Nicholas of Verdun: 13Dec08, 11Jan10
Nickell, Joe: 10Oct08
Nicodemus: 01Nov08
ninth century: Catacomb of Pontianus 29Sep07
Nitowski, Eugenia: 10Oct08
non-directional: 21Jul07, 08Oct09, 04Jun10
non-traditional: nails: 06Nov07

O [top]
objections: Bible: idolatry: 12Apr08; one cloth: 26Jun08
O'Brien, Michael: 07Feb12
off-topic: 03Aug07
old: 01Nov11
othonia: 26Jun08
Oxford C14 laboratory: 12Feb08, 28Feb08, 03Apr08, 07Jun08
Oxley, Mark: 12May10

P [top]
Pantocrator: 16Feb12; Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna: 16Feb12; St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai: 07Feb12; 16Feb12; St. Pontianus catacomb, Rome: 18Mar12
painting?: not: 25Jun08, 04Jun10; no paint, pigment or dye: 04Jun10, 04Oct10; that comprises its image: 04Feb12; STURP: 22Dec11
palynology: 26Nov08
patches: 22Nov11
Peter, Apostle: at empty tomb: 11Jan11; recovered graveclothes?: 30Jan11
Petrosillo, Orazio : 04Jun10
photographs: 24Mar08
photography: 13Jul07, 14Jul09, 08Dec09, 18Oct11
Pia, Secondo: 08Oct09, 04Oct10, 05Jan11, 18Oct11
Picknett & Prince: 06Jul07, 08Jul07, 27Jul07, 01Nov08, 14Jul09; Leonardo: 22Dec11; refutation: 22Dec11
Piczek, Isabel: 14Jul09, 04Jun10
pilgrim's badge: 14Jul09, 04Jun10
plants: species: bloom March-April: 01Nov08; overlap: 01Nov08, 22Nov08
poisoning of the well: 17Apr10
Polarized Image Overlay: 08Aug07, 01Dec07, 16Feb12
plagiarism: tests: 11Feb12
plasma chamber dating: 01Apr10
pollen: 08Aug07, 26Nov08; Gundelia tournefortii: 22Jan08
Popes: Benedict XVI: 24Aug07, 15Jul08, 04Jun10, 28Mar12; John Paul II: 12Apr08
Porter, Dan: blog: comment: 15Jan12: Shroud image uncaused, 07Feb12
Pray codex: 03Apr08, 13Dec08, 08Oct09, 11Jan10*, 04Jun10, 22Dec11,
- widely regarded as false: 25Aug11; poker holes: 03Apr08, 08Oct09, 11Jan10, 22Dec11
Pray, György: 11Jan10

R [top]
radiation: 10Oct08
radiocarbon dating:
- Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS): 25Aug11
- anomalies: Lindow man: 10Oct08
- future: 15Jul08, 02Aug08
- pollen: 30Jun07, 24Aug07, 09Oct07, 29Oct07, 30Oct07, 22Jan08, 30Apr08, 15Jul08, 02Aug08
- Sudarium of Oviedo: 08Aug07, 26Jun08, 08Dec09
radiocarbon dating 1988:
- AD 1260-1390: 12Feb08, 04Jun10, 22Dec11; 06Jan12
- 1260-1390!: 28Feb08, 03Apr08, 13Dec08, 11Jan10
- AD 1260: Nicholas of Verdun 1181: 11Jan10; Pray codex 1192-5: 11Jan10, 22Dec11
- AD 1325 ±65: 11Jan10; too good to be true: 04Jun10
- AD 1350: 12Feb08; leaked: 12Feb08; leaker: Arizona: 12Feb08
- bacteria & mould (bioplastic coating): 25Aug11
- carbon monoxide: 03Apr08, 07Jun08, 01Apr08, 06Jan12
- collusion: 12Feb08
- contamination: 28Feb08, 10Oct08, 04Jun10; fails: mostly contaminant: 06Jan12
- cotton: 10Oct08; Oxford's sample: 06Jan12
- evidence against: Pray codex: 15Jan12; Sudarium of Oviedo: 15Jan12; Vignon markings: 15Jan12, 11Feb12, 16Feb12, 23Feb12, 18Mar12, 23Apr12
- fake: 13Dec08
- fire: 03Apr08
- flawed: 08Dec09
- fraud: 03Apr08, 04Jun10, 06Jan12
- medieval: 01Dec07, 12Feb08; how?: 22Dec11
- Nature 16-Feb-89: 29Jul07, 12Feb08, 03Apr08, 02Nov11
- repair: 22Dec11, 06Jan12
- sample: dyed: 12Feb08; not representative: 12Feb08, 15Jan12; size: 29Jul07, 01Dec07, 04Jun10, 06Jan12; postage stamp: 10Oct08, 04Jun10, 06Jan12
- very small: 15Jan12; ~1.2 x 8 cms total: 15Jan12; Shroud very large (~4.37 x 1.11 m): 15Jan12; Shroud 8800 stamps-sample 7/10 stamp: 15Jan12
- widely regarded as false: 25Aug11
- wrong: 12Feb08, 28Feb08, 13Dec08, 04Jun10, 10Jan12, 11Feb12, 16Feb12, 23Feb12, 18Mar12
Raes' corner: 10Oct08
Ramsey, Christopher: carbon monoxide: 07Jun08, 10Oct08; C.R. Bronk: 03Apr08, 06Jan12; signatory to 1989 Nature paper: 03Apr08, 06Jan12; results skewed: 12Feb08; "evidence that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow": 15Jan12; student in 1988: 28Feb08;
Reagan, Ronald. President: 29Jul07
relic: most famous: 04Oct10
reliquary: 2010: 04Jun10
replications: 21Jul07, 08Oct09, 03Mar12; laser: 22Dec11
restoration, 2002: 04Jun10
resurrection: Jesus: appearances: 28Mar12; body changed: 22Dec11; blood clots intact: 03Mar12, 28Mar12; light: 06Jan12; snapshot: 22Dec11, 06Jan12, 07Feb12, 28Mar12. See "Jackson, John" (cloth collapse theory): 18Jan12.
Riggi, Giovanni: 01Apr08
Reville, William: 10Oct08
Rogers, Ray: 29Sep07, 11Feb08, 12Feb08, 10Oct08, 13Dec08, 06Jan12
Rolfe, David: 28Feb08
Roman Catholic Church: refuses to confirm Shroud authentic (see Vatican): 08Oct09, 04Jun10; first official 1940: 11Jan11; owned since 1983: 08Oct09; 11Jan11, 07Oct11
Russell, Bertrand: "not enough evidence, God": 04Feb12

Created: 29 June 2015. Updated: 22 March 2024.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weave #4: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is "Weave," part #4 of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!"

[Main index] [Previous: Dimensions #3] [Next: Sidestrip #5]

  1. Introduction
    1. Weave
Weave. The Shroud's weave pattern is a herringbone, three-to-one

[Above (original): The Shroud's weave, showing the twill (diagonal parallel ribs) combined with regular offset reversals, creating a herringbone (zigzag) effect: [2].]


Herringbone. A herringbone weave has a v-shaped or chevron pattern formed by regularly reversing with offset the width-wise woof (or weft) thread as it is drawn through the lengthwise warp[4]. The result is a broken zigzag pattern which resembles the skeleton of a herring fish[5].

Twill. A twill weave has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs (in contrast to a satin or plain weave)[6]. This is done by passing the weft thread over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on, with a step or offset between rows to create a diagonal pattern[7]

[Above[8]: Image side[9] of the undated and presumably not pre-treated Shroud sample, "split from one used in the radiocarbon dating study of 1988 at Arizona"[10] retained by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory.]

[Above: Non-image side of the above Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory piece of its Shroud sample.]

Both show the Shroud's combined herringbone and twill weave (see next). Note that this sub-sample, which presumably is as it was cut from the Shroud in 1988, is obviously not 60% or more contaminated with non-original carbon, as required by all contamination with younger carbon theories, including a bioplastic coating and cotton from an invisible repair, thus refuting them. Except for sample-switching fraud (which is highly implausible) and the neutron flux theory which entails a deceptive miracle by God, this leaves my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker [#10(1) & #1] as the only remaining viable explanation of how the 1st century Shroud had a 13th-14th century radiocarbon date. See "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy all fail."]

The Shroud's herringbone 3:1 twill weave was formed by passing each weft thread alternately under three warp threads and over one[11].[Above: The Shroud's complex herringbone three-to-one twill weave (a) compared to a plain weave (b)[12].]

Each successive weft thread begins at an ascending point in the warp one thread earlier[13], the direction being reversed at regular intervals by repeating the process at a descending point, thus producing the diagonal "herringbone" pattern[14].

The Shroud's weave was expensive and rare. Because of its complexity, the Shroud would have been an expensive[15], and therefore rare[16], fabric. Especially so in the first century when fine linen ranked in value with gold and silver[17]. No example of herringbone twill weave in linen from first or early centuries has been found, although examples of that weave have been found in silk[18] and wool[19]. There are no examples of herringbone twill weave from France up to and including fourteenth century[20]. There is in fact only one known example of a medieval herringbone twill linen weave fabric, a fourteenth century, a block-painted linen fragment with a 3:1 chevron twill weave, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London[21].

[Above (enlarge): The only known example of a herringbone twill weave in linen from the mediaeval period. The grey part is a reconstruction. Victoria and Albert Museum ref. no. 8615-1863[22].]

Further evidence of the extreme rarity of medieval linen cloths with a Shroud-like herringbone twill weave, was the fact that the then British Museum's Dr. Michael Tite was unable to find any medieval linen with a weave that resembled the Shroud's, to use as a blind control sample for the 1988 radiocarbon dating[23].

The Shroud's expensive weave is consistent with it being the linen shroud bought by the "rich man" Joseph of Arimathea in which to bury Jesus' body. The Gospels record that Joseph of Arimathea, a "rich man," bought a linen shroud and wrapped Jesus' body in it (Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-42). The Shroud's expensive herringbone three-to-one twill weave is consistent with it having been that linen shroud bought by the rich man Joseph of Arimathea in which to wrap and bury Jesus' body[24].

Problem for the forgery theory. That the Shroud's weave is expensive and rare is another (see previous #3) problem for the forgery theory. The primary motive of art and archaeological (including relic) forgery is financial gain[25]. According to Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Professor Edward Hall (1924-2001), that was the motive of the claimed forger of the Shroud, "There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century' so `Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged [sold] it":

"Such total involvement got its reward especially in his [Hall's] participation in the dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988 ... `There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century,' he bluntly told a British Museum press conference. `Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it.'"[26].
That the secular press shares Hall's view that the unknown, hypothetical, forger of the Shroud was motivated by money is evident in that it uncritically repeats Hall's uncritical assumption. And in a sense Hall was right! If the Shroud were a medieval forgery, then the forger, to maximise his profit, would have "just got a bit of linen." That is, he would have used the least expensive "bit of linen" he could find that would still deceive his prospective buyers (and that wouldn't require much-see #3). But the Shroud is not just any "bit of linen." As we have seen above the Shroud would have been expensive and rare in the first century. And it would have been even more expensive and rare in the 14th century, of which there is only one known other example, but in fragments as opposed to the ~4.4 x 1.1 metre Shroud. So the medieval forger would have been most unlikely to have obtained a fine linen herringbone twill sheet the size of the Shroud in the first place.

And if the forger did have the opportunity to obtain the 8 x 2 cubit (see "Dimensions #3") ancient Syrian or Palestinian fine linen sheet that the Shroud is (apart from that would mean the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud's linen was wrong - see part #3), he would not have bought it for the very high price it would have been, as that would have severely reduced the profit margin on his planned forgery of the Shroud image upon it. This is yet another of the many problems of the forgery theory which I will collect through this series and present them all together under the topic, "Problems of the forgery theory."

Continued with part #5, "Sidestrip".

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Face Only Vertical," [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.69; Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, p.68; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.74-75. [return]
4. "Herringbone (cloth)," Wikipedia, 3 June 2015. [return]
5. Ibid. [return]
6. "Twill," Wikipedia, 7 July 2015. [return]
7. Ibid. [return]
8. Copied and cropped from Figure 1 in Schwortz, B.M., 2012, "Report on the STERA, Inc. - University of Arizona Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Macro Photography - 30 August 2012," [return]
9. Schwortz, B.M., 2015, "RE: Arizona Shroud sample: which is the image side?," email reply, 20 July 2015. [return]
10. Freer-Waters, R.A. & Jull, A.J.T., 2010, "Investigating a Dated [sic] Piece of the Shroud of Turin," Radiocarbon, Vol. 52, No. 4. [return]
11. Wilson, 1979, p.68; Wilson, 1998, p.68; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.108. [return]
12. Wilson, 2010, p.75. [return]
13. Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, p.12. [return]
14. Wilson, 1979, p.69; Wilson, 1998, p.68. [return]
15. Drews, 1984, p.12; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.98. [return]
16. Wilson, 2010, p.75; de Wesselow, 2012, pp.108-109. [return]
17. Dickinson, I., 1990, "The Shroud and the Cubit Measure," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 24, January, pp.8-11, p.11. [return]
18. Wilson, 1979, p.69; Drews, 1984, p.12; Antonacci, 2000, pp.98-99. [return]
19. de Wesselow, 2012, pp.108-109; Wilson, 1998, p.69; Wilson, 2010, p.76. [return]
20. Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, p.110. [return]
21. Wilson, 1998, pp.69-70. [return]
22. Extract from, "Printed Linen. ca. 1350-1400 (made), January 1895 (painted)," Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 7 February 2008 [return]
23. Wilson, 1998, p.68; Wilson, 2010, p.75. [return]
24. Wilson, 1979, p.68; Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," Runciman Press: Manly NSW, Australia, p.52; Iannone, J.C., 1998,"The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.12; Wilson, 2010, p.296. [return]
25. "Archaeological forgery," Wikipedia, 1 July 2015; "Art forgery," Wikipedia, 6 July 2015. [return]
26. "Obituaries: Professor Edward Hall," 16 August 2001; Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.12; Wilson, 1998, p.7; Wilson, 2010, p.2. [return]

Posted 16 July 2015. Updated 23 February 2023.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dimensions #3: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!


Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is "Dimensions," part #3, of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!"

[Main index #1] [Previous: Introduction #2] [Next: Weave #4]

  1. Introduction #2
    1. Dimensions #3
Before 1998: 14 ft 3 in. x 3 ft 7 in. Before 1998, the most commonly cited dimensions of the Shroud were 14 ft 3 in. long by 3 ft 7 in. wide[2], i.e. 171 x 43 inches or 434.3 x 109.2 cms[3].

[Above (enlarge): Shroud Scope photo with my 8 x 2 grid overlay showing that the Shroud divides evenly into 16 squares, each 437/8 = ~54.6 cm (~21.5 in.) x 111/8 = ~55.5 cm (~21.8 in.) [See below that the Shroud's true dimensions are 437 x 111 cms. But see 08Apr20 that they are ~438 x ~113.35 cms.] And as we shall see, the length of each square, ~54.6 cm. or ~21.5 in., is only 0.3 cm. or 0.1 in. less than the standard Assyrian cubit of ~54.9 cm or ~21.6 in. And the width of each square is only ~0.6 cm. or ~0.2 in. more than that Assyrian cubit. But the width of the Shroud has probably been increased slightly more than 2 cubits by the cutting and rejoining of the sidestrip.]

Ian Dickinson: 14 ft 3 in. x 3 ft 7 in. = ~8 x 2 cubits! In 1989, an expert in early Syriac, Ian Dickinson, of Canterbury, England, realised that these measurements of the Shroud were approximately 8 x 2 of the Assyrian standard cubit of between 21.4 and 21.6 inches, which was the common unit of lineal measurement in Jesus' day:

"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[4]. 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 [see Tetradiplon and the Shroud of Turin], for the exposed facial area of this latter would have been an exact 1 by 2 Jewish cubits"[5].

The Standard Assyrian cubit was 21.6 inches. During the 19th century the archaeological pioneer, Sir Flinders Petrie (1853–1942) and Assyriologist Julius Oppert (1825–1905), from many measurements of ancient buildings in Babylon, found the length of the Assyrian cubit to

[Above: Page 67 of "Inductive Metrology: Or, The Recovery of Ancient Measures from the Monuments," by William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1877)[6].]

be almost 21.5 inches, since refined by other archaeologists to be 21.6 ±0.2 inches[7]. According to page 67 of Petrie's book above, he himself accepted 21.60 inches as the mean length of the Assyrian cubit.

Mechthild Flury-Lemberg: 437 x 111 cms. In 1998, ancient textiles conservator, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, determined the true

[Right: From left to right: Swiss textiles expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, Sister Maria Clara Antonini of the Poor Clare nuns and Don Giuseppe Ghiberti, Turin diocesan official in charge of the 1998 Shroud exposition, finish preparing the Turin Shroud on April 16 for display to the public on Sunday April 19, 1998[8].]

dimensions of the Shroud to be 437 x 111 cms, i.e. 172 x 44 in. or 14 ft 4 in. x 3 ft 8 in.[3]:
"The first speaker was Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, a former curator of the Abegg Foundation textile museum, Switzerland, whose theme was 'The Shroud fabric, its technical and archaeological characteristics'. It was Dr. Flury-Lemberg who, immediately prior to the 1998 exposition, had the task of preparing the Shroud for its display and housing in the new three ton Italgas container constructed for it, working side by side with Sister Maria Clara Antonini of the Poor Clares. Because the plate for the new container had been made slightly too small, Dr. Flury-Lemberg gained permission to remove the blue surround that had been sewed on in the 19th century. The intention behind this surround had been to save the Shroud from the repeated handling at the edges to which they had been subjected throughout the long centuries when it was the custom to hold it up before the populace. However, the surround had ever since prevented examination of the same edges, thereby hindering totally accurate calculation of its dimensions. Now the dimensions have been authoritatively determined by Dr. Flury-Lemberg as 437 cm long by 111 cm wide."[9]

The Shroud's 437 x 111 cms dimensions are exactly 8 x 2 cubits! The Shroud's 437 x 111 cms dimensions are, to the nearest centimetre, exactly 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits of 21.6 inches!

[Above: Table showing that the 1998 437 x 111 cms true dimensions of the Shroud are even more exactly 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits of 21.6 inches than the 14 ft 3 in. x 3 ft 7 in. pre-1998 measurements were.]

And again, the Assyrian standard cubit was the international measure of commerce prevailing in Jesus's time, including among the Jews:

"So there were cubits for Temple use, and various other applications, but it is a particular cubit of the market place that is connected with the Shroud, the cubit that is known as the Assyrian cubit: the widely used, indeed, international standard of that time for merchants of the Near East, and had been so for centuries. This cubit of commerce was carried with the lingua communis, the language of trade and diplomacy that stretched from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean, the tongue that had become the common language of the Jew. Aramaic: the same language which Jesus spoke. Aramaic had been the communication medium of the Assyrian Empire and Israel had been a subject of Assyria."[10]

Dietz & Zaccone, 2002: 442 x 113 cms (average). During the Shroud's 2002 restoration, the Shroud was measured again by historians Karlheinz Dietz and Gian Maria Zaccone:

"During the 2002 restoration, various length measurements of the Shroud were taken by Karlheinz Dietz and Gian Maria Zaccone: 441.5 cm for the right length, and 442.5 cm for the left length. The bottom width is 113.0 cm and the top width is 113.7 cm. These values were reported in Sindone 2002, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, 2003, editor ODPF [Opera Diocesana Preservazione Della Fede] ... "[11]
But despite this being claimed by non-/anti-authenticists as evidence against my statement in my post, "Dimensions of the Shroud: Turin Shroud Encyclopedia," that, "The Shroud measures 8 by 2 Assyrian cubits," Dietz & Zaccone's 2002 measurement does not materially (pun unintended) change the fact that, when right and left, top and bottom, sides of the Shroud are averaged, which is presumably what Flury-

[Above: As can be seen in the table above, when Dietz and Zaccone's separate right and left, top and bottom, dimensions of the Shroud are averaged, to the nearest centimetre, the Shroud's dimensions are still the equivalent of 8 x 2 (8.06 x 2.07) Assyrian cubits!]

Lemberg did, its average length is approximately (441.5 + 442.5) = 884 / 2 = 442 cm, and its average width is approximately (113.0 + 113.7) = 226.7 / 2 = 113.35 cm. That is 442 / 2.54 = 174.02 inches long by 113.35 / 2.54 = 44.6 inches wide. Dividing each by 21.6 inches, the length of the Assyrian standard cubit, results in length 174.02 / 21.6 = 8.05 cubits and width 44.6 / 21.6 = 2.07 cubits. So to the nearest centimetre, the Shroud still measures the equivalent of 8 x 2 Assyrian cubits!

Problem for the forgery theory. This is another (see #1) major problem for the medieval (or earlier) forgery theory since a medieval artist/forger would be most unlikely to know the length of the standard cubit of Jesus' day, as this was only discovered by archaeologists in the 19th century (see above). Although the Bible mentions cubits (e.g. Gn 6:15; Ex 25:10; Mt 6:27, etc) it does not say how long they were. For example, three of my pre-19th century Bible commentaries, written by very learned scholars, commenting on Genesis 6:15, the first mention of "cubit" in the Bible:

"And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits."
evidently didn't know that a standard cubit was 21.6 inches. Adam Clarke (c.1760-1832) thought that "the cubit [was] ... 18 inches ..."[12]. Matthew Poole (1624–1679) also thought a cubit was a "foot and a half"[13]. And [John Calvin (1509–64) admitted, "But what was then the measure of the cubit I know not ..."[14].

And it is also unlikely that such a forger would bother trying to obtain a first century Syrian or Palestinian fine linen sheet of those dimensions, when his contemporaries would not appreciate his diligence and would be satisfied with far less:

"Also is it not rather incredible that this unknown individual [the medieval forger] should have gone to so much trouble and effort to deceive in an age in which, as twentieth-century journalists have reminded us, a large proportion of the populace would have been very easily duped by a feather of the Archangel Gabriel or a phial of the last breath of St Joseph?"[15]
And that is assuming that a medieval forger could obtain an 8 by 2 cubit first-century Syrian-Palestinian fine linen sheet, with a rare and expensive three-to-one herringbone twill weave which the Shroud is (see future "Weave"). As Ian Wilson, with typical English understatement, noted above:
"Such conformity to an exact 8 by 2 Jewish cubits is yet another piece of knowledge difficult to imagine of any medieval forger."[16]
And as Dr. Michael Clift, Acting Editor of the BSTS Newsletter also pointed out, the Palestinian (i.e. Assyrian) cubit "was not in general use in the fourteenth century" and while a side in one direction having an exact whole cubit measurement might be a coincidence, a side in the other direction also having an exact whole cubit measurement could not plausibly be:
"But let them not forget the cubit. As Ian Dickinson has shown us the Shroud measures exactly two by eight of the Palestinian cubit, which was not in general use in the fourteenth century. One might accept a coincidence if the whole number of cubits was in one direction, but surely not in both?"[17]

Moreover, to claim that a medieval forger forged the Shroud's image on a 1st century cloth would mean admitting that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud was wrong in its claim that:

"... the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 ..."[18].

So even the dimensions of the Shroud are evidence beyond reasonable doubt of its authenticity!

Continued in Weave part #4 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a link back to this post (if posted on the Internet). [return]
2. E.g. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961, pp.22-23; Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.21; Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, p.11. [return]
3. "convert foot, inch to centimeters; centimeters to foot, inch,", 2009. [return]
4. Dickinson, I., 1990, "The Shroud and the Cubit Measure," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 24, January, pp.8-11. [return]
5. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.181. [return]
6. Petrie, W.M.F., 1877, "Inductive Metrology: Or, The Recovery of Ancient Measures from the Monuments," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 2013. Google books. [return]
7. Dickinson, 1990, p.10. [return]
8. Brkic, B., 2010, "Hitler had designs on the Shroud of Turin; Indiana Jones fans are not surprised," Daily Maverick, 8 April. [return]
9. Wilson, I., 2000, "`The Turin Shroud - past, present and future', Turin, 2-5 March, 2000 - probably the best-ever Shroud Symposium," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 51, June. [return]
10. Dickinson, 1990, pp.10-11. [return]
11. Latendresse, M., 2005, "Length Measurements on the Shroud of Turin," 16 August. [return]
12. Clarke A. & Earle R., ed., "Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Entire Bible," [1826], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Single volume edition, 1967, p.28. [return]
13. Poole, M., "Commentary on the Holy Bible: Volume I: Genesis-Job," [1683], Banner of Truth: London, 1968, reprinted, p.18. [return]
14. Calvin, J., "A Commentary on Genesis," [1554], Banner of Truth: London, 1965, reprint, p.257. [return]
15. 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.59-60. [return]
16. Wilson, 1991, p.181. [return]
17. Clift, M., 1993, "Carbon dating - what some of us think now," BSTS Newsletter, No. 33, February, pp.5-6, p.6. [return]
18. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]

Posted 10 July 2015. Updated 12 April 2024.