Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Carried their cross #7: Bible and the Shroud: Jesus and the man on the Shroud: Shroud of Turin quotes

Shroud of Turin quotes #7:
Bible and the Shroud
Jesus and the Man on the Shroud:
© Stephen E. Jones

This is the "Bible and the Shroud: Jesus and the man on the Shroud: Carried their cross," part #7 in my Shroud of Turin quotes series. For more information about this series, see the Main Index.

[Main Index] [Previous: Were struck in the face #6] [Next: Were nailed to their cross #8]

[Above (enlarge): Back shoulder blades of the man on the Shroud[2], rotated 180°, showing the blurring of the scourge marks, evidently due to him carrying across his upper back, over his clothes (Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20) a heavy object, such as a crossbeam, illustrated by the parallel lines from the man's higher right to lower left, based Ricci's diagram[3] (see below).]

  1. Bible and the Shroud #2
    1. Jesus and the man on the Shroud #3
      1. Carried their cross #7
"There are on the shroud clear traces of excoriations at the level of the back and the knees. Let us first of all remember that there is a venerable tradition, which has been given sensible expression in three Stations of the Cross, that Jesus fell three times beneath His burden, before reaching Calvary. This would have decided the soldiers to make Simon of Cyrene carry the patibulum instead of Him, walking behind Him. On a rough uneven road, with many scattered stones, such falls would not take place without excoriation, especially at the level of the knees. ... The right knee seems to be more contused, and shows in the region of the patella a number of excoriations which vary in size and shape, and have jagged edges. A little above and on the outer side, there are two round wounds, about a centimetre in diameter. The left knee also shows various contused wounds, but they are less evident and less numerous. But it is specially in the dorsal image that we find marks of the carrying of the cross. On the right shoulder, in the outer part of the sub-scapular region, there is a broad excoriated area, which is in the form of a rectangle of about 10 x 9 centimetres. (One can also see in the frontal image that this area extends forwards into the outer clavicular region with broad patches of excoriation.) The area at the back seems to be made up of an accumulation of excoriations. They are superimposed on the numerous wounds of the flagellation, which seem to be as it were bruised and widened by them, when compared with those alongside them. It would appear that some weighty body, and one with a furrowed surface and which was badly fastened, must have lain on this shoulder and have bruised, reopened and widened the wounds of the scourging through the tunic. ... Further down, but on the left side, there is another area of excoriations of the same type, in the left scapular region. It is round, with a diameter of about 5½ inches. ... It is nowadays generally held that the cross was made of two separate pieces and that ... the condemned only carried his patibulum to the place of execution, where the stipes was permanently set up... These lacerations are not bruises caused by a blow. They are excoriations produced by the violent rubbing of a hard mass which is weighing against these parts which protrude and offer resistance. The skin is rubbed away by the beam as it passes roughly across the back, till it reaches the earth. ... Remember as well that the left scapular region may have begun to be excoriated before the falls, for Jesus was bent forwards owing to exhaustion. In fact, owing to its obliquity, as I have already described, the patibulum would already have been rubbing against the left shoulder blade." (Barbet, P., 1953, "A Doctor at Calvary," [1950], Earl of Wicklow, transl., Image Books: Garden City NY, Reprinted, 1963, pp.97-101)

[Above (enlarge): Knees (from left to right because of lateral inversion) of the man on the Shroud[4], showing his right knee is more cut than the left, from falling to his knees on a hard surface under the weight of a cross-beam (patibulum), and being, like most people right-handed, the right knee took most of the impact (see quotes).]

"The Carrying of the Cross `And bearing the cross for himself, he went forth to the place called the Skull' (John 19:17). The contemporaries of the Evangelist understood without further explanation what it was that Christ carried. The data gleaned from historical sources indicate that it was not the complete cross as is invariably depicted in art, but rather the crossbeam only, to which the outstretched arms were bound. It is to be noted that all four Evangelists say that the executioners led Christ away to be crucified (Matt. 27:31; Mark 15:20; Luke 23:26; John 19:16). This is an allusion to the practice of leading the condemned by a rope tied around the waist. Christ Himself refers to this mode of carrying the cross in His words to Peter: `When thou art old thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another will gird thee, and lead thee where thou wouldst not. Now this he said to signify by what manner of death he should glorify God' (John 21:18-19). On an earlier occasion Christ had hinted that, like Himself, Peter would be crucified (John 13:36). The incident of Simon of Cyrene also indicates that Christ carried only the crossbeam. The terms used by Matthew (27:32) and Mark (15:21) mean that Simon, rather than merely assisting Christ, took the cross away from Him and carried it alone. The Evangelists use the same verb to quote Our Lord when He says: `Take my yoke upon you' (Matt. 11:29). Luke (23:26) is even more explicit: They laid the cross upon Simon that he might carry it walking behind Jesus." (Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961, p.42. Emphasis original)

"The Greek word for cross (staurós) does not necessarily mean a complete cross as we now understand it. In ancient usage it meant either the upright or the transverse beam. The same word, in fact, signified also the stake on which the condemned were sometimes impaled. In Latin the term most commonly used in reference to the carrying the cross was patibulum, which signifies precisely the crossbeam. The Shroud clearly portrays the carrying of the crossbeam. It is in conflict with popular belief and the tradition of art, but it agrees with the Gospels and the practice of the Romans. There is no trace of any injury at the top of either shoulder, such as would be caused by the carrying of a complete cross. We see there the stripes of the scourging, but the flesh was otherwise intact. On both shoulder-blades, however, there was an extensive excoriation-the sort of effect that would be caused by the friction of a rough burden like the transverse beam of a cross. There are also the traces of an abundant oozing, such as would continue after the friction had ceased. Moreover, it is clear that the burden was carried after the scourging, for on each shoulder-blade the wounds inflicted by the scourge were subsequently aggravated and altered in form, some of them almost obliterated, by the friction of the burden which caused such an extensive abrasion of the skin. In the case of the Man of the Shroud, as in that of Christ, everything points to the carrying of the crossbeam only." (Wuenschel, 1954, p.43. Italics original)

"The evangelist notes further that after the scourging and the crowning with thorns, Jesus put on his clothes again [Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20]. This is an important fact, because it constituted an exception to the rule, since those about to be crucified were scourged naked on the way. It was the Roman custom: this is the reason for the clothes. The Shroud reveals a morphological detail in the imprints of the shoulders already wounded by the scourges. If the cross had been in direct contact with the lacerated shoulders, the laceration would have widened - forming wide sores - but, on the contrary, they have kept their shape. This would not have happened without the presence of a robe protecting the shoulders already wounded by the scourges. That the arms of the Man of the Shroud were in a state of adduction, because they were tightly bound to the cross, is shown by the anatomical localization of the left scapular triangle, the contusion of which reveals a rotation from the natural position (Prof. N. Miani). ... Another exception to the rule is the intervention of the Cyrenean. It might be taken as an act of compassion on the part of the soldiers or persons accompanying the sad procession. Far from it - it was a question of false pity to make it possible to continue to Calvary, now near at hand - nothing more! The bruises on the face of the Man of the Shroud are directly involved. His hands being bound to the bar of the cross, they were caused by the inevitable impacts with the ground, in falling, and there was the danger of concussion. This would have prevented the spectacle of the `King of the Jews" on the cross!" (Ricci, G., "Historical, Medical and Physical Study of the Holy Shroud," 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, p.69)

"The shoulders of the Man of the Shroud show two large imprints in the area of the left scapula and above the right scapula. The parallel lines drawn on the photograph (fig. 52 [see below]) show the slant of the patibulum (20º), the stauros - σταυρος - of the Synoptic Gospels and of St. John. The nature of the imprints should be mentioned: the contusion on the left scapula, which is more extensive than the other, shows that this area supported more of the weight of the beam than did the other area, higher up, which is less marked. ... The dorsal imprint shows another detail which should be mentioned. The contusion in the area above the right scapula extends for several centimetres over the top of the shoulder. This was caused, as with the contusion on the left scapula, when the cross-piece, tied to the outstretched arms of the Man of the Shroud behind the shoulders, was hanging down to the left. Obviously, the right shoulder and the whole of the right arm were lifted up and were in contact with the cross-piece (while the left end of the cross-piece was hanging to the left, and thus naturally tended to slip lower and so drag on the opposite end. This caused the contused area to be enlarged in the direction shown." (Ricci, G., 1981, "The Holy Shroud," Center for the Study of the Passion of Christ and the Holy Shroud: Milwaukee WI, pp.94-95)

[Above (enlarge): Parallel lines superimposed over a photograph in Ricci (1981)[5], of the Shroud man's shoulder blades, showing how the excoriations and contusions on them fit a crossbeam carried over his right shoulder and angling across his left shoulder blade.

"After Jesus' scourging, mock crowning with thorns, and beating, he was taken away to be crucified. He was made to carry his own cross (John 19:17) but apparently stumbled and fell, since a bystander, Simon of Cyrene, was forced to carry it for him (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26). Bruises on the upper back just below the shoulders indicate that the man in the Shroud also carried or supported a heavy object. We know this happened after the scourging, because the rubbing of the heavy object slightly altered the scourge wounds underneath. Additionally, there are cuts and bruises on both knees, indicating a fall on a hard surface. The left knee is particularly badly cut." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, pp.122-123. Emphasis original)

"As noted by Professor Cameron ["British Home Office pathologist Professor James Cameron of the London Hospital"], in the shoulder regions these injuries appear to have been succeeded by some major source of abrasion, evident from the appearance of rubbing high on the left shoulder blade and lower down on the right. Cameron interprets this as the carrying of some heavy weight on the back, inevitably recalling the cross or crossbeam carried by crucifixion victims, and points out, in likely association, apparent damage to the knees, particularly the left one. From experiments with volunteers, Cameron observes that a right-handed person with a heavy beam tied to his outstretched arms tends naturally to carry this high on his left shoulder, lower down on his right, and when he falls, this will be most heavily on his left knee. Again the Shroud makes sound medical sense." (Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.20, 22, 17)

"Following these beatings and similar mistreatments, Jesus was forced to carry His own cross to the crucifixion site (John 19:17). But since He was apparently unable to complete the journey, a man named Simon of Cyrene was made to carry the cross for Him (Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26). The Shroud reveals a similar scenario. The man has large rub marks on both sides of his upper back in the scapular region. This came after the beating as is evidenced by the blood from the scourge marks, which is smeared at these points. The most likely cause for these rub marks is either a heavy object that was carried across the man's shoulders or the up-and-down motion of his body while he was suspended on the cross. Perhaps both are true. Additionally, both knees have contusions. The left knee is cut particularly badly. Again, two conclusions are likely. These cuts and bruises could have been caused when the man repeatedly fell to the ground during the scourging. They could also have been caused when he fell under the weight of his cross. While the Gospels do not report this event about Jesus, it is a possible explanation for the fact that Simon of Cyrene was forced to help Him." (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, p.86).

"Two large discolored areas over the shoulder blades are consistent with bleeding from surface abrasions as if a heavy, rough object had been in contact with the skin at these points. From what little is known about crucifixions, it was the custom for the crossbar of the cross to have been carried by the victim, supported across the upper back and shoulders. It is quite likely that it was this sort of structure which produced abrasions over the scapulae." (Bucklin, R, 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: A Pathologist's Viewpoint," 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, pp.271-279, pp.272-273)

"This, however, is not the only point of coincidence between the nasal areas on the two cloths [the Shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo]. Both of them, especially the Shroud, contain a high concentration of ground particles and dust in this area. When a man was being led to the place of crucifixion, he had to carry the horizontal bar of the cross, which was probably tied to his outstretched arms and placed across the back of his neck. This meant that whenever he fell, which would have been often after being whipped and with such a weight to carry, he could not protect his face from the impact of the fall. This also explains why this nose was swollen, slightly displaced and bleeding." (Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.28)

"The Romans made Jesus carry a cross and then forced Simon the Cyrene to carry it for Him because of His weakened state. Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a pathologist who was the Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York, points out that Jesus must have been suffering great fatigue at this point from His agony in the garden, where He sweat blood, and from the night-long trial that included beating, flogging and abuse. The team of Roman soldiers could not let Him die before the appointed time, so they solicited the help of Simon the Cyrene. We read in the New Testament that `As they were going out, they came across a man from Cyrene, Simon by name, and enlisted him to carry His cross' (Mt 27:32; see also Mk 15:21 and Lk 23:26). The Gospel of John states: `So they took Jesus in charge. And, carrying the cross Himself, He went out to what was called 'the Place of the Skull,' in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him and with Him two others...' (Jn 19:17-18). Normally, the Romans would leave the upright piece of the cross (stipes) in place on Golgotha and have the victim carry a heavy crossbeam (patibulum) weighing approximately 50-100 pounds across both shoulders. If there was more than one victim (such as the two thieves crucified with Jesus), the Romans would tie a rope connecting the ankles of the victims and the ends of the patibula, preventing the victims from running away or swinging the beam to hit a soldier. Any effort to do this would literally pull the victim's own legs from under him and cause him to fall to the ground. The evidence on the Shroud, as Bucklin points out, shows that the man has large rub marks or `chafing marks' on both sides of the upper back area in the scapular region. These rub marks were formed after the scourging because the scourge marks are smeared in these areas. While they could have been formed from the rubbing motion of the back on the cross, they are more consistent with the carrying of the patibulum across the shoulders. Professor [James] Cameron points out that `in the shoulder regions these injuries appear to have been succeeded by some major source of abrasion, evident from the appearance of rubbing high on the left shoulder blade and lower down on the right.' Cameron interprets this as the carrying of some heavy weight on the back, inevitably recalling the crossbeam. From experiments with volunteers, Cameron observed that a right-handed person with a heavy beam tied to his outstretched arms tends naturally to carry this beam high on his left shoulder and lower down on his right. When he falls, he will most likely fall on his left knee. This is consistent with the wound of the Shroud, showing serious damage to the left knee. There are also microscopic dirt particles embedded in the Shroud linen on the left knee. ... Although the Gospels do not specifically state that Jesus fell three times on the way to Calvary, Christian tradition has strongly maintained this. It is not unreasonable to assume that, in His weakened state, He fell. Bucklin points out that the left leg of Jesus is tied to the lower, part of the crossbeam being carried on His shoulders. His left kneecap is damaged in a fall. Dirt on the knee, left eyebrow and left cheek, and damage to His right eyebrow and center of the forehead indicate a series of falls, traditionally considered to be three. Additionally, there is dirt on the tip of the nose." (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.54-55. Emphasis original)

"Jesus, in traditional art, is shown carrying His entire cross. Tradition also holds that He fell several times while being taken to His place of execution. The man on the Shroud evidently carried a heavy beam across his shoulders and his knees bear evidence of at least one fall. St. John states that `Jesus ... went out, bearing his own cross' (Jn 19:17). Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not state specifically that Jesus was made to carry His cross, but all record that the Roman soldiers grabbed a man from the crowd - Simon from Cyrene (in North Africa) - and made him carry the cross, clearly implying that, up until that moment, Jesus had been bearing it. We are not told anything about the physical form or shape of the cross - whether He carried part of it or the whole thing - nor are we told that Jesus fell at any time. The fact, however, that Jesus went out carrying His cross and that at some point His executioners forced someone else to carry it for Him would indicate that something had happened to convince them that Jesus was physically incapable of carrying it any longer." (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.43. Emphasis original)

"So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross (John 19:17). The man in the Shroud has abrasions on both shoulders as if a rough, heavy object had been placed across his shoulders. Based on the dirt found in the image areas of the man's nose and knees, as well as the cuts and abrasions on his face, knees, and legs, it appears that the man in the Shroud fell. This would have been expected for someone who was forced to carry a heavy crossbeam, especially if he had first received a beating and severe scourging. Jesus, too, apparently fell from this same strain (which would have been compounded by his sleepless, night-long agony of desertion and trials), for Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for him (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26)." (Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.120. Italics original)

"Jesus was made to carry His Cross (John 19:17). The Shroud image shows that the man must have carried a heavy object on his shoulders, for there are bruises and cuts on his shoulders and knees: `On the right shoulder ... there is a broad excoriated area, which is in the form of a rectangle of about 10 x 9 centimetres. ... On the left side, there is another area of excoriations of the same type ... It is round, with a diameter of about 5½ inches.' [Barbet, P., 1963, "A Doctor at Calvary," Image Books: New York NY, pp.97-98] These wounds demonstrate that the man likely carried a cross-beam or patibulum, rather than a full-length `T' cross. When the condemned man reached the place of crucifixion, the patibulum would have been attached to the vertical beam or the stipes, which was permanently fixed into the ground." (Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, pp.38-39. Italics original)

"The Shoulder Area An image consistent with an abrasion is present in the region of the right shoulder. The right shoulder also appears somewhat lower than the left. There is also an image in the region of the left scapula consistent with an abrasion. These abrasions are consistent with injuries sustained while carrying the crosspiece of the cross. (Zugibe, F.T., 2005, "The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry," M. Evans & Co.: New York NY, p.195)

By this time it must have been approaching mid-morning. Jesus set out on his final journey as the day was starting to heat up, carrying a wooden beam, the patibulum , weighing about 70 - 100 pounds. He would not have been kept waiting long once the order for his crucifixion had been given. The quaternio would have been selected and given its orders with the minimum of delay. Roman military discipline would have ensured that there would have been rapid arrangements made and the condemned sent quickly on his way to the execution site. The journey from the Antonia to Calvary started along one of the main streets of Jerusalem and the total distance to be covered was slightly less than a kilometre. To Jesus, in his condition, it must have seemed never- ending. The road was unpaved and uneven, with ruts made by carts. At the edge of the city the road started to climb. It is hardly surprising that Jesus had to be assisted in carrying the patibulum . Luke describes how, as Jesus was being led away from the Antonia, in other words right at the start of his journey to Calvary, a man coming in from the country, Simon of Cyrene, was made to shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus 32. This reference of Luke's is totally consistent with the weakened physical condition Jesus must have been in at the time. He would not have been physically capable of carrying a 70 lb wooden beam over a distance of nearly a kilometre. It was the responsibility of the quaternio to ensure that the condemned man reached the execution site alive. In the case of Jesus they may well have seen that to make him carry the patibulum himself would have been fatal. There is no reference in the Gospels to Jesus falling on the way to Calvary, although it is a part of Christian tradition. However, it would have been remarkable if he had not stumbled and fallen, even without carrying a heavy wooden beam, on the uneven, climbing path to the execution site. Following the scourging and his being dressed in a purple robe for the purpose of mockery, Jesus had had his clothes restored to him. He did not make the journey to Calvary naked. " (Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, pp.164-165. Italics original)


1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to extract or quote from any quote, one at a time (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. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Vertical (rotated 180°).," Sindonology.org. [return]
3. Ricci, G., 1981, "The Holy Shroud," Center for the Study of the Passion of Christ and the Holy Shroud: Milwaukee WI, p.95. Italics original). [return]
4. Extract from Latendresse, 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Vertical.," Sindonology.org. [return]
5. Ricci, 1981, p.95. [return]

Posted 17 November 2015. Update: 1 June 2022.


Ivan said...

Dear Mr Jones,

Your posts not only provide detailed scientific information on the Shroud, but also serve as a powerful meditation on the sufferings of Our Lord. Thank you!

Steve Calovich

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Your posts not only provide detailed scientific information on the Shroud, but also serve as a powerful meditation on the sufferings of Our Lord. Thank you!

Thank you for your encouraging comment.

Stephen E. Jones
MY POLICIES Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Except that comments under my latest post can be on any Shroud-related topic without being off-topic. I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.