Sunday, April 3, 2016

"The Shroud of Turin": Shroud of Turin News - March 2016

Shroud of Turin News - March 2016
© Stephen E. Jones

This is part #2 of the March 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The article's words are in bold to distinguish them from mine.

[Previous: March 2016, part #1] [Next: March 2016, part #3]

"The Shroud of Turin," Homiletic & Pastoral Review, March 23, 2016, Raymond F. Hain III ... The Shroud of Turin was on

[Above (enlarge): "Burial of Christ," by Michelangelo Caravaggio, 1602-1604[2]. This painting by Michelangelo da Caravaggio (1571–1610), featured in this article, while a great work of 17th century Italian art, is almost completely opposite to what the burial of Jesus as revealed by the Shroud, was (see the photo in the previous post, "Problems of the Forgery Theory: Index G-M"). In Caravaggio's painting there are no wounds or blood on Jesus' head, body, hands and feet; but there is a large bloodstained spear wound in the right side of the Man on the Shroud (Jesus), as well as large Roman nail wounds in His wrists and feet and rivulets of blood from the crown (or cap) of thorns on the Shroud man's forehead. Also, Caravaggio's Jesus has a loincloth to preserve His modesty, but the Man on the Shroud is completely naked. This further shows that the Shroud is not a medieval forgery because no medieval forger would have depicted Jesus with bloody wounds and completely naked.]

public display from April 19, 2015 through June 24, 2015 in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. More than two million visitors came to Turin from around the world to view the Shroud. "Some say the 14-foot piece of linen is Christ's burial cloth. They point to what appears to be the imprinted image of a man bearing wounds from a crucifixion. Others say the whole thing is a medieval forgery. Agnostic but pro-authenticist art historian Thomas de Wesselow pointed out that so foreign is the Shroud to medieval artistic culture, that a better explanation than that it "is a medieval forgery" is that "the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens":

"Given credence, the [1260-1390] carbon-dating result effectively raises the Shroud to the status of a miracle, an object that defies, if not a law of nature, a law of culture. All artefacts are linked to the art and technology of the society in which they originate. Something that cannot be explained in terms of its (presumed) cultural context invites a supernatural explanation. As far as I am aware, no one has yet argued that the Shroud was deposited in medieval France by aliens, but ... There is no better explanation, though, for a fourteenth-century Shroud"[3].
Regardless, the shroud has remained a wildly popular attraction for pilgrims from around the world."1 The Shroud is certainly one of the most controversial relics in recent times. It has been displayed several times in this century, the last time in 2005. [sic] 2015. I was one of those fortunate visitors to view the Shroud. The viewing was part of a pilgrimage my wife and I made to Italy in May 2015. ...

[Above: "Figure 1: Shroud of Turin on Display" in the 2015 exposition.]

... The cloth itself measures 14.3 x 3.7 feet. This is a rather strange size for the cloth unless one takes into account a length measurement of the time - the Assyrian cubit. Doing this the size of the cloth is 8 cubits by 2 cubits - a much more regular measurement. Indeed! See my post, "Dimensions #3: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" Since the dimensions of the standard Assyrian cubit of Jesus' day were not known until the 19th century, a medieval forger would not know, let alone care, that his cloth should have these first century dimensions.

The cloth is woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils. Which was extremely rare and therefore expensive in the Middle Ages. Too rare and expensive for a medieval forger to use, because that would severely reduce his profit margin. So Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Professor Edward Hall (1924-2001) was right on one point, in "the 14th century" a forger would have "just got a bit of linen" to create his forgery upon:

"There was a multi-million-pound business in making forgeries during the 14th century ... Someone just got a bit of linen, faked it up and flogged it." (my emphasis)[4]
But the Shroud is not just "a bit of linen"! If it existed today as a sheet of herringbone twill linen, without its image, it would be priceless. See my post, "Weave #4: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!"

There appears a faint image of the front and back image of a naked man with his hands crossed over his groin. The front and back views meet nearly at the middle of the cloth with no outline of the figure. The two views are aligned along the mid-plane of the body and point in opposite directions and nearly meet in the middle. The image is so faint that it can only be seen from about 2–9 feet away. When viewed any closer, it tends to disappear, and any further away, it becomes rather indistinct. Confirming the point made in my post, "Faint #11: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!," that a forger would not create Jesus' image on a shroud that could not be seen close-up. This article is too long for me to comment on in full, but it is well worth reading.

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 it. [return]
2. "The Entombment of Christ (Caravaggio)," Wikipedia, 22 March 2016. [return]
3. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, pp.167-168. [return]
4. "Obituaries: Professor Edward Hall," The Independent:, 16 August 2001. [return]

Posted: 3 April 2016. Updated: 4 April 2016.


Anonymous said...

Why is it that all artists drew Jesus with wounds on his hands ? Didn't they see the Shroud or at least hear about it ?

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Why is it that all artists drew Jesus with wounds on his hands ?

I don't know if ALL did. Caravaggio's painting above has a spot on the back of Jesus' right hand which is about where the nail wound is on the Shroud.

But most Christian art which depicted Jesus crucifixion, being taken down from the cross or entombed, showed nail wounds in the palms of Jesus' hands because that is what the New Testament seems to say:

John 20:24-28. "24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, `We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, `Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.' 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, `Peace be with you.' 27 Then he said to Thomas, `Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.' 28 Thomas answered him, `My Lord and my God!'"

But the New Testament Greek word for "hand" [cheir] included the hand, wrist and arm up to the elbow, because the Greek words for "arm" [ankale and brachion] did not include the arm from the elbow to the hand (i.e. the forearm).

>Didn't they see the Shroud or at least hear about it ?

Some may not have seen or heard about the Shroud. It wasn't exhibited publicly until 1355 and not often after that. And up to the 1898 exposition, when Secondo Pia (1855–1941) took the first official photograph of the Shroud and discovered the Shroud man's image was a photographic negative, the Shroud was widely regarded, even among Roman Catholics, as just another a medieval fake relic.

And even those Christian artists who would have at least heard about the Shroud, like Caravaggio (1571–1610), the weight of centuries of Christian traditional artistic culture overrode the evidence of the Shroud. Artists (including forgers), want their works to be bought or be acceptable to their patrons who commissioned them.

That's why a medieval forger would not have (even if he could have) depicted Jesus completely naked and with realistic bloody wounds (let alone in negative), as He is on the Shroud.

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.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking your time to reply and to share your opinion. I appreciate.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Thanks for taking your time to reply and to share your opinion. I appreciate.

Thanks. You may not have meant to dismiss what I wrote as merely my "opinion," but if you did, then what I wrote above (and indeed in all my posts and comments unless I otherwise indicate) is not merely my "opinion". I go to a lot of time and effort to present the objective FACTS about the Shroud, backed up by references.

This no doubt sounds arrogant in this post-modern and post-Christian, world, but most of my life (I am now 69), I have only been interested in OBJECTIVE truth, i.e. that which is true, irrespective of whether it is believed or not.

I regard what I write about the Shroud as being objectively true and having eternal consequences for those who read it but reject it.

As I wrote in a previous comment (abbreviated, my emphasis):

"... it occurred to me that my assumption that the refusal of Shroud sceptics to accept the overwhelming evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, will be judged most severely by Jesus (2Cor 5:10; Mt 16:27; 25:31-32; Ac 10:42; 2Tim 4:1, 1Pet 4:5), has a Biblical basis. If the Shroud is authentic, as the evidence overwhelmingly indicates, then it is a MIRACULOUS WORK of Jesus (Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle,: pp.174-177). And in the Gospels Jesus called on those who witnessed His miraculous works to believe in Him on the basis of those works [Jn 10:25,37-38; 14:10-11] ... or else face a more severe judgment than they otherwise will, if they had been ordinary unbelievers:

Mt 11:20-22. "Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. `Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you"

Lk 10:13-15. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades."


Stephen E. Jones said...


By analogy this applies to those sceptics who know the evidence of the Shroud's authenticity but don't accept it. It does not apply to those who don't accept the Shroud is authentic, but are ignorant of that evidence. The former are in the same position as those residents in those towns in Israel who personally witnessed Jesus' miraculous works but didn't believe in him. The latter are in the same position as residents in other towns in Israel who did not personally witness Jesus' miraculous works. They will still be judged (if they are non-Christians), but less severely.

Jesus stated His principle: "Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required." (Lk 12:48).

So Shroud sceptic, you who knows the evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, but refuses to accept it, Jesus graciously invites you to "repent" (Gk. metanoia = change your mind) and believe in Him, who is God in human flesh (Mt 1:23; Jn 1:1,14; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Rom 9:5; Php 2:5-6; Col 2:9; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8; 2Pet 1:1; 1Jn 5:20), and died a horrific death on the cross for YOUR sins (Php 2:8; Heb 12:2), so that YOU may be saved, escape God's righteous Judgment (John 3:16-18), and receive from Jesus eternal life (Jn 3:15-16,36; 5:24; 6:40,47; Acts 13:48; 1Tim 1:16; 1Jn 5:13).

Stephen E. Jones
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