Friday, June 24, 2016

"New Study: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo Covered the Same Person," Shroud of Turin News, May 2016

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

[Previous: May 2016, part #1] [Next: June 2016, part #1]

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

"New Study: The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo Covered the Same Person," Aleteia, Kathleen Hattrup, Paraula, April 11, 2016. Researcher finds complete correspondence in the points where blood flow started. This further confirms what was already

[Above (enlarge): "Transparency acetate on three-dimensional model used in the investigation of Juan Manuel Miñarro. LINTEUM"]

known, that there is a an exact correspondence between blood and lung fluid stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo and the face of the Shroud of Turin (see my 25May16):

"The most striking thing about all the stains [on the face of the Sudarium] is that they coincide exactly with the face of the image on the Turin Shroud."[2]
The Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo "almost certainly covered the cadaver of the same person." Considering that both the Shroud and Sudarium covered the dead body of the same person, yet the first undisputed appearance of the Shroud was in ~1355 at Lirey, France[3] and the Sudarium has been in Spain since ~616[4], it is impossible that the Shroud can be a 13th/14th century forgery, and so this is yet more evidence that the 1988 radiocarbon date of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... 1260-1390"[5] was wrong!

This is the conclusion from an investigation that has compared the two relics using forensics and geometry. The article does not say what this "forensics and geometry" was. But from the photo above presumably it involved Prof. Miñarro sculpting a head and face of the man on the Shroud, from the three-dimensional information in his image, overlaying a transparency of the Sudarium on that sculpture's face and head, and then noting the "points that demonstrate the compatibility between both cloths" (see below).

The research was done by Dr. Juan Manuel Miñarro, a sculpture professor at the University of Seville, as part of a project sponsored by the Valencia-based Centro Español de Sindonología (CES) (The Spanish Center of Sindonology). Miñarro's work for the CES is a continuation of the latter's previous artistic and photographic comparisons of the Sudarium and the Shroud face, as evident in the photo below which has "© C.E.S." on it.

[Above (enlarge): "Comparison of the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin. A clotted flow of blood appears on the right side of both linens, extending the length of the beard. It is post-mortem blood on both cloths, with a very similar morphology, measured at 1,310 mm2 on the Shroud and 1,980 mm2 on the Sudarium."[6].]

The study thus supports what tradition has held for more than two millennia: that the two cloths came from the same historical person, who, according to this tradition, was Jesus of Nazareth. It is not only "tradition." Leading Shroud sceptics Steven Schafersman and Joe Nickell have admitted that either the Shroud is "a product of human artifice" or "the image is that of Jesus" and there is no "possible third hypothesis":

"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson[7] and Stevenson and Habermas[8] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate)[9]. I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.'" (my emphasis)[10]
But if the Shroud were a forgery, then so would the Sudarium have to be, with their exact correspondence between blood and lung fluid stains (see above). But then both would have had to have been forged before 616. Then Shroud sceptics would have to abandon the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as being more than six centuries out; and also that Bishop Pierre d'Arcis (†1377-1395) was wrong in his 1389 Memorandum's claim that the image on the Shroud had been "cunningly painted" and one of his Bishop of Troyes predecessors, Henry de Poitiers (†1354-1370), had "discovered ... the artist who had painted it"[11]. Then the problem would be even greater to account for the anatomical accuracy of the Shroud man's wounds and bloodstains[12] and the forger's artistic ability being equal or greater than Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)[13], before the seventh century! Then there is the problem of why a forger would have created the Sudarium with no image on it[14]. On the principle of Ockham's Razor, by far the the simplest and therefore to be preferred explanation[15] is that Jesus of Nazareth is the dead person which both the Sudarium and the Shroud had covered!

The Shroud of Turin would have been the linen that covered that body of Jesus when he was placed in the tomb, while the Sudarium would have been the cloth used to cover his face on the cross after he died. Yes. The word translated "shroud" in:

Mt 27:59: "And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud";
Mk 15:46: And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him [Jesus] down, wrapped him in the linen shroud ..."; and
Lk 23:53: "Then he took it [the body of Jesus] down and wrapped it in a linen shroud ..."
is sindon[16]:
"... a sheet or wrapping of linen ... worn by the Orientals at night (Mark 14:51, 52). Used also for wrapping dead bodies (Matt. 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53 ..." (my emphasis)[17]
Whereas the word "Sudarium" is Latin for "handkerchief" (my emphasis)[18] and is based on the Greek word soudarion, "A sweat-cloth, generally a handkerchief, napkin (Luke 19:20; John 11:44; 20:7; Acts 19:12)" (my emphasis)[19], which is the word translated "face cloth" in Jn 11:44 & 20:7[20]:
John 11:44. "The man [Lazarus] who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth ...";
John 20:7. "and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."
Both cloths would be those found by Peter and John in the tomb, as the Gospel recounts. No. Shroud pro-authenticists (including me) want the Shroud to have been found by Peter and John in the tomb, but the Gospel does not recount that. John 20:6-8 recounts that Peter and John found the linen cloths [othonia = "strips of linen" - NIV] and the "face cloth" [soudarion], but not the Shroud [sindon]:
"6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths [othonia] lying there, 7 and the face cloth soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths [othonia] but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple [John], who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed"
As the Irish pro-authenticist theologian Prof. Patrick A. Beecher (1870-1940) rightly pointed out, "After the resurrection there is no mention of the Sindon as having been found in the tomb":
"The three Synoptic Evangelists, Saints Matthew, Mark and Luke, tell us that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Our Lord in a Sindon (Matt. xxvii. 59; Mark xv. 46; Luke xxiii. 53). The Sindon was a large white linen sheet that covered the entire body. The Evangelists carefully distinguish between it and the sudarium (napkin), which latter was in shape and size like a handkerchief, and was used for the head. In addition, as we know from St. John (xix. 40), linen cloths (ta othonia) were used, with spices, according to Jewish custom. After the resurrection there is no mention of the Sindon as having been found in the tomb. St. John tells us that Peter `saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place' (xx. 6,7). And St. Luke tells us that `Peter rising up, ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths laid by themselves' (xxiv. 12)" (my emphasis)[21].
This is also agreed by pro-authenticists Bulst[22], Guscin[23], and Ruffin[24], that the sindon (shroud) is not mentioned in Jn 20:4-8 as having being present in the tomb when Peter and John entered it.

And as Beecher further pointed out, that Luke in Lk 24:12 does not mention the sindon being present in the empty tomb after Jesus' resurrection, despite him having previously mentioned it in Lk 23:53 as being present in the tomb at Jesus' burial, indicates that the sindon was not in the empty tomb:

"What became of the Sindon? Saints Matthew and Mark are silent and make no reference to any cloths in the [empty] tomb. St. John still speaks of bandages and of the napkin. His silence about the Sindon would have no special significance, inasmuch as he did not refer to it before. But the fact that St. Luke does not now mention the Sindon, which had occupied his attention previously [Lk 23:53], but speaks of cloths [othonia] [25] ... instead [Lk 24:12], would indicate that the Sindon was not in the [empty] tomb"[26] (my emphasis)
Beecher regarded it as "very significant" (as I do) that the Gospel evidence (see above) which indicates that "the Sindon was not in the tomb," is consistent with a very early Christian writing, the Gospel of the Hebrews, which states that the risen Jesus took His sindon with Him out of the tomb:
"And this is very significant in connection with what St. Jerome tells us, on the authority of the Gospel to the Hebrews (a work from which he often quotes), namely, that Our Lord kept His Sindon with Him when He arose from the dead"[27].

See my 2014 series, "Servant of the priest"

The study "doesn't prove in itself that this person was Jesus Christ, This is fallacious in that it involves a physical science definition of "prove," in an experimental sense. I recently scanned to help put online an article in Shroud News, by the late Italian radiologist Luigi Malantrucco (1925-1992), in which he made this same criticism (read the whole article):

"In a recent article by Professor Luigi Gonella [a nuclear physicist] published in Collegamento Pro Sindone (March/ April 1987), once more we find, and well emphasised, this claim: `Scientists maintain that the Shroud authenticity problem is beyond the possibilities of physics since we do not have an identikit of Jesus Christ and, therefore, we could ... never say whether He is the Man of the Shroud.' ... We ought to make it clear, however, that the eventual impossibility is evidently referred to physical sciences (the so-call[ed] quantitative or hard sciences) ... But anyone who has a minimum of experience in forensic medicine knows that very often quantitative sciences are not very useful for identifying corpses. Most useful, and often determinative, are accurate necroscopic analyses, pointing out meaningful details such as scars, tattoos, the outcome of earlier operations or traumatic injuries, marks of prostheses, or even mutilations, small or severe, or marks of known unhealthy processes. And this is often sufficient to give a name to corpses otherwise unrecognisable even by their closest relatives."[28]
But suspects are convicted of crimes every day on far less forensic science evidence than that which proves beyond reasonable doubt that the Man on the Shroud is Jesus. See above where even leading Shroud anti-authenticists Schafersman and Nickell concede that either the Shroud is "a product of human artifice" or "the image is that of Jesus."

but it does clearly advance us along the path of being able to indisputably demonstrate that the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium were wrapped around the head of the same cadaver," Miñarro explained to Paraula. Agreed, but what would be the point of that if it could never "prove ... that this person was Jesus Christ"?

Blood stains In fact, the investigation has found a number of correlations between the two relics that "far exceeds the minimum number of proofs or significant points required by most judicial systems around the world to identify a person, which is between eight and 12, while our study has demonstrated more than 20." So how much evidence does Miñarro need, for him to be able to state that, `This study alone proves beyond reasonable doubt "that this person was Jesus Christ"? The same Jesus who warned in Matthew 10:32-33:

"So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
may not be pleased with scientists who are endlessly discovering evidence for the Shroud's authenticity, but who never personally state publicly that the Man on the Shroud is Jesus!

Specifically, the research has discovered "very important coincidences" in the principal morphological characteristics (type, size and distances of the markings), the number and distribution of the blood stains, the unique markings from some of the wounds reflected on both of the cloths or the deformed surfaces. Ditto. To the end of the article, Miñarro does not state that the "same person" whom the Shroud and Sudarium covered, was Jesus. If Miñarro was reported correctly (and has not stated it elsewhere), this seems to me to be a form of academic cowardice! (read STURP's Ken Stevenson's "My White Linen-White Paper" where he criticises the same problem with his fellow STURP scientists).

Indeed, the agnostic Yves Delage (1854-1920) puts these presumed Christian scientists to shame, because he declared before the French Academy of Sciences in 1902, that based on his and Paul Vignon's study of Secondo Pia's 1898 Shroud photographs, "The man of the shroud was the Christ":

"Pausing, he [Delage] looked round. `Must I speak of the identification of the person whose image appears on the shroud?' he asked. ... The truth could be reached, he continued, along two separate lines of inquiry. On the one hand, there was the Shroud telling plainly of a victim who had been crucified, flogged, pierced in the side and crowned with thorns. On the other hand, there was the story of Christ's Passion, telling just as plainly of a man who had suffered those very punishments. `Is it not natural to bring these two parallel series together and tie them to the same object?' ... `Let us add to this, that, in order for the image to have formed itself without being ultimately destroyed, it was necessary that the corpse remain in the shroud at least twenty-four hours, the amount of time needed for the formation of the image, and at the most several days, after which a putrefaction sets in which destroys the image and finally the shroud.' ... `Tradition-more or less apocryphal, I would say-tells us that this is precisely what happened to Christ; dead on Friday and-disappeared-on Sunday.' Then, gravely, Delage made his affirmation: `The man of the shroud was the Christ.'"[29]
There are "points that demonstrate the compatibility between both cloths" in the area of the forehead, where there are remains of blood, as well as at the back of the nose, the right cheekbone and the chin, which "present different wounds." And ...?

Regarding the blood stains, Miñarro explained that the marks found on the two cloths have morphological differences, but that "what seems unquestionable is that the sources, the points from which blood began to flow, correspond entirely." And therefore ...?

The variations could be explained by the fact that "the contact with the [cloths] was different" in regard to duration, placement and intensity of the contact of the head with each of the cloths, as well as the "elasticity of the weave of each linen." Agreed that since, even though the Shroud and Sudarium did both cover the face of Jesus, they have different textures and had different histories. So there does not have to be a perfect match of each and every blood and lung fluid stain for them to have covered the face of the same person, namely Jesus.

Certainly, the coincidences demonstrated on the two cloths "are such that now it is very difficult to think that they came from different people," according to Jorge Manuel Rodríguez, president of the CES. And therefore ...?

In the light of this investigation, he said, "we have come to a point where it seems absurd to suggest that `by happenstance' all of the wounds, lesions and swelling coincides on both cloths. ... Logic requires that we conclude that we are speaking of the same person." Agreed. And that "person" is ...?

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17 Disappointingly this article contradicts that. If Miñarro and Rodríguez have been correctly reported, evidently there is something "hidden that will not be disclosed" and something "concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open," by the scientists of the Centro Español de Sindonología (CES), namely that based on their own massive accumulation of forensic evidence that the Shroud and Sudarium covered the face "of the same person," they refuse to state publicly (unless they have said it elsewhere), that that same person was Jesus!

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. Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.27). [return]
3. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, p.19; 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.278; Oxley, M., 2010, "The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin," AuthorHouse: Milton Keynes UK, pp.4, 52; Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, pp.222-223. [return]
4. Guscin, 1998, pp.14-15; Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo: New Evidence for the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin," Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, pp.28-31; 194; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.42; Oxley, 2010, p.182-183. [return]
5. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
6. Bennett, 2001, p.122. [return]
7. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.51-53. [return]
8. 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.121-129. [return]
9. Stevenson. & Habermas, 1981, p.128. [return]
10. Schafersman, S.D., "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1982, pp.37-56, p.42 in Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. [return]
11. Wilson, 1979, pp.266-267. [return]
12. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, pp.32-33; Wilson, 1979, pp.34-35; Stevenson. & Habermas, 1981, pp.78,127,156; Meacham, W., 1983, "The Authentication of the Turin Shroud: An Issue in Archaeological Epistemology," Current Anthropology, Vol. 24, No. 3, June, pp.283-311,284,294; Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.70; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.22,24-25,30. [return]
13. Brent, P. & Rolfe, D., 1978, "The Silent Witness: The Mysteries of the Turin Shroud Revealed," Futura Publications: London, p.78; Currer-Briggs, N., 1984, "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, p.155; Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.69; Currer-Briggs, N., 1988, "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, p.31; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.139; Wilson, 1998, p.201. [return]
14. Whanger, A.D. & M.W., "A Quantitative Optical Technique for Analyzing and Authenticating the Images on the Shroud of Turin," 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.303-324, 312; Guscin, 1998, p.9; Iannone, 1998,p.91; Whanger, M. & Whanger, A.D., 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN, pp.56-57; Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, p.11; Bennett, 2001, p.13; Guerrera, 2001, p.41. [return]
15. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, p.208; Oxley, 2010, pp.242-243. [return]
16. Green, J.P., Sr., ed., 1986, "The Interlinear Bible: One Volume Edition," [1976], Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA, Second edition, pp.766, 785, 816. [return]
17. Zodhiates, S., 1992, "The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament," AMG Publishers: Chattanooga TN, Third printing, 1994, pp.1290-1291. [return]
18. Kidd, D.A., 1995, "Collins Paperback Latin Dictionary," HarperCollins: London, Latin-English p.210. [return]
19. Zodhiates, 1992, p.1300. [return]
20. Green, 1986, pp.831, 839. [return]
21. Beecher, P.A., 1928, "The Holy Shroud: Reply to the Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J.," M.H. Gill & Son: Dublin, p.16. [return]
22. Bulst, 1957, pp.99-100,142. [return]
23. Guscin, 1998, p.10. [return]
24. Ruffin, 1999, p.46. [return]
25. Beecher has "(linteamina)" which is the Latin Vulgate's translation of othonia in Jn 20:5-7. Feuillet, A., 1982, "The Identification & Disposition of the Funerary Linens of Jesus' Burial According to the Fourth Gospel," Shroud Spectrum International, Issue #4, September, pp.13-23, p.16. [return]
26. Beecher, 1928, pp.16-17. [return]
27. Beecher, 1928, p.17. [return]
28. Malantrucco, L., 1987, "The Identikit of Jesus," Shroud News, October, No. 43, pp.3-5, 3. [return]
29. Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, pp.100-101. [return]

Posted: 24 June 2016. Updated: 5 February 2022.

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