Saturday, October 8, 2016

"The Shroud of Turin as the Burial Cloth of Jesus - Answers for Critics," Shroud of Turin News, September 2016

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

[Previous: September 2016, part #1] [Next: October 2016, part #1]

This is part #2 of the September 2016 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. The article's words are bold to distinguish them from mine. It is my emphasis unless otherwise indicated.

The Shroud of Turin as the Burial Cloth of Jesus - Answers for Critics, Northwest Creation Network, Dr. John Johnson, September 7th, 2016.

[Above (enlarge): "The Shroud of Turin: modern photo of the face, positive left, digitally processed [negative] image right"[2].]

The Shroud of Turin has been claimed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ since at least the 14th Century. Since at least c. 1355, i.e. "thirty-four years" before 1389, according to Bishop Pierre d'Arcis in his 1389 memorandum:

"The case, Holy Father [Pope Clement VIII], stands thus. Some time since in this diocese of Troyes the Dean of a certain collegiate church, to wit, that of Lirey, falsely and deceitfully ... procured for his church a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by a clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say, the back and front, he falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Saviour Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb, and upon which the whole likeness of the Saviour had remained thus impressed together with the wounds which He bore ... The Lord Henry of Poitiers ... then Bishop of Troyes, becoming aware of this ... Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed ... They ... hid away the said cloth so that the Ordinary [bailiff] could not find it, and they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year."[3]
But as we have seen, Bishop d'Arcis was wrong, since: 1) the Shroud image is not "painted" [11Jul16, 20Jan16]; 2) his predecessor Bishop Henri de Poitiers had no problems with the Shroud being exhibited in c.1355[11Jul16, 20Jan16]; and 3) no "artist" was named, let alone charged with having forged the Shroud[11Jul16, 20Jan16].

I have studied it as an archaeological item for over 30 years. This site, Northwest Creation Network, is Young-Earth Creationist, and Dr. John Johnson is a leading Young-Earth Creationist. This itself is evidence of the Shroud's authenticity, in that the evidence for the Shroud being the very "Burial Cloth of Jesus" is so strong that Shroud pro-authenticists range across the entire Christian spectrum, from Roman Catholics to Protestant Genesis literalists. And indeed pro-authenticists continue off the Christian spectrum to include non-Christians like Jewish Barrie Schwortz and agnostic Thomas de Wesselow!

Few people took it seriously until the intensive scientific investigations in the 20th century showed it was like a photographic negative ... In fact it was just before the end of the 19th century, in 1898, that Turin amateur photographer Secondo Pia (1855–1941) took the first photographs of the Shroud and discovered that the negative on his photographic plate was a photographic positive, which meant that the Shroud image was a photographic negative! See the above negative photograph of the Shroud [right], which is a photographic positive, thus proving the Shroud image is a photographic negative [left]. See also below part of a negative plate of Pia's 1898 photograph of the Shroud above the altar in Turin Cathedral

[Above (enlarge): The negative plate of one of Secondo Pia's photographs of the Shroud in 1898 in Turin Cathedral[4].]

where it was displayed during the 1898 Exposition. As can be seen (enlarge) on Pia's negative the Shroud image is photographically positive, while everything else is negative.

... not created by painting or scorching, ... On "not created by painting" see "No paint, etc. #15 ..." On "not created by ... scorching," STURP found in 1978 that when the Shroud was photographed in

[Above (enlarge): Head and chest of the Shroud man's image in ultraviolet light[5].]

ultraviolet light, as can be seen above, while the scorch marks from the 1532 fire fluoresced orange-brown[6], both the blood areas[7] and the Shroud body image do not fluoresce in ultraviolet light at all[8]. The blood is the same red colour of blood on the Shroud in ordinary light because blood absorbs ultraviolet light[9] and yellow is the background color of aged linen[10]. Therefore the image on the Shroud cannot have been caused by a heat scorch[11].

... linen that could be first Century mid-east weave, ... Not just "could be" but almost certainly was "first Century mid-east weave"! Ancient textiles expert Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg has showed that the most plausible (if not the only) explanation for the Shroud's sidestrip [see 24Aug15] is that the Shroud is part of a much wider linen

[Above (enlarge): "How the shroud was originally woven much wider than its present width. Reconstruction of the likely size of the bolt of cloth of which the two lengths of the Shroud (shaded) formed part. This wider cloth was very expertly cut lengthwise, then the raw (i.e. non-selvedge) edges of the shaded segments joined together by a very professional seam to form the Shroud we know today."[12].]

sheet that had been woven on an extra-wide loom, which are known from the ancient east but not from the medieval era[13]. The wider linen sheet had a selvedge (weaver-finished edge) [see 11Sep15] on each long side. What was to become the main body of the Shroud, complete with selvedge, was cut lengthwise from the wider sheet (see above). Then what was to become the sidestrip with its selvedge, was cut from the other side of the wider sheet and its cut edge was joined by a seam to that of the main body of the Shroud, resulting in a linen sheet, which became the Shroud, having a selvedge on each long side[14].

Moreover, while preparing the Shroud for the 1998 exposition, Flury-Lemberg removed the Shroud's backing cloth which had been sewn on in 1534 by Chambéry's Poor Clare nuns following the 1532 fire, and

[Right: enlarge: Sketch of `invisible seam' found on cloth fragments at the first-century Jewish fortress of Masada[15], which is "identical to that found on the Shroud and nowhere else"[16].]

discovered on the Shroud's underside, the seam joining the sidestrip and the main body of the Shroud was sewn with almost invisible stitching that, in her ~40 years experience with ancient textiles, Flury-Lemberg had seen only once before, in the ruins of the Jewish fortress of Masada, which had been destroyed by the Romans in AD 73[17] and never occupied since[18]!

... had pollen traced to the Mideast,... [see 16May15] In 1973 and 1978, botanist and pioneer forensic scientist Max Frei-Sulzer (1913-83), used his tape-uplift method to take pollen grain samples from the Shroud[19]. Between

[Left (enlarge): Max Frei with STURP's Ray Rogers (1927–2005) looking on, using adhesive tape to take pollen samples from the Shroud in 1978[20].]

1974 and 1979 Frei carried out field trips to Turkey and Israel to help identify his Shroud pollen samples[21]. In 1982 Frei reported that he had identified pollen on the Shroud from 48 different varieties of plants[22]. After Frei's death in 1983, Prof. Werner Bulst (1913-95) reported in 1984 that Frei had identified pollen on the Shroud from a total of 58 different varieties of plants[23]. And of these, only 17 (less than a third) grow in France or Italy[24]. The majority of the pollens on the Shroud are native to "Turkey," "the Dead Sea," "Near Eastern rocky hills," "Jerusalem" and "Israel" [see table]:

"... Frei managed to identify pollens from no fewer than fifty-eight varieties of plant, before his death in early 1983. The varieties of plant told their own striking story of the markedly differing geographical regions with which the Shroud had historically been associated ... as might be expected, a substantial number of plant species that grow widely in France, Italy, and the general Mediterranean area ... the places it is known to have been since the 1350s ... But as is also evident from the list, a similarly substantial number of pollens derive from steppe plants most commonly found in eastern Turkey. ... Desert plants, most notably halophytes, specially adapted to grow in the exceptionally salty soil around the Dead Sea, also feature prominently in the list, along with no fewer than seven plants characteristic of Near Eastern rocky hills and other high places. It is obvious that the Shroud has been in a region typical of, if not identical with, the terrain in which the historical Jesus moved. But by far the greatest significance of the table is the preponderance of plants typical of, and in some cases effectively exclusive to, the environs of Jerusalem. The European representation is outweighed, the only reasonable inference being that it was somewhere in the Jerusalem region that the Shroud received its most prolonged exposure to the open air ... As Frei argued, the Shroud therefore must have once been in the very region it has to have been if it wrapped the body of Jesus: the land we today call Israel."[25]
This supports Ian Wilson's theory that the Shroud (as the Mandylion "four-doubled" = tetradiplon) was taken from Jerusalem to France, via Edessa and Constantinople[26].

And Frei's identification of pollen varieties on the Shroud has been confirmed as substantially correct by Dr. Alan Whanger, who discovered flower images on the Shroud. Whanger, with the help of the late Prof. Avinoam Danin (1939–2015)[27], Israel's leading botanist,

[Above (enlarge): Image of a Chrysanthemum coronarium flower (circled in red) on the Shroud[28]. This is the clearest flower image on the Shroud[29] but one of the three varieties of plants, the image of which Whanger found on the Shroud, but Frei did not identify its pollen on the Shroud[30].]

identified images of 28 different varieties of plants, all of which grow in Israel, and 25 of those 28 match Frei's identifications of pollen on the Shroud:

"While there are images of hundreds of flowers on the Shroud, many are vague or incomplete. ... Alan has identified ... with reasonable certainty, twenty-eight plants whose images are sufficiently clear and complete to make a good comparison with the drawings in Flora Palaestina. Of these twenty-eight plants, twenty-three are flowers, three are small bushes, and two are thorns. All twenty-eight grow in Israel. Twenty grow in Jerusalem itself, and the other eight grow potentially within the close vicinity of Jerusalem, either in the Judean Desert or in the Dead Sea area or in both. All twenty-eight would have been available in Jerusalem markets in a fresh state. Many would have been growing along the roadside or in nearby fields, available for the picking. A rather unique situation exists in that within Jerusalem and the surrounding twelve miles, four geographic areas exist with their differing specific climates and flora. Nowhere else are so many different types of species found so close together. Of these twenty-eight plants, Frei, working from the sticky tape slides, had previously identified the pollens of twenty-five of the same or similar plants. Twenty-seven of these twenty-eight bloom in March and April, which corresponds to the time of Passover and the Crucifixion."[31]
Both Frei's pollen, and Whanger's flower images, on the Shroud have in turn received confirmation from the discovery of plant DNA on the

[Above: Extract from "Figure 1: Plant DNA species found on the Turin Shroud"[32] As can be seen, DNA from plants (red) are found around Jerusalem and Constantinople and the edge of their distribution does not include Turin, let alone Chambéry and Lirey. And moreover, the red group includes the second and third most abundant species. The DNA of the yellow group species includes in its centre of origin, Constantinople, Sanliurfa (formerly Edessa) and Jerusalem, but does not include Europe.]

Shroud, the majority of which comes from around Jerusalem, Sanliurfa (Edessa) and Constantinople and only a minority from Europe. See 18Oct15, 10Nov15, 24Nov15 and 04Dec15. This adds to the already overwhelming evidence that the Shroud is authentic and therefore the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390"[33] was wrong. And therefore fraudulent[23Jul15], that is, the result of a computer hacking!

... remarkably similar to paintings of Jesus back to the 5th Century, but not before. See [04Oct16] for a fresco on the catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Rome, 4th century," which shows "a very striking similarity to" the Shroud. The earliest (although not painted) image of Jesus that I am aware of which has Vignon markings is the early 6th century (c. 526) Pantocrator ("ruler of all") mosaic in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna, Italy.

[Right (enlarge): Face of the Pantocrator mosaic, c. 526 AD[34], in the Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, Ravenna, Italy.]

According to Maher this "early (sixth-century) ... mosaic of Christ enthroned" has "eight Vignon markings"[35] which would be more than enough to identify the Shroud as the sixth century artist's model. But as can be seen below, this early sixth century (c. 526) Pantocrator mosaic has at least thirteen of the fifteen Vignon markings on the Shroud, namely:

[Left (enlarge): "The Vignon markings-how Byzantine artists created a living likeness from the Shroud image."[36]. See 25Jul07, 29Jul08, 11Feb12, 22Sep12, 14Apr14, 09Nov15 and 15Feb16]

"(2) three-sided `square' between brows, (3) V shape at bridge of nose, (4) second V within marking 2, (5) raised right eyebrow, (6) accentuated left cheek, (7) accentuated right cheek, (8) enlarged left nostril, (9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip, (10) heavy line under lower lip, (11) hairless area between lower lip and beard, ... (13) transverse line across throat, (14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes, (15) two strands of hair"[37]. This alone proves beyond reasonable doubt that this early 6th century mosaic was based on the Shroud, and therefore the Shroud was already in existence and revered by at least the early sixth century!

Moreover, the image and blood stains closely correspond to Jewish First Century burial practices,.. I am not sure what this means. Perhaps it refers to the man on the Shroud having been laid out naked on his back, under a sheet, with his hands covering his genitals, which sceptics had claimed was evidence of a medieval forger's modesty, has since been found to include first century Jewish burials:

"Also at least worthy of mention is the burial attitude. Some writers, notably the Reverend Sox[38], have deemed the Shroud inauthentic because the arms appear placed modestly across the loins, rather than at the side of the body, but there appears no sound justification for this view. Attitudes varied in antiquity as they do today, and while, for instance, first-millennium B.C. Egyptian pharaohs had their arms placed alongside their hips, cadavers of the priestly caste were buried with hands across the loins. In Judea, a number of skeletons excavated in the Essene cemetery at Qumran (ca. 200 B.C. to A.D. 70) were laid out flat, facing upward, elbows bent slightly, and hands crossed across the pelvis, more or less exactly the attitude visible on the Shroud. In this context, it needs to be remarked that whatever the burial position adopted, this was usually only a temporary one. It was standard Jewish practice that when the deceased's flesh had fully rotted from his bones, they would be gathered up into an ossuary ... Reliable information on interim burial positions is therefore of necessity slim."[39] well as Roman flagellation and crucifixion techniques probably not known to a 14th Century forger. The New Testament contains few details

[Right (enlarge): Reconstruction by Paul Vignon (1865-1943) of a Roman flagrum or scourge from the scourge marks on the Shroud[40]. One similar to this was later recovered from the Roman city of Herculaneum[41] which, with its neighbour Pompeii, was buried in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79[42].]

about Jesus' crucifixion (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:33; 24:39-40; Jn 19:18; Jn 20:20,25,27; Col 2:14)[43]. Moreover other Roman-era writers did not describe crucifixion in detail[44]. In 337 crucifixion was abolished by Emperor Constantine the Great (c. 272-337) throughout the Roman Empire (which included Europe)[45], and only in recent times has its horrific details been rediscovered by archaeologists[46]. So a medieval forger, about a thousand years after crucifixion ceased in Europe[47], would have been most unlikely to know the details of Roman crucifixion[48], including flagellation, that the Shroud so accurately depicts[49].

However, in 1988, all this compelling evidence for its being genuine was seemingly trumped by Radiocarbon tests that allegedly "proved" that it was made of cloth woven between AD 1260 and 1390. The key words are "seemingly" and "allegedly"! As archaeologist William Meacham pointed out, archaeologists routinely discard as "rogue" radiocarbon dates that conflict with other evidence:

"There is firm evidence available now that the sample taken was not representative of the cloth as a whole, and that it provided what archaeologists and geologists call a `rogue' or `fictitious' date, i.e. one that does not provide a true age of the object or context it purports to date. As an archaeologist, I had used C-14 dating many dozens of times on excavated samples, and found that it does generally but not always give accurate results. Most other archaeologists and geologists that I know have the same view; a few are more skeptical of its reliability ... Rogue results were normally discarded without any follow-up research, when it was abundantly clear that something was amiss ... Such rogue dates are common in archaeology and geology ... Such has been my experience as an archaeologist: I have excavated, submitted and interpreted around one hundred fifty C-14 samples from Neolithic, Bronze Age and Early Historical sites. Of these dates obtained, about 110 were considered credible, 30 were rejected as unreliable and 10 were problematic. I mention this merely to inform the non-specialist that rogue dates are quite common in the general application of C-14 in archaeology ..."[50]
This was corroborated by another archaeologist, the late Eugenia Nitowski (1949-2007), who noted that not only in archaeology, but in science generally, "it is the weight of evidence which must be considered conclusive" and so "if there are ten lines of evidence, carbon dating being one of them, and it conflicts with the other nine" it is "the carbon date" which is rejected "as inaccurate":
"In any form of inquiry or scientific discipline, it is the weight of evidence which must be considered conclusive. In archaeology, if there are ten lines of evidence, carbon dating being one of them, and it conflicts with the other nine, there is little hesitation to throw out the carbon date as inaccurate due to unforeseen contamination."[51]
As Meacham further explains, since archaeologists don't normally use radiocarbon dating alone to determine age, to claim that it is "the ultimate arbiter of the age of the Turin Shroud is a blatant departure from the way 14C is normally used":
"It is important for anyone wishing to understand the normal use of 14C to know that a single date or even a series of dates on a single object or feature is seldom if ever cited to answer important questions about the age of a culture or a site. To put the radiocarbon method in the position of being the ultimate arbiter of the age of the Turin Shroud is a blatant departure from the way 14C is normally used."[52]
For the next 17 years I abandoned my studies, in spite of my hunch that it was likely genuine. That was a pity. I became a Shroud pro-authenticist in 2005, long after the Shroud's 1988 radiocarbon dating, so I did not have that problem. But if I had been a pro-authenticist in 1988, I expect that I would have had the same reaction as Ian Wilson:
"But if there was one feature of the British Museum press conference [13 October 1988] that particularly astonished, and frankly annoyed me, it was Professor Hall's flat assertion, on the basis merely of the averaged `1260-1390 AD' dates quoted ... that the carbon dates have overwhelmingly proved the Shroud's fraudulence. Effectively we are supposed to believe that on the basis of one single branch of science, nuclear physics ... every other scientific and historical contribution to the subject must now be tossed aside as totally worthless. As Hall admitted, it did not matter to him that there remained no clear explanation for how some hypothetical forger created the Shroud's image. The laboratories' instruments had spoken, and that was it ... I have always understood that to be truly scientific, any hypothesis needs to be checked from at least two different directions. For instance we do not expect the captain of an Atlantic-crossing jumbo jet, spotting that his fuel gauges suddenly read empty, immediately to ditch his aircraft in the sea without a few further checks."[53]

But in 2005, it was finally definitively shown that the three samples were all taken from the same repaired area of the shroud that had cotton thread, with a dye applied. While this is widely believed among pro-authenticists, and I once believed it, it is self-evidently false! See my [23Jul15 & 14Feb16]. A better (if not the only) viable explanation of why the 1st century Shroud has a 13th/14th century radiocarbon date is provided by my hacker theory.

Later more independent dating tests have been made that compellingly show it is probably far older than the 14th Century. Indeed! See my [02Apr13].

Besides the dating controversy, we will discuss seeming discrepancies with the Bible ... I may comment on these items mentioned by Johnson in a future Shroud of Turin News post.

To be continued in part #1 of my October 2016, Shroud of Turin News.

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. "File:Turin shroud positive and negative displaying original color information 708 x 465 pixels 94 KB.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 11 August 2016. [return]
3. "Memorandum of Pierre D'arcis, Bishop Of Troyes, to the Avignon Pope Clement VII," 1389, Thurston, H., transl., "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, 1903, pp.17-29, in Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, pp.230-235, 230-231. [return]
4. Moretto, G., 1999, "The Shroud: A Guide," Neame, A., transl., Paulist Press: Mahwah NJ, p.26. [return]
5. Miller V.D. & Pellicori, S.F., 1981, "Ultraviolet fluorescence photography of the Shroud of Turin," Journal of Biological Photography, 49(3), July, pp.71-85, 81. [return]
6. Adler, A.D., 1999, "The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, 2002, pp.103-112, 104; Adler, A.D., 2000c, "Chemical and Physical Aspects of the Sindonic Images," in Adler & Crispino, 2002, p.13. [return]
7. Adler, 2000c, p.14. [return]
8. Adler, 1999, p.104. [return]
9. Adler, 2000c, p.14. [return]
10. Adler, 2000c, p.13. [return]
11. Adler, 1999, p.104; Adler, 2000c, p.13. [return]
12. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.73. [return]
13. Wilson, 2010, pp.72,76. [return]
14. Wilson, 2010, pp.71-73. [return]
15. Wilson, 2010, p.74. [return]
16. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.109. My emphasis. [return]
17. Wilson, 2010, pp.72-73. [return]
18. 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]
19. Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.19; Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, pp.7-8; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.91. [return]
20. Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.80-81. [return]
21. 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.100. [return]
22. Frei, M., 1982, "Nine Years of Palinological Studies on the Shroud," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 3, June, pp.2-7, 3; Danin, A., et al., 1999, p.7. [return]
23. Bulst, W., 1984, "The Pollen Grains on the Shroud of Turin," Shroud Spectrum International, No. 10, March, pp.20-28, 24; Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.38-43. [return]
24. Bulst, 1984, p.24; Wilson, 1986, pp.38-43. [return]
25. Wilson, 1986, pp.38, 43. [return]
26. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.112; 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, p.26; Wilson, 1986, pp.110-111; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville TN, p.77; Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, p.22; Wilson, 1998, p.174; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.130,133; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.105; de Wesselow, 2012, pp.112-113. [return]
27. Whanger, M. & Whanger, A.D., 1998, "The Shroud of Turin: An Adventure of Discovery," Providence House Publishers: Franklin TN, pp.79-80; Danin, A., 2010, "Botany of the Shroud: The Story of Floral Images on the Shroud of Turin," Danin Publishing: Jerusalem, Israel, pp.8,10,12. [return]
28. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2010, Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical, [return]
29. Danin, A., et al., 1999, p.16. [return]
30. Iannone, 1998, p.26. [return]
31. Whanger M. & A, 1998, p.78. [return]
32. Barcaccia, G., et al., 2015, "Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud," Nature, Scientific Reports 5, Article no. 14484, 5 October. [return]
33. Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16th February, pp.611-615, p.611. [return]
34. "File:Christus Ravenna Mosaic.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 26 June 2016. [return]
35. Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, p.77. [return]
36. Wilson, 1978, p.82e. [return]
37. Ibid. [return]
38. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.71. [return]
39. Wilson, 1986, p.34. [return]
40. Wilson. & Schwortz, 2000, p.56. [return]
41. de Wesselow, 2012, p.144O. [return]
42. "Herculaneum," Wikipedia, 10 June 2013. [return]
43. Wilson, 1998, p.43; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.58; Wilson, 2010, pp.46-47. [return]
44. Torrance, J.B., "Cross, Crucifixion," in Douglas, J.D., et al., eds., 1982, "New Bible Dictionary," [1962], Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Second edition, Reprinted, 1988, p.253; Wilson, 1998, p.43; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.58. [return]
45. "Crucifixion: Ancient Rome," Wikipedia, 17 October 2016; Iannone, 1998, p.69. [return]
46. McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: Fantasy, Fake or Fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud ," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, pp.36. [return]
47. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI, p.37; McNair, 1978, p.36; Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD, p.26. [return]
48. Iannone, 1998, pp.59,67; Cahill, T., 1999, "Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World before and after Jesus," Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: New York NY, p.292. [return]
49. Iannone, 1998, pp.67, 70. [return]
50. Meacham, W., 2005, "The Rape of the Turin Shroud: How Christianity's Most Precious Relic was Wrongly Condemned and Violated," Lulu Press: Morrisville NC, pp.53-54; 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]
51. Wilson, I., 1989, "But Is the Shroud Mediaeval?," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 21, January/February, pp.3-5, 4. [return]
52. Meacham, W., "Thoughts on the Shroud 14C debate," in Scannerini, S. & Savarino, P., eds, 2000, "The Turin Shroud: Past, Present and Future," International scientific symposium, Turin, 2-5 March 2000," Effatà: Cantalupa, pp.441-454, 444. [return]
53. Wilson, I., 1988, "Editorial and The Carbon Dating Results: Is This Now the End?," BSTS Newsletter, No. 20, October, pp.2-10, 4. [return]

Posted: 8 October 2016. Updated: 28 April 2021.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen,
The illustration labelled "The negative plate of one of Secondo Pia's photographs of the Shroud" is not a negative. It is a positive. It shows the Shroud, and the marble altar, as they appeared in real life.
Best wishes.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>The illustration labelled "The negative plate of one of Secondo Pia's photographs of the Shroud" is not a negative. It is a positive. It shows the Shroud, and the marble altar, as they appeared in real life.

Thanks. I misread Moretto's caption and misinterpreted the photograph.

I have now replaced the sepia positive of Pia's photograph with Moretto's copy of Pia's negative which is on the same page.

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. To avoid time-wasting debate I normally allow only one comment per individual under each one of my posts.

Stephen E. Jones said...

I have copied this comment from under "`Phil Dayvault Presents Major New Evidence from Early Christianity": Shroud of Turin News - February 2016," where it is off-topic to here under my "latest post" where the off-topic rule does not apply (see my policies at the end of my latest comment above).

>Otto M. Wildensteiner
>I have an observation that casts doubt on the authenticity of the shroud. Jesus died around 3 PM according to the Bible, and his body was taken down from the cross shortly before sundown according to Jewish law and/or custom. Let's assume that he died at 3:30 PM, and was taken down from the cross at 5:30 PM. That means that his body was hanging from the cross for 2 hours.


>Jerusalem is in a desert, with very dry air; if there were a breeze this would have increased the rate of drying of the blood.

Jerusalem is also at an altitude of 754 m (2,474 ft) above sea level.

And according to this graph, the average humidity of Jerusalem in April (the month in which Jesus died) is about 50%.

>Regardless of what the weather might have been on that exact day,

That is a SELF-REFUTING statement. The weather could have been VERY HUMID and therefore NOT dry on the day that Jesus was crucified.

>it seems to me that all the blood on his body would have been dry when the shroud was placed over him

No. See above.

>and that there would have been no transfer of blood to the shroud.

No. See above and below.

>Further, the shroud would have been lightly placed on his body, which further militates against blood transfer to the shroud.

Jesus was probably laid on the Shroud when He was taken down from the cross and then He would have been carried on a `stretcher' to the tomb.

There is no reason to think the Shroud would have been would have been placed lightly over Jesus' body. The evidence of the blood on the feet end is that the Shroud was wrapped over His body back and front and then overlapping at His feet. That implies the Shroud wrapped Jesus' body moderately tightly.

There would have been transfer of the blood on and IN Jesus' body to the Shroud, both when His body was laid on the Shroud and when Jesus' body was transported on the Shroud to the tomb with the Shroud wrapped moderately tightly over His body.

[To be continued tomorrow.]

Stephen E. Jones said...


>The fact that there is blood on the shroud indicates, to me, that the person who created the shroud put blood on it in order to be sure that there was no mistake as to who it was placed over.

See my "Problems of the Forgery Theory" for the IMMENSE problems of a "person who created the shroud."

For starters, there is no image under the blood, so the blood was on the Shroud before the image:

"The image on the Shroud reveals that the blood, image went on the cloth before the body image, for there was no yellow fiber image under the blood. If the image were forged by an artist, how could he apply the blood image first, then go back to put on the body image, and finally have the wounds and blood patterns match?" (Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.71).

So your "the person who created the shroud put blood on it" would have had to do that FIRST and THEN add the image around the blood, in NEGATIVE, without paint, pigment or dye, because there is none of the latter on the Shroud which constitutes its image.

>By not considering the fact that in reality the blood would probably have dried by the time the shroud was placed over Jesus's body,

No. See above.

>the person who made the shroud inadvertently left evidence that it is not authentic.

No. See above on "the person who made the shroud."

Since the evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic, your unsubstantiated and indeed against the evidence assumptions are WRONG!

It is not enough for a Shroud sceptic to raise ONE objection, and on the basis of that declare that the Shroud is not authentic, when there are HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS, of items of evidence which point to the Shroud being authentic.

As I have previously pointed out [26Oct14, 17Apr15, etc]:

What Shroud anti-authenticists need to do is propose a comprehensive and internally coherent Shroud anti-authenticist general theory that plausibly:

1) Positively accounts for ALL the major features of the Shroud, including its photographic negativity, three-dimensionality, extreme superficiality, etc, with technology which was in use before the 1350s (when the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history). Such an account should include a reproduction of the entire, full-length, double sided, Shroud, which has ALL its major features, using only pre-1350s technology.

And 2) negatively explains away ALL the historical, archaeological and artistic evidence for the Shroud having been in existence from the 14th century, all the way back to the 1st century.

No such comprehensive and coherent Shroud anti-authenticity general theory exists (to put it mildly), which indicates that if anti-authenticists had attempted to propose one, they quietly gave up, because they found the IMMENSE difficulties of such a theory!

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

I wrote above:

>It is not enough for a Shroud sceptic to raise ONE objection, and on the basis of that declare that the Shroud is not authentic, when there are HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS, of items of evidence which point to the Shroud being authentic.

I received an anonymous comment questioning my "THOUSANDS" above which I would have published except that it contained a personal attack on me.

On reconsideration I agree that "THOUSANDS, of items of evidence which point to the Shroud being authentic" is probably an exaggeration and even "HUNDREDS" may be.

Blogger does not allow me to edit my comments, only delete them, but if I could edit that paragraph it would now read:

"It is not enough for a Shroud sceptic to raise ONE objection, and on the basis of that declare that the Shroud is not authentic, when there are a GREAT MANY items of evidence which point to the Shroud being authentic."

Stephen E. Jones
"By way of guidance as to what I mean by `offensive' and `sub-standard,' I regard comments to my blog as analogous to letters to the Editor of a newspaper. If the Editor of a newspaper would not publish a comment because it is `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' then neither will I. It does not mean that if I disagree with a comment I won't publish it. I have published anti-authenticist comments and other comments that I disagreed with, and I have deleted `offensive' and/or `sub-standard' comments that are pro-authenticist. `Sub-standard' includes attempting to use my blog as a platform to publish a block of text of the commenter's own views, and also bare links to other sites with little or no actual comments. By `off-topic' I mean if a comment has little or nothing to do with the topic(s) in the post it is under (except for the latest post-see above)." [05Jan16]

Ivan said...

The digitally processed image of the face on the Shroud above, is in my opinion, unrivaled. Can you tell me where I can view the entire Shroud image? I have tried to find it, but only the face seems to be available.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>The digitally processed image of the face on the Shroud above, is in my opinion, unrivaled. Can you tell me where I can view the entire Shroud image? I have tried to find it, but only the face seems to be available.

Sorry, but I am not aware that the entire Shroud is available as digitally processed.

The description of the photo on Wikimedia Commons says that only the face is available:

"English: The processed image at the right is the product of the application of digital filters. Digital filters are mathematical functions that do not add any information to the image, but transform it in such a way that information already present in it becomes more visible or easier to appreciate by the naked eye. The processed image was produced by inverting the brightness of the pixels in the positive image but without inverting their hue, and then by increasing both the brightness contrast and the hue saturation. Finally noise and so-called “salt and pepper” filters automatically removed the noisy information from the original image which hinders the appreciation of the actual face. To my knowledge the resulting image is the best available and indeed the only one that reveals the color information hidden in the original. Source of the positive image at the left
Date 31 May 2014, 15:54:27
Source Own work
Author Dianelos Georgoudis"

If anyone does know otherwise, could they post a link to it in a comment below?

Stephen E. Jones
Reader, if you like this my The Shroud of Turin blog, and you have a website, could you please consider adding a hyperlink to my blog on it? This would help increase its Google PageRank number and so enable those who are Google searching on "Shroud of Turin" to more readily discover my blog. Thanks.

Kyle said...

Several of the images in this article do not load for me. For example: "The negative plate of one of Secondo Pia's photographs of the Shroud in 1898 in Turin Cathedral". Most of them show up fine though. Is there any difference in how they are hosted, etc.?

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Several of the images in this article do not load for me. For example: "The negative plate of one of Secondo Pia's photographs of the Shroud in 1898 in Turin Cathedral".

I have added more links to:

"In fact it was just before the end of the 19th century, in 1898, that Turin amateur photographer Secondo Pia (1855–1941) took the first photographs of the Shroud and discovered that the negative on his photographic plate was a photographic positive, which meant that the Shroud image was a photographic negative!

>Most of them show up fine though. Is there any difference in how they are hosted, etc.?

Inevitably links to different websites will have varying degrees of responsiveness. But all the links that I have posted worked for me at the time of posting.

However, I cannot guarantee that they will work for others. Also, a links on an older post may no longer work. When I discover that has happened, I re-do the link to an equivalent one.

If anyone does find a link on one of my posts that does not work, after waiting a day to see if it is just a temporary problem, I would appreciate being sent a comment under the post where the failed link is, and I will repair it.

Stephen E. Jones
"What are the Differences Between Message Boards and Weblogs? Posted by: leelefever on August 23, 2004... Responses Weblogs [blogs] and Message Boards [discussion groups] both allow for responses from the community- new topics can be responded-to by others. Weblog topics have comments and message board topics have replies. This subtle difference in syntax reveals a difference in the roles. The word comment for weblogs implies that the author does not need further participation to reach a goal - comment if you want. Reply, on the other hand, implies that participation is explicitly requested by the poster. A discussion is not a discussion without a reply." (my emphasis)