Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Shroud of Turin News, November 2020

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

[Previous: October 2020] [Next: December 2020]

This is the November 2020 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated. The articles' words are bold to distingish them from mine.

This is my first post on my `new' Windows 10 computer bought about 2 years ago! Everything was at my fingertips with my old Windows 7 computer, so I was reluctant to change (even though I had been using Windows 10 on my laptop for other things), and despite the dire warnings (which I now believe were by paid Microsoft `influencers'), my Windows 7/64 system was still receiving regular updates from Microsoft! Over a year ago I made sure that if my old computer `died' I could access this my blog from my new computer. In July I paid a computer `geek' to load my backed up data onto my Windows 10 computer and install my Thunderbird emails on it. Yesterday, 28 December 2020, with perfect timimg, the morning after I had finished my month-long latest post, Jesus the man on the Shroud [whose face in this framed photo - right (enlarge)[2] - `looks' down on me at my computer desk], to whom I had been praying for help in this transition, allowed my Windows 7 computer's CPU fan to fail. Even though this is fixable, I took it as a sign from the Lord to start using my Windows 10 computer, and I found my `old man's' fears (Ecc 12:5) were groundless!

"Jesus Christ breakthrough as Shroud of Turin debate put to bed," Daily Express, Joel Day, 6 November 2020. The Shroud of Turin is perhaps one of the more famous so-called Medieval mysteries that has caught the attention of popular culture academia. For centuries, historians, scientists and religious figures have battled it out over whether the Shroud is really an imprint of Jesus Christ. It first appeared in 1354, and just over 30 years later, was branded a fake by the local bishop of Troyes. Since when are the claims of a "local bishop" on a matter decisive? He was Pierre d'Arcis (r. 1377-1395)[3], in whose diocese of Troyes, France, was the village of Lirey[4], where the Shroud was

[Above (enlarge)[5]: A lead pilgrim's badge, found in 1855 in the mud under a bridge over the Seine River, Paris and dated 1357, depicts the Shroud at the first Shroud exposition in Lirey c.1355[6]. Now in the Cluny Museum, Paris, the badge depicts the Shroud being exhibited with the coats of arms of Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300–56) (left) and his wife Jeanne de Vergy (c.1332–1428) (right) [7].]

again being exhibited, this time by Geoffroy II de Charny (1352–98) and his mother Jeanne de Vergy[8]. D'Arcis complained in a 1389 Memorandum[9] to Pope Clement VII (r. 1523-34)[10] that the Shroud had been "cunningly painted"[11] and that about "thirty-four years" earlier (i.e. c. 1355)[12] one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–1370), had investigated and found "the artist who had painted it"[13]. But this is false: • d'Arcis, who had been a lawyer[14] didn't give the name of the forger[15], who would have been well-known (and may even have been still alive) if he had existed[16]. • The Shroudman's image is not painted[17] [see 11Jul16]. • There is no evidence that Bishop Henri de Poitiers had a problem with the Shroud[18] and much evidence that he didn't[19]. • Pope Clement VII allowed the exhibition to continue and ordered d'Arcis to be "perpetually silent" on the matter[20]! • There is abundant evidence that the Shroud existed long before 1355 (see for example below and in my previous post, "1770" and "1395").

This didn't stop many believing the linen was in fact the burial shroud in which Christ was wrapped following his crucifixion. A more conclusive answer appeared to put the debate to an end in 1988. It was here that scientists, through carbon dating, established the Shroud to have been created in the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390. The results were inevitably fiercely contested, with many arguing the results were skewed because of material dating discrepancies. Which

[Above (enlarge). This comparison of the 10th-13th century Christ Pantocrator mosaic in Istanbul/Constantinople's Hagia Sophia Cathedral (left) with its counterpart Shroud image, gives the lie to the article's claim that "the Shroud [was] ... created in the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390"!]

contradicts his claim that "scientists, through carbon dating, established the Shroud to have been created in the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390"! I will summarise the evidence against the 1260-1390 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, based in my 2018 "Open letter to Professor Christopher Ramsey"

• The leaders of the radiocarbon dating laboratories were not

[Left (enlarge): From left to right, Prof. E. Hall (Oxford), Dr M. Tite (British Museum) and Dr R. Hedges (Oxford) on 13 October 1988 in the British Museum, London, announcing with a triumphant exlamation mark[21], that the Shroud had been radiocarbon dated to "1260-1390!"[22].]

Christians (not even Donahue - see 06Nov20) and so were inevitably biased against the Shroud being Jesus' burial sheet (Jesus said "Whoever is not with me is against me" - Mt 12:30 & Lk 11:23). See above exclamation mark in "1260-1390!"[23]. Timothy Linick of Arizona Laboratory (whom I alleged was a hacker whose program generated the bogus medieval radiocarbon dates of the Shroud - see 22Feb16, etc), was so biased against the Shroud that he wouldn't accept it was Jesus' even if radiocarbon dating showed it was "2000 years" old:

"Timothy Linick, a University of Arizona research scientist, said: `If we show the material to be medieval that would definitely mean that it is not authentic. If we date it back 2000 years, of course, that still leaves room for argument. It would be the right age - but is it the real thing?'"[24].
• Oxford laboratory's Prof. Christopher Ramsey himself in 2008 admitted:
"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that ... experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information"[25].
But in the intervening ~12 years Ramsey has done little to resolve the conundrum and specifically he ignored, without even an acknowledgement, my open letter to him which I both emailed and snail-mailed to his online Oxford addresses. So on the principle, "don't believe what people say - believe what they do," I don't believe Prof. Ramsey is sincere in his admission that, "It is important [to] assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence ... to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information," and that by omission he is perpetuating a scientific fraud!

• One of that "lot of other evidence that ... the Shroud is older than the

[Above (enlarge)[26]: The Entombment of Jesus in Jn 19:38-42 (upper), one of the four pen and ink drawings in the Pray Codex[27], and the Resurrection of Jesus in Mk 16:1-6, where an angel is telling the three women at the empty tomb, "Jesus ... has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him"(lower) [28]].

radiocarbon dates allow" (as Prof. Ramsey must know) is the Pray Codex[[29] which is dated 1192-95[30], and the drawings in the codex are even older, about 1150[31]. There are at least "eight [and by my count ten - see 04Oct18a] telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on ... [this] single page of the Pray Codex"[32].

Another drawing in the Pray Codex (below) has a further four telling

[Above (enlarge): The Enthronemnent of Jesus (e.g. Mk 16:19; Acts 2:33 & Heb 1:3,12) in the Pray Codex[33].]

correspondences with the Shroud, making a total of fourteen [see 04Oct18b]!

The only reasonable explanation is that the artist who painted the ink drawings in the Pray Codex did so with the Shroud before him[34]. Hungary was ruled at that time by King Bela III (r. 1172-96), an ally of the Byzantine Empire, who had spent eight years as a young man in the imperial court at Constantinople[35], as the heir to the throne of the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (r. 1143-80)[36]. Given the close links at the time between Hungary and the Byzantine Empire, the Pray Codex artist undoubtedly saw the Shroud, and painted his copy of it, in Constantinople[37]! A likely year was 1169 when Emperor Manuel's wife, Maria of Antioch (1145–1182), gave birth to a son Alexios II Komnenos (r. 1180-83), and so Emperor Manuel I dissolved his daughter's betrothal to Béla and in her place the Bela married Empress Maria's half-sister Agnes of Antioch[38]

These fourteen telling correspondences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud already existed at least 65 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud[39]! And, as we saw above, the most likely place the Pray Codex artist saw and depicted the Shroud was Constantinople. And, as we also saw above, the most likely time the artist depicted the Shroud was about 1169. That is over 90 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud! But the Image of Edessa/Shroud arrived in Constantinople in 944[[see "944b"]. That's 316 years before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud! And before that the Image of Edessa/Shroud was continuously in Edessa since 544 [see "544"]. That's 716 years before the Shroud's earliest 1260 radiocarbon date!

• Yet another of that "lot of other evidence that ... the Shroud is older

[Above (enlarge)[40]: 11th-12th century depiction of the transfer of the Image of Edessa, behind the face image of which is the full-length Shroud [see "944a"], from Edessa (left) to Constantinople (right) via Byzantine general John Kourkouas (fl. 915–946) to Byzantine Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 919–944) in 944 [see "944b"] [41].]

radiocarbon dates allow" is the above 11th-12th century miniature in the Synopsis of Histories by John Skylitzes (c.1040–1101), depicting the transfer of the Image of Edessa/Shroud from Edessa to Constantinople in 944[42]. Skylitzes' work covers the reigns of Byzantine emperors from the death of Nicephorus I in 811 to the deposition of Michael VI in 1057[43]. The Madrid manuscript was produced in Sicily in the 12th century but its 574 miniatures may be copies of earlier Byzantine images[44]. The above miniature proves beyond reasonable doubt that by the 12th century it was known that behind the face of the Image of Edessa/Mandylion was the full-length Shroud[45]! And that the arrival of the Image of Edessa/Mandylion from Edessa on 15 August 944 (a fact of history in Wikipedia:

"[944] August 15 – The `Holy Mandylion' (a cloth with the face of Jesus) is conveyed to Constantinople [from Edessa], where it arrives on the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. A triumphal entry is staged for the relic in the capital"[46])
was the arrival in Constantinople of the Shroud[47]! And then see above that means the Image of Edessa/Shroud in Constantinople in 944 was more than three centuries before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud[48] and before that it was continuously in Edessa since 544, which is more than seven centuries before the Shroud's earliest 1260 radiocarbon date!

The Catholic Church has avoided taking an official position on the authenticity of the Shroud, with the Pope merely stating that he "venerates" it; while the Church itself has never gone beyond describing the linen as anything more than an "icon" of Christian devotion. As I have previously posted:

• [06Oct13], I regard the Roman Catholic's Church's official position on the Shroud, that it is merely "an `icon' of Christian devotion," as weak and dishonest:

Dishonest, because the Roman Catholic Church has spent, and continues to spend, the equivalent of many millions of US dollars preserving and protecting the Shroud, and holding expositions at which tens of millions of pilgrims have filed past it on the understanding that it really is Jesus' burial shroud. And individual Popes have expressed their personal conviction that it really is Jesus' burial shroud. So clearly the Roman Catholic Church (to its credit), really believes that the Shroud of Turin is the very burial sheet of Jesus and the image on it is of Jesus' body."

Weak, because as John Evangelist Walsh [1927-2015] (himself a Catholic) pointed out 50 years ago, either the Shroud of Turin is a deliberate fraud, or it is Jesus' burial shroud:

"Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground"[49]

• [14Feb14] I repeat my criticism that "the Catholic Church doesn't have an official position on the cloth" is duplicitous (i.e. two-faced), in that the Church, to its credit, clearly believes the Shroud is authentic, and has spent the equivalent of millions of dollars in safekeeping the Shroud and exhibiting it. I am not anti-Catholic in this - I am pro-truth!

• [150417] As I have stated before, it is duplicitous (i.e. two-faced), of the Vatican to refuse to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic. By its actions of spending the equivalent of tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars preserving the Shroud and exhibiting it to millions of people as though it is authentic, the Vatican clearly does believe that the Shroud is authentic, so it should say so. Shroud anti-authenticists cite the Vatican's refusal to state that the Shroud is authentic as evidence that it is not!

• [160507] See my previous criticism ... of the Vatican's policy of neither confirming nor denying that the Shroud is authentic, as "duplicitous," i.e. "two-faced." Because by its actions of spending the equivalent of many millions of dollars preserving the Shroud and exhibiting it to millions of people as though it is authentic, the Vatican clearly does believe that the Shroud is authentic, so ordinary honesty requires that it should say so. Shroud anti-authenticists cite the Vatican's refusal to state that the Shroud is authentic as evidence that it is not. And as devout Roman Catholic Donald M. Smith pointed out in his 1983 book, "The Letter," which was in the form of a letter to Pope John Paul II, if the Shroud is not authentic then it can only be the image of someone else tortured and crucified to make it look like Jesus (see 25Oct15). And for the Vatican to exhibit that, would show it has the same "the end justifies the means' ... principles of ... Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Adolf Hitler":

"[If the Shroud is not authentic] ... there is another conclusion which also must follow: Sometime between 100 A.D. and 1357 A.D., an evil, cruel and sinful act occurred. A human being was actually made to go through the exact same torture and agonizing death as suffered by Jesus and as reported in the Gospels, for the sole purpose of producing a valuable relic ... If the goal of producing a likeness of the only begotten Son of God by such evil means, could in any way be condoned, then the whole principle is based on the theories that `the end justifies the means,' and that `power makes right.' These are the same set of principles of men with character the likes of Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Adolf Hitler ... It is not right to venerate an object if that object was created by evil means" (my emphasis)[50].

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission 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 title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. "Shroud of Turin Face Detail," AllPosters.com, 2020. [return]
3. "Roman Catholic Diocese of Troyes: 1300 to 1500," Wikipedia, 28 December 2020. [return]
4. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ, p.32. [return]
5. Extract from Latendresse, M., 2012, "A Souvenir from Lirey," Sindonology.org. [return]
6. 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.126-127. [return]
7. Latendresse, 2012. [return]
8. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.151. [return]
9. Antonacci, 2000, p.151. [return]
10. Antonacci, 2000, p.151. [return]
11. Antonacci, 2000, p.151. [return]
12. Antonacci, 2000, pp.151-152. [return]
13. Adams, 1982, p.32; Antonacci, 2000, p.151. [return]
14. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, p.231. [return]
15. Antonacci, 2000, p.152. [return]
16. Antonacci, 2000, p.152. [return]
17. Barnes, A.S., 1934, "The Holy Shroud of Turin," Burns Oates & Washbourne: London, pp.55-56; Maher, R.W., 1986, "Science, History, and the Shroud of Turin," Vantage Press: New York NY, pp.98-99. [return]
18. Antonacci, 2000, p.152. [return]
19. Antonacci, 2000, p.152; Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.13. [return]
20. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, pp.81-83; Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1990, "The Shroud and the Controversy," Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, p.71. [return]
21. Garza-Valdes, L.A., 1998, "The DNA of God?," Hodder & Stoughton: London, p.8-9. [return]. [return]
22. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, plate 3b. [return]
23. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta, p.108; Garza-Valdes, 1998, p.9; Guscin, M., 1998, "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, p.67; Guerrera, 2001, p.133. [return]
24. Sox, H.D., 1988, "The Shroud Unmasked: Uncovering the Greatest Forgery of All Time," Lamp Press: Basingstoke UK, p.147. [return]
25. Ramsey, C.B., 2008, "The Shroud of Turin," Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, March. Last modified 17 July 2009. [return]
26. "File:Hungarianpraymanuscript1192-1195.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 2 March 2019. [return]
27. Berkovits, 1969, p.19; Guerrera, 2001, p.104. [return]
28. Guerrera, 2001, p.104. [return]
29. "Pray Codex," Wikipedia, 23 January 2020. [return]
30. Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, p.19; Guerrera, 2001, p.104; de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.178. [return]
31. Berkovits, 1969, pl. IV (cropped). [return]
32. de Wesselow, 2012, p.180. [return]
33. Berkovits, 1969, p.20. [return]
34. de Wesselow, 2012, p.180. [return]
35. de Wesselow, 2012, p.178; "Béla III of Hungary: Childhood (c. 1148–1163)," Wikipedia, 4 December 2020. [return]
36. Berkovits, 1969, p.20; "Béla III of Hungary: Despotes Alexios (1163–1169)," Wikipedia, 4 December 2020. [return]
37. de Wesselow, 2012, p.180. [return]
38. "Béla III of Hungary: Kaisar Alexios (1169–1172)," Wikipedia, 4 December 2020. [return]
39. Maloney, P.C., 1998, "Researching the Shroud of Turin: 1898 to the Present: A Brief Survey of Findings and Views," in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, pp.16-47, 33. [return]
40. "File:Surrender of the Mandylion to the Byzantines.jpg," in "Chronography of John Skylitzes, cod. Vitr. 26-2, folio 131a, Madrid National Library, Wikimedia Commons, 20 December 2012. [return]
41. Scavone, D.C., 1991, "The History of the Turin Shroud to the 14th C.," 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.171-204, 193. [return]
42. "John Skylitzes," Wikipedia, 2 January 2021. [return]
43. "Madrid Skylitzes," Wikipedia, 16 November 2020. [return]
44. "Madrid Skylitzes," Wikipedia, 16 November 2020. [return]
45. Scavone, 1991, p.194; Scavone, D.C., "Underscoring the Highly Significant Historical Research of the Shroud," in Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, pp.xxvi-xxvii. [return]
46. "944: Byzantine Empire," Wikipedia, 26 November 2020. [return]
47. Piana, A., 2007, "The Shroud's `Missing Years'," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 66. December, pp.9-25,28-31; Fanti, G. & Malfi, P., 2015, "The Shroud of Turin: First Century after Christ!," Pan Stanford: Singapore, p.55. [return]
48. de Wesselow, 2012, p.183. [return]
49. Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY, 1963, pp.x-xii. [return]
50. Smith, D.M., 1983, "The Letter," DMS Publishing Co: Rancho Palos Verdes CA, pp.24-25. [return]

Posted: 29 December 2020. Updated: 3 March 2021.