Saturday, August 27, 2022

2. A Linen Cloth #4: Shroud of Turin quotes

Shroud of Turin quotes
2. A Linen Cloth #4

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is "2. A Linen Cloth," part #4 of my Shroud of Turin quotes series. See the Main Index #1 for information about this series.

[Index] [Previous: 1. What is the Turin Shroud? #3] [Next: 3. The man on the Shroud #5]

  1. A linen cloth
    1. Linen
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth of herringbone weave. It is

[Right (enlarge): "The Holy Shroud" by Giovanni Battista della Rovere (1561-1627)[06Aug07]. "A seventeenth-century painting, by Giovanni Battista Della Rovere, shows the way in which the Shroud must have been wrapped lengthwise, under, over and around; this explains the position of the images on the Shroud: the dead body that left the two impressions was laid out on one-half of the Shroud, which was then folded over the head and stretched down to the feet"[PM96, 164].]

approximately 14 feet long and 3 feet wide; it bears the anatomically correct image of a crucified man. The Man of the Shroud was about 5 feet 7 inches [sic] tall; he had a beard and wore long hair gathered in a pigtail at the neck [sic]. He must have been laid on one end of the cloth with the remainder drawn up over his head and across his body to his feet because the Shroud bears his image as seen from the front and from the back (see the painting by Clovio [sic G.B. della Rovere-see above]). A pattern of dumbbell-shaped marks on his back suggest he was scourged with an instrument that could have been a Roman flagra. What appear to be blood spots ring his forehead: a wound on his right side is a sign he was pierced by a lance"[CB78, 235]
"The Shroud of Turin ... is a long strip [sic] of cloth; of which the most commonly agreed upon measurements are fourteen feet, three inches long, and three feet, seven inches wide ... Although the cloth is creased and yellowed, it is still supple and, for the most part, well preserved. It is made of pure linen, woven in a herringbone pattern in what is referred to as a three-to- one twill-that is, the weft, or horizontal, thread passes alternately over three and under one of the warp, or vertical, threads ... According to Virginio Timossi, the textile expert who examined it in 1931, the Shroud bears many signs of primitive manufacture, including irregularities in the pattern and imperfections in the weave. These observations have been confirmed by Professor Silvio Curto, superintendent of the Museum of Egyptology in Turin, who was a member of the commission that examined the Shroud in 1973. Professor G. Raes, director of the Gand Institute of Textile Technology in Ghent, Belgium, examined several samples excised from the Shroud ... He, too, concluded that the linen was made in ancient times. Laboratory tests conducted by Professor Raes showed traces of cotton fiber, indicating that the linen Throud was woven on a loom that also had been used for weaving cotton [No. Because there is no cotton in the sidestrip [see below], yet the sidestrip and main body of the Shroud were part of a larger cloth which was woven on an extra-wide loom [see future below], the cotton was part of a medieval repair (see future "Science and the Shroud").] The cotton fibers are of a type textile authorities call Herbaceum, which was commonly used in the Middle East during the time of Christ"[HT78, 34-35].
"THE SHROUD OF TURIN is a linen cloth, fourteen feet long and three and a half feet wide. The threads were handspun and the fabric hand-woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill. On the long fabric are two faint, straw-colored images, one of the front and the other of the back of a nude man who was apparently scourged and crucified, with the hands crossed over the pelvis. The images appear head to head, as though a body had been laid on its back at one end of the fabric, which was then drawn over to cover the front of the body"[HJ83].
"Physically, the Shroud is a remarkably well-preserved oblong piece of linen cloth 14'3" long (4.36 meters) and 3'7" wide (1.1 meters), weighing approximately 5 ½ lbs. (2.45 kgs. The linen fibers are woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill with a Z-twist and consist of a fairly heavy yarn (34/100 of a millimeter thick) of Near Eastern or Mediterranean basin flax. Down the left side of the Shroud is a border approximately 3½ inches wide (8 centimeters from the edge) running the full length of the linen cloth. Once thought to be a side-strip sewn onto the main cloth, it has now been determined to be a selvedge [this confuses the sidestrip with the selvedge, which are two different parts of the Shroud], that is, a piece of cloth woven into the main cloth so that it will not unravel. It is done in such a manner as to require no hem[IJ98, 1-2].
"Another deduction that Raes was able to make from his samples was that the linen is undoubtedly fine ... By counting the number of threads to the centimetre on his samples, Raes found these to average of 38.6 warpways and 25.7 weftways, a sure indicator of the use of a very fine thread. This again provides no threat to authenticity, it being well recognised that antiquity's weavers could produce fabrics readily rivalling those of the present day for fineness. One cloth from 3600 BC, for instance, is half again as fine as the Shroud"[WI98, 70].
"The Shroud of Turin, the traditional burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, is made of fine linen measuring 4.35 m long by 1.1 m wide. It bears the full-length front and back images of a crucified man and many other less-conspicuous images on the imaged body itself and on both sides of the linen shroud extending to its edges"[DA99, 3].
"The Shroud of Turin is a large linen cloth imbued with a mysterious image of a tortured, crucified man. According to tradition, it was used, along with other cloths, to wrap the dead body of Jesus, and its image, so believers say, is a miraculous imprint of the crucified Lord"[DT12, 12].
"Josephus tells us that, by tradition, the Jewish high priest wore a blue tunic made without any seam[Antiq III.7.1-4]. This may relate to the coats `woven of fine linen' made for Aaron and his sons, the priestly line, in Exodus 39.27. The Shroud's herringbone weave is exceptionally fine, and, given the link with the Masada textiles, it could well represent the sort of linen produced in first-century Jerusalem for the Temple priests"[DT12, 110].

  1. Cotton
"The presence of cotton fibres in the weave is considered by experts to be conclusive in ruling out a European provenance for the fabric of the Shroud, since cotton was not grown or used in Europe in any possible epoch of the manufacture of this cloth. But it is entirely consonant with a Palestinian provenance, as the fibres are of the Gossypium Herbaceum variety which is cultivated in the Middle East. The total absence of wool in the Shroud's composition is instructive to anyone versed in the Mosaic Law with its prohibition of textile mixture, for Leviticus 19:19 commands: `Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.' The presence of even one wool fibre would have excluded this cloth from ever having been a Jewish burial shroud"[MP78, 22]."Setting up fibers from various portions of his samples under the microscope, then viewing them under polarized lights for the best possible contrast, Raes was able to satisfy himself beyond doubt that the substance of both the Shroud itself and its side strip is linen. In his own words "the X- and V-shaped structures examined are very typical and leave absolutely no doubt about the raw material." 8 He also satisfied himself that the sewing thread used for the seam joining the side strip was of linen as well. But as he studied the fibers more closely, he made a hitherto unsuspected discovery. In the slides he had prepared from warp and weft threads of the main fabric he found minute but unmistakable traces of cotton. The consistency of these was sufficient for him to be sure that wherever the weaving of the Shroud had been done, it was done on equipment used also for weaving cotton. Cotton is known to have been in use as early as the Indus civilization of Mohenjo-Daro, circa 2000 B.C. It is also known to have been introduced to the Middle East by the Assyrian monarch Sennacherib during the seventh century B.C. By the time of Christ it would certainly have been established in the environs of Palestine, and therefore offers no difficulty to the authenticity of the Shroud. Cotton fibers are characterized by twists or reversals which vary according to the particular species of cotton. The fibers Raes found in the Shroud correspond to the species Gossypium herbaceum, which is characteristic of the Middle East ... What is significant, however, is that cotton should be found at all, its very presence determining conclusively that the fabric of the Shroud came from the Middle East since cotton is not grown in Europe. Of course, it is possible that a fourteenth-century Western forger might have obtained a piece of genuine Middle Eastern cloth for his purpose, East-West trade being reasonably well developed at the time. To suppose that he did so intentionally, however, would be to credit him with an improbably advanced degree of sophistication, to say the least"[WI79, 69-70].
"Also important is Raes' discovery of minute traces of cotton fibers in the weave, indicating that the fabric of the Shroud was woven on a loom also used for weaving cotton [No. Medieval repair - see above). The cotton found is an Asian variety. G. Herbaceum, not manufactured in Europe before the 8th or 9th century"[BM95, 21].
"Perhaps the most curious feature of the Shroud samples studied by Raes is his observation that they included traces of cotton. These, of the Middle Eastern variety Gossypium herbaceum, suggest that, wherever the weaving of the Shroud was done, it was done on equipment also used for cotton. While this in turn suggests a Near or Middle Eastern manufacture, it has to be acknowledged that during the medieval period cotton was being produced in Italy, and cotton cloth was manufactured in France, Italy, and Flanders. Overall, Raes's evidence is ambivalent. It shows the Shroud could have been produced in first-century Palestine, but equally plausibly it could have been produced in fourteenth-century Europe or a fourteenth-century Muslim country, from which commercially expanding countries like France and Italy were importing heavily. Troyes, only twelve miles from Geoffrey de Charny's Lirey, was one of Europe's most important centers for precisely this form of trade"[WI86, 36].
"The linen and the weave have been carefully studied by an expert from Belgium, Professor Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology. His microscopic examination revealed that the material of the original cloth, of the side-strip, and of the thread attaching the strip to the original cloth is all pure linen (with no admixture of wool), but that particles of cotton are caught between the threads of the original cloth. The cotton particles led Professor Raes to conclude that the loom on which the original cloth was woven had been used for weaving both linen and cotton. On the other hand, the absence of cotton particles in the side-strip suggests that the strip and the original cloth were woven on different looms [No. Medieval repair - see above)]"[DR84, 11-12].
"Yet another of Raes's findings was of minute but unmistakable traces of cotton adhering to the linen threads, suggesting to him that wherever the Shroud had been woven, it had been done on equipment that had also been used for cotton. Since the particular variety of cotton that Raes found 1 was Gossypium herbaceum, a characteristic Middle-Eastern variety, this I initially led him, and as a result myself and others, to regard this as rather good evidence for the Shroud having originated in the Middle East. In the event, such an interpretation was seriously misplaced ... cotton manufacture was introduced into Europe by Arab Moslems when they invaded Spain in AD 711, thus bringing into being a Spanish cotton industry that was quite a flourishing one by the thirteenth century, at which time it was controlled by several Jews"[WI98, 70].
"Raes made another interesting finding: He identified unmistakable traces of cotton fibrils in the portion taken from the main body of the Shroud. This indicates that wherever the Shroud linen was made, it was woven on equipment also used for weaving cotton [No. Medieval repair (see above)]. The cotton was found to be of the Gossypium herbaceum variety, which is characteristic of the Middle East. Cotton was known to have been introduced into the Middle East by the seventh century B.C. Interestingly, microscopic traces of cotton were found on the Shroud, but there were not microscopic traces of wool. Jewish law (Mishnah) prohibited the mixing of linen and wool, as demonstrated by Deuteronomy 22:11 (`You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together') and Leviticus 19:19 (`... nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material'). However, neither Deuteronomy, Leviticus, nor the Mishnah prohibited the mixing of cotton and linen"[AM00, 99].
  1. Flax
"The first presentation was on X-ray fluorescence ... Finally the results were presented. There was calcium on the Shroud - lots of it. It was evenly distributed over the entire length and width. I wondered where in the world it could have come from. It was not concentrated in the image areas, so it couldn't have anything to do with paint, dye, or stain. Next, they found strontium - also evenly spread all over the linen, but in lesser amounts than the calcium. I thought this was peculiar. There is not a great deal of strontium in the environment, but it is so similar in its chemical properties to calcium that it is often found wherever calcium is - in milk, for example. If strontium was also distributed throughout, it couldn't have anything to do with the images, either. Finally, they found iron. Iron was spread uniformly over the whole Shroud except in the bloodstained areas, where there was a significantly higher incidence of iron than elsewhere. `Well, well,' I thought. `That's presumptive evidence that the 'blood' may be real blood. The iron atoms in heme porphyrins would account for the extra iron in those areas ... Then, with a sly look on his face, he [Alan Adler] said, `What do you know about the process of retting linen?' `Isn't that something that you do to the flax plant to get linen fibers from it?' `Yes, but what do you know about it?' `Nothing.' `Well, I do, and it's important. ... it seems that in order to ret linen, you take the flax plant and soak it in a natural body of water, like a river or lake. The useless part of the flax kind of rots away, and the fibers that remain are linen, which is spun into thread ... during the retting, the linen fibers act as an ion exchanger, and do you know what ions they take up selectively from water? ... Calcium, strontium, and iron!'"[HJ83, 135-136, 173-174].
"The retting process involves immersing the flax in water for an extended period of time, during which fermentation and natural ion exchange occur. The ions which bind most strongly to the flax fibers are Ca and Fe, and it is precisely these two elements that are found in the greatest concentrations on the Shroud"[BM95, 48 n.58].
"During the manufacture of linen from flax, it undergoes (up until very recent times) a process called retting. The flax fibers are soaked in water to ferment. Eventually bacteria eat away most of the other constituents of the flax, leaving approximately 98% pure cellulose. This remainder is what the linen is woven from"[CT96, 36-37]
"Secret Commission of 1969 ... Sample threads from the Shroud were taken which showed that the linen fabric was mixed with cotton. This was an interesting discovery, given that cotton does not grow in Europe. The cotton in the cloth corresponds to a Middle Eastern variety known as G. herbaceum. According to the Mosaic law, there was a prohibition against combining linen and wool (cf. Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11). However, it was licit to combine cotton and wool"[GV01, 55-56].
"In 1988, Turin's then archbishop, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, invited Gabriel Vial, curator of the International Centre for the Study of Ancient Textiles (CIETA) at the Textile Museum in Lyon, France, to attend as an expert witness when the sample for carbon dating was taken on 21 April of that year. Vial, who used the opportunity to make a very careful examination of the Shroud's technical features, also wrote a report which remains one of the best available. At much the same time as Vial's involvement, the name of Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg of the Abegg Foundation, Switzerland's counterpart to the Lyon Museum, was being put forward as another specialist whose expertise could prove valuable, particularly from the viewpoint of the Shroud's conservation ... From Vial's, Flury-Lemberg's and to a lesser extent the other specialists' published findings, certain reliable facts can be determined about the Shroud. For instance, even to the untrained eye the fabric can be seen to be linen. This means that somewhere, at some point of history, bunches of flax from the plant Linum usitatissimum were harvested and spun into thread to make the linen sheet we now see. As a plant, flax is native to a region from the eastern Mediterranean to India, and was used particularly extensively for linen clothing in ancient Egypt, but also throughout the ancient classical world, including Roman Palestine"[WI10, 70].
  1. Yarn
"Of all archaeological features, however, inevitably the prime and most crucial concern the linen of the Shroud and whether this could indeed be interpretable as from the Near East of the first century A.D. To try to answer this question, in 1973 two small linen samples (one 13 x 40 millimeters, the other 10 x 40 millimeters) were cut off from the Shroud and examined by Professor Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology, Belgium. Raes quickly confirmed earlier opinions that the Shroud's fabric is linen, spun with a Z twist, and woven in a three-to-one (herringbone) twill. He noted the yarn to be very regular, indicative of good-quality workmanship, and the weave density an average of a little over 35 threads per centimeter (warp 38.6, weft 35.5), corresponding favorably with the 30-thread-per centimeter average for the finest Egyptian mummy fabrics"[WI86, 34,36].
"When in November 1973 Belgian Professor Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology was invited to Turin to take part in a one-day specialist examination of the Shroud, he was provided with a 13-mm warp thread, a 12-mm weft thread and two postage- stamp-sized portions (taken from the left-hand corner of the Shroud's frontal half), to take back to his home laboratory for study. From these samples Raes was able to identify the twist of the yarn used for the Shroud as 'Z' twist, meaning that whoever had held the original spindle must have rotated this clockwise. All ancient Egyptians ... spun their linen yarn 'S' twist, that is, by rotating it anti-clockwise. However, this distinction is in fact no more of a determinant of age or provenance than the weave. In the post-pharaonic era [from 30BC] Z twist began to appear in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East, and almost all European linen from around 300 BC through to mediaeval times was Z spun. And although most Syrian and Palestinian linen was S spun, there are Z-spun examples from around the time of Jesus that are known from Palmyra (whence we noted one of the herringbone twill silks), and from the desert of Judaea"[WI98, 70].
"Professor Raes found minute fibers of cotton mixed in with the linen. He also noticed that it was spun in a `Z' twist pattern and woven in a three-to-one twill, meaning that the horizontal (weft) thread passes alternately over three and under one of the vertical (warp) threads. The number of threads in each square centimeter is approximately twenty-four in the weft and thirty-six in the warp"[GV01, 58-59].
"That the Shroud was manufactured in antiquity rather than the

[Left (enlarge): UV-fluorescence photo of the Shroudman's hands, showing colour banding of different hanks of yarn in the linen[RR08, 19. See 20Oct15].

Middle Ages is further indicated by a couple of observations made by STURP scientists. First, Ray Rogers has drawn attention to the 'banding' of the Shroud's linen, due to slight colour variations in the hanks of yarn. He explains this effect in terms of the way linen was produced in Roman times, a process described by Pliny the Elder in his famous encyclopedia, Natural History, composed around AD 77-9. According to Pliny, harvested flax was divided into small sheafs, which were soaked in water, dried in the sun and pounded with hammers, before being carded and spun into threads. The linen threads were then soaked, dried and pounded in turn, to increase their pliability. The sunlight would have had a mild bleaching effect, and, because each hank of yarn would have been treated slightly differently, they would have been slightly variegated in colour. Impurities picked up in the wash may also have affected their colour. So, ancient linen appears faintly striped, due to the way the thread was processed in separate batches. Medieval linen, apparently, is more homogenous, since the material was bleached after being woven, not before"[DT12, 110].

  1. Weave
"In all, Raes had been given four samples, two individual threads, one weft of 12 millimeters, one warp 13 millimeters long from the corner of the cloth to the left of the feet of the frontal image, one irregular 13-by-40- millimeter portion from the same area, and one 10-by-40-millimeter parallelogram-shaped portion from the 8- to 9-centimeter side strip that runs the full length of the cloth. From previous visual study of the Shroud weave, a certain amount of information had already been deduced. The overall style of the weave had been generally agreed to be a three-to-one herringbone twill- each weft thread passing alternately under three warp threads and over one, producing diagonal lines, which reverse direction at regular intervals to create the herringbone pattern. That was in itself interesting, as most known Palestinian, Roman, and Egyptian linens of around the time of Christ tend to `plain weave'- i.e., a simple `one over, one under' style. The more complex three-to-one twill of the Shroud is certainly known from the period, but in silks rather than linen. Silk examples, thought to be of Syrian manufacture, have been found at Palmyra (dated before A.D. 276), and in a child's coffin (ca. A.D. 250) excavated at Holborough, Kent, England. The lack of linen samples by no means invalidates the authenticity of the Shroud, merely suggesting a somewhat costly manufacture, as indeed one would expect of a purchase of the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea"[WI79, 69].
"The weave of the Holy Shroud [is] ... a three-to-one twill, broken at intervals by a forty-thread stripe measuring from 10 to 12 cm. in width, making an overall herringbone pattern on the cloth. No similar three-to-one linen samples seem to have survived, but there are examples of silk three-to- one twills from the Roman era-e.g., fragments from a child's coffin ca. A.D. 250, Holborough, Kent, England, and two examples from Palmyra, Syria, ca. A.D. 276. It would seem likely, according to British textile expert Elizabeth Crowfoot, to be of Syrian origin"[WI79, 160d].
"Several authors have questioned whether the complex weaves found on the shroud were capable of being produced in the first century A.D. However, cloths with Z twist and twill weaves have been dated to times well before the time of Christ, as evidenced by a late - Bronze Age cloak found at Gerumsberg, Germany. In the burial wrappings of the mummy of King Thutmes II (c. 1450 B.C.), fabrics with a 4:1 twill were found. A scarf from the burial garments of King Seti I (1300 B.C.) contained a border with a 1:3 weave. The disposition of threads in the frame and the operation of the loom are identical with 1:3 and 3:1 twills. A piece of fabric from the tomb of Queen Makeri (1100 B.C.) had a 1:3 twill bordered with a 1:10 twill. Similarly, mummy cloth of the high priest Nessita-neb-Ashir from the same period contained weaves with 1:2 twill, 1:3 twill, and 1:6 twill. One particularly striking example of fabric weaving is a linen girdle of Ramses III (1200 B.C) This specimen, which is seventeen feet long, is woven with threads of five colors in a design composed of a 3:1 twill alternating with a 4:1 and 5:1 pattern. William Geilmann, who was a textile expert from the University of Mainz, studied pieces of linen from Palmyra, dating between the first and third centuries A.D., and one of them had the same 3:1 pattern as the Shroud. Herringbone twill examples in silk, thought to be of Syrian manufacture and dating from A.D. 250 and A.D. 276, have been found in Syria and England"[AM00, 98-99].
"In the Shroud of Turin we have a piece of linen made in a 3 to 1 twill weave, broken at intervals by a forty- thread stripe measuring from 3/8 to 7/16 inch (10 to 12 mm.) in width, and making an over-all herringbone pattern in the cloth. Irregularities in the weave and thickness of the fabric, together with dissimilarities in the thread, indicate that it is a piece of hand-woven, hand-spun linen. In the course of the centuries the linen has turned yellow"[BW57, 28].
"Professor Gilbert Raes of the Ghent Institute of Textile Technology ... his microscopic analysis led to a number of conclusions. First, the fabric of the Shroud is definitely linen, in a 3:1 twill weave. The existence of this `herringbone' weave is interesting for the fact that it was not especially common in first-century Middle Eastern linen; examples of the weave from that time and locality are known, but primarily in silk rather than linen. This does not argue against the authenticity of the Shroud, but rather suggests a costly manufacture"[BM95, 21].
"The cloth is a three-to-one herringbone twill technically known as samite from the Latin examitum, a six- thread weave in wool, silk or linen. Most known Palestinian, Roman and Egyptian linens from around the time of Christ tend to be woven in a simple one-over-one-under style. This more complex three-to-one twill is certainly not unknown from this period, but it is usually found in silks rather than in linen. Indeed, the lack of contemporary linen samples does not by itself invalidate the authenticity of the Shroud, though it does suggest that it was of a somewhat morecostly manufacture than was usual for a burial cloth"[CN95, 10-11].
"This [the Shroud's] weave was reliably identified in the 1930s

[Right (original): The Shroud's weave, showing the twill (diagonal parallel ribs) combined with regular offset reversals, creating a herringbone (zigzag) effect: [See 16Jul15].]

as a three-to-one herringbone chevron twill, a complex variety for which the weaver would have had to pass each weft (or transverse) thread alternately under three warp (or vertical) threads, then over one, creating diagonal lines, the direction of which he or she would then have reversed at regular intervals ... in the case of ancient Egyptian linens, which are overwhelmingly the most common variety of linen to survive from antiquity, all are of plain weave, that is, they have been created in a simple 'one over, one under' style ... So does this mean that the herringbone weave had not even been invented at the time of Jesus? Happily this is not the case. For instance there is a cloth from Palmyra in Syria, known definitely to date from before AD 276, which is in herringbone weave. Another herringbone example, definitely dating from the Roman era, was found in a child's coffin at Holborough, Kent, England. Yet other examples have been found at Trier, Conthey, Riveauville, and Cologne. The complication to all these, however, is that they were woven not in linen, but in silk. And although there are other examples of essentially the same weave, some dating back to the late Bronze Age, these were created in wool. It has to be acknowledged that no actual examples of linen directly matching the herringbone twill of the Shroud survive from antiquity, but this is far from saying that examples did not and could not have existed in this fabric. As any of the world's community of specialists in the history of textiles will readily confirm, the number of surviving specimens of ancient textiles represents but the tiniest proportion of the amount long lost to us, so that what we do not know about them vastly outweighs what we do know"[WI98, 68-69]
"A further highly unusual feature of the Shroud's linen is the weave itself. One of the big sources of frustration for historians of textiles is that relatively few examples have survived from antiquity. Even with regard to those that have survived, another problem is the quite disproportionate number that are mummy wrappings from ancient Egypt - far from representative of the many fabrics from many other ancient cultures that have been irretrievably lost. Egyptian mummy wrappings are almost invariably woven plain weave, that is, in a simple 'one over, one under' style ... The Shroud's weave, by contrast, is an altogether more complex three-to- one herringbone twill ... To make it, the weaver would have had to pass each weft (or transverse) thread alternately under three warp (or vertical) threads, then over on; creating diagonal lines. At regular intervals he or she would then have had to reverse direction to create the distinctive zigzags. In any age prior to the Industrial Revolution this would have been something rare and expensive, the work of a highly skilled professional"[WI10, 74].
"Even among textile experts, therefore, the search for 15parallels to the Shroud, whether from the Middle Ages or from further back in antiquity, has not been easy. This difficulty was made very evident when the British Museum's Dr Michael Tite, the official invigilator for the 1988 carbon dating work, was looking for some historical samples of linen resembling the Shroud's weave to use for controls. His plan was that the carbon dating laboratories should not know which of the samples had come from the actual Shroud. He even sought my help on this. But the plan failed. In order to provide controls that were at least all of linen he had to abandon the requirement that their weave should be herringbone. French specialist Gabriel Vial found much the same difficulty following his hands-on examination of the Shroud in 1988. There was literally no parallel that he could cite from the Middle Ages. Between antiquity and the modern age the closest example he could find, at least one that had been reliably analysed and published, was an artist's canvas from the second half of the sixteenth century. And even this was technically `beaucoup plus simple' (a lot more simple) than that of the Turin Shroud"[WI10, 75].
"Vial found the era of antiquity itself - that is, around the time of Christ - significantly more productive, albeit not quite as much as anyone favouring the Shroud's antiquity might wish. Examples of herringbone weave can definitely be found from the Roman era. One specimen, from Palmyra, Syria, is precisely dateable, from its context, to before AD 276. There is another example from a child's coffin excavated at Holborough in Kent, England. Yet other examples have been found at Trier, Conthey, Riveauville and Cologne. The downside is these were all woven in silk, not linen, but at least they show that this type of weave was used at this early period. As Dr Flury-Lemberg has further pointed out, there are also some good specimens of three-to- one twill dating even closer to Jesus's time which have come to light subsequent to Vial's researches. In the late 1990s French archaeologists were sifting for papyri among ancient rubbish dumps at the Roman fort of Krokodilo, a staging post in Egypt's Eastern Desert between the Nile and the Red Sea, when they came across substantial quantities of discarded textiles. Among these were fragments in wool that had been woven to specifications very similar to those of the Turin Shroud. And from the context in which these fragments were found they have been dated with absolute certainty to between AD 100 and 120"[WI10, 75-76].
"The first serious study of the Shroud as a textile was undertaken in 1973 by Professor Gilbert Raes of Ghent University, who was permitted to take some samples, including a small swatch, the size of a postage stamp, from one of the corners (adjacent to the area subsequently sampled for the carbon dating). Raes confirmed that the cloth was made of linen and that its weave is a rare type known as a three-to-one twill, created by passing each weft thread under three warp threads and then over one, building up a herringbone pattern ... Not much can be gleaned from this, except that the cloth was more expensive than average. Three-to-one twill weaving was practised both in antiquity and in the late Middle Ages, although more examples exist from the earlier period, including ones found in Syria and Egypt, countries bordering Palestine. These are all of silk or wool, but the same technique could well have been used for linen"[DT12, 108-109].

  1. Dimensions
"The Shroud itself is of impressive dimensions fourteen feet,

[Left (enlarge)[08Apr20]: Shroud photo-graph with an 8 x 2 grid overlay showing that the Shroud divides evenly into 16 squares, each 438/8 = 54.75 cm (~21.6 in.) by 113/2 = 56.5 cm (~22.2 in.). The slightly greater (1.75cm = 0.7 in.) width unit is readily explained by the attachment of the sidestrip (see below). These units are too close to the Assyrian cubit of Jesus' day: 21.4-21.8 inches (see 08Apr20) to be a coincidence.]

three inches long and three feet, seven inches wide"[AF82, 4].
"The cloth, marked by various blemishes and stains, measures fourteen feet three inches long and three feet seven inches wide - or, according to the measurement in use in the Middle East in the first century, eight cubits by two[WI91, 181]. Experts in the field of textiles have determined that the threads were hand-spun and the fabric hand-woven in what is known as a `three-to-one herringbone twill.' This was a type of weaving practiced in the Middle East at least as far back as two thousand years ago"[RC99, 11].
"The Shroud of Turin, a large linen cloth 14 feet 3 inches long and 3 feet 7 inches wide (4.34 m x 1.10 m)"[AM00, 1]
"Ian Dickinson, a researcher from Canterbury, England, was struck by the fact that the measurements of the Shroud-14'3" by 3'7"-seemed odd. Research indicated that the international standard unit of measurement at the time of Jesus was the Assyrian cubit (21.4 inches). When measured in Assyrian cubits, the Shroud is 8 cubits by 2 cubits, a strong indication that this standard unit was used to measure the linen cloth"[AM00, 115].
"Measurements of the Shroud's overall dimensions have tended to vary, even during relatively recent decades, because of its traditional storage mode, rolled up around a velvet-covered rod. Every time it was unrolled and rolled up again there was a slightly different calculation of its size. However, following the flat storage method and the stabilization achieved by Dr Flury-Lemberg's conservation measures of 2002, the dimensions should now stay constant at the official fourteen feet six inches long by three feet nine inches wide [442.5cm X 113.7cm] By any standards the Shroud is a cloth of substantial size, and the loom on which it was woven must have been relatively large - a requirement that certainly presents no problem for the Shroud dating from antiquity. For instance, in Turin's Egyptian Museum there is a bed-sheet from the 12th Dynasty - that is, from around the twentieth century BC - that is seven metres long and of much the same width as the Shroud. Twice as old as the Shroud (if it genuinely dates from the time of Christ), the bed-sheet's condition is notably still perfect. It may seem surprising that linen can last so long, but moth grubs ignore the material because it lacks the keratin their diet needs, and most other insects find it too hard to masticate"[WI10, 71, 315].

  1. Sidestrip
"On one side of the Shroud is sewn a strip of linen, about six inches wide, which runs the entire length of the cloth. The weave of this strip is identical to the herringbone of the Shroud, although why, when and by whom it was added is unknown"[HT78, 37].
"It is a single piece of time-faded linen with a strip approximately three and one-half inches wide running the length of the left-hand side"[AF82, 4].
"More precisely the Shroud measures 14 feet 3 inches in length, and 3 feet 7 inches in width. The entire fabric was woven in a single piece except for the left edge. Looking at the top surface, one notices a seam running down the left side of the cloth: a narrow strip, 3 1/2 inches wide, was at some time attached to the cloth, whose original width was therefore only 3 feet 3 1/2 inches. The image is entirely restricted to the original cloth ..."[DR84, 11].
"Finally, along one whole side, a strip of linen cloth has been sewn on. We do not know when, why, or by whom this side-strip was added to the Shroud ... the side strip centers the image on the Turin Shroud. It would make the face appear in the center of the frame rather than off to one side"[SD89, 9, 82].
"Radiographs taken in 1978 have shown that the so-called `side strip,' repeatedly conjectured to have been sewn to the Shroud by the seam, is actually an integral part of the Shroud"[BM95, 39].
"THE Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth of ivory color measuring fourteen feet three inches long by three feet seven inches wide or eight cubits long by two cubits wide, according to first-century Jewish measurements. (A cubit is equivalent to 21.7 inches.) The cloth is made of a three-to-one herringbone weave with a `Z' twist. Parallel to one side of the cloth is sewn a six-inch-wide strip of the same weave pattern"[GV01, 1]
"But this was not the end of Raes's discoveries. As already mentioned, he had two samples of reasonable size, one from the main body of the Shroud, and one from the mysterious side strip ... The type of weave used for both is absolutely identical-i.e., the three-to-one twill ... Raes was unable to find in piece II any of the cotton traces of the main body of the cloth"[WI10, 70-71].
  1. Seam
"Only one seam was used for this attachment[AF82, 4]. "But

[Right (enlarge): Seam joining the sidestrip (left) and the main body of the Shroud (right), near its left hand corner[24Aug15].]

even more importantly, Dr. Flury-Lemberg found the cloth's finishing, at its hems, and in the joining seam to have been done using an unusual type of stitching very nearly invisible on one side, and as such closely resembling that of ancient Jewish textiles as found at Masada, the Jewish palace-fortress that was overthrown by the Romans in AD 73, never to be occupied again"[WI00].
"Just as interesting are Dr Flury-Lemberg's observations concerning the beautifully crafted seam by which the raw edges were joined up. On the Shroud's exposed or 'face' side - that is, the side that received the imprint - the seam's sewing is so neat and so professional that analysis of its technical details was never possible while the Shroud remained fastened to its sixteenth-century backing cloth. When the conservation work freed it from its backing cloth and opened up its underside, Dr Flury-Lemberg became the first person in modern times to be able to study the seam's underside. And this proved quite a revelation. She found the seam to have some highly unusual technical characteristics that in four decades of working on historic textiles she had come across only once before, on first-century textiles found at Masada, the historic Dead Sea fortress where over nine hundred Jewish rebels who lived just one generation later than Jesus made a famous last stand against the Romans at the end of the Jewish Revolt, in AD 72-3. When the site was excavated by the famous Israeli commander Yigael Yadin back in the 1950s, substantial scraps of the defenders' clothing came to light, the dry air of the surrounding Judaean desert having preserved them well. In 1994 Yadin's successors at last published the technical report

[Left: enlarge: Sketch of `invisible seam' found on cloth fragments at the first-century Jewish fortress of Masada[08Oct16] which is "identical to that found on the Shroud and nowhere else"[DT12, 109].]

on these clothing scraps, and right there in that report is a technical drawing of what the excavators adjudged to be a very unusual seam - one which in Dr Flury-Lemberg's opinion is essentially identical to the one visible on the Turin Shroud. Also found at Masada were examples of exactly the same two double thread selvedge as seen on the Shroud, a mode of construction which Gabriel Vial back in the 1980s had described as 'tout a fait inhabituelle' - most unusual"[WI10, 72-74].

  1. Selvedge
"Down the left side of the Shroud is a border approximately 3 1/2 inches wide (8 centimeters from the edge) running the full length of the linen cloth.

[Right[22Jan15a]: Bottom right hand corner of the Shroud showing part of the selvedge (left vertical border). Along the bottom is one of the two horizontal hems (see below)]

Once thought to be a side-strip sewn onto the main cloth, it has now been determined to be a selvedge [this confuses the sidestrip with the selvedge, which are two different parts of the Shroud], that is, a piece of cloth woven into the main cloth so that it will not unravel. It is done in such a manner as to require no hem[IJ98, 1-2].
"One genuinely big surprise from Dr Flury-Lemberg's findings within the last decade is that the original cloth from which the Shroud derived was very likely substantially larger. The clue to this lies in the beautifully crafted seam that runs the Shroud's full length, just under three and a half inches below its top edge. At the Shroud's top and bottom edges [sic left and right sides] there is selvedge, indicating that these edges formed the cloth's original, weaver-finished 'sides' as it originally grew lengthwise on the loom. When the weaving was finished

[Left (enlarge)[22Jan15b]: Flury-Lemberg's explanation of how the cloth from which the Shroud came was originally woven much wider than the Shroud. Then the cloth was cut lengthwise and the two pieces bordered by the selvedge (shaded) were joined together by a seam (see "Seam" below) to form the Shroud cloth.]

someone seems to have very accurately cut the Shroud along its length, then most expertly joined up the two raw edges left by this process via the beautifully crafted seam. As argued by Dr Flury-Lemberg, the only possible purpose behind such highly professional tailoring would have been that when the original piece of fabric was on the loom, it was woven substantially wider than its present width. In her opinion, it could well have been up to three times the present width, which would have made it eleven feet wide by nearly fifteen feet long. The width was then narrowed to that required for its usage as a shroud by cutting twice along its length, using the two sections with selvedge for the Shroud, then joining up the raw edges ... 'The ancient Egyptians used looms up to eleven and a half feet wide,' Dr Flury-Lemberg explained. 'They needed the wide looms particularly for the production of the tunica inconsutilis, the seamless tunics ... also worn by Jesus Christ, according to the gospel writers [Jn 19:23] ... Naturally these wide looms could be used to produce fabrics of a smaller width. But it made more sense to use the full width of the loom, as only a little more work input resulted in the production of a broad length of fabric which could then be cut into two or three narrower pieces as required.'"[WI10, 71-72].
"So, although any absolutely exact first-century parallel to the Shroud's linen remains elusive, in the light of the most recent textile findings the Shroud actually has rather more going for a manufacture date some time around the time of Jesus than for its being a product of the Middle Ages. The very high degree of professionalism that is evident from the mega-wide loom that appears to have been used, the very expert lengthwise cutting and seaming (to all appearances done while still 'in-factory'), the unusual selvedge, and the very unusual, expensive style of weaving - all of these point to production in a major, sophisticated cloth-making 'factory' of the kind that certainly existed during the Roman era for making the large sheet-like garments that were then fashionable. The Middle Ages, in contrast, were not noted for such operations. As Dr Flury-Lemberg remarked, `During the Middle Ages I do not know of any reason for the use of looms of that kind of width. Tapestries during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were very small - only between three and six feet high - compared to their sixteenth- and seventeenth-century counterparts, precisely because of the looms, the tapestry's height indicating its loom's width. And the tunica inconsutilis was only produced in ancient times, never in the Middle Ages. I doubt that there would have been a linen factory on that kind of scale in the Middle Ages. If you find linen bed sheets from that time (which is rare), you will find a seam in the middle of the sheet. Two loom pieces will have been sewn together at their selvedges to make them wide enough for the bed"[WI10, 76-77].

  1. Hems
"But even more importantly, Dr. Flury-Lemberg found the cloth's finishing, at its hems, and in the joining seam to have been done using an unusual type of stitching very nearly invisible on one side, and as such closely resembling that of ancient Jewish textiles as found at Masada, the Jewish palace-fortress that was overthrown by the Romans in AD 73, never to be occupied again. This alone, therefore, constitutes powerful evidence against the carbon dating result of 1988. As Dr. Flury-Lemberg told the Sunday Times 'In my opinion the Shroud is not a mediaeval fake. The parallels I have found indicate that it could have existed at the same time as Jesus Christ and in what is now Israel'"[WI00].

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]

Posted 26 August 2022. Updated 19 October 2022.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

1. What is the Turin Shroud? #3: Shroud of Turin quotes

Shroud of Turin quotes

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is "1. What is the Turin Shroud?" part #3 of my Shroud of Turin quotes series. See the Main Index #1 for information about this series.

[Index] [Previous: 22. Bibliography #2] [Next: 2. A linen cloth #4]

  1. What is the Turin Shroud? #3
    1. Central dilemma of the Shroud
The Shroud is either a forgery or it is Jesus' burial sheet. There is no viable third alternative.
"As to the identity of the body whose image is seen on the Shroud, no question is possible. The five wounds, the cruel flagellation, the punctures encircling the head, can still be clearly distinguished in spite of the darkening of the whole fabric. If this is not the impression of the Body of Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other personage since the world began could these details be verified." [TH03*, 19, in WE54, 40]

[Right (enlarge)[FSW]: "Full-length image of the Turin Shroud before the 2002 restoration"[STW]. Plate 2.1 of my book.]

"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" [WJ63, xi-xii]
"If, on the other hand, the figure is authentic, it can only be Jesus for three good reasons: first, because it is most unlikely that the shrouds of any other crucified men - mainly slaves, peasants and crooks - would either have been of this quality or have been considered worth preserving; secondly, because of the thousands of victims of crucifixion which history records, only one is known to have suffered both wounds to the head (consonant with a spiky cap being pressed down upon the cranium) and the side (compatible with a deep jab from a Roman lance) as we see represented on the Shroud; and thirdly, because this man - although demonstrably crucified - has not suffered the crurifragium, or breaking of the leg-bones with a heavy mallet, which was an almost invariable concomitant of crucifixion. The Shroud-Man is Jesus Christ or nobody"[MP78, 23-24].
"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[SS82, 42]: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson[WI79, 51-53] and Stevenson and Habermas [SH81, 121-129] 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 [Ibid., p.128] 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). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.'"[NJ87, 141*]

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]

Posted 24 August 2022. Updated 27 August 2022.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Bibliography #2: Shroud of Turin quotes

Shroud of Turin quotes

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is the Bibliography, part #2, of my "Shroud of Turin quotes series. In-line references from quotes pages will be linked to here. Pressing the back arrow should take you back to the quotes page. I will notify recent updates in the background of quotes pages from here. See the Main Index #1 for information about this series.

[Previous: Main Index #1] [Next: 1. What is the Turin Shroud? #3]

AF82. Adams, F.O., 1982, "Sindon: A Layman's Guide to the Shroud of Turin," Synergy Books: Tempe AZ.
AM00. Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY.
BA34. Barnes, A.S., 1934, "The Holy Shroud of Turin," Burns Oates & Washbourne: London, 12.
BJ01. 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.
BM95. Borkan, M., 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University, Vol. X, No. 2, Winter, 18-51.
BW57. Bulst, W., 1957, "The Shroud of Turin," McKenna, S. & Galvin, J.J., transl., Bruce Publishing Co: Milwaukee WI.
CN95. Currer-Briggs, N., 1995, "Shroud Mafia: The Creation of a Relic?," Book Guild: Sussex UK.
CB78. Culliton, B.J., 1978, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin Challenges 20th-Century Science," Science, Vol. 201, 21 July, 235-239.
CT96. Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH.
DA82. Doyle, A.C., 1982, "The Sign of the Four," [1890], Penguin Books: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1984.
DA99. Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., 1999, "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO.
DR84. Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on its History and Origins," Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham MD.
DT12. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London.
DV02. Latendresse, M., 2010, "Shroud Scope: Durante 2002 Vertical,"
FSW. "File:Shroudofturin.jpg," Wikimedia Commons, 29 May 2009.
GV01. Guerrera, V., 2001, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL.
HJ83. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA.
HT78. Humber, T., 1978, "The Sacred Shroud," [1974], Pocket Books: New York NY.
IJ98. Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY.
JP78. Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud ," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK.
MP78. McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in JP78, 23-24.
NJ87. Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000.
PM96. Petrosillo, O. & Marinelli, E., 1996, "The Enigma of the Shroud: A Challenge to Science," Scerri, L.J., transl., Publishers Enterprises Group: Malta.
RC99. Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, 11.
RR08. Rogers, R.N., 2008, "A Chemist's Perspective on the Shroud of Turin," Lulu Press: Raleigh, NC.
SD89. Scavone, D.C., 1989, "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA.
SH81. 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.
SS82. Schafersman, S.D., 1982, "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring, 37-56.*
STW. "Shroud of Turin," Wikipedia, 17 August 2022.
SU91. "Shroud University - Exploring the Mystery Since 33 A.D.," Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc., Peachtree City, GA.
THo3. Thurston, H., S.J., 1903, "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, January, 17-29.
WE54. Wuenschel, E.A., 1954, "Self-Portrait of Christ: The Holy Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Esopus NY, Third printing, 1961.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition.
WI86. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London.
WI91. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London.
WI98. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.
WI00. 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.
WI10. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London.
WJ63. Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," Random House: New York NY.

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]

Posted 23 August 2022. Updated 12 September 2022.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Main index #1: Shroud of Turin quotes

Shroud of Turin quotes

Copyright © Stephen E. Jones[1]

I have decided to start a series, "Shroud of Turin quotes," to help me write my book. They will

[Right (enlarge [SU91]): The planned cover of my book. It is on-track to be published in 2025, when the next Shroud expo-sition is planned (04Apr22).]

be organised under the following headings which parallel chapters in my book. Each heading below is, or will be, a link to a page with that topic, and then sub-headings, e.g. 13a, 13b, etc. I will first post quotes under each heading. Thereafter, I will add quotes as I find them and update that page in the background. To save time I will use in-line referencing, which means I will need to post the Bibliography next. Each post will have a number, e.g., #1, #2, etc, to indicate their order posted. Emphases will be original, unless otherwise indicated. Sceptics' quotes will be marked by an asterisk (*). If pages become too long, I will split them, e.g. "10. History of the Shroud," 10a, 10b, 10c ...", etc.

[Next: 22. Bibliography #2]

  1. What is the Turin Shroud? #3
  2. A linen cloth #4
  3. The man on the Shroud
  4. The man's image
  5. The man's blood
  6. Other marks and images
  7. Bible and the Shroud
  8. Prehistory of the Shroud
  9. History of the Shroud
  10. Art & the Shroud
  11. Archaeology & the Shroud
  12. Sudarium of Oviedo
  13. Science & the Shroud
  14. Were the C14 labs duped by a computer hacker?
  15. How was the image formed?
  16. Failed replications of the Shroud
  17. Sceptics and the Shroud
  18. Problems of the forgery theory
  19. Objections answered
  20. Is the man on the Shroud Jesus?
  21. Conclusion
  22. Bibliography

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. "Photography is an imprint or transfer off the real; it is a photochemically processed trace causally connected to the thing in the world to which it refers in a manner parallel to fingerprints or footprints or the rings of water that cold glasses leave on tables. The photograph is thus generically distinct from painting or sculpture or drawing. On the family tree of images it is closer to palm prints, death masks, the Shroud of Turin, or the tracks of gulls on beaches. — Rosalind E. Krauss," Quotes & Sayings About The Shroud Of Turin," Famous Quotes & Sayings, 2022.

Posted 22 August 2022. Updated 27 August 2022.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Shroud of Turin News, May 2022

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

[Previous: January - April 2022] [Next: June- December 2022]

This is the May 2022 issue of my Shroud of Turin News. It was originally "May-July 2022" but it was only about a May 2022 article. I will continue from June 2002 articles, briefly, until I catch up Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated. The articles' words are bold to distinguish them from mine.

"`Shroud is 2000 years old'," The Catholic Weekly, Guest Contributor, 7 May 2022.

[Right (enlarge): The face on the Shroud of Turin is seen in souvenir prints near the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, Photo: CNS/Paul Haring]

New technology enables a closer look at Turin Shroud A study based on new technology for the dating of artefacts has placed the fabric of the Shroud of Turin within the time of Christ. See 04Apr22, 22May22a The peer-reviewed study contradicts the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud which achieved global prominence when it concluded that the relic many faithful believe to be the burial linen of Christ originated about 700 years ago. So the only scientific evidence against the Shroud being Jesus' is now 34 years old! Yet while the 1988 study suggested the shroud was not authentic, it has done little to abate the faith of thousands who make pilgrimage to Turin to venerate the relic. Make that "millions":

"From April 19, 2015 through June 24, 2015, more than two million visitors came to Turin from around the world to view the Shroud while it was on public display" ("The 2015 Shroud Exposition,", 16 August 2015)
The study was conducted by Dr Liberato de Caro of Italy's Institute of Crystallography of the National Research Council, in Bari. Dr de Caro employed a method known as `Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering', or WAXS, which measures the natural aging of flax cellulose and in order to estimate the elapsed time since manufacture. The process has several key features that make it more desirable than radiocarbon dating, not least of which is that it is non-destructive to the samples. Furthermore, the size of the sample required for WAXS is much smaller, requiring just a portion of cloth approximately 0.5mm x 1mm. In his report, published on the website of Italy's Department of Chemical Sciences and Materials Technologies, de Caro pointed out potential flaws with dating by Carbon-14 analysis. He noted that textile samples can easily become contaminated with substances that could skew results. That is true in general. But in the case of the Shroud, for carbon contamination to shift its 1st century radiocarbon age 13 centuries into the future, to 1260-1390, the mid-point of which, 1325 ±65, `just happpens' to be 30 years before the Shroud entered undisputed history in 1355, would be a miracle, as physicist Frank Tipler pointed out (Tipler claims it was a supernatural miracle by God):
"If the radiocarbon date is ignored, there are quite a few reasons for accepting the Shroud as genuine ... But ... what must be answered before the Shroud can be accepted as genuine - is why the radiocarbon date is exactly what one would expect it to be if the Turin Shroud were actually a fraud. A very plausible history of the Shroud from A.D. 30 to the present has been constructed ... However, the first time the Shroud is agreed by all scholars to have existed is 1355, when a French squire, Geoffrey de Charny of Lirey, in the bishopric of Troyes, petitioned the Pope to display it as the unique burial cloth of Jesus. ... A few decades after de Charny's death, the bishop of Troyes denounced the Shroud as a fake and said that he knew the name of the forger, who had confessed. So if the bishop and later skeptics were correct, we would expect the linen of which the Shroud is made to date from the time of the forgery. That is, the middle of the fourteenth century. When the radiocarbon date was discovered to be between 1260 and 1390 (95 percent confidence interval), most scientists (including myself until a few years ago) were convinced that the Shroud had been proven a fraud. If bacterial or other contamination had distorted the date, we would expect the measured radiocarbon date to be some random date between A.D. 30 and the present. It would be an extraordinary and very improbable coincidence if the amount of carbon added to the Shroud were exactly the amount needed to give the date that indicated a fraud. That is, unless the radiocarbon date were itself a miracle ..."[2]
Tipler didn't even consider scientific fraud to be a far more likely explanation than "bacterial or other contamination" or "the radiocarbon date were itself a miracle" (i.e. a supernatural miracle by God), for why the 1st century Shroud `just happened' to have a "between 1260 and 1390 radiocarbon date." But as the agnostic art historian Thomas de Wesselow pointed out, "if fraud was involved ... Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve":
"The third possibility is that a fraud was perpetrated ... Most sindonologists regard these fraud theories as plainly incredible ... However, scientific fraud is by no means unknown, as the editors of science journals are well aware ... One important consideration weighs in favour of the possibility of deception. If the carbon-dating error was accidental, then it is a remarkable coincidence that the result tallies so well with the date always claimed by sceptics as the Shroud's historical debut. But if fraud was involved, then it wouldn't be a coincidence at all. Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve"[3].
See my series, "The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking" for the only viable explanation why Jesus' 1st century Shroud had a "1325 ± 65 years" radiocarbon date. De Caro explained that the WAXS method has been already used on a variety of historical textile samples that have been documented to be aged from 3000 BC to 2000 AD. He placed the Shroud of Turin against these samples and found that it best matched a piece of fabric known to have come from the siege of Masada, Israel, in 55-74 AD. If accurate, the findings would suggest that the shroud originated around the time of Christ, and this could mean it was indeed Jesus' burial cloth. However, de Caro advised caution, given that the new date contrasts the Carbon-14 dating by such a large margin. He suggested the WAXS analysis should be performed by other laboratories in order to confirm the findings. In an interview with National Catholic Register, he said: "The technique of dating linen by X-ray is non-destructive. Therefore, it can be repeated several times on the same sample… it would be more than desirable to have a collection of X-ray measurements carried out by several laboratories, on several samples, at most millimetric in size, taken from the Shroud." De Caro also noted some exciting elements that could help trace the shroud's history and migration from the Middle East to Europe. He noted that the samples of the shroud contained samples of pollen from the ancient region of Palestine, which could not have originated in Europe. This factor alone suggests that the Shroud of Turin spent extensive time in the Middle East. So that's five scientific tests for the Shroud's age (see 22May22b) which cover the date of Jesus' crucifixion in AD 30:

Vanillin150 BC ±8501000 BC-AD 700
FT-IR300 BC ±400700 BC-AD 100
Raman200 BC ± 500700 BC-AD 300
Mechanical400 AD ± 400AD 0 - AD 800
WAXS AD 0-100

So why is that one scientific test of the Shroud's age, AMS radiocarbon dating, privileged over the five scientific tests of the Shrouds's age, which show it could have been 1st century? Especially considering that the other evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!

"The Doctor Who Crucified Medical Students For Science," IFLScience, James Felton, 31 May 2022. ... First out to bat was Dr Pierre Barbet, who took the trouble to experiment on people who were already dead. Barbet was intrigued by the "shroud of Turin", a large piece of cloth supposedly wrapped around Jesus Christ after his crucifixion or someone else who was executed in this manner ... Barbet ... believed that the blood from the person's hand wounds depicted in the shroud appeared to flow in two different directions. He believed that the bloodstains could be caused by Jesus shifting his position, lifting himself up in order to breathe. Naturally, Barbet wanted to test this by finding himself a corpse to nail to a cross he had built himself. This is false! It was only amputated arms with weights attached to simulate a body nailed to a cross that Barbet used. The experiment appeared to confirm what Barbet believed: the body slumped into a similar position to that on the shroud, suggesting that this position made it difficult to breathe, and it was from this position that the occupant of the shroud attempted to pull himself up. This was not good enough for others interested in crucifixion. So, in the 1940s, German radiologist Hermann Mödder began crucifying medical students. Thankfully opting for leather straps instead of nails, Mödder hung his students on crosses in positions designed to mimick crucifixion ... He monitored their vital signs during their crucifixion, taking them off the cross at around the six-minute mark when their blood pressure began to drop and breathing became difficult. "What will set in after the end of the sixth minute can be foreseen by the physician: unconsciousness, intense pallor, sweating," he wrote of his experiments. "In short: collapse due to insufficient blood supply to the heart and brain." ... The position during crucifixion causes difficulty breathing. If the victim doesn't die of blood loss (from the nails or whipping before execution) they will die of exposure or difficulty breathing. I have omitted Dr Frederick Zugibe's `explanation.' For why see my series, "Why I prefer Barbet's hypotheses over Zugibe's." Thanks to far too much experimentation, and our knowledge of the human body, we now know that victims of crucifixion did die through difficulty breathing. "The weight of the body pulling down on the arms makes breathing extremely difficult," Jeremy Ward, a physiologist at King's College London told the Guardian. Those who don't suffocate could die as "the resultant lack of oxygen in the blood would cause damage to tissues and blood vessels, allowing fluid to diffuse out of the blood into tissues, including the lungs and the sac around the heart." As bad as these experiments were, evidence for this hypothesis comes from a much worse source. During World War II, the Nazis conducted crucifixions as a method of torture. At Dachau, one Father G Delorey witnessed the Nazis suspending inmates by their wrists on a horizontal bar. "After their hanging for one hour," Delorey wrote, "the victims could no longer exhale the air that filled their chest." They could only breathe when they were able to pull themselves up high enough to take the weight off their chests. A useful summary of why crucifixion victims died of asphyxiation when they could no longer raise themselves up to exhale (i.e. when their legs were broken - Jn 19:32-33).

"Further Ruminations on the Shroud of Turin," Associates for Biblical Research, Rick Lanser, 5 June 2022. Back in 2014, I wrote an article to bring people up to date on the status of Shroud of Turin research at that time. Now eight years old, "Some Ruminations on the Shroud of Turin" easily escapes the notice of newer visitors to our website. It seems to be an appropriate time to revisit some of the timeless exegetical details covered there and take them a bit further. ... consider the following insights that come from reading the original Greek of the New Testament ... 4 – Othonia is another plural term (sing. ὀθόνιον). BAGD Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich & Danker Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says it refers to a "(linen) cloth, cloth wrapping." This is an excellent article. I take issue only with Lanser's claim that the othonia in Jn 20:7, i.e. "linen wrappings," includes the sindon, i.e. "linen cloth ... in which the bodies of the dead were wrapped" ... "a ... garment worn at night over a naked body." I had previously posted [11Jul12, 06Nov14, 21Jan16 & 08Sep19] that `all my New Testament Greek lexicons state that othonion (singular) is a diminutive of othone, a large linen cloth [Acts 10:11], hence othonia (plural) are small linen cloths. Therefore othonia is correctly translated "strips of linen" as in Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40 and 20:5-7 (NIV) and Mounce Interlinear'. And therefore, the Shroud was not in the empty tomb when Peter and John entered it (Jn 20:6-7), the risen Jesus having taken it with him out of the tomb and given it to the Apostle John (the "servant of the priest") - see those references. But I can't find where I provided quotations from my New Testament Greek lexicons, so here they are (my transliteration of Greek and Hebrew, emphasis original):

Thayer (1901):

"othonion, ou, to, (dimin. of othone, q. v.), a piece of linen, small linen cloth: plur. strips of linen cloth for swathing the dead, Lk. xxiv. 12 [T om. L Tr br. WH reject the vs.] ; Jn. xix. 40; xx. 5-7. (In Grk. writ. of ships' sails made of linen, bandages for wounds, and other articles; Sept. for cadiyn, Judg. xiv. 13; for pishteh or pash, Hos. ii. 5 (7), 9 (11).)*"[4].
Note: "plur. [othonia] strips of linen cloth for swathing the dead" (Lk 24:12).

Abbott-Smith (1937):
"othon, -es, e (of Semitic origin, cf. Heb. ('etun), yarn); 1. fine linen (Hom., al.). 2. Later, a sheet or sail: Ac 10:11, 11:5.+"

"othonion, ou, to (dimin. of othon q.v.), [in LXX Jg 14:13 (sadiyn), Ho 2:5 (7), 9 (11) (pishteh) *;] a piece of fine linen, a linen cloth. [othonia] Lk 24:12 (WH, R, mg., om.), [othonia] Jo 19:40 20:5,6,7 +"[5].
Note: "othonion ... (dimin[utive]. of othon"...).

BAGD (1979):
"othone, es, e (Hom.+ ; pap.; Jos., Ant. 5, 290; 12, 117) linen cloth, sheet (Appian, Bell. Civ. 4, 47 §200) Ac 10: 11; 11: 5. Esp. of a sail (Isishymnus v. Andr. [I BC] 153 Peek; Lucian, Jupp. Trag. 46, Ver. Hist. 2, 38; Test. Zeb. 6: 2) oth. ploiou sail of a ship MPol 15: 2. M-M. *

othonion, ou, to (Aristoph., Hippocr. et al.; inscr. [e.g. the Rosetta Stone: Dit., Or. 90, 18-196 BC]; pap. [e.g. UPZ 85, 8; 42-163/60 BC]; Judg 14:13 B; Hos 2:7, 11; Ep. Arist. 320. Cf. Wilcken, Ostraka I p. 266ff. On the origin of the word s. HLewy, Die semit. Fremdworter im Griech. 1895, 124f; Thumb 111) dim. of othone; linen cloth, bandage used in preparing a corpse for burial (so UPZ 85, 8; PGiess. 68, 11) J 19: 40; 20: 5ff; Lk 24:12 t.r.-JBlinzler, OTHONIA etc.: Philol. 99, '55, 158-66. M-M.*"[6].
Note: "othonion ... dim[inutive]. of othone ... bandage used in preparing a corpse for burial" (BAGD)!

Zodhiates (1992):
"othonion; gen. othoniou, neut. noun, a diminutive of othone (3607), a linen cloth, sheet. A smaller linen cloth, bandage. In the NT, used only of material in which dead bodies were swathed for burial (Luke 24:12; John 19:40; 20:5-7; Sept.: Judg. 14:13)."[7].
Note: "othonion ... a diminutive of othone ... A smaller linen cloth, bandage."

In previous posts [11Jul12, 26Jun08], I corrected my earlier claim that the othonia found by Peter and John in the empty tomb on resurrection Sunday (Lk 24:12; Jn 20:4-8) was a "collective singular" for all Jesus' linen burial cloths. That is because all my New Testament Greek lexicons state that othonion (singular) is a diminutive of othone a linen cloth, hence othonia (plural) are small linen cloths. Therefore othonia is correctly translated "strips of linen" as in Lk 24:12; Jn 19:40 and 20:5-7 (NIV) and Mounce Interlinear. I therefore maintain that the Shroud (sindon) was no longer in the Tomb when Peter and John entered it, Jesus having taken it with Him out of the Tomb. See my 2014 "Servant of the priest" series and my post of 08May18.

See also 06Nov14:

"The Gospels don't record that Jesus' burial shroud [sindon] was in the empty tomb. Indeed, despite the desire by most Shroud pro-authenticists to place the Shroud in the empty tomb, included among the othonia, or even as the soudarion, both mentioned in Jn 20:5-7, the evidence is that sindon wasn't there. What Peter and John saw in the empty tomb, as recorded in Luke 24:12 and John 20:5-7, was the linen strips [othonia] which had bound [edesan] Jesus' hands and feet and the spices (Jn 19:40), as well as the sweat-cloth [soudarion] (the Sudarium of Oviedo) which had been on [epi] Jesus head, but no Shroud [sindon]. From seeing this arrangement of the othonia ("looped together and knotted exactly as they had bound the hands and the feet") and soudarion but no sindon, John believed that Jesus had risen from the dead (Jn 20:6-9)."

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. Tipler, F.J., 2007, "The Physics of Christianity," Doubleday: New York NY, pp.178-179. My emphasis. [return]
3. de Wesselow, T., 2012, "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, p.170. [return]
4. Thayer, J.H., 1901, "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Being Grimm's Wilke's Clovis Novi Testamenti Translated Revised and Enlarged," T & T. Clark: Edinburgh, Fourth edition, Reprinted, 1961, p.439. [return]
5. Abbott-Smith, G., 1937, "A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament," [1921], T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh, Third edition, Reprinted, 1956, p.311. [return]
6. Bauer, W., Arndt, W.F., Gingrich, F.W. & Danker, F.W., 1979, "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second edition, p.555. [return]
7. Zodhiates, S., 1992, "The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament," AMG Publishers: Chattanooga TN, Third printing, 1994, p.1028. [return]

Posted 16 August 2022. Updated 11 May 2024.