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  • Is the Shroud real? Probably.

    The Shroud of Turin may be the real burial cloth of Jesus. The carbon dating, once seemingly proving it was a medieval fake, is now widely thought of as suspect and meaningless. Even the famous Atheist Richard Dawkins admits it is controversial. Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory, thinks more testing is needed. So do many other scientists and archeologists. This is because there are significant scientific and non-religious reasons to doubt the validity of the tests. Chemical analysis, all nicely peer-reviewed in scientific journals and subsequently confirmed by numerous chemists, shows that samples tested are chemically unlike the whole cloth. It was probably a mixture of older threads and newer threads woven into the cloth as part of a medieval repair. Recent robust statistical studies add weight to this theory. Philip Ball, the former physical science editor for Nature when the carbon dating results were published, recently wrote: “It’s fair to say that, despite the seemingly definitive tests in 1988, the status of the Shroud of Turin is murkier than ever.” If we wish to be scientific we must admit we do not know how old the cloth is. But if the newer thread is about half of what was tested – and some evidence suggests that – it is possible that the cloth is from the time of Christ.

    No one has a good idea how front and back images of a crucified man came to be on the cloth. Yes, it is possible to create images that look similar. But no one has created images that match the chemistry, peculiar superficiality and profoundly mysterious three-dimensional information content of the images on the Shroud. Again, this is all published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

    We simply do not have enough reliable information to arrive at a scientifically rigorous conclusion. Years ago, as a skeptic of the Shroud, I came to realize that while I might believe it was a fake, I could not know so from the facts. Now, as someone who believes it is the real burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, I similarly realize that a leap of faith over unanswered questions is essential.

Do Unto Others as St. Columba Would Do Unto You

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageWe’ve discussed copyright here on occasion. And Colin Berry has accused me of piracy and Barrie Schwortz of unseemly something or other. Well, read on for some perspective. Matt Rubinstein has an interesting article in The Australian Book Review called Body and Soul: the age of the electronic book: Copyright law and enforcement in the age of the electronic book:

The most precious manuscript held by the Royal Irish Academy is RIA MS 12 R 33, a sixth-century book of psalms known as an Cathach (The Battler’), or the Psalter of St Columba. It is believed to be the oldest extant Irish psalter, the earliest example of Irish writing – and the world’s oldest pirate copy. According to tradition, St Columba secretly transcribed the manuscript from a psalter belonging to his teacher, St Finian. Finian discovered the subterfuge, demanded the copy, and brought the dispute before Diarmait…

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Calvinists and the Shroud of Turin

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageSkeptics have long maintained that if there was an image on Jesus’ burial cloth, at least one of the Gospel writers would have mentioned it. Calvin was an early skeptic in this regard. He wrote:

How is it possible that those sacred historians, who carefully related all the miracles that took place at Christ’s death, should have omitted to mention one so remarkable as the likeness of the body of our Lord remaining on its wrapping sheet? This fact undoubtedly deserved to be recorded. St John, in his Gospel, relates even how St Peter, having entered the sepulchre, saw the linen clothes lying on one side, and the napkin that was about his head on the other; but he does not say that there was a miraculous impression of our Lord’s figure upon these clothes, and it is not to be imagined that he would have omitted to mention such…

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Paper Chase: Thomas & The Hymn of the Pearl

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

From the abstract of Thomas & The Hymn of the Pearlby The Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach:

The Acts of Thomas, which contains the Hymn of the Soul/Pearl and may well be an
adaptation of an older work redesigned to provide “spy clues” pointing to the Shroud and its image(s). The Hymn of the Pearl is one of the earliest documents we have on Edessan Christianity Possibly dating from as early as the first century A.D., this hymn is described by Ewa Kuryluk as a work which:

…assimilates into an ancient tradition the new theology of Jesus’ incarnation, resurrection and transfiguration by transforming Christ into a soul. His dual nature rendered by his splitting into a humanlike anima – a son clothed in skin – and into a divine soul, an iconic dress of paradise. In the Syrian poem the essence of divinity resides in God’s clothing – a heavenly…

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Downright Stupid Analysis in The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageJoe Marino writes:

I recently bought The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave, edited by Robert M. Price and Jeffery Jay Lowder (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2005). In a chapter called “The Plausibility of Theft” by Richard Carrier, the author is talking about what Luke and John says were found in the tomb. (“Linen strips” or “wrappings” for the former and “linen cloths” and “napkin” for the latter.) The author says:

“Since Mark and Matthew do not mention such cloths, and their presence is clearly a dramatic element in Luke and John, it is not likely a genuine detail.”

First of all, Matthew and Mark do mention a sindon. Secondly, since Jews were traditionally interred with burial clothes, is he trying to convince us that Jesus was buried without any burial cloths in order that his interpretation carries weight? Apparently so, which is just downright stupid.

This review from…

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Wikileaks on the Shroud of Turin: It gets better

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageB&B writes: “By Jove I think he’s got it. Leonardo da Vinci looks just like Julian Assange.” Referring of course to the picture (click image for larger view).

Amy from Nevada asked, “Is Lombatti for real?”

(No, Amy, he just wrote on his site: “As for the Wikileaks news, I was just kidding. Irony, this was the goal of my funny (I hope) blog post.”)

<< On Lombatti’s site >>

Aldo Grano wrote, “So già chi è: Leonardo di nome, Davinci di cognome, detto Codice,” which Google translates as, “I already know who he is: the name of Leonardo, Davinci’s last name, said Code.”

Chidambaram Ramesh wrote:

It has been pretty firmly established by various researchers that the Shroud is not a painting in any known sense of the term. When taken in concert certain conclusive facts about the Shroud – it conforms to the Gospel…

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History Done Right.

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

Jack Markwardt explains:

imageI originated and presented this hypothesis to an international conference convened at Ohio State University in 2008 for the simple reason that the early history of the Turin Shroud cannot be credibly linked to the ancient city of Edessa through a literal application of the Abgar legend. The preeminent historian of Edessa, J.B. Segal, after years of arduous study and investigation, concluded that the Abgar legend constitutes “one of the most successful pious frauds of antiquity”. It should not be surprising, therefore, that a number of highly-respected modern historians have summarily rejected this pious fraud as evidential of the Turin Shroud’s whereabouts during the first Christian millennium, particularly because real historical evidence provides not the slightest indication that pagan Edessa was even partially converted to Christianity prior to the late second-century reign of King Abgar the Great. The preeminent historian of Antioch, Glanville Downey, ascribed that development…

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MUST READ: A lot of old blood types as AB: Not Exactly

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

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Kelly P. Kearse, a card-carrying immunologist writes:

I appreciate the opportunity to address the issue that “All old blood types as AB”, particularly in reference to the study of the Shroud. The idea that “aged blood is degraded to (or reverts to) type AB” is rather misleading.

Blood typing is typically performed using two distinct methods that measure two very different things. First, there is forward typing, which measures the presence of specific molecules on the surfaces of red blood cells (RBC): the ABO molecules. Second, there is reverse typing, which measures the presence of antibodies in the serum (essentially the fluid component of blood), specifically the presence of antibodies to ABO blood group molecules. Both forward and reverse typing methods have been utilized in the study of the Shroud.

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ABO molecules and serum antibodies

The presence of ABO molecules on red blood cells and antibodies directed against…

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Of inexplicable explanations

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Dan:

I was prompted by an email from a reader of http://www.shroudstory.com to find this and post it again on the blog. So why not reblog it, as well.

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageBT writes from New London:

After reading this blog for more than a year, I have decided the image was not produced by a manmade, a natural or even a supernatural process. Yet, there it is, very faint, seemingly a negative, which when processed “photographically” reveals more details than any human or lesser god could have imagined. But it is not an image is it? It is analog 3D data that just happens to look like an image.

The more we try to understand it the more unexplainable it becomes. I was therefore very pleased to read the thoughtful discussion between Matthias and Hugh Farey about the unexplainable nature of what we call the image.

Me. too! Here, to make it easier for anyone who missed it or wants to reread it, is an ever-so-slightly edited version of that discussion:

Matthias asks:

Hugh
You are not willing to consider a…

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It is impossible to say that the image of the Holy Shroud is a fake?

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

Marcel Alonso wrote this email to the members of the Shroud Science Group. I was interested in what he had to say and asked him for permission to reprint it:

Dear Researchers,

I have read (ZENIT.org – May 18, Conferences at the pontifical University Regina Apostolorum of Rome) that “the scientist Paolo Di Lazzaro, doctor in physics and researcher at Research center ENEA of Frascati (Rome), claimed that the image of the shroud of Turin “was not explained yet in scientific terms”. He recalled that the “scientific method is based on the reproduction of the phenomenon, and that it is only from there that it is possible to know the nature and the origin of the phenomenon”. To date, he raised, “nobody was able of reproduced the image of the Saint-Shroud in all his chemical and physical characteristics, despite all efforts in this direction and various attempts of periodically announced…

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Strangest Quote Ever on the Shroud of Turin

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageCesare Emiliani, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Miami, world renowned geologist, known for his work on marine sediments and plate tectonics, in a letter to Nature following the carbon dating of the Shroud in 1988.

Religion is perfect and unchangeable, the work of God. Science is imperfect, and, I suspect, the work of the Devil. The two should never be mixed. The scientists who participated in the dating of the Shroud of Turin should >repent and promise to never do anything like that again. Creationists are even more guilty, for they have been mixing science and religion for years and years. They should abandon their evil practices forthwith, last the wrath of God descend upon them like a ton of bricks.

Discussed at The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ: The Quest for God and the Jesus of History

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Stephen Jones Wants BSTS to Remove Hugh Farey as Editor of the Newsletter

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

that is, the British Society for the Turin Shroud

imageClearly angry, Stephen Jones responds to comments by Hugh Farey, who is pictured here as the editor of BSTS Newsletter.

1) First read what Hugh wrote in Around the Internet in the newsletter.

2) Then read Stephen Jones’ blog posting, My reply to the anti-authenticist editor of the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, Hugh Farey 

Hugh’s comments are correct.  If you want to understand more about what Stephen is thinking, read all of his blog entries for April of this year although the above mentioned posting should be enough. If you want even more and want to see what I and others have been saying, read A String of “Jones” Postings in this blog.

As for the Vignon Markings discussion mentioned by Hugh. You might want to start with Were the radiocarbon dating laboratories duped by…

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Strong ignorance is not strong evidence

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

BT from the Coast Guard Academy in New London writes:

imageMany of your blog readers all [too] casually say that no one has figured out how the image was formed and that in this day and age with all of our modern scientific knowledge and technology this is a powerful if not convincing argument for authenticity. Strong ignorance is not strong evidence, however. No one in this age has figured out if there is but one universe or if certain biological mechanisms are too complex to have evolved naturally. What is thought about these possibilities by even the best and most brilliant scientists is subject to revision. What we may learn may delight or dismay.

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50/50 : Colin Berry’s Most Outlandish Proposal

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageHe writes in his blog:

But can it hope to tell us much more, even with more up-to-date technology, if restricted to non-destructive sampling, or those pussy-footing “sticky tape” samples? . . . There is a solution to this, but it requires grasping a nettle.

It’s time for a quid pro quo, or returning of a favour. Interest in the TS has been greatly increased by the application of modern science and photography since 1898, and while the radiocarbon dating has failed to support authenticity, the response of the 3 labs to the onslaught of criticism and abuse has been dignified (and I expect will remain so). I believe the time has come for the Shroud’s custodians to do the decent thing, and make a gift to science. I’m sure they know what I mean, without me having to spell it out. OK, so it’s 50% of the…

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Creative Comment of the Day by Colin Berry

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

imageColin, by way of a comment writes:

Irrespective, wearing my referee’s hat, the one I was called upon to wear a few score times, and all done absolutely free of charge (referees are not paid for their services), here’s the kind of report I might have filed on that paper which appeared in “Melanoidins” that began with quoting Pliny and 2000 year old linen techniques:

1. So Pliny described how linen was manufactured, using starch and Saponaria as processing aids. What good evidence is there that the Shroud has starch and Saponaria? For starch, all I see in this paper is a red colour with iodine/azide used to test for something completely different (sulphur proteins). Why did you not use the standard iodine reagent without the azide? And why is there no evidence that the cloth has been treated with Saponaria? What is the evidence that it dates back…

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Request for Help: Can you point me to some information on Roman scourging?

Posted by Daniel Porter on 2014

Originally posted on Shroud of Turin Blog:

this is, of course, what we do best: answer questions

Kenneth K. Vernor writes:

I am a new student in the shroud world, but I am about 98% convinced it is legitimate.

I am interested in studying the scourging in depth. Mostly, I would like to read accounts of HOW the Romans scourged.

So far I have come across these methods:

The two most common seem to be tied with His hands above His head facing a column or a small post and tied to a low post. The third one is suspension by His hands with 100 lbs of weight tied to the feet. And I found one reference that mentions being tied between two columns.

In all instances He was naked.

I have also read accounts where salt was applied to the wounds. In another salt water was dumped on Him if He passed out.

I have read…

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