ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.

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Confirming Yeshua

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1Confirming Yeshua Empty Confirming Yeshua Fri Nov 11, 2022 3:02 am



Evidence pointing to Yeshua as the Messiah (Ha'Mashiyach), resurrected Lord, and the second person of the triune God


The Shroud of Turin
Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the 14th. century
Overwhelming cumulative evidence substantiates that the  Shroud of Turin is authentic!
Could the  Shroud be a forgery?
Is the man on the shroud Jesus?
Commonly given reasons to be skeptical that the Shroud is authentic
How was the image made?
The Sudarium of Oviedo
The Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud
Botanical evidence on the Shroud of Turin
The Weave of the Shroud of Turin
The impossible faith
The historicity of Jesus
The Gospels are reliable stories,  based on witness testimony
The book of Isaiah 53, and the dead sea scrolls
How did Jesus look like?
The genealogy of the messiah
Prophecies in the Old Testament confirming Jesus as the Messiah
Prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks – Daniel 9:24-27
The exact date of Christ’s crucifixion and death
Are the Gospels historically reliable?
Undesigned coincidences in the gospels
What are the main reasons that corroborate and confirm the resurrection of Jesus?
Who were the authors of the gospels and acts, and when were they written?
Evidence of authenticity, archaeology, and undesigned coincidences in the gospels: Matthew
The gospel of Luke

Confirming Yeshua G32dd910

The historical evidence that substantiates Jesus historicity and Biblical identity

The God talk

The name of the messiah (Ha'Mashiyach) is Yahushua. YAHUSHA = YAHU + SHA. This in Hebrew means YAHUAH saves.


The question about who Jesus is, is actual today, as it ever was in the last 2000 years. As someone that has extensively studied literature related to Christian origins and early Christianity, I have assembled a collection of quotes and excerpts from top scholars and books on the historicity of Jesus Christ.  With this work, i present a comprehensive and clear picture that corroborates Jesus' biblical identity. This includes evidence such as fulfilled prophecies, archaeological findings, extra-biblical writings, nondesigned coincidences in the gospels, and the dating of the oldest manuscripts. Additionally, I compare the evidence to a symphonic orchestra where each individual musician contributes to the overall result of a partiture. Likewise, evidence for the historical existence of Jesus Christ comes from various sources such as history, archaeology, the Bible, Roman authors, and scientific faculties like those investigating the Shroud of Turin. The experts in these fields are the players, and my role is that of a composer and director bringing them together to solidify our faith and confirm Jesus as the long-awaited and rejected messiah of Israel.

Matthew 16.13 -17: When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

Peter confirmed that Jesus was the Son of the living God. The same question goes for you. Who do you believe Jesus was? You can either respond positively, that you believe in Christ as Lord, or you can deny it, and go even a step further, and argue that he never existed. C. S.Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity

I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.

Confirming Yeshua C_s_le10

Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Confirming Yeshua Win_an11

I cannot imagine and think of many more relevant questions. Either Jesus is a myth, a figure that was invented by someone, or a group of people, for some (spurious) reasons, that has deluded billions of people over 2000 years. He could also be a historical figure, but not God, and all claims in regard to the miracles reported in the gospels, and the resurrection, never happened. Or his claims are true, and he is divine, the long-awaited messiah in the Old Testament, the second person of the triune God, that has revealed himself in the Bible. If we respond negatively to Christ's calling, and he is indeed who he is said to be, we will spend eternity in hell. If we respond positively, we will spend eternity in heaven. If he is not who he is said to be, it doesn't matter if we believe in the claims made in the New Testament, it will have no consequences. We will all become inanimated matter.  In recent times, there has been an increase in books and YouTube streams created by atheists who dispute the historicity of Jesus, even going so far as to question his existence as a historical figure, along with his resurrection and miracles. This book aims to address these issues by presenting a collection of evidence that substantiates the view that Jesus Christ is truly who he claimed to be: Lord, God, the second person of the triune God, the Messiah, and Savior.

There is an abundance of biblical and extra-biblical evidence that supports the claim that the Christian movement began in Judaea in the first century and spread rapidly across the Roman empire and beyond following Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. This growth was due to the credible and trustworthy narratives of the eyewitnesses of Jesus. It is my hope that while reading this book, you will experience moments of awe as the information contained within confirms powerfully how reliable and solid the narratives in the New Testament are. If you are an unbeliever, my wish is that you will find reasons to adopt the Christian worldview and receive Christ as your Lord and Savior. And if you are a believer struggling with doubts, this book can help remove them, allowing your faith to become as solid as a rock. The God of the Bible deserves our trust, faith, and obedience, and our lives should be built upon the foundation which is Christ.

The person, the man Jesus Christ, is well placed in human history. Born between 6 and 4BC, in the reign of Herod the Great (Wikipedia), and crucified in 1st-century Judea, most likely in AD 30 or AD 33. (Wiki) He came with a mission. Jesus demonstrated throughout His life that He was a man with a clear mission and purpose to fulfill. He recognized from a young age that He must prioritize His Father's will (Luke 2:49, KJV). As He neared the end of His earthly life, Jesus determinedly set out for Jerusalem, knowing that His death awaited Him there (Luke 9:51). The central aim of Jesus' time on earth can be understood as fulfilling God's plan to save the lost.

But why believe in Him? There are so many religions that contradict the Gospels.

Claim:  Jesus is a myth
Response: While a small number of scholars, writers, and advocates hold the view that Jesus is a myth, there are several arguments that refute this claim. Firstly, the vast majority of historians and scholars who study the historical Jesus agree that he was a real person who lived in the first century AD, including both Christian and non-Christian scholars. Additionally, the Gospels were written while many eyewitnesses were still alive, making it less likely that the events were fabricated or exaggerated. Furthermore, other non-Christian sources, such as the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus, also refer to Jesus as a historical figure. The idea that Jesus was a myth would require a conspiracy theory involving numerous people over a long period of time, which is not supported by any plausible motive. Lastly, the Gospels include details that would have been embarrassing or inconvenient for early Christians if they were not true, suggesting that the Gospel writers were not simply making up a story to suit their own purposes. In conclusion, the consensus among experts is that Jesus was a real historical figure who had a significant impact on the world. While there may be some debate over the interpretation of certain details, the claim that Jesus is a myth is not supported by the majority of historical scholarship or the available evidence.

Books opposing Jesus Christ as an authentic historical figure, and his resurrection 

Throughout history, there have been periods of radical skepticism towards the historicity of Jesus, with figures such as Bruno Bauer, Albert Kalthoff, and Arthur Drews cited as examples. These skeptics have questioned Jesus' existence as a historical figure, offering explanations such as Jesus being a product of literary imagination, social needs, or mythical traditions. However, it is important to note that skepticism exists both within and outside of theology, with skeptics often attempting to rob Christianity of its legitimacy or using it for their own purposes.

The appropriate historical evaluation of Christian sources remains a problem, with thirteen objections made by historical skeptics that suggest any historical evaluation of these sources is an impossible task. However, it is crucial to approach the study of Jesus with critical thinking, free from the pressure to legitimate faith or unbelief by the results of scholarship. While historical evaluation of Christian sources is a challenging task, it is not an impossible one, and scholarly discussion of Jesus should strive for freedom from the pressure of a single alternative approach.

The most common objections

Despite one's expectation, contemporary non-Christian sources, such as Philo of Alexandria, do not mention Jesus, which is known as the "silence" of non-Christian sources.
The letters of Paul, the earliest Christian writings, portray Jesus as a nearly mythical figure with a brief earthly existence, leading some to question whether there was any Synoptic tradition about Jesus in Paul's time.
There are irreconcilable differences, such as contradictions in chronology and the style of the revelation discourses, between the Synoptic and Johannine depictions of Jesus.
The Easter faith has fused post-Easter worship and historical recollection, creating an "Easter gulf" that makes it difficult to distinguish between them.
The Synoptic Gospels were written between forty and seventy years after Jesus' death, outside of Palestine and in Greek, which is not Jesus' native language or that of his earliest followers.
The Jesus tradition is kerygmatic, meaning it speaks to the present and has an interest in preaching, rather than preserving historical memories.
The Jesus tradition is shaped primarily by the context in which it was used (the 'Sitz im Leben'), leading to the reshaping of Jesus' image to the point of being unrecognizable.
The first Christians often interpreted memories of Jesus through the lens of the Old Testament and even created stories based on it, seeing it as more reliable than the testimony of human eyewitnesses.
New community formations were created based on the existing Jesus tradition, which was originally in the form of small units, making it difficult to distinguish between authentic traditions and new developments.
The logia tradition contains early Christian prophetic sayings spoken in the name of the exalted Christ, making it hard to distinguish from the words of the earthly Jesus.
Miracle stories contain typical motifs of the ancient belief in miracles, transforming historical recollection, and potentially transferring whole stories about Jesus without concrete basis.
The framework of the story of Jesus, including his birth, temptation, transfiguration, and resurrection, has been transformed with mythical motives, making it difficult to distinguish between historical events and mythology.
The criteria developed to define historical Jesus material are often one-sided and cannot reliably fulfill their purpose.

Claims that Jesus never existed

While doing research for this book, I was surprised to stumble upon a website by Kenneth Humphreys entirely dedicated to proving that Jesus never existed 1, with the subtitle: Exposing the tragic fabrication of a savior of the world. Claiming to have 8 million+ visitors on his website, and   20,000+ subscribers! and  5 million+ YT views! ( November 2022). Humphreys also wrote a book:

Kenneth Humphreys (2008): Jesus Never Existed. 
Description: No "hidden code", no "secret bloodline", no "arcane wisdom", no "holy grail", in fact, no mystery at all – just the unembellished truth about the greatest fraud in history. Jesus Never Existed reveals a disturbing truth: that the triumph of Christianity was a disaster for humanity – made chillingly ironic by the bogus nature of its central character, superstar and "saviour". Jesus Never Existed is an uncompromising exposure of the counterfeit origins of Christianity and of the evil it has brought to the world. Not a book for those who wish to keep their faith in the cosy bliss of historical ignorance. Over 50 articles from this website, many revised and updated, arranged into ten chapters, each of which shakes Christianity to its very foundations.2

Michael Paulkovich (2013): No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy
Religious leaders generally spoon-feed their flock the few parts of the Bible that are not blatantly contradictory, nor evil, nor violent. The Bible is a very boring, very frightening, yet a very hilarious read. And the history of religious oppression is much more murderous than most people are aware. The book No Meek Messiah chronicles the cobbling of Christianity, its outrageous forgeries, and its immoral acts of torture, genocide, and obfuscation over the many centuries. The "virgin birth" tale was a forgery perpetrated 250 years before Jesus, even admitted by the Catholic Encyclopedia. No Meek Messiah exposes that Jesus believed in Noah's Ark, Adam & Eve, Jonah living in a fish or whale, and Lot's wife turning into salt. (Historian Josephus, often cited by Christians as proof of the historicity of Jesus, also claims that he as actually seen the "pillar of salt" that Lot's wife turned into; "for I have seen it, and it remains at this day," Josephus lied. Jesus even bought into the absurd notion (Jn 3:14) that a magical pole proffered by the OT (Num 21:9) could cure snakebites merely by gazing upon it. Only a very selective reading of the Bible can adduce the eternal assertion that Jesus was a perfect and saintly figure. Meek Jesus boasted he was "greater than Solomon, and that he "came not to send peace, but a sword," and "to send fire on the earth."
Jesus desperately needs your praise, and advises savage whipping for disobedient slaves. These are scriptures never mentioned at the typical sermon or Sunday school. This is merely the tip of Jesus' "meek" iceberg.
No Meek Messiah exposes the plethora of forgeries perpetrated by Christian leaders over the centuries, showing how the corrupt Church gained massive power and wealth. The many murders and witch hunts are also exposed in great detail. Michael Paulkovich, 2013. No Meek Messiah. Freelance writer and contributor to The American Rationalist, American Atheist Magazine and Free Inquiry presents one-hundred-and-twenty-six writers from the "time of Jesus" who should have, but did not record anything about the Christian godman 3

Response: Interestingly, in this entire rant, no line provides any evidence for the claim that Jesus never existed. 

DailyMail (2014): However thought it was worth noticing the book. The reporter wrote: ‘"Jesus of Nazareth" was nothing more than urban (or desert) legend, likely an agglomeration of several evangelic and deluded rabbis who might have existed.’ Of the writings he examined, written from the first to third centuries, he found only one book that contained a mention of Jesus - The Jewish Wars by the Roman historian Josephus Flavius written in 95 CE, but he claims it is fabricated. Paulkovich says the mentions of Jesus were added later by editors, not by Josephus. Paulkovich’s views will surely prove very controversial, as most scholars do not support the theory that Jesus never existed.4

A prominent author, that frequently appears as a guest on atheist YouTube channels, to claim that the historical Jesus never existed, is Richard Carrier Ph.D. Wikipedia writes about him: Carrier has become a vocal advocate of the theory that Jesus was not a historical person   He has published several books.

Richard Carrier Ph.D. (2012): Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. 
Description: An essential work on historical methods: Almost all experts agree that the Jesus of the Bible is a composite of myth, legend, and some historical evidence. So what can we know about the real Jesus? For more than one hundred fifty years, scholars have attempted to answer this question. Unfortunately, the "Quest for the Historical Jesus" has produced as many different images of the original Jesus as the scholars who have studied the subject. The result is a confused mass of disparate opinions with no consensus view of what actually happened at the dawn of Christianity. In this in-depth discussion of New Testament scholarship and the challenges of history as a whole, historian Richard C. Carrier proposes Bayes's theorem as a solution to the problem of establishing reliable historical criteria. He demonstrates that valid historical methods—not only in the study of Christian origins but in any historical study—can be described by, and reduced to, the logic of Bayes's theorem. Conversely, he argues that any method that cannot be reduced to Bayes's theorem is invalid and should be abandoned. Writing with thoroughness and admirable clarity, Carrier explains Bayes's theorem in terms easily understandable to historians and laypeople alike, employing nothing more than well-known primary school math. He then explores the theorem's application to history and addresses numerous challenges to and criticisms of this application. Common historical methods are analyzed using the theorem, as well as all the major "historicity criteria" employed in the latest quest for the historical Jesus. The author demonstrates not only their deficiencies but also ways to rehabilitate them. Anyone with an interest in historical methods, epistemology generally, or the study of the historical Jesus will find Carrier's book to be an essential work.5

Response: While it is true that there is a lack of consensus among scholars about the historical Jesus, it is misleading to claim that "almost all experts" agree that the Jesus of the Bible is a composite of myth, legend, and some historical evidence. In fact, there are many scholars who argue that there is significant historical evidence for the existence of Jesus and the basic outline of his life and teachings. Furthermore, the claim that the "Quest for the Historical Jesus" has produced as many different images of the original Jesus as the scholars who have studied the subject is an oversimplification of the situation. The use of Bayes's theorem as a solution to the problem of establishing reliable historical criteria is also controversial. While the theorem can be a useful tool in certain situations, it is not universally applicable to historical research. The claim that any method that cannot be reduced to Bayes's theorem is invalid and should be abandoned is an extreme and unwarranted position. While Carrier's book may be a valuable contribution to the discussion of historical methods, it is important to recognize that his arguments are not universally accepted among scholars. The field of historical Jesus research is complex and multifaceted, and no single approach or methodology can provide definitive answers to all of the questions and challenges involved.

Richard Carrier Ph.D. et al., (2013): Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth.  
Description: When New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman published Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, he not only attempted to prove the historical reality of a man called “Jesus of Nazareth,” he sharply criticized scholars who have sought to develop a new paradigm in the study of Christian origins—scholars who have claimed that Jesus was a mythical, not historical, figure, and that the traditional, Jesus-centered paradigm for studying the origins of Christianity must be replaced by an actual science of Christian origins. In the present volume, some of those scholars respond to Ehrman’s treatment of their research and findings, showing how he has either ignored, misunderstood or misrepresented their arguments. They present evidence that “Jesus of Nazareth” was no more historical than Osiris or Thor. Several contributors question not only the historicity of “Jesus of Nazareth,” they present evidence that the site of present-day Nazareth was not inhabited at the time Jesus and his family should have been living there.6

Response: It is important to note that while there may be scholars who argue that Jesus was a mythical figure, the majority of scholars in the field of New Testament studies agree that a man named Jesus of Nazareth did exist. Bart Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist? is one of many works that present evidence for the historical reality of Jesus. As for the claim that the site of present-day Nazareth was not inhabited at the time Jesus and his family should have been living there, it is important to consider the evidence presented by archaeologists and other scholars who have studied the region. While there may be some debate about the exact timeline of settlement in Nazareth, the consensus among scholars is that the town did exist during the time of Jesus.

Richard Carrier Ph.D. (2014): On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. 
Description: The assumption that Jesus existed as a historical person has occasionally been questioned in the course of the last hundred years or so, but any doubts that have been raised have usually been put to rest in favor of imagining a blend of the historical, the mythical and the theological in the surviving records of Jesus. Carrier re-examines the whole question and finds compelling reasons to suspect the more daring assumption is correct. He lays out extensive research on the evidence for Jesus and the origins of Christianity and poses the key questions that must now be answered if the historicity of Jesus is to survive as a dominant paradigm. Carrier contrasts the most credible reconstruction of a historical Jesus with the most credible theory of Christian origins if a historical Jesus did not exist. Such a theory would posit that the Jesus figure was originally conceived of as a celestial being known only through private revelations and hidden messages in scripture; then stories placing this being in earth history were crafted to communicate the claims of the gospel allegorically; such stories eventually came to be believed or promoted in the struggle for control of the Christian churches that survived the tribulations of the first century. Carrier finds the latter theory more credible than has been previously imagined. He explains why it offers a better explanation for all the disparate evidence surviving from the first two centuries of the Christian era. He argues that we need a more careful and robust theory of cultural syncretism between Jewish theology and politics of the second-temple period and the most popular features of pagan religion and philosophy of the time. For anyone intent on defending a historical Jesus, this is the book to challenge.7

Richard Carrier Ph.D. (2015): Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists  
Description: For a lay audience, and with help from historian Richard Carrier, religious studies scholar Raphael Lataster considers the best arguments for and against the existence of the so-called Historical Jesus; the Jesus of atheists. Parts 1 & 2 analyze the cases made by Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, who assert that Jesus definitely existed. Their arguments are found to be riddled with errors, and dependent on unreliable, and even non-existing, sources. Parts 3 & 4 discuss the more skeptical work of Lataster and Carrier, who conclude that Christianity probably began not with a humble carpenter, but with 'visions' of a heavenly Messiah.
This exciting collaboration makes it very clear why the Historical Jesus might not have existed after all, and, to those willing to adopt a commonsensical probabilistic approach, Jesus Did Not Exist.8

Response:  The argument for Jesus' existence is not based solely on religious texts or beliefs, but is supported by a wide range of historical and archaeological evidence. For example, there are numerous non-Christian sources from the time period that refer to Jesus, including the writings of Josephus and Tacitus. The idea that Christianity began with "visions" of a heavenly Messiah is not supported by historical evidence. The earliest Christian writings, such as the letters of Paul, indicate that Jesus was a real person who lived and died on Earth. The idea of a heavenly Messiah did not emerge until later in the development of Christian theology. While there may be a few scholars who argue against the historicity of Jesus, their views are not widely accepted in the academic community. The overwhelming consensus among experts is that Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure, and this view is supported by a wide range of historical and archaeological evidence.

The claim that Jesus was invented by the Romans

Joseph Atwill (2005): Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus.
Description: Was Jesus the invention of a Roman emperor? The author of this ground-breaking book believes he was. "Caesar’s Messiah" reveals the key to a new and revolutionary understanding of Christian origins. The clues leading to its startling conclusions are found in the writings of the first-century historian Flavius Josephus, whose "Wars of the Jews" is one of the only historical chronicles of this period. Closely comparing the work of Josephus with the New Testament Gospels, "Caesar’s Messiah" demonstrates that the Romans directed the writing of both. Their purpose: to offer a vision of a “peaceful Messiah” who would serve as an alternative to the revolutionary leaders who were rocking first-century Israel and threatening Rome. Similarly, "Caesar’s Messiah" will rock our understanding of Christian history as it reveals that Jesus was a fictional character portrayed in four Gospels written not by Christians but Romans. This Flavian Signature edition adds Atwill’s latest discoveries of numerous parallel events in sequence which ultimately reveal the identity of the true authors of the Gospels.9 

Response: The claim that Jesus was a fictional character portrayed in the Gospels written by Romans is not supported by mainstream scholarship or historical evidence. The idea that the Romans invented Jesus as a tool for political control is a fringe theory that lacks credible evidence. The historical consensus is that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure who lived in first-century Palestine and was crucified under the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. While it is true that the writings of Josephus are an important historical source for the period, scholars generally do not see evidence of direct Roman control over the New Testament Gospels. Rather, the Gospels are seen as the product of early Christian communities who sought to convey their understanding of Jesus and his teachings. The hypothesis proposed in "Caesar's Messiah" has been widely criticized for relying on selective and speculative interpretations of both Josephus and the Gospels. The idea that Jesus was a fictional character created by the Romans does not stand up to the rigorous historical scrutiny that has been applied to the subject by scholars. The claim that Jesus was the invention of a Roman emperor is not a credible or widely accepted theory among historians and scholars of early Christianity.

James S. Valliant (2016): Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity. 
Description: Exhaustively annotated and illustrated, this explosive work of history unearths clues that finally demonstrate the truth about one of the world’s great religions: that it was born out of the conflict between the Romans and messianic Jews who fought a bitter war with each other during the 1st Century. The Romans employed a tactic they routinely used to conquer and absorb other nations: they grafted their imperial rule onto the religion of the conquered. After 30 years of research, authors James S. Valliant and C.W. Fahy present irrefutable archeological and textual evidence that proves Christianity was created by Roman Caesars in this book that breaks new ground in Christian scholarship and is destined to change the way the world looks at ancient religions forever. Inherited from a long-past era of tyranny, war and deliberate religious fraud, could Christianity have been created for an entirely different purpose than we have been lead to believe? Praised by scholars like Dead Sea Scrolls translator Robert Eisenman (James the Brother of Jesus), this exhaustive synthesis of historical detective work integrates all of the ancient sources about the earliest Christians and reveals new archeological evidence for the first time. And, despite the fable presented in current bestsellers like Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Jesus, the evidence presented in Creating Christ is irrefutable: Christianity was invented by Roman Emperors.10

Response: Lack of evidence: The authors of "Creating Christ" claim to present "irrefutable archaeological and textual evidence" for their argument, but in fact, there is a lack of concrete evidence to support their theory. The evidence for the origins of Christianity is complex and subject to interpretation, and there is no clear evidence of Roman manipulation or invention of the religion.

Historical context: The authors of "Creating Christ" argue that the Romans routinely employed the tactic of grafting their imperial rule onto the religion of the conquered, but this oversimplifies the complex historical context in which Christianity emerged. The origins of Christianity are rooted in the complex interplay of Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures, and the religion emerged over a period of several centuries, not as a result of a single imperial decree.

Early Christian literature: The authors of "Creating Christ" ignore or dismiss the vast body of early Christian literature that contradicts their theory, including the New Testament and the writings of early Christian theologians such as Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr. These sources provide a rich and nuanced picture of the early Christian movement, and they do not support the idea that Christianity was created by Roman Caesars.

Lack of motive: The authors of "Creating Christ" fail to provide a convincing motive for why the Romans would create Christianity. While it is true that the Romans employed various tactics to maintain their imperial control, there is no clear reason why they would invent a new religion, especially one that initially posed a threat to their authority.

Henry Davis (2018): Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome
A profound and controversial investigation of a complex theme - the war that led to the fall of Jerusalem and the creation of the Christian religion. The religious and political battle between the people of Judea and the Jewish and Roman aristocracies is presented in an unconventional narrative, which investigates ancient evidence, quotes from the work of respected authorities on the subject, and states controversial opinions openly. Its main conclusion is that the New Testament (the new law) was created by a powerful senatorial family called the Calpurnius Pisos, who had the full support of their relatives, the Herodian royal family (the family of ‘Herod the Great’), and the Flavian emperors, with the Piso family hiding their name within the Koine Greek scriptures. The result is a book that is both provocative and compelling. Using valuable feedback from Cambridge and Oxford University professors, Henry Davis explains why the supposed Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus, never existed, how the Book of Revelation presents the name of the Piso family member who oversaw the creation of the Christian scripture, and the reason the number 666 was changed to 616. Davis also explains the facts behind the personal and political reasons that led to the Roman and Jewish royal families creating a new religion, and how the Piso family used the literary techniques of the aristocracy to insert their names into the scriptures. '...  Anyone with a knowledge of the history of the Roman Empire knows that its conversion from a pagan belief system to widespread Christianity was a significant political and military move for the Empire as much as it was a religious decision, and this book focuses on the specific details and clues as to how that really came about. Davis searches for the real identity of the Christian Messiah and argues for a potentially Roman author of the modern NewTestament, one who had a view to creating a new religion for his own reasons as much as those of Rome. 

Response: While there is ongoing debate among scholars about the origins of Christianity, the claim that it was created by a powerful senatorial family called the Calpurnius Pisos is not supported by mainstream scholarship. The idea that the Piso family hid their name within the Koine Greek scriptures is also not supported by evidence. Many scholars agree that the New Testament was written by a variety of authors over a period of several decades, and while there are some common themes and motifs, it is unlikely that it was the work of a single-family or individual. The idea that the Book of Revelation presents the name of a Piso family member who oversaw the creation of the Christian scripture is not supported by the vast majority of scholars. The number 666 being changed to 616 is also a matter of debate among scholars, with different theories about its origin. The claim that Flavius Josephus never existed is not supported by historical evidence. Josephus was a well-known Jewish historian and scholar who wrote extensively about the Jewish-Roman War and other historical events in the first century. While it is true that the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity was a significant political and military move, the claim that it was a deliberate creation of the Piso family for their own personal and political reasons is not supported by historical evidence. The origins of Christianity are complex and multifaceted, and there is no single theory that can fully explain its development.

Christ myth theory

Wikipedia: The Christ myth theory, also known as the Jesus myth theory, Jesus mythicism, or the Jesus ahistoricity theory, is the view that "the story of Jesus is a piece of mythology", possessing no "substantial claims to historical fact"11

David Fitzgerald (2017): Jesus: Mything in Action.  
Description: David Fitzgerald’s award-winning 2010 book Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All pointed out the top ten fatal flaws of Christianity’s origin story. Now, Jesus: Mything in Action presents the most compelling new findings in Jesus Myth theory and critically examines its controversial reception by biblical scholars, the extent and reliability of our sources for Jesus, and reveals the surprising history behind Jesus’ evolution.
In this volume: Mything in Action, vol. I (chapters 1 – 12) looks at the myths of Jesus Mythicism: what it is and isn’t; what biblical scholars are saying about it (and why); and examines our oldest “biographical” source for Jesus – the allegorical story we know as the Gospel of Mark.

Response: While there may be some debate among scholars about the historical existence of Jesus, the majority of biblical scholars and historians accept the existence of a historical figure named Jesus. The evidence for his existence comes not only from Christian sources but also from non-Christian sources such as the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus. The Gospels cannot be dismissed as mere myths. While they do contain theological elements and may have been written with a certain audience in mind, they also contain details that would be difficult to explain if Jesus were entirely mythical. For example, they include specific details about the geography, politics, and culture of the time period in which Jesus lived, as will be outlined in this work.

Calvin Smith (2020): The Jesus Myths: How a religious zealot created the fiction of Jesus and thus the New Testament. 
Description: Many books and articles have been written contending that Jesus is a myth, and so he is, but they all stop short of revealing how and why the stories of Jesus came into being - which is the main subject of this book. If you doubt that anyone could write such an incredible tale - a story that occupies a major portion of the New Testament - think for a moment about the legend of Harry Potter. If JK Rowling had written that series of fables in the first century AD, we'd likely all be worshiping Harry today. But there's more than just Jesus fables to this book: Jean Messlier, a catholic priest for thirty years proves conclusively that God does not, and never did exist other than in the imaginations of men; instilled there by the insane mutants in the upper echelons of the Roman Catholic Church. Not only did the Popes and Bishops consistently murder each other, but one: Pope Stephan VI dug up the remains of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, and put his corpse on trial in what is known as the Cadaver Synod in the year 897AD. Formusus didn't say a word in his own defense and was therefore convicted.There are many other twists and turns in this book that make it a must for every bookshelf.

Response:  The comparison to the Harry Potter series is not a valid one, as the historical context and evidence for Jesus' existence are vastly different from those of a fictional character. As for the claims about the Catholic Church and the existence of God, these are separate issues that also require critical evaluation and examination of the evidence presented. It is important to approach such claims with a skeptical and informed perspective.

R. P. Oliver (1998):  Christianity is a fusion of two myths. The Jesus myth requires no explication. It is clear that the stories collected in the “New Testament” are versions of a folk-tale formed, like the legend of Robin Hood, by the accretion around a central figure of episodes in the careers of a number of minor figures. The Jesus of that legend was a composite formed from tales about Jesus ben Ananias,'Jesus ben Panderaf the agitator, whose name may have been Jesus, who led a party of his followers into Jerusalem during the celebration of the Passover and was well received by the populace, but soon suppressed, and Judas the Gaulanite3. And it is possible, of course, that there was an otherwise forgotten Jesus who also tried to start a Jewish revolt against civilized rule and paid the penalty. The composite Jesus was, of course, a would-be christ and interested only in his own barbarous people. The stories in the “New Testament” have been embellished by Christians, and that is what is remarkable.12 

Response: While it is true that there are various myths and legends surrounding Jesus, it is a gross oversimplification to reduce Christianity to a mere fusion of folk-tales. The origins of Christianity are complex and multifaceted, involving not only the stories of Jesus but also the teachings and writings of his disciples and early Christian communities. Additionally, the claim that Jesus was interested only in his own people and was a would-be messiah ignores the fact that Jesus' message of love and compassion transcended ethnic and national boundaries, and that his teachings have had a profound impact on people of diverse backgrounds and cultures throughout history. Furthermore, the idea that the stories in the New Testament were embellished by Christians is a broad assertion that ignores the rich textual and historical evidence supporting the authenticity of the New Testament documents. While it is important to critically examine and understand the origins of Christianity, reducing it to a mere amalgamation of myths oversimplifies a complex and nuanced historical phenomenon.

Christ as a conspiracy

D.M. Murdock (1999): The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold
Description: Contrary to popular belief, there was no single man at the genesis of Christianity but rather many characters rolled into one. The majority of these characters were personifications of the ubiquitous solar myth as reflected in the stories of such popular deities as Mithra, Hercules, Dionysus, and numerous others borrowed from Roman mythology and beyond. The story of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels resembles those of the earlier savior gods Krishna and Horus. These redeemer tales are similar not because they reflect the actual exploits of a variety of men who did and said similar things but because they represent the same ancient core of knowledge that revolved around the celestial bodies and natural forces called Astrotheology. In this highly controversial and explosive book, archaeologist, linguist, and mythologist Acharya S/D.M. Murdock marshals an enormous amount of startling evidence to demonstrate that Christianity and the story of Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion. Through such fabrication, this multinational cabal drew on a multitude of myths and rituals that existed long before the Christian era, reworking them over centuries into the story and religion passed down today.

Response: The idea that Christianity was created by combining various pre-existing myths and legends is a theory that has been debated among scholars for many years. While it is true that there are similarities between the stories of Jesus and other religious figures, it is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that one story was borrowed from another. Many cultures throughout history have had stories about savior figures, and it is not uncommon for these stories to share certain themes and motifs. The idea that Christianity was created by secret societies and mystery schools to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion is also highly controversial and lacks strong evidence. While it is true that Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire, there were many factors that contributed to its rise, including the conversion of Emperor Constantine and the efforts of early Christian leaders to spread their message throughout the empire.

Jesus - borrowed from the pagans? 

Arthur Drews (1998): Drews shows that Christianity is a syncretism of various pagan and Jewish beliefs and that a strong pre-Christian cult of Jesus as the son of God and messiah existed. This is a valuable sourcebook for students of religion, and all those interested in examining the origins of Christianity.13

Response: while Drews' work may provide interesting insights into the historical origins of Christianity, his theory that Jesus was purely mythical and that early Christian beliefs were entirely syncretic has been widely debated and challenged by scholars of religion and history. Many scholars argue that the existence of a historical Jesus is supported by a wealth of evidence from various sources, including the New Testament, early Christian writings, and non-Christian historical accounts. Additionally, while Christianity may have been influenced by various pagan and Jewish beliefs, it is not accurate to say that it is purely a syncretic religion. Christianity has its own unique beliefs, practices, and traditions that have evolved over time, and its origins cannot be reduced to a simple syncretism of other religions. As with any scholarly work, it is important to approach Drews' theories with a critical and open mind, and to consider multiple perspectives and sources of evidence.

Tim Freke (2000): The Jesus Mysteries: Was The Original Jesus A Pagan God?  
Description: This groundbreaking book looks at one of the greatest cover-ups in history and dares to think the unthinkable about Christianity – that it was in fact a Jewish Mystery School modeled on the ancient Pagan Mysteries.

The myth of Dionysus bears startling resemblances to the story of Jesus Christ. It compares with the biblical story in the following ways:
• Dionysus is God made flesh and is hailed as the ‘Saviour of Mankind’ and the ‘Son of God
• His father is God and his mother is a mortal virgin who afterward becomes worshipped as the ‘Mother of God’
• He is born in a cowshed
• He drives out demons, turns water into wine and raises people from the dead
• He rides triumphantly into town while people wave palms to honor him

The date revered by the first Christians as Jesus’ birthday was originally that of Dionysus, also the three-day Spring Festival of Dionysus celebrating his death and resurrection coincides with the Christian festival of Easter. The last Supper and the Eucharist are also parallel Dionysian rites. This is not common knowledge as the story was a closely guarded secret of the Pagan mysteries. Secondly, the evidence of Christianity’s pagan roots were systematically covered up by the Roman Church.14

Response:  While there are some similarities between the myth of Dionysus and the story of Jesus Christ, that correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Just because two stories share some common elements does not mean that one directly influenced the other. Consider the historical context in which Christianity emerged. While there may have been pre-existing beliefs and traditions that influenced the development of Christianity, it is unlikely that it was simply a copy-and-paste job of earlier religions. Christianity emerged in a specific time and place, with its own unique set of historical, cultural, and social factors that shaped its development. The idea that Christianity was a "Jewish Mystery School modeled on the ancient Pagan Mysteries" is not supported by mainstream scholarship. While there may have been some borrowing of ideas and practices, Christianity started from a specific Jewish context and developed its own unique beliefs and practices over time.


1. Kenneth Humphreys: Jesus Never Existed. 2008
2. Kenneth Humphreys: Jesus Never Existed: An Introduction to the Ultimate Heresy  October 30, 2014
3. Michael Paulkovich : No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy 2013
4. JONATHAN O'CALLAGHAN FOR MAILONLINE: 'Jesus NEVER existed': Writer finds no mention of Christ in 126 historical texts and says he was a 'mythical character' 2 October 2014
5. Richard Carrier Ph.D.: Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. 2012
6. Richard Carrier Ph.D.: et.al., : Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth.  2013
7. Richard Carrier: On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt 2014
8. Richard Carrier Ph.D.: Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists 2015
9. Joseph Atwill: Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. 2005
10. James S. Valliant: Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Invented Christianity. 2016
11. Wikipedia: Christ myth theory
12. Revilo Pendleton Oliver: Reflections on the Christ Myth 1998
13. Arthur Drews: The Christ Myth 1910
14. Tim Freke: The Jesus Mysteries: Was The Original Jesus A Pagan God? 2000

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2Confirming Yeshua Empty The Shroud of Turin Fri Nov 11, 2022 10:58 am



Claims that the resurrection didn't happen

Jonathan MS Pearce (2021):  The Resurrection: A Critical Examination of the Easter Story
Description: The Resurrection story is integral to the Christian faith; its truth has been crucial for Christians since the inception of the belief system. But did the events reported in the Christian Bible actually happen? How do the claims made by the authors look in light of careful historical analysis? Are the Gospel claims internally coherent? Do Christian believers have justification in believing the chapter and verse of this most famous of miraculous stories?
Historical, philosophical, and biblical exegetical analysis are woven together to form a terminal case against the accuracy, and ultimately truth, of the Easter story.

"No rational and honest scholar of religion or theologian who asserts that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual event would be able to do so without addressing the compelling counterarguments presented by Jonathan Pearce's The Resurrection.... Pearce offers a masterful analysis of the central miracle of Christianity, Jesus's purported return from death.... All of this makes it difficult to refute...that the entire narrative upon which the Christian faith is anchored is a fiction contrived by others long after the purported date of the crucifixion..." - Dr. H. Sidky, Professor of Anthropology, Miami University, and author of Religion, Supernaturalism, the Paranormal and Pseudoscience: An Anthropological Critique

"This is a detailed, clear, and very readable survey of the evidence for the Resurrection, and it makes an overwhelming case for the conclusion that the Resurrection did not happen. It's an extraordinary fact that so many smart, educated people have managed to convince themselves that the historical case for the Resurrection is strong, when it is, patently, ludicrously weak." - Dr. Stephen Law, author of Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole

Response: The existence of early Christian writings that testify to the belief in the Resurrection, such as the letters of Paul, which were written within decades of Jesus' death and contain references to the Resurrection as a central tenet of Christian faith. These writings provide evidence that belief in the Resurrection was not a later invention, but was present from the earliest days of the Christian movement.

The accounts of the Resurrection in the Gospels are internally consistent and show signs of independent authorship. While there are some differences in the details of the accounts, they agree on the essential elements of the story, such as the empty tomb and the appearance of Jesus to his disciples. This suggests that the accounts are based on real events rather than being invented or fabricated.

The fact that the Resurrection was proclaimed in Jerusalem, the very place where Jesus had been crucified, suggests that the claim was not easily dismissed or refuted by those who would have had firsthand knowledge of the events. If the Resurrection had not happened, it is difficult to explain how such a claim could have gained traction in such a hostile environment.

The willingness of the disciples to suffer persecution and even death for their belief in the Resurrection suggests that they were genuinely convinced of its truth. This would have been unlikely if they knew the Resurrection to be a fiction.

According to Islam: Jesus was not crucified

Islam claims that it was not Jesus that was crucified, but that it merely appeared to be so. G. R. Lanier (2017): Of the major theological divides that separate Islam and Christianity, one of the most difficult to pin down is the denial of the crucifixion of Jesus in Muslim tradition. Though the assertion that Jesus did not die on the cross appears in only part of one difficult verse in the Qur’an. Scholars agree that the majority view within Islam is that this verse “affirms categorically that Christ did not die on the cross and that God raised him to Godself.” In fact, the rejection of the crucifixion has “become a sort of shibboleth of orthodoxy,” thus presenting a significant challenge for Muslim-Christian engagement. This dogma is not, however, without its difficulties: it requires rejection of the broad scholarly consensus that the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth outside Jerusalem under the oversight of Pontius Pilate is an indisputable historical fact; it strains exegesis of other parts of the Qur’an and appears to rely on strained exegesis of one verse, and it has spawned a wide range of often speculative and contradictory explanations. By analyzing the textual data and interpretive history, it will be argued that the belief that Jesus was not crucified actually stems from an anti-Jewish polemical passage that was misinterpreted along both Shi’a and Sunni lines and cemented by medieval orthodoxy. In other words, it is not the Qur’an itself that indisputably denies the crucifixion, but the scholars defending Islamic orthodoxy.

Confirming Yeshua Jesus_12

Once the atomistic reading of Q4:157 was firmly integrated into the eschatological framework of either division of Islam—regardless of the flawed underlying exegesis—it became nearly impossible in practice to question. Though only a single quranic verse mentions the crucifixion, and though any further references in the accepted Hadith and Sunna are quite rare (and absent altogether on the Sunni side), the interpretive tradition of commentators (tafsir) from the Middle Ages onward has been an imposing force in shaping how Muslims read the Qur’an. One could describe it as interpretive inertia: “over successive centuries the discussion of the crucifixion within the Islamic tradition … evolved to accommodate the doctrine of denial in a way which obscured the neutrality of the original Qur’anic position.”2

Todd Lawson (2014): Perhaps no passage in the Qur’an has received more attention from scholars looking for the Islamic scripture’s putative sources than Surat al-Nisa 157-8. On the face of it, the text says of the ‘People of the Book’, in this instance the Jews, that, in spite of their allegation to the contrary, ‘they neither killed nor crucified’ the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, and the Messenger of God. Rather, says the Qur’an, in a still puzzling Arabic phrase that has continued to draw the attention of commentators, shubbiha lahum; and the text goes on to say they did not kill him, ‘God raised him up.’ The puzzling phrase has been variously taken to mean something like ‘it seemed so to them’, or that ‘a likeness was produced for them’, readings that, while they are dictated by the root sense of the words, nevertheless leave the meaning as elusive as ever. Muslim scholars have had much to say about the appropriate way to interpret this passage; many have taken it to mean that Jesus Christ in fact did not die on the cross.11


The Shroud of Turin

What is the Shroud?

The Shroud of Turin is a piece of cloth that is believed by some to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. It is a linen cloth that measures about 14 feet by 3.5 feet. Its average thickness is less than a quarter of a millimeter, around 0.23 mm, and its total weight is about one kilogram. It bears the faint image of a bearded man, with wounds on his hands, feet, and side, who appears to have been crucified. The origins of the Shroud of Turin are unclear, but it is believed to have been in the possession of the House of Savoy, the ruling family of Italy, since the 16th century. The shroud has been a subject of controversy and debate, with some scientists and scholars questioning its authenticity, while others maintain that it is the actual burial cloth of Jesus.

A. Danin: The Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet 443 cm long and 113 cm wide kept in Turin, Italy. There is a human figure on the canvas looking at his belly (ventrally) and looking at his back (dorsally). The character has received multiple studies and dozens of books have been written about it. The researchers dealing with this fabric are called "syndonologists".

Shroudencounter: It bears the faint image of a bearded, crucified man with bloodstains that match the wounds of a crucifixion suffered by Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in all four gospel narratives. It has been in Turin, Italy since 1578, over 400 years. Prior to that, it was in France for another 200 years beginning in 1356. It has been preserved and revered for centuries as the actual burial shroud that wrapped Jesus as recorded in the bible. It was owned from 1450 to 1982 by the royal Savoy family until the former King of Italy, Humberto II passed away and willed it to the Catholic Church. The Shroud has been displayed for numerous public exhibitions over the past 650 years. While in Italy, the Catholic Church acted as custodian of the cloth even though it was officially owned by the Savoys.

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Confirming Yeshua Shroud19

Bible References To The Burial Shroud Of Jesus
1. Matthew 27:59
And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud
2. Mark 15:46
And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
3. Luke 23:53
Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.
4. John 19:40
So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
5. John 20:5
And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
6. John 20:6
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there,
7. John 20:7
and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.

J. G. Marino (2022): The late author John Walsh [The Shroud. (New York: Random House), 1963, xi-xii] made a statement about the Shroud of Turin, the reputed burial cloth of Jesus, which is often cited in Shroud literature. The quote is:

The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence... 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. 1

Stephen E. Jones: That had already been conceded sixty years earlier in 1903, by then leading Shroud anti-authenticist, English Roman Catholic priest Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856–1939), who admitted, "If this is not the impression of the Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression":

"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 ... If this is not the impression of the Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other person since the world began could these details be verified" 

More recently, leading Shroud sceptic Steven Schafersman (quoted approvingly by Joe Nickell) admitted that either the Shroud is "a product of human artifice" or "the image is that of Jesus" and there is no "possible third hypothesis":

Confirming Yeshua Image320

"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson and Stevenson and Habermas go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.'"2

The Mystery Man (2022): The Holy Shroud of Turin is a very expensive piece of herringbone twill-woven linen measuring 430 x 110 cm. It is believed to have wrapped the body of Jesus of Nazareth following his death, and as such is considered a relic of the Christian faith. It displays the imprinted, although somewhat blurry, features of a man with what looks like signs of having been tortured. The left part of the cloth shows a frontal view of the man, the right-hand side shows his back. The passage of time is evident in the burn marks produced during a serious fire that almost destroyed the cloth, but the image of the body and face is still visible. Iconographically, the features have been identified throughout history as those of Jesus Christ. Now conserved in Turin, it poses questions for scientists in all disciplines all over the world. The “body image” (in the darker-colored area defined by the herringbone weft in the cloth) does not go all the way through the material and is only present in a few dozen fibers. It has no outline, brush marks, or traces of pigment. And it is not painted, but rather the result of dehydrating acid oxidation in the linen fibers (see STURP , 1978). In 1976, NASA confirmed the existence of a three-dimensional quality in the whole body that cannot be found in any other image anywhere else in the world. Forensic science has proved that, at some time in its history, the cloth covered a man who had undergone forms of torture consistent with those narrated in the Gospels: the crown of thorns, flagellation, crucifixion and a spear wound to the side. But the different studies carried out to date have still not been able to determine exactly how the strange image was created. No explanations have been found for why it appears as a negative of the image, for its three-dimensionality or for the absence of pigments. The Shroud would appear to be incompatible with any known pictorial, artistic or scientific techniques. The blood on it, however, is compatible with a human corpse. 3

Soon after i converted, I did find the first time information about the Shroud of Turin in the book by Holger Kersten: Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion. The book was published before 1985 when I read the book.

Confirming Yeshua Jesus_15

In December 1987 I visited Turin and the royal chapel of the cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, where the Shroud has been preserved since 1578. I bought some images available at the store in the church. When I went home, I did hang the image on the wall of my room. Intuitively, I believed that this must be Jesus. The face of the image had a calmness and peace, and nobility that is incredible, and I felt a connection that is difficult to describe.

Kersten makes ten interesting observations:

Confirming Yeshua 118
Confirming Yeshua 216

 Then, in 1988 came a disappointment. 

Confirming Yeshua Radioc10

It was certainly not the result that I expected. But I was always an evidence-oriented person, and without reasons to doubt the result, I concluded that the Shroud had to be a forgery from the middle ages. With that, the issue was settled. Since my faith was based on the Bible, and not a linen cloth, I had no reason to cease believing in Christ, tough. I do not remember exactly when I started to regain interest in the Shroud. But in 2014, I posted at my personal virtual library, reasonandscience.catsboard.com a topic: The Shroud of Turin EXTRAORDINARY evidence of Christ's resurrection. And since then, I have become a firm believer, that the new evidence, that came after the radiocarbon dating c14 from 1988 has changed the picture. The Shroud has become one of my tools of apologetics, and i regard it as striking, undeniable evidence of the historicity, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many lines of reasoning permit us to come to a solid, firm conclusion about the authenticity of the Shroud. Let's give a closer look.  

The historicity of the Shroud

Maybe the most throughout account of the pre-1350 history of the Shroud was compiled by Joe Marino, and published in the paper: Documented References to the Burial Linens of Jesus Prior to the Shroud of Turin’s Appearance in France in the Mid1350s 2. He cites:

2 sources from the 2nd. Century, 1 from the 3rd. Century, 9 from the 4th. Century, 3 from the 5th. Century, 10 from the 6th. Century, 5 from the 7th. Century, 4 from the 8th. Century, 3 from the 9th. Century, 5 from the 10th. Century, 11 from the 11th. Century, 7 from the 12th. Century, and 15 from the 13th century, and 2 from the 14th. Century. In total 77 sources until 1350!! Marino writes in the concluding remarks: Despite conflicting theories of the Shroud’s “pre-history,” there is no doubt there is an abundance of evidence of the purported existence of Jesus’ burial linens.

Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the 14th. century

an adaptation of Stephen E. Jones' text.  4

33 Friday, April 3. Following Jesus' crucifixion and death, His body was taken down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea. Joseph then proceeded to wrap Jesus' body in a linen Shroud, known as sindon in Greek, and bound His hands and feet with linen strips, or othonia. Finally, the wrapped body was laid in a cave tomb.

33 Sunday, April 5.  Later, Peter and John entered the tomb and found the linen strips that had been used to wrap Jesus' hands and feet, as well as the facecloth that had been on His head. However, the shroud was missing. Upon seeing the pattern of the graveclothes, John was convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, just as He had predicted. John believed that Jesus' resurrected body had passed through the linen strips, as they were still tied around Jesus' hands and feet in the same way as before. This meant that Jesus' body was "mechanically transparent." The Gospel of the Hebrews, one of the earliest Christian writings, claimed that Jesus took His shroud with Him out of the tomb and gave it to the "Servant of the Priest," who was likely John.

50 Death of Edessa's King Abgar V. According to the early church historian Eusebius (c. 260-340), King Abgar V (BC 4–AD 50) of Edessa had written to Jesus asking Him to come and heal him and Jesus had replied to Abgar by letter promising that after His resurrection He would send one of His disciples to Edessa to heal Abgar and preach the Gospel. According to Eusebius, Thaddeus, one of the Seventy, did go to Edessa, healed Abgar V from Thaddeus, and commenced Christianity there. While historian J.B. Segal (1912–2003), considered that this account "may well have a substratum of fact," he regarded the part of it about the exchange of letters between Abgar V and Jesus, which Eusebius had personally read in Edessa's archives, was a "pious fraud," which unknown to Eusebius had been inserted into Edessa's archives in the time of Abgar VIII (177 to 212), who was the first Christian king of Edessa. But as will be seen, Eusebius' account says nothing about Abgar V being healed by an image of Jesus on a cloth, which later versions of the Abgar V story do say. The pilgrim Spanish nun Egeria in c.384 recorded that she had seen the text of Jesus' letter to Abgar V affixed to Edessa' city gate.

60 According to the 945 "Official History of the Image of Edessa", King Ma'nu VI reverted to paganism and persecuted Edessa's Christians. To ensure the safety of "the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ not made by hand" which had been fastened to a board and embellished with gold, i.e. the Mandylion (the Shroud "four-doubled" = tetradiplon), was supposedly bricked up above the public gate of Edessa, where it had previously laid, and then was completely forgotten for almost five centuries until its discovery after another major flood in 525. However, this story is most implausible (did Ma'nu VI, or none of his officials, not notice, nor suspect, that the Mandylion they were seeking to destroy, was where it had previously been but only behind fresh brickwork?), and is more likely a "pious fraud" to give the Mandylion/Shroud, which is known in Edessa only from 544, a false back-history to the time of Jesus.

2nd century (101-200)

c. 150 Several second-century Christian writings record that the Shroud had been saved from Jesus' tomb: the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Acts of Pilate / Acts of Nicodemus, the Gospel of Peter and the Gospel of Gamaliel. This shows that second-century writers knew the Shroud existed in their day. They disagree about who saved it from the tomb, but they agree that it had been saved.

Here are the relevant quotes from the second-century Christian writings that mention the Shroud:

The Gospel of the Hebrews: "And when the Lord had given the linen cloth unto the servant of the priest, he went unto James and said unto him: 'Take, for the Lord hath risen from the dead and appeared unto Simon.'" (as quoted by Jerome in his Commentary on Matthew)

The Acts of Pilate / Acts of Nicodemus: "The Jews, therefore, said to Nicodemus: 'Thou art his disciple, and hast brought his funeral things hither, that we may not have authority over him.' Nicodemus saith to them: 'The funeral things which I brought hither, I did not bring as his disciple, but to bury him according to the usage of my fathers. And because he had been the benefactor of my life, how should I not have brought them?'" (as translated by M.R. James in The Apocryphal New Testament)

The Gospel of Peter: "But I and my companions were grieved, and being wounded in mind, we hid ourselves: for we were sought after by them as malefactors, and as wishing to set fire to the temple. And in the night in which the Lord's day dawned, when my companions and I were sleeping, there came a great sound from heaven, and the heavens were opened, and a man descended to us, and came and rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and sat upon it. And he shone with a great light, and he took the linen cloth which was put round the Saviour's head, and the cloth for his body, and laid them in a place by themselves." (as translated by M.R. James in The Apocryphal New Testament)

The Gospel of Gamaliel: "He went in, therefore, and saw the linen cloths lying; but the napkin that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths, but was rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple also entered, who had come first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead." (as quoted by Jerome in his Commentary on Matthew)

Note that the reference to the Shroud is indirect in some of these texts (e.g. the Gospel of Gamaliel), but scholars believe that the "napkin" or "cloth for his body" mentioned in these texts is likely a reference to the Shroud.

177 Accession of Edessa's king Abgar VIII, the Great. Abgar VIII (r. 177-212), also counted as Abgar IX. His full name was Lucius Aelius Septimius Megas Abgarus. He was a ruler of Osroene, a Syriac-speaking kingdom in Upper Mesopotamia, whose capital city was Edessa. Abgar VIII was Edessa's (and presumably the world's) first Christian king, as is evident from some of his coins which were the first to feature a Christian symbol: a prominent Christian cross on his crown (see below).

Confirming Yeshua AbgarVIII160805

Second century Edessan coin, one side with Abgar VIII wearing a crown bearing a Christian cross (right), and on the other side the head of the Roman emperor Commodus (r. 180-192) (left).]

c. 180 Abgar VIII has inserted into Edessa's archives fictitious correspondence between Abgar V and Jesus. This "pious fraud" became the basis of the "Legend of Abgar" which was added to and modified over subsequent centuries as more information about the Shroud became known. But the Abgar-Jesus letters were more likely a verbal request by Abgar and a reply by Jesus which were later transcribed into writing, with embellishments.

Got Questions: The consensus of Bible scholars is that the Letter of King Abgar to Jesus is fraudulent. The document was probably written in the third century AD and then placed where Eusebius would eventually find it. This is not to say that some sort of letter never existed. The question concerns the authorship and date of the letter. It is thought that the basis for the legend surrounding the letter is the Syrian king Abgar IX, who converted to Christianity in the late second century.

Although a fake, the Abgar Letter was believed to be real by many in the third-century church. The letter even found its way into liturgical use. Today, King Abgar is considered a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church (with feasts in his honor on May 11 and October 28) and in the Syriac Orthodox Church (with a feast on August 1).

Biblical Christianity is defined by its authority: the sixty-six-book canon. It has no room for relics, images, or supposed letters from Jesus. The spurious Letter of King Abgar to Jesus is an argument for shunning any addendums, supplements, or additions to Scripture. 8

c. 183  In the first century, the city of Edessa, now known as Urfa and located in southeast Turkey, served as a buffer kingdom between the Parthians in the east and the Romans in the west. Its population was diverse, including Syriac, Greek, Armenian, and Arabic speakers, with a significant Jewish community. By the 6th century, Edessa and the surrounding Assyrian region were home to a thriving Christian population. Most historians agree that Christianity began to gain influence in Edessa in the late 2nd century under the leadership of Abgar VIII, who was known as "The Great." A church sanctuary dating back to 201 AD has been discovered in the city (Segal 1970). However, when the Edessan Christians wrote their history in the 3rd century, they claimed that the Gospel had arrived in the city during the 1st century, brought by a disciple of Jesus named Addai and delivered to King Abgar V, a contemporary of Christ. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, included a brief version of this story from the late 3rd century, which referenced a famous letter from Jesus that was said to be kept in the archives of Edessa (Eusebius 1991: 43-47). During the tolerant rule of Roman Emperor Commodus (180-192), Abgar VIII requested Pope Eleutherus (175-189) to dispatch missionaries to Edessa. Under Abgar VIII's leadership, Edessa became the first Christian city in the world, as attested by a stone Christian cross located above a lion's head, once a fountain and now situated in modern-day Sanliurfa, the former Edessa. Despite the almost complete obliteration of Edessa's Christian past following the Muslim conquest in 1144, this cross has survived as a testament to the city's Christian roots. It is worth noting that the lion was the emblem of the Abgar dynasty, which lost its grip over Edessa after Abgar VIII's death in 212.

3rd century  -  6th century 

When the Edessan Christians wrote their history in the 3rd century, they claimed that the Gospel had arrived in the city during the 1st century, brought by a disciple of Jesus named Addai and delivered to King Abgar V, a contemporary of Christ. Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, included a brief version of this story from the late 3rd century, which referenced a famous letter from Jesus that was said to be kept in the archives of Edessa (Eusebius 1991: 43-47). Later, in the 4th century (or possibly early 5th century), a Syriac writer expanded upon this text, resulting in The Teaching of Addai (hereafter referred to as TA). Within this expanded text, there is a small passage in which Abgar, who is corresponding with Jesus through a messenger named Hanan, requests that a picture of Jesus be made.

When Hanan the archivist saw that Jesus had spoken thus to him, he took and painted the portrait of Jesus with choice pigments, since he was the king’s artist, and brought it with him to his lord King Abgar. When King Abgar saw the portrait he received it with great joy and placed it with great honor in one of the buildings of his palaces (Howard 1981: 9 - 10).

The reliability of The TA as a historical document is frequently challenged by contemporary scholars due to several reasons. Nonetheless, some experts admit that there may be a "substratum of fact" within its contents. Although the story contains many anachronisms and interpolations typical of Abgar VIII's era, rather than Abgar V's, certain elements have an authentic period feel to them.

Regarding the Edessa Image, this is the only known reference to it in ancient times. However, it is not sufficient to assume that it was the same as the NT sindon or Turin Shroud. Some scholars argue that it never existed in ancient Edessa, as there is no mention of it by the fourth-century Edessan Church Father Ephrem. Conversely, others believe that it did exist, but was not well-known.

Historian Daniel Scavone suggests that the story was fabricated after the fact, as a means of explaining the presence of the Christ-picture in Edessa when the actual history had been forgotten. The TA may also imply that a distant memory of a Christ picture coming to Edessa during an early evangelization existed in the fourth century. However, due to persecution, the image had to be concealed and may have even been lost, with only vague memories surviving by that time.

While the existence of the Edessa Image in ancient times remains a matter of debate, many scholars agree that there is enough proof for its existence in the 6th century. The principal source is Evagrius' Greek Ecclesiastical History, which dates back to around 595. The account describes how the Edessans attempted to resist a Persian siege in 544. In an effort to burn down a wooden siege ramp built by the enemy to breach their walls, the Edessans dug underneath it and piled up wood. However, their attempts failed as the wood did not get enough air to catch fire.

So, when they came to complete despair, they brought the divinely created image, which human hands had not made, the one that Christ the God sent to Abgar .... Then, when they brought the all-holy image into the channel they had created and sprinkled it with water, they applied some to the pyre and the timbers. And at once ... the timbers caught fire ... (Whitby 2000: 226 – 227).

It is widely accepted among scholars that the siege ramp was destroyed and the city was saved, although the miraculous elements of the story are often questioned. In the 6th century, the icon gained significant recognition as "The Holy Image Not Made With Hands of Edessa," with some scholars, including Wilson, suggesting its appearance to be between 525 and 530. However, unlike in The TA, the image was generally no longer regarded as a product of human craftsmanship, but rather as a divine imprint created by Christ himself. The Acts of Thaddaeus, another Greek text from the 6th century (or possibly based on a 6th century Syriac original), describes this new understanding of the picture's origin. According to this account, which is a brief retelling of the Gospel's arrival in Edessa during the time of Abgar V, the king's messenger Ananais was unable to paint Jesus.

And He [Jesus] knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel was given Him; and when He washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen, He gave it to Ananias ... (Roberts and Donaldson 1951: 558).

Upon reading the AT account, Ian Wilson discovered that Jesus was given a piece of cloth called a rakos, which was folded in four layers (known as tetradiplon), onto which his face was imprinted. The words rakos and sindon were commonly used, but tetradiplon was a rare term and was only associated with the Edessa Image. Wilson realized that by simply folding the Shroud of Turin into three width-wide folds, he could create a cloth with four two-fold layers, with the final panel showing only the face of the Shroud's image and the remaining body images hidden within the folds. He also noticed that the earliest depictions of the entire Icon (from the 10th to 13th centuries) showed only the face on a rectangular cloth, viewed through a circular opening in a slipcover, and usually in a landscape shape rather than the usual portrait shape. These observations led Wilson to a sudden realization about the Shroud's history and its influence on Christian art.

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By performing three basic width-wide foldings (2, 3, 4), the Shroud (1) can be transformed into a final panel (5) that only displays the face. When enclosed in a slipcover, it bears a striking resemblance to the earliest depictions of the Edessa Icon (6), which are typically portrayed within a rectangular frame and display only the face in a circular opening.

Wilson's initial findings on the Edessa Image came from the Greek texts of Evagrius’ Ecclesiastical History and the anonymous Acts of Thaddeus, which date back to the 6th century. Recently, the discovery of discarded Georgian texts at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt has further corroborated this historical reconstruction. These texts confirm that Assyrian monks, including Theodosius, a monk from Edessa in charge of the Edessa Icon, evangelized Georgia in the 6th century. Theodosius and a companion were also known for painting religious art, making them rare examples of individuals engaged in “icon evangelism” during this time. Furthermore, the Syriac Acts of Mar Mari the Apostle, believed to date back to the 6th century, briefly describes the miraculous origins of the Icon, with Jesus said to have imprinted his image on a linen cloth. Despite occasional skepticism in academic circles, the existence of the Holy Image of Edessa has been well-documented since at least the 6th century.

The Image's significance continued to be illuminated by Syriac traditions and documents over the course of the next three centuries. Archbishop Gewargis Silwa of the Church of the East in Iraq recently revealed an unpublished letter from the mid-7th century directed towards Nestorian Christians in Edessa, which described the city as a "sanctified throne for the Image of his adorable face and his glorified incarnation." This almost certainly refers to the Icon (Wilson 2001: 34 – 35). In the 8th and 9th centuries, Jacobite Patriarch Dionysius of Tell-Machre, from a nearby town to Edessa, recalled that the Image of Edessa had been in the hands of the orthodox Christian community since the late 6th century. His account matched that of the Acts of Mari, which described Jesus creating his image on a shwshaepha (piece of cloth or towel) (Drijvers 1997: 21 – 26). These stories are nearly identical to the account of the creation of the image in the Acts of Thaddeus, but without any mention of a term such as tetradiplon. One story that Dionysius recounted from his grandfather involved a clever artist in the employ of the wealthy Athanasius bar Gumoye who created an exact copy of the Image by dulling the paints of the original to make them appear old. The artist then tricked the original owners, the Orthodox Christian community, by swapping the copy for the original. This event likely occurred at the end of the 7th century, suggesting that the Image had been venerated for a significant length of time and that copies were being made. The need to "dull the paints" indicated to Wilson not just age, but also the indistinct and faint image that is typical of the Shroud face. Two texts from the early 8th century demonstrate that the Edessa Image remained an important religious object. Manuscript BL Oriental 8606, dated to 723, referred to the Church where the Image was kept as "The House of the Icon of the Lord," and scholar Hans Drijvers knows of an unpublished text from the early 8th century in which an Arab acknowledges having heard of the image created by Christ and sent to King Abgar in a dispute with a Christian monk (Drijvers 1997: 27-28).

201 A major flood of its river devastates Edessa, thousands die, and the "church of the Christians" is damaged. This is the first mention anywhere of a Christian church building and is further evidence that Edessa had become a Christian city.

202 As a reward for assisting Rome in its war with Parthia, Abgar VIII was invited to Rome in 202, which he visited after 204.

205 Following the flood of 201, in 205 Abgar VIII built on higher ground within the walls of the old Edessa, a new walled Citadel, called "Birtha" in Syriac.

c. 315 Roman Empress Constantia (c.293-330), the half-sister of Emperor Constantine the Great (c.272–337), wrote to the church historian, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (260-339), asking him to send her an "image of Christ." Constantia's letter is lost but from Eusebius' reply, she seems to be asking for a specific image of Christ, presumably the Mandylion/Shroud. This is supported by Eusebius' reply in which, instead of simply answering Constantia along the lines of, "Sorry, but I don't have an image of Christ to send to you," he gave a long-winded refusal which indicated that Eusebius knew which image Constantia meant, but he needed to find a way to refuse Constantine's half-sister's request without actually saying "no". This is further evidence that the Mandylion/Shroud existed in the fourth century, known in Christian circles, but hidden from those who would seize it.

c. 330 Athanasius (c. 296–373), who was bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373, affirmed in the times of Constantine the Great (c.272–337), who was Roman Emperor from 306-337, that a sacred Christ-icon, traceable to Jerusalem in the year 68, was then present in Syria, when Syria did not include Edessa.

Athanasius, in his work "On the Incarnation," wrote that a sacred Christ-icon, which he identified as the image of Christ not made by human hands, was present in Syria and that it had been handed down from the apostolic times. Athanasius traced the history of the icon to the time of King Abgar of Edessa and stated that it had been preserved in a church in the Syrian city of Hierapolis.

337 Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, abolished crucifixion throughout the Roman Empire in 337 out of veneration for Jesus, the crucifixion's most famous victim. Crucifixion continued to be banned in the remnants of the Roman Empire which included Europe. Neither the Bible, nor writers in the Roman era, described crucifixion in detail, presumably because everyone then knew those details, and crucifixion was so abhorrent. Therefore a medieval European forger, ~1000 years later, would not know enough about Roman crucifixion to depict it accurately as it is on the Shroud.

c. 338 St. Nino (c. 296–340), spent her youth in Jerusalem from c. 308. In 338 she wrote in her memoirs that she had been told that the linen strips (othonia - Lk 24:12; Jn 11:44) had been taken by Pilate's wife, who took them to Pontus, but later they were brought back to Jerusalem. The soudarion - Jn 20:7, Nino had heard, had been taken by Peter, but it was not by then known where it was.

525 Edessa suffered a major flood of its river, the Daisan ("the Leaper"), killing one-third of the city's population (about 30,000) and destroying buildings, including the cathedral, and much of the city's wall. The city, its wall, and a new Hagia Sophia ("Holy Wisdom") cathedral, were then rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justin I (r.518 to 527), although the actual work was carried out by his nephew and future Emperor, Justinian I (r.527-565). The Mandylion/Shroud, had been hidden in the city wall above Edessa's public gate, early in the reign of Abgar V's pagan grandson [Ma'nu VI (r.57–71)], then been completely forgotten, and was not rediscovered until the 544 siege of Edessa by the Persian King Khosrow I (r. 531-579), aka. Chosroes I, which was in 544.  However this story of the Mandylion/Shroud having been hidden in Edessa's wall, completely forgotten, for almost 500 years, contains multiple implausibilities. Likewise Ian Wilson's theory, based on that `Official History' story, that the Mandylion/Shroud was discovered in, or soon after 525, during the rebuilding of Edessa's flood-damaged wall, suffers from the same multiple implausibilities and it does not even have the support of the `Official History' that the Mandylion/ Shroud was discovered during the Persian siege of Edessa.

544 Persian king Khosrow I lays siege to Edessa. It is a fact of history that in 544 Persian King Khosrow I (aka Chosroes I) besieged Edessa but the city resisted the siege and the Persians were "forced to retreat from Edessa":

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On the left, Rome, and on the right, Ravenna. The Byzantines, who were the successors of Rome in Eastern Christianity, constructed some of the earliest examples of new type of mosaics. These beautiful mosaics can be found in Ravenna, Italy and date back to the early 540s.

During the early centuries of Christianity, artists portrayed Jesus in a variety of different styles. However, the most common depiction of Jesus during this time was that of a youthful, beardless figure with a Hellenistic-Roman appearance. This particular portrayal of Jesus was heavily influenced by the cultural and artistic trends of the time, as well as the theological and philosophical beliefs of the early Christian church. The Hellenistic-Roman appearance of Jesus depicted in these early artworks was characterized by a symmetrical face, idealized features, and a youthful, athletic physique. This was in line with the idealized beauty standards of the time, which were heavily influenced by Greek and Roman art and culture. The portrayal of Jesus as a beardless figure was also significant, as it emphasized his youthfulness and purity. Beardlessness was associated with youth and innocence in ancient Mediterranean cultures, and was often depicted in art as a symbol of these qualities.

Confirming Yeshua Hinton10
The depiction of Christ in the  Hinton St Mary Mosaic from the 4th century AD presents Him as a conventional, beardless young man with a Hellenistic-Roman appearance. The mosaic was discovered in 1963 in Hinton St Mary, Dorset, England. It is a Roman mosaic of considerable size that is almost entirely intact. It is believed to have a portrait bust of Jesus Christ as its central motif, and it is one of the oldest known depiction of Jesus anywhere in the Roman Empire.

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After this year, the visual changed, Christ face became more elongated, with long hair, and beard, as depicted in the image above, Church of Saint Sophie, Constantinople

Before 544AD, Jesus was mostly depicted with short hair and no beard. That changed started to change in the 6th century and became more prevalent during the Byzantine era.

"Khosrow turned south towards Edessa and besieged the city. Edessa was now a much more important city than Antioch was, but the garrison which occupied the city was able to resist the siege. The Persians were forced to retreat from Edessa ..."

Historian Evagrius Scholasticus (c.536-594), recorded in c.593 [see below "c. 593"] in his Ecclesiastical History that the Persians built a huge mound of timber higher than Edessa's wall, that was to be moved next to the wall from which his army could attack the city. The Edessans countered by tunneling under the wall with the aim of setting the mound on fire from below before it could be moved forward to the wall. Evagrius described the crucial role of "the divinely made image not made by the hands of man" (the Mandylion/Shroud) in the defense of the city:

"The mine was completed; but they [the Edessans] failed in attempting to fire the wood, because the fire, having no exit whence it could obtain a supply of air, was unable to take hold of it. In this state of utter perplexity they brought out the divinely made image not made by the hands of man, which Christ our God sent to King Abgar when he desired to see him. Accordingly, having introduced this sacred likeness into the mine and washed it over with water, they sprinkled some upon the timber ... the timber immediately caught the flame, and being in an instant reduced to cinders, communicated with that above, and the fire spread in all directions".

Evagrius' "not made by the hands of man" is the Greek word acheiropoietos, lit. a = "not" + cheiro = "hands" + poietos = "made" (Mk 14:58; 2Cor 5:1; Col 2:11)[33], which is the first known application of that word to the Mandylion/Shroud and is the first historical evidence that the Mandylion/Shroud was in Edessa by 544. Evagrius' account says that the "divinely made image not made by the hands of man," had been "sent to King Abgar" by Christ, but this is false (although Evagrius may have believed it to be true), since not only is the original Abgar V story a "pious fraud," it said nothing about an image of Jesus on a cloth[see ". According to the 945 `Official History,' it was during the Persian siege of 544 that Edessa's bishop Eulalius was led in a vision to find where "the divinely created image of Christ ... lay hidden in the place above the city gates". However that is part of the Abgar V pious fraud and is self-evidently highly implausible. Moreover, there is no bishop Eulalius known in the actual history of Edessa. And if a bishop of Edessa had discovered "the divinely made image not made by the hands of man" hidden above Edessa's gate during the Persian siege of 544, Evagrius would surely have mentioned it. A Syriac "Edessan Chronicle," written after 540 and just before the 544 siege mentions the 525 Edessa flood in detail, but says nothing about the rediscovery of an Image, which is strong evidence against Wilson's theory that the Mandylion/Shroud was rediscovered in the aftermath of the flood of 525. So since Evagrius introduces the Image as already known to be at Edessa in 544, but with no viable explanation how it came to be there, the most likely (if not the only) explanation is that it had arrived in Edessa from elsewhere, shortly before 544, as my theory proposes. Secular historian Procopius of Caesarea (c.500–c.554) also wrote about Edessa's repulse of the 544 Persian siege, by digging a tunnel underneath the Persian siege tower, filling the tunnel with inflammable material and setting fire to it, which in turn consumed the tower, but Procopius did not mention anything about an Image. However, there are a number of important events in Edessa's history which Procopius does not mention, so he may simply have not known of the role of the Image in the siege. Also, Procopius was writing secular history, and he himself was a skeptic who was not interested in recording such things.

Confirming Yeshua Image322
c. 550 Christ Pantocrator, St Catherine's monastery, Sinai. This encaustic (hot coloured wax) on wood (a technique which died out and became lost in the eight century) icon of Christ Pantocrator ("ruler of all") at the isolated Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, and so escaped the iconoclasm (Gk. eikon = "image" + klastes = "breaker") of of the eighth through ninth centuries. Dated c. 550, this icon was a gift from the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (c.482–565), who built the monastery between 548 and 565. This is the earliest surviving painted icon of Christ. It is nearly perfectly congruent to the Shroud-face, for example the high right eyebrow, the hollow right cheek, and the garment neckline. So marked are these oddities, that the late Princeton University art historian, Professor Kurt Weitzmann (1904-1993), while making no connection with the Shroud, remarked of this icon that:

"... the pupils of the eyes are not at the same level; the eyebrow over Christ's left eye is arched higher than over his right ... one side of the mustache droops at a slightly different angle from the other, while the beard is combed in the opposite direction ... Many of these subtleties remain attached to this particular type of Christ image and can be seen in later copies ..."

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There are some similarities between the image on the Shroud of Turin and the depiction of Jesus in the Christ Pantocrator icon. Here are some of the similarities:
Facial Features: The facial features of the Christ Pantocrator icon and the man on the Shroud of Turin share some similarities, such as a prominent nose, a beard, and long hair. Some have also noted that the eyes of the Christ Pantocrator and the man on the Shroud appear to have a similar expression. Physical Proportions: The Christ Pantocrator icon depicts Jesus with a long, slender face and a narrow jawline, which is similar to the face on the Shroud of Turin. The proportions of the face and body in the icon are also similar to those seen in the image on the shroud.

Using his polarized image overlay technique, Dr Alan Whanger found over 200 points of congruence between this icon and the Shroud. Even creases and wrinkles on the Shroud cloth have been rendered by the artist. Flower images in the halo around the head (nimbus) of this icon are found at the same locations on the Shroud. The artist has even rendered the xray images of the Shroud man's teeth as chapped lips! This means that this icon must have been copied directly from the Mandylion/Shroud in the mid-sixth century and so, once again, refutes the radiocarbon dating's 14th-century date of the Shroud.

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7th century (601-700)

614 The Sudarium of Oviedo, the "face cloth" or "napkin" in John. The Holy Chest (or Arca Santa) in which the Sudarium was transported from Jerusalem in 614, via Alexandria, to Cartagena and Seville in Spain in 616; taken to the Monastery of San Vicente near Oviedo in 761, deposited in the Holy Chamber (Camara Santa), which is within today's Oviedo Cathedral, by King Alfonso II (r. 783, 791-842) in c.812, opened by Bishop Ponce (1025–1028) in 1030 and again opened by King Alfonso IV (1040–1109) in 1075. Sudarium of Oviedo was kept was officially opened in the presence of [url=http:]King Alfonso VI (r. 1077-1109)[/url], his sister Doña Urraca (c.1033–1101), Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (c. 1040–1099) (aka El Cid) and a number of bishops. This official act was recorded in a document which is now kept in the archives of the cathedral in Oviedo. The bloodstains on the face and back of the head of the Sudarium of Oviedo are so similar in appearance to those on the corresponding parts of the Shroud, that the two cloths must have been in contact with the same wounded body within the same short time period. And since the Sudarium has been in Spain since the early seventh century, and certainly since 1075, this is further evidence that the "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Shroud was wrong!

631, St. Braulion, the Bishop of Saragossa, a learned and prudent man, in his letter No. XLII (P.L.t. LXXX, 689), writes, as if telling of something which had been well known for a long time, “de sudario quo corpus Domini est involutum, of the winding-sheet in which the body of the Lord was wrapped.” And he adds: “The Scriptures do not tell us that it was preserved, but one cannot call those superstitious who believe in the authenticity of this winding-sheet” A winding-sheet which had been wrapped round the body of Jesus could only be a shroud 4

633 The Mozarabic Rite of Roman Catholics living under Muslim rule in Iberian Spain, which may have originated in the sixth century under Saint Leandro, Bishop of Seville (c.534–601), was given its final form in 633 at the Fourth Council of Toledo, Spain. The Illatio or preface of the rite states, "Peter ran to the tomb with John and saw the recent imprints of the dead and risen one on the cloths".

Last edited by Otangelo on Thu Dec 14, 2023 2:56 am; edited 57 times in total


3Confirming Yeshua Empty Re: Confirming Yeshua Fri Nov 11, 2022 8:59 pm



639 Edessa was conquered by the Muslim army under the Rashidun Caliphate. The Image of Edessa/Shroud which was in Edessa fell under Muslim control and remained so for over 300 years until 943. The conquest was peaceable and indeed Edessa's Syriac-speaking population were happy to be liberated from the Greek-speaking Byzantine rule from Constantinople. In return, Edessan Christians were allowed by their Muslim overlords to continue their religious observances, including veneration of the Image of Edessa/Shroud, and Edessa's Hagia Sophia cathedral was preserved.

680 A Bishop Arculf of Perigueux, France, returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in about 680, was shipwrecked on the island of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides. Arculf recounted his pilgrimage to the Abbot of Iona Abbey, Irish scholar and saint Adamnan (c. 624–704), who recorded it in his De Locis Sanctis ("On Holy Places"), completed in 698. In particular, Adamnan recorded in Latin that in Jerusalem Arculf had seen, "the sudarium of our Lord which was placed over his head in the tomb". However, Arculf described this cloth as "eight foot long", which is much shorter than the Shroud's fourteen feet. It cannot have been the Shroud folded in two because that would have been 7 feet long, and besides Arculf stated that he had kissed this "sudarium" and that close up he would have noticed that it was folded. It also cannot have been the "face cloth" or "napkin" [Greek soudarion] of John 20:7 (see on the Sudarium of Oviedo above), because that would have been a much smaller cloth. Finally, Arculf did not mention that this "sudarium" had an image of Jesus imprinted on it, which he surely would have, had there been one. Since Latin had no word of its own for the Greek sindon used of the Shroud in the gospels (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53), it was a common confusion in Latin writers that the word "sudarium" was used to mean the much larger Shroud. Some have speculated that what Arculf saw was a single sided copy of the Shroud, such as the Besançon or the Compiegne shroud, but they both had images. So it seems that what Arculf saw was a piece of cloth that had acquired the false reputation of being either the Shroud or the Sudarium. Either way, it is a further testimony to the common knowledge among early Christians that Jesus' burial cloths had been recovered from His tomb and existed in their day!

Confirming Yeshua Justinian%2BII%2Bsolidus
Gold solidus coin, minted 692-95 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (668–711). The face of Jesus on the coin has many "Vignon markings" features found on the face of the man on Shroud, including wrinkles in the Shroud cloth, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the 7th century designer of this coin had the Shroud as his model!

692 Between 692 and 695 Byzantine Emperor Justinian II (668–711) minted tremissis and solidus coins bearing an image of Jesus' face. The coins are inscribed "Jesu Christu, Rex Regnantium" ("Jesus Christ, King of Kings"). They are therefore in the category of Christ Pantocrator [Greek pan "all" and kratos "rule," hence "all-ruling one," "Almighty" (2Cor 6:18; Rev 1:8; 4:8;11:17; 15:3; 16:7,14; 19:6,15; 21:22)] icons. These were the first coins to bear Jesus' image.

Note that the c.692 solidus coin above depicts as tassels on Jesus' garment what are wrinkles around the neck of the Shroud man! Also note that above the tassels on the coin it depicts three protuber- ances which are also on the Shroud, the middle one on both being Jesus' and the man's Adam's apple (see Enrie negative)!] These resemblances include long hair that falls behind the shoulders, a long forked beard, a moustache, and a small tuft on the forehead where there is a `reversed 3' bloodstain on the Shroud using his polarized image overlay technique, Dr Alan Whanger found at least 65 points of congruence between this coin and the Shroud face. Yet in a court of law, only 14 points of congruence are sufficient to determine the identity of fingerprints, tire tracks, etc. Even wrinkles in the Shroud fabric were reproduced on the coin!

8th century (701-800)

787 The iconoclasm of Leo III was continued by his son Constantine V Coproymos (741–775), and grandson Leo IV the Khazar (r. 775–780). It was only after the death of Leo IV that the first period of iconoclasm was brought to an end in 787 by the Second Council of Nicaea, the last of the first seven ecumenical councils of the whole Christian church, both East and West. The Council debated the veneration of holy images and in particular about the Image of Edessa not having been produced by the hand of man. Leo, Lector of Constantinople's Hagia Sophia Cathedral, reported to the Council that he had visited Edessa and seen there "the holy image made without hands and adored by the faithful". The Council endorsed the veneration of images, and in particular the Image of Edessa, the "one `not made by human hands' [acheiropoieton] that was sent to Abgar". It was the main argument used by the bishops to defend the legitimacy of the use of sacred images and to which the iconoclast bishops had no reply.

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The Mandylion illuminated by the moon, Ms. lat. 2688, f. 77r, National Library, Paris, XIII century. 12

1. Holger Kersten:  Jesus Lived in India: His Unknown Life Before and After the Crucifixion 2001
2. Joe Marino: Documented References to the Burial Linens of Jesus Prior to the Shroud of Turin’s Appearance in France in the Mid1350s  2022
3. Whocanhebe: The history of the Shroud
4. Stephen E. Jones: Chronology of the Turin Shroud: AD 30 to the present: 1st century JULY 24, 2016
5. The Mystery Man Exhibition
6. Joseph G. Marino: If an Artist Created the Shroud of Turin: Some Specific March 13, 2022
7. Stephen E. Jones: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!
8. GotQuestions: What is the Letter of King Abgar to Jesus?
10. Shroudencounter: The Shroud of Turin The most analyzed artifact in the world 
11. Pierre Barbet : A Doctor at Calvary:
12. http://www.sindone.info/STLOUIS1.PDF

9th century (801-900)

812 King Alfonso II of Asturias (c. 760–842), built a chapel in his capital Oviedo, which was later incorporated into Oviedo Cathedral. In The 9th century chapel built by King Alfonso II, within which was the Holy Chamber (Cámara Santa) that held the Holy Chest (Arca Santa), which in turn contained the "face cloth [Gk soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head" (Jn 20:7), later known as the "Sudarium of Oviedo," and other relics.  That chapel was a Cámara Santa (Holy Chamber), to hold the Arca relics, that had been in the nearby Monastery of San Vicente since 761.

Confirming Yeshua 9nmefry7

c. 820 Stuttgart Psalter On 20 October 2013, a Max Patrick Hamon (presumably this cryptologist) guest-posted on Dan Porter's now closed Shroud of Turin blog a post titled, "An Intriguing 9th Century Image Suggestive of the Shroud – A Guest Posting by Max Patrick Hamon". Hamon asked the question: "Does the Turin Shroud predate more than half-a-millennium at least the radiocarbon date (1325±65 CE)?" and then he answered his own question (my summary with minor changes): 

"A Shroud-like dorsal image of Christ? In 1998-2000, Pr. Heinrich Pfeiffer was the first to draw attention to the ca 800-814 CE Stuttgart Psalter miniature-Turin Shroud dorsal image connection. In a passing comment he just wrote: "... The numerous small wounds resulting from the flogging [on the Shroud] are already to be found ... in a representation of the flogging of Jesus in the Stuttgart Psalter of the early 9th century. The ... miniature clearly shows the whole dorsal image of the Shroud ..."

Could the ca. 800-814 CE Stuttgart Psalter stark naked flogged Christ back view really predate the carbon 14 dating result of 1325 ± 65 calendar years by no less than 510-515 years; more than half a millennium?
... Re the Stuttgart Psalter miniature of the Flogging of Christ-Turin Shroud (TS hereafter) man's dorsal image connection, to the astute observer:

● Both men are stark naked with long flow of hair in the back ...
● Both have arm(s) bound/crossed in front ...
● Both have bloodied furrows/scourged marks in conjunction with two whips with lashes each
fitted with doubled (metal) pellets implying two executioners.
● Both have almost feminine curved left hip & thigh (to be called later “the Byzantine curve”)
● Both are/were tied at tibiofibular level with left leg in front of right leg (TS man accurate
Forensic description: left leg in front of right leg with rope-mark in the tibiofibular fleshes).
● Both show a most unnatural/awkward feet position.
● "Christ is depicted naked from the back, with realistic, bleeding scourge marks, something that is very rare, if not non-existent, in the Middle Ages ..."
● "... the artist accurately depicted a Roman flagrum, of the three-thonged, lead ball tipped, type which made the marks on the Shroud." 
● "... the artist depicted two scourgers, which is not mentioned in the Gospels, but which can be deduced from the pattern of scourge marks on the Shroud"
● "Jesus' feet are at an angle (as the man on the Shroud's appear to be)"
● "Jesus' hands would have been crossed in front of him (his right arm is not visible) at about his groin area as on the Shroud"
● "Jesus has long hair (as has the man on the Shroud)"
All these pieces of evidence piled up into crucial evidence: the bloodied body burial cloth now kept in Turin was already in existence early in the 9th CE. The Stuttgart Psalter miniature Shroudlike Christ does predate the radiocarbon date by no less than half-a-millennium."

Confirming Yeshua Stuttg10

Close-up of the left scourger's, three-thonged, metal ball tipped, Roman flagrum.  Compare its historical accuracy with the flagrum above which is a copy of one excavated from the 18th century the Roman city of Herculaneum which had been buried in the AD 79 eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

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10th century (901-1000)

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King Abgar V (c.25 BC-AD 50) of Edessa is depicted in this 10th century icon at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, receiving the Image of Edessa (the Shroud "four-doubled" - tetradiplon) from Jesus' disciple Thaddeus. Abgar's face is that of Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (r. 913-959), to commemorate the arrival of the Image of Edessa/Shroud in Constantinople on 15 August 944

Is the image of Edessa the shroud of Turin?

Similarities in Iconography: Supporters of the theory that the Shroud of Turin is the Image of Edessa point to similarities in the images depicted on both objects. Both show the face of a bearded man with long hair, and both depict him with wounds consistent with those suffered by Jesus during the crucifixion. Similarities in History: According to some accounts, the Image of Edessa was taken from Edessa to Constantinople in the 10th century, where it was held until the city was sacked during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. It is believed that the Shroud of Turin was in Constantinople at the same time, and it is possible that the two relics could have been confused or mixed up in some way. Consistency with Tradition: Some supporters of the theory argue that it is consistent with the longstanding Christian tradition that the Image of Edessa was a miraculous image of Jesus that was created when he pressed a cloth to his face. They argue that the Shroud of Turin fits this description, and that it is therefore a natural candidate for the true Image of Edessa.

943 In the Spring of 943, Byzantine usurper Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 920–944) sends an army led by his best general, John Curcuas (fl. 915–946), to Edessa to negotiate with its Muslim emir ruler for possession of the Edessa cloth, to add to his collection of Christian relics. In exchange for the Cloth, Curcuas offered on behalf of the Emperor, a guarantee of perpetual immunity of Edessa from Byzantine attack, 12,000 pieces of silver and the release of 200 Muslim prisoners.

944a After lengthy consultations with his superiors in Baghdad, in the Summer of 944, Edessa's emir accepts Curcuas' terms and Bishop Abraham of nearby Samosata, enters Edessa to receive the cloth, and despite the resistance of Edessa's Christians, he is satisfied that he has the original, as well as two copies of the Image and Abgar V's letter from Jesus. After a short stay in Samosata, the bishop travels with the Image, escorted by Curcuas' army across Anatolia back to Constantinople.

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"The surrender of the Holy Mandylion" (the Image of Edessa), one of 574 miniatures, which may be copies of earlier Byzantine images, in the 12th Century "Madrid Skylitzes," which was based on the Synopsis of Histories by John Skylitzes (c. 1040s – aft. 1101). The persons on the left are wearing turbans and the buildings on their side have no Christian crosses, hence they are Muslims. The buildings on the right have Christian crosses, which means that the artist depicted both the Image being handed over by muslims in Edessa and its arrival in Christian Constantinople. Note that behind the face-only Image of Edessa is depicted the full-length Shroud! So by at least the 12th century the Image of Edessa/Mandylion was known to be the full-length Shroud!

944b On Thursday 15 August 944 the Image of Edessa arrives in Constantinople. It is carried in its framed portrait, fastened to a board and embellished with gold, through the streets of the city amidst great celebration. The Image is then taken to the church of St Mary at Blachernae, where it is viewed by members of the imperial family. Romanos I's two sons Stephen and Constantine find the face blurred and cannot distinguish its features (further evidence that this was the Shroud: its image is faint and difficult to see close-up). But the legitimate Emperor, Constantine VII, son of the late Emperor Leo VI (r. 886–912), was artistic and readily discerns them. The Image of Edessa/Shroud is then taken to the Imperial (Boucoleon) Palace where it is placed overnight in the Pharos chapel.

944c The next day, 16 August 944, the Image is carried around the walls of Constantinople, thereby establishing it as the city's new palladium (guarantee of a city's Divine protection). The Image is then taken to Constantinople's Hagia Sophia cathedral, where it is placed on the "throne of mercy". During that enthronement of the Image ceremony, Gregory Referendarius (overseer of relationships between the Patriarch and the Emperor), Archdeacon of Hagia Sophia, an eyewitness of these events, delivers a sermon in which he says that the Cloth bears not only "the sweat from the face of the ruler of life, falling like drops of blood" but also "drops from his own side ... [of] blood and water":

"This reflection, however - may everyone be inspired with the explanation - has been imprinted only by the sweat from the face of the ruler of life, falling like drops of blood, and by the finger of God. For these are indeed the beauties that have coloured the true imprint of Christ, because that from which they dripped was also embellished by drops from his own side. Both are highly instructive - blood and water there, here sweat and image. O equality of happenings, since both have their origin in the same person. The source of living water can be seen and it gives us water, showing us that the origin of the image made by sweat is in fact of the same nature as the origin of that which makes the liquid flow from the side".

By "the sweat from the face of [Christ] ... falling like drops of blood" Gregory refers to Lk 22:44:

"And being in agony he [Jesus] prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

which occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36; Mk 14:32). But the "drops from his own side ... [of] blood and water" refers to Jn 19:33-34 which was after Jesus' death on the cross:

"But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water."

Clearly, the face-only Image of Edessa does not show the blood and fluid-stained spear wound on Jesus' side that is on the Shroud. But Gregory could not have made that reference unless he had been aware of the wound in the side of the image and of bloodstains in the area of that wound, and hence knew that the Cloth was full-length rather than merely a face-cloth. And to know that, Gregory must have seen that under the Image of Edessa face was a full-length, bloodstained, body image of Jesus. This is a further corroboration of Ian Wilson's insight that the Image of Edessa was the Shroud ("four-doubled" - tetradiplon)!

944d In December 944, the co-Emperor sons of Romanos I, Stephen and Constantine, fearing their ~74 year-old father was going to confirm Constantine VII as his successor, forced him to abdicate.

Confirming Yeshua Unname10

 "Coin ... [a gold solidus] minted in 945 under the reign of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII. On the obverse, a bust of Christ similar to the Shroud face image; on the reverse, Constantine VII ... Notice ... the overall similarity of the facial representation with the face on the Shroud ... the left cheek of Christ, that is, the cheek that appears on our right, shows a clear protuberance, which is also on the Shroud. The beard and hair are also similar to the Shroud. Note the very peculiar lock of hair on the forehead. This is similar to the inverted '3' shape as seen on the forehead on the Shroud".

945a On 27 January 945, with the help of his wife, Romanos I's daughter Helena Lekapene (c. 910–961), Constantine VII exiled Stephen and Constantine (Helena's brothers!) and became sole emperor at the age of 39. Within weeks of his accession, Constantine VII had a new gold solidus coin struck, bearing a very Shroud-like Christ 'Rex Regnantium' (King of Kings) portrait, inspired by the recently arrived cloth of Edessa  

945b On 16 August 945, the anniversary of the solemn exposition of the cloth in Hagia Sophia cathedral, Constantine VII proclaimed 16 August as the Feast of the Holy Mandylion in the Eastern Orthodox church calendar, which it continues to celebrate to this very day, even though the Image has been lost to them since 1204!

The area surrounding the face of the crucified of the Shroud appears somewhat lighter. The contrast-enhanced photograph of the Shroud clearly shows a circular area around the face of  Jesus of  Nazareth lighter than the rest of the  Shroud.  Hence the  Shroud has been placed behind a  frame having a  circular aperture and then exposed to light. It seems to have been folded into  8,  and then both sides around the face folded symmetrically on the back, to be placed in a square frame. This folding complies with the text of the Acts of Thaddeus; an apocryphal of the sixth century; it speaks of tetradiplon which means doubled in four. One could imagine that this lighter disc could have given the idea of putting an aureole to Christ and to the saints.  In fact, the lightening of the Shroud itself is barely visible. In addition, it is not surrounded by the dark ring that   appears   in   most aureoles

Confirming Yeshua Sturp_13

945c Soon after becoming sole Emperor, Constantine VII commissioned an official history of the Image of Edessa, the "Narratio de imagine Edessena", or "Story of the Image of Edessa". Indeed it may have been written by Constantine himself! The Story is actually a sermon to be read to Eastern Orthodox congregations on each 16 August Feast of the Holy Mandylion, starting in 946, hence it is also known as the "Festival Sermon". Fastened to a board The Official History states that the Image of Edessa "now to be seen" in Constantinople in 944, had in Edessa been fastened to a board and embellished with gold by Abgar V:

"Abgar ... set up this likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ not made by hand, fastening it to a board and embellishing it with the gold which is now to be seen, inscribing these words on the gold: `Christ the God, he who hopes in thee is never disappointed'".

This fits the hypothesis that the Shroud was folded and mounted in such a way ("four-doubled" - tetradiplon) that only the facial area was visible and accessible, so "every description of the Image of Edessa during the period in question is compatible with a viewing of the Shroud". Two alternative versions of the origin of the image The Official History gives two mutually exclusive versions of the origin of Jesus' image on the cloth. The first version is the traditional explanation since the sixth century, that Jesus washed his face in water, wiped it on a towel, and his likeness was impressed on the towel, which he then gave to Abgar V's servant Ananias, who in turn gave it to Abgar V. The second version is that: 

"... when Christ was about to go voluntarily to death ... he ... pray[ed] ... sweat dropped from him like drops of blood ... he took this piece of cloth which we see now from one of the disciples and wiped off the drops of sweat on it ... the still-visible impression of that divine face was produced. Jesus gave the cloth to Thomas, and instructed him that after Jesus had ascended into heaven, he should send Thaddaeus with it to Abgar ... Thomas gave the divine portrait of Christ's face to Thaddaeus and sent him to Abgar".

That is, the image was formed during Jesus' agony in the Garden of Gethsemane when His "sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Lk 22:44) This second version would be inexplicable unless dripping blood could be seen on the face of the Image of Edessa, as it is on the Shroud face, but which could not be explained by the first version. This second version may be the parent of the tradition of Veronica's veil - or it may be the other way around. Moist secretion The Official History described the Image as "a moist secretion without coloring or painter's art", "it did not consist of earthly colors ... and ... was due to sweat, not pigments". This fits the Shroud image which is extremely faint. It also explains why some thought the Image had been made in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ's face was covered in sweat "like great drops of blood". These "water/sweat details" sound "uncannily like the characteristics of the Shroud's image". 

945d Soon after he became sole Emperor in January 945, Constantine VII commissioned a painting, now at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mt Sinai, depicting Abgar V holding the Edessa cloth, which had been handed to him by Thaddeus. That icon survives as the top right-hand quarter of a diptych. It originally was a triptych with an icon of the Image of Edessa in the centre panel but only the two wings have survived. 

Confirming Yeshua Abgarv10
The Abgar V icon in its surviving diptych context.

958 In a letter of encouragement to his troops campaigning around Tarsus in 958, Constantine VII told them that he was sending them holy water consecrated by relics of the Passion, including, "the sindon [shroud] which God wore". This can only mean that by 958 Constantine VII had seen unfolded the full-length Shroud behind the face of the Image of Edessa. Moreover Constantine made no mention of the Image of Edessa, despite his previous close identification with it. This is the first of several subsequent mentions of a burial sindon or shroud being among the imperial relic collection in Constantinople, with no explanation how it came to be there. The arrival of the Edessa cloth in Constantinople in 944 had been accompanied by a great celebration, so the arrival of the sindon, acknowledged as Jesus' burial shroud, ought to have merited at least the same level of celebration and ceremony, but there is no record of the sindon's arrival in Constantinople! This is inexplicable unless the Edessa cloth and the Shroud are one and the same, more than three centuries before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud!

c. 990 The first known reference to the Edessa Cloth as the "Mandylion" appeared in about the year 990 in a biography of the Greek ascetic, Paul of Latros (c. 880-956), who without ever leaving Mt. Latros (aka Mt Latmus), was granted a vision of "the icon of Christ not made by hands, which is commonly called 'the holy Mandylion'". "Mandylion" originally derived from the Latin word mantile which meant "hand-cloth", and by the tenth century it had been borrowed by several languages including Arabic, Turkish, and Greek as mandil, "handkerchief". The Byzantine Greeks attached to mandil the diminutive suffix -ion as a colloquial name for the Image of Edessa. It was clearly not a descriptive name because the Image of Edessa definitely was not a "little handkerchief "! The existing word "mandylion" was evidently applied by the Byzantines to the Cloth since it was no longer of Edessa but Constantinople. However "mandylion" was not used of the Image by the cloth's official custodians, and in fact the word only appears three times (including the Paul of Latros reference) in the Greek texts of that period.

Vossianus Latinus Q69 

John Long (2013): Vossianus Latinus Q69  is a tract dating to the 10th century that translates a probable 8th-century Syriac text describing the Edessa cloth as containing a whole-body Christ image – was the truth about the icon finally beginning to leak out? Adaptation by author.

[Jesus] spread out his entire body on a linen cloth that was white as snow. On this cloth ... the glorious features of that lordly face, and the majestic form of his whole body were so divinely transferred .... This linen, which until now remains uncorrupted by the passage of time, is kept in Syrian Mesopotamia at the city of Edessa, in a great cathedral (Scavone 1999: 18).

Assuming the original “Oldest Latin Abgar Legend” source to have been an earlier Syriac text, it elevates the Edessa Image’s true nature, one consistent with the Shroud image, to a legitimate possibility. Additionally, elsewhere in some of these tracts (e.g., Vos. Lat. Q69) is the barest suggestion that in some vague way the cloth might have had a connection to Christ’s Passion:

on Easter it used to change its appearance according to different ages: it showed itself in infancy in the first hour of the day, childhood at the third hour, adolescence at the sixth hour, and the fullness of age at the ninth hour, when the Son of God came to His Passion ... and ... cross (Scavone 1999: 5).

A wounded, bloodied, whole-body image such as on the Shroud that was slowly raised from its chest during a day long Easter ritual might explain this strange passage, and has suggested itself to a few Shroud scholars. But only additional evidence, hopefully from eyewitnesses, could clarify these mysteries. By later in the 10th century more such witnesses emerge who provide that clarification.

In addition to describing the Edessa Icon as containing a full-body image, Vos. Lat. Q69 also briefly refers to a mysterious Easter ceremony in which the Image changed throughout the day to depict Christ in his Passion – what was occurring in this ritual? Adaptation by author.

Confirming Yeshua Images10

Constantinople and its empire endured periods of decline and resurgence like most great states. In the early 7th century Emperor Herakleios had just restored Byzantium by a series of military victories when militant Islam undid some of his successes, including placing Edessa under Moslem control in 639. After enduring two Arab sieges of Constantinople and making a modest recovery, the empire was wracked in parts of the 8th and 9th centuries by serious internal strife, iconoclasm (“image breaking”). Iconodules venerated religious pictures, while iconoclasts were opposed to the practice, often supported by the emperor’s police powers. Many thousands suffered injury or banishment and much of the empire’s religious art destroyed. Iconodules eventually triumphed in 843 and, once again, the pictures of saints adorned homes, churches, and monasteries. The imperial family played an important role in Byzantine religious life and welcomed the prestige major icons and relics would bring. To celebrate 100 years of the “Triumph of Orthodoxy” the aging Byzantine emperor, Romanus Lacapenus, dispatched an army in 943 to wrench the famous Image from Edessan hands. As Moslem martial resources were in decline, no serious opposition prevented a Byzantine siege and a likely fall of the city. Although Islam was also iconoclastic, Moslem rulers enjoyed the fame and prosperity pilgrims brought to a city in possession of so great an attraction. But in 944 the city’s emir accepted a Byzantine offer of money, freed prisoners, and exemption from further attack in exchange for the Image. The Christian population resisted and tried to pass off two copies before a bishop from a nearby city, visiting with the Byzantines and acquainted with the original, made the correct identification. Even then an Edessan crowd followed the withdrawing Byzantines protesting the robbery. Wilson tells the above story (1979: 147 – 150), leaving the reader to wonder how this mysterious object could generate such intense devotion and sacrifice.

The Empire of the Eastern Christians was near its height in 944. Its capital, Constantinople (renamed from the earlier Greek City of Byzantium), was easily the greatest in Europe:

In the Middle Ages Constantinople lay at the eastern end of Europe like a remote fairy-tale palace in a wilderness of hovels. As a center of art, culture, and commerce it was unrivaled, having preserved intact all the knowledge and experience of the old Roman Empire. Trade poured into it from all quarters. Its palaces, churches, and shrines were the envy of the world (Wilson 1979: 151).

10th century Constantinople was the greatest city in Europe and the seat of the Orthodox Christian world. In 944 the Great City received the most renowned Christ picture into their relic treasury, the Holy Image of Edessa. From that time almost all Orthodox churches included a representation of it on the walls among their church art. December 1983 National Geographic.

It was to the Church of St. Mary Blachernae in the city’s northwest corner that the Image was first brought in the evening of August 15, 944. After celebrating the Mass for the Assumption of the Virgin (on the Orthodox calendar for that date), a small group of very privileged clergy and nobility anxiously waited to preview the most famous picture in all Christendom. This event, either that night or another a day or two later, was captured by a small painted miniature, one of originally more than 600 done in the 12th or 13th century to illustrate a history by the Greek John Skylitzes. It shows the old emperor embracing a clearly visible, typical Jesus face on a cloth stretched in its picture frame housing; a long cloth adjacent to the Image might be the artist’s attempt to signal that the cloth was really very large, or a separate handling cloth used to protect precious objects (Crispino 1992). However, there is a major mistake made by this later artist: Jesus face did not look like the artist’s clearly depicted rendition. The 10th-century writer Symenon Magister reported that the emperor’s two ruffian sons, who were in attendance, “could see nothing but a [faint] face” but their brother-in-law, and soon future emperor Constantine VII (and an artist himself), could discern various facial features (Scavone 1989a: 86). They obviously were having difficulty interpreting the image. These kinds of tenuous observations would be expected if what the assembled nobility, who were familiar with the best art in Christendom, actually viewed was a blurry image like on the Shroud. The following day it was welcomed officially into the city as the metropolis’ new palladium with, in the words of a contemporary history, “high psalmody, hymns ... and boundless light from torches” among “a procession of the whole people.” That history continued:

It is impossible to describe in words all the weeping for joy and the intercession, prayers, and thanksgivings to God from the whole city as the divine image ... passed through the midst of the city (Wilson 1979: 152).

Soon after the Edessa Image arrived in Constantinople in August, 944 Emperor Romanus, sons and entourage had a private showing. Although this picture (made perhaps two hundred years later) depicts a clearly imprinted Jesus face on the cloth, one contemporary writer recorded difficulties viewers had in perceiving the face. The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, No. 237 (March 1991):

Wilson knew that during the tumultuous August 16th celebration the Holy Image was placed on the Mercy Seat in Hagia Sophia, the most prominent church in Constantinople. Afterwards it found a resting place in the secret Pharos Chapel, a depository for precious treasures inside the emperor’s Great Palace. What he did not know in 1978 was that about that same time another special viewing was held, again probably for only the privileged. Almost forgotten by researchers, an 11th century copy of a sermon preached on that occasion was discovered by Shroud sleuth Gino Zaninotto in 1986. The speaker was an important cleric and archdeacon of Hagia Sophia, a priest named Gregory, and he may have been in charge of the Icon’s reception in Constantinople (Scavone 1999: 3–4). In his sermon Gregory reveals that “we went to Edessa [probably accompanying the army] ... hoping to find in the manuscripts there what [1st century King] Abgar had done. And we found a great number of manuscripts written in the Syriac language, from which we copied what was asked of us and translated it into Greek” (all translations of Gregory’s sermon in this paragraph by Mark Guscin 2004). There Gregory learned that the Image was not produced during Christ’s ministry, “But Jesus, undergoing the passion ... taking this linen cloth he wiped the sweat that was falling down his face like drops of blood in his agony.” As he lectured the Image was almost certainly visible to his audience, and possibly more unveiled than on any other known public occasion. At one point Gregory informs his listeners:

This reflection [Jesus’ image] ... has been imprinted only by the sweat from the face [of Jesus], falling like drops of blood, and by the finger of God. For these are the beauties that have made up the true imprint of Christ, since after the drops fell, it was embellished by drops from his own side. Both are highly instructive – blood and water there, here sweat and image.

Gregory continues later “... the origin of the image made by sweat is in fact of the same nature as the origin of that which makes the liquid flow from his side.” The import of these observations is clear. Once again we hear of “sweat,” an attempt to describe a color and texture unusual to Gregory and his audience. But now there appears to be blood to be seen on the Image, and causes Gregory to reflect on the blood and water the Gospels report flowed out of Jesus’ side when lanced on the cross. A simple English translation of this portion of the sermon makes it appear that the archdeacon is pointing to a side wound (“blood and water there”) on the Image for his audience. When this document was noticed by Shroud researchers twenty-five years ago this was the opinion of many. But recent scholarship understands that the Greek construction only has Gregory thinking back to the side wound on Christ in the Gospel narratives and not seeing such a wound on the Image (Guscin 2009: 208). While this interpretation may be correct, a soon-to-appear new relic in 958 raises the possibility that the Image may still have carried a side wound, seen or not. Nevertheless, Gregory is a close up, eyewitness to an Image connected to Jesus’ Passion, moving nearer to a Shroud identification. 9

11th century (1001-1100).

Confirming Yeshua Scenes10
"Scenes from the Passion of Christ". During the period 900-1200, ivories were produced all over Europe, often in monasteries and ecclesiastical or royal courts. Ivory carvings appeared on book covers, reliquary caskets, antependia (the panel in front of an altar) and religious icons. The plaque is the biggest ivory panel of the Middle Byzantine period recorded, and is comparable in size to conuslar diptychs.

Part of a larger carved ivory panel in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Note that Jesus' arms are crossed awkwardly at the wrists, right over left, over His loins, exactly as they are on the Shroud. And Jesus is lying on a double-length cloth which has a repeating pattern of Xs similar to those in icons of the Image of Edessa (i.e. the Shroud "doubled in four" = tetradiplon) and hinting at the Shroud's herringbone weave. Yet this is a late 11th/early 12th century Byzantine icon, an early example of the genre which the Byzantine Greeks called Threnos, or Lamentation, the main feature of which is Jesus wrapped in a large cloth compatible with today's Turin Shroud. This alone is proof beyond reasonable doubt that the Shroud already existed more than a century before the earliest 1260 radiocarbon date of the Shroud!

Late eleventh/early twelfth century Byzantine ivory of the threnos (Greek for lamentation)  scenes of Jesus. This is an example of a dramatic change in depictions of Jesus' burial which began about the beginning of the eleventh century. Before the eleventh century Jesus had been traditionally depicted as being buried wrapped in linen strips like an Egyptian mummy. But from the early eleventh century, in threnos (lamentation) burial scenes, Jesus' began to be be depicted lying full-length in front of the Cross as the central figure and His body about to be enveloped in a double full-length white shroud. In these depictions Jesus' right hand is crossed over the left at the wrists as it is on the Shroud. This sudden new artistic development coincides with the discovery after the Image of Edessa arrived in Constantinople in 944 that behind its face panel was the full-length Shroud "doubled in four" (tetradiplon)[99].

1092 A letter dated 1092 purporting to be from the Byzantine Emperor I Komnenos (r. 1081 to 1118) (aka Alexius I Comnenus) to Robert II of Flanders (c.1065- 1111)[100]. In the letter the Emperor appealed for help to prevent Constantinople falling into the hands of the pagans. The letter listed the relics "of the Lord" in Constantinople including, "the linen cloths [linteamina] found in the sepulchre after his Resurrection". Although historians regard the letter as a forgery, it may not be, since Robert had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1086 and had spent some time with Alexius I in Constantinople, and there is no reason why the two had not remained in touch. Besides, even if Alexius I did not write the letter, this need not invalidate its description of the relics which were then in the imperial collection. 

12th century (1) (1101-1150).

Jacques de Molay (c.1243–1314) and Geoffroi de Charney (c.1240–1314), were burned at the stake for recanting their confessions extracted under torture and proclaiming their, and the Templar Order's, innocence of the false charges brought by King Philip IV.  Geoffroi de Charney was the great-uncle of Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300–1356), the first undisputed owner of the Shroud. Pro-authenticist historian Ian Wilson theorised that the Templars acquired the Shroud after it was looted from Constantinople in 1204 by soldiers of the Fourth Crusade, and took it to their fortress at Acre. Then after the Fall of Acre in 1291 the Templars took the Shroud to France and hid it in their network of fortresses and castles. 

1140a "The Song of the Voyage of Charlemagne to Jerusalem" (known by es in French, including "Chanson du Voyage de Charlemagne à Jerusalem", or "Le Pèlerinage de Charlemagne"), is an Old French epic poem about a fictional expedition by Emperor Charlemagne the Great (c.742-814) and his knights, composed around 1140. Although imaginary it bears historical testimony to the existence of the Shroud at the time, in that it reflects the accounts then given by pilgrims. In it the Emperor asks the Patriarch of Jerusalem if he has any relics to show him, and the Patriarch replies:

"I shall show you such relics that there are not better under the sky: of the Shroud of Jesus which He had on His head, when He was laid and stretched in the tomb ...".

While this contains an inaccuracy in that the Shroud was not in Jerusalem in Charlemagne's time (c.742-814) but continuously in Edessa from 544 to 944 and.  So The Voyage of Charlemagne evidently reflects genuine but mistaken pilgrims' reports of a shroud in Jerusalem in the Early Middle Ages. The word for "Shroud" in The Voyage of Charlemagne is the Old French equivalent of "sindon", the Greek word, used in the Gospels for Jesus' burial shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53). Moreover this Old French word (presumably sydoines) is the same word used by crusader Robert de Clari (1170-1216) of the shroud with "the figure of Our Lord on it" that he saw ~63 years later in Constantinople in 1203. So this is evidence that in 1140, over a century before the earliest, 1260, radiocarbon date of the Shroud, it was common knowledge that the burial shroud of Jesus existed, upon which He had been laid stretched out in the tomb, and which had then covered His head!

1192-5 The Hungarian Pray Manuscript, or Codex, is dated 1192-95. The Codex was compiled at the ancient Benedictine monastery at Boldva, Hungary. Hungary was then ruled by King Bela III (r.1172–1196), who had spent six years (1163–1169) as a young man in the imperial court at Constantinople. Two pen and ink drawings on one page of the Codex, one above the other (see above), document the existence of the Shroud in the late twelfth century. The upper drawing is a depiction of Jesus' body being prepared for burial. Correspondences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud include: 1. Jesus is nude; 2. His hands are crossed awkwardly at the wrists, right over left (as it appears on the Shroud), covering His genitals; 3. No thumbs are visible on Jesus' hands; 4. His hands and fingers are unnaturally long; 5. Jesus is about to be wrapped in a double body length shroud and 6. Red marks on Jesus' scalp and forehead are in the same position as the bloodstains (including the "reversed 3") on the Shroud. In the lower drawing an angel is showing three women disciples Jesus' empty tomb symbolised by a sarcophagus with an open lid. Correspondences between this lower drawing and the Shroud include: 7. The sarcophagus lid has a herringbone weave pattern; 8. Red zigzags match the inverted V-shaped blood trickles down the Shroud man's arms and 9. L-shaped patterns of tiny circles in the herringbone weave of the sarcophagus lid match the `poker holes' on the Shroud. Thomas de Wesselow, an agnostic art historian concludes:

Confirming Yeshua PokerHoles

Confirming Yeshua HolesInPrayCodex

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"We have now identified eight [there are at least nine - see above] telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on a single page of the Pray Codex ... It is inconceivable that all these detailed links with the Shroud, several of which are found nowhere else, could have occurred on a single manuscript page by chance. The only reasonable conclusion is that the artist of the Pray Codex was aware of the Shroud. The Shroud existed and was already damaged, then, by 1192-5, when the illustrations in the Pray Codex were drawn. Given the close links at the time between Hungary and Byzantium, it can hardly be doubted that the artist saw the relic in Constantinople. The Shroud was the Byzantine Sindon."!

Confirming Yeshua Scenes11

"The Codex Pray, Pray Codex or The Hungarian Pray Manuscript is a collection of medieval manuscripts. In 1813 it was named after György Pray, who discovered it in 1770. It is the first known example of continuous prose text in Hungarian. The Codex is kept in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest. One of the most prominent documents within the Codex (f. 154a) is the Funeral Sermon and Prayer ... It is an old handwritten Hungarian text dating to 1192-95. Its importance of the Funeral Sermon comes from that it is the oldest surviving Hungarian, and Uralic, text ... One of the five illustrations within the Codex shows the burial of Jesus. It is sometimes claimed that the display shows remarkable similarities with the Shroud of Turin: that Jesus is shown entirely naked with the arms on the pelvisjust like in the body image of the Shroud of Turin; that the thumbs on this image appear to be retracted, with only four fingers visible on each hand, thus matching detail on the Turin Shroud; that the supposed fabric shows a herringbone patternidentical to the weaving pattern of the Shroud of Turin; and that the four tiny circles on the lower image, which appear to form a letter L, `perfectly reproduce four apparent "poker holes" on the Turin Shroud', which likewise appear to form a letter L. The Codex Pray illustration may serve as evidence for the existence of the Shroud of Turin prior to 1260–1390 AD, the alleged fabrication date established in the radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin in 1988".

13th century (1201-1300).

1207 Nicholas (or Nikolaos) of Otranto (c. 1155-1235), was the Abbot of Casole monastery in southern Italy. In 1205 Nicholas accompanied as his interpreter a new Papal legate, Benedict of St Susanna, through Greece to Constantinople. In a 1207 letter, Nicholas wrote:

"When the city [Constantinople] was captured by the French knights, entering as thieves, even in the treasury of the Great Place where the holy objects were placed, they found among other things the precious wood, the crown of thorns, the sandals of the Saviour, the nail, and the spargana which we saw with our own eyes".

The Greek word spargana usually denotes the swaddling clothes of an infant (e.g. Lk 2:7,12), but it generally means "to swathe, to wrap" (e.g. Job 38:9 LXX), so it is also used of burial linen wrappings, and since Nicholas is listing relics of the Passion, he must mean burial linens. Nicholas does not say where he had seen the spargana, but in 1206 he and Benedict had traveled through Thessalonica and Athens, so his claim that "we saw with our own eyes" (plural) Jesus' burial linens would more likely apply to Nicholas and Benedict seeing the Shroud recently in Athens rather than Nicholas only seeing them years before in Constantinople.

The first undisputed appearance of the Shroud was at Lirey, France in c.1355, meaning that anti-authenticists don't dispute it, is not the same as being "the first documented mention of the Shroud." Because in 1207 there is a historical record of what can only be the Shroud in Constantinople in 1201:

"In 1207, after the sack of Constantinople in 1204, Nicholas Mesarites, keeper of the Emperor's relics in the Pharos Chapel, Constantinople, recalled that in 1201, in that chapel, was `the sindon [which] wrapped the mysterious, naked dead body [of Christ] after the Passion' (my emphasis). The Greek word variously translated `mysterious', `indefinable' and `uncircumscribed', is aperilepton, which literally means `un-outlined' or `outlineless'. The Shroud-image uniquely has no outline, so there could be no stronger proof that the Shroud in Constantinople is that of Lirey, Chambéry and Turin!"

This is objective, historical evidence that the Shroud existed in Constantinople in 1201, over a century and a half (154 years) before it was exhibited at Lirey in c. 1355! And 59 years before the earliest possible radiocarbon date of 1260! Irrespective of whether anti-authenticists accept it!

Last edited by Otangelo on Wed Mar 08, 2023 6:07 pm; edited 23 times in total




Recent scientific discoveries of the Shroud

1898: The Shroud was photographed for the first time. These first pictures led to the discovery that the image on the cloth is actually a negative. The image becomes positive in a photographic negative. This discovery startled the scientific community and stimulated worldwide interest.

1931: Guisseppe Enrie photographed the Shroud again with more advanced film technology confirming that the Shroud is indeed a negative image. Copies of Enrie's photos were circulated throughout the world prompting more scientific inquiry and interest. 

1950: Dr. Pierre Barbet, a prominent French Surgeon, published A Doctor at Calvary documenting 15 years of medical research on the Shroud image. He described the physiology and pathology of the man on the Shroud as "anatomically perfect". 

1973: Max Frei, a noted Swiss criminologist, was given permission to take dust samples from the Shroud that contained much pollen. He discovered 22 pollen species from plants that are unique to areas around Constantinople and Edessa, and 7 pollen species from plants common only in Israel. The pollen trail appears to corroborate the historical trail. 

1975: Air Force scientists John Jackson and Eric Jumper, using a VP-8 Image Analyzer designed for the space program, discovered the Shroud image contained encoded 3-D data not found in ordinary reflected light photographs. This discovery indicated that the cloth must have wrapped a real human figure at the time the image was formed. 

1978: The Shroud was on public exhibit for the first time since 1933 and was displayed for six weeks. At the close of the exhibition, 24 scientists comprising the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) analyzed the Shroud for five continuous days (122 hours) working in shifts around the clock. 

1980: National Geographic magazine published a landmark article on the Shroud further propelling the cloth into the science limelight calling it "One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times". 

1980: This same year, microscopist Walter McCrone who was not part of the Shroud Project was given several fibers to analyze. After finding iron oxide particles and a single particle of vermilion paint, he broke ranks with the Shroud scientists who had agreed to make all findings public the following year. McCrone proposed that the Shroud was a painting of red ochre paint created from iron oxide particles suspended in a thin binder solution. However McCrone's findings in no way agreed with any of the highly sophisticated tests conducted by two dozen other scientists. His claims have all been dismissed. It turns out the iron oxide is a natural result of soaking the linen for days (retting) where iron ions from the water attach to the fibers and oxidize. The particles are randomly distributed over the entire cloth. 

1981: After three years analyzing the data The Shroud of Turn Research Project (STURP) made their findings public at an international conference in New London, CT. All the scientists agreed upon the following statement: "We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and give a positive test for serum albumin." 

1988: The Shroud was carbon dated by three laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona. They indicated a date range from between 1260 to 1390 indicating the cloth to be only about 700 years old. This earth shattering news seemed to contradict the conclusions of STURP that gave support to the Shroud's possible authenticity. 

1997: Avinoam Danin, prominent Israeli Botanist and a professor at Hebrew University confirmed the presence of flower images on the Shroud. He verified 28 different pollen species and/or plant images. Many are from plants that grow only around Jerusalem. 

2002: The Shroud was restored to remove charred debris from the fire of 1532 to aid in the cloth’s preservation. All the burns and patches from the 1532 fire were removed. The shroud was attached to a new backing cloth as well.

2004: Textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, revealed that the stitching of a seam on the Shroud that runs the entire length known as the side strip is typical of Jewish burial shrouds found in Masada, Israel.

2004: Chemical research on image fibers offers clues as to how the image was formed. The entire cloth is covered with a razor thin layer of carbohydrates that adhered to the linen after being soaked in a soap weed detergent as part of an ancient manufacturing process. Something has interacted with this carbo-layer resulting in a discoloration of the cloth near or in direct contact with the body and is what causes the image to be visible on the cloth. 

2005: Thermal Chemist, Ray Rogers, followed up on new spectroscopic data showing the material of the corner cut for carbon dating may be different from the rest of the Shroud. He obtained thread samples from the C-14 corner and thread samples from the interior of the Shroud. Additional micro-chemical and spectroscopic tests showed the samples were not the same. Results published in a peer-reviewed journal confirmed initial concerns. The sample cut for C-14 dating appears to be from a medieval reweave instead of the original shroud.

"The radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.” 

The carbon labs violated the original sampling protocol. Three different samples were to be cut; instead only one sample was used. Ignoring caution from archaeologists, they cut the sample from the most handled area of the cloth, the outside corner edge exactly where it had been grabbed and held by Church authorities for numerous public exhibitions. It was an area that had the most potential for contamination, damage and repair.

2011: European researchers with the ENEA were able replicate the depth and coloration of the Shroud image using a 40 nanosecond burst from an UV excimer laser. This is the first time any aspect of the image has been reproduced using light. 

2013: Researchers with Padua University in Italy, using multiple samples from other linens of a known age ranging from the current era to 3000 BC, were able to develop a predictable rate of chemical and mechanical decay. Comparing fibers from the Shroud, they determined an estimated date range of 280 BC to 220 AD.10

1. Joseph G. Marino: If an Artist Created the Shroud of Turin: Some Specific March 13, 2022
2. Stephen E. Jones: The man on the Shroud: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is Jesus' burial sheet!
3. The Mystery Man Exhibition
4. Pierre Barbet : A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ As Described by a Surgeon  1950


Overwhelming cumulative evidence substantiates that the  Shroud of Turin is authentic!

Mark Niyr (2020): The Shroud has now withstood over forty years of international scientific scrutiny, and this is where we’re at. If the sum of all scientific knowledge that exists in the world today, combined with all the modern‐day technology available in the world today, and if after more than four decades of exhaustive scientific research it is still impossible for scientists to reproduce an image with all the characteristics found on the Shroud—how then could a medieval artist from the 1300s accomplish this? 1

Body image is very superficial

Stephen E. Jones (2015): The Shroud image occurs only on the top surface fibrils on the crowns of the linen fibers. The image cannot be seen on the reverse side of the cloth. It is a surface phenomenon with no penetration of the image into the sub-surface fibers.  the body image is extremely superficial, being only one fibre deep. Indeed scientists using the facilities of National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) in Frascati, Italy measured the thickness of the image and found it was that of "the primary cell wall" of a "single linen fiber" which is about "one fifth of a thousandth of a millimeter" (0.0002 mm):

"... the image ... is extremely thin, around 200 nm = 200 billionths of a meter, or one fifth of a thousandth of a millimeter, which corresponds to the thickness of the primary cell wall of the so-called single linen fiber. We recall that a single linen thread is made up of about 200 fibrils."

The Vaporograph Theory was proposed by Paul Vignon (1865-1943), that ammonia gases from residual sweat on Jesus' dead body had reacted with the spices (assumed to be myrrh and aloes) that had been bound by strips of linen to the body of Jesus (Jn 19:40) and had stained the linen with its imprint. But in addition to its other problems, ammonia vapours would permeate the cloth and would not imprint an image only on the surface fibrils.
The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and carbohydrates. It is what causes the browning of food in cooking. STURP chemist Ray Rogers (1927–2005) proposed the theory that the image on the Shroud was the result of a Maillard reaction between a carbohydrate, Saponaria officinalis, or soapwort, which was used by the ancients in the production of linen, and both ammonia and amino acids which were given off by Jesus' (supposedly) decomposing body. However, in addition to the other problems of Rogers' Maillard reaction theory (including that there is no evidence of decomposition on the Shroud man's body), Rogers' admitted that the extreme superficiality of the Shroud image, "the discontinuous distribution of the color on the topmost parts of the weave," was a "perplexing" problem for his theory. That is because, as the agnostic Thomas de Wesselow, a proponent of Rogers' theory, acknowledges, the Maillard reaction theory is an update of Vignon's vaporograph theory, with its same ammonia gas permeation problems, which de Wesselow (perhaps not realising it) concedes. In 2013 Barrie Schwortz experimentally tested Rogers' Maillard reaction theory on a decomposing pig but the theory failed the test!!

"Dr Jackson proposed the hypothesis that, at the time that the image on the Shroud was formed, the cloth collapsed into and through the underlying structure of the body in the Shroud. He did admit that, as a physicist, he had his own difficulties with this concept. Based on his observations of the image he further proposed that, as the body became mechanically transparent to its physical surroundings, it emitted radiation from all points within and on the surface of the body. This radiation interacted with the cloth as it fell into the mechanically transparent body, forming the body image. He also suggested that the radiation would have had to have been strongly absorbed in air. This, he suggested, could have been electromagnetic radiation in the shortwave ultraviolet region of the spectrum, which would have caused a chemical alteration of the cellulose in the cloth fibres."

"According to Jackson, this hypothesis would explain each of the image characteristics of the Shroud. Because radiation effects on the cloth cannot begin until it intersects with the body surface, one-to-one mapping between a given point on the body with a point on the cloth is achieved; in other words, the image is well resolved. As the cloth enters the body region, the fibrils on the surfaces of the cloth receive a greater dose of radiation than those inside, leading to a superficial body image. Also as the cloth collapses, internal stresses cause it to bulge away from the sides of the body and at the top of the head; hence, no image. is visible there. The effect of the radiation thus described would explain the chemical nature of the image. The blood, however, would have been transferred naturally to the Shroud by direct contact, during the initial draping of the body covered with blood. Finally, as the Shroud collapses into the body region, each cloth point falls vertically downwards, explaining why the image features tend to align vertically over their corresponding body part".

The image is a photo negative

The negative of Secondo Pia's full-length photograph of the Shroud [provided by Barrie Schwortz] taken in Turin Cathedral on the evening of 28 May 1898 during the 1898 Exposition. That this is a true negative is evident in that the black burnt areas from the 1532 fire are white and the white patches applied in the 1534 repair. And yet the Shroud man's image in Pia's photograph is a positive, which means that the image is a photographic negative! 

In 1898 Secondo Pia took the first official photograph of the Shroud. 

During the 1898 Exposition of the Shroud from 25 May to 2 June, Turin lawyer, city councillor and amateur but expert photographer, Secondo Pia (1855–1941), photographed the Shroud. Pia's first attempt to photograph the Shroud on 25 May was only partially successful. But he "managed two exposures and although they were less than perfect, already evident on these negatives was a rather strange effect".

"On the evening of 28 May he [Pia] returned to the cathedral and tried again. This time his equipment worked perfectly. Having exposed four photographic plates, he returned to his studio around midnight and began the process of developing them. What Pia saw that night in his darkroom astounded him. For, as the image on the negative plate took shape before his eyes, he found himself staring not at a confusing array of lights and darks, the usual effect of a photographic negative, but at a coherent likeness of a crucified man. Instead of the flat, enigmatic image seen on the cloth, the negative plate gave the impression of a substantial figure emerging from the background, a figure that looked like a real human body lit from in front ... Instead of the glaring mask of the Shroud, the negative revealed a remarkably convincing, three-dimensional image of man's face, his eyelids closed ... It was as if the Shroud itself was a photographic negative that could be developed into a breathtaking, positive image of the crucified Jesus. `Shut up in my darkroom,' Pia later recalled, 'all intent on my work, I experienced a very strong emotion when, during the development, I saw for the first time the Holy Face appear on the plate, with such clarity that I was dumbfounded by it...".

 Secondo Pia's 1898 negative photograph of the Shroud face. Note that the bloodstains, which are dark red on the Shroud as one looks at it, being white on this negative, proves that the blood is not part of the image.

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The Shroud body image seen with the unaided eye is itself a photographic negative that becomes a photographic positive image only when photographed. On Pia's and Solaro's negatives the bloodstains appear as white blotches, the camera therefore does record a negative image of these positive stains, which means that on the Shroud the bloodstains are not an image of blood, but the remains of blood.

The general public became aware of the Shroud. 

The Shroud had become an obscure relic by 1898, its owners the House of Savoy having before 1898 publicly exhibited it only five times in the nineteenth century, in 1814, 1815, 1822, 1842 and 1868. But Pia's photographs made the Shroud famous. The realization that the Shroud contained a negative image was shocking not only to Pia but to the owner of the Shroud, King Victor-Emmanuel III (1869–1947) and his advisors. They agreed that no public announcement should be made until they had considered the implications, but the news soon leaked out anyway. Newspapers around the world announced Pia's exciting discovery and the reading public was tantalized by the description of the mysterious, if not miraculous, nature of the Shroud's image. However, no newspaper published Pia's photographs in 1898-99, as photographs had not yet begun to appear in that medium. Only two magazines carried Pia's photographs, but one was a very poor reproduction of the full-length Shroud and the other was only of the face. Nevertheless as newspapers and journals around the world began to publish Pia's photographs, a better understanding of his discovery and the Shroud gradually spread.

Beginning of scientific study of the Shroud. 

The Shroud entered the field of science on 28 May 1898, when Secondo Pia found that the image of the man on the Shroud was a photographic negative. Indeed it was not until the advent of photography in the 19th century that scientific study of the Shroud could begin. Pia's photographing the Shroud was the first scientific experiment on the Shroud without him realising it. The clarity of detail in Pia's negative photographs of the Shroud enabled it to be an object of serious scientific study for the first time. Scientific interest was aroused by the fact that Secondo Pia's photographic negative of the body showed details more clearly and gave a more natural appearance than the visually observed image on the cloth. Medical experts studied Pia's photographs and discovered that the image on the Shroud contained a degree of anatomical detail that far surpassed the medical knowledge of the fourteenth century. As the Shroud's known history from the mid-1350s predated by over 400 years the invention of photography in the 1820s, this observation stimulated scientific inquiry. In 1900, Yves Delage (1854–1920), an agnostic professor of anatomy at the Sorbonne and a director of the Museum of Natural History, showed his assistant, Paul Vignon (1865-1943), a Roman Catholic, the Pia photographs and encouraged him to begin a scientific investigation of the Shroud. From 1900 to 1902, Vignon and Delage, assisted by other scientists, undertook their investigation, based solely on Pia's Shroud photographs. In 1902 Delage reported to the French Academy of Science their findings which concluded that, "The man of the shroud was the Christ"!

Sceptics attacked Pia and his photograph 

Scholars were also forced to take notice of Pia's photographs. Those scholars who were opposed to the Shroud's authenticity accused Pia of having forged his photographs or dismissed it as a a hoax. Even the evidence of Solaro's negative photograph of the Shroud was not sufficient to convince those who didn't want the Shroud to be authentic. Doubts were expressed about Pia's amateur status as a photographer. In an age when most were still ignorant of photography, some claimed that Pia's photographic plate had been 'over-exposed'; others that it had been made by `transparency' with the light source behind the cloth. But as Pia pointed out, the Shroud had a red silk backing sewn on to it (in 1868 by Princess Clotilde of Savoy (1843–1911)), which had not been removed and would have prevented any transparency.

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In 1899, in response to Pia's photographs, a Roman Catholic historian, Ulysse Chevalier (1841–1923), published his edition of a memorandum purportedly written c.1389 by a Bishop of Troyes Pierre d'Arcis (r. 1377-1395), which claimed that one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–1370) had in c. 1355 investigated and discovered that the Shroud had been "cunningly painted" and had even obtained the confession of "the artist who had painted it". But in this Chevalier was guilty of "intellectual dishonesty" in that he failed to disclose that the d'Arcis memorandum was an unsigned, undated, unaddressed, draft. And what's more Chevalier committed academic fraud in that he had without disclosing it, combined two documents and had added a date of "1389" and an address to Pope Clement VII (r. 1342-94) on the new combined document. Moreover there is no evidence for (and much evidence against) that Bishop de Poitiers conducted an investigation into, or had a problem with, the Shroud. The final refutation of the d'Arcis memorandum is that the Shroud image is not painted! Chevalier's attack on the authenticity of the Shroud was taken up in England by Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856–1939), who translated Bishop d'Arcis memorandum from the Latin into English. Thurston therefore must have known that Chevalier was guilty of dishonesty and fraud regarding the d'Arcis memorandum but covered it up and therefore Thurston was also guilty of being an accessory to Chevalier's dishonesty and fraud. And just as the d'Arcis memorandum was wrong about the Shroud being a painting, so were Chevalier and Thurston also wrong about that, which was the basis of their entire argument! Chevalier did present one item of non-literary evidence against Pia's photographs, an opinion by a friend, amateur photographer Hippolyte Chopin. But Dorothy Crispino (1916-2014) called Chopin's 1900 letter of reply to Chevalier a "dizzy juggling of positive-negative," "a photographer's nightmare" and a "pretentious muddle"! Vignon summarised Chopin's argument into two parts. First, "under certain conditions ... [photographic] plates may give direct positives," but as Vignon pointed out, "Such exceptional conditions were not present, since M. Pia's plate is really a negative"(see above Pia's photograph where the black burn marks on the Shroud are white and the white repair patches are black). Second, "although a plate may be generally negative, certain parts of it may not be perfectly so, owing to the effect of color — yellow, for instance, often comes out black". But as Vignon pointed out, "The argument is only tenable if parts of the object are many coloured, which is not the case here".

Confirmed in 1931 by Giuseppe Enrie 

Despite what we now know was the weakness and indeed fraudulence of the Chevalier-Thurston arguments against Pia's photographs, it was they who prevailed in scholarly and public opinion. Chevalier was even awarded in 1901 a gold medal of 1,000 francs by the Academie des Inscriptions with a censure against any future attempt to impose upon the credulity of the faithful by a fraudulent misrepresentation! In 1912 Thurston wrote an article against the Shroud for the Catholic Encyclopedia and for the next three decades few Roman Catholics and even fewer Christians of other denominations, believed in the authenticity of the Shroud. Then, after 33 years the Shroud  exhibited in 1931 for 21 days from 4 to 24 May in Turin cathedral. The exposition was to mark the wedding on 8 January 1930 of the Crown Prince and later King of Italy, Umberto II (1904–83) and Princess Marie Jose of Belgium (1906– 2001). A Turin professional photographer, Giuseppe Enrie (1886-1961), was commissioned by the Shroud's owner, King Victor-Emmanuel III (1869–1947) to take a new definitive set of black-and-white photographs of the Shroud. They were to confirm (or otherwise) the results Pia had obtained over 30 years previously and to improve on them given the technical advances in photography over that time. Enrie was one of the foremost photographers in Italy, the editor of Vita Photographica ltaliana and owner of a studio and laboratory in Turin. On the night of 3 May 1931, Enrie took twelve photographs of the Shroud: four of the whole Shroud, three of sections of the image, the whole dorsal image, the face and chest, the face two-thirds size; the face full-size and the nail wound in the left wrist enlarged sevenfold. Enrie's camera had large glass photographic plates with filters designed to enhance image details. Princess Clotilde had insisted that there be a glass screen between Pia's camera and the Shroud but there was nothing between the Shroud and Enrie's camera. Enrie's photographs turned out to be of excellent quality and far superior to Pia's. 

Confirming Yeshua Erie_s10

Enrie's photographs and many others taken by visitors to the 1931 exposition, proved that the Shroud image is a photographic negative (compare Pia's full-length negative with Enrie's) and disproved anti-authenticists' accusations of fraud and a hoax against Pia. To prevent any accusation of fraud against Enrie, as had been made against Pia, Enrie developed his photographs immediately in a dark-room set up in the sacristy of the cathedral. Also Enrie took and developed his photographs in the presence of many witnesses, among whom were Prince Umberto II, Paul Vignon and Secondo Pia aged 76! In addition, Enrie had invited five professional photographers to attend and study his plates to verify his work. They each testified in writing before an invited public notary that none of Enrie's plates had been retouched and all had accurately captured what they could see on the Shroud.

The agnostic, yet pro-authenticist art historian Thomas de Wesselow has stated that "The negative photo of the Shroud is Exhibit A in the case for the cloth's authenticity":

"The negative photo of the Shroud is Exhibit A in the case for the cloth's authenticity. It demonstrates that the image possesses a hidden structure, which could hardly have been conceived in the fourteenth century, when the relic is first documented in Europe. Simply glancing at the automatic inversion of the image is enough to dispel the idea that it is a regular work of art. If it is a fake, it would have to be the most ingenious and improbable fake in history, a work of supreme skill and cunning. If it is not a fake, then the chances are that it is connected, as traditionally supposed, with the death and burial of Jesus."

First, since photographic negativity was not invented until the early nineteenth century, a medieval artist/forger could not have conceived of the Shroud man's image being a photographic negative. The very concept of a photographic negative only came into existence with the discovery of photography in the early nineteenth century. A negative image therefore would have been an unimaginable conception before the invention of photography. Those who maintain that the Shroud is a medieval forgery, must assume that it was made by an artist whose grasp of the negative-positive properties of photography was five centuries in advance of his time!

Second, a medieval artist/forger could not have created a photographic negative of the Shroud man. Since the very concept of photographic negativity only came into the range of human knowledge when photography was invented in the early nineteenth century, it is impossible that a medieval artist/forger could have created the Shroud's photographic negative image. A medieval artist/forger creating a photographic negative of the Shroud man would not have been able to see what he was doing, so he could not have included the fine detail that there is on the Shroud. Moreover, a medieval forger creating a photographic negative Shroud image, centuries before the age of photography, would have had no means of checking his work. Modern artists who have tried to depict the Shroud with its negative image have all failed, even though they had a copy of the Shroud's negative photograph before them, their positive copies of the Shroud when photographed were very different from that of the Shroud. They all failed because the Shroud's photographic negative has a realistic perfection that no artist can achieve and which is only found in photographs. Indeed, when in the late 1970s the British artist John Weston, an agnostic, was commissioned to produce, tone by tone, a duplicate Shroud for the television documentary The Silent Witness, he became convinced of the Shroud's genuineness!

Third, a medieval artist/forger would not have wanted to create a photographic negative of the Shroud man, Jesus. An artist/forger depicting Jesus' body as it might have appeared on his burial garment, would not have chosen to do so with an artistry and detail that would have not been discovered for another 500 years, until the invention of photography which his age knew nothing about. Even if a medieval artist/forger could have created the Shroud image as a photographic negative, why would he have done so when no one of his time would have been able to appreciate his cleverness?

The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! That is, it is the very burial sheet of Jesus Christ, bearing the photographically negative imprint of His dead body as it lay wrapped in a linen shroud in His tomb (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53) awaiting His resurrection (Mt 28:6-7; Mk 16:5-7; Lk 24:4-7; Jn 20:5-9). And therefore that photographically negative image is "a literal `snapshot' of the [Jesus'] Resurrection"!

"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant ... its image ... becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection."

That is, the photographically negative image on the Shroud is that of "the body of the Lord Jesus" imprinted on His burial shroud when He "was raised [from the dead] by the glory of the Father'":

"... in the Turin Shroud we have not only the linen cloth in which the body of the Lord Jesus was wrapped, but also a representation of that body portrayed by other than human hands, by some supernatural process which confounds all explanation. ... the radiant incandescence of that almighty act of love and power when the Son of God `was raised by the glory of the Father' [Rom 6:4] has scorched his image and likeness on the Shroud, a sign for our scientific century which demands scientific proof ...".

That the Shroud image is a photographic negative is explained by STURPs John P. Jackson's "Cloth Collapse Theory":

"Jackson believes that today, twenty centuries later, we may have in our possession an image analogous to [a photograph taken by] a camera that recorded, in the darkness of the tomb, something that no human eye had ever seen. What John describes in the tomb [Jn 20:5-7] is that the burial cloths of Jesus were seen lying on the shelf where the body had been placed, but clearly flattened or deflated, without the body that they once contained. For Jackson, this is precisely the end condition of the Shroud after it has fallen through the body it wrapped, according to his hypothesis of image formation."

3D Information encoded in the Shroud

Only the frontal image of the Shroud man is three-dimensional. The dorsal or back image is not three-dimensional, having been formed by direct contact. The frontal image cannot have been formed by direct contact because it has areas that could not have been in contact with the cloth: for example the recessed areas between the nose and cheeks, the eye sockets and ears, the ribs and part of the neck. This is consistent with STURP's John P. Jackson's "cloth collapse theory". Leo Vala In 1967, Leo Vala, a professional photographer and an agnostic made the first three-dimensional reproduction of the Shroud face by projecting a Shroud negative photograph onto a lump of clay and sculpting it. Vala published his experiment in the March 8, 1967 issue of Amateur Photographer, stating in the article:

"I've been involved in the invention of many complicated visual processes, and I can tell you that no one could have faked that image. No one could do it today with all the technology we have. It's a perfect negative. It has a photographic quality that is extremely precise."

Vala became a critic of anyone who thought the image could have been produced by human hands.

Confirming Yeshua Imaddg10

VP-8 Image Analyzer 

In 1976 Robert William (Bill) Mottern (1924-2015), an image-enhancement specialist at Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque, offered Jackson the use of an Interpretation Systems VP-8 Image Analyzer, an instrument which translates light intensity into vertical relief, to help in their investigations. Mottern was using the VP8 to analyze x-rays in his work at Sandia Laboratories. When a negative transparency of a Shroud photograph provided by Jackson was processed by the VP-8, they were amazed that on the VP-8's computer screen they saw a correctly-proportioned, three-dimensional image of the Shroud man. Being a transparency, Mottern was able to rotate the image and view it from the side and back. This proved that the Shroud image contains three-dimensional information, since ordinary photographs processed by the VP-8 >appear distorted because they contain only light, not distance, information. A separate photograph of the face was later processed by the VP-8 and it also showed the same three-dimensional relief effect. That face photograph also confirmed the presence of unnatural bulges over the eyes, which they later proposed were coins placed over the eyes. For three-dimensional relief information, Jackson and others were able to construct a three-dimensional model of the Shroud image. Their work attracted the attention of other scientists and led to the formation in 1977 of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP).2

Confirming Yeshua Image315

Confirming Yeshua Image316

Mark Niyr (2020): How was the three‐dimensional aspect of the image produced? It would be the quantity/density number of radiation strikes that would encode the three‐dimensional distance information between the body and the cloth. Since proton radiation rapidly attenuates and dies out (especially in air), more radiation strikes would impact the cloth where the Shroud was originally closer to the body and fewer radiation particles would strike where the body was originally further away from the cloth—thus encoding distance (three‐dimensional) information based on the quantity/density of colorized fibers. As the Shroud continued to pass through, it would also reach and encode parts of the body that were not originally touching the draped cloth. Altogether, this indicates that every pinpoint part of the body (including the hair) had to emit its own particle radiation upon the Shroud and do so in proportion to its distance from the Shroud, impacting the cloth in a straight‐line vertical manner between the body and the Shroud. Physicist Thomas Phillips (of the High Energy Physics Laboratory at Harvard University), biophysicist Jean‐ Baptiste Rinaudo (of the Center for Nuclear Medical Research in Montpellier, France, and the Grenoble Nuclear Studies Center in France), and Dr. Kitty Little (retired nuclear physicist from Britain’s Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell) have each hypothesized that particle radiation irradiated the Shroud and that the source of the particle radiation was the body itself.  Dr. Little stated “that the source of the illumination that had formed the image came from within—that is, from the body . . . as a whole.” In other words, the radiation did not come from some external source; rather, the radiation’s origin was directly from the body—from every pinpoint location of the body.  This facet (wherein each micro part of the body—the source of the radiation—radiates directly and exclusively from its specific point on the body to that corresponding exclusive point on the Shroud, thus irradiating an image) is something that no one has yet been able to reproduce. (How could a medieval artisan accomplish this? In fact there is no technology yet in existence which can reproduce this.) STURP chemist Dr. John Heller remarked: “It is as if every pore and every hair of the body contained a microminiature laser.”1

The blood on the Shroud

Some keypoints: Researchers have noted several unique characteristics of the cloth, which have contributed to ongoing debates about its origins and authenticity. One of these characteristics is the rare AB blood type that has been identified on the Shroud, which is the same type found on another ancient cloth known as the Sudarium. Another intriguing feature of the Shroud is the presence of blood stains that match the wounds of Christ described in the Gospels and documented methods of Roman crucifixion. To add to the authenticity, blood plasma around the blood stains is revealed under UV light, which would have been difficult to fake by a medieval forger. Further analysis of blood particles obtained from the Shroud revealed a high bilirubin content. This finding is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it is consistent with the bodily response to extreme trauma, which effectively negates the theory that a medieval forger tortured and crucified a dead body to create the image. Secondly, blood with high bilirubin content stays red over time and does not turn dark brown, which is consistent with the stains on the Shroud. These unique features of the Shroud have continued to intrigue researchers and scholars, fueling ongoing debates about the origins and authenticity of the artifact.

Confirming Yeshua Blood_10

Jean de Climont: Analyzes of blood and serum, and of DNA Analysis of blood stains allow finding the main constituents of red blood cells: porphyrin, hemoglobin, albumin,  bilirubin, and iron oxide. It was even noted an excess of bilirubin, responsible for the red color the blood has kept; that results in a large excess of suffering by the victim. Normally bilirubin, a protein, is present in small amounts in human blood, but its rate increases considerably under certain conditions such as violent repeated trauma before death.  The yellow-orange bilirubin has clarified the dried blood. According to immunological controls in 1981, the blood is of human origin, blood group AB, which is one of the rarest with only 3% of the world population. Finally,  DNA  analyses have shown that the blood was coming from a  male individual and its Y chromosome is characteristic of Eastern Jewish ethnicity. 3

Stephen E. Jones (2015): "As for the `blood' stains, according to John H. Heller's and Alan D. Adler's studies these derived from genuine clotted wounds, and they pass eleven different diagnostic tests, enabling them to be pronounced to be true blood in any court of law. Blood constituents such as proteins, albumen, haem products, and the bile pigment bilirubin (on which Adler is an acknowledged expert) can all be determined to be present. One remarkable feature noted by Adler is that where blood occurs in the same region as body image, the cloth fibers lack body image characteristics below the bloodstain, suggesting that the blood was on the cloth before the body image-making process began. That is hardly the way any artist might be expected to work".2

Kelly P Kearse (2022): Increased levels of bilirubin in blood serum may result from numerous physical conditions including hepatitis, cirrhosis, enzyme deficiency, drug reactions, autoimmune disorders, and physiological trauma. No presumptive test for high bilirubin levels in blood serum stains currently exists, which could prove useful in the assessment of crime scenes involving victims with one of the above disorders. Here, the use of ultraviolet 365 (UV 365) is described as a simple, nondestructive method for the detection of blood serum containing elevated levels of bilirubin. 4

Confirming Yeshua Table510

Stephen E. Jones (2015):Summary of tests by Adler and Heller which confirmed that the blood on the Shroud was real blood. At the public final meeting of STURP in New London, Connecticut in October 1981, after explaining each item in this table, Adler, who had "already published close to a hundred articles on his blood research, concluded:

"That means that the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!"

Clotted blood: The bloodstains are clotted blood in that they are thickened on the edges. As blood dries it forms a scab and contracts, thickening the edge of the scab and exuding serum onto the surface and edges of the contracting clot.
Serum halos: The border of every bloodstain under ultraviolet light shows a typical yellowish fluorescence of a serum exudate ring or halo around a scab as expected for blood clot retraction. These serum halos confirm that the Shroud's bloodstains are real blood.
Serum albumin: is the most abundant blood plasma protein and is produced in the liver. The serum haloes tested positive for serum albumin and they also gave a positive immuno-chemical test with albumin serum. Positive serum albumin tests were also found in areas adjacent to the blood, for example the lance wound area.

Confirming Yeshua G1155v10

Distinction between arterial and venous blood flows: The distinction between arterial and venous blood flows is evident in some bloodstains on the man's forehead. Venous blood appears darker and thicker because it flows more slowly than arterial blood. The large reversed `3' or epsilon-shaped blood clot on the man's forehead is an example of a large venous blood flow.The distinction between arterial and venous blood was not even discovered until 1593 by Andrea Cesalpino (c. 1524-1603), more than 230 years after the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in c.1355!
Bilirubin: A test for the presence of proteins in the Shroud man's blood returned an extraordinarily high bilirubin count. In traumatic shock, as would be experienced under flogging and crucifixion, the liver converts hemoglobin from burst red cells into bilirubin, which remains in the blood clots and gives them a red-to-orange color. Skeptics had long criticized the Shroud's blood for being too red, pointing out that aged blood normally turns black. But the red color of the Shroud's blood supports the forensic conclusion that the blood was from someone who suffered a traumatic death as depicted in the body images, which Jesus of Nazareth did!
Human blood: In 1980 an ultraviolet microspectrophotometric study of blood particles from STURP's Shroud sticky tapes, found that the near UV peak for albumin bound bilirubin is consistent with a primate origin, and therefore supporting the identification of a human source for the blood marks. In 1983 Professor Pier Luigi Baima-Bollone, medical examiner at the University of Turin, by means of fluorescent antigen-antibody reactions, confirmed that the Shroud blood is indeed human blood. Then in 1983 and at the 1984 Italian National Shroud Congress, Professors Baima-Bollone and Agostino Gaglio reported that they had confirmed the identification of the blood group AB in Shroud bloodstains and that they had discovered human red blood corpuscles on the Shroud, using a scanning electron microscope. They also showed that they had verified the presence of human epidermis (skin) cells in the area of the nail wound in the feet by an immuno-histo-chemical process.
Crucifixion: The bloodstains on the Shroud are consistent with that of a man who had been beaten and then died in the position of crucifixion, as described in the Gospels of Christ's crucifixion. The V-shaped blood flows on the arms shows they were in an elevated and extended position at the time the wounds were bleeding. Dr Gilbert Lavoie found by experiments in the clotting of blood and its transfer onto a linen cloth that to produce bloodstains like the Shroud's, the blood needed to clot in a vertical position, and it needed to be transferred to the cloth within two hours!
Sudarium of Oviedo: The bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo are a mixture of blood and watery fluid, produced not by a spear in the side but by blood and lung fluid issuing from its crucifixion victim's nose when he was taken down from his cross. This is consistent with the medical findings that the man of the Shroud's lungs would have filled with fluid caused by the scourging and is compatible with the Apostle John's eyewitness account (see above) that when Jesus' side was pierced by a Roman soldier's lance "immediately there came out blood and water" (Jn 19:34). This blood and watery lung fluid found on both the Shroud and the Sudarium of Oviedo are among the many similarities which indicate, in Adler's words, "that these two cloths were in contact with the same wounded body". And therefore that the Sudarium of Oviedo is "the face cloth [Greek soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head" (Jn 20:7)!
Invisible bloodstains on the Shroud: Included in these innumerable bloodstains, are at least a hundred tiny dumbbell-shaped scourge marks on the Shroudman's body and legs, which match wounds caused by a Roman flagrum with two lead balls on the end of each of its three thongs[see, evidently designed to cause internal bleeding so a crucifixion victim didn't die too soon of blood loss. Each of those scourge wounds has tiny blood clots which each have a serum retraction `halo', clearly visible in ultraviolet light but barely visible, and some are invisible, to the naked eye. Therefore a medieval forger would not only require a modern knowledge of the physiology of clot retraction, but would have to produce images of serum rings that are clearly evident only under ultraviolet light (which was only discovered in 1801!).
The blood went first to the shroud and then the image was inprinted. Experts have shown that the blood settled on the cloth first and then the image of the man was imprinted. This means that, under the bloodstains, there is no image. No forger would do this.

Confirming Yeshua Bloods10

Mark Niyr (2020): There are more than one hundred dumbbell‐shaped scourge wounds that have been identified on the Shroud. But physicians and scientists were surprised once they discovered the anatomical accuracy of these wounds. They exist on the Shroud precisely as they would exist on actual skin of a body, and yet they have been transferred with microscopic, undisturbed precision onto the textured, fibrous material of the Shroud cloth, without evidence of smearing, or disruption, including jelly‐like coagulated blood, and with microscopic sharply defined indented centers, upraised edges, and serum halos surrounding their borders. This quality of detail could not be seen by the naked eye. Even to this day, no artist, physician, or scientist has ever yet been able to reproduce, or otherwise transfer such microscopic precision of wounds from a body to a different object to date—much less to accomplish this flawlessly for over one hundred scourge wounds. Yet, there remain further formidable problems facing the medieval forger. Overall, there are 130 or more blood trails on the cloth. They correlate in synchronization, reflecting the variant positions that the body was in at different times as well as the diverse medical conditions of the body at various points in time. When a body undergoes traumatic shock, it can induce hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells so that hemoglobin is released into the fluid and plasma). As blood passes through the liver, bilirubin is picked up. The blood on the Shroud has high levels of methemoglobin and high levels of bilirubin which dries and ages leaving the surprisingly red-colored blood found on the Shroud (rather than the normal dark brown or black color of old blood). This rare blood condition of bilirubin occurs when a person suffers tremendous violence and undergoes a state of traumatic shock. The rivulets of blood on the Shroud also carry distinct characteristics, such as being either venous or arterial blood in the correct locations for each type of blood. (Knowledge of the difference between venous vs. arterial blood was not discovered until 1593 by Andrea Cesalpino‐‐centuries after the 1350s.)1

ANDREA TORNIELLI (2017): An article detailing the discovery findings and measurements was published in the American journal PlosOne and titled “New Biological Evidence from Atomic Resolution Studies on the Turin Shroud”. “We performed reproducible atomic resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and Wide Angle X-ray Scanning Microscopy experiments studying for the first time the nanoscale properties of a pristine fiber taken from the Turin Shroud,” explains Elvio Carlino of IC-CNR, who led the research. “In particular, experiments were performed in areas of the fiber away from red crusts visible by optical microscope. We performed an atomic resolution study on the fiber to study organic nanoparticles, according to a method recently developed in the center of Trieste that I directed until a few weeks ago. The study shows that the fiber is fully covered by creatinine nanoparticles, 20–100 nm (one nanometer equals one millionth of a millimeter), embedding small (2–6 nm) nanoparticles, made of defected ferrihydrite, typical of biologic ferritin cores.” According to Professor Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua, the analyses show how “the peculiar structure, size and distribution of the nanoparticles cannot be artifacts made over the centuries on the fabric of the Shroud.” Many fanciful reconstructions of the Turin Shroud being a painted object are once again denied.” Additionally, Fanti says, “the wide presence of creatinine particles bound to ferrihydrite particles is not a situation typical of the blood serum of a healthy human organism. Indeed, a high level of creatinine and ferritin is related to patients suffering of strong polytrauma like torture. Hence, the presence of these biological nanoparticles found during our experiments point a violent death for the man wrapped in the Turin shroud.”5

After publishing the paper, The PLOS ONE Editors retracted the paper, stating: " There are not sufficient controls to support conclusions referring to human blood or physical trauma. For example, period ink and animal blood controls were not included in diffraction and STEM analyses, as would be needed to rule out alternate interpretations regarding the material on the fiber, and the creatinine findings do not provide definitive evidence of trauma or violence. Thus, we consider that the main conclusions of the article are not sufficiently supported."

To which the authors replied: Ecarlino (2018): Our experimental data are compatible with creatinine with inside ferrihydrate cores. The observed nano-particles are not compatible with pigments, inks and other chemical/biological compounds, as explicitly explained.  Creatinine can be found also in sweat, but we found “creatinine bounded to iron oxide ferritin cores”. This is a different compound with a negligible presence in healthy organisms whereas can be found consistently only in the blood serum under pathological conditions producing the rupture of the cells and the interaction in the blood stream between creatinine and the ferrihydrate clusters contained in the ferritin.  This compound is toxic for the organism and it is related to acute kidney disease. This is one of the reason why many injured in strong accidents could die for kidney disease. This is the finding that can be related to strong polytrauma and that cannot be explained by supposing contamination simply with the blood of someone who accidentally touched the Turin Shroud while he was bleeding. It could be animal blood. But, if it was the case, the animal would have suffered a strong polytrauma. This would call the intention of an artist to produce an artifact; but why should he use the blood serum after torture? Should we think that an artist in the Middle Ages could have used the blood serum of a tortured person or animal to produce the exact pattern that someone, using the equipment and the technologies of many centuries later, would have detected? 6

The conclusion that the ‘blood’ is actual blood concurs with and meshes with the consensus of medical community members that have studied the image that 1) the body image is anatomically and medically realistic to an extraordinary degree, and 2) production of the body and ‘blood’ images involved an actual human body. The red color of much of the ‘blood,’ the high bilirubin levels detected therein, and the body image lend strong support to the view that the ‘blood’ came from a beaten individual. In light of the foregoing, forging the Shroud would have required the use of a body beaten and crucified precisely after the manner of Jesus’ crucifixion. Such a requirement makes more unlikely the possibility that an individual went to the trouble of forging the Shroud. In short, it is highly likely that the ‘blood’ on the Shroud of Turin is not paint and is blood. Though this conclusion does not mean the Shroud of Turin is authentic, it does mean that the Shroud is less likely to be a forgery. 

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5Confirming Yeshua Empty Could the Shroud be a forgery? Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:48 am



Problems for the forgery theory: No known artist has ever used blood to depict blood. Heller, who had been a Professor of Internal Medicine at Yale asked several professors of art history at Yale and Harvard if they knew of any artist, fourteenth century or earlier, who had used blood to paint blood and their answer was uniformly negative. Reasons, why artists would not use blood to depict blood, include: artists sought permanent colors and blood was not long-lasting; and normal blood quickly turns dark, due to the cause of its red colour, hemoglobin, being oxidized in air and becoming methemoglobin, which is bluish-brown in color No artist has ever depicted Jesus's wounds with clotted blood but only with free-flowing blood. Since the bloodstains on the Shroud are real, human, clotted blood, its artist/forger would have had to have a supply of traumatic clotted blood exudates from a human and then painted them in a forensically correct manner as they are on the Shroud. He would have needed to take that clotted blood exudate within a 20-minute period after the clotting had begun. He then would have had to paint it on the cloth with the thousands of blood serum edges, which are only clearly visible in ultraviolet light, and with all the other forensic precision that is characteristic of the blood on the Shroud. Since the serum exudate rings are only obviously evident under ultraviolet a medieval or earlier forger would not only require a knowledge of the physiology of clot retraction but would also have produced images of serum rings that are only obviously evident under ultraviolet light. But in the 1350s when the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history, no one had medical knowledge of the details of blood clotting. 7

Barrie Schwortz was a member of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (often abbreviated as STURP) a team of scientists which performed a set of experiments and analyses on the Shroud of Turin during the late 1970s and early 1980s. STURP issued its final report in 1981.

After 18 years as a skeptic, in 1995, when confronted with the evidence that the blood on the shroud was of a tortured man, he became convinced of the authenticity of the Shroud and came to believe that the man on the Shroud is Jesus. "At the beginning of my work, I was very skeptical about its authenticity. I felt no particular emotion toward Jesus because I was raised as an orthodox jew. The only thing I knew about Jesus was that he was a jew, and this was all ". After 18 years of study, the full conviction came when "the Blood Chemistry Allen Adler, another jew who was part of the study group, I explained why the red blood remained on the Shroud. The old blood would have to be black or brown, while the blood on the Shroud is a red-crimson. It seemed inexplicable, instead it was the last piece of the puzzle. After nearly 20 years of investigation, it was a shock for me to discover that the piece of cloth was the authentic cloth that had been wrapped the body of Jesus. The conclusions I arrived were based exclusively on scientific observation ".8

Messengersaintanthony (2003): Most bloodstains on the Shroud are exudates from clotted wounds transferred to the cloth by contact with a wounded human body.
The blood on the Shroud is real, human male blood of type AB (typed by Dr. Baima Ballone in Turin and confirmed in the U.S.).  This blood type is rare (about 3% of the world population), with the frequency varying from one region to another.  Blood chemist Dr. Alan Adler (University of Western Connecticut) and the late Dr. John Heller (New England Institute of Medicine) found a high concentration of the pigment bilirubin, consistent with someone dying under great stress or trauma and making the color redder than normal ancient blood.  Drs. Victor and Nancy Tryon of the University of Texas Health Science Center found X & Y chromosomes representing male blood and "degraded DNA" (approximately 700 base pairs) "consistent with the supposition of ancient blood."

The wound on the wrist appears on the Shroud as a simple blood stain. But if you pass an optical fiber between the cloth and the protective lining which was stitched to the Shroud in Chambéry in 1532, and photograph it from behind, the wound appears to be square. Due to dehydration, Jesus’ blood was very dense. Only in the place where the nail was removed was the blood sufficiently liquid to leave a trace, on the back of the cloth. There is a church in Rome, the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, where some objects of the Passion were donated by Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine. She had found them at Golgotha, where her son had conducted the first archaeological dig in history, thereby discovering Jesus’ tomb, over which the emperor Hadrian had built a huge pagan temple. Only centuries later was doubt first cast upon these relics which, up to then, had always been considered authentic. One of these relics was a nail said to have held Jesus to the cross.

I was overcome with emotion on discovering that the wound inflicted upon the ‘Man of the Shroud’ by the nail planted in his wrist, exactly one-centimeter square, corresponds to the size of the nail found by Saint Helen. What is more, one of the other relics kept in the Church of the Holy Cross is a length of wood said to have been placed over the Cross with the name of the condemned man. On it, in Hebrew (written from right to left), Greek, and Latin, is ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.9

Blood on the Shroud 

Forensic doctor Baima Bollone was the only qualified expert who picked up in person and analyzed the blood from the threads of the ST. In the conclusion of the paper he wrote “Sui fili di macchie di ‘sangue’ sono inoltre presenti più corposi apporti di materiale di contenuto minerale corrispondente a quello di macchie sperimentali ottenute con miscele di sangue, aloe, mirra e saponina. Le indagini di ematologia forense risultano dimostrative per la presenza di sangue”. Our translation: “On the threads of 'blood' stains a larger quantity of mineral-based material is also present, which corresponds to that of experimental stains made by mixtures of blood, aloe, myrrh and saponin. Forensic investigations of haematology are demonstrative for the presence of blood”

Other important tests were carried out by Heller and Adler on threads and fibrils much smaller than those of Bollone, which confirmed the presence of blood. The most recent critical review paper on blood-related issue can be found in [37]. In this paper Kearse comments on studies by Bollone, Heller and Adler that demonstrate bloodstained fibres of the Shroud contain (human) albumin and immunoglobulin and human antibody of the IgG class, consistent with the presence of real blood. Concerning blood type AB on the Shroud, it was demonstrated using a forward typing approach only (which measures red cell antigens). In fresh blood, confirmation by additional tests known as reverse typing (which measures antibodies in serum) is necessary. Unfortunately, reverse typing tests in aged blood are somewhat problematic. They rely on antibodies both being present and maintaining a functional, working conformation over time. In aged samples of type AB, it is difficult recognising if the antibodies were never there to begin with or were once present but degraded over time. In conclusion, according to [37] human blood on the TS needs to be conclusively demonstrated, to extend the current immunological evidence beyond primate.10
Blood Volume 

E.Brucker (1987): The volume of blood coming from the wound in the chest could be considered since medically we know an individual sustaining repeated and severe trauma to the chest cage, plus the fact that he is in progressive right heart failure, accumulates a serous fluid in both the pericardial and pleural spaces. When opened, then, this would issue forth as a serous and bloody fluid and could explain the various intensities in color which one sees in the heart stain area, the variation depending on the mixture of serous fluid with the actual red blood cell component. The two types of bleeding here are I) that when he was on the cross with the blood flowing toward the ground, and 2) after being taken down from the cross and continually.

Discussion of Blood Stains 

Blood stains on the arms and wrist areas have been thoroughly discussed by Doctors Barbet and Bucklin as to why they are in the wrist areas. The flow and the angles would again give evidence that the man on the cross is moving and this we know that medically is necessary to continue to breathe, as asphyxia and death would occur very rapidly if the individual could not push himself up to breathe. Both Doctors Barbet and Hynek were familiar with the German treatment of condemned people by the use of "Aufbinden". Doctor Hynek knew from personal experience, and Doctor Barbet knew of this from experience at the Dachau concentration camp. In a hanging position, individuals must pull themselves up to breathe. Doctor Modder and Father Weyland showed a similar experience from their work. The left leg is still partially flexed so that the imprint of the left foot is faint and somewhat irregular, while there is almost a complete imprint of the right foot. In some articles, it has been stated that this is due to the feet being hyperextended onto the wooden beam. However, this may not be accurate, as it is possible that this full imprint of the feet occurred because of the cloth being folded up over the feet. The flexion of the left leg would indicate a three-nail type of crucifixion, with the left leg being placed over the right. Again, we see that bleeding occurred while the individual was on the cross, where the blood flow occurred downward toward the toes, and again, bleeding occurred after the person was taken down from the cross and placed in the burial cloth. This is indicated by the pooling of the blood in the heel area of the right foot. 24

Main reasons that corroborate that the Shroud of Turin is authentic

- The Shroud image occurs only on the top surface fibrils on the crowns of the linen fibers. The image cannot be seen on the reverse side of the cloth. It is a surface phenomenon with no penetration of the image into the sub-surface fibers.  the body image is extremely superficial, being only one fibre deep.
- The negative of Secondo Pia's full-length photograph of the Shroud taken during the 1898 Exposition. What Pia saw that night in his darkroom astounded him. For, as the image on the negative plate took shape before his eyes, he found himself staring not at a confusing array of lights and darks, the usual effect of a photographic negative, but at a coherent likeness of a crucified man. Instead of the flat, enigmatic image seen on the cloth, the negative plate gave the impression of a substantial figure emerging from the background, a figure that looked like a real human body lit from in front ..
Vala published his experiment in the March 8, 1967 issue of Amateur Photographer, stating in the article: "I've been involved in the invention of many complicated visual processes, and I can tell you that no one could have faked that image. No one could do it today with all the technology we have. It's a perfect negative. It has a photographic quality that is extremely precise."
- Analyzes of blood and serum, and of DNA Analysis of blood stains allow finding the main constituents of red blood cells: porphyrin, hemoglobin, albumin,  bilirubin, and iron oxide. It was even noted an excess of bilirubin, responsible for the red color the blood has kept; that results in a large excess of suffering by the victim. Normally bilirubin, a protein, is present in small amounts in human blood, but its rate increases considerably under certain conditions such as violent repeated trauma before death.
The correlation between the wounds inflicted upon the Jewish man buried in the shroud and the wounds the New Testament reports as having been inflicted upon Jesus is remarkable: ‘comparison of the gospel accounts with the sufferings and burial of the man in the Shroud points to the strong likelihood that the man is Jesus Christ. The evidence is consistent at every point. The man of the Shroud suffered, died, and was buried the way the gospels say Jesus was.’ These similarities don’t fit any other known victim of crucifixion, except Jesus. The sufferings, crucifixion and burial of Jesus, as described by the gospels, were different from the ordinary ways the Romans crucified criminals and the Jews buried their dead: ‘Jesus’ case was irregular. He was scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed to his cross [rather than tied], stabbed in the side (instead of his legs being broken), buried well [rather than thrown to the dogs] but incompletely, and his body left the cloth before it decomposed.’ Because we know quite a lot about Roman and Jewish customs in these matters, we can estimate the probability of two men being treated, crucified and buried in this way, and hence the probability that the Jewish man in the Shroud was Jesus.

Why are the bloodstains on the TS still so red?

Giulio Fanti (2022): Dried, old bloodstains are, barring very atypical circumstances, dark brown to blackish in color whereas the bloodstains on the Turin Shroud (TS) have remained curiously reddish in color for many centuries. While the pigment-reinforced hypothesis provided a plausible explanation for the TS’s still-red bloodstains (because of surmised, subsequent reinforcement of the blood stains with iron oxide and mercury sulfide pigments) the present paper has shown that the areal density of SMPs is insufficient to explain the reddish color of the TS blood. It is, therefore, excludable as a viable explanation for the redness of the bloodstains. However, now that this hypothesis has been dismissed the question about the redness of the TS blood is, once again, in search of a satisfactory explanation. In the past, several other hypotheses have been formulated to explain the still-red bloodstains on the TS. Since the body image and bloodstains on the TS indicate that it was the burial cloth of a victim who suffered both a scourging and crucifixion, it was hypothesized that the continued red color of the bloodstains on the TS were, and are, due to carbon oxide. This carbon oxide would have been produced by the breakdown of erythrocytes (due to torture) which would have bound to hemoglobin, thereby producing carboxyhemoglobin, which would be responsible for the continued reddish color of the bloodstains. C. Goldoni (The Shroud of Turin and the bilirubin blood stains, Ohio Shroud Conference (2008), and A. Di Lascio hypothesized that the continued reddish color of TS bloodstains are caused by a possible high bilirubin content (due to the aforementioned torture) with the additional exposure to that blood to a sufficient dose of UV rays. Although high doses of UV rays might be related to a burst of energy that probably produced the TS body image (J. Jackson, Is the image on the Shroud due to a process heretofore unknown to modern science? 2014), these assumptions do not, however, seem entirely convincing.11 

Comment: Fanti's admission of lack of an explanation contradicts Stephen E. Jones cited above, that claims that the reddishness of the blood on the Shroud is because of bilirubin. 

Official STURP Conclusions

No pigments, paints, dyes, or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence, and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP‐8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three‐dimensional information encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography. The basic problem from a scientific point of view is that some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical point of view, are precluded by physics. Contrariwise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry. For an adequate explanation for the image of the Shroud, one must have an explanation which is scientifically sound, from a physical, chemical, biological and medical viewpoint. At the present, this type of solution does not appear to be obtainable by the best efforts of the members of the Shroud Team. Furthermore, experiments in physics and chemistry with old linen have failed to reproduce adequately the phenomenon presented by the Shroud of Turin. The scientific consensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes. A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulfuric acid or heat. However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately. Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery. We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved. 

Confirming Yeshua Sturp_10

Could the  Shroud be a forgery?

Key points why the Shroud is not a forgery:

1. We have good evidence that the Shroud existed prior to 1260, the earliest dating of the carbon C14 test from 1988. The Hungarian Pray Manuscript, or Codex, is dated 1192-95. The Codex was compiled at the ancient Benedictine monastery in Hungary. Two pen and ink drawings on one page of the Codex document the existence of the Shroud in 1192. The upper drawing is a depiction of Jesus' body being prepared for burial. Correspondences between the Pray Codex and the Shroud include: 1. Jesus is nude; 2. His hands are crossed awkwardly at the wrists, right over left (as it appears on the Shroud), covering His genitals; 3. No thumbs are visible on Jesus' hands; 4. His hands and fingers are unnaturally long; 5. Jesus is about to be wrapped in a double body length shroud and 6. Red marks on Jesus' scalp and forehead are in the same position as the bloodstains (including the "reversed 3") on the Shroud. In the lower drawing an angel is showing three women disciples Jesus' empty tomb symbolised by a sarcophagus with an open lid. Correspondences between this lower drawing and the Shroud include: 7. The sarcophagus lid has a herringbone weave pattern; 8. Red zigzags match the inverted V-shaped blood trickles down the Shroud man's arms and 9. L-shaped patterns of tiny circles in the herringbone weave of the sarcophagus lid match the `poker holes' on the Shroud. It is inconceivable that all these detailed links with the Shroud, several of which are found nowhere else, could have occurred on a single manuscript page by chance.

2. Christ Pantocrator, St Catherine's monastery, Sinai Dated c. 550, is nearly perfectly congruent to the Shroud-face, for example the high right eyebrow, the hollow right cheek, and the garment neckline. Using his polarized image overlay techniqueDr Alan Whanger found over 200 points of congruence between this icon and the Shroud. Even creases and wrinkles on the Shroud cloth have been rendered by the artist. Flower images in the halo around the head (nimbus) of this icon are found at the same locations on the Shroud. The artist has even rendered the xray images of the Shroud man's teeth as chapped lips! This means that this icon must have been copied directly from the Mandylion/Shroud in the mid-sixth century and so, once again, refutes the radiocarbon dating's 14th-century date of the Shroud.

3. In the Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain, is a linen cloth called the Sudarium Christi, or the Face Cloth of Christ. The Sudarium Christi has a well-documented history.  One source traces the cloth back as far as 570 AD. According to Jewish custom, blood lost while a person was alive was not as important as blood lost after a person dies, when the death was violent. Any blood or bodily fluid which came after death had to be buried with the body, so it had to be recovered. Blood Type: The blood type of the shroud - namely AB blood - matches the blood type of the Sudarium. Dr. Alan Whanger performed Polarized Image Overlay Technology which revealed seventy points of congruence between the blood stains on the Shroud as compared to the Oviedo head cloth on the front of the head, and fifty points of congruence between the blood marks on the back of the head. There is deposit of dirt on the nose area bearing a large excess of calcium and low concentrations of strontium. This discovery matches the previous discovery of dirt on the nose of the Turin Shroud.

4. Bloodstains on the forehead of the man on the shroud, including the "reversed `3'", which perfectly show the distinction between arterial and venous blood, were discovered by Andrea Cesalpino (1519-1603) in 1593. So the unknown medieval or earlier forger of the Shroud would have discovered the circulation of blood, at least ~238 years before Cesalpino!

5. The scientific consensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. There are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately.  It's not a painting.  If this were true, it should be possible to identify the pigments used by chemical analysis, just as conservators can do for the paintings of Old Masters. But the Sturp team found no evidence of any pigments or dyes on the cloth in sufficient amounts to explain the image. Nor are there any signs of it being rendered in brush strokes. The entire image is very superficial in nature, Around 0.2 thousandths of a millimeter (about 0.000008 inches) only on the uppermost surface of the fibrils.   A burst of 34 thousand billion Watts of vacuum-ultraviolet radiation produced a discoloration on the uppermost surface of the Shroud’s fibrils (without scorching it), which gave rise to a perfect three-dimensional negative image of both the frontal and dorsal parts of the body wrapped in it.” We currently do not know of any natural cause for a human corpse producing ultraviolet radiation like this. A very short and intense flash of directional VUV radiation can color the linen fabric. The total power of the VUV radiation required for instantly color the surface of a linen corresponding to a human body of medium height, equal to the corporate body surface area = 2000 MW / cm2 x 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion Watts. 

6. Botanist A. Danin of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem determined the origin of the Shroud based on a comprehensive analysis of pollen taken from the Shroud and plant images associated with the Shroud. The most frequent pollen on the Shroud is identical to the most frequent pollen in sediments of the lake of Gennesaret sedimentary layers of two thousand years ago.  Danin's analysis suggests that flowers and other plant materials were placed on the Shroud of Turin, leaving pollen grains and imprints of plants and flowers on the linen cloth. Gundelia tournefortii and Zygophyllum dumosum coexist in a limited area, according to Danin, a leading authority on plants of Israel. The area is bounded by lines linking Jerusalem and Hebron in Israel and Madaba and Karak in Jordan. Frei was able to identify 49 species of plants, the pollen of which is represented in the dust of the Shroud. From the list of these plants it can be deduced that half of them do not grow in Europe, while it is present in the Middle East; in the other half, there are many Mediterranean plants. The first sampling on the Shroud On November 23, 1973, with the consent of the competent authorities, Frei took some dust samples from the Shroud’s margins using adhesive tapes. 

7. The yarn used to weave the Shroud of Turin is of very high quality, evenly spun, and it has been woven into an unusual, fancy weave for the time, called 3 to 1 herringbone twill.  There are no examples of herringbone twill weave from France up to and including the fourteenth century. The yarn was bleached before weaving rather than after the cloth was taken from the loom. This is a significant clue to the age of the cloth because medieval European linen was field bleached, a process that eliminates banding. The measurements of the Shroud are approximately 8 x 2 of the Assyrian standard cubit.  Such conformity to an exact 8 by 2 cubits is yet another piece of knowledge difficult to imagine of any medieval forger. A medieval artist/forger would be most unlikely to know the length of the standard cubit of Jesus' day, as this was only discovered by archaeologists in the 19th century!! Textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, revealed that the stitching of a seam on the Shroud that runs the entire length known as the side strip is typical of Jewish burial shrouds found in Masada, Israel.

Confirming Yeshua G3761910

In April 2022, Joanna Moorhead wrote an article for the Newspaper The Guardian: The $1m challenge: ‘If the Turin Shroud is a forgery, show how it was done’. She reported about  David Rolfe, a filmmaker. Rolfe issued " a challenge worth $1m to the British Museum. “If … they believe the shroud is a medieval forgery, I call on them to repeat the exercise, and create something similar today,” he said. The British Museum is less willing to get involved this time around. “Any current questions about the shroud would be best put to those who currently care for it in the royal chapel of the cathedral of Turin,” a spokesperson said. 12

Mark Niyr (2020): There is no art from the ancient world or medieval times that would remotely match the photographic quality of this image. Every wound and depiction of the body is physiologically and anatomically flawless, down to the minutest detail. It bears precision of detail not understood until centuries after any medieval forger. 13

In the middle ages, for centuries, indulgence was a BIG business for the catholic church. They were granted on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for money, which is claimed to allow a remission of sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Typically a writ of indulgence was issued by the Church and given to an individual who had demonstrated some type of penance, or good work.

Usually, priests traveled from one town to another in middle age Europe, visiting the four corners of the known world with an entire entourage.   One method employed to finance the building of St. Peter's Basilica was the granting of indulgences in return for contributions.  A succession of popes and architects took 120 years to build it, their combined efforts resulting in the completion in 1590. It would cost an estimated 5,4 billion us$ today to build it.

One of the tools to collect money was also when priests were traveling to carry relics of the saints with them, usually consisting of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial, and showing to the population.

Of course, that was an important tool. To show a piece of wood that was claimed to pertain to the cross of Christ, or a spine of Christ's crown, and so on. Now imagine, there would have been a way to produce such an amazing forgery of the linen cloth burial shroud in which  Jesus of Nazareth was wrapped after the crucifixion. bearing his negative image. That, of course, would have been a tool of general amazement everywhere, where it would have been carried and shown. After showing it to the crowd, asking for indulgences and funds would have been much easier.

If there were a method to produce such an imprint, Rome would have to build a FACTORY to make the artifact in considerable numbers and give it to the traveling priests as relics to be shown. There would not be just one shroud known, but hundreds, maybe thousands, and many still exist today. Each is a little bit different, but nonetheless, the technique, and consistency, are the same, and as such, comparable one to each other. That would be a GREAT argument to deny the authenticity of all of them.

P. S. Williams: in order to fake the Shroud of Turin by hand, a medieval artist would have needed to meet a series of exacting requirements, including the following:

Use a 1st-century burial cloth from Jerusalem, or obtain and ‘salt’ a suitable cloth (with the right 1st-century weave) with pollen from just the right flowers Paint an anatomically correct human using a degree of medical knowledge otherwise unknown in the fourteenth-century Paint the body nude, against the conventions of the day Paint the body in a photographically negative manner, centuries before the invention of photography Paint blood flows in perfect forensic agreement with death by crucifixion Do so using rare blood from the rare AB group with a large amount of bilirubin in it. 
Plot scourge marks consistent under forensic examination with two scourgers of different heights. Accurately illustrate the nails going through the wrists rather than the hands, as in all other conventional medieval portraits of the crucifixion Incorporate dirt consistent with the calcium carbonate soil of the environs around Jerusalem. Somehow incorporate ‘terrain-map’ data that would only be re-discovered in the twentieth century using computer technology.

As Kenneth Stevens and Gary R. Habermas point out: 
The artist would have had to have been one of the greatest who ever lived, a man capable of painting an image with the finest detail in a negative form. He would also have to know these medical facts many centuries before they were described by anatomists and pathologists: a severe chest beating can cause the pleural cavity to fill with a bloody fluid; this fluid would separate into two layers of heavy blood and lighter serum; a puncture through the fifth and sixth ribs would drain this cavity; a crucified man’s abdomen would swell; the weight of the body can be supported on a cross if the arms are nailed through the space of Destot in the wrist; and this nail would likely sever the median nerve, causing the thumbs to cling tightly to the hand. This hypothetical artist would also have had to be daring enough to depart from Christian tradition in art by depicting Jesus nude, nailed through his wrists, wearing a cap of thorns covering the entire head, bearing approximately 120 scourge wounds, and wearing his hair in a pigtail. Finally, he would have had access to a Roman flagrum and lancia so that he could draw wounds that would exactly correspond to these archaeological artefacts.

That a medieval forger could meet all of these requirements, let alone would meet them, seems extremely unlikely: ‘The technical demands of such a forgery appear far beyond the capabilities of a medieval artist. . .’ And if these demands are too stringent for a medieval artist, they are certainly too stringent for a pre-medieval artist. 14

When debating the Shroud with atheists, one of the most common practices is to link to articles found on the web that supposedly debunk the Shroud as a fraud.  If googling: The Shroud of Turin is a fraud, the second link, after a link to Wikipedia says: "Forensic research (once again) suggests the Shroud of Turin is fake". The News article reported:

Forensic scientists have once again concluded that the Shroud of Turin, supposedly the burial cloth Jesus was wrapped in after his crucifixion, was artificially created. The new research is in line with numerous previous studies that have concluded that the Shroud is not authentic. In the most recent study, forensic scientists used blood pattern analysis to investigate the arm and body position necessary to yield the pattern seen on the Shroud. Using a living volunteer and a mannequin to model several positions, researchers determined that the patterns were consistent with multiple poses, which contradicts with the theory that Jesus was buried in the cloth lying down. The authors said in the Journal of Forensic Science that they looked particularly closely at the stains of the left arm to determine consistency between the stains of the hand and the forearm. Using synthetic and real human blood throughout several experimental poses, the researchers determined that the blood patterns "would have to occur at different times, and (should the Shroud be authentic) a particular sequence of events or movements would have to be imagined to account for these patterns," they wrote.15

Attempts to create a Shroud-like image

Paolo Di Lazzaro (2016): The odd physical and chemical properties of the image make it difficult to create an image that matches its peculiar superficiality and chemistry at the microscopic level. Here we point out two most important studies made to replicate the characteristics of the ST image, namely the work of Jackson, Jumper and Ercoline in 1984 and the work of Garlaschelli in 2010. In the paper the authors describe in meticulous detail the creation of a gallery of images on linen fabrics made using all the techniques potentially able to create a Shroud-like image of the face of the man of the ST. The techniques tested in this work include:

1. Direct contact (a statue and a person covered by inks, or chemicals, or powders, then draped by a linen cloth);
2. Thermal coloration (bas reliefs heated in a furnace and placed in contact on both dry and wet linen); 
3. Visible light (faces covered with phosphorescent paints imaged on contoured sheets of a photographic film);
4. Electrostatic field;
5. Artists (professional artists, certified forensic with documented experience in realistic monotone imagery shade a Shroud-like face on linen, first free hand, then with anchor points);
6. Hybrid mechanisms (different combinations of two or more techniques among those mentioned).
7. Vaporography (ammonia vapours on plaster face diffused on linen);

Confirming Yeshua Jesus_22

John P. Jackson, Eric J. Jumper and William R. Ercoline from the cybernetics society compared the results of the above attempts with the macroscopic and microscopic features of the Shroud image, and argued that none of techniques tested can simultaneously reproduce its main features, from the 3-D property to the coloration depth, to the resolution of the spatial details. The conclusion was that the image on the Shroud of Turin is not the result of the work of an artist or forger. 16

M.Borrini and L.Garlaschelli's attempts to unmask the Shroud as a forgery 

The article references the science paper by M.Borrini, Ph.D.; and L.Garlaschelli: A BPA Approach to the Shroud of Turin. Garlaschelli is a professor of chemistry at the University of Pavia  In their abstract, they wrote:

An investigation into the arm and body position required to obtain the blood pattern visible in the image of the Shroud of Turin was performed using a living volunteer. The two short rivulets on the back of the left hand of the Shroud are only consistent with a standing subject with arms at a ca 45° angle. This angle is different from that necessary for the forearm stains, which require nearly vertical arms for a standing subject. The BPA of blood visible on the frontal side of the chest (the lance wound) shows that the Shroud represents the bleeding in a realistic manner for a standing position while the stains at the back—of a supposed postmortem bleeding from the same wound for a supine corpse—are totally unrealistic. Simulation of bleeding from the nail wounds contacting wood surfaces yielded unclear results.

And in their concluding remarks, they wrote:

The analysis of the trickle from the nail wound on the dorsal forearm (test number 2 and 3) demonstrated that, to obtain the same pattern present on the “Man of the Shroud,” the individual would have to be in a standing position with his upper limbs raised at an angle between 80° and 100°. Other positions, with lower (e.g., the classical artistic representation of a crucifix) or higher (crucifixion to a single vertical pole) arms, and also postmortem bleeding in a reclining subject cannot account for the blood pattern on the forearms.Assuming that the red stains on the Turin linen are actually blood from the crucifixion wounds, the results of the experiments demonstrate that the alleged flowing patterns from different areas of the body are not consistent with each other. Even supposing possible different episodes of bleeding (e.g., movements of the body, postmortem bleeding), these are not only nondocumented but also, as for the lumbar stains, they appear to be unrealistic. The inconsistencies identified by the authors seem not only to point against their own reality but against the authenticity of the Shroud itself, suggesting that the Turin linen was an artistic or “didactic” representation from the XIV century. 17

As a critique of Borrini and Garlaschelli , Stephen Jones wrote:

Borrini and Garlaschelli are not neutral on the Shroud's authenticity (to put it mildly). Both are members of CICAP, – Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudosciences    "an Italian ... skeptic ... organization ... [its] main goals are the promotion of the scientific analysis of alleged paranormal and pseudoscientific phenomena". And even more: "CICAP was started by the Italian science journalist Piero Angela together with a group of scientists including Luigi Garlaschelli". Matteo Borrini is likewise a member of CICAP: "CICAP ... Technical and scientific consultants ... Matteo Borrini ...

"CICAP (Comitato Italiano per il Controllo delle Affermazioni sulle Pseudoscienze; in English Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudosciences) is an Italian, non-profit, skeptic educational organization, founded in 1989. CICAP's main goals are the promotion of the scientific analysis of alleged paranormal and pseudoscientific phenomena. It is a member of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations".

And it is a CICAP article of naturalistic (nature is all there is - there is no supernatural) faith that the Shroud is an example of "pseudoscientific phenomena":

"Italian group claims to debunk Shroud of Turin ... Scientists have reproduced the Shroud of Turin - revered as the cloth that covered Jesus in the tomb - and say the experiment proves the relic was man-made, a group of Italian debunkers claimed Monday. The shroud bears the figure of a crucified man, complete with blood seeping out of nailed hands and feet, and believers say Christ's image was recorded on the linen fibers at the time of his resurrection. Scientists have reproduced the shroud using materials and methods that were available in the 14th century, the Italian Committee for Checking Claims on the Paranormal [CICAP] said. The group said in a statement this is further evidence the shroud is a medieval forgery ... Many still believe that the shroud `has unexplainable characteristics that cannot be reproduced by human means,' lead scientist Luigi Garlaschelli said in the statement. `The result obtained clearly indicates that this could be done with the use of inexpensive materials and with a quite simple procedure.' The research was funded by the debunking group and by an Italian organization of atheists and agnostics, he said".

"BPA" stands for "Bloodstain pattern analysis," which "... has drawn more skeptical scrutiny since 2000 ... BPA is done by crime investigators using subjective hunches ... The National Academy of Sciences in 2009 ... questioned the reliability of their methods in the courtroom":

"Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA), one of several specialties in the field of forensic science, involves the study and analysis of bloodstains at a known or suspected violent crime scene with the goal of helping investigators draw conclusions about the nature, timing and other details of the crime. The use of bloodstains as evidence is not new; however, new experts have claimed to be able to use fluid dynamics, physics, and other calculations to determine with accuracy previous events at a crime scene. For example, the shape of blood droplets might be used to draw conclusions as to how far away the victim was from a gun when they were shot. This technique of forensic science has drawn more skeptical scrutiny since 2000; large amounts of the body of work in BPA is done by crime investigators using subjective hunches rather than scientists from other disciplines. A report released by The National Academy of Sciences in 2009 highlighted several incidents of blood spatter analysts overstating their qualifications as well as questioning the reliability of their methods in the courtroom".

As we shall see "subjective hunches" play a decisive role in this attempt by Borrini and Garlaschelli to discredit the Shroud! 

Their paper is not new. The asterisk * above is to a footnote:

*Presented at the 66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 17-22, 2014, in Seattle, WA; and the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 16-21, 2015, in Orlando, FL.

so it may not have been peer-reviewed. I doubt if any Shroud pro-authenticists (who are the true experts in the Shroud) have reviewed the paper, because of the many errors in it (as we shall see). Also it has taken more than four years from the paper's first presentation in February 2014 to appear on the Journal of Forensic Science's website, and it still has not been included in an issue. Hardly a ringing endorsement of it!

ABSTRACT: An investigation into the arm and body position required to obtain the blood pattern visible in the image of the Shroud of Turin was performed using a living volunteer. Here Borrini and Garlaschelli set up a strawman 'crucifixion victim' and then refuted that: a "living volunteer" is not a valid substitute for a living Roman crucifixion victim as Jesus, the Man on the Shroud (accordingly to the overwhelming weight of the evidence) was. Borrini and Garlaschelli's "living volunteer" (who actually may have been Garlaschelli) was not beaten about the face, scourged with a Roman flagrum, crowned with thorns, carried a heavy wooden crossbeam part of the way to the site of his crucifixion, nailed through his hands and feet, hung on a cross affixed by nails for ~6 hours, died on that cross, and was speared in the side to make sure he was dead, as Jesus (the Man on the Shroud) was. Therefore, it is impossible to experimentally simulate legally a first century Roman crucifixion, which Jesus underwent.

The two short rivulets on the back of the left hand of the Shroud are only consistent with a standing subject with arms at a ca 45° angle. This angle is different from that necessary for the forearm stains, which require nearly vertical arms for a standing subject. This is simply false! As illustrated by Wilson in 1978, over 40 years ago, based on the investigations of surgeon Dr Pierre Barbet (1884–1961), and supported by medical examiner Dr Robert Bucklin (1916-2001) and forensic pathologist Prof. James Cameron (1930–2003), the two slightly different angles of 55° and 65° of the blood trickles on the Shroudman's hand and forearms are consistent with blood dripping from nail wounds vertically under gravity, as the crucifixion victim (Jesus) alternatively raised himself on the nail in his feet to inhale and then slumped down on the nails in his hands to exhale. By contrast neither Borrini (an anthropologist) nor Garlaschelli (a chemist) has any medical or surgical qualifications or expertise to contradict (directly or indirectly) these eminent medical and surgical authorities.

Confirming Yeshua Abioge23
"The angle of the arms at crucifixion, deducible from the Shroud by determining the path of the blood flows in following the course of gravity. The main angle appears to have been 65 degrees, but there is evidence that at some stages the forearms were at 55 degrees, indicating that the man of the Shroud sought to raise himself, probably continually, during crucifixion".

The first step in writing a scientific journal paper is to thoroughly research the topic of the paper for at least a year.  Borrini and Garlaschelli should be aware of Wilson's 40 year-old illustration above and its explanation in his 1978 classic book, "The Turin Shroud".  which has the above illustration by Wilson with the explanation of the two slightly different angles of the blood trickles on the Shroudman's hand and arms. If Borrini/Garlaschelli didn't do that, they are guilty of scholarly incompetence. If they did do it but are concealing it, they are guilty of scholarly dishonesty!

The BPA of blood visible on the frontal side of the chest (the lance wound) It is indeed a lance wound, matching the leaf-like shape of a Roman lancea.  

The side wound of the man on the Shroud

One of the features of the image is the presence of what appears to be a wound on the man's side. The wound is located in the area of the man's chest and appears to be an elongated, roughly oval-shaped mark. It is positioned on the right side of the image, just below the rib cage. Some researchers have interpreted this mark as evidence of a wound caused by a spear or other sharp object, as described in the Gospel accounts of Jesus' crucifixion. The Gospel of John, for example, describes how a Roman soldier pierced Jesus' side with a spear to confirm that he was dead (John 19:31-37). This event is known as the "Piercing of the Side" or the "Lance of Longinus" and has been depicted in Christian art for centuries. The wound on the Shroud has been interpreted by some researchers as evidence that the image depicts this event.

"Then we turn to the Roman lancea, in Greek lonche, the very weapon described in St. John's Gospel [Jn 19:34] as having been used to check that Jesus was dead. This was a spear of varied length, with a long, leaflike tip, thickening and rounding off toward the shaft. Whereas the other versions were intended to break inside the body of the victim, making it impossible for the enemy to reuse them against the Romans, the lancea was designed for continuous use. As such it is quite typical of what we would expect to have been standard issue for the soldiers of the military garrisons guarding Jerusalem at the time of Christ. From excavated examples, the shape of the lancea's blade corresponds exactly to the shape of the elliptical wound visible on the Shroud. It is another strikingly authentic, and Roman, detail"

Confirming Yeshua 918
:copyright: Vernon Miller, 1978

The wound on the right side of the man on the Shroud (on our left because the Shroud is, like a plaster cast, a mirror image). Note the wound (circled in red) which corresponds to the incision of a Roman lancea and the light and dark stains corresponding to blood mixed with lung and heart sac fluid, i.e. "blood and water" as the Apostle John saw it (Jn 19:34). The dark border to the right is the remains of a burn from a fire in 1532.]

A medieval forger would be unlikely to know the shape of a Roman lancea, because its shape is known only from comparatively modern "excavated examples". Nor would a medieval forger be able to deduce the shape of a Roman lancea from the New Testament Greek word lonche, because (apart from the fact that there was no published Greek New Testament until 1516), the Greek word lonche does not specifically mean a lance, but:

"The point of a weapon. A lance or spear, specifically the iron tip which reaches an enemy (Jn 19:34)".

The Shroud represents the bleeding in a realistic manner for a standing position Borrini and Garlaschelli's `lance wound in the side' strawman 'experiment' was not even on a human body but a plastic "mannequin"! Moreover they did not use post-mortem blood mixed with lung and heart sac fluid (as is on the Shroud ) but "synthetic blood"! They also did not understand, or care, that the lance wound in Jesus' side occurred after He was dead (Jn 19:34), so the only blood from that wound would have come from the punctured right atrium (aka auricle) of the heart where blood accumulates after the heart's last beat at death had emptied its left ventricle. They also did not 
der or care that a dead crucifixion victim (Jesus) would have been slumped forward.] held by the nails in his wrists. So any blood that did not consider or care that a dead crucifixion victim (Jesus) would have been slumped forward held by the nails in his wrists. So any blood that did not adhere to the immediate vicinity of the wound would not have flowed down the body but dripped off onto the ground while the stains at the back—of a supposed postmortem bleeding from the same wound for a supine corpse—are totally unrealistic. Below is the bloodstain from the spear wound in the side of the man on the Shroud compared with the pool of blood across the small of his back from that wound. As can be seen it is totally realistic

Confirming Yeshua 1018
:copyright: Vernon Miller, 1978

Spear wound in the side (upper) compared to pool of blood from that wound in the small of the back (lower), flipped vertically and horizontally to match and outlined in red.]

Garlaschellis replica of the Shroud 

M. Borrini and L. Garlaschelli conducted a study in 2018 in which they attempted to create a replica of the Shroud of Turin using materials and techniques that were available in medieval times. Their aim was to test the hypothesis that the shroud could have been forged during the Middle Ages.

Their replica was made using linen and cotton fibers, along with a pigment that was applied by hand. They used a technique known as bas-relief, in which a three-dimensional image is created by pressing a cloth onto a bas-relief sculpture.

The researchers claimed that their replica had similar properties to the Shroud of Turin, including the presence of bloodstains and the ability to create a 3D image of a face. They concluded that their study provided evidence that the shroud could have been forged using medieval techniques.

However, their study has been criticized by some scholars who argue that their replica was not an exact replica of the Shroud of Turin. Some have pointed out that the pigments used by Borrini and Garlaschelli were not identical to those found on the shroud, and that the bloodstains on the replica did not match the precise pattern found on the shroud.

Last edited by Otangelo on Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:36 am; edited 47 times in total


6Confirming Yeshua Empty Re: Confirming Yeshua Sun Nov 13, 2022 8:45 am



Overall, while Borrini and Garlaschelli's study raises some interesting questions about the origins of the Shroud of Turin, it does not definitively prove that the shroud is a forgery. 

Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages. That materials were available in the middle ages does not mean that someone then could have reproduced the Shroud. For starters it was not known the Shroud was a photographic negative until the end of the 19th century. They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. Note the "rubbed it." That means the pigment and acid marks on Garlaschelli's shroud's image would have, like all known works of human art, directionality. But the Shroud of Turin has no directionality:

Habermas (1987): "Still further, the shroud image is nondirectional. Now if one is going to put paint on a cloth, one moves the hand from side to side. When one gets tired, one often starts moving the hand up and down. But even if one only moves from side to side all of the time, that is directionality. One cannot generally apply paint without directionality. If one uses a spray gun it still involves directionality. But there is no directionality on the shroud image."18

Confirming Yeshua Garlas10
Garlaschelli's replica compared to the Shroud of Turin

L. Garlaschelli: In this paper we have briefly reviewed the history of the Shroud, the analyses that were performed on it, the unusual characteristics of its image, and the hypotheses of its formation. The most likely explanation, in our opinion, is that the image, as it can be seen today, is a chemical etching of the cellulose of the linen fibers. This degradation can be accounted for by non-neutral impurities contained in the ochre that a medieval artist used to generate the image by a simple rubbing technique. The original pigment came off during the many years of the Shroud’s history, leaving the well-known ghostly weak image. This hypothesis, originally put forward by Nickell, had never been tested experimentally. We have now shown that full-size Shroud-like images can be produced by a rubbing technique on a human body; the face, however, must be obtained from a bas-relief to avoid the inescapable wrap-around distortion. We have also shown that pigments containing traces of acidic compounds can be artificially aged after the rubbing step in such a way that when the pigment is removed, an image is obtained that has most of the characteristics of the Shroud of Turin: it is a pseudo negative; it is fuzzy, with halftones; it resides on the topmost fibers of the cloth; it has some 3D embedded properties, and it does not fluoresce. Thus, the aim of our experiments reported in this article is to suggest a plausible mechanism for the image formation rather than to achieve a perfect reproduction. We believe, however, that our attempts represent an interesting addition to the ongoing debate on this maybe-not-so-“impossible” image 19

Confirming Yeshua Fake_210

A mask was used for the face. ... The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries. Note again "similar to" not "identical to"! And Garlaschelli's "the pigment on the original Shroud faded" is a tacit admission by him that there is no pigment on the Shroud of Turin: 

Habermas (1987)"We do not have to know how somebody could have painted it, but science is adept at finding paint when it is present. But first, if the scientists have come up with one major conclusion, it is that the shroud is not a known fake. There is no paint, dye, powder, or other foreign substance on the image fibrils that could account for the image. Microchemical analyses revealed no paints or pigments ... A 1982 report from a team of scientists, released at a New London, Connecticut, meeting, states that, `No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found in the fibrils.' [Press Release, The Shroud of Turin Research Project, 8 October 1981] So again, we could falsify the shroud if there was paint. But they have not found any ... The shroud image does not appear to be painted at all."18

but there is pigment on his shroud. After all, what is Garlaschelli's "fuzzy, half-tone image" if it is not a residue of the "pigment containing traces of acid" that he applied and then mostly washed off his shroud?

They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect. Here is a major difference between Garlaschelli's shroud and the Shroud of Turin. Garlaschelli "added blood stains" to his shroud after the image was created, but the blood on the Shroud of Turin is before its image, i.e. there is no image under its bloodstains (which fits the Shroud being Jesus' and its image being imprinted by His resurrection):

Barrie Schwortz also noticed this major discrepancy (amongst others) (2009): "It has been demonstrated scientifically that the bloodstains on the Shroud came from direct contact with a body and are all forensically accurate. It has also been shown that the bloodstains were on the Shroud BEFORE the image was formed since the blood and serum acted to inhibit the image formation mechanism. There is NO image under the blood and serum stains on the Shroud. However, to make this new `reproduction,' the `blood' was added (using a different pigment) AFTER the image was created. Obviously, it is much easier to add the blood to the image than to first create the blood stains and then create the forensically accurate image around them, which is exactly what a medieval forger would have had to do to duplicate the actual physical properties of the Shroud! Many of the bloodstains on the Shroud show a surrounding halo of serum stains that are ONLY visible with UV fluorescence photography. Also, the blood has been chemically analyzed and determined to include components of actual blood, NOT pigment." 20

An ingenious method of duplicating The Shroud

Listen Notes (2019): N.D. Wilson’s amazing 2005 article in Christianity Today, entitled “Father Brown fakes The Shroud” is a must-read for Shroud enthusiasts. 15 years ago N.D. Wilson supposedly figured out how one might fake The Shroud of Turin, and since that time, I have heard several people say or intimate that The Shroud had conclusively been proven a fraud with the 1-2 punch of #1 1988 medieval dating and #2 Wilson’s reproduction. Wilson’s method of duplicating The Shroud is ingenious. Basically, he and an artist friend painted a reverse image on a large pane of glass and then had the sun shine through that image onto a Linen cloth over a period of several days. The sun bleached the cloth - lighter in areas of heavy paint and darker in areas of light paint. The resulting image does indeed look fairly authentic and Shroud-like to the naked eye. It does prove that it is possible, with the right equipment,  to put a negative-like image like The Shroud onto a linen cloth. Here are some objections that have been raised:

1. I am not an expert on 1300s-era glass technology, but some who are have argued that the kind of large and flat pane windows that would have been needed to sun-bleach the painted image of a man onto a large linen cloth would not have been available in the early medieval period. This is a fairly strong objection that I don’t believe Wilson’s article - as thorough as it is - addressed fully.

2. Finally, if The Shroud is a forgery, those who painted the image on the glass had a remarkable and accurate knowledge of both the full details of the Roman crucifixion and how the body would have responded to such crucifixion. Additionally, the anonymous forgers would have had to have a strong knowledge of anatomy and wound effects, as the wounds on The Shroud figure are consistent with what modern medical technology would expect. Wilson contends that there were many medieval people with deep and accurate knowledge of anatomy, and the only reason we don’t expect the forgers to have such knowledge is because we have a sort of bias against people from the past and assume they are unsophisticated and unintelligent. Such bias is certainly real, I will readily admit, though it does seem that medical history of the last 500 years demonstrates that medieval medicine and anatomy were indeed quite primitive.

Confirming Yeshua Wilson11

The first linen image created by David Beauchamp’s window, exposed for ten days generally parallel to the sun’s path.

The linen bears a negative image, dark on light (left), which becomes positive, light on dark (right), in a true photonegative. 21

So - did Wilson definitively prove that medieval forgers could have produced The Shroud? Maybe, maybe not. Even Wilson admits, “I have not proved much. Or, I do not think that I have. Men and women who have believed in the Shroud will continue to believe.  What I have done is crudely demonstrate that such an image could easily be produced in a matter of weeks by wicked men with no scruples, a little imagination, and a little more skill. The fact that it could have been faked does not mean that it was, though I believe it to have been. ”   I’ll say this - Wilson’s supposed forgers would have had to be: remarkably intelligent, gifted with art, well supplied with very rare (if existent) glass panes, and have an astonishing - for the time - knowledge of medicine, Roman history and human anatomy. Additionally, they would have had to be in possession of a cloth from Palestine, and possibly even pollen that had come from Palestine as well. 22

D’Arcis Memorandum: Does it prove the Shroud is a forgery?

Joseph G. Marino (2022):  In an online article, historian Jack Markwardt, discussed, “[…] D’Arcis Memorandum, a medieval document in which Pierre d’Arcis, bishop of Troyes, alleged that an unnamed artist had once admitted to having painted the double body image that appeared on a cloth owned and exhibited by Geoffrey II de Charny, Lord of Lirey. Since this cloth and the Turin Shroud were then, and still are, generally considered as the same, the D’Arcis Memorandum, if authentic and credible, would rather decisively lay to rest the relic’s claim to first-century provenance.” 23

D. Selwood (2015): Our first definite knowledge of the shroud is an event in around AD 1355, when it was put on show in the tiny French village of Lirey, in Champagne. Its owners were the local knight, Geoffrey de Charney, and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy. Despite the insistence of the conspiracy brigade, there is no known connection between this Geoffrey de Charney (or his son of the same name) and the famous Knight Templar called Geoffrey de Charney, who was the preceptor of Normandy and was burned alongside Grand Master Jacques de Molay as a relapsed heretic in 1314, three-quarters of a century earlier. At the time of the 1355 exhibition, Henry de Poitiers, bishop of Troyes, conducted an inquiry into the cloth, concluding that it was a ‘fraud’ which had been ‘cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. Nothing more is known of this episcopal inquiry, but in 1389 one of Henry’s direct successors, Bishop Peter d’Arcis, wrote to Antipope Clement VII in Avignon to tell him of Bishop Henry’s inquiry, and to complain that the linen was being displayed again. It seems that Peter did not succeed in getting the exhibition closed down, as Clement replied that he was happy for the cloth to be shown as ‘an image or representation’ of the true shroud. After around 60 years of being moved about, in 1453 Geoffrey’s granddaughter, Margaret, finally passed the shroud to the ducal house of Savoy, who took it to their capital at Chambéry in the Alps. 24

Confirming Yeshua Memora10

Stephen E. Jones (2022):  The d'Arcis Memorandum. One of two copies found only in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France), of a draft, unsigned, undated, unaddressed document. Which was 1900 published in its original Latin by French Roman Catholic anti-authenticist historian Ulysse Chevalier (1841–1923), who fraudulently added title to make it appear to have been sent by Bishop d'Arcis to Pope Clement VII at the end of 1389. Chevalier's fraud was continued by Fr Herbert Thurston (1856–1939), another leading Roman Catholic opponent of the Shroud, who in 1903 published his translation of Chevalier's Latin into English. There is no evidence in either the Troyes or Papal archives of a final version of the d'Arcis memorandum that was sent to Pope Clement. However since the Pope did reply to d'Arcis' appeals it presumably is a record of d'Arcis verbal complaints to Clement VII through his nuncio, Cardinal de Thury. The value of the d'Arcis memorandum is that it is the earliest undisputed historical reference to the existence of the Shroud in c.1355.

In the memorandum, Bishop d'Arcis stated that "thirty-four years or thereabouts ... to the present year"(i.e. c.1355) at the Lirey church, an exhibition was held by its Dean of:

"... a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by a clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say, the back and front, he falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Saviour Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb, and upon which the whole likeness of the Saviour had remained thus impressed together with the wounds which He bore"

D'Arcis appealed to Pope Clement VII to stop the exposition, claiming that one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–1370) had discovered that the Shroud was "cunningly painted": 

"... Henry of Poitiers ... then Bishop of Troyes ... after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed"

But d'Arcis provided no evidence in his memorandum to substantiate his claims, which he would have if there had been any. D'Arcis did not provide the name of the artist, nor a record of his confession, nor the source of his allegations. There is also no record of Henri de Poitiers conducting any inquiry into the origin of Shroud and d'Arcis did not even know its date! But there is a record of a letter of 28 May 1356, from Bishop Henri de Poitiers, praising Geoffroy I, ratifying the Lirey church, and approving its "divine cult", which presumably refers to the Shroud! It is also highly unlikely that Geoffrey I de Charny, the owner of the Shroud in the 1350s, one of France's most ethical knights, and a devout author of religious poetry, was complicit in forging Jesus' burial shroud. The final refutation of the d'Arcis memorandum is that the image of the man on the Shroud is not painted! .

In October 1389 Bishop d'Arcis appealed to Pope Clement VII about the current exhibition of the Shroud at Lirey, describing it as bearing the double imprint of a crucified man and that it was being claimed to be the true Shroud in which Jesus's body was wrapped, and was attracting crowds of pilgrims. But according to d'Arcis' information it had been discovered to be the work of an artist. 

In 1389,  Pope Clement VII allowed expositions of the Shroud to continue as a "figure" and "representation" of Jesus' burial shroud and commanded Bishop d'Arcis to "perpetual silence" on this matter. This unexpected siding of the Pope with the de Charnys against a senior bishop is explained by Clement, as Robert of Geneva, being not only a nephew of Jeanne de Vergy's second husband Aymon of Geneva, but also having been their neighbour. So Clement presumably had a private viewing of the Shroud and was told by Jeanne that her ancestor, Othon de la Roche (c.1170-1234) had looted the Shroud in the 1204 sack of Constantinople. The problem for the Pope was that the Byzantine Empire (c.330–1453) still existed and its Emperor John V Palaiologos (1332–1391) lived in Chambéry, France! So if the de Charny's continued to claim that the Shroud was Jesus' burial Shroud, John V would have known it was the one looted from Constantinople and demanded it be returned to him, creating a diplomatic crisis for the Pope!. It may be no coincidence that the year the Byzantine Empire ended, 1453, was the same year that Geoffroy II's daughter, Marguerite de Charny, transferred the Shroud to Duke Louis I of Savoy (1440-1465).13

Stephen E. Jones (2016):  d'Arcis, Pierre According to the 1389 memorandum of Bishop Pierre d'Arcis (r. 1377–1395), one of his predecessors Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–1370) had "thirty-four years" earlier, i.e. in 1355, discovered the forger who had painted the Shroud which had been exhibited in the Lirey church in 1355. But this predates the benevolent letter from Bishop Henri of Poitiers of 1356 in which he had praised the Lirey church, the indulgences granted by Pope Clement VII to pilgrims in 1357. Also, if the Shroud had been painted by a then living forger, the Lord of Lirey, Geoffroy I de Charny (c.1300-56) and the canons of the Lirey church, would have known that and would not have exhibited the Shroud in 1355. If someone in the 1350s had publicly confessed to having painted the Shroud's image, why did pilgrims flock to see the Shroud when it was again exhibited in 1389? Nor would Pope Clement VII (1478-1534), having heard Bishop d'Arcis' objections, enjoined "perpetual silence" about this matter on Bishop d'Arcis and "allowed the second exposition to continue in 1389 until at least 1390 since there was in 1390 a Papal Bull granted new indulgences to those who visited the Lirey church and its relics. Neither Pope Clement VII nor Bishop d'Arcis' successor as Bishop of Troyes, Bishop Louis Raguier, considered the Shroud a fraud. Pope Clement VII was Robert of Geneva (1342–94), who was a nephew and neighbour of Aymon of Geneva (c. 1324-88), the second husband of Geoffroy I de Charny's widow, Jeanne de Vergy. So presumably the future Pope Clement VII had been given a private viewing of the Shroud in the ~20 years the Shroud was with Jeanne and Aymon in High Savoy from c. 1358 and Robert becoming Pope in 1378, and so knew about the Shroud, its history and how it came into the possession of Geoffrey de Charny and why this had to be kept secret. D'Arcis himself produced no proof that the Shroud was a painting nor did he mention the name of the supposed forger. There is no written record of any confession nor the name of the alleged artist. In fact the d'Arcis memorandum is the only medieval document alleging forgery of the Shroud. The most serious difficulty with Bishop d'Arcis' claim that Bishop Henri de Poitiers had discovered "the artist who had painted it" is that the Shroud's image is not painted. If d'Arcis had gained possession of the Shroud he would have found that it was not a forgery but the genuine burial cloth of Christ, which would have brought substantial financial benefit to his Troyes Cathedral. The coincidence between Bishop d'Arcis' false claim that the Shroud was painted in about 1355 and the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud to 1260-1390, i.e. 1325 ±65 (see radiocarbon dating) is used as the basis for claims that the Shroud is a medieval forgery. "But if fraud was involved, then it wouldn't be a coincidence ... Had anyone wished to discredit the Shroud, '1325 ± 65 years' is precisely the sort of date they would have looked to achieve".25

The man on the Shroud is naked

In this late antiquity period, Jesus was almost never depicted naked but wearing at least a loincloth. Wilcox points out:".... the portrayal of Jesus on the shroud is non-traditional, non-European ... the nakedness of the loins would not inspire the devotional or artistic sensibilities of fourteenth-century Europe; rather they would have gotten the forger burned at the stake."26

The man on the Shroud is entirely naked. Although the man's hands cover his genitals, the tip of his penis seems to protrude below his fingers, and there are extensive scourge marks around his genital area. Moreover, his back is completely nude, showing his buttocks. This is consistent with all four gospels which state that just before His crucifixion, Jesus' clothes were taken by His Roman soldier executioners (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23-24). However, in medieval Christian art, the crucified or dead Jesus was almost never depicted completely naked, but wearing at least a loincloth. 

Confirming Yeshua Alexam10

Other than the Shroud, the only depiction of Jesus' completely naked back that I am aware of is the second-century Roman Alexamenos graffito which depicts Jesus naked from the rear, on a cross, with the head of a donkey.
The Alexamenos graffito mocks Alexamenos, a second-century Christian Roman soldier or slave, who is depicted raising a hand in worship of a naked Jesus with a donkey's head, on a cross from the rear, under the caption: "Alexamenos worships [his] God" This earliest known depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus, dated c.200, was found in 1857 scratched on a wall in an excavated building under the Palatine Hill, Rome. The nude back view of Jesus was presumably designed to be especially shocking and degrading.

Wikipedia: The Alexamenos graffito (also known as the graffito blasfemo, or blasphemous graffito) is a piece of Roman graffito scratched in plaster on the wall of a room near the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy. It may be meant to depict Jesus; if so, it competes with an engraved gem held in the British Museum as the earliest known pictorial representation of the Crucifixion of Jesus. It is hard to date, but has been estimated to have been made at around the year 200. The image seems to show a young man worshipping a crucified, donkey-headed figure. The Greek inscription approximately translates to "Alexamenos worships [his] god," indicating that the graffito was apparently meant to mock a Christian named Alexamenos. 27

Joan E. Taylor (2018): In 1857, in a room near the Palatine Hill, Rome, a graffito was found in one of the rooms of a first-century palace, scratched into plaster most likely sometime in the second century. The inscription reads, in Greek, Alaxamenos sebete theon , which translated is: Alexamenos (says) ‘Worship God!’ It is frequently understood that the verb here, sebete, is a misrendering of the word sebetai, meaning ‘worships’, making the writing descriptive: ‘Alexamenos worships (his) god’. But sebete is rightly the second person plural imperative, meaning it is an exhortation or instruction: ‘worship!’ Reading it as written explains why Alexamenos is depicted holding up his left hand: it is in proclamation or preaching, with one hand raised in oratory pose or else in an honoring gesture (not in prayer or inspired worship, where two hands would be held up). Slightly above him is the figure of Jesus on a cross. The figure is viewed from behind, with his head looking towards Alexamenos, but his head is that of a donkey. This is the god that Alexamenos is preaching about. We can identify Jesus here not only because he is being crucified, but because he has this donkey head. Crucifixion was a common Roman punishment, and a portrayal of a crucified man would not necessarily indicate Jesus. However, it was frequently assumed, at a time when all the gods of the Roman world could be depicted in a physical form in which they would manifest themselves in dreams and visions, that the God of the Jews was actually manifested as a donkey. Diodorus Siculus (writing around 60 BCE ) describes how the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes went into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem (in 164 BCE ) and found there a carved stone image of a long-bearded man which he presumed was Moses, sitting on a donkey ( Hist. Bibl. 34:1), which might relate to the same story. The first-century anti-Jewish writer Apion told the same story, though here the image is a golden donkey’s head, and also told a story that during a war with the Idumaeans an Idumaean called Zabidus managed to drive the Judaeans from Jerusalem, after which he entered the Sanctuary and absconded with the same image (Josephus, Apion 2:112–14, and see also Tertullian, Ad Nationes 1:11, 16; Epiphanius, Pan. 26:12:1–4); 57 it was said that Jews were so ashamed of this they allowed no depiction of their God (thus explaining the rule on no graven images, Exod. 20:4–6). Jesus is presented in the Alexamenos graffito therefore as a kind of demigod, the son of the God of the Jews, showing both divine (head) and human (body), very like the Egyptian god Seth, who was portrayed as having a donkey’s head in Egyptian art and gemstones. Romans scorned both Egyptian animal worship and Christianity. Thus, in the second century, Minucius Felix writes of a character named Caecilius who states of the Christians, ‘I hear that because of some silly impulse they consecrate and worship the head of a donkey, the meanest creature’ ( Octavius 9:3). The third- century Christian writer Tertullian witnesses to this type of presentation of Christ in Carthage ( Ad Nationes 1:14; Apol. 1:16) where an apostate Jew decrying Christians carried around a mocking image of a figure ‘with donkey’s ears, (dressed) in a toga, with a book and one hoofed foot’. In the Alexamenos graffito it is the conception of Jesus as a type of god that we see here, nevertheless, even though he is derided as the son of a donkey deity.28

Confirming Yeshua Shroud12
:copyright: Vernon Miller, 1978

It is highly unlikely that a medieval artist/forger would have depicted Jesus naked, when He was usually represented wearing robes or at least a loincloth. But the supposed forger must have intended to stress Jesus' nudity because he not only depicted Jesus fully naked from behind showing even His buttocks (as in the Alexamenos graffito above), but the forger had shown scourge marks around Jesus' genital area which a loincloth would have hidden. The Alexamenos graffito is also known as the "graffito blasfemo," or blasphemous graffito. A completely naked depiction of Jesus would have been sacrilegious and blasphemous to the medieval mind, and the usual punishment for blasphemy in medieval Europe was death by burning at the stake. So no medieval European forger would have dared to depict Christ naked realistically, as the man on the Shroud is . Therefore the complete nudity of the image on the Shroud is a further proof of its authenticity!

It is not a painting

There are no signs of brush strokes, finger strokes, or any other methods of artificial application; nor any directional pattern that there would have been if the Shroud image had been produced by a human hand. Jean Lorre, working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, used a micro-densitometer to scan black and white photos of the Shroud. When the resultant grey scale information was fed into a computer and then progressively removed at each level of shade intensity, the pixels disappeared randomly, showing there is no evidence of a directional pattern, and therefore no evidence for brush marks as would be expected for a painting. Further computer analysis by the late Prof. Giovanni Tamburelli (1923-90) in 1981 confirmed this. In fact, the only directional feature found on the Shroud image was in the weave of the cloth. One cannot apply paint without directionality. All paintings and drawings have directionality as an artist moves his/her brush, pen, or pencil from one side to another. Even with Pointillism, the "technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image", each dot betrays a slight directional movement. The lack of directionality of the Shroud image is further evidence that the Shroud is not a painting.  

That the Shroud image is non-directional is yet another problem for the forgery theory. In particular, the lack of brush strokes or any directional pattern rules out any production by the hand of an artist. Not only forgery by painting is ruled out; also is Joe Nickell's powder rubbed on a cloth over a bas relief method, because (amongst its many problems) the application of powder is directional. Directionality of sunlight is a fatal problem of Prof. Nicholas Allen's medieval photograph forgery theory. Indeed all naturalistic attempts to account for the non-directional nature of the Shroud image have failed!

A paint, pigment, dye, or other liquid colouring medium would not remain on the topmost fibrils of the Shroud but would, and did in tests, soak down through the cloth. Neither can the image be a dry powder rubbing as proposed by Joe Nickell. A powder would, and did in tests, work its way down from the surface of the cloth (but there is no powder even on the surface of the Shroud-see again "No paint, etc.) through the spaces in the weave. Nor is the image a scorch from the cloth having been draped over a heated statue or bas-relief, as first demonstrated in 1966 by British historian Geoffrey Ashe (1923-), that a damp linen cloth placed over a heated brass bas-relief of a horse ornament for a few seconds did scorch a negative image of the horse on the cloth. 

The Shroud was not in accordance with contemporary and previous portrait paintings and amongst other disadvantages, its two full body lengths would make exposition very difficult:

A. O.'Rahilly: Our difficulties continue when we come to consider the alleged anonymous painter of about 1350. Previously to 1898, a shroud more impressive to the eye, more in accordance with contemporary and previous portrait painting, would have been far more popular. What could have induced an artist to give us these obscure smudges whose details have been unravelled only in our own time? He chose a most inconvenient size; the two full body-lengths would make exposition very difficult. Five visible wounds would have better satisfied the devotional requirements of the time; yet on the shroud, the wound in one hand is completely covered by the other hand, and only in our day has the wound in the right sole been located. He broke with traditional iconography; Our Lord's body was depicted nude, so copyists hastened to add a loin-cloth; the wound in the right hand is located in the wrist; the sufferings were depicted with brutal realism. Moreover, there was a waste of incredible subtlety; for all the various physiological and anatomical details, presumably inserted in defiance of current artistic procedure, remained entirely unnoticed and unknown for about 550 years.

The Shroud's weave was expensive, so a double body length sheet of it would be an unnecessary additional expense for a forger. "Why did he [the forger] draw Christ in this particular way - with frontal and dorsal image of the body? ... Hardly for monetary gain":

Noel Currer-Briggs (1984): "There is simply no genius of this calibre known to art historians capable of creating such a masterpiece at this period. But that does not mean there was not such a genius; after all, he could have worked in total isolation and produced no other work of a comparable nature. So let us assume that he did live in some remote monastery or castle unknown to the rest of the world outside. Why did he draw Christ in this particular way - with frontal and dorsal image of the body? what could his reasons have been? Hardly for monetary gain. There is no record of the Shroud having been bought or sold before the mid-fifteenth century."29

Confirming Yeshua Scenes13

Finally, as mentioned above as "very significant," the man was laid on the back half of the cloth with his feet too far from the edge, leaving the front half not long enough to cover his feet, so the back end was brought up over his toes to overlap the front end. As Ian Wilson points out, "this is just the sort of mistake that someone enshrouding a genuine body might easily have made" but "an artist-forger would ... have made sure he 'imprinted' ... the body's front half in full":

"No less convincing a pointer to the Shroud being genuinely an ancient Jewish grave cloth, rather than a faked semblance, is the fact that its imprints are not just a straightforward 'front-half' and `back-half' of the `sandwich-board' variety, as any artist-forger would have concocted it, and as artists indeed sometimes unthinkingly copied it during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Instead the front half, rather than, as might be expected, extending all the way down to and beyond where the man of the Shroud's toes would have been, stops at least 2.5cm short, with the recently discovered hem showing that it never had any more length in its `finished' form. Yet in the case of the back half a region of blank cloth carries on for as much as 8 or 10cm beyond where the toes can be seen. Because of this overlap, the Shroud would therefore have been turned back over the short front half in order to make a neat funerary 'parcel'. Although this is just the sort of mistake that someone enshrouding a genuine body might easily have made, since after all, they would hardly have been expecting any image to form, an artist-forger would almost certainly have made sure he 'imprinted' at least the body's front half in full, leaving any 'skimping' to the less important back half.".

The image is faint

Paul Vignon (1865-1943), who was an artist before he became a biologist, tried to paint an image on linen as faint as that on the Shroud, first with oil paints and then with watercolours, but he found it to be almost impossible to paint even the crudest approximation of the Shroud's image and when he had done so, when the cloth was folded, the image peeled away. Because the Shroud image is so faint it cannot be seen close up, and at touching distance the image "melts away like mist", an artist would have had to stand 2 metres (~6.6 feet) or more from the cloth to see what he was doing. STURP chemist Alan D. Adler (1931-2000) and biophysicist John H. Heller (1921-95) conducted a gedankenexperiment (thought experiment) to think through how an artist could paint the Shroud's extremely faint image:

"... Adler and I began a gedankenexperiment to see what would be required of an artist. As mentioned earlier, you cannot see the man in the Shroud unless you are one or two meters away. An artist cannot paint if he cannot see what effect his brush is producing. Our putative artist, then, must have had a paintbrush one to two meters long. It must have consisted of a single bristle, since it painted single fibrils that were 10 to 15 microns in diameter. The finest paintbrush bristles I know of are sable, and a sable hair is vast in diameter compared with a linen fibril. In addition, the artist would have had to figure out a paint medium that had no oil or water, because there were no indications of capillarity. Now, to see what he was painting he would have needed a microscope with an enormous focal length that would permit the brush to operate under it. The physics of optics preclude such a device, unless it is attached to a television set. In this case, it would have had to be a color TV, for the straw-yellow is too faint to register on black and white. Another constraint the artist must have-dealt with is the limit of the human nervous system. No one can hold so long a brush steady enough to paint the top of a fibril. One would need a twentieth-century micromanipulator, which would have to work hydraulically at a distance of one to two meters. It would have to be rigged to a device called a waldo, which is an invention of the atomic era. Also, the artist would have to know how many fibrils to paint quantitatively, and do the whole thing in reverse, like a negative."

From the above, an artist-forger could not have created the extremely faint image of the Shroud. And even if he could have, he would not have created an image that was so faint, it could not be seen close-up. As the Irish theologian Alfred O'Rahilly (1884-1969) pointed out:

"Even forgery, being a business, must supply in accordance with demand, it must give customers what they want ..."

An artist would know that a forgery of Jesus' dead body on His burial Shroud, which was so faint it could not be seen close-up, would fetch a far lower price than one on which Jesus' body could be clearly seen. So even the extreme faintness of the image of the man on the Shroud is part of the overwhelming evidence that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

The image on the Shroud is anatomically correct

Joe Marino (2021): Starting with French biologist Dr. Paul Vignon in the early 20th century, most medical doctors who have studied the Shroud believe that the image accurately depicts anatomically and physiologically an actual human body that has undergone the torture of crucifixion. Drs. Robert Bucklin and Dr. Frederick Zugibe, who each studied the Shroud for about 50 years and who performed a combined approximate 50,000 (!) autopsies, both believed that the Shroud image was that of a real, crucified man who died. It seems bizarre that some skeptics will bring up the aforesaid point about a difference of beliefs of where the hand wound was located as if that also practically disauthenticates the Shroud.  It’s fair to say that an overwhelming number of medical doctors believe that it’s not a forgery. 30

The color of the linen cloth of the Shroud is uniform

The body image lies only on the very top of those Shroud fibers it has modified. All the image portions of the fibers show a uniform straw-yellow coloration. The color is that of dehydrated oxidized cellulose in linen fibers. Microdensitometric measurements of Shroud color photomicrographs found that the yellowing of any given fibril was the same as any other yellowed fibril on the Shroud. That is, body image fibrils over the entire Shroud are basically identical to each other in their straw-yellow color. Each yellowed fiber is yellowed to the same extent as any other image fiber. There was no graduating difference in the yellowness of the image fibers. Each image fiber held the same quantity of yellowness. If every topmost fiber of yellowed threads contained the same shade of yellow, then what caused the difference in the shading of the image? The difference in the shading of yellow from one area of the image to another was dependent on the number of yellowed fibers in each area. If one image area was darker than the other, that area would contain more yellowed fibers. It is similar to the half-tone prints in newspaper photos, where black is made by black ink dots bunched together, and gray is made by black ink dots interspersed with white areas. The darker an area, the more dots in it. This shows that the image seen at the macroscopic level is an areal density image and not a pigment concentration image. Shading is not accomplished by varying the color but by varying the number of colored fibers per unit area at the micro level. The darker portions of the image were not due to a variation in the degree of the yellowing of the fibrils, but rather to the presence of more yellowed fibrils per unit area. Any differences in intensity between different parts of the body image are due solely to the number of yellow-colored fibrils concentrated in a given area. Although parts of the body image may appear to be darker, it is not due to them having a darker yellow coloring, but rather they have a greater number of uniformly colored fibrils in those locations.

All the colored fibers are uniformly colored, that is, an exposed fiber is either colored or not colored. Yellowed image fibers lie alongside white non-image fibers. The Shroud image color information is therefore digital, with only two states: on-off, as in modern computer technology. Not analog, with continuously varying information, as in a painting. Optical engineer, Kevin Moran examined by microscope Shroud fibers attached to the 27 sticky tapes that Max Frei (1913–83 had pressed into the Shroud in 1978. Moran dubbed the Shroud's image fibers, "pixels, similar to a TV screen. ... darker and lighter shades are not the result of more or less `paint but rather a greater concentration of dehydrated fibers, ie. Pixelization":

"Because of my interest in how the image was formed, I have examined the image-forming pixels or segments of the fiber that have the darker yellowing. I have dubbed the elements 'pixels' to draw attention to the fact that they are optically terminated. They are very sharply defined at their ends. They are not diffused spots that would be seen if they were dyed or chemically reacted or a thermal burn. They are most certainly not made by pigment contact"

Moran further noted that under the microscope, "where the ... image ... fiber meets the ... nonimage ... fiber looks like a precision line formed on a modern semiconductor":

"Since the linen fibers are some 10 to 30 microns in diameter and appear as smooth fiber optics, the section where the darkened [i.e. image] fiber meets the clear [i.e. nonimage] fiber looks like a precision line formed on a modern semiconductor."

This is something completely outside any conceivable technology, medieval or modern". While maybe overstating it that this is outside of modern technology, it certainly is completely outside of 14th century technology, when the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in 1355, at Lirey, France. And since no medieval human artificer could have even seen linen fibrils on the Shroud which are ~15 microns (15/1000ths of a millimeter) in diameter, let alone selectively color thousands of them, the Shroud is not "a product of human artifice." Therefore, "the image is that of Jesus"!

Crown of thorns. 

Confirming Yeshua Sem_t154

Holographic imaging offers distinctive viewpoints. In two-dimensional photos, a blood mark seems to hover over the head region. However, holographic analysis reveals that this mark is directly atop the head. Additional blood marks are distributed across the head's surface. This pattern suggests that the thorny crown was more akin to a cap than a simple ring.

Confirming Yeshua Remova10

Confirming Yeshua Sem_tz91

On the Shroud, there are markings around the head that suggest blood flow or pooling consistent with an object like a crown of thorns resting on the head. The exact shape of the crown, however, is difficult to deduce with certainty solely from the image on the shroud. Historically, the crown of thorns is often depicted as a circular band. However, the markings on the shroud could suggest a more cap-like shape, with bloodstains indicating a dense covering over the top of the head rather than just around the circumference, which might support the idea of a crown that is more helmet-like than a simple ring.

Confirming Yeshua Downlo10

The crown of thorns was probably a dense, spherical mass of intertwined thorns. It covered the entire upper portion of the head, from the forehead to the back of the skull, extending to the sides above the ears. The thorns were sharp and of varying lengths, with some sticking out more prominently than others, creating a chaotic, yet cohesive structure that resembles a roughly shaped dome or hut. The way the crown was thick and heavy, pressing down on the head rather than just sitting atop it. The man on the shroud appears to have several wounds on his head, which are often referred to as the "crown of thorns" because they resemble the type of crown that Jesus is said to have been forced to wear. These wounds appear as small, puncture-like marks arranged in a circular pattern around the top and sides of the head. The wounds were caused by a crown of thorns, as a cap or a helmet. No medieval or earlier artist had depicted Jesus wearing a cap of thorns. Where traditional Christian art depicted Jesus wearing a crown of thorns it was a circlet type of crown. A cap of thorns would therefore be non-traditional and non-European and so would offend the sensibilities of medieval Europeans rather than impress them. Moreover, this information would not be common knowledge to a medieval forger for centuries to come. No medieval artist has approached the physiological realism of the cap of thorns bloodflows on the Shroud. 

Confirming Yeshua Img_2010

"Helmet" of thorns in the permanent exhibition of the Shroud of Turin in the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center

In mockery of Jesus' confirmation to Pilate that He was the King of the Jews (Mt 27:11; Mk 15:2, Lk 23:3, Jn 18:33-37), the Gospels record that the Roman soldiers guarding Jesus twisted together a crown [Gk. stephanos] of thorns and put it on His head (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2)[21]. The shape of the crown cannot be determined from the Greek word for "crown" (stephanos), which means "primarily, that which surrounds, as a wall or crowd (from stepho, to encircle)"; "to put round ... a crown (with which the head is encircled)". So traditional Christian art has depicted Jesus wearing a wreath or circlet crown of thorns, down to the present. But the pattern of puncture marks all over the scalp of the man on the Shroud indicate that his crown of thorns was a "cap" or "helmet".

The crown of thorns is a cap. That the crown of thorns on the Shroud is a cap is evidence that the Shroud is authentic and so is a problem for the forgery theory. In the East the traditional crown of kings was a mitre which covered the entire head like a cap. But a European medieval forger would be unlikely to know this and even if he did, he would most likely still have depicted Jesus wearing a circlet, not a cap, crown of thorns as on the Shroud. That is because even after the Shroud had first appeared in undisputed history at Lirey, France in 1355, European artists continued to depict the crown of thorns on Jesus' head as a Western circlet crown, not as an Eastern mitre (cap) crown, as on the Shroud.

Confirming Yeshua Shroud13
Copy of the Shroud dated 1516, kept in the Church of St. Gommaire, Lier, Belgium, showing Jesus naked, but His crown of thorns is a circlet, and He has two hands visible with a nail wound in each palm. So it would have been easy for a forger to have depicted Jesus' two nail wounds while His hands covered His genital area, as the artist of this copy - probably Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) - did.

Nails in the hands. 

Traditional Christian art has depicted the crucifixion nails that the Gospels state were in Jesus' hands (Jn 20:19-20, 24-28; Lk 24:36-40) as being in His palms, including by some who have copied the Shroud. However, as Paul Vignon (1865-1943) had pointed out, and surgeon Pierre Barbet (1884–1961) proved experimentally on cadavers, that when a man's body is suspended on a cross by only a nail through the palm of each hand, the nails would tear through the fleshy palms and the crucified would fall off his cross. However Barbet also proved experimentally on other cadavers that a nail through the wrist (as on the Shroud-see next) of each hand would support a suspended man's body without tearing through the bony wrists. On the Shroud only the nail wound in the left hand is visible, its counterpart in

Confirming Yeshua Shroud11
:copyright: Vernon Miller, 1978

Nail exit wound on the back of the Shroud man's left wrist, showing trickles of blood from that wound and the inferred wound in the right hand, both of which trickles ran down each forearms when the hands were raised above the head on the cross. the right hand being covered by the left hand. The existence of a corresponding nail wound in the right hand can be inferred from the trickles of blood down the right forearm, similar to those on the left forearm. This is consistent with the Gospels because the New Testament Greek for "hand" [cheir] included the wrist and in fact the hand, wrist and arm up to the elbow, because the Greek words for "arm" [ankale and brachion] did not include the arm from the elbow to the hand (i.e. the forearm).

Nails in the wrists, not palms. A medieval artist/forger who intended his shroud to be accepted, would not have contradicted the traditional iconography, showing only one full hand on the Shroud and therefore only one nail wound[, in the wrist, not the palm. It was not until the 17th century, and therefore likely influenced by the Shroud, that a minority of artists, notably Van Dyck, began depicting Jesus crucified, suspended by a nail in each wrist. A medieval forger would certainly have placed the hand nail wound in Jesus' palm, as he would have had to conform to traditional norms, if he wanted his false shroud to have been accepted. Medieval tradition demanded that the nail-wound in the left hand be in the centre of the palm, and in a forged relic such independence from tradition would not have been tolerated. A medieval forger would have depicted two nail wounds in the centre of Christ's two hands, not one nail wound in one wrist, because in the Middle Ages the wounds of Christ had intense devotional interest and were always conventionally depicted. And because Christ's wounds were considered profoundly meaningful and were a focus of devotion in the Middle Ages, if the Shroud were a medieval forgery, the wounds in the hands (plural) would have been clearly marked. Since crucifixion had been abolished across the Roman Empire (including Europe) in 337, by Emperor Constantine the Great (c. 272–337), a medieval forger would be most unlikely to know enough about Roman crucifixion to contradict the unanimous view of medieval Christianity, that nails had been driven through the middle of Jesus' palms. So either an unknown medieval artistic genius had a unique insight into the practice of Roman crucifixion, or the Shroud genuinely documents this ancient torture!

Mark Niyr (2020):The Bible reports that when Yeshua was crucified, each of his hands were nailed to the beam (John 20:24‐28). Throughout history, artistic renditions of the crucifixion show the nails centered in the middle of the palms, not through the wrists as viewed from the Shroud. However, it is now known that it is impossible for nails to support the body’s weight from the palms of the hands. Nails in the palms would simply tear away through the flesh from the weight of the body. Only since the 20th century (from medical experiments after 1930) have scientists established this fact. Archeological discoveries since the 1960s have confirmed that crucified victims were indeed nailed through the wrist or lower forearms (not through the palms of the hands). Therefore, artistic depictions of nails in the palms of the hands are anatomically erroneous. However, most people are unaware that the Greek language of the Messianic Writings (i.e. New Testament) when referring to these nail wounds employed a Greek word for “hand” (Gk cheir / John 20:25) which includes not only the hand, but also down through the forearm. Here again the Shroud is found to be anatomically correct in a way that surpassed medieval knowledge. There are no art depictions from medieval times, nor prior to the 17th century, showing the nails in the wrists. All art illustrations prior to the 17th century show the wounds in the palms of the hands. This suggests that a medieval forger would not have been aware of this fact. The image of the Shroud reveals that the nails were driven either into the “thenar furrow” of the hand (the extreme bottom of the hand, angled down to exit the wrist area) or through the radial (thumb) side of the wrist. We can only see the back of one hand, but nonetheless, the nail exited the radial (thumb) side of the wrist. Either way, the nail would not break any bones and would support a couple hundred pounds of body weight. STURP forensic examiner Frederick Zugibe, M.D., Ph.D., pointed out that a nail in this location would strike (and continuously irritate) “the median nerve resulting in one of the most exquisite pains ever experienced by man—known medically as causalgia (cau‐sal‐gia).” It is also possible that the nail may have entered a location called the “Space of Destot,” which also could receive a spike without breaking any bones, and could readily support the weight of a body. A nail through the wrist could stimulate the median nerve causing the thumbs to contract toward the palms (as found on the Shroud.1

The head wounds depicted on the Shroud align with the accounts in the Gospels. The crown of thorns was a unique form of torture specifically designed for Jesus. In all four Gospels, Pilate questioned Jesus about being a king, and a sign proclaiming him as the "King of the Jews" was affixed to the cross. There is no historical evidence to suggest that crowns of thorns were a typical punishment for crucifixions, which were commonly inflicted on felons, slaves, defeated enemy soldiers, and traitors. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the crown of thorns was unique to Jesus, tailored to match one of the charges against him.

Scholars and historical records support the conclusion that the crown of thorns was specific to Jesus. While Romans did not typically crown victims of crucifixion, there is only one reported instance of someone being punished with a crown of thorns in historical records, namely Jesus of Nazareth as the mock king of the Jews. The historical evidence and logical reasoning support the unique identification of the Shroud man with Jesus through the crown marks.

It should be noted that the Gospels do not provide a detailed description of the crown, leaving its portrayal up to artists' imaginations. Throughout centuries of artistic tradition, the common depiction has been Jesus wearing a circular crown. However, the Shroud shows the man wearing a helmet-like crown with numerous puncture wounds concentrated on the top third of the head.

This discrepancy between the Shroud and traditional artistic depictions raises an intriguing question. If the Shroud was a creation of a medieval artist intended to satisfy a medieval audience, it is puzzling why it deviates significantly from the established artistic traditions. However, historical portraiture provides some insight into this puzzle.

Images of medieval kings of France predominantly show them wearing ringlet crowns, while ancient kings of Parthia during Jesus' time typically wore caps. Rome and Parthia were engaged in conflicts over the Levant during that era. It is possible that the Roman soldiers fashioned a crown based on their familiarity with the Kings of Parthia, aligning with ancient Eastern traditions rather than the medieval Western tradition of ringlet crowns. This could explain why the Shroud man is depicted with a cap of thorns instead of a circular crown.

Another interesting observation is that the Shroud's depiction differs from centuries of artistic convention in terms of medical accuracy. The Shroud accurately portrays the wounds caused by the crown of thorns, while traditional artistic depictions often stray from this accuracy.

In conclusion, the head wounds depicted on the Shroud correspond to the Gospel accounts. The crown of thorns was a unique form of torture specific to Jesus, and historical evidence and reasoning support this conclusion. The Shroud's portrayal of the crown aligns with ancient Eastern traditions, deviating from centuries of medieval Western artistic conventions. Additionally, the Shroud's depiction demonstrates medical accuracy in representing the wounds caused by the crown.

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7Confirming Yeshua Empty Is the man on the shroud Jesus? Tue Nov 15, 2022 4:01 am



Nail marks

Deacon Pedro (2021):: On the frontal image of the shroud, the imprints left by the upper limbs are distinguished. The arms lie slightly turned outward from the elbow. The left hand lies over the right hand. On the left wrist a bloodstain can be seen. This stain was likely caused by two blood flows running up from the same wound on the wrist. This is explained by the two different positions assumed by men during crucifixion: supporting the weight on legs and feet and hanging on the wrists.

Only four fingers of the hands are visible. According to Dr. Pierre Barbet in his book A Doctor at Calvary, the thumb is hidden in the palm by a contraction reflex, caused by a lesion of the median nerve in the wrist. Even though popular crucifixion art never shows the nail to have gone through the wrist, the shroud shows bloodstains on the arms that indicate that the blood flowed upwards from a square-shaped puncture wound on the wrist.
It is believed that in crucifixion, nails were driven into this area since the structure of the hand could not support the full weight of a body. A crucified skeleton found near Jerusalem, which dates back to the first century AD, has been used to confirm this theory. 23

Refuting the radiocarbon dating from 1988

The triumphal headline news at the time seemed to vindicate those critics who were certain the Shroud was a medieval forgery, cleverly concocted at a time when fake relics were common (in The Canterbury Tales Chaucer takes a cynical view of the gullibility of the laity in this respect). The author faces this supposedly conclusive evidence head-on, explaining why carbon dating is not as `infallible' as is sometimes thought, that the protocols laid down for conducting the 1988 tests were ignored and that the single sample of the cloth tested was taken from a repaired strip on the side, which would have been contaminated in various ways over the centuries and which was thus inappropriate for a forensic study. Oxford radiocarbon dating laboratory's Director, Prof. Christopher Ramsey, admitted in 2008 that:

"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the Shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow and so further research is certainly needed. It is important that ... experts assess and reinterpret some of the other evidence. Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the Shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information".

1. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
2. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016)
4. Kelly P Kearse: Ultraviolet fluorescent detection of elevated bilirubin in dried blood serum September 23, 2022
5. ANDREA TORNIELLI: [url=https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2017/07/11/news/shroud-new-study-there-is-blood-of-a-man-tortured-and-killed-1.34449981#:~:text=The Shroud of Turin%2C the,who suffered many serious injuries.]Shroud, new study: there is blood of a man tortured and killed [/url]11 Luglio 2017
6. ecarlino: Reply to Retraction of the paper “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud” by all the authors of the paper 26 Jul 2018
7. Stephen E. Jones: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 26, 2015
8. TED Talk: The Shroud and the jew: Barrie Schwortz at TEDx ViadellaConciliazione 2013
9. Messengersaintanthony: The Man of the Shroud has a name! February 07 2003
10. Paolo Di Lazzaro: A Ray of Light on the Shroud of Turin Conference Paper · June 2015
11. Giulio Fanti: A Reexamination of the Pigment-Reinforcement Hypothesis of the Turin Shroud’s Bloodstains 06 November 2021
12. Joanna Moorhead: The $1m challenge: ‘If the Turin Shroud is a forgery, show how it
13. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
14. Peter S. Williams The Shroud of Turin: A Cumulative Case for Authenticity
15. CBS News:  Forensic research (once again) suggests the Shroud of Turin is fake  July 17, 2018
16. Deacon Pedro: Deacon-structing the Shroud of Turin: The facts September 13, 2021
17. Matteo Borrini, Ph.D.; and Luigi Garlaschelli, M.Sc.: A BPA Approach to the Shroud of Turin 6 June 2018

18. Gary Habermas: Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? p.119). 1987
19. L. Garlaschelli: Life-size Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin and its Image 2010
20. Barrie Schwortz: Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz, 7 October 2009
21. N. D. WILSON: Father Brown Fakes the Shroud 2005
22. ListenNotes: Episode #11: Has The Shroud Been Debunked? John Calvin vs. The Shroud Oct. 15, 2019
23. Joseph G. Marino: The c. 1389 d'Arcis Memorandum and the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2022
24. Dominic Selwood: If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it’s one of the greatest artworks ever created 27 April 2015
25. Stephen E. Jones: Problems of the Turin Shroud forgery theory: Index A-F (2016)
26. Robert K. Wilcox: Shroud 1978
27. Wikipedia: Alexamenos graffito
28. Joan E. Taylor: What Did Jesus Look Like?  February 8, 2018
29. Noel Currer-Briggs: The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ  1984
30. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021


Is the man on the shroud Jesus?

The biblical narratives related to the passion and death of Jesus confirm the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. And the Shroud of Turin confirms the authenticity of the Gospels.

If the Shroud of Turin is indeed a genuine, first-century burial garment, which once held the corpse of a real man who was crucified by the Romans (as the evidence considered thus far suggests), we are faced with two alternatives. Either the man buried in the Shroud was Jesus, or he was some other victim of crucifixion. The evidence indicates with a high degree of probability that the man buried in the Shroud was not only a Jewish man, but the specific Jewish man whom Christians know as Jesus Christ. If the man in the Shroud was not a Jew, then he cannot have been Jesus. However, Kenneth E. Stevens and Gary R. Habermas explain that: Experts agree that facial features identify the man buried in the Shroud as a Caucasian. Carlton Coon, a leading ethnologist, says he has the physical features of a Jew or Arab. The man’s hairstyle, characterized by a beard and long hair parted in the middle, further identifies him as a Jew. In addition, the hair in back is cut in the form of a pigtail, a hairstyle very common in first-century Jewish men. It is thus probable that this crucified person was a Jew.

In 1999 Giulio Fanti, Emanuela Marinelli and Alessandro Cagnazzo, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padua, presented a paper on ‘Computerized anthropomorphic analysis of the Man of the Turin Shroud’. Among the amazing results of this study were that the Man in the Shroud had a tibia length of 42.7 cm, and that he was 174 cm high (plus or minus 4 cm)! They conclude: ‘from a comparison among the anthropometric indices characteristic of different human races and those of the Man of the Shroud [that] the Semitic race is the closest one to the Man’s features.’ Since the man in the Shroud was Semitic, he could have been Jesus. Was he? The correlation between the wounds inflicted upon the Jewish man buried in the shroud and the wounds the New Testament reports as having been inflicted upon Jesus is remarkable: ‘comparison of the gospel accounts with the sufferings and burial of the man in the Shroud points to the strong likelihood that the man is Jesus Christ. The evidence is consistent at every point. The man of the Shroud suffered, died, and was buried the way the gospels say Jesus was.’ These similarities don’t fit any other known victim of crucifixion, except Jesus. The sufferings, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus, as described by the gospels, were different from the ordinary ways the Romans crucified criminals and the Jews buried their dead: ‘Jesus’ case was irregular. He was scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed to his cross [rather than tied], stabbed in the side (instead of his legs being broken), buried well [rather than thrown to the dogs] but incompletely, and his body left the cloth before it decomposed.’ Because we know quite a lot about Roman and Jewish customs in these matters, we can estimate the probability of two men being treated, crucified and buried in this way, and hence the probability that the Jewish man in the Shroud was Jesus. 

Kenneth E. Stevenson and Gary R. Habermas note just eight irregularities present in both the New Testament and the Turin Shroud (there are others55 ) and make conservative estimates of the probability that these irregularities would occur in other crucifixion victims:

1. Both exhibit severe beating and scourging (Matthew 27:26-30; Mark 15:15- 19; Luke 22:63-64; John 19:1-3). (1 in 2 probability that a crucified man other than Jesus was beaten in this way) 
2. Both had a crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17-20; John 19:2) – ‘Crowning indicates majesty and a crown of thorns would, of course, mock that proclaimed majesty. Jesus was crowned with thorns for this very reason. . . the man buried in the Shroud was also pierced through the scalp. If the man in the Shroud is not Jesus, what are the chances that this man, probably a criminal or slave, would have been crowned with thorns?’56 (1 in 400 probability) 
3. Many crucifixion victims were tied to their crosses with ropes, but both Jesus and the man in the Shroud were nailed there (Luke 24:39; John 20:20, 25- 27).57 (1 in 2 probability) 
4. Neither Jesus nor the man in the Shroud had their legs were broken, the normal procedure for ensuring death (John 19:31-32). (1 in 3 probability) 
5. ‘To ensure that Jesus was dead, a soldier stabbed him in the side, and blood and water flowed from the wound (John 19:33-34). The same thing happened to the man in the Shroud.’ (The wound in the side of the Man in the Shroud exactly corresponds to the size of the tip of the lancia, a Roman spear with a long, leaf-shaped head.) (1 in 27 probability) 
6. Few victims of crucifixion were given individual burials in a fine linen Shroud (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42). (1 in 8 probability) 
7. Both Jesus and the man in the Shroud were buried hastily (Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-24:1). (1 in 8 probability) 
8. Neither man decomposed in their Shroud. (1 in 10 probability) Despite using ‘deliberately conservative’ estimates of the probability that ‘are most likely too low , Stevenson and Habermas observe that: ‘multiplying these probabilities, we have 1 chance in 82,944,000 that the man buried in the Shroud is not Jesus.’

Despite using ‘deliberately conservative’ estimates of the probability that ‘are most likely too low’, Stevenson and Habermas observe that: ‘multiplying these probabilities, we have 1 chance in 82,944,000 that the man buried in the Shroud is not Jesus.’ To get a handle on just how improbable it is that the man buried in the Shroud was not Jesus, 82,944,000 dollar bills laid end to end would stretch from New York to San Francisco three times over. Supposing that just one of these bills is marked and a blind-folded person is given just one chance to pick it up, the odds that he will succeed are 1 chance in 82,944,000: ‘These are the odds that the man buried in the Shroud is someone other than Jesus Christ. . . Thus we conclude that, according to high probability, the man buried in the Shroud is none other than Jesus.’ 1

Stephen E. Jones (2013): The Shroud must be consistent with the Bible If the Shroud of Turin is the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, then it must be consistent with what the Bible says about Him, particularly about His suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection:

G.R. Habermas (1981): "If the Shroud is the actual burial garment of Jesus, then it should be consistent with the New Testament texts. This condition must be satisfied before anyone can identify the cloth as Jesus' burial garment."

Because, as Stevenson and Habermas' second sentence above implies, if the image on the Shroud was not consistent with what the Bible says about Jesus, particularly about His suffering, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, then there would be no reason to believe the Shroud was "Jesus' burial garment". For example, if the Gospels said nothing about Jesus having been scourged with a Roman flagrum, crowned with thorns, and speared in the side, that would be sufficient reason to believe that the Shroud imprint is that of another crucifixion victim, as proposed by the theory that the man on the Shroud is that of "a Crusader crucified by the Saracens," or that he is "Jacques de Molay the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar".

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The Shroud is consistent with the Bible 

There is no injury sustained by the man on the Shroud that does not correspond to the injuries to Christ described or implied in the Gospels. Some of the parallels between the Gospel evidence and the Shroud evidence are summarised below in table form:

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The Bible does not exclude the man on the Shroud being Jesus 

Nothing in the Bible rules out the man on the Shroud being Jesus. There is no detail in the Gospels' account of the suffering, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus that contradicts the witness of the Shroud. Shroud skeptics concede the image on the Shroud matches the Gospels' description of Jesus. The late Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856-1939), a leading early 20th century Roman Catholic Shroud skeptic, admitted that:

"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 ... 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."

The comparison of the New Testament and the Shroud image lines up at every point". The Shroud of Turin is fully consistent with the Bible's description of the suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ.

The Shroud image is of a Jewish man 

The image on the Shroud is of a man. He is powerfully built, has a beard, and is about 181 cm (5 ft 11 in) tall. Jesus was a man. (Mt 26:72; Mk 15:12; Jn 19:5; Acts 2:22; Rom 5:15; 1Tim 2:5) He was a carpenter (Mk 6:3) which is consistent with His muscular physique. 

The man on the Shroud was a Jew, according to the late Harvard physical anthropologist Carleton S. Coon. The man on the Shroud has shoulder-length hair which is parted in the middle, but of the numerous Greek and Roman portraits we have, there is not one of a man with middle-parted hair falling to the shoulders. Similarly, a full beard like that on the Shroud is rarely found in a Greek or Roman portrait, but Jews regarded a full beard as a mark of manhood. Also, the manner of burial was first-century Jewish, with the deceased lying on his back, his hands crossed in front covering his pelvic region, and his body covered with a single linen sheet.

The man on the Shroud was scourged

Once convicted of a crime worthy of crucifixion, the victim would be stripped, tied to a post or tree, and whipped (Eduard et al., 2017). The whip was typically made from leather and intertwined with jagged bone shards in order to cause significant skin and soft tissue injury (Holoubek and Holoubek, 1995). The victims were lashed across their backs and buttocks, avoiding the chest area in order to preclude premature cardiac death (Eduard et al., 2017). Since
this beating was limited to skin and other soft tissues, large blood vessels were spared so there was no significant blood loss. The scourging was intended to weaken the victim to a point just short of death (Tenney, 1964).

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The Shroud of Turin contains detailed information about the scourging of Jesus that surpasses the details provided in the Gospels. While the Gospels offer differing accounts of the terminology used to describe the scourging (e.g., scourged, flogged, chastised), the Shroud provides extensive information about how Jesus was flogged, who flogged him, with what instruments, his posture, and how he was clothed.

The information on the Shroud is derived from a study titled "New Image Processing of the Turin Shroud Scourge Marks." In this study, the authors conducted experiments using different types of weapons and compared the results to high-resolution images of the Shroud. They identified three types of scourge marks on the Shroud.

Type 1 marks, which are the most prevalent, cover most of Jesus' body and are consistent with wounds caused by a Roman flagrum. A similar weapon was unearthed in the 1st-century Roman city of Herculaneum. Type 2 marks, also covering most of his body, are believed to have been caused by a flexible rod, similar to a Roman virga. These type 1 and 2 marks are often overlapped by other blood marks, including the so-called blood belt and the outflows from the wrists. Type 3 marks are rare and account for a small percentage of the total marks. They are found on the legs, calves, and close to the ankles.

The study's key findings align the Shroud with the sequence of events described in the Gospels. The overlapping marks correspond to the order in which Jesus was scourged before being nailed to the cross. The wrist outflows coincide with the type 1 and 2 marks. The type 3 marks are consistent with strikes inflicted from behind and below, possibly after Jesus was crucified. Additionally, the Shroud provides subtle clues that match an unusual feature mentioned in the Gospels regarding Jesus' changing clothing during the ordeal.

The distribution and patterns of the scourge marks on the Shroud also offer insights into Jesus' likely posture during the scourging. Approximately 60% of the marks are on the man's backside, with some lashes wrapping around to the front. Marks on the hands, wrists, ankles, and soles of the feet are scarce. Based on these observations, an artist's rendering of the likely position when scourged can be depicted.

Furthermore, the evidence from the Shroud suggests that the victim lived during the Roman era. Jewish law and practice prohibited more than 40 lashes, so the 372 marks on the Shroud indicate a Roman-style scourging rather than a Jewish one. Some researchers argue that the actual number of lashes may be closer to 120, potentially indicating the use of a three-pronged flagrum. The presence of flagrum and virga marks supports the idea that the man depicted on the Shroud was punished during the Roman era, placing him in the correct historical context to be Jesus of Nazareth.

Considering the wealth of detailed information on the Shroud that goes beyond the Gospel accounts, the source of its details is not the Gospels themselves. An artist relying solely on the Gospels would not have been able to produce such a comprehensive depiction. Creating the Shroud would require expertise in various fields, including history, anatomy, Roman weaponry, archaeology, and possibly even Roman and Jewish law. Even an eyewitness to the scourging would need to possess a broad range of knowledge, particularly in the field of hematology, to produce the intricate details seen on the Shroud.

Regarding the crown of thorns, the Shroud also provides visual evidence of this torment inflicted upon Jesus. The thorns are depicted on the Shroud, showing wounds around the head area. This aligns with the Gospel accounts

Scourging was a Roman punishment for serious offenses by non-Roman citizens(Acts 22:25-29) bend over and tied to a stake or column. He or she is then flogged with a flagrum, a uniquely Roman whip that comprised a handle to which were attached two or three thongs of rope or leather tipped or interwoven with small, sharp pieces of wood, bone or metal. This was designed to rip out pieces of flesh with each blow so as to inflict maximum pain on the victim. Scourging was the usual preliminary to the Roman crucifixion and some died of the scourging alone. The imprints on the Shroud show that the man was scourged with a Roman flagrum. All blows were to the man's back, including his legs, and the end of the lash whipped around to the front of his body and legs. The head, neck, and arms were spared. There are tiny marks of over a 100 dumbbell-shaped scourge wounds. That they are in groups of two or three indicates they were inflicted by a two- or three-thonged lash tipped with dumbbell-shaped lead pellets called plumbatae, the same as on the flagrum found in the excavations of Herculaneum. The scourge wounds on the Shroud were originally thought to be contusions, or hematomas, in which bleeding occurs under the skin without necessarily breaking it. But more recent analysis suggests that the scourge marks on Shroud are of blood from within the breaks in the skin caused by the dumbbell-shaped objects. From a horizontal axis across the middle of the body, the scourge wounds fan-out upward over the upper back, criss-cross over at the shoulders, and fan downward on the thighs and calves. Using goniometry, the science of calculating angles, it has been deduced that there were two scourgers, the one on the right being slightly taller than the one on the left. There are also tiny scratches which may indicate that an additional scourging instrument was used, probably the "reeds" which were long, slender sticks or rods (cf. Acts 16:22; 2Cor 11:25) and may be the Roman scuticae.

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Psalms 129.3 (KJV) The plowers plowed upon my back: They made long their furrows.

The Gospels of Matthew and Mark (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15) record that Jesus was "scourged" (Gk. phragelloosas), a Latin loan word that specifically means to be flogged with a Roman flagrum. The Gospels of Luke and John (Lk 23:16 & Jn 19:1) use the general terms "chastise" (paideusas) and "flog" (emastigoosen), respectively. The scourging of Jesus was evidently carried out by Roman soldiers.  (Mt 27:27; Mk 15:16; Lk 23:11; Jn 19:2) While the Law of Moses limited a judicial whipping to no more than "forty stripes" (Dt 25:3), in practice the Jews administered only thirty-nine lashes (2Cor 11:24), to avoid inadvertently exceeding the legal limit. 

Confirming Yeshua Scourgemarksback1ShroudScope

But the Romans had no such legal limit and so were free to administer as many lashes of the flagrum as they pleased. However, the Romans did not want crucifixion victims to die too early and 39 strokes of a three-thonged flagrum is 117 lash marks.

The Romans had no laws governing the number of lashes that could be administered, but it was against Mosaic Law to exceed 40 lashes. This is stated in Deut. 25:3: “Forty stripes may be given him, but not more; lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight.” Also, in 2 Cor. 11:24, “five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.” Does this estimate of over 100 lashes on the Shroud conflict with the account in Deut 25:3? The answer is simple. The flagrum consisted of at least three thongs, so each lash would have caused three lash marks, and 39 lashes times three equals 117. If there were four
tails on the flagrum, there could have been about 25 to 30 lashes times four. The dumbbell-shaped markings on the Shroud of Turin might not indicate bruises or welts as previously thought, but rather could represent small skin breaks that have led to "patterned injuries." These are common in forensic pathology. These patterns likely formed from the blood seeping out of the skin breaks caused by dumbbell-shaped objects. Such injuries typically produce significant bleeding, but the patterns would only become visible during an autopsy, after the wounds are gently cleansed. Ultraviolet photographs of the Shroud's back image reveal numerous fine lines, possibly unseen if the blood hadn't been cleaned off the body. During initial burial rites, washing the body might cause a slight seepage of blood and serum from the wounds, transferring the patterns onto the fabric. This theory was tested and confirmed by washing away dried or clotted blood from recent traffic accident victims' wounds and then placing a linen or paper towel over the wounds, which resulted in impressions of the wounds on the fabric.

The Man Of The Shroud Was Washed
The Lost Gospel According to Peter, section 6 which is hereby submitted because of its definitive statement regarding the fact that Jesus was washed prior to being placed on the shroud: "And he took the Lord and washed him, and rolled him in a linen cloth, and brought him to his own tomb, which was called the Garden of Joseph."

The Roman governor Pontius Pilate had originally intended that Jesus be scourged and then released (Lk 23:16). He had hoped that the Jewish religious leaders would regard the scourging of Jesus as sufficient punishment for their charge of blasphemy and Pilate tried unsuccessfully to reason with them to let Jesus go (Jn 19:1-16). So Jesus unusually received both an extreme scourging and then was crucified, and this unusual double punishment was also inflicted on the man in the Shroud. The repeated impacts on Jesus' chest of four or six lead balls (depending on whether a two or three-thonged flagrum was used) with each lash of a flagrum would have caused a slow accumulation of fluid (pleural effusion) in the pleural sac (pleura) around each lung. This pleural fluid, and blood from the right attrium of Jesus' heart as the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus' right side with a spear withdrew it, is the likely cause of the "blood and water" which the Apostle John records in Jn 19:34. Pilate was surprised that Jesus had died after a comparatively short time on the cross (Mk 15:42-45), so it was probably the unusually severe scourging that Jesus received which was hastened His death.

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G.Fanti (2008): After His scourging the soldiers put Jesus' clothes back on him (Mt 27:31; Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20) which may partly explain why the scourge marks on the Shroud are accompanied by such little blood, it having been mostly absorbed by Jesus' clothes. The scourge marks on the Shroud are physiologically accurate. When examined under a microscope, each scourge mark reveals a slightly depressed center and raised edges. Under ultraviolet light each scourge mark can be seen to have a "halo" of lighter colour surrounding it. These halos were chemically tested and found to be blood serum which is left behind after a blood clot forms and then retracts inwards as it dries, a process called syneresis. These scourge mark indented centres and raised edges on the Shroud are not visible to the naked eye, but can only be seen when examined under a microscope and the serum halos can only be seen under ultraviolet light. This is further evidence that the Shroud could not have been created by an artist in the Middle Ages, or earlier, because that knowledge about blood clot structure, let alone a microscope and an ultraviolet light source to see it, did not then exist for many centuries into the future. 2

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Here are still more details of the body of the man of the Shroud tortured by flagellation they can definitely be found imprinted just the blows of a Roman flagrum. The impact of the details of the body scourged of the man of the Shroud is extremely dramatic and heartbreaking

Cause of death

The most likely causes of death are compromised circulation due to intense pain, compromised preload caused by the hanging position, hypovolemic shock due to dehydration and blood loss (Lavoie et al., 1983), accentuated by trauma-induced coagulopathy (Bergeron, 2011) (Trauma induced coagulopathy is a common complication of traumatic shock. This complication often occurs when several factors are present: shock, tissue injury, hypothermia, systemic inflammation and acidemia. Most, if not all these conditions, are expected in the case of the historical Jesus) and asphyxia (suffocation) (Barbet, 1993) due to exhaustion. 3

Last edited by Otangelo on Sun Dec 03, 2023 10:38 pm; edited 58 times in total


8Confirming Yeshua Empty Re: Confirming Yeshua Tue Nov 15, 2022 5:29 am



Each one of the over 100 scourge wounds on the Shroud matches exactly what would have been caused by a type of Roman flagrum buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. So a fourteenth-century or earlier forger would have had to possess a faultless archaeological knowledge of a first-century Roman scourging with a flagrum as well as make no normal artists' mistakes since each one of the over 100 scourge marks has identical dimensions. Only from the Middle Ages did artists depict the scourging of Jesus and even the best of them were vague about the details. But the scourge marks on the Shroud are depicted with a realism that is unknown to the art of any period. Agnostic art historian Thomas de Wesselow states:

"Once again, though, it [the Shroud] differs dramatically from anything envisaged in the Middle Ages. The vast majority of medieval images of the dead or dying Christ fail to depict any scourge marks at all ... Christ is sometimes shown bleeding in depictions of the flagellation, but the effect is always rather crude. In Duccio's rendering of the scene, for example, the scourge marks are represented as red dribbles all over the body, including the arms but not the legs ...The artist displays no knowledge of the Roman flagrum, nor any conception of how it was wielded. Even a fifteenth-century artist as accomplished as Jean Colombe, who definitely knew the Shroud, was unable to reproduce its convincing pattern of scourge marks ... To attribute the marks on the Shroud to a provincial unknown working in the mid-fourteenth century is therefore ridiculous".

Moreover, the medieval or earlier forger would have had to use goniometry, the science of calculating angles, to correctly work out the angle of each one of the over 100 scourge marks on the Shroud, but the first goniometer was not invented until 1780.

The man on the Shroud had been severely beaten about the face. His facial wounds include: swelling of both eyebrows, a torn right eyelid, a large swelling below his right eye, a swollen nose, a triangular-shaped wound on right cheek with its apex pointing to his nose, a swelling to his left cheek, a swelling to the left side of his chin.  His right eye is nearly swollen shut, and his nose is twisted. The swelling of the man's cheek, under his right eye socket, was probably caused by a blow with a stick, estimated to have been about 4.5 mm. (1.75 in.) in diameter. Some of the man's facial injuries were probably the result of falls, including abrasions of the tip of his nose and the possible separation of his nasal cartilage from the bone. The man on the Shroud fell." One of the benefits of discovering by the use of a VP-8 Image Analyser that there was three-dimensional information encoded in the Shroud image, was the realization of the degree of swelling of the man's right cheek. 

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The Gospels record that Jesus was struck in the face on three occasions. The first was at the night session of the Sanhedrin, when Jesus was first sentenced to death. Then He was struck [Gk. rapisma] by one of the Jewish attendants of the court (Jn 18:22-23). The second occasion was the morning after that session, when the sentence of death was ratified before the full Sanhedrin. Then the Jewish guards blindfolded Jesus, spat in His face, struck Him [Gk. errapisan] and asked Him to prophesy who did it ([url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mt 26:67-68; Mk 14:65; Lk]Mt 26:67-68; Mk 14:65; Lk 22:63-65[/url]). The third occasion when Jesus was struck in the face was after He had been scourged, when mock homage was paid to Him and He was crowned with thorns. Then Jesus was spat on by the Roman soldiers and then struck [Gk. etupton] on the head with a reed ([url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mt 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20; Jn]Mt 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20; Jn 19:3[/url]). The terms used by the Gospel writers signify heavy blows with the hand, fist or rod. A "reed" [Gk. kalamon] can be also a staff.

They plucked his beard

Isaiah 50:6: I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.

Matthew 26:62-68 (NLT): Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”

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Critics assert that Matthew’s omission of these specific words proves that this prophecy failed. But we can see clearly a fork of the beard of the man on the Shroud, which is evidence that they tore out a portion of His beard.

R. C. ROBINSON (2014): Matthews's verse doesn’t make sense upon first examination. When the men began to beat Jesus in His face with their fists and slap Him, they ask Jesus “who hit you that time?” Understanding that the men who struck Jesus in His face are standing right in front of Him, why would they ask “who hit you?” This makes no sense to the reader until we also read Luke’s account of the same event: They blindfolded him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit you that time?” ~Luke 22:64 (NLT) Matthew left out the detail that Luke includes, that these men had blindfolded Jesus before they began to hit Him in the face, then asked “who hit you?” The reason these men asked this of Jesus was because He had claimed to be a prophet, who is able to know the future. Without Luke’s detail that Jesus was blindfolded, using Matthew alone, none of what is said about Jesus makes any sense. Without realizing, Matthew forgot to include the important detail that before these men had beat Jesus in His face, they blindfolded Him. Luke was a Greek Physician who is highly trained in recognizing specific details. Luke includes this fact that Jesus was blindfolded before they struck Him in the face and asked “who hit you?” We see this attribute of inclusive details for Luke in His Gospel and in the Book of Acts. Luke is a precise recorder of details and always tells the reader much more about what is taking place than Matthew, Mark, or John. This omission was clearly unintentional and not realized by Matthew. It becomes a marker for us as the reader that these narratives are telling us the truth. In false written testimony, we do not see these unintentional errors. We find that liars make certain that their details agree so that they will not be exposed as liars.

Pulling out the beard of a condemned man before crucifixion was a part of the humiliation that was carried out against those who were crucified. The historical records of the Jews consistently describes men who were condemned to death as having their beards torn from their faces. Isaiah is clear that Messiah would experience the ripping of His beard during the time of His crucifixion. Matthew describes the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy when they spit in Jesus' face and struck Him with their hands. It was during this time, that those condemned to death by crucifixion received the dishonor of having their beards torn from their faces.

In order to understand why Jesus’ beard was ripped from His face, we must go back and read the text from this event. In Matthew chapter 26, Jesus is before the leaders of Israel. These men question Him regarding His true identity and the fact that on many occasions, Jesus had claimed to be the Messiah. It was because Jesus had stated that He was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah, that these members of the Sanhedrin were now seeking evidence to condemn Jesus. If He confessed that He was the Messiah, they could use Jesus’ words as evidence to condemn Him to death. Although no evidence was brought forth at any time that Jesus had committed blasphemy, and He had, in fact, displayed all the evidence necessary to prove that He was both God and Messiah, as the scriptures describe, the Jewish leaders ignored this evidence and proceeded to trap Jesus into saying that He was Messiah. All men condemned to death by crucifixion by the Jews (hanged on a tree), always had their beards torn from their faces. This was a part of the humiliation that was intended for those who would blaspheme God. 7

Crown of thorns

The man on the Shroud has numerous puncture wounds around his scalp. These wounds differ from those caused by the scourging and so were separately inflicted. There are at least eight independent bloodstreams, but some have further divided. Of those divided streams, only one has flowed nearly vertical, at least seven have veered to the left and three to the right, consistent with the man tilting his head in various positions while on a cross. These streams have been halted at the nape of the neck along a convex downwards line where thorn branches would have been secured by a circular band of some kind to the back of the head. These puncture wounds are marked on the frontal image of the man on the Shroud by blood flowing in the hair on the front of his head, on his forehead, and on the sides of his face. The most prominent of these crowns of thorns blood flows is on the man's left forehead and is shaped like a reversed `3', or the Greek letter epsilon (ε). Ian Wilson quotes the following from unpublished notes of the late physician, Dr David Willis:

The most striking of these flows is one in the shape of a reversed three and repays detailed study, so true to life is it. It starts just below the hairline to the left of the midline from a single wound; the flow then moves down to the medial part of the arch above the left eye following a meandering course obliquely and outwards. As the stream descends it broadens and alters course twice, finally building up and spreading out horizontally to the mesial line. Immediately below but separate is a "tear" of blood close to the eyebrow, which is presumably part of the same flow, or possibly from an independent wound. The reason for the meandering course of this vivid mark indicates that it met some obstruction in its downward course, and most likely this was due to the reflex contraction of the muscles of the brow from the pain of the wounds, furrowing the surface.

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[Above: Close up of the `reversed 3' bloodstain on the left forehead of the man on the Shroud, and showing the round puncture wound from which the blood originated: Shroud Scope: Durante 2002: Face Only Vertical. Note that in this positive photograph of the Shroud, that bloodflow is in the shape of a `reversed 3' or Greek letter epsilon (ε).]

These thorn wounds, particularly the one shaped like a reversed numeral three, is entirely faithful to scientific and physiological detail. Physicians have pointed out that this bloodflow is characteristic of venous blood and its reversed `3' shape is consistent with the muscles of the brow having contracted and formed ridges under intense pain. The bloodflows above the eyes, on the other hand, are characteristic of arterial blood. Moreover, the reversed `3' shaped bloodflow begins exactly over the site of the frontal vein and the origin of one of the arterial flows corresponds with the location of the frontal branch of the superficial temple artery. Only a modern artist who has a thorough knowledge of the physiology of coagulation could portray the `reversed 3' blood flow. Even then, some mistake would betray it as a work of his imagination. Let alone a hypothetical medieval forger imagining all the minutiae of the reversed `3' bloodflow. So the `reversed 3' bloodflow alone is enough to prove that the Shroud is Christ's and yet it is but one such proof among many others. As the French biology professor, artist and sindonologist Paul Vignon (1865-1943) observed of the reversed `3' bloodflow, "No painter, in his most elaborate work, has ever risen to such exactitude":

Let us turn now to another wound, the reproduction of which would have required even greater ingenuity and skill. We allude to the large drop of blood visible on the forehead above the left eyebrow. This drop springs from a definite point, indicated by its darker color... This dark point corresponds to one of the wounds made by the crown of thorns. The blood which has flowed therefrom has met in its course the two wrinkles of the forehead, and has, by this slight opposition, been forced to spread itself out, forming two small horizontal pools; thence it continued to flow, until it ended in a tear of blood close to the eyebrow, and having thus flowed, it dried upon the skin. Now any drop of blood, drying thus, upon a substance into which it does not penetrate, takes, when coagulated, a sort of basin-like shape, a section of which we give here ... The border or brim of the basin is formed by the fibrine of the blood, containing the red corpuscles in its coagulum; the center is composed of the serum, which in drying takes a dull brown tint. Here, as the liquid part of the serum evaporates, the convexity of the center is depressed. The contour of the drop of blood preserves, however, the same shape as it had when it was fresh. Now, this description applies exactly to the blood drop on the forehead. In the parts where the blood has flowed, and where it has accumulated in sufficient quantity, it is bordered by a dark edge. The center of the little stream, and the center also of the terminal tear, are of a lighter tint. This drop of blood is reproduced not only with the greatest minuteness and delicacy but with entire faithfulness to scientific detail. No painter, in his most elaborate work, has ever risen to such exactitude, as a glance at any of the numerous representations of Christ, Crowned with Thorns, will show us.

The cap of thorns bloodflows on the Shroud reveal a knowledge of the distinction between arterial and venous blood, which did not exist until the 16th century. If the Shroud were a medieval or earlier forgery, the forger would have had to know the difference between arterial and venous blood flows. But that difference was not discovered until 1593, more than 230 years after the Shroud appeared at Lirey, France in the mid-1350s, by Andrea Cesalpino (c. 1524-1603).

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[Above: Bloodstains around the back top of the head of the man on the Shroud, consistent with a cap of thorns: Shroud Scope: Enrie Negative Vertical (inverted). Note how the blood flows at the back of the head all end in a concave line, suggesting they were halted by a circular band that held the thorn branches in place.]

On the dorsal (back) image, blood is visible throughout the hair at the back of the man's head. However, as there is no imprint of the summit of the head, it cannot be known whether it was similarly injured.

Some of the bloodflows at the back of the man on the Shroud's head match exactly those on the Sudarium of Oviedo The stains on the back of the man on the Shroud's head correspond exactly to those on the Sudarium of Oviedo. But the Sudarium has been in Spain since the 6th century. 

The pattern of puncture wounds is consistent with a cap of thorns rather than a circlet crown. While in the European West a crown was typically of a circlet type, in the East a crown typically was a mitre, a cap-like structure which encloses the entire skull. A learned French priest, St. Vincent of Lerins (d. 445), wrote that the crown of thorns was, "in the shape of a pileus, so that it touched and covered His head in every part", and a pileus was a Roman semi-oval head-dress made of felt, which enveloped the head. The thorns were probably from a plant of the guideline tournefortii species. A large quantity of pollen assigned to Gundelia has been found on the Shroud of Turin, which may suggest that the crown of thorns was made from Gundelia.

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This information is disputed, however. G.Fanti (2017) Many bloodstains visible on the TS can be easily related to a helmet of thorns.  prof. Avinoam Danin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem proposed the Rhamnus Lycioides as the most probable plant used to build the crown of thorns for Jesus. It’s interesting to observe that the red tips of these thorns are made by urticant substances that increase the pain produced in the skin. Experimental results of a man carrying the cross evidenced another fact: if there is a thorn crown (or helmet) around the head, it is very easy that the patibulum bumped against the crown thus producing additional pain to the cross-bearer. 4

The more than thirty different wounds on the head of the man on the Shroud would have caused far more agony than a typical crucifixion.

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Gundelia tournefortii showing its long, curved, and sharp thorns.

The Gospels record that Jesus was crowned with thorns:

Mt 27:27-31. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

The soldiers had placed a purple robe on Jesus and put a reed in his hand, pretending to address him as king, bowing down to him in mock homage. Then, to further scoff at him, they made a crown out of thorns and forcefully placed it on his head. The form of the crown is not described but the soldiers must have woven it roughly of thorn branches with no artistic aim. Their aim rather was of cruel mockery of Christ's claim to be the King of the Jews 
(Mt 27:11; Mk 15:2; Lk 23:3; Jn 18:33-36; 19:19-21) The soldiers took the reed and kept striking him on the head. Note that the crown of thorns was still on Jesus' head when He was brought back before Pilate after His scourging. Therefore Jesus may have worn the crown of thorns on the Cross.

The soldiers filed past Jesus, taking the reed from Him and striking it down on the crown of thorns (Mt 27:30). A cap of interwoven thorn twigs would have placed a large number of thorns in contact with the entire top of the head: front, back, and sides. The blows from the reed on the cap of thorns would have directly irritated the nerves bringing on severe pains resembling a hot poker or electric shock. The traumatic shock from scourging would have been enhanced by the paroxysmal pains across Jesus' face. The throbbing bolts of pain would have recurred along the way to Calvary and would have been triggered by walking and falling, the pressure of the thorns against the cross, and the shoves and blows by the soldiers, and during the crucifixion itself. Crowning with thorns was not part of Roman crucifixion procedure. Nor was crowning or capping with thorns ever a part of any other culture's penal procedure throughout human history. The only mention of a crowning with thorns in all of ancient literature is that found in the Gospel accounts of the passion of Jesus of Nazareth. No other crucifixion victim but Jesus is known to have been crowned with thorns. Hence the crowning with thorns of the man on the Shroud is signatory that he is Jesus.

The man on the Shroud was crucified as the New Testament records that Jesus was. The first-century BC Roman orator Cicero called crucifixion "the cruelest and atrocious of punishments" and the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, described it as "the most pitiable of deaths".  Jesus carried His own cross (Jn 19:17), at least part of the way to the site of His crucifixion. It was an integral part of Roman crucifixion that the condemned man carried his own cross to the site of his execution (Mt 10:38; Mk 8:34; Lk 9:23; 14:27). Historical sources indicate that it was not the full cross that was carried, as depicted in Christian art, but rather the crossbeam only, called in Latin the patibulum, to which the victim's outstretched arms were bound. It was also part of Roman crucifixion that the victim was made to carry his cross naked through the streets to the site of his execution, but as a concession to Jewish morality, Jesus was given back his clothes after being scourged (Mt 27:31; Mk 15:20).

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Carrying the cross

Abrasions on the shoulders of the man of the Shroud, particularly on the dorsal image of the right shoulder, indicate that he carried a heavy object, such as the transverse beam of a cross. This must have occurred after he was scourged because the scourge wounds are underneath the shoulder abrasions. But if the crossbeam had been in direct contact with his scourged shoulders, the lacerations would have widened, but on the Shroud, they have kept their shape. This is consistent with the man on the Shroud carrying his cross under which was a garment protecting his scourge-wounded shoulders, as we saw that the gospels of Matthew and Mark recorded of Jesus.

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On the left, high-contrast upper dorsal image of the TS. Areas n.1+2 and 3+4 respectively corresponds to the bruises caused by the cross brought on the right and left shoulder. On the center experiments while carrying a cardboard model of the cross in which it is shown that the patibulum touches areas n.1 and n.3 while stipes touches areas n.2 and n.4. On the right, experimental contact areas of the cross that correspond to the TS image. 4

The man on the Shroud has cuts to both knees, especially to his left knee, indicating an unprotected fall onto a hard surface. A Roman crucifixion victim was made to carry the horizontal crossbeam tied to his outstretched arms and placed across the back of his neck. 

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This meant that when he fell, which would have been often in his scourged-weakened condition under the heavy weight of the crossbeam, he could not protect his face from the impact of the fall. This explains why the man on the Shroud's nose is swollen, displaced, and had been bleeding. It also explains why the nasal area of the Shroud contain a high concentration of ground particles and dust. The gospels do not record that Jesus fell carrying the crossbeam.  Well about these falls is to be noted as already mentioned like the convicts they fell without being able to use their own hands to protect their face let us, therefore, think of violence and severity of the impacts that the face suffered indeed these convicted because of the brutality of these falls during the deduction they could even die for head trauma however it is not unlikely to admit like them though they could arrive to desire these falls or this one death.

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In fact, dying along the indictment falls or head trauma would have spared the condemned the torture of the crucifixion.  The specific death sentence for crucifixion issued by the magistrate had to be categorically respected, and the physical integrity preserved, or the roman military themselves would be punished.

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However three of the gospels say that a passerby named Simon of Cyrene was compelled by the Romans to carry Jesus' cross for him ([url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk]Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26[/url])[24], and this implies that Jesus, weakened by his unusual severe scourging, was unable to carry the crossbeam all the way to the place of His crucifixion. It is therefore very likely that it was Jesus' stumbling and falling under the weight of the crossbeam which prompted his executioners to compel Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for him.

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Simulated falling during cross transportation. From the left to the right, the convict carries his cross producing a pressure in areas n. 1 to 4 of Figure 3; during a fall the patibulum strikes the ground making the convict shoulder to slide forward to the connection between patibulum and transversal rod; the right arm entangled in the cross is dislocated by it. 4

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The tradition of Jesus falling three times during the Via Crucis, also known as the Way of the Cross or the Stations of the Cross, comes from the accounts in the New Testament that describe the events of Jesus' crucifixion. After Jesus was arrested, he was made to carry the cross on which he would be crucified from the place of his trial to the place of his execution. This journey is known as the Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrows, and is commemorated in the Stations of the Cross. It is believed that Jesus fell three times during this journey, likely due to the physical strain of carrying the heavy cross, combined with his already weakened state after being scourged and beaten.

As Jesus reached the site of His crucifixion, His physical state was one of extreme exhaustion, a consequence of the intense mental and physical torments endured in the Garden of Gethsemane, the harsh scourging at the praetorium, and the acute, piercing pain inflicted by the crown of thorns. This exhaustion was further exacerbated by significant difficulty in breathing, likely due to the gradual accumulation of fluid in and around His lungs, and a possible pneumothorax resulting from the severe flogging. The midday sun beat down fiercely, causing profuse sweating over Jesus' entire body. The oppressive heat and the burden of the crosspiece on His wounded shoulders would have led to overwhelming weakness and dizziness, making it difficult for Him to maintain balance, resulting in frequent stumbling and falls.

The traditional Stations of the Cross, initiated by St. Francis of Assisi, depict Jesus falling three times. However, considering His weakened physical state, it is plausible that He fell many more times on His way to Calvary. The Roman executioner, or exactor mortis, was tasked with ensuring that Jesus did not succumb before reaching the crucifixion site. Recognizing the gravity of Jesus' condition, and likely concerned that He might not be able to continue, the exactor mortis compelled Simon of Cyrene, a bystander, to carry the crossbeam for Jesus.

Throughout His journey with the cross, Jesus endured excruciating pain from trigeminal neuralgia, which sent agonizing sensations across His face and scalp with every fall. Additionally, His muscles and joints were wracked with severe pain. With each fall, the effort to rise again under the cross's weight became increasingly challenging.

Being nailed to the cross

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Crucifixion in Roman times was a calculated form of execution designed for prolonged suffering and public deterrence, often involving the nailing of the wrists, rather than the palms, to better support the body and intensify pain without severing the limbs. This brutal practice served not only to punish but also to exhibit the power of Rome and deter criminal behavior.

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Nails in the right position

The man on the shroud has wounds on his hands and feet, consistent with the Gospel accounts of Jesus being nailed to the cross. The positioning of the wounds on the wrists, rather than the palms of the hands, is evidence of the shroud's authenticity. In traditional depictions of the crucifixion, the nails were depicted through the palms, which was an artistic convention in the middle ages, while the Romans did actually drive the nails through the wrists. 

Some of the most famous crucifixion paintings from before the 14th century include:

The man of the Shroud was nailed to a cross. He has a bloodstain on the back of his left hand, which overlays his right hand, showing that his hands were pierced by nails through his wrists, not through his palms. 

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A hole was made in the wrists by the nail put in the Destot’s space with ulnar nerve injury.

This is anatomically accurate as French surgeon Dr. Pierre Barbet (1884–1961) demonstrated, that nails through the palms would tear through by the weight of a man's body on a cross. The man's left foot appears to have been forced over his right foot and both fixed to the cross by a single nail driven through the insteps. The skeleton of a first-century crucifixion victim named Jehohanan (or Yehohanan), revealed he was nailed to his cross. His heel bones had been transfixed by a single nail and his legs had been broken There were no nails found in Jehohanan's wrists, but there were marks of scratching on the radial bones of his forearms consistent rubbing against nails.

All four Gospels record that Jesus was crucified ([url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mt 27:31-38; Mk 15:20-27; Lk 23:24-33; Jn]Mt 27:31-38; Mk 15:20-27; Lk 23:24-33; Jn 19:16-20[/url]). There was no need for the Gospel writers to describe details of Jesus' crucifixion since these were common knowledge, as the Romans carried out their crucifixions along public thoroughfares so that the greatest number could watch and be deterred. Like Jehohanan, Jesus was nailed to the cross (tying with rope was an option). 

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To prove that He had risen bodily from the dead, Jesus showed the disciples (absent the Apostle Thomas) the wounds in "his hands and his side" (Jn 20:20), and later to Thomas to put his finger in the nail wounds of Jesus' hands and side (Jn 20:25,27). Then to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the risen Jesus said, "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself" (Lk 24:39-40), which can only mean that Jesus had nail wounds in both hands and both feet.

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A heel bone transfixed by a Roman nail was discovered in the first-century ossuary of a crucified Jew named Yehohanan. 

The man on the Shroud is dead. He has a swollen abdomen which indicates that he died of asphyxiation, the way crucifixion victims died. Also, the body of the man on the Shroud is in a state of rigor mortis, in which the muscles stiffen, keeping the body in the position it was immediately prior to death. Signs of rigor mortis on the Shroud man include: his head is bent forward, the chest and abdomen being "frozen", and his whole body being rigid and stiff, occupying some of the positions it did on the cross, especially his left leg. Further evidence that the man on the Shroud was dead is the post-mortem blood flow, especially from the chest wound. If the man's heart had been beating the blood would have spurted out onto the cloth, instead of oozing out as it did.

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N. Svensson (2012): X-ray photo of a left hand, palmar aspect. The white hexagon marks the entrance of a nail between the wrist bones. The black hexagon marks the favorite painters’ entrance. The white hexagon (nail) stimulates the motor part of the median nerve causing the thumbs’ contracting into the palm (not shown on this illustration) 5

Shroud 1st draft: In the picture below we also notice something else when looking at the hands on the shroud. There are no thumbs visible. This is because when someone has a nail driven through the hand/wrist area, you sever the median nerve which controls the flexion of the thumb. The reason you do not see a thumb on the shroud is because the thumbs were turned in as the nerve was severed when Jesus was crucified. 6

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T.Kennedy (2022) Once the procession reached Golgotha, the place of the execution, Jesus was nailed to the cross and crucified (Matthew 27:33-35; Mark 15:22-24; Luke 23:33; John 19:17-18). The piercing of the wrists and feet by nails in the crucifixion of Jesus is specified by two of the Gospel writers (Luke 24:39-40; John 20:20-27). Although it is usually thought to be the hands of Jesus that were nailed, the Greek words used for “hand” in those passages (xeir) can also refer to the wrist or arm, which would be a more logical placement of nails for holding a body on a cross than through the palms of the hands, and in agreement with what is known from other ancient texts and archaeological discoveries.7

All four gospels record that Jesus died on a cross  (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30). The gospels of Mark and Luke explicitly state that Jesus "breathed his last" on the cross ([url=http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mk 15:37; Lk]Mk 15:37; Lk 23:46[/url]). The Roman centurion in charge of Jesus' crucifixion confirmed to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate that Jesus, who was then still on the cross, was dead (Mk 15:44-45). The legs of the man on the Shroud are not broken. This is despite the crurifragium, the breaking of a crucifixion victim's leg-bones with a heavy mallet, to hasten his death because he then would be unable to use his legs to raise himself up to breathe, being the norm in Roman crucifixions. As we saw above, Jehohanan's legs had been broken and the Gospel of John records that the Roman soldiers broke the legs of the two robbers crucified with Jesus, to bring about their immediate deaths (Jn 19:31-32). The Roman soldiers, having broken the legs of the two robbers crucified with Jesus, when they came to Jesus they saw that he was already dead, and so they did not break His legs(Jn 19:32-33). Despite breaking of the legs of crucifixion victims was the norm in Roman crucifixions, neither the man on the Shroud nor Jesus had their legs broken, which is further evidence that the man on the Shroud is Jesus. 

The nail wounds depicted on the Shroud align with the Gospel accounts but also provide additional information that aligns with medical science, contrary to traditional artistic depictions. There is a discrepancy between the Shroud and the Gospel of John regarding the location of the nail wounds. John's Gospel repeatedly mentions Jesus being nailed through the hand, while the Shroud shows an exit wound in the wrist. This raises the question of whether the exit wound on the Shroud disproves its authenticity as Jesus' burial cloth.

Different positions regarding the nail wounds have strong advocates. Art history and linguistics tend to support the hand position as described in the Gospel, and numerous translations of John 20:27 from the original Greek to English emphasize the nail going through Jesus' hand. Traditional artistic depictions also show the nail going through Jesus' palm rather than his wrist.

However, anatomical evidence supports the Shroud's depiction of the nail wounds in the wrist. The work of 20th-century French surgeon Pierre Barbet, who conducted experiments on cadavers, revealed that a nail through the palm would not support the weight of an adult man. He discovered that the path of least resistance for nails is through the soft interior parts of the wrist, specifically the space called Destot's space. Barbet's experiments also explained the absence of thumbs in the Shroud image, as the median nerve is often injured when nailing through Destot's space, causing the thumb to be pulled toward the palm.

To reconcile the apparent discrepancy, two proposals are presented. The first proposal suggests that the entrance wound could be in the palm, with the nail exiting through the wrist, as demonstrated in an autopsy photo where a rod in the palm exits the wrist. The second proposal challenges the translation of the Greek word "cheir" as hand and suggests that it can also mean wrist or finger, as seen in other verses in the Bible. This proposal argues that the translators may be incorrect in using the word hand exclusively in John 20:27 and that the nail wounds were indeed in the wrist.

While the translators and centuries of art lean towards the hand position, anatomical evidence supports the nail wounds in the wrist as shown on the Shroud. The Shroud's depiction aligns with experimental findings and challenges long-standing artistic conventions. Christianity's position is that the Shroud accurately shows Jesus being nailed through the wrists, while centuries of art and numerous translations may have misinterpreted the Gospel accounts. The Shroud consistently complements and provides additional information that fills gaps in the Gospel narrative, making it a valuable source of insight.

Moving from the image to the cloth itself, further analysis and examination are required.

The Side wound

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The side wound described in the gospels aligns with several aspects, both directly and indirectly. These similarities go beyond the gospel accounts and also find support in medical science. According to the gospels, Jesus died on the cross, and one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, causing a sudden flow of blood and water.

There are seven features derived from the Shroud that connect it to Jesus's side wound. These connections can be explored in more detail through additional resources. Firstly, the obvious wound itself is significant. Secondly, the blood flow indicates that the victim was in a vertical position with a slight forward lean, consistent with crucifixion.

Thirdly, the dimensions of the wound correspond to the gospel accounts. Archaeological evidence suggests that the shape of the wound matches the leaf-shaped point of a specific type of lance, likely used by Roman militia. This particular type of weapon is mentioned in John's account of the crucifixion.

The fourth aspect relates to the mixture of blood and water flowing from the wound, as reported by John. Early Christian writers saw this as a miraculous phenomenon. From a medical perspective, it is proposed that the watery fluid could have originated from the pleural cavity, pericardial sac, or lungs.

The anatomical location of the wound, between the fifth and sixth ribs, provides a direct path for a penetrating spear to reach the heart, causing the exudation of blood and watery fluid. Pooling of fluid is visible in the lumbar region of the Shroud man, supporting the connection between the Shroud image and the accounts of blood and water in John's gospel.

The pooling of blood in the lower back reinforces the idea that Jesus was removed from the cross soon after his death, with blood flowing from the side wound when he was in both vertical and horizontal positions. This contradicts the notion that the blood had coagulated or emptied onto the ground before pooling in the lower back.

Considering the small quantity of blood, the separation of clot and serum, the lack of swelling, and the deeper color and more viscous consistency of the blood, it can be concluded that Jesus was already dead when he was stabbed.

These connections between the Shroud and the gospel accounts of the side wound highlight the remarkable alignment between them. Additionally, they also have implications for hematology, anatomy, and historical understanding. Further analysis of the blood on the Shroud could provide additional evidence to support these connections.

The man on the Shroud was speared in his right side. Clearly visible on the Shroud is a lance stab wound in the man's right side together with an effusion of blood and clear fluid. The wound is on the left-hand side of the Shroud image but because of mirror reversal, it was in the right side of the man of the Shroud. The wound and its bloodstain is immediately adjacent to one of the triangular-shaped burn marks from the fire of 1532, yet miraculously were not covered by it. The origin of the flow of blood and fluid is an elliptical wound at its top edge about 4.4 cm long by 1.1 cm wide (1.75 x 0.44 inches). The size and shape of the wound in cross-section conform perfectly to a Roman lancea (Greek λογχη - logche). The wound is in the intercostal space between the right fifth and sixth ribs. From below, this is directly in line with the right auricle of the heart which fills with blood after death. From the angle of flow, the body must have been erect and leaning forward when the side was pierced, for the blood and the fluid flowed downwards and frontwards from the wound.

The Roman executioners did not break Jesus' legs because they could see that he was dead. But to make absolutely certain that Jesus was dead, one of the soldiers speared him in the side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water (Jn 19:32-34). The Greek word logche), for the Roman lancea, was the very word used in John 19:34 to describe the weapon used by the Roman soldier to check that Jesus was dead.

This eyewitness testimony of the Apostle John of "blood and water" flowing from the lance wound in the dead Jesus' side, matches the blood and fluid on the right side, under the heart, of the man on the Shroud. Most medical specialists agree that the "water" was probably fluid that had steadily accumulated in Jesus' lung cavity as a result of the unusually brutal scourging. The lance then released this watery type of fluid from the lung cavity followed by blood from the perforated heart. A mixture of blood and lung fluid is also the basis of the stains around the nasal area of the Sudarium of Oviedo, which is more evidence that both it and the Shroud once covered the same body. But the Sudarium of Oviedo has been in Spain since the 6th century. 

In summary, the man of the Shroud was crucified the way Jesus was. The comparison of the New Testament and the Shroud image lines up at every point".

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Jesus died on the cross shortly after "the ninth hour" (Mt 27:46,50; Mk 15:34,37; Lk 23:45-46), i.e. 3pm. Only after the Roman soldier had found Jesus already dead and pierced His side with a spear did Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Jewish ruling council, go to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate to request permission to take down Jesus' body from the cross and bury it (Jn 19:31-34,38). Pilate sent for the centurion in charge of the crucifixion and only when he arrived and confirmed to Pilate that Jesus was indeed dead did Pilate grant release of Jesus' body to Joseph (Mk 15:43-45). Joseph then purchased a linen shroud for Jesus' burial (Mk 15:46; Mt 27:59; Lk 23:53). Therefore the body of Jesus must have been hanging dead on the cross for at least two hours before it was taken down by Joseph of Arimathea assisted by Nicodemus, another member of the Jewish ruling council (Mt 27:57-59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-39). Having died a violent death and exposed to the hot sun, Jesus' body would have stiffened under rigor mortis and have become fixed in the last position Jesus' body had been on the cross just before His death. The body of the man on the Shroud is also in a state of rigor mortis. His whole body is extremely rigid. The rigor of the arms had been forcibly broken to cross them over his body. His legs are fixed in the position they were when nailed to the cross, with his left foot (apparently right but actually left because the Shroud image is laterally inverted) crossed over the right , causing a bend in his left knee, which remained bent upward when his body was covered by the Shroud. No medieval art has such realistic details. 

The Shroud man's body is fixed in a slight forward lean which was only detected by three-dimensional computer analysis. That there was no decline in the rigor mortis is evident by there being no flattening of the back and blurred or double imprints. And since rigor mortis usually wears off between thirty and forty hours after death, this is evidence that the Shroud covered the man's body only between those times, as did Jesus' burial shroud cover His body for at most 36 hours. The man on the Shroud's left leg is bent,  due to his left foot having been nailed over his right and it then remained fixed by rigor mortis in that crucifixion position. This presumably is the source of the 11th century Byzantine legend that Jesus actually had one leg shorter than the other and therefore was lame. And also the source of the strange design of the Russian orthodox cross, which has a footrest angled with the left side higher than the right which fits Christ's perceived shorter left leg on the Shroud. 8

Nails in the feet of the man on the Shroud

The image on the Shroud shows wounds on the man's feet that are consistent with those caused by crucifixion. The wounds appear to be elongated and oblong, and they are located in the area where the feet would have been nailed to the cross. Some researchers have interpreted these wounds as evidence that nails were driven through the man's feet during his crucifixion.

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The feet of the man of the shroud are nailed. By the analysis of Shroud cloth can be recognized the use of two nails

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The first nail

The first nail was nailed through the heels. Nailing the first nail through the heels during a crucifixion would have been an extraordinarily painful procedure, one that highlights the brutal nature of this method of execution. 
The feet, and particularly the heel area, have a high density of nerve endings. Nailing through the heel would cause intense, sharp pain due to the direct injury to these sensitive nerves. The pain would not only be localized but could also radiate up the leg due to nerve pathways connecting the feet to the rest of the body. The act of driving a nail through the heel would involve piercing through skin, tendons, and possibly bone. This would cause significant tissue damage, leading to acute pain and bleeding. If the nail pierced or fractured any bones, the pain would be exacerbated due to the high sensitivity of bone to pressure and trauma. During crucifixion, the body's weight is partially supported by the feet. With a nail through the heels, any movement or struggle would aggravate the wound, causing further pain. The act of pushing up to breathe, a necessary movement in crucifixion to avoid asphyxiation, would be excruciating, as it would require pressing the nailed feet against the cross. Crucifixion is a prolonged form of execution, often lasting hours to days. The continuous pressure and movement on the nailed heels would result in ongoing, unrelenting pain. Additionally, the exposure of the wound to the open air and the inability to treat it would increase the risk of infection, adding to the sufferer's agony. Beyond the physical pain, the psychological impact of such a method must be considered. The anticipation of the nail being driven through the heels, the visual of the injury, and the knowledge of impending prolonged suffering would contribute to immense psychological distress.

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The second nail. The second nail went through both feet.  The rationale behind this method was to prolong the agony of the crucified. Being able to push up slightly would allow the person to breathe more easily, but it would also cause intense pain due to the body's weight pulling down against the nails. This would create a torturous cycle where the individual would alternate between lifting themselves to breathe and relaxing to relieve the pain, leading to a prolonged and excruciating death. The Roman crucifixion usually it was done by nailing the limbs first superiors of the condemned to the gallows then elevating them and securing them to the stevens or rather the vertical pole that made up the cross on which they were nailed then the feet this is the front view of the shroud crucifix which recalls exactly what is there on the image of the man of the shroud the resulting side wound clearly evident on the man's shroud in which blood is present.  Both feet have a complex network of nerves, and driving a nail through them would cause intense, acute pain. This is due to the direct trauma to multiple nerve endings. The pain would not only be localized but could also radiate up the legs. By nailing both feet together, the procedure would immobilize them, increasing the difficulty of any movement. This immobility would exacerbate the pain with each attempt to shift position or bear weight, which is often necessary in crucifixion to facilitate breathing. The nail would likely penetrate bones, tendons, and other soft tissues in the feet. The feet contain numerous small bones that are sensitive to force and pressure, and damaging these bones would cause severe pain. Additionally, the tendons and muscles in the feet play a crucial role in movement and support, and injury to these would be both painful and debilitating.
In crucifixion, the feet often bear the weight of the body, especially when the individual pushes up to breathe. With a nail through both feet, this action would become incredibly painful, as it would involve applying pressure directly on the traumatized area. The anticipation of the pain, the visual of the nails being driven through the feet, and the awareness of the prolonged agony that would follow contribute significantly to the overall suffering. The psychological trauma of such an experience cannot be understated.

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The Clinical Anatomy of Crucifixion

Joseph M. Gambescia, M.D. and the Position of the Feet on the Shroud of Turin. The History of an Investigation.

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Clinical implications of the crucifixion

G. Fanti (2014): The TS Man certainly suffered a very serious and widespread causalgia (burning pain and shock to the tiniest movements of the limbs) due to: total paralysis of the upper right limb (paradoxical causalgia); nailing of the left hand with damage to the ulnar nerve; and nailing of both feet with injury to the plantaris medialis nerves, which pass on the site where there is a bloodstain due to the nailing. The nailing of the TS Man on the cross could have affected his breathing in two ways: 

Depiction of the most likely position in which Jesus died, and then was fixed by rigor mortis, based on the blood stains on the Shroud of Turin. Note the injuries on the Shroud which are consistent with the injuries that the New Testament records of Jesus.

a) with arms raised above the shoulders by about 15 degrees, and therefore with a more expanded rib cage, the lungs were more filled with air and there was less ability to exhale, but they were not hindered so much to seriously reduce their ventilation capacity; 

b) every deep inspiration obtained by leveraging on the arms and/ or legs, even with the slightest movement that the TS Man was trying to do, reduces the alveolar hypoventilation and brings oxygen to a body already exhausted by the endless torture, caused him stabbing pain. 9

N. Svensson (2012): In spite of different forensic interpretation of observables, the majority of physicians agrees that no observation speaks against the Turin Shroud Man having suffered the same punishment as Jesus Christ revealed in the Gospel account of the Passion, that is, the cheek and nose injuries account for the blows, the dumbbell and streak shaped wounds for the scourging, the scalp wounds for the crown of thorns, swollen knee for a crossway fall, the wounds in hands and feet for the crucifixion nails, the intact shins for the non-broken legs, the chest wound for the lance thrust as well as the rigor mortis for Christ’s death on the cross. Finally, the most likely causes of death are compromised circulation due to intense pain, compromised preload caused by the hanging position, hypovolemic shock due to dehydration and blood loss (Lavoie et al., 1983), accentuated by trauma-induced coagulopathy (Bergeron, 2011) (Trauma induced coagulopathy is a common complication of traumatic shock. This complication often occurs when several factors are present: shock, tissue injury, hypothermia, systemic inflammation and acidemia. Most, if not all these conditions, are expected in the case of the historical Jesus) and asphyxia (suffocation) (Barbet, 1993) due to exhaustion. 5

This was Jesus tomb

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Reproduction of the sepulchre of Christ

The classes wealthy as well as having a sepulchre carved into the rock with the stone for the preparation of the corpse that the niches on the walls between the deposition also possessed in proximity of the tomb of the ossuaries which a year after his death they welcomed the bones of the deceased

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Was this Jesus’ tomb? The evidence is inconclusive, but the site’s layered history holds many clues. 10

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1. Peter S. Williams The Shroud of Turin: A Cumulative Case for Authenticity
3. Niels Svensson: Forensic aspects and blood chemistry of the Turin Shroud Man 30 July, 2012
4. Giulio Fanti: New Light on the Sufferings and the Burial of the Turin Shroud Man 19 May 2017
5. Niels Svensson: Forensic aspects and blood chemistry of the Turin Shroud Man 30 July, 2012
6. G. Fanti: How was the Turin Shroud Man crucified? December 2014
7. Titus Kennedy: Excavating the Evidence for Jesus 2022
8. Stephen E Jones: The Shroud of Turin: 3.1 The Bible and the Shroud: Introduction JUNE 15, 2013
9. Shroud 1st draft
10. National Geographic: This was Jesus tomb 2017

Last edited by Otangelo on Thu Jan 04, 2024 1:38 pm; edited 61 times in total




Commonly given reasons to be skeptical that the Shroud is authentic

Question: Was Jesus buried in a clean linen cloth, or tied by strips of linen in company with the spices? Do the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) contradict the Gospel of John in regards t the burial cloths of Jesus? Was Jesus wrapped (ἐντυλίσσω—wrap) it in a clean linen cloth, or, as John reports,     tied it (δέω—tie, bind; wrap??) by strips of linen (ὀθόνιοις—dat. of means) in company with the spices?

Answer: The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) present us with a unified view of the wrapping of Jesus’ body by Joseph of Arimathea and its placement in the tomb. The Gospel of John, however, adds unique details which at first glance appear to conflict with what the Synoptics report.  First we have the pertinent verses from his list of applicable Scriptures:

Mt 27:59: “Joseph took the body, wrapped (ἐντυλίσσω—wrap) it in a clean linen cloth (σινδών)...”
Mark 15:45-46: “(Pilate) gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth (σινδών) took down the body, wrapped (ἐνειλέω—wrap up) it in the linen (σινδών) and placed it in a tomb...
Luke 23:53: “(Joseph) wrapped (ἐντυλίσσω) it in linen cloth (σινδών) and placed it in a tomb...”
John 19:39-40: “Joseph was accompanied by Nicodemus...Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 75 pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them tied it (δέω—tie, bind; wrap??) by strips of linen (ὀθόνιοις—dat. of means) in company with the spices. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.”
Luke 24:1: “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.”
Luke 24:12: “Bending over, Peter saw the strips of linen (ὀθόνια) lying by themselves...”
John 20:6-7: “Simon Peter... saw the strips of linen (ὀθόνια) lying there, as well as the burial cloth (σουδάριον) that had been around (ἐπί) Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen strips (ὀθόνια).” (Literally: “...not lying with the linen strips but apart, folded up (ἐντυλίσσω), in a place by itself.”

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Rick Lanser (2022):  1 – A sindon (σινδών) was a cloth large enough to completely cover a body, and suitable for burial purposes. Joseph’s sindon used by Christ was “clean” linen, meaning it was ritually clean in Jewish eyes—it was pure linen, without any cotton or wool fibers mixed in. In the gospels it is only found in the singular. The Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker standard lexicon (BAGD) defines it as “fabric made from linen, linen cloth, of the cloth in which the body of Jesus was wrapped.”
2 – A sudarion (σουδάριον, Lat. sudarium) was a cloth substantially smaller than a sindon, with its purpose defined by the context. It also is only found in the singular in the gospels. BAGD says it was a “face-cloth for wiping perspiration, corresponding somewhat to our ‘handkerchief.’” It often carried the generic meaning “sweat cloth.” André Feuillet in “The Identification and the Disposition of the Funerary Linens of Jesus’ Burial according to the Fourth Gospel“ writes (p. 14):
This Greek term is derived from the Latin sudarium whose primary meaning is indicated by etymology (sudor, sweat): it concerns a cloth of variable dimensions which one carried in the hand or wore around the neck. Its principle purpose was to wipe away perspiration (cf. Quintillien, Institutio Oratoria: 6:3, 11:3). It could also be used for other purposes.
In the specific case of Lazarus recounted in John 11:44, his sudarion is said to have wrapped around his face as a visible cover, and either placed over his shroud or above a short body shroud that did not extend over his head. But the above lexical information indicates we should not view Lazarus’ example as a standard application. The word on its own does not tell us anything about how it was put to use, only that it was a smaller cloth used in various ways. In the case of Jesus, blood and pulmonary edema issuing from His nose would have been the primary reason a blotting cloth would have been used, not to provide a head covering. This will be discussed further below.
3 – A third term is keiriai (sing. κειρία), used in the plural and generally translated in English versions as “wrappings” in John 11:44, where they bind Lazarus “hand and foot.” BAGD says it refers to “binding material in reference to the preparation of bodies for burial.” Notice that sudarion is mentioned on its own in John 11:44 and not lumped together with the plural keiriai, which indicates keiriai is not a generic term for linen cloths, but is connected with binding something. Being a plural, the term could also not have referred only to the single sindon. If keiriai thus excludes the sudarion, and the plural means it can’t refer to just the sindon by itself, we should conclude it refers to the sindon plus some third class of linen fabric.
Taken together, these facts indicate that John uses keiriai to refer to strips of linen used to bind the hands and feet, either alone or in conjunction with the sindon. Since the keiriai did not prevent Lazarus from being able to “come forth” at Christ’s command, they probably did not involve a mummy-style wrap that would be expected to immobilize the legs. It appears best to understand the keiriai as ties which served mainly to keep the sindon closed and prevent the myrrh and aloes from spilling out. There were evidently at least two such strips of linen tied outside the sindon, one around the middle restraining the hands, and the other around the ankles.
4 – Othonia is another plural term (sing. ὀθόνιον)BAGD says it refers to a “(linen) cloth, cloth wrapping.” It differs from keiriai in that it has no essential connection with binding. Because John 20:7 does not include the sudarion with the othonia, it appears othonia was a generic term that covered the general function of both the large sindon and the small keiriai without differentiating between them. Danker also expressed doubt in his lexicon that othonia, as used in the NT, had anything to do with strips of linen or bandages such as were used in Egyptian mummification. 1

As in the case of Christ’s injuries, the following is a succinct summary of the scriptural data bearing on the process of placing Christ’s body into its shroud:
it was wrapped with a linen cloth by Joseph, placed into a tomb

- perhaps first, being bound at hand and foot with strips of linen
- with help from Nicodemus, myrrh and aloes were added
- the burial wrappings included linen strips and another “linen cloth” folded up but set apart from these linen strips
- women planned to bring additional spices later to also anoint the body (no new wrappings)

With this organized approach we see that, in contrast to the synoptic gospels, most translations of John’s gospel seem to give a different picture of how the body of Jesus was wrapped. Matthew, Mark and Luke say the body was wrapped in a single “σινδών”—a large linen sheet or garment. John, however, speaks of the wrapping being done with strips of cloth, accompanied by the spices. The first impression one gets from John is that something like an Egyptian mummy wrap was performed, and there is also mention of an additional linen “face-cloth” that the Synoptics are silent on.

Let’s begin with the accounts of the three synoptic gospels where the terminology is simple and clear: Jesus’ body was “wrapped” (ἐνειλέωἐντυλίσσω) in a “large linen cloth” (σινδών) and then placed into the grave. The Greek is quite straightforward here and provides a clear picture of what occurred. The problem comes with the parallel account from John (John 19:39-40). If John is here describing just the same actions and materials as the Synoptics (which seems to be the presumption of most translators) then there would be an apparent conflict—a tying or wrapping up in “ὀθόνια” (strips of linen). But, looking more closely, we note that John actually uses quite a different terminology from the others. He uses “δέω” instead of one of the three Greek words used specifically for wrapping; the basic meaning of “δέω” is to “tie, bind.” He uses “ὀθόνια” and “κειρία”—“small linen strips,” “cords”—to describe the material used for such a tying here and in the similar account of Lazarus (John 11:44). It is quite a stretch to try to make these come out the same as “σινδών”—“large linen cloth”—as in the first three gospels.

Before continuing, let us read the account of the raising of Lazarus in John 11:43-44:

When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Notice that Lazarus was “bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.” He had to be unbound in order to “let him go.” My first impression was that this meant the entire body was wrapped in a circular manner. If that were so, obviously the Shroud of Turin was a fake—a circular wrapping could not have yielded the front and back images of a crucified man that the Turin Shroud is famous for. But was that actually the case?

Perhaps the answer or solution to this apparent problem is that John, an eyewitness of these events, was not in fact speaking to exactly the same part of the burial activity as the other three writers who received their information second hand, but to a quite different aspect of the process of which he personally was aware and which is not that well known today. Taken literally, John appears to be saying that the body of Jesus was “tied with linen strips” (ὀθόνια) in connection with his burial. If we then use his account of the burial of Lazarus some chapters earlier to help with the interpretation of just what is meant (“the feet and hands bound with cords,” John 11:44) we would have to say this tying of Jesus also probably was applied to the hands and feet, not to the whole body. The Lazarus account goes on to say, “λύσατε—loose/untie him” (KJV); (not: “take off the grave clothes” - NIV) and let him depart.” Then the picture becomes clear and the items mentioned later in the gospels that were found by the first visitors to the grave, the linen strips and the folded cloth, can be put into better perspective. The gospels are not in conflict—no Scripture is. Rather, it is much more likely that our understanding of Jewish burial practices simply has not been that clear now after a span of almost 2000 years. And it may have been a preconception or simple misconception on the part of both early and later translators that attempted to force from John’s words a parallel meaning to the first three gospels in regard to the wrapping of Jesus, when in fact he was speaking to something quite different—a tying of the limbs to hold them in position at the time of burial due to rigor mortis rather than a separate wrapping or covering of the entire body with strips.

I think this explanation makes a great deal of sense, but there are additional factors leading me to believe it needs to be modified. Consider the need for the women to complete the burial preparations early on the first day of the week. Joseph and Nicodemus would doubtless have been aware of the women’s plans to return to the tomb after three days. Realizing they would need to UNWRAP the body in order to finish the preparations, it makes sense that the two men would have used small linen strips as ties to simply hold the shroud, with the hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes it contained, in place around the body—just to keep the main sindon cloth closed up and secure until it would be reopened to complete the preparations. It would have been quite awkward for the women to remove the linen from a body that had been wrapped in a circular fashion, like the archetypical Egyptian mummy. But if the preparations done by Joseph and Nicodemus constituted just a temporary measure performed in haste, it makes sense that the body would have been laid out and wrapped in the manner the Shroud image indicates. It would have been MUCH easier for the women to reopen the linen if it had simply been folded over the body and tied in place with separate linen strips. That way, they could have quickly removed the ties, lifted away the upper half of the shroud without disturbing the resting body, finished the preparations, and then rewrapped it according to proper Jewish custom.

And knowing men, can we realistically expect that Joseph and Nicodemus, apparently working alone, would have patiently covered the body of the Lord in a bunch of strips of spice-laden fabric, particularly with sundown coming rapidly?

To summarize this discussion, we need not insist on interpreting the difficult verses in John’s gospel in a manner that precludes accepting the Shroud of Turin as a genuine first-century burial shroud, when such a perfectly acceptable view as that laid out above is possible.2

Barrie Schwortz (2016): “ The Gospels state that Jesus was tied with linen strips, yet the Shroud is a single large cloth, so it can’t be real.” That is another statement I hear frequently. I guess most people do not realize that by the first century, even the Egyptians had stopped wrapping mummies with strips. So why are “linen strips” even mentioned in the Gospels?

One has to remember that Jesus and his disciples were Jews and his burial would be conducted according to Jewish law and tradition. The Old Testament requires Jewish men of high stature to be buried in “pure linen raiments.” The Gospels tell us that the shroud of Jesus was provided by Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy man. That makes good sense since such a cloth would have been expensive by first-century standards and would most likely have been imported, quite possibly from Syria. Jewish custom requires burial in a large single sheet, as demonstrated in the accompanying Dela Rovere painting. Once the body is wrapped in the cloth, it must be bound by linen strips to insure the cloth does not fall off when the body is transported. That is not only consistent with a first-century Jewish burial, but also with contemporary burials, and not just by Jews but by Muslims as well. When my father died in 2003, he was given an Orthodox Jewish burial and was wrapped in a white linen shroud very similar to the Shroud of Turin. When the disciples entered the tomb on Sunday morning, only the cloth and strips remained, so they are mentioned in the Gospels.

Of course, the Gospels also tell us there was a second cloth, folded and separate from the other. I often am told that, since the Shroud is only one cloth and two were mentioned in scripture, the Shroud must consequently be a fake. Never mind the fact that over two millennia, it is quite possible the two cloths could get separated!

The Sudarium of Oviedo – Centro Español di Sindonologia
So what is this second cloth and why was it there? Once again, Jewish law requires that anything containing the victim’s blood or bodily fluids be buried with the body. Once Jesus was taken down from the cross, his face and head were wrapped in a smaller cloth or napkin which absorbed the blood and pleural fluids from his nose and mouth. We still follow a similar procedure today and typically cover the face of the dead immediately upon their passing. Frankly, it is the preservation of this second cloth and its presence in the tomb that convinces me this was an authentic Jewish burial. Even more amazing is that this second cloth, known as the Sudarium, has survived to the present day and is now kept in the cathedral in Oviedo, Spain, where it has resided since the 7th century! 1

The man on the Shroud had long hair. Did the Old Testament not forbid men to have long hair?

Barrie Schwortz (2016):  Skeptics will often quote to me from 1 Corinthians 11:14 – “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (this and other verses in this article are from the KJV translation). Well, yes, that is what it says. But when exactly was that written? I am not a New Testament scholar, but I know that Paul wrote that about twenty years after the death of Jesus! So this rule would NOT  have applied to him or his disciples, since it had not been written yet! What laws did they follow? The best way to address that is to look to the Old Testament, which was the law in Jesus’s time. Here is what it says about long hair and beards: Numbers 6:5 (Re the Nazarite’s vow) – “All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days  be fulfilled,  in which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” And in Leviticus 19:27 – “ Ye shall not round [i.e., cut] the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar [i.e., cut] the corners of thy beard.” Jews were literally forbidden to cut their hair and beards and you can still see that today in any  Orthodox or Hassidic Jewish communities where all adult males have long hair and beards. Jesus followed the Law of Moses! 2

Isn’t the Shroud a violation of the commandment that forbids making a graven image?

Mark Niyr (2020): Isn’t the Shroud a violation of the commandment that forbids making a graven image? This is one of the most common objections that some Christians have raised regarding the Shroud. The prohibition comes from one of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exod. 20:4 KJV). But of course, if the Shroud is authentic, then man did not make the image—God did. Nonetheless, sincere intentions motivate this question. It is helpful to understand this commandment from the Jewish perspective. The Hebrew Scriptures sometimes articulate a style of Hebraism known as a Hebrew doublet. It is a Hebrew manner of expression wherein a statement is made, but then immediately following that statement a subsequent restatement of the matter is provided that is designed to provide further clarification or understanding as to the meaning of the prior statement. This is what is found with this prohibition against graven images (Exodus 20:5‐6). The subsequent restatement following this prohibition provides the Hebrew doublet which clarifies the meaning of the prior statement. Below is the subsequent Hebrew doublet statement:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD [YHVH] thy God am a jealous God . . . (Exod. 20:5‐6 KJV, emphasis added).

The above Hebrew doublet (Exodus 20:5‐6) explains that the prohibition against graven images applied to making images for the purpose of idolatrous worship. If it were not for this Hebrew doublet clarification, then all images would be prohibited (including all photographs, paintings, statues, etc. of anything in heaven above, the earth beneath, or in the ocean).3 

Objection: The Shroud becomes an idol and draws the attention of people to it instead of sole faith in the gospel(s). It is something of no value or depth concerning the faith or drawing people into the faith based on peoples convictions due to encountering it. The only encounter we need that is close to our God is the encounter of being filled with the Holy Ghost, I don’t have to dive into archeology to draw nearer to God or grow in my faith, I only need His Word, the most powerful archeological evidence of His existence.

Response: The Shroud is useful as an apologetic tool. Apologetics is fulfilling the scriptural commandment to be able to give a defense for the Faith. St. Paul was a primary example of an Apologist. If it really is the burial cloth of Jesus then it's been preserved by God for a reason. For you to ignore that is disobedience to God. You say it can be turned into an idol. Many things can be that also. An idol is what is worshipped more than the true God. The Shroud only points to the reality of the crosswork and resurrection. No one worships the fabric, only the one it is testifying of. Many don't need tangible evidence to believe, that's fine. But others who you are called to testify of the truth of the gospel many times do need evidence beyond scripture. This is a fact. Again St. Paul is a prime example of giving evidence to persuade belief in the gospel. Our privilege and duty are to make disciples. The Shroud is a powerful tool to prove that faith is warranted based on empirical evidence. We are to worship God will all our hearts, soul, and MIND.

The man on the Shroud is naked

In late antiquity period, Jesus was almost never depicted naked but wearing at least a loincloth. Wilcox points out:".... the portrayal of Jesus on the shroud is non-traditional, non-European ... the nakedness of the loins would not inspire the devotional or artistic sensibilities of fourteenth-century Europe; rather they would have gotten the forger burned at the stake."26

The man on the Shroud is entirely naked. Although the man's hands cover his genitals, there are extensive scourge marks around his genital area. Moreover, his back is completely nude, showing his buttocks. This is consistent with all four gospels which state that just before His crucifixion, Jesus' clothes were taken by His Roman soldier executioners (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23-24). In medieval Christian art, the crucified or dead Jesus was almost never depicted completely naked, but wearing at least a loincloth. 

The depiction of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin, as an entirely naked figure, can be seen as a powerful reminder of the depth of Jesus' suffering and humiliation during his crucifixion. The shroud's portrayal of scourge marks around the genital area and the completely nude back, indicates the extent of Jesus' physical suffering and humiliation. That reminds us of the depth of His sacrifice. Jesus endured public humiliation and suffering, just like many of us experience in our own lives.

In the ancient world, crucifixion was a brutal and humiliating form of execution reserved for criminals, slaves, and other low-status individuals. By claiming that their savior was a crucified criminal, Christians were challenging the established social order and the values of the ancient world. This was seen as morally reprehensible and a sign of weakness, since a powerful and divine savior would not be subjected to such a humiliating death. 

Jesus was depicted in Christian medieval art wearing at least a loincloth which can be traced back to the cultural and religious norms of the time. In the late antiquity period, when Christianity was still in its infancy, there were strict cultural and religious norms about public nudity. Public nudity was considered indecent and was often associated with shameful or sinful behavior. As Christianity grew and became the dominant religion in Europe, these cultural and religious norms were absorbed into the Christian faith. Thus, in medieval Christian art, the depiction of Jesus was influenced by these norms, and the figure of Jesus was almost always depicted wearing at least a loincloth. However, the portrayal of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin is non-traditional and non-European. The shroud depicts a man who is entirely naked, with no loincloth or any other covering. This depiction of Jesus would not have been acceptable in medieval Christian art, as it would have been considered indecent and disrespectful to the figure of Jesus. As Wilcox points out, the depiction of Jesus on the shroud is not consistent with the devotional or artistic sensibilities of fourteenth-century Europe. In fact, if the shroud had been presented during that time period, it is likely that the forger would have been accused of blasphemy and burned at the stake.

Does the Shroud of Turin match the kinds of funerary wrappings used in Judaea in the time of Jesus? 

Byron R. McCane (2022): The traditional Palestinian preference for prompt burial continued throughout the first century. In Mark 5:38, funeral preparations for Jairus’s daughter begin right away, and in John 11 Lazarus is buried on his day of death. According to Mishnah Sanhedrin 6.6, a corpse should be kept unburied overnight only on rare occasions.

As soon as death was certain, the deceased’s eyes were closed; the corpse was washed, and then wrapped and bound. According to the third-century C.E. Jewish tractate Semahot, men could only prepare the corpse of a man, but women could prepare both men and women. Literary depictions often suggest that perfumes or ointments were used for this washing. The body was wrapped and bound in strips of cloth. John 11 has such preparations in view: Lazarus’s “hands and feet [were] bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth” (John 11:44). Thus prepared, male relatives and friends would carry the corpse in a procession toward the place of interment, accompanied by friends, neighbors, and relatives. Such processions are described in the New Testament (Luke 7:12, for example) and in Josephus, who emphasizes the splendor of Herod’s funerary cortege (War I.671-3). Some Mishnaic texts suggest that processions occasionally halted in order to “make lamentation” for the dead (m. Meg. 4.3; m. B. Bath. 6.7, for example).

Jewish funeral processions made their way from the family home to the family tomb. Members of the immediate family placed the body in the tomb while friends and relatives waited outside. Personal effects of the deceased might be placed in the tomb alongside the body: archaeologists have found an inkwell, jewelry, combs, and sandals.

Some tombs include an area that appears to have been the setting for lamenting and eulogizing the deceased. Made up of either a circle of benches or a row (or rows) of seats, these “mourning enclosures” are usually situated in front of and around the entrance to the tomb. Some literary sources describe a ceremony in which friends and neighbors arranged themselves in rows in order to offer condolences to the bereaved in a kind of receiving line (m. Ber. 3.2; m. Meg. 4:3; m. Sanh. 2.1; Sem. 10.9). The ceremony of primary burial seems to have often included spoken words in appreciation for the dead and in sympathy for the bereaved.

After primary burial, the procession returned to the family home, where expressions of condolence continued. Rituals of death continued for several days thereafter. Literary sources, including John 11, agree that for the first seven days, the immediate family remained at home in mourning. If mourners left the house during this time, it was presumed that they would go to the tomb. In John 11, Mary leaves the family home, and neighbors and friends assume “she was going to the tomb to weep there” (John 11:31).

After seven days, most aspects of ordinary life resumed. The death of a parent was an exception: children mourned their parents for a full year, until the time of secondary burial. At that time, in a private ceremony, family members returned to the tomb, took the bones of the deceased from their resting place on a shelf or a niche, and placed them in a niche, pit, or ossuary. The ossuary, which might be marked with the name of the deceased, was then placed either on the shelf, on the floor, or in a niche. When a loculus niche became filled with ossuaries—and some loculi have been found to contain as many as five or six—it could be sealed with a stone slab.  

Archaeological evidence has been decisive in the interpretation of some New Testament texts about tombs, graves, death, and burial. In particular, the saying of Jesus in Matt 8:21-22 presupposes secondary burial: “‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (a parallel passage occurs at Luke 9:59-60). Luke 11:47-48’s “tombs of the prophets” most likely refers to the monumental Hellenistic tombs in the Kidron Valley. And the Lazarus narrative in John 11 accurately represents typical customs of mourning, tomb construction, and grave wrappings. 4

Joseph G. Marino: If the Turin Shroud (TS) is authentic, i.e., the burial cloth of the historical Jesus, it would have had to originate in first-century Jerusalem, all the time and place of Jesus’ death. Oceans of ink have been spilled explaining how the Shroud matches (or doesn’t) to the gospel accounts of the burial as well as the known Jewish burial customs at the time. However, there have been several key problems: 
1. it is not exactly clear what the Jewish burial customs were at the time and 
2. most of the authors are usually Christians and/or skeptics with less-than-ideal knowledge of both the gospels and Jewish burial customs in general and specifically in the First Century. 

There have been a few specifically Jewish sources that have addressed this:  In chronological order, the sources are: 

An article titled “The Jewish Shroud of Turin?” by Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok in Expository Times, October 1980, 92(1):13-16. 
An oral presentation titled “A Jewish View of the Shroud of Turin” by Jewish lawyer Victor Tunkel to the British Society for the Turin Shroud on May 12, 1983. 
A paper titled “Hasadeen Hakadosh: The Holy Shroud in Hebrew” by Rebecca Jackson in Actes Du Symposium Scientifique International Rome, 1993, pp. 27-33. 
A paper titled “Jewish Burial Procedures at the Time of Christ: a Jewish Cultural Approach“ by Rebecca Jackson in Actas del I Congreso Internacional sobre El Sudario de Oviedo, 1994, pp. 309-322. 
A paper titled “The Shroud of Turin: in light of first century jewish culture“ by Rebecca Jackson in Actes Du III Symposium Scientifique International Du Cielt - Nice, 1997, pp. 165-169.

Lavoie concluded:  “Jesus was buried according to the Jewish custom. The corpse with its mingled blood was wrapped in ‘linen cloths’ and buried. Therefore, the shroud with its blood marks is consistent with the history of how the Jews buried their dead at the time of Jesus.”

Are there inaccuracies indicating that the image is anatomically incorrect?

Joe Marino (2021): Starting with French biologist Dr. Paul Vignon in the early 20th-century, most medical doctors who have studied the Shroud believe that the image accurately depicts anatomically and physiologically an actual human body that has undergone the torture of crucifixion. Drs. Robert Bucklin and Dr. Frederick Zugibe, who each studied the Shroud about 50 years each and who performed a combined approximate 50,000 (!) autopsies, both believed that the Shroud image was that of a real, crucified man who died. It seems bizarre that some skeptics will bring up the aforesaid point about a difference of beliefs of where the hand wound was located as if that also practically disauthenticates the Shroud.  It’s fair to say that an overwhelming number of medical doctors believe that it’s not a forgery. 5

2. Barrie M. Schwortz: Five Reasons Why Some Christians are Shroud Skeptics 12 August 2016
3. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
4. Byron R. McCane: Burial Practices in First Century Palestine 2022
5. Joe Marino: Individual Medical Doctors' Viewpoints on the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin 2021

Last edited by Otangelo on Mon May 01, 2023 5:49 am; edited 11 times in total


10Confirming Yeshua Empty How was the image made? Tue Nov 15, 2022 4:41 pm




How was the image made?

Enea (2010): The mysterious images of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin are inexplicable ( by natural, - human-made means). Despite what has been written in the largely clueless press, no one, not even with state-of-the-art technology, has ever duplicated the images. The experimental STURP results proved the images embedded into the linen cloth are not the result of painting or a contact print, and the color is very superficial, as it resides on the topmost fibers in the cloth weave. For lack of a proven explanation, they are best described as photographic-like, although the characteristics of the Shroud image at microscopic level are not compatible with photographic techniques.1

1. It's not a painting:  If this were true, it should be possible to identify the pigments used by chemical analysis, just as conservators can do for the paintings of Old Masters. But the Sturp team found no evidence of any pigments or dyes on the cloth in sufficient amounts to explain the image. Nor are there any signs of it being rendered in brush strokes.
2. The entire image is very superficial in nature, Around 20 - 30 microns in-depth is approximately 0.2 thousandths of a millimeter (about 0.000008 inches) only on the uppermost surface of the fibrils, the inner side is not, thus it could not have been formed by chemicals, The image resides on the outermost layer of the linen fibers. 
3. It's not a photograph: Secondo Pia's photograph showed that the image on the cloth is a negative: dark where it should be bright. 
4. It was not made by a natural chemical process: It has been confirmed that the image is the result of oxidation, dehydration, and conjugation of the fibers of the shroud themselves. It is like the imaged areas on the shroud suddenly rapidly aged compared to the rest of the shroud. The image on the shroud is the only one of its kind in this world, and there are no known methods that can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological, or medical circumstances explain the image adequately (S.T.U.R.P's conclusion) 
5. The image was not produced by vapors from chemicals or vapors from the corpse itself. Vapors from chemicals, or from the corpse itself, do not explain how the image is present on parts of the body where the cloth clearly did not touch the body (i.e. areas on either side of Christ’s projected nose).
6.  A burst of 34 thousand billion Watts of vacuum-ultraviolet radiation produced a discoloration on the uppermost surface of the Shroud’s fibrils (without scorching it), which gave rise to a perfect three-dimensional negative image of both the frontal and dorsal parts of the body wrapped in it.” We currently do not know of any natural cause for a human corpse producing ultraviolet radiation like this. A very short and intense flash of directional VUV radiation can color the linen fabric. The total power of the VUV radiation required for instantly color the surface of a linen corresponding to a human body of medium height, equal to the corporate body surface area = 2000 MW / cm2 x 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion Watts.

Confirming Yeshua Sturp_11

Conclusion of the STURP team:  The image is an ongoing mystery

The STURP team declaring the origin of the image on the Shroud a scientific enigma was a conclusion based on the experimental results of many tests, including: 

Paolo Di Lazzaro (2016):
1.  X-ray fluorescence and microchemistry measurements, which exclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Actually, some iron oxide particles and micrometer-size vermilion (HgS) were found on the cloth. However, there is a large corpus of scientific evidence that the microscopic observations reported cannot support the ST image is a paint. It is likely the micrometer-size debris particles have been transferred by contact with artist’ spainted copies of the ST that have been “sanctified” by pressing the two clothes together, as it happened on the 4th May of almost every year in Turin, across the XVII century;  
2. Kinetics studies and fluorescence measurements, which support a lower than 200°C temperature process of the image formation; 
3. Coloration depth: the colour is present only on a very thin coating external to each fibre (a single linen thread is made up of about 200 fibres). The coloration depth cannot be resolved by using optical microscopes, implying the colour penetrates less than the shortest wavelength of visible light, namely, 0.4 micrometers
4. The micro-chemical analyses, suggesting the coloration of the ST image was formed by an unknown process of selective aging that caused oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of polysaccharide structure of fibres. This process produced conjugated carbonyl groups as the chromophore in a greater quantity vs. the non-image fibres; 
5. The anatomical consistency of blood and serum versus wounds, including typical fluorescence of bilirubin and exudates around the main bloodstains (revealed by ultraviolet illumination and invisible at the naked eye), which would be consistent with a haemolytic process caused by torture. 2

The superficiality of the image

Mark Niyr (2020): An unexpected discovery by scientists was finding that the straw‐yellow image on the Shroud is extremely superficial. Each linen thread is composed of vastly smaller fibers, many of which are too microscopic to be seen by the natural eye. The fibers are 10 to 20 times thinner than a human hair. No fiber deeper than the top two or three fibers of a thread has been affected wherever the image exists. There is no coloration on any fiber that is covered above by a colorized fiber. Another surprising disclosure revealed that all colored fibers are approximately the same color and darkness throughout the image. Furthermore, the Shroud image is so light and so superficial that only the external surface circumference of a colored fiber has been colored (the inside of the fibers remains white, not straw‐yellow). The color does not penetrate deeper than 0.2 microns (millionths of a meter) of the surface of a typical 20‐micron diameter fiber, or one‐hundredth of the diameter of an individual fiber (of which there are typically 200 such fibers in a single linen thread)!   This startling superficiality of the depth of coloration is consistent throughout the entire image on the Shroud. Now, imagine trying to scorch an image on a cloth by heating a metal statue and then wrapping a cloth over it. That would violate the consistency of superficiality found throughout the entire Shroud image. Such scorching would go vastly deeper into the fibers, and the depth of the scorching would not be uniformly consistent like the depth of coloration on the Shroud. Scorching by draping a cloth over a hot statue would inevitably result in varied depths of scorching at various location points, such as where the weight of the cloth would bear more pressure upon certain location points (such as the tip of the nose of a hot metal statue). Another problem for a forgery is that the Shroud image includes areas of the body that did not touch the cloth. How could parts of the body not touching the cloth create an image? Why would parts of the body not touching the cloth also consistently penetrate exactly the same superficial depth—precisely the same depth as parts of the body that did touch the cloth? Consider the parts of the body not touching the cloth: If a cloth was scorched on a hot metal statue and the parts of the nose that did not touch the cloth were scorched by pressing down along the sides and bottom of the hot statue’s nose, then when the cloth is opened flat, the nose would appear widened and distorted. Fine points like this indicate that whatever made the image did so in a straight‐line vertical path between the body and the cloth, without pressing the cloth into the indented parts of the body that would not touch a draped cloth. 3

Raymond N. Rogers (2002): Heller and Adler found that the image fibers could be decolorized with diimide, a powerful reducing agent. Reduction left colorless cellulose fibers. They concluded that the color was a result of conjugated double bonds, agreeing with the spectrometry of Gilbert and Gilbert. At high optical magnifications, up to 1000X, no coatings could be resolved on the surfaces of image fibers; however, the surfaces appeared to be "corroded." Heller and Adler also reported that "ghosts" of color were stripped off of fibers by the adhesive of sampling tapes when they were pulled out of the adhesive and that the insides of the fibers were colorless. I have confirmed this observation. The color is only on the surface of the image fibers. Another important observation was that the "ghosts" had the same chemical composition as expected from dehydrated carbohydrates.

The STURP observation that the surfaces of image fibers appeared to be "corroded" suggests that a very thin coating of carbohydrate had been significantly dehydrated on the outer surfaces of the fibers. Dehydration causes shrinkage; therefore, any coating of carbohydrate impurities would "craze" during dehydration. Such a crazed coating would be easy to pull off with adhesive, explaining the easy removal of tapes from image areas. In the context of a discussion on radiation, these observations prove that only radiation-induced reactions that color the surfaces of fibers without coloring the cellulose can be considered.

1. No added material scorched in image areas or was rendered soluble. 
2. Direct microscopy showed that the image resided only on the topmost fibers at the highest parts of the weave. 
3. The color density of the image depends on the batch of yarn that was used in its weave. 
4. Adhesive-tape samples show that the image is a result of concentrations of yellow fibers. 
5. The color of image fibers was often stripped off of their surfaces, leaving colorless cellulose fibers. The color resides only on the surface of the fibers. 
6. Reflectance spectra and x-ray fluorescence show that the image is not painted with any of the expected pigments, including iron oxides. 30 
7. The image spectra were essentially identical to those from aged linen and light scorches. The structures of all forms of dehydrated carbohydrates would be very similar, containing complex systems of conjugated double carbon bonds. Cellulose is not unique. 
8. Chemical tests showed that there is no protein painting medium or protein-containing coating in image areas. 
9. The color can be reduced with diimide, leaving colorless cellulose fibers. The color resides only on the surface of the fibers, and it is the result of conjugated double bonds. 
10. The image of the back side of the body shows the same color density and distribution as the front. 
11. The image does not fluoresce, although scorch margins from the fire of AD 1532 do fluoresce. 
12. Microchemical tests with iodine indicated the presence of some starch fractions on the cloth. 
13. The medullas of colored image fibers are not colored: The cellulose was not involved in the colorproducing chemistry of the image.

The requirements make it apparent that no single, simple hypothesis will be adequate to explain all of the observations made on the Shroud. The spectra strongly suggest that the impurities were carbohydrates that were dehydrated as a result of the image-formation process. The hypothesis on carbohydrate impurities is supported by observations of traces of some starch fractions on image fibers.

Linen-production technology indicates that the Shroud of Turin is probably older than indicated by the date obtained in 1988. There seems to be ample evidence that an anomalous area was sampled for the radiocarbon analysis; therefore, the reported age is almost certainly invalid for the date the cloth was produced. The image was definitely not painted. The observed characteristics of the image rule out any mechanism for color formation that involves high temperatures or energetic, penetrating radiation. 4

No substance added to make the image on the Shroud

Mark Niyr (2020): An Investigation was undertaken by the STURP scientists to ascertain what material made the image appear on the Shroud. They wanted to confirm if there was some ingredient like paint, pigmentation, or dye placed on the Shroud to form its image. The scientific research concluded that no substance of any kind was added to the Shroud which produced its image. Instead, what they discovered is that the image exists exclusively due to changes to the cellulose fibers of the Shroud cloth itself which became denatured in the image area (as compared to fibers elsewhere on the Shroud). All the various theories which try to claim that the image was made by paint pigmentation, staining, oils, or some form of pre‐photographic chemicals either ignore or deny this thoroughly proven fact.3

Conca, Marco (2016):  The image resides on the outermost layer of the linen fibers and the image goes just two or three fibers deep into the thread. The superficial image then disappears if a colored thread goes under another thread. A second level of superficiality consists of the fact that the coloration of every fiber constituting the image is only superficial: the polysaccharide cover, approximately 0.2 thousandths of a millimeter (about 0.000008 inches), is colored; the cellulose in the inner side is not. Now that the so-called two-level superficiality of the Shroud image has been described, there is a very interesting and surprising further aspect to be taken into consideration: there are, it seems, actually two imprinted images on the cloth! In fact, from the analysis of the pictures of the dorsal side of the Shroud taken in 2002, it ensued that in correspondence with the face and the hands, there is an image also in the back. Since the Shroud image is superficial, the double image, front and back, implies a double superficiality that is, at least in correspondence with the face, an image on the cloth surface (the main one and most known) and another image, superficial, too, on the opposite side of the Sheet. Between the two sides, there is nothing. Making an analogy, you can imagine a book with the face of the Man of the Shroud on the cover; on the back, another, even fainter, image of the same face; and in the middle, only blanks pages, without any sign of the image.

The double, front and back, body image of the Man of the Shroud reveals such peculiar characteristics that, until now, modern sciences could not reproduce all together at one time on a single cloth. Currently, it is therefore impossible to explain how the Shroud image has been created. The image is not composed of painting pigments or other substances of that kind. the chemical reaction consists of dehydration with oxidation and conjugation (acid–base reaction).5

No directionality

Mark Niyr (2020): The Shroud image was also tested at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory by Don Lynn and Jean Lorre (who were image processing specialists for various NASA space mission projects to planets such as Venus and Saturn). They performed research using imaging equipment known as a microdensitometer. This equipment performed digital image processing analysis on the Shroud image. The device fed small areas of the image one tiny section at a time through a microscope lens to a detector which measured the amount of light transmitted for optical density. Each optical density of approximately one pixel was computed and expressed as a digital number. The processing facility had hundreds of thousands of algorithms that could be selected to perform numerous analytical functions on the data. The result is that the microdensitometer revealed new microscopic details that had previously been invisible to the natural eye. It also brought to light another major discovery that impressed the scientific world: namely, the image was microscopically directionless. Except for the weave pattern of the cloth fibers, the image was completely devoid of any two‐dimensional directionality. A human artisan, for example, would have left directionality upon the image (such as up and down, or side-to-side movement like brush strokes). Any directionality on the Shroud’s image would have been exposed by the microdensitometer. Instead, the image was confirmed to be microscopically directionless. This finding contra indicated the possibility that a human hand had applied the image. 


In accordance with the Historically Consistent Hypothesis, where the Shroud coheres with the laws of physics, the image formation begins upon the cloth’s interaction with radiation. Corresponding to the configuration of how the Shroud was draped over and under the supine body, the entire Shroud bearing that draped formation fell by gravity and was drawn into the vacuum of the disappearing body downward through the ventral (front) and suctioned upward through the dorsal (back) of the body’s residual radiation. (The immediate suction was more powerful than the force of gravity.) The image indicates that the radiation impacted the Shroud as the cloth passed through it in a straight‐line vertical path between the Shroud and the body. As the cloth passed through the residual particle radiation of the body, both the dorsal (back) and the ventral (front) of the body would have received an approximate equal dose of the radiation (as evident from the Shroud cloth). Protons and alpha particle radiation are weak and rapidly attenuate. For example, they travel only about 3 centimeters (1.18 inches) in air. Only the body disappeared, but the air between the body and the Shroud would have remained within the Shroud. Since proton and alpha particle radiation rapidly attenuate and die out in air, those parts of the cloth that were closer in proximity to the body would have received a greater quantity of radiation strikes, and those parts of the body that were farther distant from the collapsing cloth would have received a fewer number of radiation strikes. Referencing the attenuation of proton radiation in the air, physicist Arthur Lind cites that there is no body image wherever the body was more than four inches away from the originally draped position of the Shroud cloth. For example, there is no image underneath the area surrounding the crossed hands because that was more than four inches away from the original position of the draped Shroud. Apparently, the radiation had fully died out before the Shroud reached that point. The attenuation of the radiation would also explain why there is a gap devoid of body image at the mid‐horizontal sides surrounding the supine body that was initially more than four inches away from the draped cloth. This is most apparent when observing the three‐dimensional view of the body.   The straw yellow color of the Shroud image is microscopically superficial. One single linen thread may consist of two hundred or more fibers. Yet the radiation only penetrated no deeper than the outermost surface of exposed fibers (not covered over by other fibers) and not deeper than 0.2 microns (0.000008 of an inch, or one hundredth of the diameter of an approximate 20 micron diameter fiber). Radiation explains how such microscopic superficiality of coloring of the fibers would be possible. This microscopic, thin, outermost, superficial coloring is consistent with all fibers that are colored. At the Grenoble Nuclear Studies Center in France, Dr. Jean‐Baptiste Rinaudo radiated proton beams onto white linens with a particle accelerator. This, combined with artificially induced aging experiments, produced the same straw‐yellow color found with the external Shroud image fibers. Also, the interior part of such colored fibers remained white—just as the Shroud image fibers do. Retired nuclear physicist Dr. Kitty Little, who had previously performed similar experiments with similar results of radiation at Britain’s Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell, stated: “Now it seemed almost certain that the image must have been caused by some sort of radiation. 3 

Robert A. Rucker (2016):  “Formation of the image on the Shroud required three things: a discoloration mechanism, energy, and information…. And information defining the shape of the body and the presence of some of the bones was needed to guide the process so that front and back images with good resolution could be formed. It is argued that if we follow the evidence where it leads and not be constrained by a presupposition of naturalism, then we find that the best explanation for the evidence on the Shroud is that the required energy was delivered to the Shroud by radiation emitted from within the body…. The radiation that was emitted from within the body, by means of its intensity and direction, carried the necessary information from the body to the Shroud so that the image could be formed.” 6

Robert A. Rucker (2016): “People can see the image of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin because the threads of the Shroud contain fibers that are discolored in a pattern that contains the information content that defines the appearance of a crucified man. This information could only have come from the body that was wrapped within the Shroud, because this information was only inherent to the body and not to its surroundings.”7
The shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of JESUS. IT IS ALSO the greatest Kodak moment in history! It is the concrete, tangible, testable proof of the moment of the resurrection. The image is of a body held in a semi-suspended in air posture. The back and buttocks aren't effected by the force of gravity pressing down in the clothe image. So we have a image formed by a energy phenomenon unknown to science. And, a body defying the impact of gravity. It's clearly the person of the crucifixion and evidently of His predicted resurrection.

Some researchers have suggested that the image on the shroud could only have been formed by "orthogonal, unidirectional rays," which means that the light that created the image would have had to come from a single source and hit the cloth at right angles. This theory is based on the fact that the image on the shroud is only visible from a certain angle, and appears to be three-dimensional, as if it were formed by a beam of light hitting the cloth from a single point.

The light source that created the image on the shroud would have had to be positioned in such a way that it produced a single, uniform source of light that was perpendicular to the cloth, thus producing a "shadow" of the body on the cloth. This would have required the body to have been positioned in a specific way, with the head slightly tilted to one side and the arms slightly crossed over the chest. The hypothesis suggests that the body would have been wrapped in the cloth while it was still emitting light, and that the cloth would have acted as a photosensitive material that captured the image of the body. The resulting image would have been a negative, or inverted, image, which would have had to be converted to a positive image using a process known as "reversal," in which the light and dark areas of the negative image are reversed. This hypothesis explains the three-dimensional effect seen on the shroud.

Fine-tuning the radiation

Experiments by physicist Arthur Lind in 2017 using a cyclotron at the University of Missouri demonstrated that the radiation had to be extremely fine tuned within a very narrow range of parameters in order to produce the image of the Shroud—otherwise the Shroud could have been burnt through, or if too many of the fibers had been colored it would have left only a dark area instead of an image, or if the radiation source was too week or too far away from the cloth it would not have left any radiation effect (as exhibited from the circumference of the mid‐horizontal area of the supine body which was too distant from the cloth to leave any image). So how finely tuned did the radiation have to be in order to produce the Shroud’s image? Dr. Lind’s experimentation indicated that the proton energy had to be confined within an extremely narrow spectrum of 0.2 to 0.4 MeV level. Likewise, it also required a perfection of proton density quantity to produce the image. Would not this evidence (of a narrow, constrict range of parameters essential in order to produce the image) seem most indicative of design—rather than an accident of nature? Scientists typically require numerous trial and error runs to perfect a process; yet this Shroud (dating from centuries long ago) would seem to have had only one shot at the process. It nailed it, with meticulous precision, on the first try. See Arthur Linds video presentation on YouTube: The Shroud of Turin Conference 2017 - Image Formation by Charged Nuclear Particles 8 7

Stephen Jones (2011): That there is no directionality in the image indicates that the image must have been formed by a release of radiation. Radiation would not cause any directionality across the width and length of the image. That the Shroud image is consistent with having been caused by some form of radiation through space and was vertically directional is evidence for it has been the result of the resurrection of Jesus:

"The evidence ... clearly indicates that radiation caused the body images on the Shroud. This radiation came from the length and width of a real human corpse, including the internal parts of his body. Radiation does not naturally come from a dead body, and if we were to start a fire under a corpse or make it radiate in some way, we would not only create additional problems with the body, blood, and cloth, we still couldn't come close to making this kind of unique image on a cloth. Moreover, the radiation was vertically directional and encoded through space. Radiation coming from a corpse in such an unprecedented and unique manner is evidence of and consistent with the resurrection. Only a cloth collapsing through a wounded body giving off uniform radiant energy can explain the Shroud's more than twenty body image features, along with the more than one hundred blood marks ... this method not only can encode the mutually inconsistent primary body image features, but also the distracting and misregistered blood marks and body image features caused by the cloth's collapsing motion. Furthermore, this method not only explains how each of the complete and coagulated blood marks that formed naturally on a human got embedded into the cloth, but also how they separated from the body, leaving the original smooth surfaces between the wounds and the skin unbroken and intact on the cloth. Obviously the body has left the cloth. Obviously, each of the numerous wounds once had intimate contact with the cloth. However the cloth could not have been removed from the body by any human means without breaking or smearing many, if not all, these blood marks. Since there are no decomposition stains of any kind on the cloth, this body had to have left it in a unique manner within two to three days. The completely embedded blood marks in Jesus' burial shroud are also consistent with the historical descriptions of Jesus' appearance following his resurrection ... These facts, along with the image-encoding event and the body exiting the cloth within two to three days of death, are all consistent with and indicative of the resurrection.".

STURP leader Prof. John P. Jackson in his "cloth collapse theory" had proposed in 1991 that the image was produced by "shortwave ultraviolet radiation":

"Electromagnetic radiation that is absorbed strongly in air consists of photons in the ultraviolet or soft x-ray region. It happens that these photons are also sufficiently energetic to photochemically modify cellulose. Such photons are strongly absorbed in cellulose over fibril-like distances. Experiments performed by the author have shown that ... shortwave ultraviolet radiation produces a yellow-browned pattern like the Shroud body image composed of chemically altered cellulose. Thus, I posit that radiation from the body initially photosensitized the body image onto the Shroud. This pattern would have appeared, if the radiation was ultraviolet, as a white (bleached) image on a less white cloth. With time, natural aging would have reversed the relative shading of the image to its presently observed state where it appears darker than the surrounding cloth".

"Dr Jackson proposed the hypothesis that, at the time that the image on the Shroud was formed, the cloth collapsed into and through the underlying structure of the body in the Shroud. He did admit that, as a physicist, he had his own difficulties with this concept. Based on his observations of the image he further proposed that, as the body became mechanically transparent to its physical surroundings, it emitted radiation from all points within and on the surface of the body. This radiation interacted with the cloth as it fell into the mechanically transparent body, forming the body image. He also suggested that the radiation would have had to have been strongly absorbed in air. This, he suggested, could have been electromagnetic radiation in the shortwave ultraviolet region of the spectrum, which would have caused a chemical alteration of the cellulose in the cloth fibres."

The normally cautious STURP chemist Ray Rogers (1927–2005) was forced by this and other evidence to conclude that, "the image [on the Shroud] was formed by a burst of radiant energy — light ... such as Christ might have produced at the moment of resurrection":

"I am forced to conclude that the image [on the Shroud] was formed by a burst of radiant energy — light, if you will. I think there is no question about that. What better way, if you were a deity, of regenerating faith in a skeptical age, than to leave evidence 2,000 years ago that could be defined only by the technology available in that skeptical age. The one possible alternative is that the images were created by a burst of radiant light, such as Christ might have produced at the moment of resurrection".

Also Jesus' live body "emitted radiation," namely light, at the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36), where His "face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light" (Mt 17:2); "his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them" (Mk 9:3); "the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white" (Lk 9:29). And the Transfiguration was "a preview of the glorified body of Christ following his Resurrection". It is the view of many (if not most) Shroud scholars, including Ian Wilson, Rex Morgan, John Iannone, Mark Oxley, August Accetta and Giulio Fanti that the image on the Shroud is Jesus' imprinted on the cloth by the light of His resurrection.

It is also supported by the findings of scientists working under the auspices of Italy's ENEA agency, that the closest approximation yet to the colour, extreme superficiality, and other characteristics of the Shroud man's image, was obtained using an excimer laser delivering "a short and intense burst of VUV [vacuum ultraviolet] directional radiation". But the only `problem' with that is, "to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height," would require "a total power of VUV radiation" of "34 thousand billion watts!.9

Robert A Rucker (2021):   2017 to 2021: The 1988 measurement data was finally released for review in 2017. Statistical analysis of the data proved the samples from the lower corner were not homogeneous, i.e., representative of the rest of the Shroud. This non-homogeneity of the samples has been confirmed by four recent papers in peer-reviewed journals and is consistent with previous statistical analysis of the measurement data. This indicates the presence of a systematic error in the measured (C14/C12) ratios of the samples evidently because this ratio in the samples was altered by something other than decay of the C14. This means the carbon date of 1260- 1390 AD for the Shroud should be rejected. This leaves us with three main questions: 

1) How were the front and back images of the crucified man formed on the cloth? 
2) How were the (C14/C12) ratios of the samples altered? 
3) Why is the blood that would have dried on the body now on the cloth, since cloth does not absorb dried blood? 

Multiple answers have been attempted to answer these separate questions, but a recent hypothesis proposes a concept that could explain all three questions. The images on the Shroud are made by the top one or two layers of fibers in a thread being discolored to a sepia or straw-yellow color. This discoloration of the fibers penetrates to less than 2% of the radius of a fiber. It is the pattern of these discolored fibers that form the images of the crucified man. Three things are needed to produce this pattern of discolored fibers: 

1) a mechanism to discolor the fibers, 
2) energy to drive the discoloration mechanism, and 
3) information to control which fibers are to be discolored. 

Since the images are that of a crucified man, the information must be that which defines the form of a crucified man and could only have come from the body that was wrapped in the cloth. The only mechanism that could communicate this information from the body to the cloth and produce the good resolution image that can be seen, appears to be radiation. Thus, many if not most Shroud researchers now believe the images were formed by radiation. Research indicates this radiation was evidently low-energy, perhaps charged particles and/or electromagnetic radiation, and released in an extremely brief intense burst of energy from the body. If this burst of radiation included neutrons, a small fraction of the neutrons would have been absorbed in the trace amount of nitrogen in the cloth to form new C-14 atoms in the fibers. This new C-14 could have shifted the carbon date forward by thousands of years, depending on the location on the Shroud. To shift the carbon date forward from the time of Jesus’ death, about 33 AD, to the midpoint of 1260-1390 AD requires the C-14 concentration at the 1988 sample location be increased by only 16.9%. If the radiation burst from the body were sufficiently brief and intense, it would have thrust the dried blood off the body onto the cloth by a natural process called radiation pressure. 10

 G. Fanti (2018): Not considering for the moment the problem of the absence of the physical base that can explain the emission of energy by a body, a reverse engineering method has been applied, to detect the possible mechanisms of TS body image formation that, according to recent studies, should be due to a not well identified energy radiation

Confirming Yeshua Ffeee10
Negative frontal image of the Turin Shroud (on the left), with a corresponding manikin built to produce an experimental image (on the right) by means of Coronal Discharge.11

- Kind of radiation: perpendicular to the skin, thus suggesting the existence of an electric field; rectilinear or curved electric field are possible in the case of a human body either emitting radiation (non-cosine law) or floating in a vertical electric field (cosine law). 
- The cloth was probably doubly curved around the face but not touching it everywhere; a relatively good curvature can be about of R=1.33 nevertheless a flat position of the cloth cannot be excluded a priori.12

The ENEA study

Significantly the ENEA scientists found in 2011 that only "a short and intense burst of VUV [vacuum ultraviolet] ... radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including ... the surface [i.e. "the uppermost fibers of the threads of the cloth" color of the fibrils":

"...a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence"

In 2011, the article: "Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ's authentic burial robe," published in The Telegraph reported about a new study that suggested that Christianity's most prized but mysterious relic - the Turin Shroud - is not a medieval forgery but could be the authentic burial robe of Christ. Italian scientists conducted a series of advanced experiments which, they claimed, showed that the marks on the shroud - purportedly left by the imprint of Christ's body - could not possibly have been faked with technology that was available in the medieval period. 

This group of scientists actually considered seriously what it would take to recreate the Shroud's image. And they found that "it could not possibly have been faked with technology that was available in the medieval period." 
 "The double image (front and back)  is impossible to obtain in a laboratory," concluded experts from Italy's National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development. 9

MARCO TOSATTI (2011):  Enea, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, has published a report on five years of experiments conducted in the ENEA center of Frascati on the “shroud-like coloring of linen fabrics by far ultraviolet radiation”. “Simply put: we tried to understand how the Shroud of Turin was imprinted by an image so special that it constitutes its charm, and poses a great and very radical challenge, "to identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a color similar to that of the image on the Shroud. "

Scientists (Di Lazzaro, Murra, Santoni, Nichelatti and Baldacchini) start from the last (and only) comprehensive interdisciplinary exam of the sheet, completed in 1978 by a team of American scientists from Sturp (Shroud of Turin Research Project). A starting point that all too often those who write about and dissect the Shroud prefer not to take into account, in spite of what is evidenced by available information verified by an accurate control on “peer reviewed” journals, that is, approved by other scientists in objective and independent ways. The Enea report, with a lot of fair play and almost "en passant", very clearly refutes the hypothesis that the Shroud of Turin might be the work of a medieval forger. The hypothesis was supported – against many weighted arguments – by the results of the disputable and probably biased - C14 measurements; a test whose credibility has been rendered ​​very fragile not only by objective difficulties (the possibility that the fabric is contaminated is very high, especially since its historical journey is only partially known), but also from proven factual errors of calculation and the inability to obtain “raw data” from the laboratories for the necessary controls. In spite of repeated requests. An omission that in itself can throw a heavy shadow over the scientific accuracy of the episode.

The report notes: “The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory, as discussed in numerous articles listed in the references. This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.

In fact, today Science is still not able to explain how the body image was formed on the Shroud. As a partial justification, Scientists complain that it is impossible to take direct measurements on the Shroud cloth. In fact, the latest in situ experimental analysis of the physical and chemical properties of the body image of the Shroud was carried out ​​in 1978 by a group of 31 scientists under the aegis of the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc. (STURP). The scientists used modern equipment for the time, made ​​available by several manufacturers for a market value of two and a half million dollars, and took ​​a number of non-destructive infrared spectroscopy measurements, visible and ultraviolet, X-ray fluorescence, thermograph, pyrolysis, mass spectrometry, micro-Raman analysis, transmission photograph, microscopy, removal of fibrils and micro-chemical tests”. The analysis carried out on the Shroud did not find significant amounts of pigments (dyes, paints) nor traces of designs. Based on the results of dozens of measurements, the STURP researchers concluded that the body image is not painted nor printed, nor obtained by heating. Furthermore, the color of the image resides on the outer surface of the fibrils that make up the threads of the cloth, and recent measurements of fragments of the Shroud show that the thickness of staining is extremely thin, around 200 nm = 200 billionths of a meter, or one fifth of a thousandth of a millimeter, which corresponds to the thickness of the primary cell wall of the so-called single linen fiber. We recall that a single linen thread is made ​​up of about 200 fibrils.

Other important information derived from the results of the STURP measurements are as follows: The blood is human, and there is no image beneath the bloodstains; the gradient color contains three-dimensional information of the body; colored fibers (image) are more fragile than undyed fibers; surface staining of the fibrils of the image derived from an unknown process that caused oxidation, dehydration, and conjugation in the structure of the cellulose of the linen”. In other words, the color is a result of an accelerated linen aging process”.

As already mentioned, until now all attempts to reproduce an image on linen with the same characteristics have failed. Some researchers have obtained images with a similar appearance to the image of the Shroud, but nobody has been able to simultaneously reproduce all microscopic and macroscopic characteristics. “In this sense, the origin of the Shroud image is still unknown. This seems to be the core of the so-called “mystery of the Shroud”: regardless of the age the Shroud, whether it is medieval (1260 - 1390) as shown by the controversial dating by radiocarbon, or older as indicated by other investigations, and regardless of the actual importance of controversial historical documents on the existence of the Shroud in the years preceding 1260, the most important question, the “question of questions” remains the same: how did that body image appear on the Shroud?”.

“The first method is supported by the fact that there is a precise relationship between the intensity (gradient) of the image and the distance between the body and the cloth. Furthermore, the image is also present in areas of the body not in contact with the cloth, such as immediately above and below the hands, and around the tip of the nose. The second method is less likely because the typical geometric deformations of a three dimension body brought into contact in two dimension sheet are missing. Moreover, there is no imprint of body hips. Consequently, we can deduce that the image was not formed by contact between linen and body”. 13

P. DI LAZZARO (2011): It is this observation, “coupled with the extreme superficiality of the coloring and the lack of pigments” that “makes it extremely unlikely that a shroud-like picture was obtained using a chemical contact method, both in a modern laboratory and even more so by a hypothetical medieval forger”. “There is no image beneath the blood stains. This means that the traces of blood deposited before the image was. Therefore, the image was formed after the corpse was laid down. Furthermore, all the blood stains have well-defined edges, no burrs, so it can be assumed that the corpse was not removed from the sheet. “There are no signs of putrefaction near the orifices, which usually occur around 40 hours after death. Consequently, the image is not the result of putrefaction gases and the corpse was not left in the sheet for more than two days”.

  One of the assumptions related to the formation of the image was that regarding some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength), which could fit the requirements for reproducing the main features of the Shroud image, such as superficiality of color, color gradient, the image also in areas of the body not in contact with the cloth and the absence of pigment on the sheet. The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.14

“However, Enea scientists warn, "it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.

However the Shroud image “has some features that we are not yet able to reproduce – they admit - for example, the gradient of the image caused by a different concentration of yellow colored fibrils that alternate with unstained fibrils”. And they warn: “We are not at the conclusion, we are composing pieces of a fascinating and complex scientific puzzle”. 

The cloth collapse hypothesis

Christ's body literally DEMATERIALIZED, and matter became energy.  So basically, the Shroud was wrapped around Christ's body, and when he dematerialized, the Shroud fell through his body, got flat, and the energy burst printed the image on the Shroud.

The extreme superficiality of the Shroud man's image (amongst all its other major features) is explained by Prof. John P. Jackson's "cloth collapse theory":

"Superficial Penetration of Image. Once the cloth enters the body region, radiation emitted from within the body volume interacts with each cloth fibril throughout the bulk of the cloth from all directions. However, fibrils on both surfaces of the cloth receive a greater dose than those inside because they are unobstructed by overlying fibril layers. These fibrils would probably be highly absorbing to the radiation because the air, which is less dense by nearly three orders of magnitude than cellulose, is assumed to be highly absorbing to account for image resolution ... The net result is an exaggerated dose accumulation of the surface fibrils over those inside the cloth.".

"According to Jackson, this hypothesis would explain each of the image characteristics of the Shroud. Because radiation effects on the cloth cannot begin until it intersects with the body surface, one-to-one mapping between a given point on the body with a point on the cloth is achieved; in other words, the image is well resolved. As the cloth enters the body region, the fibrils on the surfaces of the cloth receive a greater dose of radiation than those inside, leading to a superficial body image. Also as the cloth collapses, internal stresses cause it to bulge away from the sides of the body and at the top of the head; hence, no image. is visible there. The effect of the radiation thus described would explain the chemical nature of the image. The blood, however, would have been transferred naturally to the Shroud by direct contact, during the initial draping of the body covered with blood. Finally, as the Shroud collapses into the body region, each cloth point falls vertically downwards, explaining why the image features tend to align vertically over their corresponding body part".

In 1990, Jackson proposed his "cloth collapse theory":"... in the case of the Shroud image, the cloth did collapse into and through the underlying body structure ... The concept of a cloth falling into the underlying body region and receiving an image, in essence, requires that two separate assumptions be made. First, we must assume that the body became mechanically `transparent' to its physical surroundings and, second, that a stimulus was generated that recorded the passage of the cloth through the body region onto the cloth as an image. With regard to the latter assumption, it is unclear in an a priori sense what to assume for the physical nature of the stimulus. However, we at least know that it was able to interact physically with cloth; otherwise, image discolorations would not have been formed. I propose that, as the Shroud collapsed through the underlying body, radiation emitted from all points within that body discolored the cloth so as to produce the observed image"

Jackson proposed that the radiation was "in the ultraviolet or soft x-ray region" because it is "sufficiently energetic to photochemically modify cellulose" yet is "absorbed strongly in air".

Radiation: Fall-Through Hypothesis (Jackson)

J.Jackson (2017): John Jackson and his TSC research team have proposed a radiation-based image-formation hypothesis that is theoretically consistent with all of the Shroud image characteristics. The hypothesis is known as the “Radiation Fall-Through Hypothesis”. It was first proposed in 1989 and has been worked on and refined ever since. The unique and unusual 3-dimensional characteristic of the Shroud image inspired Jackson to begin his work on an image-formation hypothesis. In their original work of analyzing the “3- dimensional” phenomena of the Shroud image, Jackson and his colleagues established that a very close correlation could be established between the intensity of the image and the vertical distance to a hypothetical body wrapped in the Shroud. Experiments with human volunteers established that the cloth-to-body distance correlation was in a vertical direction that appears to be related to the earth’s gravitational field. This fact led Jackson to conclude that gravity was a deciding factor in determining several of the Shroud image characteristics. Jackson’s team also conducted experiments using ultraviolet light to irradiate samples of linen cloth followed by heating the cloth in an oven to cause artificial aging. It was found that the irradiated and artificially-aged linen samples developed a superficial colored layer that both visually and chemically closely matched the colored image-bearing fibers of the Shroud. The detailed and complex “Radiation Fall-Through Hypothesis” followed. The hypothesis, in brief, states that the body wrapped in the Shroud became volumetrically radiant (radiant throughout its entire volume) with light in the vacuum ultraviolet range (VUV), and simultaneously, mechanically transparent, thus offering time-decreasing resistance to the cloth as it collapsed through the body space under the influence of gravity. Finally, the hypothesis proposes that the irradiated cloth, over some indeterminate period of time, aged and the image developed. This hypothesis posits a singular event that has been modeled theoretically and through computer simulation, but it clearly cannot be physically replicated. Nevertheless, the hypothesis does make predictions concerning image characteristics that can be evaluated, and ultimately, tested by the scientific method. It is important, in particular, to note that in the process of developing the Fall-Through Hypothesis” Jackson predicted that there should be traces of a “doubly superficial” image associated only with the frontal image. This prediction was based on the assumption that as the cloth hypothetically collapsed through the radiant body, the image-forming vacuum ultraviolet light would also irradiate the back of the cloth. This prediction was made while the Holland backing cloth still covered the back of the Shroud in its reliquary in Turin Italy. At the time of Jackson’s prediction of a doubly superficial image, the back of the Shroud had not been viewed for hundreds of years. Years later when the backing cloth was removed and the back of the Shroud was studied, as predicted by Jackson a faint superficial image of the face and possibly of the hands was observed on the back of the Shroud (see item C3 and C4). This demonstrates the powerful analytical and predictive strength of the Fall-Through Hypothesis.

Dr. Jackson and his research associates, after years of intense continuing research following the completion of the STURP project and coupled with the research findings of an ever-expanding body of Shroud scholars, have come to hold the position that the Shroud of Turin is in fact the burial Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.  15

Robert A. Rucker: Role of Radiation in Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin  July 16, 2020


While Jackson does not use the word, "resurrection" in his "cloth collapse" theory, Oxley has pointed out the Gospels' evidence for Jesus' body having become "mechanically transparent" at His resurrection:

1. Enea: International Workshop on the Scientific Approach to the Acheiropoietos Images  May 2010
2. Paolo Di Lazzaro: A Ray of Light on the Shroud of Turin 2016 
3. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective)2020
5. Conca, Marco: The Shroud of Turin: first century after Christ 2016
6. Robert A. Rucker, “Role of Radiation in Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin,” October 11, 2016)
7. Robert A. Rucker, Information Content on the Shroud of Turin October 11, 2016
8. Arthur Lind: The Shroud of Turin Conference 2017 - Image Formation by Charged Nuclear Particles 2017
9. Stephen Jones: Italian study claims Turin Shroud is Christ's authentic burial robe DECEMBER 22, 2011
10. Robert A Rucker:  Forensic Science and the Shroud of Turin December 03, 2021
11. Giulio Fanti et. al.,: Mechanical ond opto-chemical dating of the Turin Shroud 2015
12. G. Fanti: Reverse Engineering to Study the Turin-Shroud Body-Image Formation 18 October 2018
13. MARCO TOSATTI https://www.lastampa.it/vatican-insider/en/2011/12/14/news/the-shroud-is-not-a-fake-1.36913560 14 Dicembre 2011
15. John Jackson: The Shroud of Turin: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses 2017
16. Robert A. Rucker: Solving the Carbon Dating Problem for the Shroud of Turin  July 12, 2022

Last edited by Otangelo on Sat Dec 23, 2023 6:29 pm; edited 24 times in total


11Confirming Yeshua Empty The Sudarium of Oviedo Wed Nov 16, 2022 2:50 pm



"The Gospels suggest that the risen Jesus could teleport - in other words, he could move apparently instantaneously from place to place regardless of the physical obstacles in the way ... In John 20:19 and again in John 20:26 it is recorded that Jesus appeared suddenly among his disciples in a locked room. Luke 24:31 records Jesus as vanishing from the sight of the disciples he met on the road to Emmaus. Again, in Luke 24:36 he suddenly appears among the apostles in Jerusalem ... Clearly the body of the risen Jesus, as described in the Gospels, had physical properties beyond the knowledge of modern science ... The Gospel accounts do not, however, preclude the possibility that the body of the risen Jesus became `mechanically transparent'. In fact they seem to suggest it in their descriptions of how Jesus appeared and disappeared without warning. The Gospel accounts give ... credence to Dr Jackson's proposed image-formation mechanism ...".

Ashe is a Christian and a Shroud pro-authenticist, so he  proposed that the resurrection of Jesus "released a brief and violent burst of some other radiation than heat ... which scorched the cloth" and imprinted on it "a quasi-photograph of Christ returning to life"!:

"The Shroud is explicable if it once enwrapped a human body to which something extraordinary happened. It is not explicable otherwise. The Christian Creed has always affirmed that Our Lord underwent an unparalleled transformation in the tomb. His case is exceptional and perhaps here is the key. It is at least intelligible (and has been suggested several times) that the physical change of the body at the Resurrection may have released a brief and violent burst of some other radiation than heat, perhaps scientifically identifiable, perhaps not, which scorched the cloth. In this case the Shroud image is a quasi-photograph of Christ returning to life, produced by a kind of radiance or `incandescence' partially analogous to heat in its effects.".

Robert A. Rucker (2022): There is no known example of a human body, dead or alive, producing an image of itself on a piece of cloth, except for the Shroud of Turin. These unique neutron emission and image encoding events appear to require a unique process or mechanism that is outside or beyond our current understanding of physics. If we look through all our historical records to determine whose dead crucified body could have produced the evidence on the Shroud, it is most reasonable to conclude that the only option is Jesus in his resurrection. Thus, the Shroud of Turin provides scientifically based circumstantial evidence for Jesus’ resurrection that supplements and corroborates evidence from Old Testament prophecy, Jesus’ predictions of his own resurrection, and eye-witness testimony of Jesus’ empty tomb and post-resurrection appearances. 16

After the resurrection, why didn’t the Bible mention anything about the disciples discovering an image on the Shroud?

Mark Niyr (2020): Based on scientific research of the Turin Shroud, it would be expected that no image would have been visible on the Shroud for many years. The image was not burnt or scorched on the Shroud, nor is there any substance on the Shroud (such as paint or pigmentation) that makes its image. If it had been, then the image would have immediately appeared. Rather, evidence from the Shroud is conclusive that, where its image exists, it is due exclusively to molecular changes to its image fibers which gradually caused the image fibers to yellow and darken faster over time than the overall Shroud cloth (like an old newspaper under the sun). According to the Historically Consistent Hypothesis, the likely source inducing the molecular change was proton and alpha particle radiation acquired when the Shroud collapsed by gravity and was sucked into the vacuum and residual radiation of the disappearing body when the body transferred into an alternate dimensionality. The radiation would break apart many of the molecular bonds of the image fibers causing carbon and oxygen atoms to double‐bond with each other. This molecular change resulted in conjugated carbonyl (double‐bonded) groups within the molecular structure of the cellulose fibers of the Shroud image. Subsequent air and sunlight exposure would gradually induce oxidized, dehydrated cellulose, causing the image fibers to yellow and darken faster than the non image fibers of the cloth over time—slowly revealing its image as the cloth aged. This enlightens as to why there was no mention in the Bible of an image found on the Shroud at the time of Yeshua’s resurrection. Even today, the image cannot be seen unless standing at least six to ten feet away from the Shroud—any closer than that the image fades away into the straw‐yellow background color of the cloth.1

Shroud of Turin Chemistry of the Images

Some of the cellulose fibers that when twisted together make up the threads of the Shroud's cloth are coated with a thin carbohydrate layer of starch fractions and various sugars. This chemical layer, which is about as thick as the transparent scratch-resistant coatings used for eye glasses, is essentially colorless and is found only on the outermost fibers near the surface. In some places, the layer has undergone a chemical change that appears straw-yellow. This chemical change is similar to the change that takes place when sugar is heated to make caramel or when proteins react with sugar giving beer its color. And it is the straw-yellow, selectively present in some parts of the carbohydrate layer, that makes up the image we see on the Shroud. When scientists speak of image fibers they are referring to the coating on lengths of fiber that have undergone this chemical change.

Ray Rogers (see curriculum vitae summary below) responds to the question:  "How do you know that the flax fibers were not involved in image formation?"

Prof. Alan Adler of Western Connecticut University found that the image color could be reduced with a diimide reagent, leaving colorless, undamaged linen fibers behind. This confirmed spectral data that indicated that the image color was a result of complex conjugated double bonds; however, it proved that image color was found only on the outer surfaces of colored image fibers. Until this time, we had assumed that the image color was a result of chemical changes in the cellulose of the linen. The most likely change would involve the dehydration of the cellulose to produce conjugated-double-bond systems Adler's observations proved that the cellulose was not involved in image formation. This is an extremely important observation.

Ray Rogers (see curriculum vitae summary below) responds to the question:  "How do you know that the flax fibers were not involved in image formation?"

Prof. Alan Adler of Western Connecticut University found that the image color could be reduced with a diimide reagent, leaving colorless, undamaged linen fibers behind. This confirmed spectral data that indicated that the image color was a result of complex conjugated double bonds; however, it proved that image color was found only on the outer surfaces of colored image fibers. Until this time, we had assumed that the image color was a result of chemical changes in the cellulose of the linen. The most likely change would involve the dehydration of the cellulose to produce conjugated-double-bond systems Adler's observations proved that the cellulose was not involved in image formation. This is an extremely important observation.

This fact was confirmed by the observation that the image color on some fibers had been stripped off of their surfaces by the adhesive of the sampling tapes. The photomicrograph shows the places where two fibers were pulled out of the adhesive leaving their colored coating behind. The coating is too thin to measure accurately with a standard microscope; however, it appears to be 200-600 nanometers thick (in the range of a wavelength of visible light).

The bands of color and the fact that all of the image color appears only on the outer surfaces of the fibers, suggested that image formation involved a thin layer of impurities. Because the cellulose was not colored, the impurities had to be significantly less stable than cellulose.

This also suggested that the impurities were the result of cloth-production methods, and they should appear on all parts of the cloth. A search for carbohydrate impurities on the Shroud confirmed McCrone's detection of some starch fractions. Starch and low-molecular-weight carbohydrates from crude starch would color much more easily than would cellulose as a result of either thermal dehydration or chemical reactions.

Any image-formation mechanism that would result in color formation inside the linen fibers must be rejected. Some "theories" that have been mentioned that would cause coloration inside fibers are penetrating radiation, high temperature scorching (hot statue, painting with a torch, etc.), and catalyzed dehydration of the cellulose. Image fibers are colored only on their surfaces. 2

The Sudarium of Oviedo

Richard Wagoner (2014): (Before Jesus was lowered from the cross, a small cloth was used to cover Jesus’ entire head and was tied securely. This is the “facecloth” that John saw later in the tomb. This was placed on Jesus' head immediately after His death, so that no blood or fluid would fall to the ground. According to Jewish custom, blood lost while a person was alive was not as important as blood lost after a person dies, when the death was violent. Any blood or bodily fluid which came after death had to be buried with the body, so it had to be recovered. The facecloth may have already been at the site when Jesus died. This facecloth still exists and is known as the “Sudarium.” It is in Oviedo, Spain. It was not a high-quality cloth.)  Then Joseph (under the centurion’s authority and probably with his help) had Jesus’ body supported while the nails were removed from his hands and feet. Finally, Jesus was lowered and removed from the area. His body was not allowed to touch the ground. He was not cleaned up in any way. He was taken to the area where Joseph’s garden tomb was, and there he was laid on the linen cloth, which was then folded over him. This linen cloth still exists, and is known as the “Shroud of Turin.” There is limestone dust on the back of the Shroud, and the area of the “Garden Tomb” north of Jerusalem, is mostly limestone. He would have been laid there, while the next steps of preparation were being made. Mary would have had plenty of room to sit next to Jesus’ covered body.  Then Nicodemus arrived, the same Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night at the beginning of his ministry. He brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes.  3
A. S. HERMOSILLA (2015): The Sudarium of Oviedo had a screen effect, which preserved humidity of the corpse fluid stains, allowing that when this was moved away and the corpse was covered with the Shroud of Turin, the stains could coat it. This would be a positive influence on the second Shroud. Due to this reason, in the reverse of the Shroud of Turin there are fluid stains that have gone through the thick of the cloth. If it had not been like this, they may not have gone through the cloth completely, and would have just coated the surface in contact with the corpse. The blood stains attributed to the thorns of the crown can be appreciated in both relics with a high similarity in the distance which separates them.The surface of the nose in both linens is very similar; in the Sudrium of Oviedo it has an area of 2.280 mm2 , and in the Shroud of Turin 2.000 mm2  4

Confirming Yeshua Santo_10
Wikipedia: The Sudarium of Oviedo, or Shroud of Oviedo, is a bloodstained piece of cloth measuring c. 84 x 53 cm (33 x 21 inches) kept in the Cámara Santa of the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain

Mark Niyr (2020): There is a headcloth today called the Sudarium of Oviedo—a linen cloth 84 x 54 centimeters (34” x 21 ¼” inches) that would have covered the front, back, and top of the head along with the neck. Naturally, that cloth does not have any image because it was removed from Yeshua’s head when he was placed in the tomb. It does, however, have blood stains, as well as fluid from pleural oedema which was release through the nostrils. The history of the Sudarium of Oviedo is well documented. The cloth (revered as the head cloth placed over Yeshua’s head) was kept in the land of Israel until the early seventh century when Persians began to attack Jerusalem. It was then transported through North Africa until it arrived in Spain together with refugees that were fleeing the Persians. Today, this head cloth resides in Oviedo, Spain. The following factors furnish impressive evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the head cloth that was placed over the crucified victim of the Turin Shroud after his death. If this was Yeshua, then these factors also provide evidence that Gundelia Tournefortii was the thorn plant used to weave the crown cap of thorns. 

1. The blood on the Shroud (as well as on the Oviedo cloth) both bear the same rare blood type: AB. Only 3.2 percent of the world’s population has this type of blood. The mathematical chance that this specific AB blood type would be found by accident on two separate cloths is 1/1000. 
2. Dr. Alan Whanger performed Polarized Image Overlay Technology which revealed seventy points of congruence between the blood stains on the Shroud as compared to the Oviedo head cloth on the front of the head, and fifty points of congruence between the blood marks on the back of the head. 
3. Recent tests performed by researchers from the University of Oviedo and the Spanish Center of Sindonology using X‐ray fluorescence analysis on the Oviedo cloth discovered a surprising deposit of dirt on the nose area bearing a large excess of calcium and low concentrations of strontium. This new discovery matched the previous discovery of dirt on the nose of the Turin Shroud. Both dirt discoveries equated to the same rare type of limestone (with corresponding levels of calcium and strontium) that exists in the vicinity of the crucifixion site and nearby tombs in Jerusalem. Not only is the chemical composition of this dirt unique, but it would also be unexpected to find any concentration of dirt on any nose—much less on both cloths. It is thought that if this victim was Yeshua, then the dirt on the nose of the Shroud was acquired by Yeshua from a fall on his face while attempting to bear the cross beam on the way to his execution. We know that Shimon of Cyrene was conscripted by the Romans to take over the bearing of Yeshua’s cross to the crucifixion site of Gulgolta (Jewish Aramaic for Golgotha), John 19:17, Luke 23:26).
4. Like the Shroud, a variety of species of pollen found on the Oviedo cloth are limited to the land of Israel— indicating that the Oviedo Sudarium had once resided there. 
5. The pollen from the thorn plant Gundelia Tournefortii (which is rare to find, not wind-borne, and only insect-borne) was not only found on the Shroud of Turin, it was also discovered on the Sudarium of Oviedo. It is understandable that flowers of sympathy might be placed inside the Shroud next to the corpse of Yeshua (bearing this pollen), but it is illogical that flowers would be stuffed inside an empty, bloody head cloth. Thus, if it wasn’t a bouquet of flowers that provided the Gundelia Tournefortii pollen inside the Oviedo head cloth, then certainly a crown of Gundelia Tournefortii thorns (bearing long, fearsome‐looking thorns with the sharpest of spines) could readily provide this rare thorn pollen inside the Oviedo head cloth.1

Confirming Yeshua 49ffe211

Rick Lanser (2022): The Sudarium of Oveido is a small, blood-stained cloth kept at the cathedral of Oveido in Spain, the stains of which match up with those on the Shroud of Turin and are of the same blood type. It has no image upon it, but has its own ancient history of preservation which shows it was held in high esteem by the faithful. Mark Guscin wrote a very insightful article on the Shroud.com website, “The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin.” Though it is less well known, Guscin documents that the Sudarium has a clear historical association with the Shroud, its blood stains are of the same type AB, the stains display remarkable congruency with those on the larger cloth, and it bears pollens tying it to the environs of Jerusalem. It was apparently folded into a “napkin” and used primarily to blot up blood and fluid issuing from the nose and mouth of the Lord when His body was removed from the Cross and transferred to the tomb. Studies of the stains on the Oveido cloth demonstrate it was folded over and used as a blotting cloth while the head was slumped forward and almost resting on the right shoulder. This indicates the victim was crucified and the cloth was put in place before the body was taken down from the cross. Guscin writes:

The stains on the sudarium show that when the cloth was placed on the dead man’s face, it was folded over, although not in the middle. Counting both sides of the cloth, there is therefore a fourfold stain in a logical order of decreasing intensity. From the composition of the main stains, it is evident that the man whose face the sudarium covered died in an upright position. The stains consist of one part blood and six parts fluid from a pleural oedema. This liquid collects in the lungs when a crucified person dies of asphyxiation, and if the body subsequently suffers jolting movements, can come out through the nostrils. These are in fact the main stains visible on the sudarium. These stains in the nasal area are also superimposed on each other, with the different outlines clearly visible. This means that the first stain had already dried when the second stain was formed, and so on.

Guscin further adds, citing the research of Dr. José Villalaín: The cloth was not wrapped entirely round the head because the right cheek was almost touching the right shoulder. This suggests that the sudarium was put into place while the body was still on the cross. The second stain was made about an hour later, when the body was taken down. The third stain was made when the body was lifted from the ground about forty-five minutes later. The body was lying at the foot of the cross for about forty-five minutes before being buried. The marks (not fingerprints) of the fingers that held the cloth to the nose are also visible.


Northstarproductions (2008): The Oviedo Cloth (Sudarium Christi) was placed around the head from the time death occurred on the Cross until the body was laid in the tomb at which time Jesus was enveloped by the Shroud. Prior to enveloping the body in the Shroud, the Face Cloth was removed and placed to one side (John 20:7). Mark Guscin living in Spain notes that the practice of covering the face is referenced in the Babylonian Talmud (Moed Katan 27a). 6


Scientifically, there are several points of congruence between the Holy Shroud and the Sudarium:

1. Blood Type: The blood type of the shroud - namely AB blood - matches the blood type of the Sudarium. Dr. Garza Valdes of the University of Texas Health Science Center notes that only 3 to 5% of the world population has AB blood and the majority of these cases are in the Middle East. In face, AB blood has been called a bio-type of the Middle East.

2. Pollen Match: Pollen grains found on the Cloth of Oviedo by Dr. Max Frei in 1973 and 1978 and studied also by Monsignor Giulio Ricci match pollen grains found on the Shroud of Turin. Dr. Frei found at least four different pollens matching both the Shroud and the Sudarium. Dr. Uri Baruch (expert Palynologist from the Israel Antiquities Authority) has indicated that one of these pollen is Gundelia tourneforti - a thorn/thistle bush that is indigenous to the Holy Land. Professor Avinoam Danin (botanist and expert on the flora of the Holy Land who teaches at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem) reported that Gundelia tourneforti serves as a "geographic and calendar indicator" of the provenance of the cloths as originating in the Holy Land. In addition, on the Oviedo cloth "were found pollen representative of Israel, North Africa and Spain, exactly in accord with the cloth's known history."

Mark Guscin, an expert on the Sudarium, notes: "We have seen that historical testimony fits in with what we know about the Sudarium, and there is no reason to doubt the historicity of the few references that exist. It stayed in Jerusalem (until 614 AD) and its route through the north of Africa can be further confirmed by studying pollen found on the cloth."

3. Blood & Serum: As Shroud historian Ian Wilson noted: "The Sudarium's "blood and body fluid stains" are "very compatible with Gospel writer John's observation that at the conclusion of Jesus' crucifixion", when pierced with a lance, "immediately there came out blood and water." John 19:34.

4. Puncture Marks: A series of puncture marks noted on the Sudarium match those on the back of the head (occipital area) of the Holy Shroud consistent with the puncture marks from the capping of thorns. As Shroud Historian Ian Wilson noted: 'If the Oviedo cloth's back-of-the-head group of bloodstains are "photographed to the same scale as their equivalent on the Shroud, and then matched up to each other, there are again enough similarities to indicate...that these two cloths were in contact with the same wounded body."

5. Matching Nose:  The length of the nose on both cloths is 8 centimeters (3 inches). Mark Guscin notes: "The length of the nose which produced this stain has been calculated at eight centimetres, just over three inches, which is exactly the same as the length of the nose on the Shroud."

6. Wounds on Back of Neck: "The image of the back of the man on the Shroud is covered with wounds from the scourging he received before being crucified. The wounds on the man's back are obviously not reproduced on the Sudarium, as this had no contact with it. However, there are thick bloodstains on the nape of the man's neck, showing the depth and extent of the wounds produced by the crown of thorns. This crown was probably not a circle, as traditional Christian art represents, but a kind of cap covering the whole head. The stains on the back of the man's neck on the Shroud correspond exactly to those on the Sudarium." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, pp.30,32).

7. Match of Beard and Bloodstain on Side of Mouth:

"Perhaps the most obvious fit when the stains on the Sudarium are placed over the image of the face on the Shroud, is that of the beard; the match is perfect. This shows that the Sudarium, possibly by being gently pressed onto the face, was also used to clean the blood and other fluids that had collected in the beard." (Guscin, 1998, p.28).

"The principal bloodstains clearly form a mirror image along the axis formed by a fold that is still present. They are fundamentally light brown in color, in varying degrees of intensity. Although the linen has been traditionally called the 'Holy Sudarium' or 'Holy Face,' there is no visible image of a face on the relic, only blood that is believed to be that of Jesus of Nazareth." J. Bennett, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo" (Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, 2001, p. 13.

8. Polarized Image Overlay Techinque: Dr. Alan Whanger of Duke University, N.C. found at least seventy matches between a polorarized image overlay of the blood stains of the Shroud and those found on the Cloth of Oviedi. Further computerized comparative studies by Nello Balossino of the University of Turin indicated that the traces of blood present on the two pieces of cloth matcher perfectly. (Iannone, J.C., "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, 1998, p.91).

"The PIOT methodology (Polarized Image Overlay Technique) (Whanger & Whanger, 1985, 1998) allows comparison of various objects and images with the Shroud images or stains. This affords for confirmation, image by image, stain by stain, painstakingly, of the historical authenticity of the Shroud. Representative observations include: … Sudarium (face cloth) of Oviedo, dated to the 1st century in Jerusalem, kept in El Salvador Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain, since the mid-8th century (Guscin, 1998), 120 points of congruent bloodstains between the Sudarium and the Shroud." (Whanger & Whanger, 1998)." (Danin, A., Whanger, A.D., Baruch, U. & Whanger, M., "Flora of the Shroud of Turin," Missouri Botanical Garden Press: St. Louis MO, 1999, pp.6-7)


The Sudarium Christi is an ancient linen venerated in Oviedo, Spain for more than 1,200 years. Mark Guscin notes that "It was originally a white linen cloth with a taffeta texture, now stained, dirty and wrinkled. It is rectangular, somewhat irregular and measures appoximately 34 by 21 inches (855 mm x 526 mm) or 84 x 53 cm. Unlike the Holy Shroud (Shroud of Turin), it does NOT have an image, having been removed from the face before the image was created on the Holy Shroud. "

The Sudarium Christi, also known as the Sagrado Rostro or Holy Face, has a well-documented history. Once source traces the cloth back as far as 570 A.D. Pelayo, Bishop of Oviedo in the 1100's noted in his Chronicles that the Oviedo Cloth left Jerusalem in 614 A.D. in the face of the Persian invasion of the Holy Land and made its way across North Africa to Spain. In advance of Moslem assaults into Spain, the sudarium was later transported to Oviedo, Spain in a silver Ark (large box) along with any other sacred relics. This wooden reliquary housed the Sudarium in Carthage, North Africa and in Monsagro and Toledo, Spain. In Oviedo, the Sudarium was placed in the Cathedral of St. Stephen in the camera santa (holy room) specially built for it. In 1075 it was reliably recorded as being taken out of its still extant arca or chest in the presence of King Alfonso VI. .The fact that both cloths touched and same face at different points in the Crucifixion and that the Oviedo Cloth can be traced historically to a date as early as 570 A.D. are further proof that the Carbon-14 dating in 1988 which dated the Shroud to between 1260 - 1390 cannont be correct. (New evidence refuting the 1988 tests is discussed elsewhere on this website: see Shroud of Turin) has confirmed a flawed testing in 1988).

"The key date in the history of the sudarium is 14 March 1075. On this date the ark or chest where the sudarium was kept was officially opened in the presence of King Alfonso VI, his sister Doha Urraca, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (el Cid Campeador) and a number of bishops. This official act was recorded in a document which is now kept in the Capitular Archives of the cathedral in Oviedo, Series B.2.9. This is not the original document from the year 1075, but rather it is a copy, which was made in the thirteenth century. The copy is so exact that even the signatures are imitated - the vertical signature of Urraca is clearly legible. ... The document states that even in the year 1075, the chest had been in the church for a long time ... The sudarium has been in Oviedo ever since, kept in a wooden ark. Alfonso VI had this ark covered with silver plating, on which the twelve apostles, the four evangelists and Christ are portrayed. There are inscriptions in Arabic and Latin, both of Christian origin. After the reconquest of the kingdom of Toledo, Christian- inscriptions were often written in Arabic. The Latin inscription invites all Catholics to venerate this relic that contains the holy blood. The silver plating dates from the year 1113, and gives a list of the contents of the ark. One of these items is clearly registered as `el Santo Sudario de N.S.J.C.' These letters stand for `Nuestro Senor Jesucristo', and the inscription means, `The Sacred Sudarium of Our Lord Jesus Christ'." (Guscin, 1998, pp.17-18).5

What Prompted John to Believe?

John 20: 3 -8: So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

What exactly did John see that made him believe the Lord had been raised from the dead?

Research done by Rebecca Jackson, cited by Joseph Marino in “Is the Turin Shroud Compatible with a First Century Jerusalem Burial?—Some Jewish Perspectives,” documents that Jewish burial customs of the first century mandated that one who died a violent death had to have all bloodstained items buried with the body. This was due to the belief that a bodily resurrection required the whole body to be buried together, with all blood, bones, etc. included. This meant the face cloth would have been buried with the body, but not necessarily that it remained on the face while it was within the shroud.

Marino cites Jewish lawyer Victor Tunkel, who made the following points in an oral presentation titled “A Jewish View of the Shroud of Turin” to the British Society for the Turin Shroud on May 12, 1983:

it has a chance to be genuine because Jesus did not undergo a normal, natural death. He suffered a violent, blood-stained death, and rules for burial in such cases are quite different. In a normal death, the body has to be washed and then dressed in conventional shrouds. That does not apply to the body that has died in violent circumstances.

In Jesus’ case, it was a case of capital punishment, but would include someone whose throat had been cut or was stabbed many times and left for dead, and so on. Because of the belief in the 1st century in the bodily resurrection, the Jews, or at least the Pharisees, took the view that the blood is as much part of the body as the limbs, the hair and every other body part and must be buried so as to be available for that resurrection. So if one found a bloodstained body, absolutely drenched in blood, one can’t take the clothes off, wash the body, put it in shrouds because one would be taking away some of the body, which of course then wouldn’t be available for the resurrection. This was a key point in debates between Pharisees and Sadducees.

We can therefore be confident that those who prepared the Lord’s body planned to include the sudarion somewhere within His shroud during the final preparations. In my opinion, though, it strains one’s sense of propriety to imagine that, after being used to blot bodily fluids in the above manner, the cloth would afterwards have been re-wrapped around His head. Included within the shroud, yes, but not laid again upon that beloved face.

We must realize that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus had to undertake very incomplete, hasty preparations so as to get the body of the Lord into the tomb before the Sabbath began. They would have been fully aware that the women were going to finish the work once the Sabbath ended (Lk. 23:55, “Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid”), so they only needed to do a bare minimum of preparation that would have also eased the women’s later task. The men only needed to convey the Lord’s body to the tomb, place it on the shroud, put some 75 pounds of sweet-smelling myrrh and aloes around the body (Jn. 19:39–40), cover the body, and loosely bind the shroud closed with ties. That way, the women would have no difficulty uncovering the Lord’s body later to properly finish the task. They would not have needed to unwind fourteen feet of linen from around His body, scattering already-placed spices in the process, then re-wrapping Him once the task was completed.

Since the women had to finish the men’s hurried burial preparations, the sudarion would reasonably have been set aside in the tomb by Joseph and Nicodemus during their early preparation, because by that time it had done its job of absorbing the blood and pulmonary fluids and probably interfered with their putting myrrh and aloes around the Lord’s head. Because it was blood-stained it would need to be included within the shroud once the women had done their work, so it would not have been discarded, just set aside so as not to interfere with the women’s ministrations, to be afterwards included within the shroud. But the Resurrection left the face-cloth still where the men had put it, “rolled up in a place by itself” (Jn. 20:7).

Another reason to suppose that the face-cloth was not inside the shroud after the men’s job was done has to do with the studies that have proven there is 3-D information within the Shroud image. The intensity of the face image, being dependent on the distance of the face from the inside of the sindon, indicates that there was no other cloth intervening between His face and the outer shroud. If there was, it would have distorted the image, and no such distortion is apparent.

The sight that greeted the eyes of Peter and John when they visited the tomb, therefore, was the face-cloth rolled up by itself, where it had been put during the men’s hasty preparation, and the main shroud, with its closing ties still fastened, in a collapsed heap. In my opinion, this sight prompted John to believe in the Resurrection (Jn. 20:8 ) because the ties were still fastened. The image burnt into the microfibrils of the surface of the shroud that was in contact with the body would not have been visible at that time, being on the underside of the fabric and unseen until the sindon was unfolded. So it was not an image on the Shroud that would have impressed John when he looked into the tomb.

Feuillet also offered some valuable insights on John 20:7 (page 19): The linens in question must be the shroud, but perhaps also the ties of the hands and feet which, in the account of the resurrection of Lazarus (Jn 11:44) are called keiriai. It seems that John does not specify that only the linens are still there while the body of Jesus had disappeared. Since John does not use the verb menein, but the verb keisthai, I prefer to translate, not “lying on the ground”, which is an unnecessary addition to the text, but rather “spread out flat, sunk down”, a sense perfectly attested by keisthai. The verb entulissein used by Matthew (27:59) and by Luke (23:53) in connection with sindôn suggests a big sheet that completely enveloped the body of Christ. John wants to suggest that, the body of Jesus having disappeared, the two parts of the shroud (upper and lower) have come together. A very spiritual conception of the corporal resurrection and the only acceptable conception. 1

Pollen on the Shroud

Mark Niyr (2020): One of the floral species identified on the Shroud by Drs. Wanger, Danin, and Baruch is Capparis aegyptia. This specie grows at Jerusalem and blooms in the season of spring. An unusual trait of the flower is that its buds begin to gradually open at midday and become fully opened about a half hour before sunset. The Capparis aegyptia flowers found on the enhanced photos of the Shroud revealed (by the stage of budding) that the flowers had been picked about 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (modern time). The process of opening of the buds of Capparis aegyptia ceases once the flower is picked unless water is added. Thus, the flower images indicate a time of 3‐4 p.m. when they were picked. As we shall see in chapter 20, this was the very hour when Yeshua died on the cross, and when such flowers would be picked to prepare for his burial. In addition, the wilted condition of the flower images on the Shroud indicates that the flowers had been in a state of wilting for a couple days when their image was formed on the Shroud. Altogether, this evidence corresponds to the time of day at death when preparations would have begun for the burial of Yeshua (3 p.m. to 4 p.m. when the Capparis aegyptia flowers were picked). And the state of wilting of the flowers displayed on the Shroud provides a general indication as to how much time had elapsed between the burial until the time when the image was formed on the Shroud (i.e. about two to three days).

It was all these various flowers placed in direct contact with the Shroud that provided the additional abundance of pollen (including additional Gundelia Tournefortii) found on the Shroud—but this led to another important discovery. The pollen from all these flowers effectively provided a geographical map and time chronology. Dr. Avinoam Danin (eminent Israeli botanist, acknowledged world leading expert on the flora of Israel) states that the presence of Gundelia Tournefortii pollen grains on the shroud proves that the Shroud came into some sort of contact with the plant during the time of its blooming (February to May).  Dr. Danin adds (referencing his database of over 90,000 sites of plant distribution) that the assemblage of certain plant pollens and their corresponding images on the Shroud best fits one specific geographical place in the entire world: namely, the narrow geographical region embracing 10‐20 km (16 to 32 miles) from east to west of Jerusalem. Dr Danin also pointed out that the season when these variety of plants are in bloom (releasing their pollen) is March through April— precisely the months of the Jewish Passover. In summation, the totality of pollen found on the Shroud provides physical evidence of:

1. A specific geographical location of the world (the narrow geographical region 10‐20 km [16 to 32 miles] east to west of Jerusalem where such variety of Israeli flowers are uniquely found together). 
2. A limited time of the year (March ‐ April, the only months when the Passover occurs and the only months when the combined variety of Israeli flowers are in bloom releasing their pollen). 
3. The Specific hour of the day when the death occurred and when preparations would begin for the burial (3 p.m. to 4 p.m. modern time—the time indicated by the state of the opening of the buds of the flower Capparis aegyptia when it was picked to prepare for the burial). 
4. The duration of elapsed time between the burial until the formation of the Shroud image (i.e. a couple days) indicated by the degree of wilting of the flower images, and 
5. Evidence of what could be the thorn plant used for the crown cap of thorns (i.e. Gundelia Tournefortii). (Among historical records, only one person was ever reported to be punished with a crown of thorns: namely, the mocking of Yeshua of Nazareth as the King of the Jews.)

The pollen likewise provided corroboration supporting the recorded geographical history of the Shroud prior to 1350.    In this regard, it revealed that the majority of the Shroud’s pollen did not come from Europe but rather from plants uniquely found within the vicinity of Jerusalem, as well as pollen from Edessa (corresponding to the first-century and sixth-century recorded history of the Shroud), pollen from the Constantinople region of the Middle East (which corresponds to the 10th through 13th centuries of recorded history of the Shroud), and those places in Europe where the Shroud has resided ever since the 1300s.1


1. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective) 2020
2. Shroud of Turin Chemistry of the Images

3.  The story of Jesus’ burial from His last words on the cross until Peter and John leave the empty tomb. 5-14-2014
5. Northstarproductions: The Oviedo Cloth 2008

Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:14 am; edited 12 times in total


12Confirming Yeshua Empty The 1988 Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:28 am



The 1988 Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud

S. E. Jones (2015): In 1988 the Shroud of Turin was radiocarbon dated to 1260-1390. Between May and August 1988, three radiocarbon dating laboratories at universities in Arizona, Zurich and Oxford, all using the same new Accelerator Mass spectrometry (AMS) method, radiocarbon dated samples that had been cut from the Shroud on 21 April 1988. At a press conference in the British Museum, on 13 October 1988, following leaks that the Shroud had been dated "1350", Prof. Edward Hall (Oxford), Dr Michael Tite (British Museum) and Dr Robert Hedges (Oxford), announced that the Shroud's radiocarbon date was "1260-1390!". In 1989 Nature reported that the Shroud was "mediaeval ... 1260-1390.". In February 1989 the scientific journal Nature reported:

Confirming Yeshua Ffeeep10

"Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich ... The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390 ...".

The invisible reweaving repair theory requires that the repair be "approximately 60 percent of the C-14 sample consisting of 16th-century threads while approximately 40 percent were 1st century in origin". Oxford laboratory did find some old cotton threads in their sample, but they were only "two or three fibers". It would require "65 percent of the mass of the shroud ... to give a date of 1350 to a fabric originally dating from the time of Christ" but there was "less than 0.1 percent" of such contamination in the Shroud. Textile expert Mechthild Flury-Lemberg inspected the Shroud as part of its 2002 restoration and she denies there is any evidence of reweaving.

A KGB job? 

According to Jones: The 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin as "mediaeval ... AD 1260-1390" was the result of a computer hacking, allegedly by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory physicist Timothy W. Linick (1946-89), aided by Karl Koch (1965–89) on behalf of the former Soviet Union, through its agency the KGB. 1

Comment: To me, this hypothesis seems far-fetched, and not plausible. Why would the KGB care about religious affairs? While collecting information about this topic, I asked the opinion of members of the Facebook group: The Holy Shroud of Turin in regard to the KGB hypothesis:

Vincent Thomas Paine responded: " I highly doubt the KGB had the data hacked. It's been firmly established that the samples for testing were taken from a repaired part of the Shroud. But if the KGB story is true...and it's probably not...the reason they would have done this is to try and discredit Christianity. A carbon date of the 1st century would have increased the faith of many... Right or wrong... And if you know anything about the KGB and their ideological subversion campaign, then it makes sense."

Invisible reweaving repair with 16th-century cotton. 

Jim Bertrand wrote an article for the website "Insidethevatican", where he reports: It is well known that the Shroud has undergone several repairs throughout history, including after a fire in 1532. The Shroud was owned in the 1500s by Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy, whose weavers were experts in the technique known as “French invisible reweaving.”

The late STURP chemist Raymond Rogers, who first called Marino and Benford part of the “lunatic fringe,” analyzed their hypothesis, and to his surprise, admitted they were probably right. After being given an actual leftover sample from the 1988 dating, he confirmed the hypothesis. In 2005, he authored a paper in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Thermochimica Acta. He concluded that the C-14 sample was not representative of the main cloth, thus invalidating the results. 2

Raymond N. Rogers (2004): Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud.3

An article in 2010 reported: 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. 4

Further robustness to the reweaving hypothesis comes from Eric Poggel's article in the website Bereanarchive:

1. King Umberto II of Italy, whose family used to own the shroud, says that in 1694 they repaired the shroud's heavily frayed and missing edges.

The first three Savoy Lords who possessed it, although they, unlike some of their predecessor Guardians, never purposely removed fragments from their areas with the image of the Corpus Sancti (Holy Body.)  Another fact confirmed by His Majesty was that it was traditionally affirmed, that at one point in the past, the edges of the Lenzuoli (Sheet) had become so tattered as to cause embarrassment or criticism of the Custodians, and those areas were repaired and rewoven using identical techniques, but obviously with similar, yet newer, materials containing dyes and other medieval manufacturing ingredients, in an attempt to better blend the new sections in, as best possible, with the original fabric.  In truth, the presence of medieval dyes was detected in these areas and this fact has been already pointed out by Scientists as additional proof of the inaccuracy of the 1988 Carbon 14 dating test results that placed the samples taken from these areas, as having been fabricated sometime in the middle ages.  In truth, any one of the aforementioned practices alone would also account, for not only the contamination of the fabric resulting in inaccurate Carbon 14 dating results but also, the different types of linen, dyes, resins, and fabric patches discovered to have been present on the outermost edges of the sheet that usually held by Bishops during the exposition of the Sacred Relic to the public for veneration."

From pages 265-267:  "The removal of all patches and of the reinforcement Holland Cloth backing of the Holy Shroud, in the year 2002, confirmed what King Umberto had stated, namely that small sections of the repaired and rewoven edges, had continually been removed from the Sacred Relic and probably as late as the second half of the 17th century. That the practice of removing small fragments and even full length or width threads from the outer edges [of] the Holy Shroud, was a family tradition only finally suppressed by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, was another fact Umberto II of Savoy confirmed to Blue Army Founder and Shroud Devotee John Mathias Haffert, in the mid 1960’s.  It was the same Vittorio Amedeo II, who along with his wife, the Infanta Anna d’Orleans, personally assisted Blessed Sebastiano Valfre on June 6th, 1694, in repairing the Sacred Burial Cloth of the The Christ, shortly before transferring the Sacred Relic to the new Chapel of the Guarini. Later, it became a tradition on June 6th of each year for the Savoy Royal Family to distribute relics of the backing cloth.  It was in 1694, that in accordance to the Savoy Family tradition, some of the removed sections of thread were then woven into full size replicas of the Sindone (Shroud) for private or public veneration in Convents and Cathedrals during popular Holy Week celebrations.  Unlike the meticulous repair work that had been carried out in previous centuries by religious expert weavers following the damage caused to the Shroud by fires and which left little trace of the removed sections, the intervention of the Savoy and the Blessed was aimed primarily at replacing the cloth backing of the Relic giving it added thickness and strength and also a better contrast to the image.  The last intervention by religious sisters had been considered poor by the various members of the House of Savoy since, rather than reweaving the areas nearest the outermost edges that were either missing or had frayed from manipulation and wear, they had camouflaged them with cloth coverings and patches.  The backing of black cloth added by Blessed Sebastiano Valfre was later removed by Princess Maria Clotilde di Savoia, (1843-1911) Consort of Prince Napoleon, who substituted it for a pink silk on April 28th, 1868, on account of the backing having also become deteriorated from manipulation and removal of pieces for relics."

2. Prior to the 1988 carbon dating, archaeologists William Meacham and Paul Maloney, as well as textile expert John Tyrer each independently warned that bottom left corner looked like it had non-original material added from a repair, and wouldn't be a good place to cut a sample for carbon dating.

3.  Chemists Ray Rogers, Robert Villareal, and Alan Adler, as well as microscopist John L. Brown, and Pam Moon each independently examined fibers from the shroud. They found pigments and large amounts of plant gum, likely from tempera paint, coating the fibers from the cloth near and on the carbon dating samples. This yellow coating was similar in color to the linen on the rest of the shroud but undyed white cotton was visible on inner fibers and where the thread passed below another (image below). Brown described this as "obvious evidence of a medieval artisan’s attempt to dye a newly added repair region of fabric to match the aged appearance of the remainder of the Shroud."63a This dye/coating isn't found on the rest of the shroud.

Confirming Yeshua Brown-2005-1b

4. Cotton fibers were found in the carbon-dated corner of the shroud by at least 8 different researchers, from 1975 to 2009. Not as a surface contaminant, but woven into the threads, and this cotton wasn't found in the rest of the otherwise linen shroud.

Problems with the 1988 carbon dating procedures

They didn't follow the proper pre-arranged protocol to take multiple samples from multiple areas rather than taking one sample from the location most likely to be contaminated.

Many suspicious and unscientific activities surrounded the 1988 carbon dating of the shroud, including:

The carbon-14 team excluded all previous researchers who had worked with the shroud, causing much protest.
There was a laborious search for a 13th-century linen cloth that had the same color and rare 3-in-1 herringbone weave as the Shroud of Turin. From the same time period when the Shroud was allegedly forged.19a 19b 19b 44
The entire ceremony to cut carbon-14 samples from the shroud was recorded on video, except when two men inexplicably took the cut samples to another room for 30 minutes and returned with them inside opaque containers.
Together this evidence makes a powerful case the 1988 carbon date cannot be considered accurate and therefore should not be used as an argument against the Shroud of Turin's authenticity.  The remainder of this article outlines this evidence in great depth.

Former BSTS (British Society for the Turin Shroud) editor Mark Guscin comments in reviewing Joe Marino's 2020 book on the 1988 carbon dating:

There is a very widespread idea that Shroudies are a group of religious fanatics, while "scientists" are a homogenous group of people (in clean white coats and in nice clean laboratories) who are extremely knowledgeable, calm and never moved by such earthly concerns as money, fame or personal ambition. And they all agree with each other, because science is one and true. No matter what you think about the Shroud, this book should shatter that illusion forever. The scientists involved in the carbon dating were as human as you could imagine; fame-seeking, selfish, money-grabbing and disloyal. They were hopelessly disorganized, seemed to have little idea about what they were dealing with and to care about it even less, they showed an unbelievable lack of respect for anyone who didn't share their own ideas, and that includes other scientists involved in the dating.

"Secret" 1982 carbon dating

A "secret" and poorly documented carbon dating was performed on two ends of an 8cm thread given to STURP chemist John Heller, who was given the thread by STURP chemist Alan Adler, who received the thread from yet another STURP chemist, Ray Rogers, who collected the sample.  John Heller gave the thread to mineralogist George Rossman, who used Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTMS), a non-typical carbon dating technique, to date each end of the thread separately.  One end of the thread which was covered in starch dated to either 1000 AD or 1200 AD (reports vary), while the other non-starchy end dated to 200 AD.  An 8cm thread can be seen missing from the shroud near the bottom left corner. 5

Recent tests contradict the C14 test from 1988

Robert J. Spitzer (2015): Four contemporary dating tests: The vanillin dating test of Dr. Raymond Rogers, the two spectroscopic analyses (of Dr. Giulio Fanti, et. al), and the compressibility and breaking strength tests (of Dr. Giulio Fanti, et. al) date the Shroud to a time commensurate with the life and crucifixion of Jesus. 6

Myra Adams wrote an article for the website Christianity.com in 2019, where she reported: In 2017 French researcher, Tristan Casabianca filed a legal action against the British Museum, which oversaw the C-14 testing labs in 1988. The museum complied and finally released all the raw data. Casabianca’s research team ran new tests and conclude in their 2019 report that there were numerous dates that fell outside the range published in “Nature.” They prove that the Shroud cloth sample is not homogenous, and the 1988 results, famously reported with “95% confidence” are suspect. Casabianca’s team supports the widely-held belief that something went awry with the C-14 tests, which for the ensuing decades discouraged Shroud research and disparaged the Shroud as a medieval fake. Casabianca and his team are advocating that the Vatican authorize a variety of new 21st-century testing methods not available in 1988 or 1978 during STURP’s testing.7

T. CASABIANCA (2019): Recently, we obtained the raw data and, for the first time, measured their convergence with the radiocarbon dates published in Nature.
Our results, which are compatible with those previously reported by many other authors (Brunati 1996; Van Haelst 1997, 2002; Riani et al. 2013), strongly suggest that homogeneity is lacking in the data. The measurements made by the three laboratories on the TS sample suffer from a lack of precision which seriously affects the reliability of the 95% AD 1260–1390 interval. The statistical analyses, supported by the foreign material found by the laboratories, show the necessity of a new radiocarbon dating to compute a new reliable interval. This new test requires, in an interdisciplinary research, a robust protocol. Without this re-analysis, it is not possible to affirm that the 1988 radiocarbon dating offers ‘conclusive evidence’ that the calendar age range is accurate and representative of the whole cloth. 8

Bryan Walsh (2019): The Shroud became, and remains, the focus of scientific inquiry because it is not known how the images on it were formed. Most recently Casabianca et al. (2019), based on information obtained after a legal filing with the British Museum, showed that some of the original Shroud date measurements reported by the three laboratories to the British Museum were modified from their original ‘raw’ laboratory values and transformed into their published form using an unstated methodology. Our review and analysis of the Shroud radiocarbon data reveal a significant shortcoming in the original report by Damon et al. (1989). The shortcoming begins with the lack of adherence to the protocol that W-W define for combining the inter-laboratory data sets.

The overall conclusion is that Damon et al. (1989) did not follow the W-W recommendation to reconsider the data. Rather, they chose to weight equally each of the three means – the scatter-weighted Tucson data and the quoted error-weighted Zurich and Oxford data – to find their arithmetic mean. They then estimated the standard error of that mean by combining the standard errors of those means as if all the data were drawn from the same population. This procedure is inappropriate since it deliberately ignores the heterogeneous nature of the data uncovered by the analysis and introduces error into the statistical analysis.

Our analyses correct this deficiency, and in the process identify a statistically significant heterogeneity in the dates reported for the Shroud sample.  ( heterogeneity: The quality or state of consisting of dissimilar or diverse elements) Technically, this finding would preclude the step of combining the individual data sets and reporting the mean date as was done. Lacking this adherence to protocol, the finding of heterogeneity should, at the very least, have prompted a strong qualification to the reported final result. At this time, the source of the heterogeneity is unknown, but we consider two hypotheses either of which could account for the effect. One is that some inherent variation was present in the carbon isotopic composition of the samples themselves. The other is that some differences in the sample cleaning may have introduced differences in residual contamination. As an example of the latter, we recall that Oxford used petroleum ether as part of its pre-cleaning procedure whereas the other two laboratories apparently did not.

Fanti et al. developed a series of relationships between characteristics of fiber over time and a method of estimating the age of the fabric. He subsequently applied these techniques to a series of fibers extracted from the Shroud and derived an estimated calendar age of 90 AD +/− 200 yrs (Fanti et al., 2015). 9

Quoting from the abstract of the article: Giulio Fanti ( 2015): The present paper discusses the results obtained using innovative dating methods based on the analysis of mechanical parameters (breaking strength, Young modulus and loss factor) and of optochemical ones (FT-IR and Raman). To obtain mechanical results it was necessary to build a particular cycling-loads machine able to measure the mechanical parameters of single flax fibers 1-3 mm long.  two optochemical methods have been applied to test the linen fabric, obtaining a date of 250 BC by a FT-IR ATR analysis and a date of 30 AD by a Raman analysis. These two dates combined with the mechanical result, weighted through their estimated square uncertainty inverses, give a final date of the Turin Shroud of 90 AD ±200 years at 95% confidence level. 10

The study from 2015 was preceded by Fanti et al., by an earlier study from 2013, which made the news in several newspapers. For example, the Huffington Post reported:  Fanti and a research team from the University of Padua conducted three tests on tiny fibers extracted from the shroud during earlier carbon-14 dating tests conducted in 1988 The first two tests used infrared light and Raman spectroscopy, respectively, while the third employed a test analyzing different mechanical parameters relating to voltage. The results date the cloth to between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D.. Fanti said that researchers also found trace elements of soil "compatible with the soil of Jerusalem." "For me the [Shroud] comes from God because there are hundreds of clues in favor to the authenticity," he wrote, adding that there also "no sure proofs." Much of the controversy about the Shroud centers around carbon-14 dating tests from 1988 that concluded the piece of linen was a medieval forgery. However, those results may have been contaminated by fibers used to repair the cloth during the Middle Ages.11

Above results were published in the book:  Il mistero della Sindone 12 

Confirming Yeshua 11111117

A press release about the book in 2013 reported:

The Shroud shows a not reproducible double image of a man who lived from 280 BC and the year 220 AD (rounded to the nearest tens), period compatible with the documented presence of Jesus in Palestine. The carbon 14 dating performed in 1988 is not statistically reliable. Mineralogical investigations on dusts vacuumed from the Shroud, show the coincidence in dozens of items with those made of dust picked up in Jerusalem and under the Holy Sepulchre. DNA studies on the same samples show an exposition of the Shroud to the middle East region. These are the sensational results reported in an Italian book entitled "IL MISTERO DELLA SINDONE – Le sorprendenti scoperte scientifiche sull’enigma del telo di Gesù (THE MYSTERY OF THE SHROUD – The amazing scientific discoveries on the enigma of the Jesus’ cloth) written by Giulio Fanti and Saverio Gaeta.

The studies led by Professor Giulio Fanti have been performed by the Universities of Padua, Bologna, Modena, Udine, Parma and London. These studies show methodological errors in the radiocarbon data released in 1988 by three laboratories (Tuxon, Oxford and Zurich), who subjected to Carbon 14 test  samples of the Shroud, placing it an age between 1260 and 1390. Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermic measurements at the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua studies the Shroud from fifteen years and thanks to a multidisciplinary project on the Shroud assigned to him by the University of Padua in 2009 has had the possibility to obtain these results. By means of this project it has also been possible to study and partially reproduce the doubly body image of the Shroud. Dozens of tests have been conducted in 2010-2013 in the Laboratory of High Voltages of Padua University to explain the origin of the mysterious image. If we want today to reproduce a quite similar image on a fabric in 1/2 scale, we require a voltage of about 300,000 V, but according to the american scientist Igor Bensen, a voltage of 50,000,000 would be necessary for the Shroud body image in a 1/1 scale.

Now Fanti focused his studies on the dating of the Shroud. After robust statistical analyses in collaboration with the Universities of London (Anthony Atkinsons), Parma (Marco Riani) and Udine (Fabio Crosilla), he has shown, through robust statistics, the origin of the difference of more than 200 years between the laboratories of Arizona and Oxford in the response of carbon 14 on the Shroud. A statistical model has highlighted the systematic tendency to change: if for a few centimeters of fabric there are differences in 200 years, it’s easy to think that there are thousands years of variations along the nearly 4.5 m of the Shroud, possibly caused by the mysterious energy that produced the image.

To date the Shroud using alternative methods both Raman and FT-IR tests have been used to obtain two different chemical datings with the collaboration of professors Anna Tinti and Pietro Baraldi respectively of the universities of Bologna and Modena. In addition, a multiparametric mechanical method have been used at Padua University after the construction of a new ad-hoc machine capable to acquire the results of loading and unloading cycles of single linen fibers. Using a petrographic microscope Fanti was able to separate Shroud linen fibers from dust particles vacuumed from Shroud; the fibers have been mounted on suitable supports and then, with Dr. Pierandred Malfi performed tests of tension and compression after analyzing about a dozen of antique fabrics (from bandages of mummies Egyptians of 3,000 BC, linens of Masada (Israel, 70 AD) and Medieval tissues up to recent ones.

Five mechanical parameters (tensile strength, Young’s modulus in direct and reverse cycle, loss factor and loss factor in reverse cycle) have been selected to obtain five different age-dependent curves of the samples. After this Fanti has measured the corresponding mechanical properties of the Shroud finding the corresponding point on the scales just determined. Combining the five mechanical results, the following date for the Shroud results: 400 AD with an uncertainty of plus or minus 400 years at a 95% confidence level. With Raman and FT-IR spectra the Italian team measured the concentration of particles of particular atomic groups of flax fibers. At the same confidence level, the first produced the date of 200 BC with an uncertainty of plus or minus 500 years, the latter that of the 300 BC with swings forward and back of 400 years. Combining the two chemical methods with the mechanical one it results a mean date of 33 BC with an uncertainty of plus or minus 250 years at 95% confidence level that is compatible with the period in which Jesus Christ lived in Palestine. In reference to the mineralogical investigations, the dust vacuumed from the Shroud revealed traces of limestone and clay minerals showing high iron content that is consistent with dust present in Palestine. 13

Liberato De Caro (2022): The experimental results are compatible with the hypothesis that the TS is a 2000-year-old relic, as supposed by Christian tradition.14 

In a private email exchange, Barrie Schwortz listed the following peer-reviewed papers as the five most important articles that challenge the c14 date:

ROGERS, Raymond N. - “Studies on the Radiocarbon Sample from the Shroud of Turin” [January 20, 2005] Thermochimica Acta 425 (2005) pp.189-194. (Includes 5 illustrations)
BENFORD, M. Sue and MARINO, Joseph G. - Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin shroud - Chemistry Today, vol 26 n 4, [July-August 2008]
CASABIANCA, Tristan - MARINELLI, Emanuela - PERNAGALLO, Giuseppe - TORRISI, Benedetto - Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud: New Evidence From Raw Data - Archaeometry, 22 March 2019
WALSH, Bryan and SCHWALBE, Larry - An instructive inter-laboratory comparison: The 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin - Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Volume 29, February 2020
SCHWALBE, Larry A. and WALSH, Bryan - On Cleaning Methods and the Raw Radiocarbon Data from the Shroud of Turin - International Journal of Archaeology 2021; 9(1): 10-16 - March 12, 2021.

Modern scientific Shroud Investigations

J.Marino (2022): The age of modern scientific investigation of the Shroud of Turin began in 1898, with Secondo Pia, an Italian amateur photographer, taking the first public photographs of the Shroud. When it was discovered that the Shroud image turned positive on the negative glass plate, science began to show an interest, primarily in finding how the image was imprinted on the cloth. Although the House of Savoy owned cloth until 1985 (the last King died in 1983 and willed it to the living Pope), the Church authorized a group known as the “Turin Commission” to do some limited scientific examination of the cloth in 1969 and 1973. According to archaeologist William Meacham in a 1983 article:

The Turin Commission conducted a series of tests aimed at clarifying the nature of the image. Thread samples were removed from the "blood" and image areas for laboratory investigation. Conventional and electron microscopic examination revealed an absence of heterogeneous coloring material or pigment. The image and "blood" stains were reported to have penetrated only the top fibrils; there had been no capillary action, and no material was caught in the crevices between threads. Both paint and blood seemed to be ruled out, and magnification up to 50,000 times showed the image to consist of fine yellow-red granules seemingly forming part of the fibers themselves and defying identification. Finally, standard forensic tests for haematic residues of blood yielded negative results.

In 1978, a group known as the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), mainly from the United States and most of whom worked in the U.S.’ space and nuclear programs, was given access to the cloth for five straight days (one hundred and twenty hours) to do non-destructive multi-disciplinary studies on the cloth. They published their findings in more than twenty peer-reviewed papers. Their conclusion stated:

No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found on the fibrils. X-ray, fluorescence and microchemistry on the fibrils preclude the possibility of paint being used as a method for creating the image. Ultra Violet and infrared evaluation confirm these studies. Computer image enhancement and analysis by a device known as a VP-8 image analyzer show that the image has unique, three-dimensional information encoded in it. Microchemical evaluation has indicated no evidence of any spices, oils, or any biochemicals known to be produced by the body in life or in death. It is clear that there has been a direct contact of the Shroud with a body, which explains certain features such as scourge marks, as well as the blood. However, while this type of contact might explain some of the features of the torso, it is totally incapable of explaining the image of the face with the high resolution that has been amply demonstrated by photography. The basic problem from a scientific point of view is that some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical point of view, are precluded by physics. Contrariwise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry. For an adequate explanation for the image of the Shroud, one must have an explanation which is scientifically sound, from a physical, chemical, biological and medical viewpoint. At the present, this type of solution does not appear to be obtainable by the best efforts of the members of the Shroud Team. Furthermore, experiments in physics and chemistry with old linen have failed to reproduce adequately the phenomenon presented by the Shroud of Turin. The scientific consensus is that the image was produced by something which resulted in oxidation, dehydration and conjugation of the polysaccharide structure of the microfibrils of the linen itself. Such changes can be duplicated in the laboratory by certain chemical and physical processes. A similar type of change in linen can be obtained by sulfuric acid or heat. However, there are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately. Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery. We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin. The image is an ongoing mystery and until further chemical studies are made, perhaps by this group of scientists, or perhaps by some scientists in the future, the problem remains unsolved.

Since the testing had to be non-destructive, the much-hyped radiocarbon dating test (C-14), which had only been invented in the late 1940s, was believed to date most objects within about a one-hundred-year range accurately, was not done at that time. However after 1978, more scientists and researchers continued to study the cloth. It was stated in the renowned Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology that it’s widely believed: “The Shroud of Turin is the single, most studied artifact in human history” (page 200). 15

There have been thousands of scientific papers and articles written on the Shroud, covering a wide range of topics and using a variety of scientific techniques and methodologies. Some of the most common topics of study related to the Shroud include the age and origin of the cloth, the composition of the fibers and pigments, and the nature of the image that appears on the cloth. Researchers have used a variety of scientific techniques to study the Shroud, including radiocarbon dating, microscopy, spectroscopy, and computer image analysis.  Scientific research has provided valuable insights into the history and composition of this enigmatic artifact, and it continues to inspire new research and inquiry.

1. Stephen E. Jones: The 1260-1390 radiocarbon date of the Turin Shroud was the result of a computer hacking #1 JULY 23, 2015
2. Jim Bertrand: Was the Shroud’s First-Century Origin Really Debunked?
3. Raymond N. Rogers: Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of Turin   12 September 2004
4. Shroudofturinblog: Death Certificate on the Shroud of Turin? 2010
5. Bereanarchive: Shroud of Turin: 1988 Carbon Dating  June 2022
6. Robert J. Spitzer: Science and the Shroud of Turin  May 2015
7. Myra Adams: What Is the Shroud of Turin? Facts & History Everyone Should Know 2019 8 Nov
9. Bryan Walsh: An instructive inter-laboratory comparison: The 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin    Accepted 24 September 2019
10. Giulio Fanti et. al.,: Mechanical ond opto-chemical dating of the Turin Shroud 2015
11. Meredith Bennett-Smith: Shroud Of Turin Real? New Research Dates Relic To 1st Century, Time Of Jesus Christ Mar 29, 2013
12. Gulio Fanti: Il mistero della Sindone. Le sorprendenti scoperte scientifiche sull'enigma del telo di Gesù Mar 20 2013
13. Shroudofturinblog: Giulio Fanti: The Image of a Man Who Lived Between 280 BC and 220 AD March 27, 2013
14. Liberato De Caro: X-ray Dating of a Turin Shroud’s Linen Sample 11 April 2022
15. Joe Marino: Musings Regarding the Shroud of Turin – Including “How is it that Practically Everyone Thinks They’re an Authority?” 2022

Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Feb 28, 2023 8:19 am; edited 7 times in total


13Confirming Yeshua Empty Botanical evidence on the Shroud of Turin Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:37 am



Botanical evidence on the Shroud of Turin

Sciencedaily (1999): An analysis of pollen grains and plant images places the origin of the "Shroud of Turin," thought by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, in Jerusalem before the 8th Century. The authenticity of the Shroud has been debated for centuries, with a 1988 carbon dating process placing it in the Middle Ages. 

Botanical investigation of the Shroud began with Max Frei's 1973 observations of pollen grains on the Shroud, which he sampled by means of sticky tape. Frei took a second set of 27 sticky tape samples from the Shroud during the scientific study in 1978. In 1979 he took 46 sticky tape samples from the Sudarium of Oviedo. In 1983 faint floral images on the Shroud linen were noted by O. Scheuermann, and subsequently in 1985 by the Whangers. Botanist Avinoam Danin began collaborating with Shroud researchers Alan and Mary Whanger in 1995. They were joined by Israeli pollen expert Uri Baruch in 1998. Frei's Shroud botanical collections were acquired in 1994 by the Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin (CSST) and became the resource for this study which analyzed 313 pollen grains.

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Avinoam Danin (1939–2015), Professor of Botany at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a world authority on the flora of Israel

Botanist A. Danin of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem determined the origin of the Shroud based on a comprehensive analysis of pollen taken from the Shroud and plant images associated with the Shroud. Danin's analysis suggests that flowers and other plant materials were placed on the Shroud of Turin, leaving pollen grains and imprints of plants and flowers on the linen cloth. In addition to the image of a crucified man, the cloth also contains faint images of plants. Tentatively identifying the plant images through a method of image comparison known as Polarized Image Overlay Technique (PIOT), Alan and Mary Whanger have reported that the flowers were from the Near East region and that the Shroud originated in early centuries. Analysis of the floral images by Danin and an analysis of the pollen grains by Uri Baruch identify a combination of certain species that could be found only in the months of March and April in the region of Jerusalem during that time.

The analysis positively identifies a high density of pollen of the thistle Gundelia tournefortii which has bloomed in Israel between March and May for millennia. An image of the plant can be seen near the image of the man's shoulder. It has been hypothesized by the Whangers, who have researched the Shroud for decades, that this is the plant used for the "crown of thorns" on Jesus' head. Two pollen grains of this species were also found on the Sudarium of Oviedo, widely accepted as the burial face cloth of Jesus. The location of the Sudarium has been documented from the 1st Century and it has resided in the Cathedral of Oviedo in Spain since the 8th Century.  "There is no way that similar patterns of blood stains, probably of the identical blood type, with the same type of pollen grains, could not be synchronic - covering the same body," Danin stated. "The pollen association and the similarities in the blood stains in the two cloths provide clear evidence that the Shroud originated before the 8th Century."  Another plant seen in a clear image on the Shroud is of the Zygophyllum dumosum species, according to the paper. This is a native plant with an unusual leaf morphology, displaying paired leaflets on the ends of leaf petiole of the current year during the beginning of winter.

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Gundelia tournefortii and Zygophyllum dumosum coexist in a limited area, according to Danin, a leading authority on plants of Israel. The area is bounded by lines linking Jerusalem and Hebron in Israel and Madaba and Karak in Jordan. The area is anchored toward the Jerusalem-Hebron zone with the addition of a third species, Cistus creticus, identified as being placed on the Shroud through an analysis of pollen and floral imaging. "This combination of flowers can be found in only one region of the world," Danin stated. "The evidence clearly points to a floral grouping from the area surrounding Jerusalem."Danin stated that the evidence revealing these species on the Shroud suggests that they were placed with the body prior to the process that caused the formation of images on the cloth. Images of Capparis aegyptia flowers, which display a distinctive pattern during daylight hours, have also been seen on the Shroud. The process of buds opening ceases when the flowers are picked and no water is supplied.  The images of the flowers on the Shroud are also depicted in art of the early centuries, according to the upcoming publication. Early icons on some 7th-century coins portray a number of flower images that accurately match floral images seen on the Shroud today, according to PIOT analysis by the Whangers. The researchers suggest that the faint images on the Shroud were probably clearer in earlier centuries. 1

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E. Marinelli (2012):  The first sampling on the Shroud On November 23, 1973, with the consent of the competent authorities, Frei took some dust samples from the Shroud’s margins using adhesive tapes. The area of origin was shown on sample containers. The Swiss botanist explained: “These tapes are put in contact with the surface with a light pressure and, due to their stickiness, when they are detached, they remove all the microtraces without damaging or altering the support in any way. The advantage of this method, widely used in criminology, is that - once the tape is folded on itself - loss of material or secondary contamination are completely excluded”. Three years after he announced: “In subsequent analyses of dust samples it was possible to find and classify a large number of pollen grains which, properly treated, have allowed the precise determination of the family, genus and species of the plant itself. Each identification result was verified and checked on herbarium material and in botanical gardens worldwide renowned for their collections, as well as documented in photomicrographic surveys. The first conclusion (italics in the original text) that the performed studies allow to suggest refers to the presence on the Shroud of pollen grains that come from desert plants that grow in Palestine. The most frequent pollen on the Shroud is identical to the most frequent pollen in sediments of the lake of Gennesaret sedimentary layers of two thousand years ago. Another sample comes from Asia Minor and more specifically from the area surrounding Constantinople, while a large number of granules are of French and Italian origin. It is therefore logical the deduction that the geographical and historical life of the Shroud corresponds to the migration that it suffered in time as a function of the evidence acquired”. In the twelve dust samples, Frei found, in addition to the pollen of flowering plants, fiber fragments, mineral particles, fragments of plant tissues, and fungal spores. With regard to pollen, he reminded: “Every species of plant produces a unique pollen that can be distinguished from the pollen of all other varieties, both under the light microscope and under the scanning electron microscope. (...) It is then possible to determine on the basis of a single grain of pollen from which plant it comes”. 2

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In the case of the Shroud the represented plants bloom in different seasons and live in well-defined, and different from each other, ecological conditions. Their pollen is not especially suited to very far transports. Therefore the heterogeneity and the amount of pollen cannot be explained on the basis of random contamination. In five years of work, Frei was able to identify 49 species of plants, the pollen of which is represented in the dust of the Shroud. From the list of these plants it can be deduced that half of them do not grow in Europe, while it is present in the Middle East; in the other half, there are many Mediterranean plants. The conclusions of the Swiss botanist are interesting: “The presence on the Shroud of pollen of 29 plants of the Near East, and especially of 21 plants that grow in the desert or the steppes, directly leads to the hypothesis that the Shroud, now preserved in Turin, in the past was exposed to open air in countries where these plants are part of the normal vegetation. (...) Three-quarters of the species found on the Shroud grow in Palestine, of which 13 species are very characteristic or unique of the Negev and the Dead Sea area (halophyte plants). The palynology thus allows us to say that during its history (including manufacturing) the Shroud resided in Palestine.

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Max Frei takes sticky tape samples during the 1978 STURP expedition while STURP chemist Ray Rogers of the Los Alamos National Laboratory looks on. 3

The botanist Avinoam Danin of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) said: “As far as establishing the Shroud’s provenance, Zygophyllum dumosum is the most significant plant on the list. Max Frei identified pollen grains of this species on the adhesive tapes he examined. The northernmost extent of the distribution of this plant in the world coincides with the line between Jericho and the sea level marker on the road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho. As Zygophyllum dumosum grows only in Israel, Jordan and Sinai, its appearance helps to definitively limit the Shroud’s place of origin. 

Gianni Barcaccia (2015): The radiocarbon measurements would place the origin of the TS linen in the time frame 1260–1390 AD. This not only implies a Late Middle Age origin, but a geographical path for the TS that is essentially restricted to Western Europe. In this scenario, the DNA traces that we detected could have entered in contact with the TS only rather recently, at most in the last 800 years and these biological sources (plants and human subjects) had to be present in the geographic areas (France and Italy) where the TS was located and/or displayed. The alternative scenario implies instead a much longer journey that started in Jerusalem in the year 30 or 33 AD. In this case, the time frame for the interaction with the DNA biological sources is much longer (2000 years) and the geographic areas where the TS was located include the Near East, Anatolia, Eastern and Western Europe, with a potentially much wider range of plant and human interactions. With regard to the land plant species identified, some are native to Mediterranean countries and widespread throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and are thus compatible with both a rather recent Medieval origin in Europe and a more ancient Near Eastern origin. However, others have a center of origin in Eastern Asia and the Americas and were introduced to Europe only after the Medieval period. Clearly, the latter species cannot help in discriminating between alternative scenarios.4

Comment: Evidently, the presence of the 29 pollen from the near east are clear indicative that at some time in the past, the Shroud was in the near east. If that the middle age forgery hypothesis were true, after the 13th century, in some period, the Shroud would have had to be brought to Israel, and back to Europe. A scenario that can be discarded.

Stephen E. Jones (2019): Of the 28 species of plants that the Whangers had identified images of on the Shroud, 27 grow within the close vicinity of Jerusalem, where four geographical areas containing different specific climates and flora can be found. The 28th plant grows at the south end of the Dead Sea. All 28 would have been available in Jerusalem markets in a fresh state, and most would have been growing along the roadside and/or in nearby fields. While three of these plants grow in France and nine grow in Italy, half are found only in the Middle East or other similar areas and never in Europe. One of these plants, Zygophyllum dumosumgrows only in Israel, Jordan, or the Sinai, with its northernmost boundary between Jerusalem and Jericho. Two other plants, the images of which Danin identified on the Shroud are, Gundelia tourne-fortii and Cistus creticusG. tournefortii's distribution is Middle Eastern, extending from western Turkey through Israel, Syria, and northern Iraq, Iran, and the southernmost fringes of the former Soviet Union. Cistus creticus grows across the Mediterranean zone in western Israel with a desert boundary to the east of Jerusalem. Danin concluded that there is only one place in the world where these three species of plants can be found growing together - between Hebron and Jerusalem, a distance of only ~28 kilometres (~18 miles)!5

Temporal indicators 
Furthermore, the blooming time of Chrysanthemum coronarium is from March to May; that of Zygophyllum dumosum is between December and April; Cistus creticus blooms from March to June, and Gundelia tournefortii from March to May. The blooming time common to these four plant species, images of which are imprinted on the Shroud, is between March and April. Moreover, of the Whangers' images of 28 species of plants they identified on the Shroud, 27 bloom in March and Apri! And Jesus was crucified on 7 April 30 or 3 April 33!

Of the 28 plants identified by Whanger, Max Frei (1913-83) had previously identified the pollens of 25 of them: 21 correct to the species level, 3 to the genus level, and one to the family level. Frei had identified pollen on his tape 6B/d as that of Cistus creticus.  Max Frei's tape grid reference map showing location (red arrow) of his tape 6B/d. The spear wound in the man's apparent left side, and the shadowy details themselves, show that Frei's map was based on a positive photograph of the Shroud. Whanger had discovered images of a cluster of Cistus creticus plants on the Shroud at the location of Frei's tape 6B/d, so he informed archaeologist Paul C. Maloney (1936-2018) who Whanger knew was examining microscope slides of those tapes, that he ought to find the pollens of Cistus creticus on that particular slide. Maloney replied that he had been going over that very slide with a pollen expert [Anthony Orville Dahl (1910-2003)] a few days before, and the pollen expert had noted that there were a number of pollens of Cistus creticus on the slide. This discovery of Maloney, predicted by Whanger, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Frei's identification of Shroud pollen was non-fraudulent (as alleged by anti-authenticists) and largely correct:

"Carefully examining one of the Frei slides, researcher Paul Maloney discovered a cluster of many pollens from the same plant. These pollens were identified by palynologist Dr. A. Orville Dahl as Cistus creticus [native to Israel and the Mediterranean] ... Years earlier, Frei had identified pollens from this same plant on his sticky tape slides. At the time he took the sticky tape samples, he was unaware of the images of flowers on the Shroud, but it so happened that the tape Maloney was observing had been taken over the center of the same Cistus creticus flower that Alan had already identified. Thus Frei, Maloney with Dahl, and Alan, all working separately and at different times and using different methods, found the presence of Cistus creticus on the Shroud"!

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"Location of plant parts on the cloth," identified by Danin. The spear wound in the man's apparent right side, and the sharper details, show that this is a mirror-reversed negative photograph of the Shroud. Danin's key states, " Cistus creticus flowers." Allowing for Frei's pollen map (above) being based on a positive photograph of the Shroud and Danin's plant parts map being based on a negative, it can be seen that Frei's location 6B/d and Danin's "" are the same location on the Shroud.]5

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Danin and Baruch not only studied the presence but also the frequency of pollens. Building upon the samples collected by Frei, they reviewed his provisional conclusions and expanded on them. Here, for instance, we can see that they created a diagram illustrating the frequency of pollens found in the samples.

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Some of the pollen species identified are quite significant. They are endemic to the East, grow in Israel, and bloom between March and April. Gundelia tournefortii and Zygophyllum dumosum are two indicators of the Shroud's origin. According to Danin and Baruch, pollens and the supposed images of these two plants appear on the Shroud. These are significant indicators, as these plants are found together only in the geographical area of the Holy Land, specifically around Jerusalem, and pollinate in spring.

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In the enlargement, a grain of pollen from Gundelia tournefortii is viewed under a scanning electron microscope.

Botanical substances on the Shroud used in anointing and embalming during funeral and burial rites in ancient times.

M. Boi (2016):The pollen evidence shows that the relic could contain botanical substances used in anointing and embalming during funeral and burial rites in ancient times. The exact identification of the sindonic most abundant pollen of the Asteraceae (Helichrysum), along with the presence of the Cistaceae (Cistus), the Apiaceae (Ferula) and Pistacia, reveals the use of ointments. These plants were typically employed in expensive and valuable products cited in the scientific writings of Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides. Our conclusions show that the relic could be a real burial cloth, yielding pollen evidence of Helichrysum oil, as well as of ladanum (Cistus spp.), galbanum (Ferula spp.), mastic oil and gum (Pistacia lentiscus) and terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus), all of which are the bases of ancient ointments used in the first century AD. 

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The precise identification of Helichrysum pollen, which had formerly been wrongly recognized as Gundelia tournefortii, confirms and authenticates the theory that the corpse kept in the Shroud received a funeral and burial with all the honour and respect that would have been customary in the Hebrew tradition. The largest amount of Helichrysum pollen originates from the form used to produce its oil, utilizing exclusively fresh flowers. The smaller quantities of the other pollen types can be explained by the use of products derived from other botanical components. These botanical products have contributed to the exceptional preservation of the fabric right up to the present time; they have protected the linen by acting as powerful insect and fungal repellents. At the same time, they have caused the yellowish tinge of the Shroud, because these are substances that oxidize on coming into contact with the air. 6

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A fragment of wood taken from the area of the head and particles of aromatic resins were found. Myrrh and aloe are, "coincidentally," what the Gospels mention in the burial of Jesus of Nazareth. This discovery adds a fascinating layer to the study of the Shroud of Turin. The presence of myrrh and aloe aligns with the biblical account of Jesus' burial, where these substances were used in the preparation of the body. This correlation between the materials found on the Shroud and the biblical narrative provides a compelling connection to the historical and religious context of the period. The wood fragment from the head area also raises intriguing questions. It might suggest a link to the cross or another object associated with the crucifixion and burial process. The combination of these findings - the wood, myrrh, and aloe - enhances the Shroud's historical authenticity and deepens the mystery surrounding its origin and history. These findings contribute to the ongoing debate about the Shroud's authenticity and its potential as a genuine relic from the time of Christ. They provide tangible links to the practices and materials mentioned in the Gospels, offering a unique opportunity to connect the physical evidence with the religious and historical narrative of Jesus' death and burial.

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Traces of epithelial tissue and muscle tissue particles corresponding to the back area were found. There are no indications that the body had decomposed; however, as seen through analysis, male skin and flesh particles have been discovered. This finding is significant in the study of the Shroud of Turin. The presence of epithelial and muscle tissue, especially identified as male, adds a layer of physical evidence that supports the theory that the Shroud wrapped a human body. The lack of signs of decomposition aligns with the belief that the Shroud was used as a burial cloth shortly after death. The specific identification of tissue from the back area is particularly noteworthy, considering the Shroud's markings that many believe correspond to wounds from scourging, as described in the accounts of Jesus' crucifixion. This correlation between the physical evidence on the Shroud and the narrative of the Passion of Christ deepens the intrigue and mystery surrounding the artifact. These findings contribute to the complex puzzle of the Shroud's history and authenticity. While they don't conclusively prove the Shroud's connection to Jesus of Nazareth, they provide compelling evidence that the cloth wrapped a real human body that had suffered physical trauma similar to that described in the biblical accounts of the crucifixion. The discovery of human tissue on the Shroud thus remains a critical aspect of its ongoing scientific and historical examination.

The Ethnocultural significance for the use of plants in Ancient Funerary Rituals and its possible implications with pollens found on the Shroud of Turin

The study of the Shroud of Turin's pollen content, particularly conducted by Max Frei in the 1970s, represents a fascinating yet controversial chapter in the investigation of the Shroud. Frei, a recognized pollen expert, utilized adhesive tape samples to collect pollen grains from the Shroud's surface. He first collected around 12 samples in 1973, focusing on the upper body area, and identified 48 different varieties of pollen grains. In 1978, he gathered an additional 26 samples and also examined particles from the Shroud's silver case and dust extracted by vacuum cleaning. Frei's method involved removing the pollen grains from the tape and embedding them in glycerin gelatin on individual slides, allowing for thorough examination under both light and scanning electron microscopes. His most significant discovery was Zygophyllum dumosum pollen, a plant native to Israel, Jordan, and Sinai, suggesting the Shroud's Middle Eastern origin. Comparing these grains to living specimens from various regions, Frei concluded that the Shroud and its pollen likely originated in the Middle East.

Despite his expertise and dedication, Frei's findings faced skepticism. Critics pointed out the abundance and diversity of the pollen grains, the implausible geographical and biological distribution, their relatively fresh appearance, and overly precise identifications. There were concerns that the relic, being a valued and protected item, wouldn't have accumulated such a diverse range of pollen during its history. To confirm the species found on the Shroud, a detailed understanding of the botanical families of pollens and their comparison with flora from Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa is necessary. In the 1970s, when palynology was in its infancy, such comprehensive comparison materials and pollen atlases were not readily available. Frei's methodology, primarily relying on light microscopy (up to 1000 magnifications), was deemed insufficient for detailed palynological study, as the tape did not provide the best view of the necessary morphological features.

Over time, even Frei himself and other scientists questioned the accuracy of his conclusions. The need for extensive research, involving collection and identification of flowering plants from various geographical areas and preparation of known pollen samples, was emphasized. Such an endeavor would have been time-consuming and technically challenging, especially considering the limitations of microscopy technology available at the time. Frei's early death prevented him from publishing a detailed analysis or completing his book, "The Pollens of the Shroud of Turin." His initial findings, though intriguing, remain a subject of debate and highlight the complexities and challenges inherent in the scientific study of historical artifacts like the Shroud of Turin.

The ongoing investigation into the pollen samples from the Shroud of Turin, initially analyzed by Max Frei in the 1970s, took a significant turn in the 1990s and 2000s, with further analyses and debates among various scientists. In the 1990s, the original samples collected by Frei were re-examined by Danin and Baruch (Danin et al., 1999). Their analysis confirmed the species initially identified by Frei, leading to Danin's conclusion about a specific 10-square-kilometer area, located between Jerusalem and Jericho, where 70 percent of these species could be found. This area, notably near Jerusalem, was identified as containing twenty-seven of the twenty-eight species Frei had identified. However, the legitimacy of these findings was soon challenged. In 2000, several researchers including McCrone (1990), Litt (Danin & Guerra, 2008), Bryant (2000), and Boi (2012) questioned the accuracy of these pollen identifications. Intriguingly, these criticisms and challenges were acknowledged by Danin himself (Danin & Guerra, 2008). The situation surrounding Frei's samples became more complicated when, on July 15, 1988, Frei's widow, Gertrud Frei-Sulzer, offered the entire collection of Frei's samples to ASSIST (Association of Scientists and Scholars International for the Shroud of Turin), rendering the samples almost inaccessible for further study. These were the samples taken in 1978; those from 1973 were believed to have been lost in Vercelli, where Ettore Morano had conducted examinations using a scanning electron microscope.

As a result, more than four decades of research by Frei culminated in a situation where the original tape samples and his manuscripts were virtually lost, leaving the scientific community without concrete evidence to further investigate. In recent years, additional scrutiny by researchers like Litt (Danin & Guerra, 2008) and Bryant (2000) led to new discoveries. They found that the most abundant type of pollen in the Shroud samples was not Gundelia tournefortii, as previously identified by Frei and Danin & Baruch, but belonged to a species in the Asteraceae family. This revelation cast doubt on the initial identification of this pollen type. In a detailed review, the most abundant types of pollen found on the Shroud were categorized, along with their bibliographical references and newly proposed identifications. The analysis by Danin et al. (1999) presented a partial account of the pollen, focusing only on a segment of the optical microscope slides. They concurred that the most abundant pollen was Gundelia tournefortii (Asteraceae), followed by Cistaceae type (Cistus spp.), unspecified Apiaceae, and Pistacia spp. These taxa represented 64.21% of the total pollen identified. The debate over the pollen samples from the Shroud of Turin highlights the complexities of palynological studies, especially when applied to ancient and controversial artifacts. The evolving techniques, interpretations, and scholarly debates underscore the challenges in reaching definitive conclusions about the Shroud's history and origins.

In previous studies of pollen found on the Shroud of Turin, there have been notable errors in the identification of pollen grains. For example, Pistacia lentiscus was mistakenly identified as Anemone coronaria in SEM images, as noted by Ghio in 1986. Additionally, in a light microscope (LM) image by Danin et al. in 1999, pollen from the Asteraceae family was incorrectly identified as Gundelia tournefortii. Researchers such as Frei, Ghio, and Danin et al. reported that the most numerous pollen types on the Shroud were from entomogamous plants, which require insects for pollination. The abundant presence of Gundelia pollen raised questions. This plant, Gundelia tournefortii, also known as 'A’kub' or 'Ka’ub', is native to areas like Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, and Cyprus. Its traditional use in cuisine, documented in the Talmud of Babylonia and biblical texts, alongside its reduction due to harvesting before flowering, has been historically significant.

The high quantity of Gundelia pollen on the Shroud was used to suggest a connection to Asia Minor. Danin et al. in 1999 hypothesized that the Shroud came into direct contact with the plant after the death of the man wrapped in it, coinciding with the blooming season around Easter. They also proposed that Gundelia might have been used for the crown of thorns on the crucified individual. However, this theory was challenged by authors like Hind in 2013, who argued that Gundelia, lacking sharp thorns, was an unlikely choice for a crown of thorns. Moreover, if the crown was made from the plant's leaves, pollen wouldn't be present in large quantities, as it originates from the flowers, not the leaves. The widespread distribution of this pollen on the Shroud, from head to toe, was also puzzling, especially considering that the crown of thorns would likely have been removed before wrapping the body. This raises doubts about the presence of such large quantities of Gundelia pollen. Additionally, if parts of Gundelia had been in contact with the Shroud, one would expect to find latex residue, especially in the head area where the crown would have been. The absence of such evidence further complicates the hypothesis.
Finally, considering Gundelia's known ethnocultural uses, primarily in food and animal fodder, and its absence in magical or medicinal rituals, the reason for its substantial presence on the Shroud remains unclear. This lack of clear explanation for the high quantity of Gundelia pollen calls for a reevaluation of previous findings and assumptions. The reevaluation of pollen samples from the Shroud of Turin has led to a new understanding, particularly with the replacement of initially identified Gundelia tournefortii pollen with Helichrysum spp. This finding aligns with the use of botanical products in ancient funeral and burial rituals, commonly used for their embalming properties and to mitigate the odor of decomposition.

Max Frei's 1978 analysis of the Oviedo Sudarium, using adhesive tape to collect microscopic particles, yielded partial and ambiguous results, as noted by Ricci in 1985. In contrast, the Spanish Center for Sindonology (CES) in the 1990s employed non-invasive methods to avoid damaging the tissue. They observed entomophilous pollen types embedded in dissolved resins and incense, complicating specific recognition. The presence of this pollen in oils and ointments, notably from the pressing of fresh flowers, like Helichrysum oil, supports the idea of ancient burial rituals incorporating botanicals, including Ferula and Pistacia. This understanding of pollen offers a new perspective on the Shroud. Historical and cultural practices involving botanical products for cultic rituals, prevalent from a few centuries B.C. to the third century A.D., suggest the application of oils, balms, and ointments on the Shroud. These practices likely contributed to the Shroud's remarkable preservation. New Testament accounts from John, Mark, Matthew, and Luke provide insights into the funeral ritual practiced on Jesus. They mention the use of aromatic spices (oil), the preparation of balms and perfumes, and the symbolic cleaning of the body. Jewish traditions, as outlined in the Talmud, do not permit embalming or mummification, using spices primarily to counteract odors in the hot, dry climate. The Talmud also notes that blood should not be cleaned from a body with signs of violence, believing it to be part of the body to be entombed.

The Shroud of Turin's case aligns with these practices. The body wrapped in the Shroud appears to have undergone a violent death, with blood marks both pre and post-mortem, suggesting a Jewish ritual burial as described in the Talmud. The application of oils and ointments, in line with ethnocultural customs, would have served dual purposes: protecting against rapid decomposition and purifying the environment. These substances left traces among the flax fibers, including pollen from the products used. This practice could have also enabled the capture of other environmental pollen, providing additional protection for the fabric due to its antiseptic and preservative properties. The pollens identified on the Shroud of Turin thus offer valuable insights into the funeral rituals of the time, serving as witnesses to the practices and environment surrounding the body wrapped within. The treatment of the body and funeral cloth with oils and ointments, as per the ceremonial rites practiced around 2000 years ago, likely played a crucial role in preserving pollen grains on the Shroud of Turin. These greasy substances could have acted as a medium, enabling pollen to adhere to the fabric and remain intact over millennia. Danin et al. (1999) identified several pollen types on the Shroud, with Cistus and Cistaceae representing 8.2%, Apiaceae (Ferula) 4.2%, and Pistacia spp. 0.6% of the total. The presence of pollen from Cistus, Cistaceae, Pistacia, and Apiaceae suggests their use during funeral rituals, possibly applied as oils and resins directly on the body and the Shroud. These products were commonly used in ancient funeral practices.

Laudanum, a resin derived from Cistus ladanifer, was mixed with myrrh to create ointments. Its name, similar to 'lebona' (incense in Hebrew), may have led to confusion in biblical text transcriptions, mistakenly identifying it as incense. Perfumed oils were also made using myrrh collected from other Cistaceae and Cistus species. Galbanum, a fragrant resin from Ferula spp. (representative of the Apiaceae family), was another significant substance with a strong smell, possibly used in temple rituals. Pistacia, from the Anacardiaceae family, was used to produce ointments through the boiling of various plant parts. Its resin, obtained by making incisions in the trunk, was burnt to mask odors during burials. Mastic, terebinth, and turpentine are other known products from Pistacia. While the quantities of these pollen types on the Shroud are not overwhelmingly high, they provide clues about the plants used in the burial rites. Cistaceae and Apiaceae are insect-pollinated plants, while Pistacia uses both insects and wind for pollination. These species produce ointments from various plant parts, not solely the inflorescences. This fact might explain why their pollen is present in significant, though not high, quantities on the Shroud. The presence of these specific pollen types helps illuminate the practices and materials used in ancient funeral rituals, offering insights into the historical and cultural context of the time.

Identifying pollen at the species level is a complex task, especially for those belonging to large and diverse families like Compositae or Asteraceae, which includes over 23,000 species globally. This high diversity means that the probability of making an error in species-level identification is considerable, as many species within this family have very similar pollen. For accurate identification, electron microscope (SEM) observation is necessary, as light microscope (MO) observation alone is often insufficient. In the case of the Shroud of Turin, Frei's last paper, presented posthumously at the "II National Conference of Sindonology - 1981," included SEM images of some Shroud pollen. However, upon closer examination, identification errors were found in these tables. For instance, the pollen identified as Anemone coronaria actually corresponded to Pistacia lentiscus, and what was labeled as Ridolfia segetum (belonging to Apiaceae) was actually a type of Asteraceae. The Asteraceae pollen identified in the Shroud samples seems very familiar and is likely a species from the genus Helichrysum, based on detailed observations with both optical and electronic microscopes. This contrasts with the previous identification of only Artemisia spp., Carduus spp., Echinops spp., and Gundelia tournefortii from the Asteraceae family, as the pollen characteristics do not match. Microscope slides with Helichrysum pollen, prepared using Frei’s technique, and subsequent SEM imaging confirm that the pollen is indeed Helichrysum, not Gundelia. However, Helichrysums have stenopaliniform pollen, which makes it difficult to distinguish between species due to morphological similarities, as found in a doctoral thesis comparing six Helichrysum species from the Balearic Islands.

Therefore, the most abundant pollen on the Shroud likely belongs to the Asteraceae family and is a species of Helichrysum. This plant is known for its essential oil, highly valued and obtained exclusively from the pressing of fresh flowers. Two thousand years ago, this oil was used in burial and funeral rites, possibly explaining its presence during the preparation of the body wrapped in the Shroud. Helichrysum's essential oil was used to protect the linen and the body, and its flowers might have been used to crown the head of the deceased. This new identification sheds light on the funerary rituals of the time and the specific scenario in which the plant and its pollen could have come into contact with the Shroud. The application of Helichrysum oil during burial preparation could explain the high levels of this pollen in all analyzed samples. Historical texts by Theocritus, Dioscorides, and Pliny the Elder describe the use of Helichrysum for crowning idols and honoring the deceased, indicating its spiritual, medicinal, ornamental, and culinary significance.

The presence of pollen on the Shroud of Turin offers a potential insight into the burial rituals of a Jewish man approximately 2000 years ago. The Bible provides limited information on the plants of ethnocultural significance in Asia Minor at that time, necessitating reference to other historical texts. Authors like Pliny the Elder and Dioscorides have extensively documented species used in rites of passage during and before that era.

Given the hypothesis that the Shroud wrapped a Jewish corpse and remained hidden and protected until its emergence in 1355 A.D., it would have been stored in conditions safe from insects, humidity, or other fabric-altering agents. If the Shroud was treated with oils and ointments during the funeral ritual, these substances could have oxidized over time, making them difficult to identify in their original form. These oils and ointments, insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol, fat, wax, or other vegetable oils, likely contributed to the fabric's yellowing while preserving it through their powerful insect-repellent properties. This preservation method is akin to that used on other ancient fabrics, such as those of the Copts, where applied substances protected the fabric and allowed their ingredients to be masked within the pollen grains found. The discovery of pollen by Max Frei and subsequent reevaluations by Danin et al. in 1999 ("Flora of the Shroud of Turin") offer insights into the Shroud's geographic origin and the ethnocultural uses practiced on the relic. However, pinpointing a specific geographical origin is challenging, as most identified pollen types are Mediterranean.

The findings suggest that the Shroud was likely treated with Helichrysum oil, laudanum resin (from Cistus), oil from Cistaceae, mastic (from Pistacia spp.), turpentine, terebinth, and aromatic galbanum (from Ferula spp.) during the burial rites. The predominant presence of Helichrysum pollen, extracted traditionally from fresh inflorescences, explains its abundance on the Shroud's entire surface. This differs from Gundelia tournefortii, previously misidentified and not typically used in burial rites but rather in culinary applications.  The other significant pollens, like Pistacia, Cistus, Cistaceae, and Apiaceae (Ferula spp.), hint at the use of balms, resins, and ointments in the funeral ritual. Since these substances come from plant parts other than flowers, their pollen is less abundant, aligning with the observed pollen quantities on the Shroud. This analysis, supported by optical and electronic microscopy, sheds light on the possible ethnocultural practices and materials used in the burial ritual of the individual wrapped in the Shroud of Turin.


The study of pollen on the Shroud of Turin has provided crucial insights into the historical and cultural context of the artifact. Up to now, analyses have indicated that the pollen on the Shroud originates predominantly from Asia Minor. Recent correct identifications of this pollen have shed light on the funeral rituals and burial practices of the time, revealing the use of various balsams, ointments, oils, and spices. Danin et al.'s study in 1999 played a pivotal role in this understanding. It demonstrated that the most common species among the 204 identified pollen types, in order of abundance, were initially thought to be Gundelia, Cistus, Cistaceae, and Apiaceae. However, the species previously identified as Gundelia has now been corrected to Helichrysum spp. This significant correction has led to a new realization about the burial practices: the possible preparation of the body with oils and ointments, particularly involving Helichrysum. Previous investigations largely focused on tracing the Shroud's journey, often overlooking the evidence provided by pollen about the nature of the funeral rituals. The current understanding includes botanical species such as Cistus spp., Cistaceae, Ferula spp., Helichrysum spp., and Pistacia spp., all of which are native to the Mediterranean region. It's noteworthy that in the samples collected by Frei, there are still 109 pollen types that remain unidentified. If these could be analyzed, along with new samples, it might lead to more definitive conclusions about the specific funeral practices involved with the Shroud.  Overall, the pollen study not only contributes to our understanding of the Shroud’s historical journey but also offers a unique window into the ethnocultural practices of the time, particularly concerning burial rites and rituals. 10


Earthy material (limestone composed of aragonite with strontium and iron) found on the Shroud 

Stephen E.Jones ( 2013) Dirt on foot In 1978 STURP (Shroud of Turin Project) members, husband and wife Roger and Marty Gilbert, while carrying out reflectance spectroscopy on the Shroud, discovered an unusual spectral signal from the heel of the right foot on the dorsal side and nowhere else on the Shroud. There is a clear imprint of the right foot only and that only on the dorsal side of the Shroud. When the area was examined under a microscope, dirt particles could be seen deep between the threads. It is logical to find dirt on the foot of a man who wore sandals, as Jesus did (Mt 3:11; Mk 1:7; Jn 1:27), and who would have been barefoot before he was crucified. That the dirt is not a later contamination is shown by it being under the bloodstains on the foot. But the dirt is not easily seen with the naked eye, so no forger would have put it there. Therefore this is yet another problem for the forgery theory.

In October 1978 the Shroud of Turin Project (STURP), as part of its five day intensive scientific investigation of the Shroud, took thirty-two samples of surface material on the Shroud by pressing a specially formulated sticky-tape onto body image, bloodstain, waterstain and non-image areas of the cloth. Los Alamos chemist, Dr. Ray Rogers, was responsible for this task and so he took the sticky tape samples back with him to the USA. In 1982 Rogers gave some of the sticky-tape samples to optical crystallographer Dr Joseph Kohlbeck, for him to make photomicrographs of them. Kohlbeck became interested in some crystals of calcium carbonate (limestone) he found on some of the tapes. Under his microscope he found from their crystalline structure that they were of the comparatively rare travertine (deposited from springs) aragonite variety of calcium carbonate rather than the more common calcite. Kohlbeck knew that travertine aragonite limestone was typically found in limestone caves in Palestine

Claim:  Israeli geologist Amir Sandler says that, “Aragonite is not a common mineral in the Jerusalem area and the Judea Mountains, where the carbonate rocks are made of calcite or dolomite, or both. 11  
Response: Both calcite and aragonite can be found in the caves of the Jerusalem area, although their presence and proportions can vary depending on specific cave conditions and the geochemical processes at play. Calcite in Jerusalem Area Caves: Calcite is the most common mineral in limestone caves in general, including those in the Jerusalem area. This is due to its stability and the abundance of calcium carbonate in the limestone rock from which these caves are formed. Speleothems, such as stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones in these caves, are predominantly composed of calcite.

Aragonite in Jerusalem Area Caves: Aragonite, which is another crystal form of calcium carbonate, can also occur in these caves but is typically less common than calcite. The formation of aragonite instead of calcite in cave environments is influenced by factors such as the temperature of the water, the presence of certain ions or impurities in the water, and the rate of water flow. In some cave environments, aragonite can form distinctive, needle-like crystals, contributing to the diversity of cave formations.

Variation within Caves: It’s important to note that the mineral composition can vary within a single cave and between different caves in the same region. This variation is due to localized differences in environmental conditions, such as water chemistry, temperature, and biological activity.

While calcite is the predominant mineral in the limestone caves of the Jerusalem area, aragonite can also be present, adding to the mineralogical diversity of these subterranean environments. The occurrence of these minerals contributes to the unique and varied nature of speleothems found in these caves.

Confirming Yeshua 1c2dss16

The question then occurred to him whether their chemical signature might match the limestone of the tomb in which Jesus was laid in Jerusalem. Kohlbeck realised that it might be difficult obtaining samples from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem but he reasoned that limestone from other tombs around Jerusalem should have the same characteristics. An archaeologist, Dr. Eugenia Nitowski, who had made a study of ancient Jewish tombs in Israel, was able to obtain for Kohlbeck limestone samples from a number of tombs in and around Jerusalem. Kohlbeck found that the calcium carbonate in the Jerusalem samples was of the same rare travertine aragonite variety as the samples taken from the Shroud.To confirm whether the Jerusalem tombs limestone did have the same chemical signature as the Shroud samples, Kohlbeck asked Dr Ricardo Levi-Setti at the University of Chicago to compare them using the University's high-resolution scanning ion microprobe. The Shroud sample tested was from the same foot area of the Shroud where Roger and Marty Gilbert had found the abovementioned dirt because it had a larger concentration of calcium carbonate than other areas. From their spectral patterns it was clear that the Shroud and Jerusalem tomb limestone samples were very close match. Both the Shroud and the Jerusalem samples contained small amounts of iron and strontium, but no lead, and their spectral patterns were an unusually close match. They would have been an even closer match but for a slight organic variation due to particles of flax which could not be separated from the Shroud's calcium. While this does not absolutely prove that the aragonite limestone on the heel of the Shroud man came from a Jerusalem limestone tomb, it is further evidence that it did. The onus is on the Shroud sceptics to explain how limestone which specifically (if not uniquely) matches that found in and around Jerusalem came to be on the Shroud. It is a major problem for the forgery theory to explain how the barely visible dirt on the heel of the Shroud man, `just happens' to contain the same rare travertine aragonite limestone found in and around Jerusalem. No medieval or earlier forger would have thought of including such details, which would have been ignored by his contemporaries because of their microscopic size.7

Particles of rare travertine aragonite form of limestone the Holy Sepulcher on the Shroud

Mark Niyr (2020): There was a rush to get Yeshua buried before the evening. Fortunately, one of Yeshua’s disciples was a very rich man: Yosef ha Ramatayim (Joseph of Arimathea). Joseph had coincidently already paid a hefty price to have his personal tomb hewn out of the limestone rock nearby, and so he offered to have Yeshua buried in his nearby tomb. It was a privilege to be buried in the limited vicinity of the Temple Mount. Only a rich man like Joseph could afford that. Little did Joseph of Arimathea know that this would fulfill the prophesy found in the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah 53, the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsa‐a) MT which specific scroll is dated by scholars as copied by scribes about 125 B.C.E where it says that his grave was “with a rich man his tomb” (Isa. 53:9).245 This prophecy (as originally written by Isaiah seven centuries prior to Yeshua) was thus fulfilled. Apparently Yeshua’s feet were dragged across the floor as they drew him into the tomb. His feet collected limestone from the floor of the tomb. That limestone then became deposited on the feet area of the Shroud. Whoever dragged Yeshua with his feet along the floor of the tomb had no idea that 2,000 years later scientists would discover this limestone on the feet area of the Shroud image. The scientists tested the limestone of ten different limestone tombs throughout the land of Israel. Yet only the rock shelf hosting both the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb (where Yeshua is thought to have been buried) contained this rare travertine aragonite form of limestone found on the Shroud. None of the other nine limestone tombs tested throughout the land of Israel matched the type of limestone found on the Shroud.8

Even if various probabilistic studies (De Gail, 1972; Fanti and Marinelli, 2001), analysing up to 100 statements formulated for and against the authenticity of the TS, show that it is the burial sheet of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, with a probability of 100% and negligible uncertainty, from a strictly scientific point of view no sure proofs of its authenticity are still available. According to scientific analysis of the TS in 1978 by the STURP (Shroud of TUrin Research Project) (Jackson J.P. et al., 1984; Jumper et al., 1984; Adler, 1996), it was concluded that the body image on the TS cannot be explained scientifically. One attempt at explanation states that the image formed as if it were caused by exposure to a short-lived but intense source of energy coming from the body enveloped in the shroud itself (Fanti and Maggiolo, 2004).  

Analysis of particles of limestone also found adhering to the Shroud have been identified by optical crystallographer Dr Joseph Kohlbeck as travertine aragonite that spectrally has a `signature’ strikingly similar to limestone samples from ancient Jerusalem tombs, taken by archaeologist Dr Eugenia Nitowski. [Kohlbeck, J.A. & Nitowski, E.L., "New Evidence May Explain Image on Shroud of Turin," Biblical Archaeology Review, July-August 1986, pp.18-29] From such a variety of different directions, there is therefore the most striking evidence that rather than being a `cunning painting’, some time in its history the Shroud really was used somewhere in the environs of Jerusalem to wrap the dirty and bloody corpse of a man who had just been crucified." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O’Mara Books: London, 2000, p.92)

In particular, not only did "a sample of calcium taken from the Shroud in the very same foot area" turn "out to be of the rarer aragonite variety, exactly as in the case of the samples taken from the Jerusalem tombs" but both "also exhibited small amounts of strontium and iron, again suggesting a close match" indeed "an unusually close match, the only disparity being a slight organic variation readily explicable as due to minute pieces of flax that could not be separated from the Shroud’s calcium" (my emphasis):

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14Confirming Yeshua Empty The Weave of the Shroud of Turin Tue Nov 29, 2022 11:30 am



"And there is one further supportive finding which has come to light, which still concerns the pollen, but which also takes us into yet another variety of extraneous material on the Shroud’s surface: mineral deposits. The now familiar Turin microanalyst Giovanni Riggi, during his analysis of the materials that he had vacuumed from the Shroud’s underside, reported coming across pollens … among which he noticed an approximately fifty per cent proportion that … bore a thick, calcium-rich mineral covering, coating all their otherwise distinctive features. … Since … Riggi had vacuumed his pollens from its underside, i.e. the side which had theoretically lain in contact with the tomb, then the strong implication had to be that the Shroud’s underside had been affected by once having lain on some calcium-coated surface in a way that the body- image side had not, raising the question, could this mineral coating have been from the rock of a tomb in Jerusalem? In this regard it so happens that back in 1982 STURP’s Ray Rogers took some of the Shroud sticky-tape samples to his old friend optical crystallographer Dr Joseph Kohlbeck, Resident Scientist at Hercules Aerospace in Utah. … Kohlbeck began to take a lively interest in some of the particles of calcium carbonate (or limestone) that he immediately spotted among all the other debris on the tapes. … these raised in his mind the interesting question of whether the chemical `signature’ of these might in any way match that of the stone of the tomb in which Jesus was laid in Jerusalem. As … the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the central shrine of which has a surprisingly good claim to being where Jesus was once buried. … is at present so well protected against any further hacking about, that Kohlbeck rightly adjudged the chances of obtaining any samples very slim. But he reasoned that limestone rock inside other tombs in the Jerusalem vicinity ought to have roughly the same characteristics. He found a most useful and knowledgeable local research colleague in the person of archaeologist Dr Eugenia Nitowski who, for her doctorate, had made a specialist study of ancient Jewish tombs in Israel. She had excavated the first rolling-stone-type tomb east of the Jordan and, as a result of the contacts she had made, was able to obtain for Kohlbeck the Jerusalem tomb limestone samples that he needed. He subjected them to microscopic analysis, quickly finding them to have precisely the sort of distinctive characteristics that he had hoped for. As he has explained: `This particular limestone was primarily travertine aragonite deposited from springs, rather than the more common calcite. … Aragonite is formed under a much narrower range of conditions than calcite. In addition to the aragonite, our Jerusalem samples also contained small quantities of iron and strontium, but no lead.’ [Kohlbeck & Nitowski, Ibid., p.23] With Nitowski now highly intrigued at what he might find next, Kohlbeck proceeded to examine a sample of calcium taken from the Shroud in the very same foot area in which Roger and Mary Gilbert had come across the now famous `dirt’. This was chosen because it showed a larger and therefore potentially more significant concentration of calcium carbonate than other areas. To Kohlbeck’s considerable satisfaction, the sample turned out to be of the rarer aragonite variety, exactly as in the case of the samples taken from the Jerusalem tombs. Not only this, but it also exhibited small amounts of strontium and iron, again suggesting a close match. But even these parallels were not enough to `prove’ the needed signature, as a result of which Kohlbeck took both the Shroud samples and the Jerusalem tomb samples to Dr Ricardo Levi-Setti of the famous Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago. Here, Levi- Setti put both sets of samples through his high-resolution scanning ion microprobe, and as he and Kohlbeck studied the pattern of spectra produced by each … it became quite obvious that they were indeed an unusually close match, the only disparity being a slight organic variation readily explicable as due to minute pieces of flax that could not be separated from the Shroud’s calcium. As Kohlbeck readily acknowledged, this cannot of course be taken as proof that the Shroud aragonite can only have come from a Jerusalem limestone tomb. It may well be possible to find another area of the world in which the aragonite might prove similar to that on the Shroud and only future research more refined than anything so far conducted might one day be able to make a match that could be considered absolutely conclusive." (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World’s Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1998, pp.104-106). 9

1. Sciencedaily: Botanical Evidence Indicates August 3, 1999
2. Emanuela Marinelli: The question of pollen grains on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo 10/22/2012.
3. John Jackson et al., : The Shroud of Turin A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses 2017
4. Gianni Barcaccia: Uncovering the sources of DNA found on the Turin Shroud 05 October 2015
5. Stephen E. Jones  Flower & plant images #31: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! DECEMBER 17, 2019
6. M. Boi: Pollen on the Shroud of Turin: The Probable Trace Left by Anointing and Embalming 28 October 2016
7. Stephen E. Jones  The Shroud of Turin: 2.6. The other marks (3): Dirt on foot and limestone MARCH 22, 2013
8. Mark Niyr: The Turin Shroud: Physical Evidence of Life After Death? (With Insights from a Jewish Perspective) 2020
9. https://shroudstory.com/2011/09/16/more-on-the-dirt-of-the-shroud-of-turin/
10. https://sindone.it/museo/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/SINDON-08.pdf
11. https://medievalshroud.com/limestone-on-the-shroud/#

The Fabric and Weave of the Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth that bears the image of a man who appears to have been crucified. While there is much debate and speculation about the origins and authenticity of the shroud, many researchers have noted several unique characteristics of the cloth itself:

Herringbone weave: The Shroud of Turin is made of a type of linen known as a herringbone weave, which is not commonly used in modern textiles. This type of weave involves a distinct pattern of diagonal lines that intersect at right angles, and it creates a texture that is both strong and flexible.

Flax fibers: The linen cloth used to make the shroud is made from flax fibers, which are known for their strength and durability. Flax is also a natural material that is resistant to bacterial growth, which may have helped to preserve the shroud over the centuries. Linen played a significant role in ancient Egypt as it represented light, purity, wealth, and was the most common textile used. It provided comfort in the subtropical heat and was made from the fibers of the flax plant, which were spun and woven using important techniques in Egyptian society. The value of linen was such that it was even used as currency in some instances. Similarly, in ancient Mesopotamia, linen was produced and reserved for the higher classes due to its high cost. This was due to the difficulty of working with the thread as it was not elastic and broke easily during weaving, and the flax plant required extensive cultivation. Linen was used for clothing, furnishings, and famously as garments for mummies, making it an essential part of ancient Egyptian life. Linen, like wool, is one of the oldest fibers utilized by humans, and is produced from the stems of the flax plant. It has been an important textile for centuries, even predating cotton and other fibers, due to its versatility and ability to serve multiple purposes. The flax plant is particularly valuable as all of its parts can be used, making it a sustainable option for societies both past and present. To produce high-quality linen, only the finest flax stems are utilized, while leftover parts, such as linseeds, oil, straw, and lower-quality stems, can be repurposed for a variety of products including linoleum, soap, nutritious oil, paper, and even cattle feed. Flax plants require well-drained soil and a cool, humid environment to grow effectively, which is found in the Eastern and Western European climate, producing top-quality flax. This plant is a member of the Linaceae family, and its Latin name reflects its significance as the last word of the name means "most useful." This highlights the plant's importance to ancient societies, and its continued relevance as a sustainable resource for modern times.

Textiles evidence from burials in the roman period

Orit Shamira (2015): Israel The use of wool textile in primary use for burials and shrouds is less common than linen in the Land of Israel and was usually used for shrouds in secondary use. Linen shrouds have been discovered at burials sites in the Land of Israel. Linen shrouds dating from the Roman period have been found also at ‘En Gedi, Gesher Haziv, and Jericho – imprints of textiles were found on bones and skulls; the material used was identified as linen because of an equal number of threads in the warp and the weft. Shrouds were also found at Nahal David and Ze’elim. The best preserved shrouds are from Roman-period ‘En Gedi (2nd-1st centuries BCE, Second Temple period). They were found in eight Jewish tombs on the southern bank of Nahal ‘Arugot and in one tomb on the northern bank of Nahal David. 1

The type of flax used in the shroud of Turin is known as Linum usitatissimum, which is a species of flax commonly grown for its seeds and fibers. This type of flax is native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East and is believed to have been widely cultivated and used for thousands of years for a variety of purposes, including the production of linen fabric. Research has shown that the shroud of Turin was made of this type of flax, which is not commonly found in Europe but is native to the Middle East. This has led some to argue that the shroud may have been created in the Middle East

RAY DOWNING (2017): The cloth is made of linen thread, and linen thread is made from the stems of the flax plant. In order to transform these stems into workable fiber that can be spun into thread and later woven into cloth, a long process of preparation must be carefully followed. The plants are pulled from the ground and tied into bundles. They are then laid down in the fields until the non-fiber parts rot. The remaining fiber, once dry, is pounded and cleaned. The final step before spinning is combing the long, lustrous fibers into bundles. At this point, the fiber is twisted (spun) into thread. During Jesus' time, all spinning was done by hand with spindles. The spinning wheel wouldn't be invented for at least another 500 years. In the spinning process, the spinner twists the fibers in one of two ways: clockwise (Z) or counterclockwise (S).  Because the structure of the flax fiber has a natural tendency to twist itself in an S twist, spinners over the millennia have spun it in this S direction, as if not wanting to "fight" the fiber. Curiously, the yarn that makes the Shroud has been spun in a Z twist (clockwise). 2

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Stephen E. Jones (2015): The yarn used to weave the Shroud of Turin is of very high quality, evenly spun, and it has been woven into an unusual, fancy weave for the time, called 3 to 1 herringbone twill. The resulting cloth is very fine, with a density of 35 threads per centimeter, or about 89 threads per inch. To give some perspective, the finest surviving Egyptian mummy fabrics are 30 threads per centimeter (75 threads per inch), the thread is spun in an S twist and woven in simple plain weave - one thread over, one thread under. 3

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Confirming Yeshua Shroud+of+Turin+fabric+weave+detail
Close-up of Shroud fabric, with its distinctive three-to-one herringbone twill weave.

The gospel of Mark mentions that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped Jesus' body in a linen cloth for burial:

“Joseph of Arimathea, a highly regarded member of the council, who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. He called the centurion and asked him if he had been dead for some time. When Pilate was informed by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. After Joseph bought a linen cloth and took down the body, he wrapped it in the linen and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock. ” — Mark 15:43-46


The herringbone pattern is a distinctive V-shaped weaving pattern that is commonly used in fabric production. It gets its name from the way it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish.

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The herringbone pattern is created by weaving the threads in a zigzag pattern, with each thread alternating direction at regular intervals. This creates a series of V-shaped patterns that run along the length of the fabric.
A herringbone weave has a v-shaped or chevron pattern formed by regularly reversing with offset the width-wise woof (or weft) thread as it is drawn through the lengthwise warp. The result is a broken zigzag pattern which resembles the skeleton of a herring fish.

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Image side of the undated and presumably not pre-treated Shroud sample, "split from one used in the radiocarbon dating study of 1988 at Arizona" retained by Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory.] 

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Non-image side of the above Arizona radiocarbon dating laboratory piece of its Shroud sample.

The Shroud's herringbone 3:1 twill weave was formed by passing each weft thread alternately under three warp threads and over one.

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The Shroud's complex herringbone three-to-one twill weave (a) compared to a plain weave (b)

Each successive weft thread begins at an ascending point in the warp one thread earlier, the direction being reversed at regular intervals by repeating the process at a descending point, thus producing the diagonal "herringbone" pattern.

The herringbone pattern was certainly already known in the middle east in the time of Jesus. The presence of herringbone structure of fabrics e documented by various finds in archaeological sites in Egypt dating back to the first second century after christ inside graves of the deceased of high rank. 

Claim:  The distinctive 3/1 'herringbone' weave of the Shroud has garnered much attention, with some claims suggesting that it is a common feature found in various times and places, ranging from Ancient Egypt to Medieval Denmark. However, such assertions lack sufficient evidence and cannot be substantiated. 8

G. Vial (1990): "So far every example studied – and these have come from Pompeii, Antinoe, Palmyra, Cologne, Dura-Europos – has been radically different from the shroud, both from the point of view of the structure (2/2 twill as opposed to 3/1) and the materials used (wool and silk rather than linen). We have to look to the 16th century to find the first example of linen chevron weaving with a 3/1 twill structure, found in the canvas of a painting in Herentals (Belgium). Taking into account the constituent elements of any textile (material, structure, warp and weft density, the textile of which the shroud is composed is unlike anything presently known to date prior to the 16th century. 4

Reply: D. Fulbright (2010):  At Murabba’at, the site of numerous manuscripts and artifacts in line with the finds from Qumran, archaeologists and textile experts Grace M. Crowfoot and her daughter Elizabeth Crowfoot recorded seven twillweave fabrics, including a dark blue cloth of fine and regular herringbone twill weave (2:2) with Z spun warp threads and mixed S and Z spun weft threads, probably imported.  Numerous textile fragments were discovered at Masada by the Yadin excavations in 1963-65. Avigail Sheffer and Hero Granger-Taylor, archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority, recorded in their preliminary report fourteen twill weave textiles. These include several textiles in diamond twill weave, which is actually a more complex variation of the herringbone pattern, as the direction of the diagonal is reversed periodically, ultimately forming diamond patterns in the cloth . Most of the textiles found at Masada were imported from Anatolia and farther north, from Germany, according to expert textile analysts. The worn and patched condition of these imported textiles of intricate weave indicates well-to-do people fallen on hard times.

A few other ancient textiles made on four-harness looms and found in the Near East, namely in Palmyra, Antinoë, Möns Claudianus and Masada, can also be regarded as analogues of the burial garment from Turin . They are all woolen fabrics made with 2/2 twill or 2/2 diamond twill weaves and high-quality products, as evidenced by, among other things, a high density of threads (up to 160 threads per 1cm).

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Legging discovered in permafrost, South Tyrol. Wool, 2:2 herringbone weave, ca. 800 – 500 B.C.E.

Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg has shown that the herringbone pattern existed not only during the first century of our era, but long before. She has published a study of woolen leggings (54.6 cm. x 15.7 cm,) found on the frozen remains of a man discovered in the permafrost of South Tyrol in 1994. They are made of coarse goat hair, and woven in a 2:2 herringbone pattern. The leggings have been dated to ca. 800 to 500 B.C.E

Archaeologists who have asserted that the weave of the Turin Shroud was unknown until it was introduced in Europe a thousand years after Christ possibly have been misinformed, despite evidence which should be very well known to textile experts working with them. We may also ask if the herringbone pattern was so unusual in ancient times as to have been an anomaly. Gilbert Raes, renowned expert on ancient textiles, wrote: “At the beginning of our age both cotton and linen were known in the Middle East. The type of weave [the herringbone pattern of the Turin Shroud] is not particularly distinctive and does not enable us to determine the period in which it was produced”. Objections disputing the first-century date of the Turin Shroud – in this case, its herringbone weave and its large size – in fact may corroborate the antiquity of the cloth.  5

G. Vial (1988): The only herringbone in linen so far analysed and published is that cited in note 10. It is very late — second half of the XVIth century — and much simpler than that of Turin. The number of threads per centimeter in its main warp is practically half of the Turin count (19.5 instead of 38) and the proportion of warp/weft reductions is less: 19.5/16 = 1.22 instead of 38/26 = 1.46 for Turin. The important main warp of the latter thus offered a much smoother surface to the reproduction of the image. If one takes into account the three constitutive elements of a textile — the structure, the primary material, and the reductions of warp and weft — one must acknowledge that the Shroud of Turin is truly "incomparable".... 6

The Shroud's weave was expensive and rare. 

Because of its complexity, the Shroud would have been an expensive, and therefore rare, fabric. Especially so in the first century when fine linen ranked in value with gold and silver. No example of herringbone twill weave in linen from first or early centuries has been found, although examples of that weave have been found in silk and wool. There are no examples of herringbone twill weave from France up to and including fourteenth century. There is in fact only one known example of a medieval herringbone twill linen weave fabric, a fourteenth century, a block-painted linen fragment with a 3:1 chevron twill weave, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Further evidence of the extreme rarity of medieval linen cloths with a Shroud-like herringbone twill weave, was the fact that the then British Museum's Dr. Michael Tite was unable to find any medieval linen with a weave that resembled the Shroud's, to use as a blind control sample for the 1988 radiocarbon dating.

The Shroud's expensive weave is consistent with it being the linen shroud bought by the "rich man" Joseph of Arimathea in which to bury Jesus' body. The Gospels record that Joseph of Arimathea, a "rich man," bought a linen shroud and wrapped Jesus' body in it (Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-53; Jn 19:38-42). The Shroud's expensive herringbone three-to-one twill weave is consistent with it having been that linen shroud bought by the rich man Joseph of Arimathea in which to wrap and bury Jesus' body.  That the Shroud's weave is expensive and rare is another problem for the forgery theory. The primary motive of art and archaeological (including relic) forgery is financial gain.  If the Shroud were a medieval forgery, then the forger, to maximize his profit, would have "just got a bit of linen." That is, he would have used the least expensive "bit of linen" he could find that would still deceive his prospective buyers. But the Shroud is not just any "bit of linen." As we have seen above the Shroud would have been expensive and rare in the first century. And it would have been even more expensive and rare in the 14th century, of which there is only one known other example, but in fragments as opposed to the ~4.4 x 1.1 metre Shroud. So the medieval forger would have been most unlikely to have obtained a fine linen herringbone twill sheet the size of the Shroud in the first place. And if the forger did have the opportunity to obtain the 8 x 2 cubit ancient Syrian or Palestinian fine linen sheet that the Shroud is, he would not have bought it for the very high price it would have been, as that would have severely reduced the profit margin on his planned forgery of the Shroud image upon it. This is yet another of the many problems of the forgery claim.3 

C. Mader: The shroud of Turin is a single length of linen cloth. The weave is a three hop (3 over 1) herringbone twill. The weft thread passes over three warp threads, under one, over three, and so forth for each run of the weft thread across the loom. The next weft is offset by one, and the next forming a twill. After a few threads, the offset is reversed forming a herringbone. Linen is a cloth made from yarn of twisted flax fibers. Flax is a plant grown from seed from which linseed oil is pressed for fiber for making linen yarn. Linen cloth is woven from the yarn produced by spinning flax fibers together. Flax is among the oldest fiber crops in the world. The use of flax for the production of linen goes back at least 5000 years. The best grades of flax fibers are used for linen fabrics such as the fine-quality cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The thickness of the fibers from flax plants varies significantly. The average thickness of the Shroud fibers is about 13 micrometers The Shroud of Turin linen is approximately 350 (315-390) micrometers thick. The yarn consists of approximately 70 to 120 flax fibers twisted together in a clockwise Z-twist. The various lengths (hanks) of yarn are not spliced together but laid in side-by-side during the weaving. The variegated patterns, known as banding, in both the warp and weft yarn, suggest that the yarn was bleached before weaving rather than after the cloth was taken from the loom. This is a significant clue to the age of the cloth because medieval European linen was field bleached, a process that eliminates banding. Warp threads are the threads that are strung onto the loom before weaving begins. They run along the length of the cloth. Weft threads are the threads that run across, being passed over and under to create the cloth. Twill means the cloth’s pattern has a diagonal wale or texture. Denim, as used in ordinary blue jeans is an example of twill. Herringbone means the offset is periodically reversed, hence the diagonal wale is reversed. The resulting appearance is that of a herring fish bone.

The weave is important because it is evident in one of the illustrations in the Hungarian Pray manuscript which dates to 1180-1195 which is earlier than the 1988 carbon dating of 1260- 1390. The manuscript shows the burial of Jesus naked with hands over his pubic area and no  visible thumbs. It shows the identical pattern of burn holes found on the shroud. The herringbone weave of the shroud is depicted. The Pray Codex or Hungarian Pray Manuscript is one of the most important historical documents showing that the Shroud of Turin existed prior to the 1200s within the Byzantine Empire.7

Shroud 1st draft: Rodney Hoare holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, and in his book “The Turin Shroud is Genuine” he notes “The specific cotton found within the Shroud, Gossypium herbaceum, is found only in the Middle East. Even more important is the absence of any wool fibers, which certainly would have been present on any European loom. Therefore the Shroud is not of European origin.8

The size of the Shroud

The shroud of Turin measures approximately 442 centimeters long and 113 centimeters meters wide.

Stephen E. Jones (2015): In 1989, an expert in early Syriac, Ian Dickinson, of Canterbury, England, realized that the measurements of the Shroud were approximately 8 x 2 of the Assyrian standard cubit of between 21.4 and 21.6 inches, which was the common unit of lineal measurement in Jesus' day. 

The Assyrian standard cubit was a unit of length used in ancient Mesopotamia and was approximately equal to 52.5 centimeters.

"Along these same lines has been a study of the shroud's dimensions as recently made by an expert in early Syriac, Ian Dickinson, from Canterbury, England. Curious at the shroud's, by British units of measurement, anomalous 14 foot 3 inch by 3 foot 7 inch overall size, Dickinson wondered if these dimensions might make more sense if converted to the cubit measure as prevailing in Jesus's time. Establishing that the first-century Jewish cubit was most likely to the Assyrian standard, reliably calculated at between 21.4 and 21.6 inches, Dickinson found that if he chose the lower of these measures there was an astonishing correlation, accurate to the nearest half-inch:

Confirming Yeshua Shroud17

Such conformity to an exact 8 by 2 Jewish cubits is yet another piece of knowledge difficult to imagine of any medieval forger. It also correlates perfectly with the `doubled in four' arrangement by which we hypothesized the shroud to have been once folded and mounted as the `holy face' of Edessa, for the exposed facial area of this latter would have been an exact 1 by 2 Jewish cubits".

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Above: Page 67 of "Inductive Metrology: Or, The Recovery of Ancient Measures from the Monuments," by William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1877).]

The Standard Assyrian cubit was 21.6 inches. During the 19th century the archaeological pioneer, Sir Flinders Petrie (1853–1942) and Assyriologist Julius Oppert (1825–1905), from many measurements of ancient buildings in Babylon, found the length of the Assyrian cubit to be almost 21.5 inches, since refined by other archaeologists to be 21.6 ±0.2 inches. According to page 67 of Petrie's book above, he himself accepted 21.60 inches as the mean length of the Assyrian cubit.

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Mechthild Flury-Lemberg: 437 x 111 cms. In 1998, ancient textiles conservator, Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, determined the true dimensions of the Shroud to be 437 x 111 cms, i.e. 172 x 44 in. or 14 ft 4 in. x 3 ft 8 in.:

"The first speaker was Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, a former curator of the Abegg Foundation textile museum, Switzerland, whose theme was 'The Shroud fabric, its technical and archaeological characteristics. It was Dr. Flury-Lemberg who, immediately prior to the 1998 exposition, had the task of preparing the Shroud for its display and housing in the new three-ton Italgas container constructed for it. Because the plate for the new container had been made slightly too small, Dr. Flury-Lemberg gained permission to remove the blue surround that had been sewed on in the 19th century. The intention behind this surround had been to save the Shroud from the repeated handling at the edges to which they had been subjected throughout the long centuries when it was the custom to hold it up before the populace. However, the surround had ever since prevented examination of the same edges, thereby hindering totally accurate calculation of its dimensions. Now the dimensions have been authoritatively determined by Dr. Flury-Lemberg as 437 cm long by 111 cm wide."

The Shroud's 437 x 111 cm dimensions are exactly 8 x 2 cubits! The Shroud's 437 x 111 cm dimensions are, to the nearest centimeter, exactly 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits of 21.6 inches!

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Above: Table showing that the 1998 437 x 111 cms true dimensions of the Shroud are even more exactly 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits of 21.6 inches than the 14 ft 3 in. x 3 ft 7 in. pre-1998 measurements were. 

And again, the Assyrian standard cubit was the international measure of commerce prevailing in Jesus's time, including among the Jews

"So there were cubits for Temple use and various other applications, but it is a particular cubit of the marketplace that is connected with the Shroud, the cubit that is known as the Assyrian cubit: the widely used, indeed, international standard of that time for merchants of the Near East, and had been so for centuries. This cubit of commerce was carried with the lingua communis, the language of trade and diplomacy that stretched from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean, the tongue that had become the common language of the Jew. Aramaic: the same language which Jesus spoke. Aramaic had been the communication medium of the Assyrian Empire and Israel had been a subject of Assyria."

This is another major problem for the medieval (or earlier) forgery claim since a medieval artist/forger would be most unlikely to know the length of the standard cubit of Jesus' day, as this was only discovered by archaeologists in the 19th century!! 9


Stephen E. Jones (2015): The sidestrip is a strip of linen about 8 cms (3½ inches) wide along its left-hand side of the Shroud (looking at it with its frontal image in the lower half and the man upright), and joined by a single seam. The strip is incomplete at each end, with 14 cms (5½ inches) and 36 cms (14 inches) missing at the bottom and top left hand corners respectively. The sidestrip is made from the same piece of cloth as the Shroud, since unique irregularities in the weave of the main body of the Shroud extend across the side strip. The sidestrip is joined to the main body of the Shroud by a single seam which is 4-5 mm wide. The sewing thread of the seam is also linen. In preparing the Shroud for its 1998 exposition, ancient textiles conservator, Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg (1929-), removed the blue satin surround that had been sewed on by Princess Clotilde of Savoy (1843–1911) in 1868. Flury-Lemberg was the first person since the 16th century to see between the underside of the Shroud and its linen backing cloth sewed on in 1534 by Chambéry's Poor Clare nuns  after the 1532 fire. In 2000 Flury-Lemberg reported that she had discovered, "a very special, almost invisible stitching with which the edges were finished" which is visible only on the Shroud's under-side. In her forty years of working on historic textiles Flury-Lemberg had only once before found an "essentially identical" type of stitching: that found in first-century textiles at Masada, the Jewish fortress overrun by the Romans in AD 73 and never occupied again.3

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Drawing of `invisible seam' found on cloth fragments at the first-century Jewish fortress of Masada, which is "identical to that found on the Shroud and nowhere else".

Since a medieval forger would be most unlikely (to put it mildly) to even know about almost invisible first-century Jewish stitching; and even if he did know about it, he would be even more unlikely to go to the trouble of adding it to his forgery (what use would almost invisible stitching be to a forger?); and even if he wanted to use it, he would be most unlikely to have the high degree of skill needed to do such stitching. 

J.D. Climont: The fibril length and the irregularity of yarn diameter are two criteria that make it unlikely that the flax of the Shroud has been harvested and the yarn spun in the Middle Ages. The finish of the fabric and the type of sewing and stitching look like those that can be seen in the remains of ancient textiles, dating from 40 BC to 73 AD, discovered in the fortress  Masada in  Judea,  where the last Jewish fighters resisted the  Roman occupation in 73 AD. This fortress, which also included a palace of Herod the Great, was no longer occupied thereafter. Josephus reports that the tunic of the high priest, also one piece, also included a seam to the back and chest to not let an unsuitable cut.  This type of finish was unknown in Europe in the Middle Ages. They did practice the simple hem which reduces the width of the fabric. 

We will see that the images that can be seen on the Shroud are in the axis of the complete fabric that is to say with its sideband. It would not be the case if the band had been added later. It is part of the Shroud as it was delivered. The workmanship of the stitching is related to the high quality of the fabric of the  Shroud. Additionally, the sideband has a specific weight higher than the fabric itself. The X-ray examination of the yarn on each side of the seam would have shown that the band has been sewn with the ends of the weft yarns. One wonders why it was necessary to use X-rays to see what requires only a good lens? A magnification of 10 is sufficient. Additionally, in the direction of the length, there are roughly 11,500 cut yarns. It would have been not only necessary to sneak them, but also to return them in the band. Technically, this is not possible because of the short length of yarn available, without insisting on months of work needed. 10

Confirming Yeshua Sturp_12

Claim: The 3-to-1 herringbone weave used in the shroud did not exist in Jesus's time
Reply: There are no examples of herringbone twill weave from France up to and including fourteenth century. There is in fact only one known example of a medieval herringbone twill linen weave fabric, a fourteenth century, a block-painted linen fragment with a 3:1 chevron twill weave, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The variegated patterns, known as banding, in both the warp and weft yarn, suggest that the yarn was bleached before weaving rather than after the cloth was taken from the loom. This is a significant clue to the age of the cloth because medieval European linen was field bleached, a process that eliminates banding.  Rodney Hoare holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, and in his book “The Turin Shroud is Genuine” he notes “The specific cotton found within the Shroud, Gossypium herbaceum, is found only in the Middle East. Even more important is the absence of any wool fibers, which certainly would have been present on any European loom. Therefore the Shroud is not of European origin That the Shroud's weave is expensive and rare is another problem for the forgery theory. The primary motive of art and archaeological (including relic) forgery is financial gain.  If the Shroud were a medieval forgery, then the forger, to maximize his profit, would have "just got a bit of linen." That is, he would have used the least expensive "bit of linen" he could find that would still deceive his prospective buyers. But the Shroud is not just any "bit of linen." The Shroud would have been expensive and rare in the first century. And it would have been even more expensive and rare in the 14th century, of which there is only one known other example, but in fragments as opposed to the ~4.4 x 1.1 meter Shroud. 

Apocryphal  gospels mentioning the Shroud of Turin

The Gospel of Nicodemus (Acts of Pilate)

The Acts of Pilate, also known as the Gospel of Nicodemus, does mention a shroud. In chapter 27, it describes Joseph of Arimathea asking for permission from Pilate to take Jesus' body and bury it in a new shroud. This mention of a shroud in the Acts of Pilate is one of the earliest references to such an item in Christian literature, and it has been suggested by some that this shroud could be the same one that is now known as the Shroud of Turin. However, this is purely speculative, and there is no solid evidence linking the shroud mentioned in the Acts of Pilate to the shroud that is now on display in Turin, Italy. The authenticity of the shroud continues to be the subject of much debate and investigation.

But a certain man named Joseph, a member of the council, from the town of Arimathaea, who also was waiting for the kingdom of God, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in a rock-hewn tomb, in which no one had ever yet been laid.

‘“Who are you, lord?” I said. ‘“I am Jesus, whose body you requested from Pilate. You wrapped me in a clean linen shroud and put a towel on my face, and placed me in a new tomb, and rolled a great stone across the entrance to the tomb.” ‘“Show me where I buried you,” I said to the figure speaking to me. He then took me off and showed me where I had placed him. The shroud lay there in it, along with the towel which had been on his face. Then I knew that it was Jesus.

The information given by other texts

Jean de Climont (2016): There is  no text  in  the first four centuries of the Christian era that suggests a possible conservation of burial cloths of Jesus of Nazareth.  Subsequently,  some texts exploit the literary theme of burial cloths empty. Cyril of Jerusalem (387-397) saw a proof of the resurrection, Peter and John "ran to the tomb and found no more than the sudarium or the Shroud ... the remains of the dead" (Catechesis XIV, 22). But it provides no details about it, unlike for the wood of the cross. St. Jerome, in his De viris illustribus (393 AD) mentions a Gospel "according to the Hebrews" of which there remains not a trace. He cites a passage: "When the Lord had given the Shroud to the priest's servant, he went to Jacques and appeared to him."

The Gospel of Nicodemus, also called the Acts of Pilate, is an apocryphal text of the fourth century.  It gives, in the first chapters, a very detailed version of the judgment of Jesus of Nazareth by Pilate. Jesus is not brought prisoner of the Jews, but summoned  by  Pilate by  a  messenger.  Sign  of the  Roman guards bowed irresistibly in front of  Jesus.  This version, adopted b  the  Copts,  trie to justify Pilate, which would have converted. Moreover, after undergoing martyrdom with his wife  they were considered saints by Copts.  Jesus of  Nazareth would have received 39 lashes under Jewish law, which does not conform to reality. Joseph of Arimathea took Christ's body and placed it in a "shroud fully clean, and he placed him in a new tomb e had built for himself." (Chapter XI). Then, Joseph of Arimathea, who was imprisoned by the Jews was liberated by Jesus and carried in  the  empty  tomb,  "and  he  showed  me  the  Shroud  and  linen  in  which  I  had wrapped his head. "(Chapter XV)

The Coptic Gospel of the Twelve Apostles mentions the burial cloths in connection with thei  worship  of  Pilate.  This text would be of the beginning of  the second century. It is mentioned by Origen in the third century. Pilate said: "O mankind! Who hate your own life, if someone had taken the body, (he would have taken) bands too. Then, they said to him: Do not you see that it is not his clothes, but of somebody else? Pilate remembered the word of Jesus: Big miracles will take place in my grave. Pilate therefore hastened to enter the tomb. He took the shrouds of Jesus. He pressed against her breast. He wept over them. He kissed joy as if Jesus was surrounded with."

The Gospel of Ethiopia, said of Gamaliel, dates from the second half of the fifth century. It would Coptic origin. In fact,  it takes up the themes relating to Pilate from the apocryphal gospels of the Twelve Apostles and of Nicodemus.

Problems of vocabulary

It is not, in any way, neither in my abilities nor in my intention to comment on these texts.  I  would  just  transcribe  what  I  have  read  about  some  problems  with vocabulary.

From the standpoint of hours, Romans divided the day and night into twelve hours between  sunrise  and  sunsets.  The  duration  of  Roman hours  vary  therefore according to the season. Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross on a Friday at the ninth hour, that is to say, about three o'clock in the afternoon, two or three hours later in the evening, Josephus of Arimathea just gets his body, put it in the tomb, wrapped in the Shroud. Saturday is a day of rest for the Jews, the Sabbath. It is therefore at the dawn of Sunday morning that women went to the tomb. From Friday night where Jesus of Nazareth died to Sunday morning, which is the day of resurrection, there are less than 36 hours, very similar to Roman hours during spring equinox.

The  Shroud  itself  is  named  in  different  ways.  Latin  words: sindon,  and linteum linteamen and Greek: Sindon and othonia denote all linen fabrics. Sindon and Sindônapply rather to fine linens, like the Greek othonê whence othonia, a diminutive idea that  inspires  small  or  lightweight.  We  can  say  that  these  words  apply  in  the Gospels to the Shroud of Jesus of Nazareth.

Othonia  was  sometimes  translated  by  strips.  This  is  certainly  possible.  Either  St. John mentions only strips that were used to fix the shroud around the body or he took the term used by the Egyptians, with no other intention than to speak of burial cloths. In fact, John says that Jesus' body was wrapped according to the custom of the Jews. Finally, the Egyptians also put fabrics around the body before the strips.

In addition to these words, St. John mentions the soudarion or sudarium in latin. Misinterpretation of the text gave the meaning of shroud. The apostles had seen in the empty tomb, rolled up next to the linen and bandages lying on the ground.

In  fact,  the  Greek  soudarion  as sudarium  Latin,  word  coming  from sudor,  was  a handkerchief  for  wiping  perspiration  from  the  face.  This  very  same  word soudarion is found in the Acts of the Apostles (19.12) where it means handkerchief and especially in St. John who employs a first time (11.14) to denote the chin-piece surrounding the face  of Lazarus. However, in the case of Jesus  of Nazareth, the sudarium is a cloth used to veil the face of the dead before burial. It is possible that it was used to temporarily block the chin of Christ and keep his mouth shut, and it would have been found between the folds of the shroud. However, the browned image  does  not  suffer  discontinuity  under  the  chin.  The sudarium  would  have prevented the image to form here.

Jewish burial rites consist of two elements: the sindon or shroud, and the pathil. The pathil enveloped the hair, leaving the face uncovered and had a chin-piece. If the  pathil  would  have  been  placed  around  the  head  of  Christ,  the  fabric  of  the Shroud  would  not  have  received  the  image  of  hair  since  traces  of  blood  have prevented this impression. It was thus folded aside pending embalming, but as we have  seen,  it  may  have  been  put  in  place  and  removed.  In  the  case  of Jesus  of Nazareth, there must also be in the grave the sudarium that veiled his face to the Descent from the Cross. Strips maybe mentioned by St. John, remains a question. Such  strips  cannot  have  been  used  because  the  body was  not tightened  in  the Shroud, but it seems  they have even not been brought in the tomb. Presumably they were not necessary since all actions of burial were performed in the tomb. The strips were most needed to secure the shroud around the body for transport. It will never matter thereafter.

When  the  holy  women  went  to  the  tomb  to  perform  the  embalming  after  the Sabbath, they found it empty. St. Peter alerted saw there only the burial cloths lying on the ground, says St. Luke.

St. John is more explicit and the text is very important that imperfect translations have hidden until our time. A series of works restores its true meaning, which is roughly this: "Peter ... saw the burial cloths, the Shroud lying on the ground, the sudarium, which  was  on his  head, not lying with the burial cloths, but wrapped separately in the same place."

Clearly, Peter and John saw the Shroud collapsed flat. Is this really the sudarium, or the pathil, which had remained wrapped in his place? The important thing is that the body had disappeared without disturbing the burial cloths, he had not been abducted!

Thus, we can better understand the effect of the vision that the Apostles had seeing cloths remained in place. 11

The Gospel of Gamaliel

We find Pilate examining four soldiers as to dieir statement that the body of Jesus was stolen. One (the second: the testimony of the first is gone) says the eleven apostles took the body; the third says, Joseph and Nicodemus; the fourth, 'we were asleep.' They are imprisoned, and Pilate goes with the centurion and the priests to the tomb and finds the grave-clothes. He says, 'If the body had been stolen, these would have been taken too.' They say, 'These grave-clothes belong to some one else.' Pilate remembers the words of Jesus, 'Great wonders must happen in my tomb', and goes in, and weeps over the shroud. Then he turns to the centurion, who had but one eye, having lost the other in battle.

The fabric of the Shroud aligns with the descriptions of Jesus's burial cloth in the Gospels. According to Jewish burial customs, Jesus's body was wrapped in linen and placed in a rock tomb. The cloth was purchased by Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy and influential Jewish man who believed in Jesus.

The Shroud is physically consistent with this description. It is made of linen, which corresponds to the material used for burial cloths. Moreover, it is large enough to wrap an adult man, fulfilling the requirement for Jesus's burial.

Some interpretations suggest that the gospels refer to strips of linen rather than a shroud-like cloth. However, a closer examination of the biblical text allows for multiple legitimate readings. The words used in the Gospels, such as "wrapped," "rolled up," "enveloped," "bound," "tied," and "fastened," can be understood to describe the wrapping of Jesus's body in a fine linen cloth. The use of plural terms like "linen cloths," "bandages," "wrappings," and "clothes" in John's Gospel may refer to both the large Shroud and the smaller strips of linen used to bind the jaw, hands, and feet. Scholars who have conducted detailed word studies, reviewed Jewish burial practices, and examined early Christian traditions agree that the plural form likely encompasses all the grave clothes associated with Jesus's burial.

Additionally, Joseph of Arimathea, as a Jewish leader, would have adhered to Jewish burial customs. Jewish law prohibits weaving wool and linen together, and the Shroud's linen composition aligns with this requirement. Chemical analysis of the fabric has found no traces of wool, further supporting its conformity to Jewish laws.

Considering Joseph's reverence for Jesus and his status as a wealthy man, it is reasonable to expect that the cloth purchased to wrap the Son of God would be of top quality. The Shroud's fabric is made of handmade linen, which was a labor-intensive and expensive material to produce. The process of creating linen involves planting, harvesting, bundling, curing, deseeding, separating, beating, and combing the flax fibers before spinning or twisting them into thread. The Shroud's thread has a uniform size, a counterclockwise twist, and is woven in a complex pattern. Its thread count compares favorably to burial cloths of Egyptian royalty, demonstrating high quality and expense.

In conclusion, the fabric of the Shroud aligns with the descriptions of Jesus's burial cloth in the Gospels. It is a large linen cloth that meets Jewish laws of composition, and its materials and craftsmanship befit its association with a reverential and wealthy man like Joseph of Arimathea.

The dimensions of the Shroud of Turin appear to be deliberate and hold significance. Non-partisan sources indicate that the units of measurement used in the ancient Near East closely align with the Shroud's dimensions. The fabric is made of two lengthwise strips, one wide and one narrow, and the weaving pattern at the seam matches, suggesting that both strips were produced simultaneously on the same loom. Additionally, both strips have selvages, which are edges produced during manufacturing to prevent unraveling.

Despite being over 650 years old and having endured various treatments and handling, the Shroud remains surprisingly uniform in its shape, considering its handmade nature. Measurements of the Shroud, obtained from different sources, consistently indicate a ratio of four units long by one unit wide. The average measurement of 438 by 112 centimeters supports the notion that the cloth's size was deliberately chosen. If a narrower cloth had sufficed, there would have been a selvage instead of a seam. Similarly, if a wider sheet had been the goal, wider strips could have been joined.

When considering the Shroud's age, there are generally two positions: it existed in first-century Palestine or 14th-century Europe. To determine a unit of measurement that divides evenly into both 438 and 112 centimeters, medieval weights and measures were examined. Two closely matching units were the Spanish foot and the English ell. For ancient units, a book by Flinders Petrie from 1877 called "Inductive Metrology" was consulted. Petrie analyzed dimensions of buildings and monuments from around the world and calculated the units of measurement they were built to. His findings coincided with the work of Julius Oppert, who identified measurements from inscriptions and literary remains. Four nearly identical results derived from two independent methods were found, with these units being referred to as the Assyrian cubit.

The combined evidence suggests that the Shroud's dimensions align closely with the measurements of the Assyrian cubit and other ancient units used in Persia, Assyria, and Egypt. This supports the conclusion that the Shroud existed in ancient Palestine during Jesus's era.

In summary, the Shroud's deliberate dimensions, consistent with ancient measurement units, further support its compatibility with the Gospel descriptions of Jesus's burial cloth. The fabric and its measurements align with Jewish burial customs and the practices of the time. While it is possible to argue that the image on the Shroud was added at a later date, it would require ascribing significant foresight to a medieval forger or artist, as they would have needed to locate and use an expensive, ancient cloth that matched the necessary dimensions.

1. Orit Shamir: A burial textile from the first century CE in Jerusalem compared to roman textiles in the land of Israel and the Turin Shroud 2015
2. RAY DOWNING: The Fabric of the Shroud of Turin March 30, 2017
3. Stephen E. Jones: Sidestrip #5: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! AUGUST 24, 2015
4. Vial, Gabriel, ‘Shrouded in Mystery’, HALI (The International Magazine of Fine Carpets and Textiles), Issue 49, 1990
5. Diana Fulbright: Akeldama repudiation of Turin Shroud omits evidence from the Judean Desert 2010
7. Charles Mader: The Weave of the Shroud of Turin 
8. Shroud 1st draft
9. Stephen E. Jones: Dimensions #3: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic! JULY 10, 2015
10. Jean de Climont: THE MYSTERIES OF THE    SHROUD 2016
11. Jean de Climont: THE MYSTERIES OF THE    SHROUD 2016

Last edited by Otangelo on Thu Jan 18, 2024 12:45 am; edited 25 times in total


15Confirming Yeshua Empty The impossible faith Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:39 pm




The impossible faith

Apologist James Patrick Holding is a librarian, freelance researcher, and the founder and operator of Tekton Apologetics Ministries. 1 He provides an excellent resume on the website tektonics.com of 17 bullet points, obstacles that Christianity had to overcome to become a widespread religion in the roman empire. In 2007, he published the book: The Impossible Faith.2 We have a dictum in Brazil: Ninguem chuta um cachorro morto. Translated: "No one kicks a dead dog". If the arguments presented by Holding were not powerful, unbelievers would not take notice, and try to argue against them. 

Rational Wiki: Richard Carrier was commissioned by some dude to respond in Not the Impossible Faith 3, and Holding is now in the process of counter-responding via a point-by-point YouTube playlist 4 on both his own arguments and Carrier's objections. 

Who is Richard Carrier?

J. McLatchie: Richard Carrier is an ancient historian who has risen to prominence as the lead advocate of Jesus Mythicism, a school of thought that entertains the idea that Jesus of Nazareth may never have existed at all. While Mythicism occupies only the fringes of the scholarly guild, it has gained much better traction on the internet, where poor scholarship can be widely disseminated unchecked. 5

The description of Carrier's book on Amazon says:  Dr. Richard Carrier is an expert in the history of the ancient world and a critic of Christian attempts to distort history in defense of their faith. Not the Impossible Faith is a tour de force in that genre, dissecting and refuting the oft-repeated claim that Christianity could not have succeeded in the ancient world unless it was true. Though framed as a detailed rebuttal to Christian apologist J.P. Holding (author of The Impossible Faith), Carrier takes a general approach that educates the reader on the history and sociology of the ancient world. If he succeeded is a question that the reader must answer for himself.

Confirming Yeshua Imposs10

The debate between Holding and Carrier

Factor #1 -- Who Would Buy One Crucified?

1 Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.

1 Cor. 15:12-19 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

With the exception of the Christ-mythers and conspiracy theorists (and I put Muslims in this rank, where this issue is concerned), few would deny the historical reality of the crucifixion and the death of Jesus. But once that door is opened, it brings about the first of our problems: Who on earth would believe a religion centered on a crucified man?

As Martin Hengel has amply shown in his monograph, Crucifixion, the shame of the cross was the result of a fundamental norm of the Greco-Roman Empire. Hengel observes that "crucifixion was an utterly offensive affair, 'obscene' in the original sense of the word." As Malina and Rohrbaugh note in their Social-Science Commentary on John, crucifixion was a "status degradation ritual" designed to humiliate in every way, including the symbolic pinioning of hands and legs signifying a loss of power, and loss of ability to control the body in various ways, including befouling one's self with excrement. The process was so offensive that the Gospels turn out to be our most detailed description of a crucifixion from ancient times - the pagan authors were too revolted by the subject to give equally comprehensive descriptions - in spite of the fact that thousands of crucifixions were done at a time on some occasions. "(T)he cultured literary world wanted to have nothing to do with [crucifixion], and as a rule kept silent about it."  It was recognized as early as Paul (1 Cor. 1:18; see also Heb. 12:2) that preaching a savior who underwent this disgraceful treatment was folly. This was so for Jews (Gal. 3;13; cf. Deut. 21:23) as well as Gentiles. Justin Martyr later writes in his first 

Apology 13:4: They say that our madness consists in the fact that we put a crucified man in second place after the unchangeable and eternal God...

Celsus describes Jesus as one who was "bound in the most ignominious fashion" and "executed in a shameful way." Josephus describes crucifixion as "the most wretched of deaths." An oracle of Apollo preserved by Augustine described Jesus as "a god who died in delusions...executed in the prime of life by the worst of deaths, a death bound with iron." And so the opinions go: Seneca, Lucian, Pseudo-Manetho, Plautus. Even the lower classes joined the charade, as demonstrated by a bit of graffiti depicting a man supplicating before a crucified figure with an asses' head - sub-titled, "Alexamenos worships god." (The asses' head being a recognition of Christianity's Jewish roots: A convention of anti-Jewish polemic was that the Jews worshipped an ass in their temple. 

W. Bauer: The enemies of Christianity always referred to the disgracefulness of the death of Jesus with great emphasis and malicious pleasure. A god or son of god dying on a cross! That was enough to put paid to the new religion.

eSilva: No member of the Jewish community or the Greco-Roman society would have come to faith or joined the Christian movement without first accepting that God's perspective on what kind of behavior merits honor differs exceedingly from the perspective of human beings, since the message about Jesus is that both the Jewish and Gentile leaders of Jerusalem evaluated Jesus, his convictions and his deeds as meriting a shameful death, but God overturned their evaluation of Jesus by raising him from the dead and seating him at God's own right hand as Lord.

N. T. Wright, Resurrection of the Son of God: The argument at this point proceeds in three stages. (i) Early Christianity was thoroughly messianic, shaping itself around the belief that Jesus was God's Messiah, Israel's Messiah. (ii) But Messiahship in Judaism, such as it was, never envisaged someone doing the sort of things Jesus had done, let alone suffering the fate he suffered. (iii) The historian must therefore ask why the early Christians made this claim about Jesus, and why they reordered their lives accordingly.

Jewish beliefs about a coming Messiah, and about the deeds such a figure would be expected to accomplish, came in various shapes and sizes, but they did not include a shameful death that left the Roman empire celebrating its usual victory.

Something has happened to belief in a coming Messiah...It has neither been abandoned or simply reaffirmed wholesale. It has been redefined around Jesus. Why? To this question, of course, the early Christians reply with one voice: we believe that Jesus was and is the Messiah because he was raised bodily from the dead. Nothing else will do. The message of the cross was an abhorrence, a vulgarity in its social context. Discussing crucifixion was the worst sort of social faux pas; it was akin, in only the thinnest sense, to discussing sewage reclamation techniques over a fine meal - but even worse when associated with an alleged god come to earth. Hengel adds: "A crucified messiah...must have seemed a contradiction in terms to anyone, Jew, Greek, Roman or barbarian, asked to believe such a claim, and it will certainly have been thought offensive and foolish." That a god would descend to the realm of matter and suffer in this ignominious fashion "ran counter not only to Roman political thinking, but to the whole ethos of religion in ancient times and in particular to the ideas of God held by educated people." Announcing a crucified god would be akin to the Southern Baptist Convention announcing that they endorsed pedophilia. If Jesus had truly been a god, then by Roman thinking, the Crucifixion should never have happened. Celsus, an ancient pagan critic of Christianity, writes:

But if (Jesus) was really so great, he ought, in order to display his divinity, to have disappeared suddenly from the cross.

This comment represents not just some skeptical challenge but is a reflection of an ingrained socio-theological consciousness. The Romans could not envision a god dying like Jesus - period. Just as well to argue that the sky is green, or that pigs fly, only those arguments, at least, would not offend sensibilities to the maximum. We need to emphasize this (for the first but not the last time) from a social perspective because our own society is not as attuned as ancient society to the process of honor. We found it strange to watch Shogun and conceive of men committing suicide for the sake of honor. The Jews, Greeks and Romans would not have found this strange at all. As David DeSilva shows in Honor, Patronage, Kinship and Purity, that which was honorable was, to the ancients, of primary importance. Honor was placed above one's personal safety and was the key element in deciding courses of action. Isocrates gives behavioral advice based not on what was "right or wrong", but on what was "noble or disgraceful". "The promise of honor and threat of disgrace [were] prominent goads to pursue a certain kind of life and to avoid many alternatives." Christianity, of course, argued in reply that Jesus' death was an honorable act of sacrifice for the good of others -- but that sort of logic only works if you are already convinced by other means. This being the case, we may fairly ask, for the first time in this essay, why Christianity succeeded at all. The ignominy of a crucified savior was as much a deterrent to Christian belief as it is today - indeed, it was far, far more so! Why, then, were there any Christians at all? At best this should have been a movement that had only a few strange followers, then died out within decades as a footnote, if it was mentioned at all. The historical reality of the crucifixion could not of course be denied. To survive Christianity should have either turned Gnostic (as indeed happened in some offshoots), or else not bothered with Jesus at all, and merely made him into the movement's first martyr for a higher moral ideal within Judaism. It would have been absurd to suggest, to either Jew or Gentile, that a crucified being was worthy of worship or died for our sins. There can be only one good explanation: Christianity succeeded because from the cross came victory and after death came the resurrection. The shame of the cross turns out to be one of Christianity's most incontrovertible proofs!

R. Carriers counterarguments 

Paraphrasing Carrier in: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.17):   The religion mentioned by Ezekiel in the 6th century B.C. included the worship of a crucified Inanna, and was popular even in Jerusalem. The "women weeping for Tammuz" at the north gate of the Jewish temple were actually weeping for Inanna who had condemned Tammuz to Hell after her own crucifixion and resurrection. This religious story had a potent and compelling allure on pre-Christian Judaism, and some Christians also knew of the cult of Tammuz and Astarte as heresies. Origen and Hippolytus gave important testimonies around the same time, with Origen associating Tammuz with Adonis and noting that they weep and rejoice for him because he has risen from the dead. Although the idea of worshipping a crucified deity predated Christianity and had entered Jewish society in pre-Christian Palestine, it is not certain whether there was any direct or indirect influence from the Inanna cult. It is cautioned against overzealous attempts to link Christianity with prior religions. There are some intriguing parallels between the story of Inanna and the story of the Incarnation of the Lord in the Ascension of Isaiah, but they are too little to make much of. For example, in the Sumerian story, Inanna descends through the seven gates of Hell with a different encounter at each level, and her crucifixion occurs at the bottom, while in the Jewish story, the Savior (Jesus) descends through the seven heavens with a different encounter at each level, and his crucifixion occurs at the bottom. Jesus supposedly said he would be "three days and three nights" in the grave, while Inanna herself was dead for three days and three nights, but it remains unclear why there would be a tradition of his saying otherwise, a tradition matching that of Inanna. Carrier: " I admit parallels like this are worth noting, but they are too little to make much of. "

There are stories of crucified saviors that predate Jesus. The idea of a god or hero who dies and is resurrected has been a common theme in many ancient mythologies and religions. Here are a few examples:

Osiris: In ancient Egyptian mythology, Osiris was a god who was killed by his brother Set, dismembered, and scattered across the land. His wife Isis gathered up the pieces of his body, reassembled them, and brought him back to life.
Dionysus: In Greek mythology, Dionysus was a god of wine and fertility who was often depicted as a young man who died and was reborn. His worship included the ritual drinking of wine and the reenactment of his death and resurrection.
Attis: In the mythology of ancient Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), Attis was a god who was castrated and killed, but then resurrected by his lover Cybele. His worship included rituals of self-mutilation and ecstatic dance.
Mithras: In the Roman Empire, Mithras was a god of light and truth who was often depicted as a bull-slayer. His worship included the symbolic sacrifice of a bull and the initiation of new members into his cult through a ritual death and rebirth.

Differences in historical context

The stories of crucified saviors that predate Jesus often come from different historical and cultural contexts. For example, the story of Osiris in ancient Egyptian mythology involves a god who is killed and then resurrected, but the cultural and religious significance of this story is different from that of the Christian resurrection.

Differences in the details of the stories: While there are some similarities between the stories of crucified saviors that predate Jesus and the New Testament accounts, there are also significant differences. For example, some of the earlier stories involve gods or heroes who are killed but not resurrected, while others involve resurrection but not crucifixion.

Lack of direct evidence of influence: While it is possible that the authors of the New Testament were influenced by earlier stories of crucified saviors, there is little direct evidence to support this idea. The New Testament authors do not make explicit references to earlier stories, and there is no clear evidence of a direct literary or cultural connection between these earlier stories and the New Testament accounts.

The uniqueness of Jesus' message and mission: The life, teachings, and mission of Jesus are unique and cannot be fully explained by reference to earlier stories or traditions. Jesus' message of love, forgiveness, and salvation, as well as his emphasis on the Kingdom of God, are distinctive and transformative in their own right.

YouTuber @GodlessEngineer published a piece in 2019 entitled “Inanna’s Descent Matches Jesus’ Passion Narratives.” Soon after, this provoked a response by "The Amateur Exegete" on his blog, INANNA: THE NOT SO PARALLEL GODDESS: He wrote:

So, as we can see, all of the parallels GE was spouting before can be rather summed up in terms of parallelomania. Inanna’s descent into the underworld was not a forsaking of her power, but an attempt to expand it in her hubris, an attempt to control the underworld. She did not make a prophecy about her death, but a provision in case it occurred (provision against hypothetical, not statement of fact). She is not crucified, but is killed, transformed into a slab of meat, and then hung on a butcher’s hook. She also is not resurrected after three days, instead it is mourning rites that are performed after three days. The time of revival is not specified. Furthermore, Inanna being stripped of her clothes does not parallel the tortures of Jesus. Inanna’s stripping of clothes has to do with her power being removed resulting in ultimate doom for her, which has dire consequences afterward, Tammuz would be forced into the underworld upon her return as a substitute. Jesus’ torture and death, however, is the exact opposite, since that brings him directly to be translated and therefore come into heavenly glory entirely. They are literally polar opposites in every literary thematic fashion. Lastly, despite what GE says, Jesus would never be and is not ever an agricultural god. He is not associated with vegetation cycles or fertility or with vegetation weather patterning or flooding. He is not an agricultural god in any sense, and never would be, regardless. The arguments from Godless Engineer simply do not appear to hold up when one looks closely at the myths that he discusses or the Biblical passages. Instead, many of them are thematically opposed to what Godless Engineer (and by fiat Richard Carrier) have claimed and attempted to argue, in parallel with Jesus.6

Before Carrier, there was another book, dealing with the same argument: The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors 7. Wikipedia:  The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors; Or, Christianity Before Christ, Containing New, Startling, and Extraordinary Revelations in Religious History, which Disclose the Oriental Origin of All the Doctrines, Principles, Precepts, and Miracles of the Christian New Testament, and Furnishing a Key for Unlocking Many of Its Sacred Mysteries, Besides Comprising the History of 16 Heathen Crucified Gods is an 1875 book written by American freethinker Kersey Graves, which asserts that Jesus was not an actual person, but was a creation largely based on earlier stories of deities or god-men saviours who had been crucified and descended to and ascended from the underworld. Parts were reprinted in The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You to Read edited by Tim C. Leedom in 1994, and it was republished in its entirety in 2001. The book is often used as a source by Christ myth theory proponents, such as Dorothy M. Murdock, Tom Harpur, and John G. Jackson. Many of the same theories espoused in the book are repeated in the documentaries The God Who Wasn't ThereThe Pagan ChristZeitgeist: The Movie and ReligulousAmerican Atheists leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair was a fan of the book. While American philosopher and independent scholar Richard Carrier found the book to be incomplete, he appreciated some of its points.

Confirming Yeshua 51WM142C1NL

American historian Richard Carrier, a supporter of the Christ myth theory, has written online about his concerns with The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors. For example, Carrier argues that Graves often omits citations, uses dubious sources, mixes opinions with facts, and draws conclusions beyond the evidence presented. However, according to Carrier, there is no comprehensive rebuttal of the book, and although many of his facts are wrong, other assertions such as a December 25 birthdate among Greco-Roman sun gods are now acknowledged to be correct. Carrier argues there is a better case for the resurrection of Thracian god Zalmoxis (also called Salmoxis or Gebele'izis) and the crucifixion and resurrection of Sumerian goddess Inanna (also known as Ishtar), neither of whom are mentioned by Graves. 8

Comment: Let's even suppose for a moment, that a first-century Jew, for some obscure reason, would have been inspired by these preceding stories and myths from other cultures to invent Jesus Christ, the question would be: Why would he have done that? He would have had to dedicate and spend considerable time to collect all the detailed geographical information, and travel not only around galilee, but all of minor Asia, and even other, more distant places in the roman empire, like Rome,  to collect the information to write acts.  Furthermore, why did most of the apostles mentioned in the Gospels be willing to give their lives for a made-up story? Another point, noteworthy, is, that none of the preceding stories and narratives mentioned above resulted in global religion, influencing the life and culture of billions of people around the globe. 

Factor #2 -- Neither Here Nor There: Or, A Man from Galilee??

John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?
Acts 21:39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city...

What advantage has religion and geography? To the ancients, "much in every way". Political correctness was 2000 years in the future, and the Greco-Roman world was rife with what we would call prejudices and stereotypes -- which were accepted as "Gospel truth". Say today that "X are always brutes, gluttons, etc." and you will have half a dozen civil rights groups ringing your doorbell. Say it in Rome and you'll have everyone agreeing with you -- sometimes including the group itself. Jesus' Jewishness could hardly have been denied by the early Christians, but it was also a major impediment to spreading the Gospel beyond the Jews themselves. Judaism was regarded by the Romans and Gentiles as a superstition. Roman writers like Tacitus willingly reported (not as true, but in the frame of "some say...") all manner of calumnies against Jews as a whole, regarding them as a spiteful and hateful race.
Bringing a Jewish savior to the door of the average Roman would have been only less successful than bringing one to the door of a Nazi -- though the Roman may not have wanted to kill you; he would certainly have laughed in your face and slammed the door. This is made quite clear by Judaism's own limited inroads in terms of Gentile converts. To be sure, this is partly attributable to Judaism not being much of a missionary religion. And yet if Christianity didn't have some cards close to the vest, the Jewishness of Jesus even by itself means that it never should have expanded in the Gentile world much beyond the circle of those Gentiles who were already God-fearers (i.e., Gentile proselytes to Judaism). Let us stress again the points made by Robert Wilken in The Christians as the Romans Saw Them. The Romans naturally considered their own belief systems to be superior to all others. They also believed that superstitions (such as Judaism and Christianity) undermined the social system established by their religion - and of course they were right.

However, the point is that anyone who followed or adopted one of their foreign superstitions would be looked on not only as a religious rebel, but as a social rebel as well. They were breaking with the status quo, upsetting the apple cart, taking part in a 60s style rebellion against the establishment. They upset the Roman concept of piety and were thought to be incapable of it. In those days, things were not pluralistic or "politically correct" and there were no champions of diversity on college campuses: Today, atheists and theists can debate in a free forum, but back then one of the camps would have the state (and the sword) on their side - and in the time we're talking about, that wasn't the Christians. Those who adhered to superstitio, therefore, found themselves, as a matter of course, associated with bizarre and extreme behaviors - as the Christians did, and as Tacitus also reports of the Jews in his Histories. And it went further: "(B)ecause superstition leads to irrational ideas about the gods, the inevitable consequence is atheism." Since "superstitionists" bucked the established cosmic order, their view of the universe was regarded as capricious and irrational, and this eventually led to the charge by critics like Crescens that Christians were actually atheists. That's just a problem within the Gentile mission, of course. But both there, and even within Judaism, Christianity had to overcome another stigma, exemplified in our comparative quotes above. When Paul mentioned that he was from Tarsus, he didn't do it so he could compare notes about hometowns with the centurion. Being from a major polis like Tarsus signified a high honor rating for the person who laid claim to it -- only marginally matched today in our concepts of "being from the right side of the tracks". Christianity had a serious handicap in this regard, the stigma of a savior who undeniably hailed from Galilee -- for the Romans and Gentiles, not only a Jewish land, but a hotbed of political sedition; for the Jews, not as bad as Samaria of course, but a land of yokels and farmers without much respect for the Torah, and worst of all, a savior from a puny village of no account. Not even a birth in Bethlehem, or Matthew's suggestion that an origin in Galilee was prophetically ordained, would have unattached such a stigma: Indeed, Jews would not be convinced of this, even as today, unless something else first convinced them that Jesus was divine or the Messiah. The ancients were no less sensitive to the possibility of "spin doctoring" than we are.

There are other minor extensions to this business of stereotyping. Assigning Jesus the work of a carpenter was the wrong thing to do; Cicero noted that such occupations were "vulgar" and compared the work to slavery. Placing Jesus' birth story in a suspicious context where a charge of illegitimacy would be all too obvious to make would compound the problems as well. If the Gospels were making up these things, how hard would it have been to put Jesus in Sepphoris or even Capernaum (and still take advantage of the prophetic "Galilee" connection) -- and as Skeptics are wont to say, wrongly, this would be no easier or harder to check out than Nazareth. How hard would it have been to take an "adoptionist" Christology and give Jesus an indisputably honorable birth (rather than claiming honor by the dubious, on the surface, claim that God was Jesus' Father)? May be harder, since more people are less likely to notice one man than in a small town with strong community ties. What it boils down to is that everything about Jesus as a person was all wrong to get people to believe he was a deity -- and there must have been something powerful to overcome all the stigmas.

R. Carriers counterarguments  

Paraphrasing Carrier in his book: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.51): In this passage, James Holding is noted as pointing out that prejudices and stereotypes were prevalent in the Greco-Roman world to a greater extent than in modern society. However, it is argued that not all individuals in society held the same prejudices. Holding makes a false generalization by claiming that Gentiles would not listen to Christians promoting a Jewish deity, as many Gentiles were already supportive of or interested in Judaism before Christianity emerged. Christianity was initially successful among Diaspora Jews and their Gentile sympathizers, but as this market became saturated, the religion began to de-Judaize in order to attract more Gentiles. Some scholars suggest that this process began as early as the Gospels or Paul's teachings. This was necessary after the two failed Jewish wars against Rome lost the Jews much of their earlier support and sympathy. Despite this, Christianity found a way to overcome the issue of its Jewishness and become more appealing to Gentiles. This led to the perpetuation of anti-Semitism in the Western Christian tradition. Holding does acknowledge that Christianity should not have expanded beyond the circle of God-fearers, but it did so by making conversion easier than Judaism, which had strict social and personal restrictions and required circumcision. Paul wanted to create a community that transcended racial and social prejudices and united everyone, bringing an end to the conflict between Rome and God's people. He envisioned a New Israel, a community that would achieve a socialist utopia of brotherhood through their own efforts and without violence or rebellion. He sought every means of persuasion to achieve his goal, and he was successful in attracting many to his beautiful and attractive idea. Carrier:  I think every scholar today would agree that had there been no Paul, there would have been no Christianity as we know it. His role in rescuing Christianity from failure cannot be overlooked. If anyone could sell this new “Judaism Lite” to the Gentiles, it was he.

T.Maas (2016): From the dream that Paul subsequently had immediately afterward (as described in Acts 16:9), it would seem that it was God's will (for His own purposes) to have the gospel preached in Macedonia first. Perhaps reports of Paul's work in Macedonia would reach the people in Asia Minor, and prepare the way for his later evangelizing there.9

Comment: That shows that unless Jesus Christ was in charge from above, both from recruiting the apostle Paul, and as well directing his mission directions, Christianity would probably never get off the hooks. And the fact that Jesus did not have a geographic origin as expected a deity to have in the ancient world, certainly did not help. 

Carmen Slabbert (2021): Located in the lower part of Galilee, a district in the north of Israel, 56 km west of the sea of Galilee, set in a small basin, lies the ancient city of Nazareth. While being one of the smallest cities on earth, this town is filled with cultural diversity and sites of religious significance. The origin of the city itself is believed to date back 4221 years, all the way back to approximately 2200BC when Nazareth was just a trivial, little peasant village that is overlooked by mountains on all sides. Nazareth is a small town that only became important after Jesus put it on the map.   10

E. W. G. MASTERMAN (1908) Nazareth itself was quietly secluded, shut off from the things of the world. It was not despised for any demerit, but was simply insignificant as compared with its famous neighbors. 11

Adam Hamilton (2011):The name of this tiny village of Nazareth tells us something about the people living there and offers a clue to the identity of the child Mary would bear. Nazareth may come from the Hebrew netzer, which means “branch” or “shoot.” Sometimes when a tree is chopped down, a shoot will grow from the stump, allowing a new tree to spring up where the old one has died. That shoot is called, in Hebrew, a netzer. Why would the people who founded this village have called it “the branch”? Much of the Old Testament was written predicting, or in response to, the destruction of Israel. The northern half of the country was destroyed by the Assyrian Empire in 722 B.C. The southern half of the country, known as Judah, was destroyed by the Babylonian Empire in 587 or 586 B.C. The prophets, in speaking about the destruction and re-emergence of Israel, used the metaphor of Israel being like a tree that had been cut down, but which would sprout up once again. Israel would be led by a messianic figure called “the branch,” so Isaiah 11:1-4, 6 says:

A shoot shall come up from the stump of Jesse
[Jesse, you remember, was King David’s father],
and a branch [netzer] shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, . . .
His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; . . .
[And in those days] the wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.

The netzer was a promise of hope. The word as used in Isaiah 11 pointed to the promise that, though Israel had been cut down like a felled tree, she would rise up once again. Fifty years after the destruction of Judah by the Babylonians, the Jewish people would return to the city of Jerusalem. Judah would rise up like a shoot. And the people hoped for the coming of the “branch” that the prophets foretold would lead the people—a messiah. (Jeremiah and Zechariah also use this same imagery, though they use a different word for “branch” than netzer.) When the village founders named their village Nazareth they may have chosen this name as a way of expressing hope that God would once again restore Israel—that though Israel had been cut down by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, and then the Romans, a branch would come up from the stump. They may have chosen this name because, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, it was a sign that there are no hopeless causes with God. They may have chosen this name as a way of articulating their hope that one day the Messiah would come to Israel. It was as if they were saying, “We believe there is always hope. We believe God will deliver us. We believe the day will come when God will send a new king who will deliver us.” Little did they know that the branch foretold in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah would be a child who would grow up in their own village!

Why Nazareth?
So, with all that we’ve learned about this town and these people, the question is: Why here? Why did God choose this town of all places to find a young woman to bear the Christ? Why would God choose this village, which was looked down upon by the people of Galilee (“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”) and which was of such low standing that it was not included in the lists of towns of Galilee? What does it tell us about God that this story did not take place in Sepphoris among the wealthy living in their luxury villas, but instead in Nazareth among working-class people, some of whom lived in caves? What does it tell you about whom God can use to accomplish his purposes, or where God’s favor lies?

The setting of this story tells us that God looks for the meek and the humble to use for his greatest purposes. God chooses the least likely to accomplish his most important work. God chose a slave people to be his chosen people. God called the youngest of Jesse’s seven sheepherding sons, David, to become Israel’s greatest king. As Paul says to the Christians in Corinth,

“God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28). James says it this way: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Out of the humble, broken down stump comes the righteous branch that will save the world.12

It seems to me, that Carrier was not able to bring a real counter-argument. 

Factor #3 -- Getting Physical! The Wrong "Resurrection"

As we have shown here, the resurrection of Jesus, within the context of Judaism, was thought by Gentiles to be what can be described as "grossly" physical. This in itself raises a certain problem for Christianity beyond a basic Jewish mission. We have regularly quoted the dictum of Pheme Perkins: "Christianity's pagan critics generally viewed resurrection as misunderstood metempsychosis at best. At worst, it seemed ridiculous."
It may further be noted that the pagan world was awash with points of view associated with those who thought matter was evil and at the root of all of man's problems. Platonic thought, as Murray Harris puts it, supposed that "man's highest good consisted of emancipation from corporeal defilement. The nakedness of disembodiment was the ideal state." Physical resurrection was the last sort of endgame for mankind that you wanted to preach.
Indeed, among the pagans, resurrection was deemed impossible. Wright in Resurrection of the Son of God quotes Homer's King Priam: "Lamenting for your dead son will do no good at all. You will be dead before you bring him back to life." And Aeschylus Eumenides: "Once a man has died, and the dust has soaked up his blood, there is no resurrection." And so on, with several other quotes denying the possibility of resurrection.
Wright even notes that belief in resurrection was a ground for persecution: "We should not forget that when Irenaeus became bishop of Lyons he was replacing the bishop who had died in a fierce persecution; and that one of the themes of that persecution was the Christians' tenacious hold on the belief in bodily resurrection. Details of the martyrdom are found in the letter from the churches of Vienne and Lyons to those of Asia and Phrygia. The letter describes how in some cases the torturers burnt the bodies and scattered the ashes into Rhone, so that no relic of the martyrs might still be seen on earth. This they did, says the writer, 'as though they were capable of conquering god, and taking away their rebirth [palingenesia]'."

Judaism itself would have had its own, lesser difficulty, albeit not insurmountable: there was no perception of the resurrection of an individual before the general resurrection at judgment. But again, this, though weird, could have been overcome -- as long as there was evidence.
Not so easily in the pagan world. We can see well enough that Paul had to fight the Gnostics, the Platonists, and the ascetics on these counts. But what makes this especially telling is that a physical resurrection was completely unnecessary for merely starting a religion. It would have been enough to say that Jesus' body had been taken up to heaven, like Moses' or like Elijah's. Indeed this would have fit (see here) what was expected, and would have been much easier to "sell" to the Greeks and Romans, for whom the best "evidence" of elevation to divine rank was apotheosis -- the transport of the soul to the heavenly realms after death; or else translation while still alive.
So why bother making the road harder? There is only one plausible answer -- they really had a resurrection to preach.

R. Carriers counterarguments

Paraphrasing Carrier in his book: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.85):James Holding argues that pagans would not accept the concept of physical resurrection of the flesh, as they believed it was impossible. However, this argument is false because many pagans actually believed in and desired resurrection, and it is likely that these pagans were the ones who converted to Christianity. In fact, the Jews may have gotten the idea of resurrection from Zoroastrian pagans, as it was a fundamental belief in Zoroastrianism. The Greek historians Theopompus and Eudemus of Rhodes described this Persian belief, and even Herodotus recorded that the Thracians believed in the physical resurrection of Zalmoxis. Many Greco-Roman pagans also believed in physical resurrection, as evidenced by numerous stories and claims of resurrected individuals. Therefore, the Christian claim of physical resurrection would not have faced any more difficulty than these pagan beliefs in finding believers.

Zalmoxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and Pythagoras himself in Italy; and Rhampsinitus in Egypt, whom, they say, played at dice with Demeter in Hades, and returned to the upper world with a golden napkin which he had received from her as a gift; and also Orpheus among the Odrysians, and Protesilaus in Thessaly, and Hercules at Cape Taenarus, and Theseus.

To assert that pagans wouldn't believe in the resurrection of a body, particularly that of a deified or divine man, is plainly untrue. Even the mythical figure Hercules, whose resurrection is often depicted as merely ascending to heaven, was said to have ascended in his divine body after his mortal remains were burned on a pyre. In a similar vein, Celsus reported that many Greeks and Barbarians claimed to have seen the resurrected and deified mortal Asclepius himself, who was renowned as a "resurrector of the dead" and held in high regard by pagans. Although Justin couldn't deny this, he argued that "the Devil" must have introduced Asclepius as a raiser of the dead in an attempt to discredit the Christian message. Asclepius was known to have raised Tyndareus from the dead before his own resurrection, which led Aristides, a devout follower of Asclepius, to assume that his pagan audience believed that a god could resurrect a dead man.

Response:  Helton Duarte (2018): , The bodily resurrection, as noticed by professor Wright, was not held by many outside of Jewish circles at that time. Gundry also mentions this fact: “we know from extrabiblical sources that in the first-century Roman Empire there was a lot of skepticism about any sort of afterlife, and at most a belief in the soul’s immortality apart from the body.”13

Historical sources from the period, such as the works of Roman poets and philosophers, indicate that there was no consensus on the nature of the afterlife. Some, like the Epicureans, denied the existence of an afterlife altogether, while others, like the Stoics, believed in a form of afterlife in which the soul survived after the death of the body. However, the belief in the immortality of the soul was a common thread among many of these different schools of thought. This belief held that the soul continued to exist after the death of the body, either in an incorporeal form or in some sort of afterlife realm. While the Bible does include teachings on the afterlife, it is important to recognize that the beliefs of first-century Jews and early Christians were not identical to those of the broader Roman society. Nonetheless, it is true that skepticism about the afterlife and a belief in the immortality of the soul apart from the body were prevalent in the Roman Empire during the first century.

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16Confirming Yeshua Empty Re: Confirming Yeshua Wed Nov 30, 2022 7:40 pm



ZA Blog (2022): The New Testament arises from a specific cultural context. Since we live in a post-New Testament world, it can be difficult to imagine that words like “afterlife” or “resurrection” might be understood differently before Christ’s resurrection. But Jesus was born into a world with a myriad of established views about life after death.

In The New Testament in Its World, N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird examine the various views about the afterlife among the Greeks, Romans, and Jews. This post is adapted from their work and focuses on the greco-roman perspective.

Jesus was crucified; no historian doubts that. But it was not the end of the story: according to early Christian testimony, God raised him from the dead. The God of Israel resurrected Jesus; he did not merely revive him back to mortal existence, but transformed him into a glorious and bodily mode of existence. But what does resurrection mean? How does resurrection fit into Jewish hopes for the future? What did the apostles and evangelists mean when they told stories about Jesus coming back to life? What historical value can we give to their accounts, and how best can we present that case? And what differences might it all make for the way we think about mission, discipleship, and human flourishing?

Ancient religions and the afterlife

To begin with, beliefs about death and what lies beyond come in all shapes and sorts and sizes. Even a quick glance at the classic views of the major religious traditions gives the lie to the old idea that all religions are basically the same. There is a world of difference between the Muslim who believes that a Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers goes straight to heaven, and the Hindu for whom the rigorous outworking of karma means that one must return in a different body to pursue the next stage of one’s destiny. There is a world of difference between the Orthodox Jew who believes that all the righteous will be raised to new individual bodily life in the resurrection, and the Buddhist who hopes after death to disappear like a drop in the ocean, losing his or her own identity in the great nameless and formless Beyond. And there are of course major variations between different branches or schools of thought in these great religions.

The same sort of diversity existed in antiquity. The three quotes at the start of this chapter illustrate just how diverse were the ancient views of the afterlife. The first, about the permanence of death and the impossibility of resurrection, is drawn from Greek theatre. In Aeschylus’s play Eumenides, Apollo speaks at the foundation of the Athenian high court, the Areopagus, and declares that death really is the end: ‘there is no resurrection.’ That is why justice must be done. The second quote is from Apollodorus’s account of Hercules’ ascent into heaven. There Hercules mounts his own funeral pyre, and, while it is burning, he is assumed into heaven accompanied by a thunderclap. This scheme has obvious affinities with the heavenly assumptions of Enoch and Elijah (Gen. 5.24; 2 Kgs. 2.11), and also shaped the Roman tradition that emperors experienced apotheosis at death, that is, they were received into heaven and translated into celestial beings, ‘divinized’, if not, perhaps, fully ‘divine’ (here opinions differ). Third, we have the martyrdom story from 2 Maccabees about the Jewish youths who defied the Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes by refusing to abandon their ancestral religion. The story focuses on a mother and her seven sons, who refused to eat the unclean food of the pagans, and were tortured one by one. As they went to their various gruesome deaths, several of them made specific promises to their torturers about their future vindication. One of the sons declared to his tormentors that ‘the King of the universe will raise us up to an everlasting renewal of life, because we have died for his laws’. The youth was defiantly saying that his loyalty to the covenant would be rewarded and that the torturers’ brutality would be punished by the God of justice.

When viewed together, the three accounts are striking for their differences:

Death is permanent
Heroes get translated into heaven without dying
The faithful who die are returned back to life!

There were, then, multiple options about what death was, and how to live beyond it. We will explore these perspectives further by surveying greco-roman and Jewish views of life, death, and the world beyond.

Greco-roman views of the afterlife

In this section we shall describe the range of options for belief about the dead that were available in the greco-roman world of late antiquity—roughly two or three hundred years either side of the time of Jesus. This explains graphically why the news of Jesus’ resurrection appeared sheer foolishness, even though some found that it stirred a strange new hope in their hearts. The ancient Greek author Homer, whose significance for antiquity is perhaps akin to that of the King James Bible and Shakespeare in our own day, provides a window on ancient views of life after death. In his work, the dead become shades (skiai), ghosts (psychai), or phantoms (eidola). They are certainly not fully human beings. They may sometimes look like them; but the appearance is deceptive, since one cannot grasp them physically. Theirs is a shadowy and wispy existence in an underworld abode, even though they may occasionally appear to the living.

A good example comes from a scene in the Iliad where Achilles is confronted with the shade of his recently killed friend, Patroclus. Patroclus has been killed in battle, but remains unburied while Achilles goes off to get revenge for him by killing the Trojan prince Hector. Only then does Achilles return to the task of mourning the now-avenged Patroclus. He addresses the corpse as now a resident in Hades, telling him of his vengeance, and he makes preparation for the funeral the next day. That night, however, as he slept:

There came to him the spirit of hapless Patroclus, in all things like his very self, in stature and fair eyes and in voice, and in like raiment was he clad withal; and he stood above Achilles’ head and spake to him, saying: ‘Thou sleepest, and hast forgotten me, Achilles. Not in my life wast thou unmindful of me, but now in my death! Bury me with all speed, that I pass within the gates of Hades. Afar do the spirits keep me aloof, the phantoms of men that have done with toils, neither suffer they me to join myself to them beyond the River, but vainly I wander through the wide-gated house of Hades. And give me thy hand, I pitifully entreat thee, for never more again shall I come back from out of Hades, when once ye have given me my due of fire . . .  In response, Achilles tries to embrace his old friend:

Achilles held out his arms to clasp the spirit, but in vain. It vanished like a wisp of smoke and went gibbering underground. Achilles leapt up in amazement. He beat his hands together and in his desolation cried: ‘Ah then, it is true that something of us does survive even in the Halls of Hades, but with no intellect at all, only the ghost and semblance of a man; for all night long the ghost of poor Patroclus (and it looked exactly like him) has been standing at my side, weeping and wailing, and telling me of all the things I ought to do.’ Achilles then arises from his sleep, and completes the elaborate funeral.

From the context, it seems that Achilles had nurtured doubts as to whether the dead had any existence at all; but now this ghostly vision has settled the matter, though hardly in a pleasing manner. Who is Patroclus now? A ghost or spirit. Where is he? On his way to Hades, but unable to cross the River Styx and find his proper place of rest until the appropriate funeral has been held. What’s wrong? Patroclus is no longer properly human, just a gibbering and witless phantom. What’s the solution? There is none. He can be helped on his way to Hades, but he will not find a full or enriching existence there, and he will certainly not return. The drama proceeds on its way, but Patroclus is gone for good, and Achilles himself will soon be joining him in gloomy Hades.

So what of the dead according to Homer? They are in Hades, under the eponymous rule of the underworld’s god and his dreaded wife. They are sorry both to be where they are and about much that happened in their previous human existence. They are sad at their present subhuman state. In some cases they are tormented, as punishment for particularly heinous crimes. For the most part, Hades holds no comforts, no prospects, but only a profound sense of loss. The inhabitants of Hades remain essentially subhuman and without hope.

Disembodied but otherwise fairly normal

Some cherished the hope that, despite the gloomy Homeric picture, there would after all be elements of normal life. In many ancient cultures it was common to bury the deceased with the kind of household goods that one was accustomed to: furniture, adornments, charms, toiletries, even toys for deceased children. There was still a life, of sorts, beyond the grave, and burial helped to prepare for it.

While that might seem odd, the stories that were told of the dead frequently involved a life similar to the present one—albeit with not much to do, no hunter-gathering or similar tasks, and hence more time to gossip and mope. Many believed that they would meet old friends again. With the ancient Greek poet Pindar, the Homeric gloom has chinks of light: riding, gaming, gymnastics, and especially drinking-parties feature in writing, painting, and other decorations illustrating the life of the dead. We should not try to reconcile this picture of a fairly normal life with the Homeric one; nobody was looking for consistency in these matters, and though it is possible that the illustrations in question were really designed to evoke memories of the deceased’s happier hours, it may well be that, as in our own world, all kinds of contradictory beliefs swirled around cheerfully alongside one another in popular culture. Certainly, though, Socrates envisaged conversing with the famous dead as something to look forward to in the life to come. There is even evidence that people supposed marriage and sexual activity might be possible. We should, however, remind ourselves that most of the written evidence comes from poetry and other writing clearly not intended as literal description. There is little evidence that anyone except very tough-minded philosophers ever took these suggestions so seriously as to face death, their own or that of another, with real composure.

In many cases, despite widespread fear of a gloomy Hades, some practices, pictures, and stories indicated the hope for a continuing life not too different from the present.

Souls released from prison

If Homer functioned as the Old Testament for the hellenistic world—which by the first century included the entire middle east—its New Testament was unquestionably Plato. In contrast to Homer, the Greek philosopher Plato had a very different conception of human existence, its place in the cosmos, and the post-mortem destiny of the individual.

Plato, building on the work of other philosophers like Socrates and Pythagoras, believed that the essence of a human being was a soul, which was non-material. Bodily life was full of delusion and danger; the soul was to be cultivated in the present, both for its own sake and because its future happiness would depend upon such cultivation. The soul, being immortal, existed before the body, and would continue to exist after the body had gone.

The soul would therefore not only continue after bodily death; it would be delighted to do so. If it had known earlier where its real interests lay it would have been longing for this very moment. It would now flourish in a new way, released from its enslaving prison. Its new environment would be just what it ought to have wanted. Popular opinion might lean towards bringing the dead back, if that were possible, but that would be a mistake. Death was frequently defined precisely in terms of the separation of soul and body, seen as something to be desired. The fact that all this sounds quite familiar in our world shows the extent to which modern western culture has been affected by Platonism.

As far as Plato was concerned, then, Hades was not terrifying. It offered a range of pleasing activities—of which philosophical discourse might be among the chief, not surprisingly since attention to such matters was the best way, during the present time, of preparing the soul for its future. The reason people did not return from Hades was that life was so good there. They would of course want to stay, rather than returning to the gloomy and distracting shadows of the world of space, time, and matter.

It is hard to overestimate the importance of Plato for the later and wider world into which there burst the phenomenon we know as Christianity. For the Roman author Seneca, the immortal human soul had come from beyond this world—from among the stars, in fact—and would make its way back there. Though one might hold that it simply disappeared, it is more likely that it would go to be with the gods. Death was either the end of everything, in which case there was nothing to be alarmed about, or it would be a process of change, in which case, since the change was bound to be for the better, one should be glad. The soul, in fact, was at present kept as a prisoner within the body, which was both a weight and a penance to it. One should not, then, fear death; it would be the birthday of one’s eternity.

Platonic thought provided the tectonic plates for much Christian thought well into the middle ages. The second-century Christian apologist, Justin, was an eager Platonist (though he firmly believed in bodily resurrection). The second-century ‘heretic’ Marcion was well and truly steeped in Platonic ideas, regarding the human body as a ‘sack of excrement’ unfit for God to incarnate himself in, with the corollary that salvation must mean deliverance of the soul from this body, rather than the body’s resurrection.⁴ This divergence has continued among Christian teachers to this day.

Becoming a god (or at least a star)

‘Oh dear,’ the emperor Vespasian is reported to have said on his deathbed, ‘I think I’m becoming a god.’⁵ He was neither the first nor the last to think such thoughts, though perhaps the only one to put it so memorably. From early Greek writings onwards we find hints that some heroic mortals would not just find their souls going into a state of bliss; they would actually join the Immortals themselves, the gods of the greco-roman pantheon. When it became first possible and then fashionable for Roman emperors to see their predecessors as divine—and for less reserved subjects to accord the same honour to the living emperor—the idea was hardly new. It was, rather, a fresh mutation within a long line of speculation.

In Greek mythology, one could distinguish between gods and heroes, though in some cases the lines were blurred. For instance, Hercules, after his proverbial labours, was admitted not just to the bliss of a righteous Platonic soul, but actually to the company of the gods themselves. Other less well-known heroes were sometimes accorded similar status, among whom we should mention Dionysus, the heavenly twins Castor and Pollux, and the healing god Asclepius. Within the Roman world, similar mythological founding heroes like Aeneas and Romulus may have managed to break the normal taboo against humans becoming divine, though even in these cases things are not straightforward. They may simply have been identified with already existing gods.

The possibility that a human being could become a god developed from these mythological beginnings through to the divinization of hellenistic rulers, particularly notable in the case of Alexander the Great (356–323 bc). At least as early as 331, Alexander had begun to represent himself as a son of Zeus, and to put himself alongside Hercules, expecting divinization (apotheosis) after his death. Encouraged by the adulation of his Persian and Egyptian subjects, for whom worship of rulers was quite normal, he requested actual worship in Greece and Macedonia.⁷ His Greek subjects were not so eager to comply,⁸ but after his early death his cult was quickly established and, though imitated by his less well-known successors, outlasted them all, providing both a model and an inspiration for the Roman imperial cult four centuries later.

By the early Christian period similar beliefs were widespread throughout the Roman world. Just as Augustus had his adoptive father Julius Caesar declared a god, so Tiberius did the same for Augustus in his turn. Although living emperors were never officially worshipped as part of the Roman state cult, they were venerated in private cults, family shrines, and various associations in Italy. Temples to the emperor and his family were built across the provinces, and imperial images were revered throughout the empire. This ‘divinity’ was not merely fictive or political; it was real religious devotion. The emperors, deceased and living, were worshipped because they provided benefaction and benevolence to their subjects. They, in turn, lavished gratefully upon them the highest honours possible, climaxing in divinity and cultic worship. This imperial ‘divinity’, however, was (in our terms) relative rather than absolute. The emperors were not gods in the same way that Jupiter or Zeus was supposed to be. But this distinction was lost on most people. What mattered was that they were the gods of the Roman state which—so ran the propaganda!—had conferred such blessings on its empire.

The expectation of divinization, and the normal process by which it was accorded, were well established in the early empire. Witnesses were made to swear that they had seen the soul of the late emperor ascending to heaven, a theme made famous by Augustus’s interpretation of the comet that appeared at the time of Julius Caesar’s death. The system was already sufficiently established to be lampooned by Seneca on the death of Claudius in his famous book about the Pumpkinification of Claudius. So useful was the emperor’s divinity to the Roman empire and its stability that the practice continued through successive centuries. A detailed description of apotheosis is given by Cassius Dio, himself an eye-witness of the funeral rites of the emperor Pertinax in ad 193.⁹ We smile wryly when Bishop Eusebius, with a pious tear in his eye, describes the coin that was struck after the death of his beloved Constantine, representing the emperor as a charioteer, drawn by four horses, being received up into heaven.

Stories on returning to life after death

[This post] surveyed greco-roman beliefs about the state of the deceased. Within this world there were several different perspectives about the possibility of the dead crossing back over the chasm into the land of the living.

First, necromancy—communication with the departed—has a long and varied history. Most cultures and most historical periods offer stories of the living establishing contact with the departed, or indeed the departed taking the initiative and appearing unbidden to the living. From Patroclus’s appearance to Achilles onwards, ancient literature has plenty of such incidents. Some of the classic encounters between the living and the departed occur in dreams, as with Achilles and Patroclus. Sometimes the dead appear to be summoned back for such visitations by grieving relatives, especially women. Sometimes, in such scenes, the dead have wisdom to offer the living about the realities of which they are now aware; sometimes they come to guide, or to warn, at a particular moment of crisis. Even the Old Testament, where such contact was anathema, furnishes one classic example. These visions and visitations were not, however, cases of people ceasing to be dead and resuming something like normal life. They were precisely about the dead remaining dead, and being encountered as visitors from the world of the dead, without any suggestion that they would then resume the kind of life they had earlier possessed.

There were, however (second), mythic stories of actual returns from the underworld. We have, for instance, Homer’s famous tale about Odysseus’s visit to Hades. While in Hades he converses with his old friends Agamemnon and Achilles, and even the ghost of Hercules (the ‘real’ Hercules is feasting with the immortal gods, married to Hebe, the daughter of Zeus and Hera, but even this does not prevent his shade from living in the house of Hades). But soon after, Odysseus has to flee before the goddess Persephone finds out he is there and sets the Gorgon on him.

Another familiar story is the myth of Alcestis. In the legend, Alcestis is the wife of Admetus, king of Pherae (Thessaly), to whom Apollo has been enslaved as a punishment. In return for Admetus’s hospitality, Apollo tricks the Fates into granting Admetus the privilege of escaping death on condition that someone else should die in his place. The only volunteer is his beloved wife Alcestis. After her death and burial, she is rescued by Hercules, who fights physically with Death (Thanatos, a character in the play), beats him, and restores Alcestis to Admetus. These stories are fascinating, but they scarcely provide any parallel with resurrection. Odysseus did not die to get to Hades. Alcestis did indeed return from the dead to bodily life (in the legend and in Euripides’ play), but she would presumably die again, like Lazarus in John’s gospel. In any case, intelligent pagans contemporary with early Christianity knew about such stories, and dismissed them as mythic fictions. A fifth-century Athenian audience would not have regarded such narratives as in any way realistic. A tale in which Apollo and Death appear on stage as speaking characters, and in which Hercules arrives as a guest and displays his extraordinary powers, is hardly good evidence for what ordinary people believed happened in everyday life.

Third, there was one belief, widely held by philosophers, according to which the dead did indeed return to some kind of this-worldly and bodily existence. This was the theory of metempsychosis, the transmigration or reincarnation of souls. The classic statement of this is found in Plato, who developed the idea from the work of the sixth-century Pythagoras; but belief in transmigration was also fostered in the Orphic cult, and continued among philosophers and cult practitioners thereafter, though without ever gaining much popular adherence.¹³ Plato’s basic scheme is reasonably straightforward: after death, the souls of all humans wait for a period, whereupon they are given the choice of what sort of creatures they will become in their next existence (such as a swan, a lion, an eagle, or indeed another human). The souls then proceed through the Plain of Oblivion, drink from the River of Forgetfulness, and so pass into their next existence, unaware of who they have been, or even that they have been anything at all. Since for Plato, as for the Hindu and Buddhist schemes of the same type, return to embodied existence means that the soul is once more entering a kind of prison, the ultimate aim is not simply to choose the right type of existence for one’s next life, but to escape the cycle altogether. We are here not far from one version of Hinduism and other doctrines of karma.

In any case, from Plato’s point of view, to come back into this life at all is clearly to have failed in the soul’s ultimate destination. It is to return to jail. By contrast, for believers in resurrection—that is, many Jews and virtually all early Christians—the new embodied life is to be looked forward to and celebrated. It is not part of a cyclic movement, going round and round between life and death. As some Jews glimpsed, and as the early Christians emphasized, resurrection life was a matter of going through death and out the other side into a newly embodied life beyond. Transmigration offered a far more interesting prospect for the future life than the gloomy world of Homeric Hades. But Homer’s basic rule remained in force. Nobody was allowed to return from Hades and resume the life that he or she had once had.

Conclusion: death as a one-way trip

Clearly there was a diversity of greco-roman perspectives about the afterlife. The dead might have some kind of shadowy existence in Hades. They might experience a positive form of disembodied existence, putting off the prison of the body and living as immortal and disembodied souls. They might even aspire, in some cases, to divinization (though whether Roman emperors, who knew they would be ‘divinized’ after their death, took this seriously as a personal hope, rather than a political gambit, is open to question). Stories of ghosts and journeys to the underworld were entertaining, but no-one took them seriously as prospects for themselves. The transmigration of the soul was a possibility that some hoped for, while others disdained it as a return to the same mortal drudgery experienced in the previous lifetime.

What everyone knew was that in principle the road to the underworld ran only one way. Throughout the ancient world, from its ‘Bible’ of Homer and Plato, through its practices (funerals, memorial feasts), its stories (plays, novels, legends), its symbols (graves, amulets, burial-goods), and its grand theories, we can trace a good deal of variety about the road to Hades, and about what one might find upon arrival.

As with all one-way streets, there is bound to be someone who tries to drive in the opposite direction. One hears of an Alcestis who got out for a while. But the road was generally well policed; Hades, like a lobster pot, was easy to enter and impossible to leave. The apparent exceptions were known to be myths. Nobody expected they would come true.

Whatever the philosophical speculation about the afterlife, in the greco-roman world death was felt as a grievous loss both to the dying and to the bereaved. Rare indeed were those like Socrates and Seneca who could overcome such feelings. Some such people were able to welcome the escape from the prison-house of the body. But if that was seen as a problem—as it obviously was by the vast majority of people, as witnessed by tomb inscriptions and funeral rites throughout the ancient world—there was no solution. Death was all-powerful. One could neither escape it in the first place nor break its power once it had come. The ancient world was thus divided into those who said that resurrection couldn’t happen, though they might have wanted it to, and those who said they didn’t want it to happen, knowing that it couldn’t anyway. 14

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17Confirming Yeshua Empty Factor #4 -- What's New? What's Not Good Thu Dec 01, 2022 7:34 am



Factor #4 -- What's New? What's Not Good

Roman literature tells us that "(t)he primary test of truth in religious matters was custom and tradition, the practices of the ancients." (62) In other words, if your beliefs had the right sort of background and a decent lineage, you had the respect of the Romans. Old was good. Innovation was bad.

This was a big sticking point for Christianity, because it could only trace its roots back to a recent founder. Christians were regarded as "arrogant innovators" (63) whose religion was the new kid on the block, but yet had the nerve to insist that it was the only way to go! As noted above, Christianity argued that the "powers that be" which judged Jesus worthy of the worst and most shameful sort of death were 180 degrees off, and God Himself said so.
Malina and Neyrey [164] explain the matter further. Reverence was given to ancestors, who were considered greater "by the fact of birth." Romans "were culturally constrained to attempt the impossible task of living up to the traditions of those necessarily greater personages of their shared past." What had been handed down was "presumed valid and normative. Forceful arguments might be phrased as: 'We have always done it this way!'" Semper, ubique, ab omnibus -- "Always, everywhere, by everyone!" It contrast, Christianity said, "Not now, not here, and not you!"

Of course this explains why Paul appeals to that which was handed on to him by others (1 Cor. 11:2) -- but that is within a church context and where the handing on occurred in the last 20 years. Pilch and Malina add [Handbook of Biblical Social Values, 19] that change or novelty in religious doctrine or practice met with an especially violent reaction; change or novelty was "a means value which serves to innovate or subvert core and secondary values."
Even Christian eschatology and theology stood against this perception. The idea of sanctification, of an ultimate cleansing and perfecting of the world and each person, stood in opposition to the view that the past was the best of times, and things have gotten worse since then.

The Jews, on the other hand, traced their roots back much further, and although some Roman critics did make an effort to "uproot" those roots, others (including Tacitus) accorded the Jews a degree of respect because of the antiquity of their beliefs. In light of this we can understand efforts by Christian writers to link Christianity to Judaism as much as possible, and thus attain the same "antiquity" that the Jews were sometimes granted. (Of course we would agree that the Christians were right to do this, but that is not how the Romans saw it!)

Critics of Christianity, of course, "caught on" to this "trick" and soon pointed out (however illicitly) that Christians could hardly claim Judaism and at the same time observe none of its practices. Therefore this is a hurdle that Christianity could never overcome outside a limited circle -- not without some substantial offering of proof.

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Rephrasing Carrier in: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.129): James Holding asserts that the Romans held a belief that "Old was good. Innovation was bad," which he suggests created a challenge for Christianity because it could only trace its origins to a recent founder. However, this assertion is not entirely accurate. From the very beginning, Christian texts aimed at persuasion have linked Christianity deeply and intimately with the Jewish scriptures, which were considered by many pagans to be among the most ancient oracles of humanity. Christianity never claimed to have been established by Jesus, but instead asserted that Jesus was the culmination of a divine plan that had been recorded for millennia in the Jewish scriptures (e.g. Romans 16:25-26). Many Romans respected the Jewish religion precisely because of its great antiquity, as the worship of an ancient God. Even Tacitus, who was known for his hatred of the Jews, acknowledged that their religion was ultimately "sanctioned by its antiquity." Additionally, the Roman state passed laws to respect the "ancestral traditions" of the Jews, which included safeguarding their scriptures from sacrilegious theft or vandalism. As Robin Lane Fox notes:

Of the world’s major religions, only Buddhism made a complete break with tradition at its birth: Christianity made no such claim. It could meet the traditionalist culture of pagan contemporaries on equal terms. Hence Christianity was potentially respectable—so long as the Christian was given enough time to explain himself, and his audience was open to such supernatural wonders as the Christian story contained, and was sympathetic to its anti-elitist ideals. Holding is right, however, that as long as Christianity appeared to be a complete innovation, too few would have accepted it, and as a result it was often derided as “novel” by those who knew little about it. But as soon as anyone gave a Christian missionary the time of day, the appearance of novelty evaporated, and the cult then, and quite plausibly, claimed one of the most ancient and venerable origins of any known religion. As a result, Christianity was no more “new” to the Greeks and Romans than other novel foreign cults. These included Mithraism from Phrygia and Manichaeism from Parthia, and the worship of Isis the Egyptian, Attis the Syrian, Antinoös the Deified Lover of Hadrian, and Glaucon of Abonuteichos, as well as any of the many Emperor Cults, particularly the most prevalent of them, the worship of the Divine Augustus, which had priests and temples throughout the Empire. And all the Greek schools of philosophy (Platonism, Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skepticism, Aristotelianism, Pythagoreanism, etc.) were not only novel when they were contrived, and yet phenomenally successful in the East, but both novel and foreign when introduced to Rome, and yet won her over as well. Even Acts reports that under Rome “all the Athenians and the foreigners living [in Athens] would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.” And just like Seneca, Tacitus only reveals the impotence of his disdain when he says essentially the same of Rome as Acts says of Imperial Athens: that Christianity gained purchase in Rome, “where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.” For all his protestation, Tacitus reveals the hard truth: that the “hideous and shameful” was nevertheless popular—even in the very capital of the Roman Empire.

The Romans had a tendency to present new ideas as old ones, resulting in a multitude of new religious beliefs and philosophical systems throughout the empire. Despite opposition from some elites such as Cato, Seneca, and Juvenal, these novel concepts were highly successful. Christianity faced the same challenge but was able to overcome it due to its attractive qualities, including its modification of Judaism to be less onerous and the promise of an egalitarian society. While this made Christianity unappealing to many elites and Jews, it resonated with the discontented masses, who were drawn to its message. Christianity also addressed some of the criticisms of Judaism, such as circumcision and racism, making it an improvement in the eyes of some. Therefore, the claim that Christianity's success was hindered by its lack of antiquity is unfounded since many other new cults and philosophies succeeded despite the same challenge. Moreover, Christianity's ability to persuade through scriptural exegesis, arguing that it was the true continuation of the Jewish God's vision, was an advantage over other novel beliefs.

Response:  TIM KELLER (2020):  Christianity brought into human thought for the first time the concept that you chose your religion, regardless of your race and class. Christianity also radically asserted that your faith in Christ became your new, deepest identity, while at the same time not effacing or wiping out your race, class, and gender. Instead, your relationship to Christ demoted them to second place. This meant, to the shock of Roman society, that all Christians—whether slave, free, or highborn, or whatever their race and nationality—were now equal in Christ (Gal. 3:26–29). This was a radical challenge to the entrenched social structure and divisions of Roman society. 15

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18Confirming Yeshua Empty Factor #5 -- Don't Demand Behavior Thu Dec 01, 2022 2:28 pm



Factor #5 -- Don't Demand Behavior

This is not one of the greatest barriers, but it is a significant one, and of course still is today. Ethically, Christian religion is "hard to do". Judaism was as well, and that is one reason why there were so few God-fearers. Christianity didn't offer nice, drunken parties or orgies with temple prostitutes; in fact it forbade them. It didn't encourage wealth; it encouraged sharing the wealth. It didn't appeal to the senses, it promised "pie in the sky by and by."
This was a problem in the ancient world as much as it is now -- if not more so. It would not appeal to the rich, who would be directed to share their wealth. The poor might like that, but not if they couldn't spend that shared dough on their favorite vice-distraction (not all of which were known to be "self-harming" and therefore offered an ulterior motivation for giving them up). Again, this is not an insurmountable hurdle; some Romans were attracted to the ethical system of Judaism, and would have been likewise attracted to Christianity.

But it is very difficult to explain why Christianity grew where God-fearers were always a very small group. Not even evangelistic fervor explains that.

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Rephrasing Carrier in: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.135):Martha Nussbaum's observation accurately reflects the views of scholars of antiquity, who have all recognized the widespread fascination among ancient Greeks and Romans with philosophies that emphasized a robust moral code. The reason these philosophies gained popularity was precisely because they imposed exacting moral demands on their adherents.

The Hellenistic philosophical schools in Greece and Rome—Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics—all conceived of philosophy as a way of addressing the most painful problems of human life. They saw the philosopher as a compassionate physician whose arts could heal many pervasive types of human suffering. They practiced philosophy not as a detached intellectual technique dedicated to the display of cleverness but as an immersed and worldly art of grappling with human misery.

The ease with which Christianity fit into the ancient Greek and Roman philosophical paradigm is evident, particularly when studying the letters of Paul. Christianity followed in the footsteps of the most popular philosophical traditions of the time and improved upon them by meeting the needs and desires of the lower classes, who vastly outnumbered the wealthy educated elite, and by replacing the principles of doubt and freethought with absolute conviction and certainty that was desired by many. Therefore, it is perplexing to see Holding argue that Christian ethics were so restrictive that it is difficult to explain why Christianity grew, while Jewish converts and sympathizers remained a small group. Holding's own logic suggests that Christianity should have been more attractive and successful than Judaism since it was far less demanding. A moral vision of a just society was what most people in antiquity yearned for, which the laws and social customs were meant to provide, but they were failing due to corruption at the highest levels and growing chaos at the lower levels. By the 2nd century AD, Roman society had even codified two different legal systems: one for the rich and privileged and one for everyone else. Meanwhile, the social and economic needs of "everyone else" were no longer being met. Christianity entered the scene at a time when a just society was greatly desired. As observed by Tacitus, the Jews had created their own just society of caring for each other like a family, which was envied by many. Although some, like Tacitus, resented the Jewish "brotherhood," others, like Gentiles who supported or converted to Judaism, longed for it. Many people would have been happy to join the Jewish "brotherhood" if it were not so challenging to become and live as a Jew.

Christianity became successful because it offered people an easier way to obtain the justice and compassion that they desired, without the difficulties presented by other religious or philosophical movements. By giving up some things, such as liberal sexuality, people were able to join the Christian brotherhood and find a sense of community, equity, and security. This was seen as a worthwhile trade-off by many, who valued these things over the drunken parties or orgies with temple prostitutes that Holding suggests were missed. However, many pagans actually frowned upon such behavior and instead valued a more disciplined lifestyle. Even revered pagan authors such as Musonius Rufus preached ethics similar to those of the Christians. While there may have been a more liberal sexual ethic in some communities, this was not the focus of most converts to Christianity.

Response:  Roman culture insisted that married women of social status abstain from sex outside of marriage, but it was expected that men (even married men) would have sex with people lower on the status ladder—slaves, prostitutes, and children. This wasn’t only allowed; it was regarded as unavoidable. This was in part because sex in that culture was always considered an expression of one’s social status. Sex was mainly seen as a mere physical appetite that was irresistible.

Christians’ sexual norms were different, of course. The church forbade any sex outside of heterosexual marriage. But the older, seemingly more “liberated” pagan sexual practices eventually gave way to stricter Christian norms, since the “deeper logic” of Christian sexuality was so different. It saw sex not just as an appetite but as a way to give oneself wholly to another and, in so doing, imitate and connect to the God who gave himself in Christ. It also was more egalitarian, treating all people as equal and rejecting the double standards of gender and social status. Finally, Christianity saw sexual self-control as an exercise of human freedom, a testimony that we aren’t mere pawns of our desires or fate.

TIM KELLER (2020): It was a sexual counterculture.
Christianity brought into human thought for the first time the concept that you chose your religion, regardless of your race and class. Christianity also radically asserted that your faith in Christ became your new, deepest identity, while at the same time not effacing or wiping out your race, class, and gender. Instead, your relationship to Christ demoted them to second place. This meant, to the shock of Roman society, that all Christians—whether slave, free, or highborn, or whatever their race and nationality—were now equal in Christ (Gal. 3:26–29). This was a radical challenge to the entrenched social structure and divisions of Roman society. 15

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19Confirming Yeshua Empty Factor #6 -- Tolerance is a Virtue Thu Dec 01, 2022 3:51 pm



Factor #6 -- Tolerance is a Virtue

We have already alluded to the problem of Christianity being seen as an "arrogant innovator." Now compound the problem: Not only an innovator, but an exclusivist innovator. Many skeptics and non-believers today claim to be turned off by Christian "arrogance" and exclusivity. How much more so in the ancient world? The Romans were already grossly intolerant (point 2 above); how much more so in the context of another and very new faith playing the same game and claiming to overthrow the social and religious order? How if a faith came telling us we needed to stop attending our churches (and in fact would prefer we tear them down), stop having our parties, stop observing the social order that had been in place from the time of our venerated ancestors until now?

As DeSilva notes, "the message about this Christ was incompatible with the most deeply rooted religious ideology of the Gentile world, as well as the more recent message propogated in Roman imperial ideology" [46] (i.e., the pax Romana versus the eschatology and judgment of God). The Christians refused to believe in the gods, "the guardians of stability of the world order, the generous patrons who provided all that was needed for sustaining life, as well as the granters of individual petitions." Jews and Christians alike were accused of atheism under this rubric.

Futhermore, because there was no aspect of social life that was secular -- religion was intertwined with public life in a way that would make legions of ACLU attorneys blanch -- Jews and Christians held themseles aloof from public life, and engendered thereby the indignation of their neighbors.
That was bad enough, but Jews too would be intolerant to the new faith. Jewish families would feel social pressure to cut off converts and avoid the shame of their conversion. Without something to overcome Roman and even Jewish intolerance, Christianity was doomed.

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Rephrasing Carrier in: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.147): James Holding cites David DeSilva’s observation that the message of Christ was at odds with the deeply ingrained religious beliefs of the Gentile world, as well as the prevailing ideology of the Roman Empire. Holding suggests that without something to overcome this opposition, Christianity would have been doomed. He also acknowledges that the exclusivity of Christianity's monotheistic salvation doctrine would have been unpopular among people. Although there is some truth to Holding's assertion, it needs to be tempered. Firstly, it is known that a large number of Gentiles were already attracted to the monotheism of Judaism, and Christianity offered the same benefits at a lower cost. Therefore, Christianity would have been more successful than Judaism in winning over Gentiles, even with the stigma of monotheism. Secondly, Christianity's intolerance towards Roman ideology was precisely what attracted many of the oppressed and disillusioned to the religion. Hence, it became an asset rather than a burden. Furthermore, Christianity capitalized on the failure of popular ideology to meet the needs of Roman communities. Christian monotheism was an excellent marketing strategy to explain why pagan ideology was bound to fail due to human corruption and other factors.

Response:  Eric M. Orlin (2022): The central motivating factor for this display of religiosity lay in the Romans’ need to maintain the pax deorum, or “peace with the gods.” In speeches and dedications, the Romans indicated their belief that all successes—whether a good harvest or a victory in battle—derived from the gods’ support, and conversely that famine, plague, or defeat served as a sign that the gods were angry with them. For the Romans, maintaining the favor of the gods was largely a matter of correct ritual performance. When necessary, the Romans would repeat a ritual, such as a sacrifice, until the evidence—for instance the examination of the entrails—indicated that the ritual had been performed properly and was accepted by the gods.

The close connection between religion and the state led the Romans to locate religious authority in the same persons who held political authority. In the republic (509–31 B.C.E.), members of the senatorial aristocracy served as members of the priestly colleges, opining on matters of ritual and divination. Competition for seats in these colleges was fierce and often decided on political grounds. When Augustus became emperor, he consolidated his power by holding seats in all the colleges at the same time; his election as pontifex maximus, the titular head of Roman religion who in practice held no more authority than any other pontiff, is usually viewed as the moment when Roman religion came under the emperor’s control. From this point forward, the emperor assumed responsibility for ensuring the good will of the gods, and this role, highlighted on coins and statues, became part of the justification for the imperial system. The emperor Gratian (375–383 C.E.) formally relinquished this title, a move that can be seen as symbolic of the shifting roles of the Roman emperor and the newly ascendant Christian leaders.16

Comment: Evidently, abandoning state religion, or the religion that one grew up with, is in any case a challenge. It was two thousand years ago, and it is today. One needs always very convincing, powerful reasons to do so. This obstacle was maybe not greater in the first century, than it is today, but nonetheless, it is an obstacle to overcome.  abandoning one's state religion or the religion in which one was raised can be a significant challenge, both in the first century and today. For many people, religion is an important aspect of their identity and provides a sense of meaning, purpose, and community. It can be difficult to let go of beliefs and practices that have been a part of one's life for a long time, especially if those beliefs are closely tied to one's cultural or national identity. In the first century, there were a number of religious options available to people, including various forms of Judaism, Greek and Roman polytheism, and mystery cults. Each of these religions had its own unique set of beliefs and practices, and it was not uncommon for people to adopt or abandon different religious affiliations over the course of their lives.

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20Confirming Yeshua Empty Factor #7 -- Stepping Into History Thu Dec 01, 2022 4:10 pm



Factor #7 -- Stepping Into History

Acts 26:26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.

This factor is a large one, multifaceted and complex and with varying levels of strength. Let's put it this way: If you wanted to start a new religion with new and wild claims involved, do you claim, at any point, to have connections that you don't have? If I claimed tomorrow or even 40 years from now that my Aunt Nettie was resurrected, do I dare say that she was put on trial before Clarence Thomas, was wanted by my state governor for questioning, was buried in the intended tomb of Tom Cruise?

We have often individually considered the claims of Christianity such as the burial in Joseph's tomb, but let's now consider collectively what we're dealing with. The NT is filled with claims of connections to and reports of incidents involving "famous people." Here's how one of our readers put it: Herod Agrippa -- this man was a client king for the Romans over the area surronding Jerusalem -- "was eaten of worms" as Luke reported in Acts 12:20-23. Copies of Acts circulated in the area and were accessible to the public. Had Luke reported falsely, Christianity would have been dismissed as a fraud and would not have "caught on" as a religion. If Luke lied in his reports, Luke probably would have been jailed and/or executed by Agrippa's son, Herod Agrippa II (who held the same position), because that was the fellow Paul testified to in Acts 25-26 (reported by Luke).

And Agrippa II was alive and in power after Luke wrote and circulated Acts; indeed he had access to all the needed information and claims ("For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." [Acts 26-27] Did Agrippa execute Paul for these statements? No, and he could not have if it was not true. Rather Agrippa told Governor Festus, "This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar." [Acts 26])

Now consider the domino effect of making such claims. If claim #1 is proven false, that opens the way to doubt others -- all the way up the line to the resurrection. And it need not even be Joe of A's tomb in particular, or Herod becoming wormburgers in particular. It can be any one of the places where the early Christians and the NT made bold claim to some influence or event in any city. People outside the area of Lystra may not have known enough about what happened in Lystra, or wanted to check it, but Christianity was making claims at varied points across the Empire, and there were also built in "fact checkers" stationed around the Empire who could say something about all the claims central to Jerusalem and Judaea -- the Diaspora Jews. (And it gets worse; see below.)

The NT claims countless touch-points that could go under this list. An earthquake, a darkness at midday, the temple curtain torn in two, an execution, all at Passover (with the attendant crowds numbering in the millions), people falling out of a house speaking in tongues at Pentecost (another "millions attend" event) -- all in a small city and culture where word would spread fast (see below). Healings of illnesses and dysfunctions, even reversals of death, in highly public places. A truimphal entry into Jerusalem in blatant fulfillment of Messianic prophecy.

In short, Christianity was highly vulnerable to inspection and disproof on innumerable points -- any one of which, had it failed to prove out, would have snowballed into further doubt, especially given the previous factors above which would have been motive enough for any Jew or Gentile to say or do something. This is not the way to start a religion. You start a religion by linking to obscure and nameless people.

You don't talk of a synagogue ruler or a Sanhedrin member, or even a centurion being in your history (even if you don't name them; there were few enough of each of these that it would not be hard to make a check). You stick with no-names like the woman at the well. Such persons of course would have had to be interacted with anyway, but the point is not their presence, but the presence of those of greater social standing and notice, and the claims attached to them.

It is impossible that Christianity thrived and survived without having its ducks in a row in this regard.

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Rephrasing Carrier in: Not the Impossible Faith (pg.161): Holding's argument continues to suggest that the Gospel authors, particularly Luke, made numerous claims that could have easily been proven false, yet they were not exposed as such. Holding argues that the success of Christianity depended on making claims such as the resurrection of Jesus, which could have been easily refuted if they were untrue. Since Christianity did succeed, Holding concludes that the claims must be true and that the evidence at the time was convincing enough to prove it. Therefore, Holding believes that we should also accept these claims as true.

In the early 2nd century, Tacitus, a historian, noted that stories tend to get exaggerated, and the greatest events are often unclear. Some people believe everything they hear without question, while others twist the truth, and both errors become more pronounced over time. This is still true today. Every story is susceptible to embellishment, and many people accept information without verifying the facts or change historical records for various reasons. Tacitus cautioned against accepting incredible stories and urged us to seek the unadulterated truth. He knew that incredible falsehoods were often embraced by enough people to be passed down and believed, even by careful scholars. However, many of his own reports are now questioned by modern historians.

It is widely accepted within the professional community that no ancient history is entirely accurate and without lies, distortions, or errors. Every qualified historian today recognizes this universal principle. Even highly respected and trusted historians, such as Thucydides, Polybius, and Arrian, are thought to have reported some false information, especially on private matters witnessed by only a few and when the material was significant to the author's personal or dogmatic biases and presuppositions. The further any ancient author is from these highly regarded historians in explicit methodology, the less they are trusted. To claim that any historical source is infallible and without misstatement goes against the widest consensus of experts in the field of ancient history and requires extraordinary evidence. However, Holding fails to provide any such evidence.

Luke may not be a lousy historian as he was better than average when it came to certain details. However, he lied in his account of Paul's mission and the division it caused in the Church, which contradicted Paul's own account. Luke cannot be classified with the best historians of his day because he never discusses sources and methods, whereas they did. Modern historians hold men like Thucydides, Polybius, and Arrian in high esteem because they openly acknowledge the problems of writing a critical history, including discussing where they obtained their information, how they obtained it, and what they did with it. Even lesser historians, such as Xenophon, Plutarch, and Suetonius, occasionally mention or discuss their sources or acknowledge the existence of conflicting accounts, but Luke does not do so.

Regardless of whether Luke was as honest and reliable as the best historians of his day, it would not be sufficient to support Holding's point for the resurrection. Holding's argument relies on two highly improbable assumptions. Firstly, that Luke is infallible and not importing any assumptions or dogmatic commitments into his reconstruction of the more private events of his narrative. Secondly, that most people in antiquity, particularly actual converts to Christianity in its first hundred years, were excellent and studious historians, which is even more unlikely. There is no good evidence to support either assumption. These assumptions will be examined in reverse order.

Response: I have many times been asked: What would turn you an unbeliever in God? My answer has always been: If the bones of Jesus would be found in a tomb in Jerusalem, and, somehow, without any shadow of a doubt, be attributed to Christ, my faith in Christ would be pointless, and absolutely break down.

John Piper (2008): What would happen to Christianity if Christ's resurrection were disproved? Virtually all of it would become useless. I say that not because of any logical deduction, but because that is exactly what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, that if Christ is not raised from the dead, you are still in your sins and we are found to be false teachers (see verses 14-17). And if Paul the apostle says that, then how much more must I say that! So if somebody could demonstrate that they were wheeling the body of Christ in a wheelbarrow from a tomb near Jerusalem and into this room—and I could be persuaded that that was the case—then all my belief in Christianity would be over. 17

Proving that Christ did not resurrect, would be a death knell for Christianity. Many false religions have ceased to exist in the past, and faith in Christ as the risen messiah would so, too.

Michael Van Duisen (2013): The ancient world was home to a huge variety of religions and belief systems. Most have faded away, their temples and statues vanished or half-sunk in the desert sand, their gods barely remembered. These religions were all founded before most of the main religions of today (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam) and most of them have completely died out—although some are being revived by new practitioners. 18

The Schøyen Collection from the UK for example comprises religious manuscripts of extinct religions from the whole world spanning over 5000 years. They display manuscripts from Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt, Assyr, Greece, Maya, etc. 19 Many religions cease to exist, and there are good reasons to believe, that Christianity would have its display of manuscripts as well in the Schoyen Collection, as part of many religions that went extinct, if Christ did demonstrably not rise from the dead.

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21Confirming Yeshua Empty Factor #8 -- Do Martyrs Matter, and More? Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:03 pm



Factor #8 -- Do Martyrs Matter, and More?


This is a standard argument, but in need of some fine-tuning. The most important martyrs are those of the time of Jesus and shortly thereafter. Admittedly there are few examples of this sort of martyrdom that we may point to -- records of church tradition are our only source for the martyrdoms of many of the Apostles; our best witness is actually Paul himself, who testifies that he persecuted the church with "zeal" -- using a word used to describe the actions of the Maccabbeeans who killed when needed to clean things up.

But in fact we can broaden this argument further: persecution did not automatically equal martyrdom, and this is yet another reason why Christianity should not have thrived and survived. As Robin Lane Fox writes, "By reducing the history of Christian persecution to a history of legal hearings, we miss a large part of the victimization." Beyond action by authorities, Christians could expect social ostracization if they stuck by their faith, and that is where much of the persecution Fox refers to came from - rejection by family and society, relegation to outcast status.

It didn't need to be martyrdom -- it was enough that you would suffer socially and otherwise, even if still alive. DeSilva notes that those who violated the current social values (as Christians indeed did) would find themselves subject to measures designed to shame them back into compliance -- insult, reproach, physical abuse, whipping, confiscation of property, and of course disgrace -- much more important in an honor-and-shame society than to us. And the NT offers ample records of such things happening [Heb. 10:32-4; 1 Pet. 2;12, 3;16, 4:12-16; Phil. 1:27-30; 1 Thess. 1:6, 2:13-14; 2 Thess. 1:4-5; Rev. 2:9-10, 13].

So it is: The Jews would dislike you, the Romans would dislike you, your family would disown you, everyone would avoid or make sport of you. Furthermore, men like Paul and Matthew, and even Peter and John, gave up lucrative trades for the sake of a mission that was all too obviously going to be nothing but trouble for them. It is quite unlikely that anyone would have gone the distance for the Christian faith at any time -- unless it had something tangible behind it.

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Rephrasing Carrier in: James Holding correctly minimizes the significance of martyrdom, as many stories and legends have arisen in that area. The evidence from the first century does not support the idea that martyrs had reliable evidence of Jesus rising from the dead, nor did they necessarily require it. Additionally, many martyr tales are from later periods and are often fraudulent. Even the few early martyr accounts that have some credibility do not provide any dependable evidence of eyewitnesses dying for their belief in the resurrection of Jesus' body. Contemporary scholars agree that the persecution of Christians in the first century was infrequent, limited in scale, and different in nature from later centuries. The Church and the broader social, political, and economic conditions of the Empire were distinct in later periods. Acts indicates that there was no formal Roman opposition to Christianity until at least 62 A.D., and even then, it was not as severe as in subsequent generations. The only known Roman actions against Christians in the first century were the unofficial actions of emperors who were condemned by the Romans themselves. Emperor Trajan, in 110 A.D., instructed Pliny the Younger that declaring allegiance to Christ over the Emperor was effectively a crime, but there was no specific law against Christianity, and Christians were not to be hunted down.

Holding asserts that Paul executed Christians in Philippians 3:6 by drawing on discussions of persecution in the Maccabean texts, but this interpretation is incorrect. In that Philippians passage, Paul is listing his qualifications in parallel structure, and the context does not fit that of Maccabees. The relevant words used in Maccabees are not used in any context related to persecution. Diôkô is used eleven times in 1 and 2 Maccabees, always in the sense of "chase," and zêlos appears only four times, none in any context related to persecution. In 1 Corinthians 15:9, 1 Timothy 1:13, and Galatians 1:13 and 1:23, Paul also says that he "besieged" or "endeavored to destroy" the Church, but these passages are also ambiguous in their meaning and do not provide information about what he actually did or why.

Comment: Googling: first-century Christian martyrs gives as result the first link to Wikipedia, listing 68 reported cases of martyrs in the first century.20

From the article: Ancient Christian Martyrdom: A Brief Overview:  
In the first few centuries, Christianity grew quickly. By AD100, it had become mostly Gentile and had begun to break from its Jewish origins. By 200, the faith had permeated most regions of the Roman Empire, though Christians were mostly in the larger urban areas (Gaul, Lyons, Carthage, Rome). By 325, an estimated 7 million were Christians with as many as 2 million killed for the faith.

Reasons for Persecutions

Sometimes local, socio-economic conflict with Jewish circles created persecution in the first century.
After A.D. 50, Christianity was put on the imperial list of "illicit" sects, and after A.D. 64, it was declared illegal, though this did not always result in continual persecution. Christians had many periods of nominal and benign neglect.
Christian refusal to worship or honor other gods was a source of great contention.
Before A.D. 300, Christians were often from the urban poor and lower classes; thus, they were easy prey for those seeking power or goods. However, a sizeable group of educated, middle-class Christians also existed.
Christians were accused of being atheists because of their denial of the other gods and refusal of emperor worship. Thus, they were accused of treason to the state.
They were accused of "secret immoral worship" practices, including cannibalism, incest, and beastalism.
They were also charged as haters of humanity and being irrational in their beliefs. For many provincial governors, Christians were considered social radicals, rather than being persecuted specifically for their faith only.
Periods of Persecution

Early Jewish Persecution (1st century)--cf. I Peter, Hebrews, and James.
Early Sporadic persecutions--Nero (A.D. 64); Domitian (A.D. 81-96); and Trajan (A.D. 108) 21

Impact360: First, it is important to keep perspective on the limits of the argument from the suffering and deaths of the apostles. The argument is not that the apostles died as martyrs for their faith and so the resurrection is true. That is too simplistic and skips a number of important steps. The argument is that they were willing to suffer and die, and many of them did actually die, for their belief that had seen Jesus alive after his death. Their deaths do not prove the truth of their claims, but demonstrate the sincerity and depth of their convictions. The fact that the apostles died for their faith does not singlehandedly demonstrate the miraculous. Rather, it is one piece within a larger argument that helps establish the sincerity and reliability of the apostles as witnesses to the resurrection.22

Are the martyr accounts of the apostles trustworthy?

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): The Historicity of the Twelve 

The term "apostle" means someone who is sent out as an authorized emissary on behalf of a superior. In Luke and Acts, the word "apostle" is primarily used to refer to the Twelve, a group of individuals who were personally chosen by Jesus. There are three main arguments supporting the historicity of the Twelve as a group formed by Jesus. First, different sources and forms mention the Twelve, with varying lists of names that suggest independent traditions. Second, it is unlikely that the early church would have invented the story of Jesus choosing Judas to be a member of the Twelve, as this would be embarrassing. Third, if the tradition of the Twelve was invented, there would be more evidence of their powerful influence and leadership in the early church, but there is little information about them. The absence of early information on the Twelve makes it difficult to determine the historicity of their martyrdom accounts, but it also suggests that the group was not a mere invention of the early church. Additionally, an onomastic study of Jewish names from the first century supports the authenticity of the Twelve, as the lists of names include a combination of common and rare names. These facts strongly suggest that the Twelve did indeed exist as a special group of disciples who formed an inner circle around Jesus.

The consistent testimony of the early church is that the apostles left Jerusalem to engage in missionary work. This list focuses on testimony within the living memory of the apostles:

Clement of Rome 42:3–4b (c. AD 95–96): Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities.

The Preaching of Peter (c. AD 100–120): Jesus says to the disciples after the resurrection, “‘I have chosen you twelve disciples, judging you worthy of me,’ whom the Lord wished to be apostles, having judged them faithful, sending them into the world to the men on the earth, that they may know that there is one God.”

Ascension of Isaiah 3.17–18 (c. AD 112–138): And the Beloved sitting on their shoulders will come forth and send out His twelve disciples; And they will teach all the nations and every tongue of the resurrection of the Beloved, and those who believe in His cross will be saved, and in His ascension into the seventh heaven whence He came. 

The Gospel of Thomas 12 (c. AD 140): The disciples said to Jesus, “We know that you will depart from us. Who is it who will be great over us?” Jesus said to them, “Wherever you have come, you will go to James the Righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”

1 Apology 39.2–3, Justin Martyr (c. AD 155–157): For from Jerusalem there went out into the world, men, twelve in number, and these illiterate, of no ability in speaking: but by the power of God they proclaimed to every race of men that they were sent by Christ to teach all the word of God.33 The Epistle of the Apostles (c. AD 150–175): He answered and said to us, “Go and preach to the twelve tribes of Israel and to the gentiles and Israel and to the land of Israel towards East and West, North and South.”

The Acts of Peter 5 (c. AD 180–190): While they were grieving and fasting God was already preparing Peter at Jerusalem for the future. After the twelve years had passed, according to the direction of the Lord to Peter, Christ showed to him the following vision, saying, ‘Peter, Simon, whom you expelled from Judea after having exposed him as a magician, has forestalled you at Rome … . But do not delay. Go tomorrow to Caesarea, and there you will find a ship read to sail to Italy … . Instructed by this vision, Peter did not delay to mention it to the brethren and said, “I must go to Rome to subdue the enemy and opponent of the Lord and brethren.”

Apollonius (c. AD 200): Moreover, he says, on the basis of tradition, that the Savior ordered his apostles not to leave Jerusalem for twelve years.

Why do these sources not tell a more consistent and coherent tradition of exactly where each apostle went? Eckhard Schnabel offers important insight: 

If the sources from the second and third centuries presented a coherent and consistent tradition, then this would be used as an argument against the authenticity of such a conference in Jerusalem twelve years after Easter. It is a fact that no early Christian text that reports or claims to report historical events attempts to provide a comprehensive historical account. It is precisely the missing ‘coherence’ that may indicate that Christian authors of the second and third centuries had information about the ministry of the apostles. Since they did not write a comprehensive history of the early church, they passed on information that they had in a selective and uncoordinated manner.

In sum, we have firm historical support for the missionary endeavors of the Twelve after Jerusalem.

Confirming Yeshua Chuck_11

Persecution in the Writings of Paul, and his Martyrdom 

At his conversion, Paul was told that, as part of his mission, he would suffer explicitly before Jews and Gentiles (Acts 9:15–16), and indeed he did suffer. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians lays out most explicitly the suffering he endured, which included being whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, near starvation, and in danger from various people and places.

Confirming Yeshua Apostl11
Left: Painting of the apostle Paul, dating back to the 4th century in the Roman catacombs of St. Tecla. Right: Facial composite created by experts of the Landeskriminalamt of North Rhine-Westphalia using historical sources

The traditional view holds that Paul was beheaded as a martyr in Rome some time between AD 62–68 during the latter part of the reign of Nero (AD 54– 68). Scholars disagree significantly over the validity of this tradition. According to A.N. Wilson: “[T]here is certainly no hard evidence that Paul died the death of a martyr.” Along with the biblical testimony, unanimous evidence from the church fathers supports that Paul was in Rome. The first reference is in 1 Clement 6:1 (c. AD 95–96), which shows Paul was remembered in Rome within one generation of his death. Similar testimony can be found in writings of both Ignatius (The Letter to the Romans 4:1–3) and Tertullian (Scorpiace 15:4–6).

Polycarp knew Paul and the other apostles had been martyred: Therefore I urge all of you to obey the word of righteousness and to practice all endurance, which you also observed with your own eyes not only in the most fortunate Ignatius, Zosimus, and Rufus, but also in others who lived among you, and in Paul himself and the other apostles. You should be convinced that none of them acted in vain, but in faith and righteousness, and that they are in the place they deserved, with the Lord, with whom they also suffered. For they did not love the present age; they loved the one who died for us and who was raised by God for our sakes. (Letter to the Philippians 9:1–2) The specific context of this passage is Polycarp’s guidance for Christians to imitate the model of Christ, even if they suffer for his name.

Wikipedia: 1 Clement, a letter written by the Roman bishop Clement of Rome around the year 90, reports this about Paul:

By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the prize of patient endurance. After that he had been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in the East and in the West, he won the noble renown which was the reward of his faith, having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached the farthest bounds of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went unto the holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patient endurance.

Commenting on this passage, Raymond Brown writes that while it "does not explicitly say" that Paul was martyred in Rome, "such a martyrdom is the most reasonable interpretation". Eusebius of Caesarea, who wrote in the 4th century, states that Paul was beheaded in the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero.23

The Martyrdom of Peter 

Mark Allan Powell (2009): Christian tradition holds that Peter was martyred in Rome under the emperor Nero, that he was put to death by crucifixion, and, specifically, that he was crucified upside down. The Gospel of John records a prediction by Jesus concerning “the kind of death” by which Peter would glorify God: “When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go” (John 21:18–19). The reference to outstretched hands seems like an allusion to crucifixion (though not, actually, to upside-down crucifixion). Around the year 96, the bishop Clement writes from Rome, 24

But to stop giving ancient examples, let us come to those who became athletic contenders in quite recent times. We should consider the noble examples of our own generation. Because of jealousy and envy the greatest and most upright pillars were persecuted, and they struggled in the contest even to death. We should set before our eyes the good apostles. There is Peter, who because of unjust jealousy bore up under hardships not just once or twice, but many times; and having thus borne his witness he went to the place of glory that he deserved (5.1–4). 

Sean McDowell (2015): Clement tells that both Peter and Paul were persecuted and struggled in the contest “unto death.” This likely refers to their martyrdom, although grammatical considerations are inconclusive. Clement also says that Peter, after experiencing much hardship and persecution, had borne his “witness” and then went to the place of glory. It is possible, although unlikely, that “witness” is a reference to the death of Peter, since the term was not commonly used to mean a martyr’s death until the martyrdom of Polycarp in the middle of the second century.25

Mark Allan Powell (2009) pg.466: About one hundred years later, Tertullian states that Nero was the one responsible for the apostles’ deaths (Scorpiace 15). He refers to Rome as “a fortunate church . . . where Peter had a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John” (Praescriptione 35). The reference to Peter having a passion “like that of the Lord” probably refers, again, to crucifixion (Paul’s death was like that of John the Baptist, because he was beheaded). The idea that Peter was crucified upside down actually comes from the apocryphal Acts of Peter, a fanciful second-century work that usually is given little credibility by religious scholars. In this case, however, the work devotes several paragraphs to explaining why Peter was crucified in this manner: Peter himself requested it and then explained the elaborate and esoteric symbolism of the act (something like birth imagery, recalling Adam). Elsewhere, the Jewish historian Josephus notes that soldiers sometimes amused themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions, so it is possible that the Acts of Peter is not inventing the story but rather supplying theological reasons to explain an actual fact regarding Peter’s execution (a humiliating detail passed over by others).24

The Martyrdom of James, the Brother of Jesus

The evidence for the martyrdom of James, the brother of Jesus, in 62 AD comes primarily from the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, who mentions the event in his work "Antiquities of the Jews."

In Book 20, Chapter 9 of "Antiquities," Josephus writes:

"Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned."

This passage provides a clear reference to James and suggests that he was executed by stoning by the Jewish authorities. The reference to James as the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, is also consistent with the Christian tradition that James was the brother of Jesus.

There are also some references to the martyrdom of James in early Christian writings, such as the Acts of the Apostles and the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, although these sources are considered less reliable than Josephus. Nonetheless, the consistent tradition of James' martyrdom in the early Christian and Jewish sources provides strong evidence that he was indeed put to death in 62 AD.

According to the account in Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews," James was brought before the Sanhedrin, which was the Jewish council in Jerusalem that had authority over religious and legal matters. It is therefore likely that James was executed in or near Jerusalem, where the Sanhedrin held its meetings and where James was known to have been a leader of the early Christian community.

Sean McDowell (2015): The James focused on here is the eldest brother of Jesus, which is clear because James is listed first among the brothers and sisters of Jesus (Mark 6:3), a fact further confirmed in the early second-century document known as the Gospel of Hebrews, preserved by Jerome, where James is addressed as “my brother.” Since Paul refers to the wives of the brothers of Jesus, James was likely married (1 Cor 9:5). James was also an apostle. During his visit to Jerusalem, Paul says: “But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother” (Gal 1:19). According to Paul, “apostles” was a broader category that included Peter, the Twelve, James, the rest of the apostles, and finally himself (1 Cor 15:5–Cool. It is necessary to look outside the canonical books for evidence for the martyrdom of James.25

Wikipedia: Traditionally, it is believed he was martyred in AD 62 or 69 by being stoned to death by the Pharisees on order of High Priest Ananus ben Ananus. According to Josephus, in his work Antiquities of the Jews (Book 20, Chapter 9, 1), refers to the stoning of "James the brother of Jesus" by order of Ananus ben Ananus, a Herodian-era High Priest:

Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned 26

The Martyrdom of John, Son of Zebedee

Sean McDowell (2015): John, the younger brother of James, son of Zebedee, was a fisherman in Galilee with his older brother and father until Jesus selected him to be among his closest followers (Mark 1:16; Matt 4:21–22, 10:21–22; Luke 5:1–11). The traditional view is that the apostle John was the author of the five Johannine writings (Gospel of John, three epistles, and Revelation), was the “beloved disciple” who sat by the Lord’s side at the Last Supper, and died a natural death at an advanced age in Ephesus (c. AD 103). Given his prominence in Acts alongside Peter, John was undoubtedly one of the leading apostles of the early church. Paul considers John one of the “pillars” of the church along with Peter and James, the brother of Jesus (Gal 2:9). 25

The Martyrdom of Thomas

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): At first, Thomas didn't believe that Jesus had been resurrected, but his doubts were dispelled when he saw Jesus in person. He, like the other apostles, was willing to suffer and die for his belief in the resurrection, and was even imprisoned for preaching about Jesus. Despite threats from religious authorities, Thomas refused to stop preaching because he had seen the risen Christ. The Eastern church has long maintained that Thomas founded the church in India and was martyred there. Trade between Rome and India was flourishing during the first and second centuries, and archaeological evidence suggests that there were frequent journeys made between the two regions. Thomas may have embarked on his missionary journey by the mid-40s at the earliest, and he was said to have died in AD 72, giving him ample time for multiple missions in the East.

St. Thomas Christians

Perhaps the most accurate rendition of the tradition surrounding Thomas in southern India is that of The St.Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia of India:

According to Indian tradition, St. Thomas came by sea, and first landed at Cranganore about the year 52 A.D.; converted high-case Hindu families in Cranganore, Palayur, Quilon and some other places; visited the Coromandel coast, making conversions; crossed over to China and preached the Gospel; returned to India and organized the Christians of Malabar under some guides (priests) from among the leading families he had converted, and erected a few public places of worship. Then he moved to the Coromandel, and suffered martyrdom on or near the Little Mount. His body was brought to the town of Mylapore and was
buried in a holy shrine he had built. Christians, goes the tradition, from Malabar, the Near East and even from China used to go on pilgrimage to Mylapore and venerate the tomb.

When the Portuguese landed in Malabar around 1500, they found an indigenous community of Christians who had already held for centuries that Thomas was their founder. Like the tradition contained in the Acts of Thomas, the southern tradition contains numerous legends, exaggerations, and conflicting episodes. But the core of the tradition remains: that Thomas travelled to southern India, preached to the people, established a community, and was martyred and buried at Mylapore.25

Wikipedia: According to Syrian Christian tradition, Thomas was killed with a spear at St. Thomas Mount in Chennai on 3 July in AD 72, and his body was interred in Mylapore.27

The Martyrdom of Andrew

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): Andrew, who worked as a fisherman like his brother Peter, became a follower of Jesus after he was called to join him and become a "fisher of men." He played a significant part in introducing Peter to Jesus and making a statement of faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Before becoming one of the Twelve, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. Unlike other disciples of John, he decided to follow Jesus, convinced that he was the Messiah. When Andrew met Jesus, he was so sure of his belief that he promptly shared the news with Peter.

Missionary Endeavors of Andrew

The earliest known account of Andrew's missionary travels comes from Origen, who reported that he preached in Scythia, located in modern-day southern Ukraine. Other sources, including Eucherius of Lyons and Hippolytus, also mention Andrew's missionary work in Scythia. Scythia was a sensible location for Andrew's mission due to its easy access from Jerusalem and the presence of Jews in the surrounding area since the first century BC, despite the Scythians' polytheism and superstition. Tertullian also adds to the plausibility of Andrew's mission, including Scythia in his list of nations reached by the Gospel by the end of the second century. Scholars are divided on the details of Andrew's martyrdom, but the Acts of Andrew, dated between the second and third centuries, claims that he ministered in Patrae, Greece, where he was ultimately martyred. Additional sources mention Andrew's ministry in Greece before the sixth century, further supporting the early and consistent tradition that Andrew preached in Greece. While some scholars may be skeptical of certain aspects of his martyrdom, it is widely accepted that Andrew died as a martyr for his faith.

Evidence of the Martyrdom of Andrew

The Acts of Andrew, a written work dating from approximately AD 150-210, recounts the tale of Andrew's martyrdom. The story commences with Maximilla, the wife of proconsul Aegeates, soliciting Andrew to expel a demon from a servant boy. Following Andrew's successful exorcism, Aegeates' brother, Stratocles, and Maximilla become Andrew's followers. Maximilla resists her husband's sexual advances and substitutes herself with a servant girl named Euclia. When Aegeates discovers the plot, he imprisons Andrew and demands that Maximilla engage in sexual relations with him. Andrew declines and is crucified without nails, allowing dogs to eat him if he is still breathing after dark. Andrew speaks to the cross and preaches from it for four days until a group requests his release. Nevertheless, Andrew refuses the pardon and perishes through crucifixion. In contrast to other Acts of apostles, such as Peter, Paul, and Thomas, the Acts of Andrew does not mention Andrew again after his death. Maximilla departs from Aegeates, and he takes his life. 25

Wikipedia: Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea, in AD 60. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew had been crucified on a cross of the form called crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been.28

Martyrdom of James, Son of Zebedee

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): James, the son of Zebedee, one of the first disciples called by Jesus, is among the first three in each list of the apostles. In Mark, James is mentioned second after Peter (Mark 3:17), and in Matthew, Luke, and Acts he comes third (Matt 10:2; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). Since James is most often listed before John, and John is almost consistently referred to as “the brother of James,” many scholars believe James was the elder brother.1 James and John both left their fishing business and followed Jesus when he personally called them (Matt 4:21–22; Luke 5:10). Jesus had predicted that James would suffer and die for his faith. In Mark 10:35–45, James and John approach Jesus, requesting that he give them what they ask for. After they request to reign with him, he tells them they must drink his “cup” (10:39). Scholars are split over whether this refers to suffering or death, but the passage’s most natural reading indicates that Jesus is prophesying that they would both die for their faith. Questions remain about the fate of John, but the earliest evidence indicates Herod Agrippa had James put to death
(Acts 12:2).

One of the most unexpected elements in the book of Acts is the brief mention of the death of James by King Agrippa: “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:1–2). The brevity of this account is what makes it so unexpected. This is only the second reference to James in the entire book of Acts, apart from his mention in the list of the Twelve (1:13).

Why Was James Killed?

King Herod Agrippa, who ruled Judea in AD 41–44 and was the grandson of King Herod the Great, ordered the execution of James. After thirty-five years of direct Roman control through procurators, many Jews welcomed a Herodian
ruler. Some of his admirers may have even considered him a potential Messiah. Josephus records the fondness with which many remembered Agrippa I (Antiquities of the Jews 19.328–331). His popularity among the Jews may help
explain why he specifically targeted Christians for persecution. Although he had seemingly tolerated Christians at the beginning of his reign, at some point “he laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church” with the specific intent of doing evil to them. King Herod Agrippa had James put to death by the sword, with the likely intent of snuffing out the movement from the top down. It may seem unlikely Agrippa would utilize death by sword rather than a more brutal method such as burning, impaling, or crucifixion. But as Keener notes, death by sword is not implausible since Josephus reports on other occasions that Agrippa showed mercy even to his enemies. Not only is the tradition of the martyrdom of James emphasized in the biblical record (Acts 12:2; Mark 10:39), it is also consistently affirmed by later church fathers from the second century onwards. Bart Ehrman argues that the narrative
structure of Acts, which focuses on chronicling the historical development of the Christian church, is closely related to other histories produced in antiquity.23 While this does not definitively prove the account in Acts 12:1–2 is historical, it does mean it should get the benefit of doubt.

Martyrdom of Philip

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): Philip appears most frequently in the Gospel of John, which describes him as coming from Bethsaida, the “town of the apostles”2 ( John 1:44). He may have been a disciple of John the Baptist, since Jesus called him to discipleship near Bethany, where John was baptizing. The day after calling Peter and Andrew, Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip, and said to him: “Follow me” (John 1:43). The text does not specifically say that he chose to follow Jesus, but the implication is clear, since Philip immediately goes to Nathanael and proclaims that he has found the Messiah (1:45). Yet Nathanael responds with incredulity: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Rather than giving an answer, Philip merely invites Nathanael to come and see Jesus in person and consider the evidence himself (1:46).

Philip is prominently featured in the Gospel of John and is said to have hailed from Bethsaida, which is referred to as the "town of the apostles" (John 1:44). It's possible that he was previously a disciple of John the Baptist, given that Jesus called him to follow him close to Bethany, where John was baptizing. The day after summoning Peter and Andrew, Jesus journeyed to Galilee and discovered Philip, telling him to "Follow me" (John 1:43). Though the text doesn't explicitly say whether he accepted Jesus' invitation, it is strongly implied since Philip immediately approaches Nathanael and declares that he has located the Messiah (1:45). Nathanael is skeptical, asking "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip does not attempt to answer but instead invites Nathanael to come and meet Jesus in person and form his own conclusion (1:46).

Which Philip?

Identifying the apostle Philip's missionary activities and ultimate destiny is complicated by the presence of another Philip, the evangelist, in the Book of Acts. This evangelist appears to be a separate person from the apostle (Acts 6:1–6; 8:4–14, 26–40; 21:8–9), which is clearly established by Luke, who depicts them as distinct individuals with different responsibilities. However, in the second century, church fathers' writings introduce traditions regarding Philip that seem to cause confusion regarding their identities.

Evidence for the Martyrdom of Philip

François Bovon and Christopher Matthew have made an almost complete version of the Acts of Philip available, which was previously inaccessible. The Acts of Philip was given its final form in the late fourth century, but some of its content dates back to the second and third centuries and it was likely written in Phrygia, possibly in Hierapolis. The Acts of Philip shares many similarities with earlier works, such as the Acts of Peter, with Philip giving a speech while on the cross and being crucified upside-down. However, Matthews urges critics to be cautious about assuming that the Acts of Philip borrowed from these earlier works without any originality or creativity. 25

Wikipedia: Later stories about Philip's life can be found in the anonymous Acts of Philip, probably written by a contemporary of Eusebius.[9] This non-canonical book recounts the preaching and miracles of Philip. Following the resurrection of Jesus, Philip was sent with his sister Mariamne and Bartholomew to preach in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria.[10] Included in the Acts of Philip is an appendix, entitled "Of the Journey of Philip the Apostle: From the Fifteenth Act Until the End, and Among Them the Martyrdom." This appendix gives an embellished account of Philip's martyrdom in the city of Hierapolis.[11] According to this account, through a miraculous healing and his preaching Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of the city. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside-down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip's preaching the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross, but Philip insisted that they not release him, and Philip died on the cross. Philip is also said to have been martyred by beheading, rather than crucifixion, in the city of Hierapolis. In 2011, Italian archaeologist Francesco D'Andria claimed to have discovered the original tomb of Philip during excavations in ancient Hierapolis, close to the modern Turkish city of Denizli.[19] This ancient three-naved basilica, the Church of the Sepulchre, is one of the focal points of an entire ancient pilgrimage hill complex dedicated to Philip. Ancient Greek prayers are carved into the walls of the tomb and church venerating Philip the Apostle, and a coin from the Byzantine era show Philip holding bread (John 6) with this specific three-naved church in the background and Martyrion in the background, removing all doubts about it being the original tomb of the Apostle and church. The church built on his Martyrion and tomb were places of intense veneration for centuries: In Philip's Church of the Sepulchre the marble floors were worn down by thousands of people.29

Martyrdom of Bartholomew

Rephrasing Sean McDowell (2015): Bartholomew is listed as one of the Twelve in every apostolic list, including Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, and Acts 1:13. In the Synoptic Gospels, he is listed sixth, always after Philip, which suggests that they may have been ministry partners or shared a similar role among the apostles. In Acts, Bartholomew appears seventh, following Thomas. Although he was not part of the inner circle of disciples, his position in the lists suggests that he was a more prominent member of the Twelve than others.

According to Armenian tradition, Bartholomew arrived in Armenia in AD 60 and was martyred in AD 68 at Albanus, where he was flayed alive and beheaded. His tomb is located in Alpac (Bashkale) in southeast Armenia, and he is venerated along with St. Thaddeus as the "First Illuminator of Armenia." While this tradition is not as central to the Armenian Church as the Thomas tradition is to India, it is widely accepted as part of Armenian history.

Hippolytus wrote about the Twelve, stating that Bartholomew preached to the Indians and gave them the Gospel of Matthew before being crucified with his head downwards and buried in Allanum, a town in great Armenia.25

Wikipedia: Christian tradition has three stories about Bartholomew's death: "One speaks of his being kidnapped, beaten unconscious, and cast into the sea to drown. Another account states that he was crucified upside down, and another says that he was skinned alive and beheaded in Albac or Albanopolis, near Baku, Azerbaijan or Başkale, Turkey." The most prominent tradition has it that Apostle Bartholomew was executed in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to popular hagiography, the apostle was flayed alive and beheaded. According to other accounts, he was crucified upside down (head downward) like St. Peter. He is said to have been martyred for having converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Enraged by the monarch's conversion, and fearing a Roman backlash, King Polymius's brother, Prince Astyages, ordered Bartholomew's torture and execution, which Bartholomew endured. However, there are no records of any Armenian king of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia with the name "Polymius". Current scholarship indicates that Bartholomew is more likely to have died in Kalyan in India, where there was an official named "Polymius".30

Martyrdom of Matthew

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): Matthew, who is best known for writing the first Gospel, is among the apostles of Jesus about whom scholars have the least amount of information. Despite his Gospel's historical and theological importance, he is sometimes referred to as the "phantom apostle." However, Edgar J. Goodspeed argues that more is known about Matthew than any of the other apostles, except for Peter. While this may be an exaggeration, there is some information about Matthew's life and travels that allows critical scholars to make reasonable inferences about his fate.

When Matthew was called to follow Jesus, he was living and working in Capernaum, the hometown of Peter, James, and John. Mark identifies him as "Levi the son of Alphaeus," which is likely another name for Matthew (Mark 2:14). If this is correct, Matthew was probably a Levite and would have been familiar with Jewish law and customs. He may have also been the brother of James, son of Alphaeus, another member of the Twelve. In any case, Matthew was certainly a Jew, familiar with Jewish traditions and Scripture, as is reflected in his Gospel. His name, which comes from the Aramaic word mattai, is a shortened form of the Hebrew word mattanyâ, meaning "gift of Yahweh."

As a tax collector, Matthew worked in the service of Herod Antipas and would have known at least Greek and Aramaic, as he would have spoken Aramaic and kept records in Greek. He would have been required to keep written records of the money he collected and possibly even knew shorthand. This suggests that Matthew had some formal education and training. However, since he was employed by an unpopular government that was sanctioned by Rome, he would have been deeply resented and hated by patriotic Jews and the general population.25

Wikipedia: Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not in agreement as to which other countries these are. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr and the Babylonian Talmud appears to report his execution in Sanhedrin 43a although this was rejected by Heracleon, a Gnostic Christian viewed as a heretic, as early as the second century 31

The Martyrdom of James, Son of Alphaeus

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015):James, the son of Alphaeus, is one of the Twelve apostles about whom very little is known. He is often referred to as "the unknown apostle." He is listed ninth in all four apostolic lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), which suggests that he was a leader of the third group of apostles. However, he was still considered to be one of the lesser-known apostles. There is no record of his call to follow Jesus apart from his appearance in the apostolic lists, and he is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament. 25

Wikipedia:  He is generally identified with James the Less (Greek Ἰάκωβος ὁ μικρός Iakōbos ho mikros, Mark 15:40) and commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labelled "the Minor", "the Little", "the Lesser", or "the Younger", according to translation. He is distinct from James, son of Zebedee and in some interpretations also from James, brother of Jesus (James the Just).[3] He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles.  One tradition maintains that he was crucified at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt, where he was preaching the Gospel 32

The Martyrdom of Thaddeus

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): There is limited information about the apostle Thaddeus, who, like Andrew and Philip, had a non-Hebrew name. In the apostolic lists of Matthew and Mark, he is listed as tenth, immediately following James, the son of Alphaeus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18). However, in Luke's account, he is placed as the eleventh, just before Judas Iscariot (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). It is believed that Thaddeus and Judas, the son of James, may be the same person.

Extra-Biblical Accounts of Thaddeus

For quite some time, scholars have been puzzled by an early story of Thaddeus that was popular in Eastern churches and possibly originated at the end of the second century. Eusebius recounts the story, which claims that King Abgar V, the ruler of the other side of the Euphrates, sent a letter to Jesus begging for healing, to which Jesus responded personally and promised to fulfill his request. Then the apostle Thomas sent Thaddeus, also an apostle and member of the Seventy, to Edessa to preach, evangelize, and heal Abgar. Eusebius states that there are written records in the archives of Edessa that provide evidence of this. The story concludes with Thaddeus preaching to all the citizens at Edessa and refusing to accept money from Abgar. Armenian historian Movsēs Xorenac’I also recounts a similar story in his History of Armenia (XI–XIII), borrowing from Eusebius, and reports the fate of the apostle Thaddeus in Armenia (IX).

Although the story has many characteristics of a legend, Fred Lapham warns scholars "not to exclude the possibility that a simpler form of the tradition could be very much earlier, and on which, like many legends, is not entirely without historical foundation." Additionally, it is possible that the disciple sent by Thomas was not Thaddeus, one of the Twelve, but rather Addai, who appears in the First Apocalypse of James (36.15-25). Later Greek writers may have confused Addai with Thaddeus. 25

Wikipedia: According to tradition, Saint Jude suffered martyrdom about 65 AD in Beirut, in the Roman province of Syria during the 1st century in Lebanon together with the apostle Simon the Zealot, with whom he is usually connected. The axe that he is often shown holding in pictures symbolizes the way in which he was killed. Their acts and martyrdom were recorded in an Acts of Simon and Jude that was among the collection of passions and legends traditionally associated with the legendary Abdias, bishop of Babylon, and said to have been translated into Latin by his disciple Tropaeus Africanus, according to the Golden Legend account of the saints.33

Martyrdom of Simon the Zealot

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015):  However, it is difficult to determine with certainty whether Simon was actually a member of the Zealot party. Some scholars suggest that the term “Zealot” may have had a more general meaning at the time, indicating someone who was zealous for the Jewish faith and traditions. Others propose that the term may have been used to describe Simon’s intense devotion to Jesus and his ministry, rather than any political affiliation. Regardless of his background, Simon’s inclusion in the apostolic lists indicates that he was one of the original twelve disciples chosen by Jesus. After that, we have no reliable historical information on his life or ministry. Some apocryphal texts, such as the Gospel of the Hebrews, include stories about Simon preaching in Egypt and Persia, but these accounts are not considered reliable by mainstream scholars. Like the other apostles, Simon’s fate is shrouded in mystery, with various traditions suggesting that he was martyred in Persia, Spain, or elsewhere. 25

Wikipedia: The most widespread tradition is that after evangelizing in Egypt, Simon joined Jude in Persia and Armenia or Beirut, Lebanon, where both were martyred in 65 AD. This version is the one found in the Golden Legend. He may have suffered crucifixion as the Bishop of Jerusalem. According to an Eastern tradition Simon travelled to Georgia on a missionary trip, died in Abkhazia and was buried in Nicopsia. His remains were later transferred to Anacopia. Another tradition states that he traveled in the Middle East and Africa. Christian Ethiopians claim that he was crucified in Samaria, while Justus Lipsius writes that he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia. However, Moses of Chorene writes that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Caucasian Iberia. Tradition also claims he died peacefully at Edessa. Yet another tradition says he visited Roman Britain. In this account, in his second mission to Britain, he arrived during the first year of Boadicea's rebellion (60 AD). He was crucified 10 May 61 AD by the Roman Catus Decianus, at Caistor, modern-day Lincolnshire, Britain.34

Martyrdom of Matthias

Paraphrasing Sean McDowell (2015): It is worth noting that some traditions suggest that Matthias preached the gospel in Ethiopia and was martyred there. This tradition is particularly strong in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which considers him a patron saint and celebrates his feast day on August 9. However, there is little historical evidence to support this claim. 25

Wikipedia: According to Nicephorus (Historia eccl., 2, 40), Matthias first preached the Gospel in Judaea, then in Aethiopia (by the region of Colchis, now in modern-day Georgia) and was crucified.[2] An extant Coptic Acts of Andrew and Matthias, places his activity similarly in "the city of the cannibals" in Aethiopia.[a][5] A marker placed in the ruins of the Roman fortress at Gonio (Apsaros) in the modern Georgian region of Adjara claims that Matthias is buried at that site. 35

Conclusive remarks

There is a wealth of extra-biblical apocryphal texts in regard to the martyrdom of the apostles. Were they all made up? Certainly, we cannot deny, that many were added embellishments of what actually happened. But in order for Carriers' claim to be true, we would need evidence that someone had the intent to invent all these writings and stories about the apostles' lives and deaths. That's far-fetched. The evidence is there. The texts are at our disposal to be read and studied. It might be hard to separate what is reported history, and what might be legends and inventions, but it makes sense to believe that there is a core of truth. The apostles are historical figures, embedded in first-century Palestine, who followed a man called Jesus, and dedicated their lives to making Him known in many places, and most died a violent death as a consequence of their proclamation and faith in Jesus of Nazareth. 

Josh.org: Let’s recap who was in this intimate group of disciples:

*Simon Peter, a fisherman/businessman who lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum, part of Jesus’ inner circle, martyred
*Andrew, brother to Peter, also a fisherman from Bethsaida, martyred
*John, brother to James, also a fisherman from Bethsaida, part of Jesus’ inner circle, died of natural causes
*James, brother to John, also a fisherman from Bethsaida, part of Jesus’ inner circle, the first disciple martyred
*Philip, also from Bethsaida, possibly a fisherman, martyred
*Nathaniel (Bartholomew), possibly a fisherman, martyred
*Thomas (Didymus), possibly a fisherman, famous for being the “doubter” of Christ’s wounds, killed
*Matthew (Levi), a tax collector from Capernaum, likely wealthy before joining Jesus’ ministry, martyred
*James, cousin to Jesus; martyred
*Thaddeus (Jude), lived in Galilee, martyred
*Simon, the zealot, possibly engaged in politics and anarchy before Jesus called him to be a faithful disciple, martyred
*Judas Iscariot, treasurer of the group and the “betrayer” of Christ who hanged himself after feeling remorse 36

Josh McDowell (2017): We have strong historical evidence that at least some of the apostles were martyred for their faith in the risen Christ, and significant, persistent traditions attest to their conviction that Jesus literally rose from the dead and appeared to them.37

Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Feb 28, 2023 11:42 am; edited 33 times in total


22Confirming Yeshua Empty Re: Confirming Yeshua Thu Dec 01, 2022 6:42 pm



Factor #9 -- Human vs. Divine: Never the Twain Shall Meet!

Our next factor is related to the one above about resurrection, and it is a problem from both a Jewish and a Gentile perspective. Earl Doherty, a Skeptic, has referred to the incredibility of "the idea that Jews, both in Palestine and across the empire, could have come to believe-or been converted to the idea by others-that a human man was the Son of God....To believe that ordinary Jews were willing to bestow on any human man, no matter how impressive, all the titles of divinity and full identification with the ancient God of Abraham is simply inconceivable." And so it would be: Unless it actually happened, and that "human man" proved himself to be the Son of God. Doherty's "fallacy" amounts to an argument in favor of Christianity.
And it would be no better in the Gentile world. The idea of a god condescending to material form, for more than a temporary visit, of sweating, stinking, going to the bathroom, and especially suffering and dying here on earth -- this would be too much to swallow!

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Not the Impossible Faith (pg.247): There’s nothing in the evidence from Paul himself that Jesus was ever thought to be God Incarnate while residing on earth. All the evidence there is consistent with the view that Jesus was merely a man, a Messiah possessed by the Spirit of God, who was adopted by God (either at his birth, baptism, or death) and thus was the “Son of God” only in a legal and spiritual sense, not a literal sense.

Reply: Beliefmap:  In his letters, Paul writes rather blatantly that Jesus is God. After all, he says so in… Romans 9:5 — “Christ, who is God” Philippians 2 — “in the form of God” 2 Peter 1:1 — “Our God and savior, Jesus” Titus 2:13 — “Our God and savior, Jesus”. 38  Paul’s letters (written in Greek) exemplify an ubiqitous religious pattern of habitually calling Jesus “lord” (κύριος). Like “lord” in english, κύριος (kurios) had several meanings, but among them was the Jewish reverential translation of God’s personal name (YHWH). When Paul called Jesus κύριος, was he generally intending it in this Jewish way, such that it carries the meaning and weight of YHWH? Was Paul indirectly applying God's name-designation to Jesus?  To elaborate: the Greek-speaking era had an officialized translation of the Old Testament from its original Hebrew, called the Septuagint (LXX). In the original Hebrew, God’s personal name is written as YHWH (Yahweh). In the translation, however, every instance of YHWH was replaced by the generic Greek word for “Lord”—kurios. (They had reasons to do this.) English Bibles do the same today in the Old Testament (hence “LORD” in all caps.) Paul writes his letters in Greek, and frequently quotes the LXX. He also habitually calls Jesus “Lord” (kurios). Here is our question: In describing Jesus as “Lord”, does Paul quote scriptures about YHWH (God), turning in-text instances of “LORD” (meaning YHWH) into “LORD” (meaning Jesus). That is, does he contextually substitute Jesus into it?

Paul quotes Joel 2:32 in Rom 10:3, and the context implies Joel’s use of “Lord” actually designates Jesus as the one whose name we are to call upon for deliverance. (Read Joel 2:32,1 then read Rom 10:13.2) This seems to be a clear instance of Paul swapping “Lord” (i.e. YHWH) in Old Testament quotes with “Lord” Jesus (or rather identifying the two as the same Lord). If Paul quotes Jeremiah 9:23-34 in 1 Cor 1:31, the context implies Jeremiah’s use of “Lord” actually designates Jesus as the one we are to “boast” in, for personally “knowing [the Lord]” in his greatness.

Factor #10 -- No Class!

"Neither male nor female, neither slave not free." You might be so used to applaud this sort of concept that you don't realize what a radical message it was for the ancient world. And this is another reason why Christianity should have petered out in the cradle if it were a fake. Malina and Neyrey note that in the ancient world, people took their major identity from the various groups to which they belonged. Whatever group(s) they were embedded in determined their identity. Changes in persons (such as Paul's conversion) were abnormal. Each person had certain role expectations they were expected to fulfill. The erasure or blurring of these various distinctions -- stated clearly in Paul, but also done in practice by Jesus during his ministry -- would have made Christianity seem radical and offensive.

Note that this is not just to those in power or rich; it is an anachronism of Western individualism to suppose that a slave or the poor would have found Christianity's message appealing on this basis. For one thing, even from a Western perspective, joining the group did not do anything to alleviate their condition in practical terms. For another, in the ancient world, it would have been foreign to the mind to not stand in some sort of dependent relationship. "When ancient Mediterraneans speak of 'freedom,' they generally understand the term as both freedom from slavery to one lord or master, and freedom to enter the service of another lord or benefactor."  It would also not have occurred to such persons as a whole that their situation could be changed, since all that happened was attributed to fate, fortune, or providence. You did not fight your situation, you endured it, and to endure it was the most honorable thing. [Hence the joke of Job's wife saying, "Job, get a job!" is funnier than we think.]

In other words, it was not a matter of whether you were in service to another, but who you were in service to. Shattering these social distinctions would have been a faux pas of the greatest order -- unless you had some powerful cards to play. By the same token, a Christian's Jewish neighbors would be no happier. Strict observance of the Torah became Judaism's own "defense mechanism" against Roman prejudices, their way of staying pure of outside influences. A convert who ceased to observe the law, and began to associate with Gentiles, would receive a double whammy -- especially with memories still fresh of the era of Antiochus, when Jews often capitulated to Hellenism. He had in essence given up "spiritual showering".

Christianity turned the norms upside down and said that birth, ethnicity, gender, and wealth -- that which determined a person's honor and worth in this setting -- meant zipola. Even minor honor signs like appearance and charisma were dissed {2 Cor. 5:12). The group-identity factor makes for another proof of Christianity's authenticity. In a group-oriented society, you took your identity from your group leader, and people needed the support and endorsement of others to support their identity. Christianity forced a severing of social and religious ties, the things which made an ancient person "human" in standing. (It did provide its own community support in return, but that hardly explains why people join in the first place.) Moreover, a person like Jesus could not have kept a ministry going unless those around him supported him. A merely human Jesus could not have met this demand and must have provided convincing proofs of his power and authority to maintain a following, and for a movement to have started and survived well beyond him. A merely human Jesus would have had to live up to the expectations of others and would have been abandoned, or at least had to change horses, at the first sign of failure.

Richard Carriers counterarguments

Not the Impossible Faith (pg.259): The society of the Roman Empire was producing such a scale of injustice and discontent that a message of equality, of doing away with all those things people saw as the cause of their plight, would have been very popular among those whom Christianity actually won over—quite the opposite of Holding’s conclusion.

My comment: It is doubtful that slaves and the oppressed would have converted to Christianity in order to achieve social equality and overcome social injustice. The focus of the Christian core message is entirely disconnected from such aims and goals - and provides hope for an afterlife in heaven, not paradise and social justice here on earth. 

It is true that the core message of Christianity, as expressed in the Bible and Christian tradition, is focused on spiritual salvation and the hope of an afterlife in heaven rather than on social justice or the pursuit of social equality here on earth. The message of Jesus and the early Christian communities was primarily concerned with individual salvation and the forgiveness of sins, rather than with social or political reform.

However, it is also true that Christianity has often been used as a source of comfort and hope for the oppressed and marginalized throughout history. In many cases, the message of Christianity has been adapted and interpreted in ways that emphasize the value of all human beings, regardless of their social status, and that call for justice and compassion for the poor and vulnerable.

Beliefmap: Isaiah 53:2 prophesies that “He has no stately form or majesty.” This is relevant because Jesus too was seen merely as a poor sage, with a trivial pedigree, and coming from an unimportant town. He lacked the glory and trappings of royalty.

Relevant scriptures on Jesus's hometown include:
Matthew 13:55-57 -- Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”
John 1:45-46 --Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and