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Shroud of Turin: An Easter Miracle?

The Shroud of Turin is a 14-foot-long linen cloth with the faint image of a man. Imagine the cloth going from feet to head along a man’s back, then folding over the head to continue back to the feet.

Many Christians think that it is the burial shroud of Jesus and that the supernatural energy of resurrecting his dead body burned an image into the cloth. It first appeared in history in 1390 in France, and it was moved to Turin, Italy in 1578. Fire and water damage from 1532 are visible on the shroud.

Proponents argue that marks from Jesus’s last hours are on the figure—the nail wounds, the scourgings, and the cuts from the crown of thorns—but is this the real burial shroud of Jesus?

The first problem is scriptural. The shroud doesn’t fit with the story of the empty tomb from the Bible.

[Simon Peter] saw the strips of linen lying there [in the tomb], as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. (John 20:6–7)

Strips of linen (presumably for the body) and a separate head cloth is not a single shroud. And there is no evidence besides the shroud itself to imagine that first-century Jews buried their dead that way.

They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. (John 19:40)

This wasn’t just a pinch of spice—it was 75 pounds worth (John 19:39). The bare body we see in the image shows no evidence of this massive amount of spice.

Next, an artistic problem. If a linen cloth were laid over a prone person, it would drape over the face. That is, it would wrap around to some extent.

A typical man’s face is roughly six inches wide. But it’s more like eleven inches from one ear, across the face, to the other ear. Granted, the shroud wouldn’t be vacuum-sealed to hug the face completely. But we would expect to see some wraparound distortion to the image when the shroud was later laid flat. The face image is actually thinner than an ordinary person’s face, not wider, as it ought to be.

Could this have been a hoax or some other fake? Traffic in holy Christian relics was common during the medieval period—it’s been said that there were enough pieces of the cross to build a ship and enough nails from the crucifixion to hold it together. And this wasn’t the only shroud—history records forty of them. Obviously, at least 39 of these must be false.

In fact, our first well-documented discussion of the shroud in 1390 states that it is a forgery and that the artist was known.

(An aside: I’ve written before about the apologists’ Naysayer Argument, the claim that the gospel story must be true because, if it weren’t, rebuttals from contemporaries would have shut it down immediately. The Shroud debate nicely defeats this argument. Our oldest reliable source is a rebuttal of the supernatural claim of the shroud, and yet this obviously didn’t eliminate Christian belief in it.)

Many problems argue against the shroud being the real thing. Carbon dating says that the linen is from the 1300s, there is evidence of tempera paint creating the image, 2000-year-old blood should be black and not red, pollen on the shroud seems to be only from Europe and not also Israel, the weave of the fabric doesn’t appear to be authentic, and so on. Christian apologists have a different way to rationalize away each of these problems, but the most economical explanation, the single argument that neatly explains the evidence, is that it’s a fake.

There’s a surprisingly large amount of information on this topic. It is clearly important for a lot of people. The best that can be said of the shroud is that we can’t prove that it wasn’t the burial cloth of Jesus. But that’s no reason to believe that it was, at least for anyone who cares to follow the evidence.

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
– Thomas Aquinas

Photo credit: Wikimedia

(This is a modified version of a post that originally appeared 4/4/12.)

About Bob Seidensticker
  • smrnda

    I think I recall seeing a documentary on the shroud back when I was really young on PBS. It was the first time I’d heard of it, and it seemed to indicate the evidence was *not* in favor of the shroud.

    I’m not really sure what motivates the pro-shroud faction. It isn’t like the shroud being a fake would itself be evidence against Jesus.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      And in a religion that doesn’t like idols:

      You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them (Ex. 20:4-5).

      Some of the Patheos Catholic bloggers are saying that a new study has reinterpreted the old one that dated the shroud to the 14th century (or whatever) and indeed dates it back (roughly) to the time of Jesus. Hope springs eternal, I suppose.

      • SparklingMoon

         And this wasn’t the only shroud—history records forty of them. Obviously, at least 39 of these must be false.
        —————————————————————————————————-
        In 1969, Professor Max Frie, a distinguished criminologist and director of scientific laboratory of
        the Zurich police, analyzed the Turin Shroud for the pollen adhering to it, using the most
        advanced techniques. Hewas able to determine a detailed picture of the Shroud’s history and
        origins.
        “He discovered on the shroud tiny grains of fossilized pollen that, after detailed tests, turned out
        to be from plants existing only in Palestine twenty centuries ago. After this he had no doubt at
        all about the authenticity of the shroud, which was also found to carry traces of pollen from
        plants in the area of Constantinople and the Mediterraneans. Pollens from fifteen different
        plants were discovered: six Palestinian, one from Constantinople, and eight Mediterranean”
        (Faber-Kaiser, P-28).

        • SparklingMoon

          And this wasn’t the only shroud—history records forty of them. Obviously, at least 39 of these must be false.
          In fact, our first well-documented discussion of the shroud in 1390 states that it is a forgery and that the artist was known.
          ————————————————————————————————
          The most interesting fact about this shroud is that original print on Turin Shroud is a negative one. In 1898, the shroud was photographed by Secondo Pia and in this picture, the image of the cloth came positive with a clearer picture of the man through the negative.

          An image on photography film is always negative first and later is turned into positive one. If this print on Turin Shroud was made by a human artist then its print on the photo film of Secondo Pia should appear negative but….
          Before 1898 when its photograph was taken the cloth was considered sacred, but since the photographic image it was considered the burial cloth of Jesus.

        • Bob Jase

          Tests which have not only never been duplicated but have not been allowed to be done at all except by those already accepting the shroud as real.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    This wasn’t just a pinch of spice—it was 75 pounds worth (John 19:39).

    He who controls the spice controls the universe.

  • Greg G.

    In one image, both legs are straight. In the other view, one leg is bent. Why aren’t the two images connected across the top of the head?

    • Bob Seidensticker

      • Reginald Selkirk

        I see an owl!

        • Bob Seidensticker

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Greg:

      In one image, both legs are straight. In the other view, one leg is bent. Why aren’t the two images connected across the top of the head?

      I don’t see the straight/bent thing on the photo. But I agree that if the cloth were wrapped tight around the body, you should see the entire course of the head from chin to forehead, across the top of the head, to the back of the head in one continuous segment. I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways.

      The more obvious issue for me is that a cloth draped over the face would show a wraparound distortion.

      • Greg G.

        The left leg in the view from the rear looks bent. The calves don’t line up as they do in the front view. It looks like we are seeing the sole of the left foot. If you look at the butt (not that there’s anything wrong with that), the cheeks don’t line up.

        If the shroud was draped over the head, why are there two images instead of one contiguous image?

        • Bob Seidensticker

          You would expect one continuous head image, front to back, although if the shroud were baggy over the top of the head, it might look like that. Still, the distance must match up. In this case, the measurement from chin over the face to the base of the skull must be long enough (and longer if it must account for bagginess at the top).

  • Reginald Selkirk

    And this wasn’t the only shroud—history records forty of them. Obviously, at least 39 of these must be false

    Not so. Think loaves and fishes. :>

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Italian scientist reproduces Shroud of Turin

    ROME | Mon Oct 5, 2009 11:30am EDT (Reuters) – An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ’s burial cloth is a medieval fake.

    That’s an overstatement. Proving that you could create a fake is not the same as proving that the existing shroud is a fake.

    • machintelligence

      But part of the argument that the shroud was authentic was that there was no known way of making a negative image like the one that appears there. (Would anyone like to help produce an “Elvis Hospital Sheet” to display to the gullible?)

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Reginald: Reminds me what Uri Geller said after James Randi did all of Geller’s stunts (spoon bending, etc.) as magic tricks. Geller said that just because Randi did them as tricks didn’t mean that he wasn’t doing them for real.

      Uh, yeah, but that’s probably the way to bet.

      • Reginald Selkirk

        Randi has said: if Geller is doing his spoon-bending by ESP, then he is doing it the hard way.

  • Bob Jase

    Joe Nickell.

    He said it all.

  • Mick

    Bob wrote, “The best that can be said of the shroud is that we can’t prove that it wasn’t the burial cloth of Jesus.”

    The Christians say it is the burial shroud of Jesus, so the onus of proof is upon them. It is not for unbelievers to prove it wasn’t the shroud of Jesus.

  • ZenDruid

    I would expect there to be much more fluid leakage from the back of the corpse than the front.
    Not to mention the very 2D presentation, or how the hair on a corpse could defy gravity by hanging horizontally from the head.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Imagine a real man, covered in paint, getting covered with a sheet to see the marks that would get on the sheet. The face, in particular, would look distorted (widened). The Shroud image would’ve required the shroud to not lie flat, as if it were a cloth coffin.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      or how the hair on a corpse could defy gravity by hanging horizontally from the head.

      Back in the day, they didn’t shampoo as often.
      Besides, he probably had a JewFro.

  • SparklingMoon

    This wasn’t just a pinch of spice—it was 75 pounds worth (John 19:39). The bare body we see in the image shows no evidence of this massive amount of spice.
    ———————————————————————————————
    The preparation of spices in such a huge quantity by the followers of Jesus is a proof that they were already aware of the plan of Pilate and had the certainty that Jesus’body would not remain on cross for a long time and would be handed over to them in an alive condition. As Jesus was taken down from the Cross, Jesus was handed to his friends and not his enemies. According John 19:38 says, “Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”
    The very interesting fact about this spice prepared by the followers of Jesus is that it is known with the name of ‘Ointment of Jesus’ and is recorded in hundreds of medical books. ”Some of these books were compiled by Christians, some by Magians or Jews, some by Muslims. Most of them are very old. Investigations show that in the beginning the preparation came to be known as an oral tradition among hundreds of thousands of people. Then they recorded it. At first, in the very time of Jesus, a little after the event of the Cross, a pharmaceutical work was compiled in Latin, in which there was a mention of this preparation along with the statement that the preparation had been prepared for the wounds of Jesus. It is, moreover, a strange result of divine intervention that eminent physicians of all religions — Christian, Jew, Magian, or Muslim — have all mentioned this preparation in their books, and have stated that it was prepared for Jesus by the disciples. A study of books on pharmacology shows that this preparation is very useful in cases of injuries due to blows or falls, arresting immediately the flow of blood; and as it also contains ‘myrrh’ the wound remains aseptic. The wounds of Jesus healed up in a few days by the use of this ointment. Within three days he recovered sufficiently to be able to march seventy miles on foot from Jerusalem to Galilee.(Jesus in India)

    Second,It is a understood matter that the whole spice or ointment (75 pounds worth) was not possible to use once a time. Certainly,the followers of Jesus had to change wraps or sheets many times as having a constant bleeding of wounds and each time before changing wrap or sheet they had used this ointment on his body . A negative image on a sheet can be printed on the condition if there is a raising vapour from an alive body. It is possible there were particles of ammonia and sulphur,may be in that prepared ointment or in the atmosphere. (that are considered helpful in causing an image to occur on cloth).

  • scenario

    I wonder if anyone has made a statue of Jesus using the shroud as a guide. According to the shroud Jesus was around 6 feet tall which is 6 to 8 inches taller than the average man of his time. One of his arms would have been long enough to reach down past his knees and the other closer to normal length. He would have had a very large head, much like the comic strip character Charlie Brown.
    So if the shroud is his burial cloth, Jesus was a very weird looking guy. You’d think that would have been mentioned in the bible.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      scenario: Interesting point. I hadn’t noticed that his left arm was abnormally long.

      • avalon

        Bob,
        “I hadn’t noticed that his left arm was abnormally long.”

        Given the placement of his hands, I’m sure apologists would claim it’s not his arm that’s abnormally long. :)

        avalon

    • http://theophor.us Ignatius Theophorus

      Not saying that I believe that the shroud is real (any more than I believe that Arthur will return to us in Britain’s hour of greatest need), but it should be noted that most who have studied the shroud have commented that it seems likely that Christ had a dislocated shoulder(? arm? something?) which explains the longer arm.

      • Bob Seidensticker

        Interesting data point, thanks.

  • MNb

    “indeed dates it back (roughly) to the time of Jesus”
    I have read that too in a Dutch newspaper. Now for the sake of argument let’s assume it is correct. Then I have two questions.
    1) how do we know the shroud was used for Jesus and not for somebody else?
    2) what has the shroud to do with the supposed Resurrection?
    As long as these questions remain unanswered I don’t think the whole thing has any relevance.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      MNb: I imagine they’d say that the image was unique and that only a resurrection zapping life back into a body would cause that. Of course, they point to an empty set of known resurrection burial shrouds to support this case.

      • http://theophor.us Ignatius Theophorus

        I think that the best that can be argued is that the shroud is confirmation that a first century Palestinian died by crucifixion and had some rather severe head injury which is consistent with a crown of thorns.

        That said, if this is a first-century cloth this is direct evidence of crucifixion in ancient Palestine. That should be considered significant in its own right: remarkably little physical evidence of the practice has survived.

    • MNb

      That’s basically a god of the gaps argument (science can’t explain, hence supernatural cause).

  • Dave Gardner

    I read just recently that some scientist claims that the piece of the shroud that was carbon dated was not part of the original material but, rather, was a patch used to repair it in the 1300s. What this proves is that believers in the shroud will grasp any straw, resort to any “Yeah, but…” to sustain their claim.

    Dave

    • Bob Seidensticker

      The shroud was patched, but it’d be a pretty elementary mistake to take your C-14 sample from the patch instead of the original.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      I read just recently that some scientist claims that the piece of the shroud that was carbon dated was not part of the original material but, rather, was a patch used to repair it in the 1300s.

      Yes, Ray Rogers said that. He lied. Joe Nickell responded to that

      Indeed, textile experts specifically made efforts to select a site for taking the radiocarbon sample that was away from patches and seams (Damon et al. 1989, 611—612)….

      Rogers also claimed to have measures the presence of vanillin on shroud samples of questionable provenance. I challenge anyone to find scientific papers using quantitative analysis of vanillin to date any other item. It is not an established technique.

    • MNb

      Ah, good to know. The patch argument was what I read in that Dutch newspaper. I immediately decided just to wait a while until the relevant information came along; either correct (confirmation by an independent test) or incorrect, as happens to be the case. Again much ado about nothing.

      • Bob Seidensticker

        MNb: And the problem, of course, is that if you try to get into a debate with a shroudie, they will simply pick and choose the evidence they want to believe in to satisfy their presuppositions. I’d be happy to get into it except that there would be no upside since the other party has tweaked his rules so that he can’t lose.

  • scenario

    I’ve been trying to find a website I read about 4 or 5 years ago where an artist looked at the shroud with an artists eyes. He saw a whole bunch of distortions in the shroud that artists in the middle ages use. One I remember is the position of the arms and hands. They are very carefully placed so that the shroud wouldn’t show anything inappropriate to its intended audience. Lay down flat on your back with your elbows on the floor and try to cross your arms over your hip area like the figure in the shroud does. Someones left arm would have to be so long that he could almost touch his toes standing up without bending over to stay in the position shown. Others I remember, the head is too small (I think), the legs are too short and the torso is too long.
    I’ve always wanted someone with artistic ability to photoshop a picture of the Jesus depicted in the shroud with his disciples, his mother and Mary Magdeline. The women would be about 4 foot 10 inches tall. The men would be between 5 feet even and 5 feet 4 inches tall. Jesus would stand in the middle. He would be 6 feet tall. He would have a disporportionatly sized head, (thinking back I think it was too small but I may be wrong), very long arms of different lengths, a very long torso and very short legs.
    A lot of religious people refuse to listen to science. A picture taken directly from the proportions given in the shroud showing that Jesus was a very weird looking guy might have a greater effect.

  • scenario

    I think I found the post I was refering too or one similar to it. http://www.infidels.org/kiosk/article815.html. I am not an artist but if this post is close to correct than the Jesus shown in the shroud would have standed out from the crowd.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      scenario: Nice find! This fills in an area of ignorance for me. Thanks.

      Perhaps the biggest takeaway for me from the Shroud story is how it undercuts the Naysayer Hypothesis: “If the supernatural story were wrong, you’d have eyewitnesses to correct it! A false story couldn’t survive.”

      Here you have a story where our oldest evidence is a claim of fraud and yet the story remains to this day.

    • http://www.seditiosus.blogspot.com Schaden Freud

      You beat me to it! :) That’s a really great article.

  • Rain

    John Calvin said this about it: “How is it possible that those sacred historians, who carefully related all the miracles that took place at Christ’s death, should have omitted to mention one so remarkable as the likeness of the body of our Lord remaining on its wrapping sheet?”

    Well, some of the “sacred historians” omitted to mention angels didn’t they? That is a remarkable thing to omit too. So la-dee-da .Yeah, nobody ever said John Calvin was exactly a rocket scientist.

    • Rain

      mention angles

      Typo. I meant angels. (Sorry.)

      • Bob Seidensticker

        (correction made)

    • Bob Seidensticker

      Rain: Doesn’t Matthew mention earthquake, an eclipse, and zombies? The other sacred historians missed that as well.

      • Rain

        Yep that’s true. Although now that I think about it, John Calvin would probably say that one mention was good enough. He probably would say that the accounts all compliment each other, or something like that. So I probably didn’t make the best analogy in the world, since Calvin could pretend like he could weasel out of it too easily. I still like my analogy, but it wouldn’t faze John Calvin one bit.

  • SparklingMoon

    Kurt Berna, a Catholic and secretary of the German Institute at Stuttgart, has undertaken intensive studies of the Turin Shroud and the results were published by Berna in two books: Das Linen (The Shroud) and Jesus nicht am Kreus gestorben (Jesus Did Not Die on the Cross).From the analysis of the shroud, Berna concluded:
    ● “Jesus’s head and hands were placed higher than the rest of his body. Had Jesus been dead when wrapped in the shroud, this would have meant that no fresh blood could have flowed from these parts and left traces on the cloth. However,…the cloth shows traces of blood running from the wounds caused by the crown of thorns that the Romans wound round Jesus’s head, mocking him as “King of the Jews, and that once the body was lowered from the cross and the “crown” removed, the wounds caused by the throrns started to bleed” (Faber-Kaiser, p. 34).
    ● “If Jesus had been dead for some time, all the blood would have congealed in the lower part of his body. It is nature’s law that provided the heart continues to pump, the blood will continue to circulate, even in a vacuum…Thus, as fresh blood could not have flowed from Jesus’head wounds if his heart had stopped beating, there is medical evidence that Jesus was not dead when he was wrapped in the shroud. He may have stopped breathing, and so appeared to be dead; but, provided the heart is still beating, it is possible, in such circumstances, to revive the person by intensive medical treatment” (Faber-Kaiser, p. 34).
    ● “The shroud also provides evidence of where the lance that the Roman soldier used to test that Jesus was dead entered and left the body. Bloodstains show that the lance pierced the right side of the chest, between the fifth and sixth ribs, and emerged on the upper left-hand side, making an angle of 29 degrees. Since this means that the lance passed close to the heart, but did not damage it, the “blood and water” that John (19:34) tells us flowed from the wound could not have been drawn from the heart. The shows that the heart was still beating, however faintly, and that Jesus was still alive” (Faber- Kaiser, p. 35).
    On February 26, 1959, Berna wrote the following in a letter to Pope John XXIII:

    “From a medical point of view, it has been proved that the body that lay in the shroud was not dead, as the heart was then still beating. The traces of blood fluid, its position and nature, give positive scientific proof that the so-called execution was not legally complete. This discovery suggests that the present and past teachings of Christianity are incorrect. Your Holiness, this is how the case stands scientifically”(Jesus died in Kashmir: Jesus, Moses, and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel’ by A. Faber-Kaiser)

    • Bob Jase

      But the ‘hoofprint’ in the rock in Jerusalem was made by Muhammad’s winged horse, right?

      • SparklingMoon

        But the ‘hoofprint’ in the rock in Jerusalem was made by Muhammad’s winged horse, right?
        ——————————————————————————————————————————
        It is totally a false conception that the hoofprint’ in the rock in Jerusalem was made by Muhammad’s winged horse. The Quran has never described that Prophet of Islam flew to Heaven on a winged horse or to Jerosulm. These are just human made stories . Heaven is not a physical place in the sky as was misunderstood by some Muslim people who had invented these stories.Heaven is actually the name of spiritual height and God’s Heaven is the highest height of His spirituality and its has no relation to physically high but His heaven is high in His spiritualiyt.This spirituality exist inside of this physical world not in the sky. This ascendance to God’s Heaven (Mi‘rāj) of the Prophet of Islam was not with his physical body but was a spiritually vision of his spiritual nature(that is called Kashaf in Arabic language) and this was between a sleep and awakening condition. I have some information about it that may help to undestand its truth.

        The year, Mi‘rāj (the ascendance to heave or God’s spirituality)was happened ,this was really a year of grief. Holy Prophet was depressed and dejected, his beloved wife Khadījah, a source of comfort and support, was dead; his uncle Abū Ṭālib, his “second father” was not alive anymore; his mission to Ṭā’if had been unsuccessful, rather humiliating, he was pelted with rocks until he bled. His invitation of thirteen years to Quraishites toward God was turned down in hateful and humiliating retaliation. It was truly a Year of Sorrow for Prophet of Islam. With this background in mind, one night the Prophet prayed and supplicated intensely in Ka‘bah, seeking mercy and help from his Creator. When tired he laid down to rest in the middle of the night. Allāh Almighty who ordained him, Soothed Prophet’s fears and concerns by giving him glad tidings for future victories in his dreams and visions. But it was a special night, as Prophet lay between sleep and awakening (his eyes were closed but he was conscious), Mi‘rāj (ascendance to heaven) vision took place, as is described in the book of Qur’ān:
        [53:9] Then the Prophet drew near to Allah; then Allah leaned down towards him. [53:10] So that He became, as it were, one chord to two bows, or closer still. [53:11] Then Allah revealed to His servant that which He revealed. [53:12] The heart of the Prophet lied not in seeing what he saw? [53:13] Will you, then, dispute with him about what he saw? [53:14] And, certainly, he saw him a second time; [53:15] Near the farthest lote tree; [53:16] Near which is the Garden of Eternal abode. [53:17] This was when that, which covers, covered the lote-tree.[53:18] The eye deviated not, nor did it wander. [53:19] Surely, he saw the greatest of the Signs of his Lord.

        In this VISION, Gabriel came to Holy Prophet, lifted him and carried him to the Zamzam fountain, where Gabriel cut opened Prophet’s chest, took out his heart, washed it with crystal clear water from the fountain, filled the chest with belief and wisdom and closed it back. Then Gabriel took the Prophet and ascended into the sky. Where in the way Prophet met several past prophets: Adam, Jesus, John, Joseph, Aaron, Moses, and Abraham. They greeted him, exchanging words or two with him, until Holy Prophet ascended to a point in heaven where no human had ever treaded before. Prophet was in the very presence of Allāh, the Almighty! Prophet was given great tidings of the future victories, and five daily Prayers were ordained. (How a wise person can consider that all this was happened with a physical body ?)

        In his second vision, the same night Holy Prophet was taken on a spiritual journey “Isra” from Ka‘bah to Aqṣā mosque in Jerusalem, where he met prophets of the past, he led them in prayer. Holy Prophet was given news of great future victories. Then he was flown back to Ka‘bah, where his sleeping/awakening condition was gone and he regained full consciousness. The vision is mentioned in Holy Qur’ān in following words:  [17:2] “Glory be to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Distant Mosque, the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our Signs. Surely, He alone is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”

        So, God Almighty comforted and pacified Holy Prophet’s sorrowful heart. His audience with God the Almighty expressed approval of his efforts by which he was propagating Islam and facing the antagonistic forces. While journey to Aqṣā Mosque gave great tidings of future victories.

        The Muslim who has made such fictions about The ascention of Prophet of Islam with a horse, has this wrong conception that God is a physical person and sitting somewhere above in the sky and Prophet of Islam was in need of a horse to reach to Him and afterward he had come to Jerusalem on this horse.

        • Bob Jase

          “These are just human made stories ”

          Well hoorah, you’ve realized that. Now all you need to do is realize that can be expanded to explain the rest of the Muslim/Christian/Jewish religions and you’ll be doing fine.

        • SparklingMoon

          Well hoorah, you’ve realized that… Now can be expanded to explain the rest of the Muslim/Christian/Jewish religions
          ——————————————————————————————————-
          A revelation of God can not be against the laws of nature and the teachings of a prophet can not be against human nature. I have called “These are just human made stories ” only those conceptions that had been entered later by people with the passage of time in religions and are against the laws of God. The purpose of describing these misconceptions ( of people about different religions) is never to criticize any particular religion but actually to remove those misconceptions or misunderstandings of people that have become a big hindrance between God and His people.

  • http://www.seditiosus.blogspot.com Schaden Freud

    The whole Turin shroud thing fascinates me. All the evidence says it’s a fake, and not even a very good one. Even back in the days when there were enough bits of the “true cross” floating around to build a ship, the Turin shroud wasn’t fooling anybody – that’s really saying something! But the true believers are so desperate to believe that they’ll overlook literally any evidence. I find this kind of belief really interesting.

  • Ritchie

    My biggest gripe with the Turin Shroud is that, to my knowledge, no-one has ever posited exactly what made in image on it. Let’s, for a moment, make the exceedingly generous concessions that there was a Jesus who was crucified and resurrected, and this was the sheet that wrapped his body – okay, but then, if he came back to life, why would that cause his burial shroud to be imprinted with his image? Bodies don’t leave their image on sheets when they die – why should they when they come back to life? What process, exactly, is being posited here? Because ‘miracle’ will not do as an explanation. Until the apologists actually have even a hypothesis, they do not have an explanation.

    • Greg G.

      What process, exactly, is being posited here?

      That’s an excellent question. If there was some bright emanation that left an image on the sheet, it would have to be perfectly flat, with no wrinkles or undulations, or there would be great distortions. Then the intensity on the linen would be greater where the body parts were closer to sheet. If the two images were made simultaneously, it would have to have been touching the body.

      Hair is dead tissue so why would it leave an image if the body was resurrected? Was the hair resurrected, too?

    • Greg G.

      Also, what direction would the emanations travel from the body? If they travel in all directions, should be an image of an amorphous blob. To be a recognizable human image, the rays would have to be focused by some type of lens. If you put a lens between the body and the linen, the front and back would have been done in separate events.

      If you’ve ever experienced a partial solar eclipse, everything has a strange look because of the reduced light but it illuminates everything. You only can only see the actual image of the eclipsed sun if it is passed through some sort of lens like a pin hole or your eyeball lens.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Hey, did you know the tombs of Cain and Abel are in India? What a bummer for Abel, being buried for eternity right beside his murderer.

    • Bob Seidensticker

      I didn’t!

      Did you know that Jesus moved to Japan and grew garlic there? Yep, the stories about his death on the cross were greatly exaggerated.

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