The Shroud of Turin…

The Shroud of Turin… April 18, 2015

not a painting, not a scorch, not a photograph.

That’s cuz it’s the real thing. Challenge to Skeptics: If it’s medieval forgery made by and for primitive suckers then get with the program. We live in the 21st century. There’s nothing technological a medieval could do that we can’t do ten times better and faster. So make another one.  But do it using the 14th century tech you say created this.  And don’t give me this piece of carob on the right…

,,,and call it chocolate.  If that thing on the right is a “reproduction” of the Shroud then Justin Bieber is Enrico Caruso.

Of course, there may be a naturalistic cause for the Shroud, as Mike Flynn attempts to argue here.  If so, I have no big issues with that.  I merely note that it is certainly a teensy bit lucky that this purely natural thing only happened to the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth out of all the people who have ever died in the history of the world.

Mike Flynn also does yeoman work tracing a route for the Shroud from the burial chamber of Joseph of Arimathea to 14th century Europe.

Not that Catholic faith rests on  the Shroud.  Millions of Christians have lived and died never so much as having heard of, let alone seen, it.  But such grace notes are kindnesses from a God who, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions and despite advice from the finest ideologues money can buy, does whatever he feels like.

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  • The best explanation for the Shroud is that it was created by Gnostics in the 1st or 2nd century using a crucified victim and methods that have been lost to history. If you think the Holy Shroud is authentic, you should keep it to yourself. Two atheists have recently written books arguing that the Resurrection of Jesus was a myth started by the empty tomb and the mysterious image on the Shroud. Catholics who think the Shroud is authentic are confused about the Resurrection as an historical event and as an act of faith.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Huh?

      • PalaceGuard

        If it was irony, it wasn’t half bad. If not, double facepalm time.

      • Alma Peregrina

        My thoughts exactly.

    • Jared Clark

      I’m sorry, but atheists not believing in the resurrection isn’t a very good reason to conclude that the shroud is fake.

    • wlinden

      Complains about being “suppressed”, but wants people who disagree with him to shut up. Ah, those open-minded, tolerant people suffer so much from us bigots.

      • I offered to give my presentation to hundreds of parishes in the New York Area. Only one accepted and cancelled it when the pastor found out I was not promoting authenticity. Cardinal Dolan approved of this pastor’s behavior.

        • antigon

          Well fan my brow – a bravo that isn’t embarrassing.

        • HornOrSilk

          Cardinal Dolan was correct. For your argument is more than just questioning its authenticity (one doesn’t need to believe in it), but your arguments in relation to your belief.

        • wlinden

          Thinks that for him free speech means the right to have someone else provide a platform…. but thinks those who disagree with him have no right to speak at all.

        • Joseph

          You’re so ungrateful. He was saving you from tremendous embarrassment. Can’t you see? Seriously though, what was on the slideshow… some comics?

    • antigon

      ‘The best explanation for the Shroud’..
      *
      …is, contra thy nonsense, Dave, that it comes from the tomb of Christ crucified.

      • HornOrSilk

        The best explanation for David is he is a Gnostic who doesn’t believe in the historicity of Christ because he wants to deny all historical relics. See, I can make things up just like he can 😉

        • Joseph

          That would explain why he doesn’t believe that the Shroud is authentic… and trying to give credit to the Gnostics for its creation. That’s evidence. Creating a slideshow now and boy will I be pissed if someone prevents me from showing it.

    • Fr. Denis Lemieux

      I have no dog (or shroud) in this fight. But can you please explain, specifically, why you have said twice on this thread, “If you think the shroud is authentic, you should keep it to yourself.” Because that is a very weird thing to say, indeed, and you have said it twice. Why should shroud defenders keep it to themselves?

    • HornOrSilk

      We have atheists arguing all kinds of things. So next you will tell us we should not believe the empty tomb because atheists use it?

    • wineinthewater

      “The best explanation for the Shroud is that it was created by Gnostics
      in the 1st or 2nd century using a crucified victim and methods that have
      been lost to history.”

      If this is the quality of scholarship in your presentation, then its no surprise it was suppressed. Gnostic Christians were, almost exclusively, also Docetists and denied the Incarnation. Various versions of the theology all amounted to a denial that Jesus had a body to be crucified (Simon the Cyrene was actually crucified, Jesus only appeared to be crucified because of the veil of unreality over the eyes of the unenlightened, the Christ and Jesus are separate beings that came together at the baptism of Jordan and were separated before the crucifixion leaving only the human Jesus to be crucified and abandoned by his father, etc.). It would be contradictory for such a sect to forge proof that would only serve to falsify their dogma.

      • Joseph

        He was studying the Gnostics using methods lost to history. That should explain this unfortunate mishap.

    • Artevelde

      Somehow I have a feeling that even if I was a hardcore rationalist and atheist, I’d STILL go for bodies rising from the dead rather than buying into ”methods lost to history”.

    • Joseph

      Somehow invoking *methods [that have been] lost to history*, *mysteries*, or *unknown factors* is only legitimate with those pseudo scientists when they want to do something like disprove God or something Christians believe could be potentially true, but it’s never legitimate when a Catholic invokes them. Interesting how that works.

  • That atheists use the authenticity of the Shroud to debunk faith is a reason to re-consider whether the Shroud is authentic. The Holy Shroud is a work of craftsman because the blood stains are not smeared, the body image has shades of yellow, the cloth size is unusual. I have two sound reasons to believe in Jesus: 1) The Resurrection as an historical event. 2) There is no explanation of how the Gnostics created the Shroud.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      That’s much clearer. Like Mark said above, the faith doesn’t rest on the Shroud in any way. He happens to believe in its authenticity; no one has to.

      • People who believe in authenticity should keep it to themselves. The Resurrection of Jesus is an historical event and there is no need to come up with an historical explanation. However, the Shroud is an artifact. It is the job of science to explain how it was created. I filed a complaint against Cardinal Dolan of New York for suppressing my slideshow lecture about the Shroud. My correspondence with the Roman Rota is at http://www.dkroemer.com.

        • antigon

          ‘People who believe in authenticity should keep it to themselves.’
          *
          Absolutely. I mean it’s just obvious that folks who twist themselves into pretzels so as to deny it’s authenticity should be the only ones publically to speak about it, unless perhaps not.

          • There is a conflict between us about the Shroud, not a disagreement. Disagreements arise when two people have different judgements about a proposition. Conflicts have to do with intelligence, knowledge, and integrity.

            • antigon

              Well then three strikes, Dave, so you’re out.

            • Heather

              If that wasn’t complete nonsense, I’d say it was a pretty clever insult. But since your clever insult hinges on using a definition of “conflict” that bears very little resemblance to the definition the rest of the English-speaking world uses, nice try but no cigar.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          So people who believe in the authenticity of the shroud should keep it to themselves, but people who don’t believe in its authenticity should complain publicly about their slideshows being suppressed by their bishop. Got it.

          • It is called the judicious presentation of doctrine. In other words, don’t cast your pearls before swine. Saying the Shroud is authentic makes you look irrational and discredits the faith. It is like saying Lazarus rose from the dead.

            • chezami

              Uh, what?

            • Andy, Bad Person

              Oh, good Lord; you’re one of those Jesus Seminar folks, aren’t you? It’s almost hard to believe your bishop suppressed your presentation when you’re denying the historicity of the Gospels.

            • antigon

              ‘saying Lazarus rose from the dead…makes you look irrational…’
              *
              …is of course the view of those who, pretending otherwise, in fact prefer in injudicious denial of reality.

            • HornOrSilk

              Saying belief in the shroud supports atheists makes you look like a stooge.

            • D.T. McCameron

              “It is called the judicious presentation of doctrine. In other words, don’t cast your pearls before swine. Saying the Shroud is authentic makes you look irrational and discredits the faith.”

              http://primemag.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/11.jpg

              “It is like saying Lazarus rose from the dead.”
              http://38.media.tumblr.com/dd16e127e1bfe05a1f63fb7fb892025a/tumblr_inline_nn25ywjJ7F1tr4pj9_500.gif

              • Alma Peregrina

                Off-topic: Do you need to do something to post functioning gifs, or copy-pasting them suffices?

                • D.T. McCameron

                  Copy-pasting the url seems to suffice.

                  • Alma Peregrina

                    Thank you very much.

        • HornOrSilk

          The shroud is not an explanation, but a relic. But if you want to call the resurrection a historical event (good) then yes, grounding it in history is better. You are trying to make it unhistorical.

    • antigon

      ‘The Holy Shroud is a work of craftsman because the blood stains are not smeared, the body image has shades of yellow, the cloth size is unusual.’
      *
      Guess all that just slipped past Schwortz & so many others who have studied the Shroud for decades.

      • Schwortz et. al. are suffering from cognitive dissonance. When you believe something that conflicts with reality it causes you mental and emotional stress. You try to make yourself feel better by behaving badly. I consider it dishonest to discuss the history of the Shroud of Turin without mentioning Robert Drews’s book “In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origin” and the theory that it was made by Gnostics. My website is at http://www.holyshroud.info.

        • antigon

          Possible true for those 17 years when Schwortz struggled to deny the Shroud’s authenticity, but he seems pretty cheerful & calm nowadays.
          *
          ‘You try to make yourself feel better by behaving badly.’
          *
          Yes, that does seem to explain thy approach Dave.

    • HornOrSilk

      “The fact that atheists use the Gospels to debunk faith is a reason to re-consider whether the Gospels are authentic.” See, this is the kind of fallacy you are using: because someone abuses something, we should not use it. And this “Gnostic” idea of the shroud is pure nonsense- the last thing gnostics would want is material evidence.

  • Wait…….Justin Bieber isn’t Enrico Caruso?

    • Newp Ort

      No, but the umpire is Enrico Palazzo.

  • Mark R

    If it were a mediaeval painting…or one from Late Antiquity (“Byzantine”) the proportions would not be so life-like. Unlike the Volto Santo in Manopello. That is supposed to be Veronica’s veil, which one of my ancestors supposedly received from an angel — and pretty much follows mediaeval aesthetics. It was probably a copy of a “Byzantine” battle flag depicting the Mandylion of Edessa.

  • Elmwood

    please explain the fact that independent C14 dates show a medieval age of the linen.

    also, why isn’t there a feast day for this in the church if it was ever considered authentic? the eastern church surely would have recognized it with a feast day.

    • Heather

      From what I have read, the carbon dating sample was taken from a section that was clearly a later patch.

    • HornOrSilk

      Actually, that “independent dating” was shown to be faulty for many reasons — including the fact that bacteria on shrouds often make for confused dating, there was a fire which causes a confused dating, there was patchwork which create a confused dating.

      • Elmwood

        what I read said this was wishful thinking and they were very careful to sample from the main part of the shroud. i would defer to the experts who run these analysis of course.

        i think C14 dating is well recognized as a reliable and fairly well understood technique though i will say that other radiometric dating methods have been found to be completely bogus.

        i’m a skeptic until science dates it to the first century with a proven reliable and widely accepted scientific dating technique.

        • HornOrSilk

          Again, the dating has been shown to be faulty by recent scientists. That’s the issue. And the reason is because of factors they didn’t consider and learned after – same as has happened with mummies!

          • Elmwood

            never heard about that, but there is a 1989 peer-reviewed paper in nature that shows it’s medieval.

            science is done through the peer-review process with publications in reputable journals rather than in blog sites or media articles. we can speculate all we want, but the scientific evidence at this point seems to point to a forgery.

            • HornOrSilk

              1989 is outdated.

              Here is a more recent scientific article, and more scientific than popular Nature.

              Thermochimica Acta
              Volume 425, Issues 1-2 , 20 January 2005, Pages 189-194

              http://www.ntskeptics.org/issues/shroud/shroudold.htm

              Abstract

              In 1988, radiocarbon laboratories at Arizona, Cambridge, and Zurich determined the age of a sample from the Shroud of Turin. They reported that the date of the cloth’s production lay between A.D. 1260 and 1390 with 95% confidence. This came as a surprise in view of the technology used to produce the cloth, its chemical composition, and the lack of vanillin in its lignin. The results prompted questions about the validity of the sample.

              Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. 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.

              • Elmwood

                thanks for sharing this, it looks like they need to do another C14 analysis–cool!

                the crux of the debate for me is whether or not the C14 dating was representative or not of the original linen shroud, it looks like it may not be, which means it might me authentic.

                • HornOrSilk

                  YW. There are many other scientific studies done, sometimes which have not dealt directly with the shroud but with burial cloths in general, which have led to surprising results (mummies with wrappings dated up to a 1000 years younger than the mummy), and this has also led to questions about how to date burial cloths. The solution to the problem was the bacteria on the cloth lived and influenced the dating (among other outside influences).

                  I myself agree that C-14 is a good, general starting place, but there are many reasons why other methods are being explored, as per this article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/carbon-dating-gets-reset/

                  So, I think some of the more advanced methods could work, or a better sample (of course) could help.

                  I tend to believe, for many reasons, that it is the right shroud, with a history that seems to tie to it more than people know, but also, this is at best, like apparitions, something of pious belief and not necessary at all. I would have no problem if shown to be false, if done by science; if someone tries to make an argument like we saw below (we must deny it because… atheists!) then I do reject those arguments and find them properly rejected by the church.

                  • Elmwood

                    “science” can be very unscientific and uncritically accepted. there were these widely accepted sea-level curves with USGS dates using glauconite–a potassium mica mineral–for age dating. turns out the K-Ar dates were completely wrong because the mineral was leaky. of course this was not widely publicized but meant these USGS charts were bogus.

                    • When I was in the 7th grade our history teacher had been an archeologist (which was cool). He said back then that you had to be careful with carbon dating as definitive proof of age of certain things, and used an example he knew about where scientists who thought they’d been given unidentified human remains (including cloth scraps etc.) to date said the remains were about 4000 years old. Only then did they learn that the bones had come from the grave of a woman who was known to have died and been buried in the early 1800s–the people donating the remains simply wanted them tested as a way for the scientists to demonstrate carbon dating techniques. This was all somewhere in the American Southwest in the late 1970s or early 1980s (which was where and when my teacher had done archeological research).

                      So my question is this: are today’s methods whole orders of magnitude more exact and accurate than the methods my teacher was telling us about? And which methods were used (and when) on the Shroud?

                    • Elmwood

                      i’m not an expert on geochronology, but i know that it evolves. the hotness now at least in geology is zircon dating which look at Ur-Pb ratios in zircon grains/crystals. Ur-Pb zircon dating can be very precise, down to + or – 40,000 years for a rock that’s 100s of millions of years old, or 0.1% or better.

                      the oldest zircon dated–from australia–was about 4.4 billion years old, which is amazing considering the earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old.

            • Thomas Boynton Tucker

              Science is an ongoing process of discovery, not a final statement, even in a peer-reviewed journal.

        • The protocol used was and remains a source of controversy that, as far as I can tell, is still a matter of professional debate. C14 was originally supposed to be one of seven tests done. The other six tests were dropped, as were a majority of the labs who would do the testing. The shroud, it is agreed, is an amalgam of original material and a number of patch jobs done later. If the material was contaminated by more recent additions or included patch material, the dating would be incorrect even if the labs meticulously followed proper procedure, something I’m not qualified to judge on. I believe that’s part of why the other 6 tests were proposed.

  • Mark R

    LIke the Roman Church, the Eastern Churches do not have an exhaustive teaching on everything…probably even less so than Rome. However, every Holy Thursday, a winding sheet depicting our reposed Lord is brought out and venerated in the service of the day. Every Divine Liturgy is celebrated on this very sheet on the holy table in the Paschal season, and every Divine Liturgy is celebrated on a smaller version of this outside the Paschal season.
    It is fine the have faith in the Resurrection without “proofs” like the Shroud. But for some, it can be a bit of corroborating evidence. None of us has the luxury now of the early disciples who had concrete proof of the Resurrection. But even with that, they still needed faith.

  • Newp Ort

    Seems like a bunch of phoney balogna to me, but not a required belief! I just live and let live on this one.

    • antigon

      What a relief, Newp, now we can relax!

  • Obpoet

    “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”

    Let it go, Indiana. It’s just a piece of cloth. It matters not.