If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
SHROUD OF DARKNESS
Turin Shroud is not a Miracle
ULTIMATE LINK FOR DEBUNKING OF TURIN SHROUD: http://www.historytoday.com/charles-freeman/origins-shroud-turin
BAD ARCHAEOLOGY WEBSITE REFUTES SHROUD: http://www.badarchaeology.com/?page_id=322
Jesus was allegedly wrapped in the Shroud of Turin. Despite all the strange things that seem to be in the Shroud’s favour, the supporters choose to ignore proof on the cloth itself that nobody was ever wrapped up in it. THE TOP OF THE HEAD ITSELF IS NOT SEEN! If the image had been wrapped around a head you would not see this effect. The cloth should show blood marks and images as if it were wrapped around a head. Instead, it looks as if the back and front were put on separately with no connection in between. There should be a connection if the cloth covered a body. It is like somebody taking a photo of you from the front and then one from the back and putting them together with the head on each photo touching. It is not a natural effect when you have a cloth that a man was supposedly wrapped up in and which went over the top of his head.
The Roman Catholic Church looks for miraculous cures etc to happen in response to devotions involving a sacred relic or a person thought to be a saint. The Church says it needs God to do that so that it will know that something is sacred and has his approval. No miraculous cures have been linked to the Shroud of Turin. Read The Vatican Prophecies, by John Thavis. It would be odd if there was no evidence from the supernatural that the Shroud was the real burial cloth of Jesus.
In the Cathedral of Turin what many people hold to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ is enshrined. The Shroud is around fourteen feet by three and a half feet. It is a sheet of linen. It looks like a big strip that covered the back and front of a man completely. Age seems to have turned it yellow. One would think God could preserve it better than that for the image it bears is supposed to be the imprint of the dead wounded and bloody body of Jesus his son. There are about forty other Shrouds supposed to be that of Jesus. What makes this one so special is the fact that it is so mysterious and superficially convincing and has baffled some scientists for decades and still continues to do so. The image on the cloth is faint but it is a negative like the negatives you have with a photograph. The image is very plain in the negative or the quasi-negative as I should say.
The Shroud of Turin seems to have sceptics up against a brick wall and unable to go any further. In fact, it is not the great challenge to scepticism and anti-religionism that it appears to be or is made out to be.
For one thing, there is unmistakeable evidence that the apostles did not believe in a Jesus who was crucified in the first century but in one who only appeared then as a risen being. The testimony of the earliest Church proves that the Shroud is not genuine even if it is a first century artefact. Testimony like that comes before the Shroud’s evidence for why would they lie?
There is no evidence from history that the carbon dating of 1988 which found that the Shroud was made between 1260 and 1390 AD is wrong. But the fact remains, even if the Shroud is much older than that as many religious fantasists say, it is still not a miracle and it is still not proof that Jesus existed and was buried in it. http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/shroud.html shows how believers even try to pretend that the samples of the shroud used in the carbon dating were from the mended area of the cloth! Their lies are exposed.
Do you really want to believe in a miracle cloth that glorifies martyrdom purely for religious grounds? Christians believe that Jesus did not die to save the poor from genocide or for human rights but purely for religious doctrine.
INEXPLICABLE DOES NOT SPELL MIRACLE
The Turin Shroud is one of the strangest things on earth. We cannot start holding that everything strange that comes along is a miracle. We do not regard the inexplicable Siberian fireball of 1908 as a miracle. The Cottingley Fairies photographs were considered inexplicable and miraculous for nearly seven decades and were verified as inexplicable by many scientific experts until the two young girls who created them confessed the truth which was that the fairies in the pictures were just drawings and cut-outs. And it should be easier to tell if photos have something dodgy about them than it should be for the Turin Shroud for nobody knows which of countless chemical combinations and reactions could have created it.
The real Shroud would have been seized by the Romans, who were investigating the empty tomb, and then destroyed. The Gospels do not say that the cloth would have been there at that time. John only says linens were lying there but if there was a shroud he gives no indication that it was still there or that anybody cared if it were there or not.
The Shroud is impossible to reconcile with the New Testament accounts. The Shroud attacks the validity of the only thing that could have a chance at verifying the claims made for Jesus so in doing so it shows itself to be just another piece of strange cloth. The Shroud contradicts the gospels. After all how could we even think that the Shroud could bear the image of Christ without the New Testament gospels?
REASONS FOR DOUBTING THE SHROUD
There are sound reasons for believing that the Shroud is a clever forgery.
It is bizarre how the face of "Jesus" matches the way medieval people visualised him. He had long hair and a long face and a beard. Nobody knows what Jesus looked like but we do know he was not really likely to resemble paintings by gothic medieval artists.
The Shroud man was bleeding too much to have been dead which indicates some kind of a hoax. Whoever forged the Shroud wanted to discredit the resurrection.
Just putting a man into a sheet and not binding him up inside it is an odd way of burying anybody. We know that nobody was bound up inside it for there is no evidence of creases. The creases would cause the image to be full of blank bits and a good bit distorted. Even if the burial was done in a hurry and meant to have been completed later on Jesus would have been bound up. It only took a minute. There should be fragmented images on the back of the image for wrinkles in the cloth are inevitable when a corpse is laid down and covered loosely in a cloth.
The shadows on the Shroud are not right. The print of the start of the neck at the collar bone shows puts the black bit between this area and the beard outside the boundaries of reason unless it is a forgery. The cloth when it was touching the neck should show the print of the rest of the neck. It is as if there is no neck. The division between the buttocks is too wide. The split would be very narrow if this man was laid on a surface which would have pushed the buttocks together reducing it. We would expect a pile of blood to be there having made its course from the back along the furrow where the spine is and run down after mixing with a lot of sweat. But there is none. This proves that the blood did not come from the body. Some would think that somebody left an image of themselves on the cloth and somebody decided to turn it into a relic of Jesus.
The hair and the beard hang down as if the man was standing up in the shroud. The hair would not be doing that if the man was lying down and the beard would have been pushed against the chin and the throat. The idea from The Second Messiah that the man lay in the Shroud in a very soft mattress (page 205) so that it made the hair frame the face is partly wrong. It would have caused great distortion in the picture of the back of the head. Why is the hair so tidy in the front? It just hangs down and the man was supposed to be lying down and it is so tidy as if the man was tidied up for the display! And the man would only have been in a mattress if he were meant to survive. The idea of him lying in sand is wrong for it is not soft enough. If the man was laid out in a mattress or on sand when dead men like Jesus were put on stone shelves in tombs it is grounds for suspicion that the man was not Jesus.
The Shroud man’s hair at the back was laid out perfectly and it tapered into a point at the bottom. Why would the people who buried Jesus have been so careful with his hair? This indicates that the image was intended for display and was not the real Shroud. If the head were cut off as many things indicate, it would have been more likely for the hair to be laid out properly before the body was laid in the Shroud.
The hair would not be hanging down if the man was lying down and the beard would have been pushed against the chin and throat. The Christians object that the hair and beard were stiff with dried blood so they stayed in the position they were in when he was upright on the cross. But the hair is still too straight for Jesus would have hung his head down at times and rested it on the left shoulder and on the right shoulder which would change the way the hair would set. And the hair on the Shroud man just has specks of blood on it and is not matted with blood. Close up the hairs look mostly clean. They look like they don’t have a crusted cover of blood over them. The lies the Christians tell to support the Shroud are truly tiresome. The hair proves the man on the cloth was not Jesus Christ.
The excuse for the hair hanging down is conclusively disproved by the fact that the hair was laid out and tapered at the back and tidied up. This manipulating of the hair showed that it would have been made manageable. Those who buried the man were anxious to have his hair right. They were not the burial party of the gospels who buried Jesus nearby for they were in a hurry as the day of rest was imminent. The Shroud man was buried by people who had plenty of time.
The blood would have been washed out of the hair by the heavy rain gushing out of the heavens when Jesus was on the cross. The gospels say there was climatic upheaval at that time such as earthquakes and darkness so we can safely infer that if we asked the gospellers if there was rain they would say there was. The blood blots around the head are not watery from the rain at all which adds weight to the cloth being a forgery. The hair would have been tossed by the wind. It is just too tidy.
The Second Messiah holds that the man lay in the Shroud on the mattress and the mattress rose higher than his nose all around his body so that the Shroud lay flat on top of him and the forces that put the image on it shot up straight from the body in a vertical fashion meaning that an image with only slight distortion appeared. I would add that if this happened the man was not in the Shroud. When the front image was projected they turned him on his belly in the mattress and put the cloth over him as before to get the back image except they turned the unmarked part of the cloth to get the back image on it. Just like some people give off strange electric shocks this could have been a man with a mutant chemistry that was known to make images so he was used for the purpose of forging the Shroud. Some say the blood could have been put on simply by carefully pressing the cloth over the body in such a way that it would look anatomically correct. They then took care to make sure the image of the body would match the position of the blood. But that was too difficult. Even if it did happen it still shows the Shroud was meant for deliberate display. It was a forgery.
The Shroud was intended for display when the face is clearer than the rest of it and so its clearer than it should be and the hands cross the genitals where they would not stay if the man were really a corpse.
The Catholic scholar, Dr Raymond Brown, wrote that since the buttocks are faint and the navel and genitals are hidden it appears that the Shroud is a forgery (page 150, Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine). The artist would not like to represent Jesus as a sexual being. The face is clearest because that is what people would most want to see. “Wild notes that the body image in the Shroud is portrayed as relaxed in death, but in a relaxed position a man’s joined hands will not cover his genitals if he lies on his back. Either the body has to be tilted forward and the arms stretched downward, or the elbows have to be propped up on the side and the wrists drawn together to hold the hands in place over the genital area. In the Shroud image also, the right arm is exceedingly long and the fingers of the right hand almost disproportionate, in order to allow the modest covering” (page 152). This too makes Brown suspicious. To be, the man must have been alive to hold his hands like that.
Wilson says there is something that may be the tip of a penis but he is not sure. It could be a swelling on the hand. But if it is a penis it does not affect the problems with the Shroud’s modesty for it is barely noticeable and even if noticed it is still not known what it is.
When a man was nailed through the wrists the thumbs would contract into the palms of the hand. The man on the Shroud is said to show no thumbs. But there are vague spots that may be the thumbs. If the thumbs were in the palms the left hand which is crossed over the right should be up very high leaving a big blank gap where the cloth didn’t touch anything. There is no such blank bit meaning that the thumbs were not in the palms meaning that the man was not crucified or that the image is a forgery. Perhaps the man tucked the thumb of the top hand into the lower one which held it to make it easier to keep the hands together? This would explain the gap but then the top hand covers the wrist of the lower hand and the fingers of the latter are seen entirely which you will see does not happen if you hold your thumb the way the Shroud man might have done.
There is a thin line where we would expect to see the thumb of the top hand – a trace of the thumb?
The Turin Shroud can’t be authentic even if it dates from the first century and even if it can’t be explained.
The errors on the Shroud prove that if there is a mystery about how it was created, it is still not authentic.
MIGHT IT BE A FAKE?
The Shroud might be a fake and depict somebody other than Jesus.
Brown says, “It should be noted that those opposed to Christians sometimes “obliged” Christians by executing them in the manner of Jesus. P.A. Gramaglia has argued that between A.D. 540 and 640 funeral wrappings from Palestine were numerous and crucifixions were used to mock Christians. Christians even crucified Jews for revenge. According to Gramaglia, a Shroud of a man crucified as Christ could have come from a Palestinian context in the 600s” (Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, page 149). One of these victims could have put a strange image on a Shroud just like a man who died in a Liverpool hospice in 1981 left the outline of his buttocks and his hand on the sheets. It is not that hard to create an image that shows up clearer in the negative like the Shroud does.
Joe Nickell made images like that for his book Looking for a Miracle which tackled the issue of the authenticity of the Shroud among other things. Many others have done the same. Ian Wilson agrees with Nickell’s work but says it still does not explain the Shroud image because it is more subtle in the negative than Nickell’s creation (page 47, Holy Faces, Secret Places). But the subtlety could depend on other factors. We do not know what combination of substances could have been employed in the iron oxide that the shroud maker may have used as Nickell did. Then Wilson argues that the blood marks are too anatomically correct (page 48). They are correct from one point of view, where the blood would be if you are taking a picture of a body. But they should have been distorted if they came from a body so they are not correct at all.
The Shroud is made of linen. People who won’t get their facts straight say it must be the winding sheet of Christ when it never rotted. But we have linen dating from 2000 BC. Keeping linen dry is the secret.
Hoare in The Turin Shroud is Genuine made objections to the idea that the Shroud man is somebody other than Jesus. Let us examine them.
He says the Arabs would not have mocked Christianity by killing anybody the way Jesus was killed for they thought of Jesus as a great prophet. But they were not mocking Jesus but a story about Jesus that they considered to be blasphemous lies for they held that Jesus was not crucified or killed. A Christian will say that the Jesus of the Mormons who was not God but an exalted man with many wives who was born of a sexual union between God and Mary and who died on the cross to atone for Adam’s sin alone is not his Jesus following the logic in 2 Corinthians 11:4 and so could mock and blaspheme the Mormon Jesus. Arabs sometimes use the same logic.
He says nailing to wood would have sufficed but a burial was necessary to mock the resurrection which the Arabs would have despised more than the crucifixion for the Christians upheld it as the supreme refutation of other religions.
Hoare says they wouldn’t have known to use a sedile or to nail through the wrists. They would soon have learned to if they had crucified a few people. The sedile would have been needed when they nailed the hands and was carried over when wrists were used just in case.
What about the use of the expensive burial cloth? The size matching the ancient standard 8 by 2 cubits is no miracle for a feasible Shroud in one piece had to be about that anyway. The Christians probably provided the Shroud in an attempt to create a new relic and it turned out to be more successful than they ever could have expected.
The image was intended for display for the cloth had to be loose to get the right print off the body if it was ever on a body.
The Shroud is certainly no miracle. If it could not be explained by science then it would have to be the product of alien technology for it isn’t from God. And to ascribe it to Satan would be to insult his intelligence. If Jesus was a long unnaturally thin alien we could say that the image was distorted though it looks human. It is certain that if everything on the Shroud is genuine then his body was not human for it does things that human beings cannot do. For example, the continued and profuse bleeding from certain parts and not others.
It has been suggested that the Shroud man had Marfan’s Syndrome which gives a person very long arms and legs (page 26, Looking for a Miracle). If Jesus had this disease we would be reading in the gospels how the Jews were saying his healings were faked for he couldn’t heal himself. Anyway, the image looks like an example of the gothic painting style of making Jesus look unnaturally elongated more than somebody with Marfan’s Syndrome. This is an indication of a medieval origin (page 24,26, Looking for a Miracle).
3D AND THE SHROUD
Believers say the image is not a painting for paintings do not have 3D qualities. This is true - but the exception would be if the painting is two-toned.
The claim that the Shroud image is 3D sounds impressive. But 3D is easy with a painting or image that is two toned. The shroud is two-toned. The idea is that if you depict an object in two tones, you make the part of it that is closer to the canvas lighter and progressively make it darker the further away you go. It will look fairly 3D when completed. And when it is scanned, you will be able to get a 3D image using the relevant software.
The Status of Research into the Authenticity of the Shroud by Niccolo Caldararo
http://www.freeinquiry.com/skeptic,shroud/as/caldararo.html is a good site to read. This outlines the fact that the computer testing on the Shroud to test the three-dimensional effect is wanting in many respects. Most damning of all is the fact that it is not the Shroud itself that is used in these tests but a picture of the Shroud! The tests boast of finding no brushstrokes on the Shroud though the same tests can find no brushstrokes on Leonardo’s paintings! The fact medieval artists could sometimes paint without drawing the shapes to be painted in so that no lines show up is ignored. The 3D element is plainly far from supernatural because the back image has little of this 3D quality.
The three dimensional effect would necessarily come from the image on the cloth getting the lighter the closer it gets to the skin supposing a body was in it. But the fact that there was no body in the shroud can be shown from the fact that this rule is often broken by the shroud. For example, the neck shows up well meaning the cloth would have been pushed down into it but then why is the beard hanging down undisturbed? It was long enough to have been pushed into another position. It should look flat with the cloth pressing against it and should be pushed under the chin but it isn’t. And why does the Shroud tuck into the neck and not touch the legs between the feet and the knees? It should have sunk down. Why does it sink down and touch the hair down past the neck when the hair should have been lying flat down and out of reach? Those who use the three-dimensional evidence to support the Shroud are being selective.
The three dimensional elements of the Shroud means nothing more than that the parts of the image that stick out most like the nose and forehead and chest and toes are better imaged for they were possibly closer to the cloth. The three-dimensional aspect of the Shroud has got much exploration from many experts using different computer systems and instruments. Needless to say the results are seldom similar. It depends on how the programs are set. One school will make dramatic claims that another will dispute and on it goes. But the only reliable instrument is the human eye. We can see the three dimensional aspects for ourselves. The problem for shroudies is that anybody at all can make something that has the same effect with pencil and paper. It is a mistake to emphasise the three-dimensionalism because it would only prove at most that the Shroud is a strange picture not that there was a body inside it. The three-dimension aspect is in every photograph and image we have – it is just that it is more obvious in some images. For the Shroud to have the three dimensional effect implies that the Shroud floated flat above the body without touching it to make the image which is very strange. For if it touched the body it would be cleaving into the groves on the body so it wouldn’t make any difference if one part of the body were higher up off the ground than another. The Shroud would be unable to give out such realistic three-dimensional images assuming these tests are trustworthy. The floating could not have happened because the front image of the head and the back image of the head nearly meet in the middle of the cloth so there was not enough cloth for the top to float above the man lying in the Shroud implying there never had been a man in the Shroud. So the front image was made by being suspended over the front of the body without touching it and when that was done they turned the man over to get the back image on. The floating idea suggests the Shroud is not the relic of Jesus but was deliberately created. The strongest evidence, the evidence that we can see and sense, tells us so.
The Turin Shroud is not the winding sheet of Jesus Christ and is a warning to the world that what cannot be explained is not necessarily a miracle. The Shroud is a relic of evil for it is used by many to scare people into accepting a faith that is bad for them. For example, we know how the faith of the pope commands that we force people to spread AIDS by depriving them of condoms and that we terrify children by telling them that Hell exists. The Shroud also tells us that God can let terrible things be done to a man without sin, if he needed to suffer then how much do we need to suffer. The Shroud is evil and was once under the control of occultists in the Knights Templar so believers in black magic can speculate if that had something to do with its production.
Ante-Nicene Christian Library, Roberts and Donaldson, T&T Clark, Edinburgh, 1870
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Free Inquiry, Spring 1998, Vol 18, No 2, Article by Joe Nickell, Council for Secular Humanism, Amherst New York
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FAQ on the Shroud of Turin
Latest Shroud Update
This site gives close up pictures of the blood on the Shroud to demonstrate that it has to be paint not blood.
Is the Shroud of Turin the First Recorded Photograph? Nicholas Legh Allen
Shroud of Turin
The Skeptic’s Dictionary by Robert Todd Carroll