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Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 12:10 AM
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Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
Shrouded in controversy [link to www.thestar.com]

Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit? The enigmatic linen known as the Shroud of Turin has befuddled clerics, scientists and observers for six centuries — and the debate still rages, writes John Moore
Jan. 12, 2006. 03:13 AM

TURIN, ITALY—Sylvana Gribaldi has seen the Shroud of Turin twice, during public expositions in 1998 and 2000. Both occasions were overpowering emotional experiences.

"During the 1998 exhibition, I used to go into the church (where the shroud was on display) in the evenings and sit there and pray for an hour or so," says Sylvana. "I could sense a real presence."

At the next exhibition, in the jubilee year of 2000, she was able to get even closer to Turin's most famous artifact.

"I was very happy during the last exposition because I was selected to read prayers during the procession as thousands of people passed the shroud. It was quite moving," she says.



Such expressions are apt to draw a skeptical squint from people uncomfortable with such devotion, and the shroud, which bears the double image of a bearded man whose body exhibits the scars of crucifixion, certainly has just such a polarizing effect on people.

Some say that the 4.5-metre-long, 1.1-metre-wide piece of linen is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, miraculously branded with his image at the moment of his resurrection. Others denounce that as superstitious nonsense and say the shroud is a medieval counterfeit.

The debate has simmered ever since the shroud first appeared in the historical record some 6 1/2 centuries ago. The shroud was definitely identified in 1353 as the property of Geoffrey de Charny in France (but some proponents claim to have found mention of it in earlier sources). Even then, some clerics denounced it as a device to extort money from pilgrims.

The de Charny family sold it to Duke Louis of Savoy in 1453, who kept it at Chambery, France, until 1578 when his descendant Emanuele Filiberto moved it to Turin. The Savoy family retained ownership of the shroud until 1983 when it became the property of the Vatican in accordance with the will of Umberto II, the last king of Italy. Pope John Paul II decreed that the shroud would remain in Turin.

It has survived three fires, including one in 1997, despite suffering some scorching and water damage. It has been examined by scientists and subjected to an array of tests including carbon-14 dating, microscopy, chemical analysis, photography and computer imaging. But that has only intensified the debate as just about everybody with an opinion, scholarly or otherwise, has tried to out-debunk each other. Fact or forgery, the shroud continues to fascinate.

"It's a scientific mystery," says Guglielmo Perego, an expert on the shroud and Turin's architecture, who is accompanying me on a visit to the majestic cathedral and adjacent chapel which houses the shroud. "All the rigours of scientific study haven't been able to explain the mysteries of the shroud. If you believe in the Bible, if you believe in Jesus' resurrection, you have less of a problem explaining it."

The cathedral is almost empty on this foggy Sunday morning. Mass is in progress, but there are fewer than 20 worshippers.

There's a larger group of tourists at the shroud's display case. A sign asks visitors to approach silently and respectfully. People are kneeling in prayer at the railing, while others light candles (electric candle-shaped lights because of the fear of fire).

The shroud is kept in a casket-like container behind thick glass. Inside, Guglielmo explains, the cloth "sits on an aluminum bed with a crystal covering. There's no light, no air, just a mixture of inert gases and every quarter of an hour, the pressure, temperature and the mix of the gases is adjusted by computer."

Atop the box sits a thorn branch, and on the wall behind there is a reproduction of a famous photograph taken in 1898 which revealed the figure of the shroud to be a negative image — a shocking revelation that started the momentum for scientific inquiry.

There were no guards, but Guglielmo said there are usually volunteer plainclothes police officers on watch and additional security measures will be in place during the Olympics in February, although the shroud will not be on display (the next public exhibition is not scheduled until 2025).

An anteroom in the church contains a full-size reproduction and photographic exhibits. As an elderly woman, her eyes moist with tears, touches a photograph of the shroud, then makes the sign of the cross, Guglielmo speaks of the remarkable coincidences that evoke such fervour.

"We have a lot of probabilities," he says, looking at the reproduction. "This is the body of a crucified man. Was it Jesus? Was it not Jesus? What are the odds that this person would be killed with exactly the same torture, exactly the same wounds on the head and the back? Everything here corresponds exactly to the sufferings and the death of Jesus. We are not sure, but then, we are not sure of anything, are we?"

A museum dedicated to the shroud — and to examining the debate — is in the crypt of the church. It houses a fascinating collection of artifacts and exhibits that present a chronology of the shroud's history and a discussion of the photographic, scientific and religious record. There's even a remarkable bas relief sculpture which allows blind visitors to "feel" what the shroud looks like.

A video gives a fascinating description of the images on the cloth, then people can tour the exhibits, using an audio guide that resembles a cellphone.

David Anderson, a 24-year-old culinary student from Cincinnati, is pondering one of the displays, which shows a three-dimensional computer image of the man on the shroud. He looks perplexed.

"I can't say that I believe in this," David asserts, then hestitates and shakes his head. "But there's something about it ... you just can't pass over it and say it's all baloney."

That's a common reaction among the people at the museum. Pope John Paul II called the shroud "a challenge to our intelligence" which "forces questions to be raised." And so it does.

If it's a painting, it's a work of singular brilliance: a negative image created centuries before photographic negativity was discovered. A work that displays properties of three-dimensionality and perfect symmetry.

If it's the naturally-created image of a crucified man — as some scientists argue — who was he? Under what circumstances was he forced to endure such torture? I look at the familiar face with its expression in the peaceful repose of death, although the body bears the scars of torment ... bloody scratches on the forehead, whip marks on the back, barbaric nail holes in the wrists and ankles. I feel a sense of pity.

And if it really is the burial cloth of Jesus, its historical and religious significance is colossal. We may never know the truth, but it does make you think.

I ask Sylvana, who's a volunteer guide at the museum, her views on the shroud, the research and the controversy. She flashes a wry smile, the kind that's a bit unnerving, as if she knows something I don't.

"Scientific research can certainly help us to understand the history of the shroud ... but in the end, it's really a question of faith. You either believe, or you don't believe."
Shroud researcher
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01/13/2006 06:24 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
"If it's a painting, it's a work of singular brilliance: a negative image created centuries before photographic negativity was discovered. A work that displays properties of three-dimensionality and perfect symmetry."

It CANNOT be a painting because two Italian physicists Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolio of Padova University last year discovered [link to www.iop.org]
that the discolouring of the lines fibres is confined to the surface and does not extend into the cloth, which is what would be expected if paint had soaked into the material. The fact that the image is a negative of a 3-dimensional figure indicates beyond reasonable doubt that it is a photographic image, created by a camera obscura technique that projected the image of a torso onto a linen sheet impregnated with a photo-sensitive chemical. Leonardo da Vinci knew of the camera obscura because he describes it in his notebooks, and it might have known to a few others long before him - a secret discovered only centuries later. Similarly, a few alchemists may have discovered chemicals like silver nitrate that reacted to light but - as they often did with their experiments - kept it secret and never written about, thus explaining the lack of documentary evidence for such a discovery.

The fact that the head is disproportionally smaller than the torso indicates that the images of the head and body were created on different occasions, resulting in their becoming slightly mismatched in scale. The much fainter image of a face and hands on the other side of the cloth discovered by the Italian physicists is consist with being a test carried out to make sure an image could be reproduced before the complete figure was generated on the other side. They concluded that the shroud cannot have been faked by painting because the images are confined to the two surfaces of the sheet. But this is true only for a painted image. If the linen had been made to act as a photographic film by brushing a photo-senstive chemical like silver nitrate onto it, the image created would have been formed only on the surface exposed to the light, which is precisely what Fanti and Maggiolio found. The body would have had to be placed on top of a black cloth so that the remainder of the cloth did not turn dark when its image was projected onto it.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 06:44 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
I think its real
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 06:52 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
That's faith, not science.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 07:03 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
You want Science? Read this Book:

Jesus Lived in India
(his unknown life before and after the crucifixion)
by Holger Kersten

English version: ISBN 0-906540-90-9

A compelling look is in Chapter 5
the "Death" of Jesus"

pg. 142 - Scientific Analysis of the Schroud
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 07:17 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
The Gospel of John states, "Nicodemus ... brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury" (Jn 19:39-40, KJV). No traces of spices have been found on the cloth. Frederick Zugibe, a medical examiner, reports [link to www.shroud.com] that the body of the man wrapped in the shroud appears to have been washed before the wrapping. It would be odd for this to occur after the anointing, so some proponents have suggested that the shroud was a preliminary cloth that was then replaced before the anointing, because there was not enough time for the anointing due to the Sabbath. However, there is no empirical evidence to support these theories. The scientific evidence therefore does not agree with the Gospel of John.
Elijah nli
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01/13/2006 07:29 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
There is a book called, "The Second Messiah" in which it is their contention that the shroud was created after the very cruel execution of one of the heads of Masonic groups connected to the Knights Templar. He was accused of supposed blasphemy and non-conformance with the Catholic church.

They solved many of the issues brought up here along with the dating of the relic. This also resolves why the Catholic church does not want to explain its origins.

I am unsure if it is correct, but they make a compelling argument. You may find it an interesting read.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 07:48 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
62552: "You want Science? Read this Book:

Jesus Lived in India
(his unknown life before and after the crucifixion)
by Holger Kersten

English version: ISBN 0-906540-90-9

A compelling look is in Chapter 5
the "Death" of Jesus"

pg. 142 - Scientific Analysis of the Schroud"

Extragavant speculation, not science.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 07:49 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
My bad, "extravagant," not "extragavant."
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 07:59 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
Whatever... The Subject matter is non-relevant anyway... Believe what you want Dude!
Anonymous Coward
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Germany
01/13/2006 08:01 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
BTW. You must be a Genious to have read all of that Chapter insuch a short time...
LMAO Whats the matter, does the mere thought shake your weak predisposition? Hmm...?
ORBY

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01/13/2006 09:07 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
How can anyone be certain, there is not enough evidence to support any theories, let alone the original one
For the lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 09:24 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
the romans crucified many of their enemies
Jesus was buried with a separate head cloth and body cloth, read here:

John 20:4-8 gives the testimony of John and Peter after Mary Magdalene reported very early in the morning that the two thousand pound stone door to the tomb of Jesus had been rolled back leaving the tomb open. She ran and told Peter and John, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him" (20:2). Peter and John headed to the tomb. John, one of the two eyewitnesses, tells us what happened.

And the two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. Simon Peter therefore also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen wrappings lying there, and the face–cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 09:25 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
by JOE ZIAS






1 Josephus,
Jewish War 7.203.



















2Bella Civilia 1.120. Undoubtedly, one of the cruelest and most humiliating forms of punishment in the ancient world was, according to ancient sources, crucifixion. The Jewish historian Josephus best described it following the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 66-70 as "the most wretched of deaths."1 Whereas in Seneca's Epistle 101 to Lucilius, he argues that suicide is preferable to the cruel fate of being put on the cross.

This form of state terror was widespread across the Roman Empire which included Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. It originated several centuries before the Common Era and continued into the fourth century AD when the practice was discontinued by Constantine, the emperor of Rome. While its origins are obscured in antiquity, it is clear that this form of capital punishment lasted for around 800 years and tens if not hundreds of thousands of individuals were subject to this cruel and humiliating death. Mass executions in which hundreds and thousands died – such as the well known crucifixion of 6,000 followers of Spartacus as part, of a victory celebration along the Appian Way in 71 BCE – appear in the literature.2

[link to www.religiousstudies.uncc.edu]
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 09:59 AM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
Similarly, a few alchemists may have discovered chemicals like silver nitrate that reacted to light

So where's the evidence of these photo sensitive chemicals on the shroud? hmmm.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 03:14 PM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
The History of the Camera Obscura

Camera obscura: a dark room with a tiny hole in the wall or the roof, through which the view outside is projected onto the opposite wall or a screen.

The first person to observe the optical principles of the camera obscura was Aristotle (384-322 BC), when he observed a crescent-shaped partial eclipse of the sun, projected on the ground through the holes of a strainer. The actual invention of the camera obscura has been erroneously accredited by different writers to Roger Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, G.B. Della Porta and Alberti. However, in the tenth century (250 years prior to Bacon) an Arabic scholar, known as Alhazen, described the camera obscura. Girolama Cardano, one of the great intellectuals of the renaissance, was the first person to describe the camera obscura used in conjunction with a bi-convex lens. This increased the sharpness of the projected image, but reduced its brightness. Della Porta was the first who used a concave mirror to increase the size of the image and also to erect the image (images from camera obscura had previously been small and upside down). He was also the first to suggest the use of the camera obscura as an artistic tool, so that people who could not paint could use the projected image to ‘trace’ the outlines of their picture, and add the paint later.

Friedrich Risner first suggested a portable camera obscura, presumably for its use as an artistic aid. He suggested the use of a lightweight wooden hut, with a small hole and lens in each wall, and a cube of paper in the centre for drawing. Sir Henry Wotton first describes a tent camera obscura, used by astronomer Johann Kepler in 1620. However, the earliest reference to a small portable box camera came in 1657, from Kasper Schott. This concept was advanced in 1676 by Johann Christoph Sturm, who described and illustrated the first portable reflex camera obscura, used as an aid to drawing and painting. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, there became a craze for camera obscuras in different shapes and forms. Described by John Harris as ‘one of the finest sights in the world’, the camera obscura was now widely used by artists and scientists alike, as well as for recreational and entertainment purposes, as mentioned in contemporary literature.

Artists like da Vinci and Della Porta may not have been the first to know about the camera obscura. Thomas Wedgewood and Sir Humphrey Davies are accredited as being the first to combine the camera obscura with light-sensitive materials in 1802. But - like so many discoveries in science - what the textbooks record as the first discoveries are not always what were actually. They were sometimes merely the first RECORDED instances.
It is therefore quite possible that a few alchemists stumbled across photosensitive materials during their experiments but never recorded their discoveries for posterity (after all, alchemists tended to be secretive individuals). The simple reason why none have been detected on the Turin Shroud could be that the chemical used was not among the chemicals tested for.
Anonymous Coward
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01/13/2006 03:41 PM
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Re: Shroud of Turin. Case NOT closed. Burial cloth of Jesus or cynical counterfeit?
For the life of me I can't see how a person with no common sense at all can look after himself. It should be obvious to a child that there is no mechanism (other than a miracle, which can do anything) that can form an undistorted image of a complex shape, such as a human body, on a cloth wrapped around that body.





GLP