View Full Version : the old piece of cloth chestnut

05-31-1999, 07:03 PM
Just opened up a post on being buried alive. As a segue, I was thinking of reviving an old subject, i.e. the shroud of Turin, being fully aware that it has been debated ad nauseam elsewhere. But having been a member for close to a month and having had the opportunity to read the well-informed thoughts of many of the posters here on different subject matters, I'd be more than interested to know what you think. Great hoax or great relic? I must admit that I find the whole thing somewhat fascinating.

If the great masses just don't share my enthusiasm, please don't flame or flog: we'll simply move on to other (better?) things o)

05-31-1999, 10:18 PM
I think the shroud is a total fake,or at least a misinterpretation.

The"face"on the shroud is a fuzzy copy of the image which was creasted by atists who lived a long time after the person it is supposed to represent.

Who knows what he looked like? He was an eastern mediteranean semite.

When some tel some day comes up with a dated AD30 polaroid found in a cave full of earthernware we'll be able to make a firm decision on the shroud.

My money's on the shroud losing by a TKO in the first round.

06-01-1999, 04:57 AM
- - - I recall watching a TV show about the shroud. They noted that several were painted during the early middle ages, and that the one the Vatican (?I think that's where it was kept) had was being sampled to undergo radiocarbon dating over the next two years.(they stuck clear tape on it to pull off some surface fibers) The show was 7-8 years ago at least, and I didn't hear anything, so I'd guess it didn't turn out to be from the right age. Anybody know? - MC

06-01-1999, 07:15 AM
One of the things that have been puzzling me in this image are the hands, and more specifically the fingers: something in their shape just isn't right. Reminds me of sculptures and paintings done circa 1300-1400. Also remember reading many years ago a fairly complete physical description of Jesus (one of the only ones known I think) by the historian Flavius Josephus but searched for it recently and couldn't find it. It would be interesting to see if image and description matched. Also, FWIW, the computerized figure they've arrived at several years ago differs largely from what we see on the shroud.

06-01-1999, 09:53 AM
Search Cecil's archive. The shroud is fake.

06-01-1999, 10:20 AM
We had a big long discussion of this on alt.fan.cecil-adams a little while ago (it ended up coming around to another creation/evolution argument). If I can find all the stuff (at home) I posted on it then (if my system hasn't deleted it as old mail), I'll repost it here. I know I quoted numerous things out of at least one book, and so I'd hate to have to go thru that again.

So until then, suffice it to say it's a fake; it's been proven a fake; the local bishop at the time it showed up acknowledged it as a fake; the only people who don't believe it's a fake are those who are so blinded by their religious beliefs that they are unwilling to see reality.

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-01-1999, 10:21 AM
I believe the Shroud is the result of a primitive photographic process invented by Leonardo daVinci.
There's some evidence that is somewhat circumstantial, which nevertheless makes it more credible than that old "Resurrection" bit.
Body of anonymous corpse + head of Leonardo daVinci = image of "Jesus".

06-01-1999, 10:30 AM
My attitude is that it is a fake. this is mixed with a hearty dose of "What does it matter anyway?" In fact, I have so little interest in it, I wasn't originally going to encourage the growth of this thread by responding.

06-01-1999, 01:44 PM
I've heard that carbon dating puts the origin of the Shroud of Turin in about the 14th century or so. Thus it's not the burial cloth of Christ.

I've also heard that the image was not painted on; it was produced by ammonia and oils released from a dead body. Also, the bloodstains are consistent with the wounds of Christ. So, if this was a deliberately prepared hoax, it involved torturing a still-live man (crown of thorns, stigmata, wound in the side) - so that he would bleed - and putting him to death by crucifiction, and then wrapping him in the shroud for a few days. Sort of a 14th century equivalent of a snuff film.

06-01-1999, 02:10 PM
Personally, I'm anti-relic. Every scientist who's studied it seems to have their own opinion depending on who's signing their check. If it's fake, big deal. It won't change the opinion of those who belive. If it's real, we run the risk of it becoming a thing to be worshipped, just like the children of Isreal worshipped the brass serpent Moses had to raise up in the desert (see book of Numbers) to stop the serpents from biting them.

Anyway, I think it's probably a fake. The Middle Ages were THE time for religious artifacts and this seems to be the period the Shroud comes from. At the time, lots of pilgrimages being made to special shrines that had the toe bone of St. Whoever etc etc ad nauseum. Shroud would be no different. Just finished reading "Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain and, in his inimitable way, scorns the way they see the "true" crown of thorns at at least 5 different churches in Italy. Good example of the relic thing and it's power to pull in the desperate.

Carpe Diem!

06-02-1999, 12:07 AM
Many thanks to posters. Should have searched archives first, although in hindsight I'm not surprised it has already been dealt with by other dopers.

06-02-1999, 07:20 AM
Ok, I found that old message I mentioned. Here are some quotes:

From _Looking for a Miracle_, by Joe Nickell (he wrote a whole book about the shroud [which I don't have] as well as this part of a chapter here, and he was part of a group that examined the Shroud):
"Final proof that the shroud dated not from the first century but from medieval times was reported on October 13, 1988, after samples from the cloth were carbon-dated. Postage-stamp-size samples were snipped from one end and transferred to laboratories at Oxford, England; Zurich, Switzerland; and the University of Arizona in the United States. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, the labs obtained dates in close agreement: The shroud dated from about 1260-1390, and the time span was given enhanced credibility by correct dates obtained from a variety of control swatches taken from ancient cloths of known date."

He also mentions a letter to Pope Clement VII by Bishop Pierre d'Arcis in 1389, in which he said the shroud was a fake created only for monetary gain. Also, he discusses the finding of red ocher pigment on the image
areas (which served as a component of the image -- in other words, it was painted). Walter McCrone determined that the "blood"
was actually tempera paint? (One of the pro-shroud scientists admitted that: "McCrone had over two decades of experience with this kind of problem and a worldwide reputation. Adler and I, on the other hand, had never before tackled anything remotely like an artistic forgery."

More from the same book:

"It is most suspicious that that shroud should turn up after thirteen centuries with its portrait looking just like more contemporary artistic representations of Jesus. Moreover, the shroud seems the culmination of a lengthy tradition of 'not-made-with-hands' portraits: From the sixth century came images reputedly imprinted by the bloody sweat of the living Christ, and by the twelfth century there were accounts of Jesus having pressed 'the length of his whole body' upon a cloth; already (by the eleventh century) artists had begun to represent a double-length (but non-imaged) shroud in paintings; and by the thirteenth century we find ceremonial shrouds bearing
full-length images of Christ's body in death (even with the hands folded over the loins, an artistic motif dating from the eleventh century). Thus, from an iconographic point of view, these various traditions coalesce in the Shroud of Turin and suggest it is the work of an artist of the thirteenth century or later."

"Additional evidence against authenticity is found in the 'blood' flows. While shroud proponents argue that they are amazingly accurate, there are critical, fundamental problems. For example, they are decidedly
'picturelike,' consistent with an artist's rendering. Dr. Michael Baden, a distinguished pathologist, pointed out that the 'blood' had failed to mat the hair and instead flowed in rivulets on the outside of the locks. Another problem is that the _dried_ blood, as on the arms, should not have transferred to the cloth at all. Moreover, the stains are suspiciously still
red, unlike real blood that blackens over time.
Anatomical details represent another category of flaws. For instance, the imprint of one leg shows it to be outstretched rather than bent at the knee as it would have to have been to produce the bloody footprint that is also depicted. In addition, the hair hangs down on either side of the face as if the figure were standing rather than reclining. Further, the physique
is so unnaturally elongated (resembling the figures in gothic art) that one pro-shroud pathologist concluded that Jesus must have suffered from the rare disease known as Marfan's Syndrome (which is characterized by an excessive length of the extremities).
Among realistic details supposed to be beyond the knowledge of a medieval artist were flagellation marks on the body image (but medieval paintings depict contemporary flagellations), nail wounds in the wrists
rather than the hands (but only one such wound shows and it seems clearly to be located in the base of the palm), and 'Roman coins' over the eyes (the result of wishful imagining, say the skeptics)."

There ya go!

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-02-1999, 07:57 AM
Much obliged again David. A good part of the excerpts you have kindly reproduced I was already familiar with. As I said in a previous post, the form of the fingers would suggest, IMHO, some kind of painting instead of the actual thing. Not sure it would have anything to do with Marfan's syndrome. Debate will still go on, whatever other clues or discoveries they may find.

06-02-1999, 10:49 AM
Oh, I'm sure the debate will still go on. These things never actually die; they just go into hibernation for a little while until some new True Believer comes along to bring it back again. <sigh>

"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"