Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Turin Shroud was not intended to represent the final burial shroud, merely an opened-out BODY BAG for transporting Jesus from cross to rock tomb.

Late addition ( Dec 4 ):  De Ciseri's  "Deposition of Christ" (1883). Was this post-crucifixion scene from the synoptic gospels,  featuring the sheet of "fine linen" purchased by Joseph of Arimathea, the inspiration for medieval fabrication of a whole-body analogue of the fabled 'Veil of Veronica', imagined as a sweat/blood imprint, the one we now call the Shroud of Turin?

Plus ça change - a modern-day body bag. (Leaving the face exposed in the De Ciseri painting above was of course artistic licence).

Late addition (Dec 4). Why assume that the Turin so-called "Shroud" is or was intended as a burial shroud, when the biblical account in the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) states clearly that body of Jesus was removed from the cross, placed into a sheet of linen supplied by Joseph of Arimathea, and then taken to the tomb? There is nothing there to indicate that the linen was intended as the final burial shroud, and indeed, when one reads the fourth gospel account (John) which mentions Joseph of Arimathea, but not his linen, the scene has moved  on to the tomb, and it's now Nicodemus who is making the preparations for interment, and doing so using "winding" linen that is used to incorporate spices and ointments.

So it's just as likely, if not more so, that the Turin Shroud, whether "authentic", or as this blogger believes "non-authentic" (a cunningly contrived medieval scam), is in fact Joseph of Arimathea's linen, used as a stretcher or body bag, bearing a blood and sweat imprint (probably simulated, not real) of both upper and lower body surfaces.  It cannot be called a burial shroud if there's a real possibility that its intended function was otherwise, and if indeed as seems probable it had been removed by Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea and replaced with a more specialized funeral garment or 'winding' (see the image from the Hungarian Pray manuscript below showing arguably both J of A's 'stretcher/body bag' under the body AND the winding strips in readiness.

Starting point of original posting:   This blogger/retired scientist has grown somewhat weary of arguing a case in detail, only to see "lite" versions appear on other sites, naming no names, that others read and misunderstand (for a typical ridicule-laden example see the appendix below).One has better things to do with one's time than  be constantly re-stating one's case, trying to correct misunderstandings that are NOT of one's own making.

Repeat: the  TS was intended to be seen as an ancient sweat imprint on linen. No, not an actual sweat imprint, as I was at pains to point out, but a SIMULATED, i.e. imitation sweat imprint, an imagined sweat imprint, a fanciful reconstruction of how a whole body sweat imprint (with liberal additions of blood too) might look some 13 centuries afterwards if  "suddenly" unearthed from goodness knows where and immediately placed on public display.

How was the 'sweat imprint' manufactured?  Answer: almost certainly as a faint contact scorch from a heated 3D metal statue and/or bas relief, accounting for the 'negative' image and 3D properties, but that's just a detail. The takeaway message is that the  TS image was a SIMULATED sweat imprint, a larger version of the much venerated Veil of Veronica (the latter having probably served as the inspiration for fabricating the TS to represent as a sweat and blood derived  whole body imprint).

But was it really a BURIAL shroud that was represented in that ingenious thought experiment?

Well, I've now developed that narrative a bit further, but rather than set out lengthy arguments and reasoning here, just to see my mission to explain come to naught, I'll adopt a two step procedure.

Please be content for now with another new claim:  the so-called Turin Shroud was never intended to represent the final burial shroud. It was a makeshift body bag used to transport Jesus from the cross to his final resting place, the rock tomb. It was simply to provide a dignified transport of a blood and sweat-soaked victim pending the final washing and anointing prior to final burial, probably in WINDING sheets.It was the body bag that received the sweat and blood imprint, NOT the final burial shroud enclosing a washed, anointed, perfumed body.

I shall now take my time in composing the next posting. It will explain how these latest ideas came about. The Lirey Pilgrim's badge played a key role in that thinking. There will even be a new explanation for what Ian Wilson described as the "blood belt".

The TS image in sweat and blood was on the up-and-over BODY BAG, not the final burial shroud.

Late addition: see the latest posting  (Dec 4) on my other site for a continuation of the theme, mainly in pictures:

A new take in pictures on an old artefact – the (not really a) Shroud of Turin, more an imaginative 14th century marketing wheeze.

APPENDIX 1 : what the NT has to says on the "linen":

Matthew, Chapter 28:  

57. When the even was come, there cam a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple.
58. He went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded to body to be delivered.
59. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.
60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and departed.

There is no evidence there that the linen cloth was intended to be used as the final burial shroud. Indeed, it's clear it was intended primarily for transporting body from cross to tomb. One is not entitled to assume that a sheet of linen used to transport a bloodied body then doubled as the final burial shroud, implying there was no cleaning of the body. How likely was that? Why would the Marys bring ointments etc the next day, unless it was intended to first wash the body - and then remove it from the soiled 'body bag' prior to wrapping in  fresh clean sheets?

Mark, Chapter 15

43  Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
44. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him, the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
45. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
46.And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
47. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

How likely is it that a length of cloth used to transport a bloodied body from the site of execution would double as final burial shroud?

Luke, Chapter 23

50  And, behold ,there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor and he was a good man and a just:

51... etc etc
52. This man went unto Pilate and begged the body of Jesus.
53. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
54. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
55. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
56. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment.

John, Chapter 19

38. And after this, Joseph of Arimathea, 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.
39. And there came also Nicodemus (which at the first came to Jesus by night) and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight.
40. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner is it of Jews to bury.

Observe there is no indication as to what was used to transport Jesus to the tomb. While the "clothes" used  to "wind" Jesus are described as linen, it seems fairly certain they used new material, different from that (unspecified) material used for transport. Might this be the source of confusion - the reference to linen used in two different contexts, one for transport in Matthew, Mark and Luke, and another different linen in John used for the final "winding".

Matthew, Mark and Luke describe a linen 'body bag' - unlikely to be used as burial shroud. John describes a linen burial shroud, with no indication as to what preceded it, if anything,  as body bag.


New angle on that much over-hyped Hungarian Pray Codex: might that be Jesus on an opened-out body bag in the upper picture, with the replacement snake-like linen for winding in readiness?


Here's an example of what is allowed to appear elsewhere, laden with scorn and ridicule, with no attempt on the blog owner's part to intervene, correcting false impressions created by his own sketchy reporting, lacking crucial detail.

Antero de Frias Moreira
November 14, 2014 at 5:11 am
Why human sweat cannot produce a Shroud like imprint
Sweat is composed mainly of water with dissolved minerals lactate and urea.
It’s a fact that sweat glands have an uneven distribution in human skin, and the composition and quantity of produced sweat by a human depends on several factors.
Leaving aside speculations,, if we assume the corpse wrapped in the Shroud had profuse sweating before death, then almost all skin surface would be covered by sweat, and the uneven distibution of sweat glands in dermal structure would not matter., even hair would be soaked with sweat (unless it had been washed…)
Question 1- Is there any sweat chemical compound that reacts whith the polysaccharide layer involving linen fibers(Rogers theory) or pectin and hemicellulose of primary cell wall?
Perhaps lactate? urea?-
If so does it produce the same color tone?
Question 2- From a microscopical point of view IF sweat was responsible for color change of fibers, as a fluid it is, it would soak the fabric and probably there would be coloration on the other side of the cloth, and besides, contrary to what is observed on the Shroud there would be a continuum of colored fibers in «image» áreas ( I mean at microscopical level there would not be colored fibers and uncolored fibers side by side..)
The question of superficial fiber coloration at thread level would not be fulfilled either.
Question 3- A sweat imprint on cloth would be by defenition a contact imprint, ON THE CONTRARY THE SHROUD IMAGE IS NOT(al least in several anatomical áreas) A CONTACT IMAGE.
Question 4- If it would be possible to wrap a naked human body with its skin covered with sweat in a linen sheet with the aim of obtaining an image, the result would be as follows
(assuming that a color change would occur independently of the time elapsed to get it..)
It would be a contact-only blurred image, with different macroscopic and microscopic characteristics relative to Shroud image let alone the fact it would have no 3D encoding.
SWEAT THEORY HAS ALREADY BEEN DISPROVED, let’s not waste time speculating on old fashion and out of date issues,
Antero de Frias Moreira
Centro Português de Sindonologia

Appendix 4

I never imagined for one moment that I was the first to propose the 'body bag' hypothesis, in view of the Gospel accounts making clear that 'fine linen' was used for immediate transport from cross to tomb. And here's a comment from David Mo that includes a French quote (my italics) making precisely  the same point. My immediate response follows:

November 26, 2014 at 3:48 am
More interesting:
« L’autre Suaire qui porte aussi une empreinte du corps de Jesus-Christ est celui qu’on appelle le saint Suaire de Besançon. La peinture n’y est pas si forte ni les traits si distinguez que le Suaire de Turin. C’est ce qui a fait dire à ceux qui ont donné l’histoire de l’un & de l’autre, que celui de Turin avoit servi à envelopper le corps tout ensanglanté à la descente de la croix, & que celui de Besançon avoit servi à l’ensevelir après qu’il eut été lavé & embaumé ».
It was a common belief that the mark of Turin Shroud was made with blood.

November 26, 2014 at 3:55 am
Snap. I had arrived at precisely the same conclusion this morning, namely that the TS was a “body bag” used to transport from cross to tomb, and NOT used as a final burial shroud.

(with a link to this posting).

Appendix 5

Ian Wilson no less has expressed views that chime with mine (my bolding)

Wilson concurs with this as a possible explanation: "Although this may have been a me re chin band, it implies a more substantial piece of linen, and an alternative interpretation is that it could have been the Shroud we know today. The root meaning of sudarion is sweat cloth, and the Shroud may have been intended as a temporary wrapping to soak up the sweat and blood from the body prior to a more definitive burial, which would have taken place after the Passover Sabbath."

Appendix 6

Here's the most recent comment from Nabber re my sweat imprint hypothesis:

November 26, 2014 at 9:47 am
It was not a sweat imprint, and here’s why:
As the Wiki says, “there is no doubt that there was an image displayed in Rome in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries which was known as the Veil of Veronica. The history is, however, PROBLEMATIC.” Nowhere can you reliably document that the image was a sweat-print. The only inspection: in 1907 in St. Peter’s when Jesuit art historian Joseph Wilpert inspected the image, he saw only a piece of light-colored material, faded, with two faint rust-brown stains. On the contrary, all the medieval paintings of the Veronica intended to show an actual colored portrait of Christ’s face (miraculously imprinted, they thought) and were not portrayals of a sweat-print, leading any honest analyst to conclude that the Veronica was originally a PAINTING. Even the common medieval “rube” would have known that a face-print is not created from someone rubbing the sweat and blood off of a man’s face–only a messy blob. Therefore, anyone, cleric, artist, common-man, would have supposed the Veronica was a miraculous image and not a sweat imprint.

My answer (posted here only) : let's not get hung up on what substances comprised the Veil of Veronica as it existed in the 14th century. If as I suggest it was used as a model for simulating the burial shroud (or body bag) of Christ, it may be those artisans did not know either. But they could have fallen back on the legend of the Veil, which we're told did not really get going till the 14th century, namely that there was a wiping of sweat and blood from the face of Jesus, that there was a momentary "imprint" of his face, blotchy or otherwise, and what happens then is a matter for conjecture (and artistic licence). It's the concept that matters, namely that a contact image can be made from the body to cloth.  Image enhancement is a secondary consideration.

The thing we have to keep uppermost in our minds is that we have an alleged burial shroud that carries not only the blood of the deceased, blood being a bodily fluid, but a negative imprint too that is faint yellow.If there's one bodily fluid, why not another? The most obvious candidate for an imprinting fluid has to be sweat, especially as it accompanies exertion and trauma.  What's more we have a reasonable precedent for that in the Veil of Veronica provided one does not get bogged down in all the secondary artistic or miraculous add-ons.

A negative image, as per Turin Shroud, is most unusual, and cries out for a rationale. A putative sweat imprint provides the rationale. Frances de Sales in 1614 regarded the TS as an image comprising blood AND sweat.

  Appendix 7

Comment from Thomas on shroudstory.com, Thursday 4th December and my reply

December 4, 2014 at 1:35 am
Colin I for one have no resistance to the idea. It’s one I’ve always held.

December 4, 2014 at 2:18 am
Pleased to hear it Thomas. But have you considered the implications? Imprinting onto a linen sheet used immediately after ‘taking down’ generates an entirely different narrative (or possible narratives) than imprinting much later onto the same sheet or a replacement one. It’s not an area I’m not keen to get into, having said many moons ago that much of what has been written re ‘re- bleeding’ from old wounds, ‘unclotting’ , etc by this or that mechanism (fibrinolysis, serum exudates of retracted blood clots etc) strikes me as counter-intuitive, indeed credulity-stretching. None of those complicated some might say contrived scenarios are needed if the imprinting occurs, whether 1st or 14th century, from a real or simulated corpse in which the wounds are still relatively fresh. But all of that overlooks the elephant in the room – the time constraints imposed on imprinting of a secondary body image. If the TS is J of A’s linen sheet, then who’s to say it was not replaced with something else (like Nicodemus’s linen) prior to imprinting of body image by supernatural processes? Who’s to say that medieval hoaxers had no intention of “modelling” a supernatural imprinting of body image – and were content to propose a Veronica-like imprinting of sweat as well as blood onto the transport linen en route to the tomb?
I may be totally wrong re imprinting mechanisms, but am sure about one thing: the biblical record simply does not justify the description Turin “Shroud” if there’s no evidence that the sheet of linen was ever intended to be used as the final burial shroud. It should be re-named the Turin Linen, or maybe “Turin Imprint”, leaving open the possibility of it being a larger post-mortem analogue of the pre-mortem Veil of Veronica. Any miracle would be less to do with ‘resurrection -imprinting’ than morphing of a sweat-imprint into a negative image of a recognizable human being.

 Appendix 8

Second comment from Thomas on shroudstory.com (different thread)  and my reply:

December 4, 2014 at 3:12 am
Seeing this reminded me of the abrasion we see on Christ’s right cheek on the shroud. What chance of this on a bas relief?
It’s a level of detail one would really not expect to see in a 14th century “fake”

 My reply:
December 4, 2014 at 3:40 am
How can you describe what you see (yellow pointer?) as an “abrasion” Thomas, when it’s indistinguishable in character from surrounding body image?

All one can say surely is that it’s an asymmetry in the facial features, one that cannot be readily explained without knowing the precise mechanism of image imprinting (which was definitely not photography).

Appendix 9 (needed to make a point elsewhere)

Notice a faint reverse-side image? It's an artefact - the filtered light (red) is being back-reflected from the white background through  the interstices of the weave.The 'reverse side image' largely disappears when the fabric is placed on a matt black surface.

Appendix 10

and here are the steps that lead from template to 3D-enhanced image that I shall proceed to post to the current discussion on shroudstory.com (for Todds delectation especially, as he seems impressed by what can be accomplished by simple scorch technology and ImageJ):
1. Thermal imprint from brass crucifix onto linen with damp underlay.

2. Close up of thermal imprint (cropped from above picture, with loss of feet).

3. Simple tone reversal in ImageJ (use Edit Invert).

4. After 3D rendering and flipping left/right  in ImageJ for easier comparison with initial template.

Appendix 12

Appendix 13:

Appendix 14:

Appendix 15

 For the attention of Charles Freeman.

Were you aware Charles that the original Stonehenge was painted in patriotic colours? Unfortunately, owing to the depredations of time, the pigments have all detached and the fallout swept away by westerly gales. All we are left with now is that drab grey stone. Pity.

Btw: it's also rumoured that they ran out of white paint and left the job unfinished. Either that, or they got bored and went off to the Stone Shifters Arms for a jar or two of the local scrumpy, and were never seen or heard of again.

 Appendix 16

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Appendix 17 (needed to make a point elsewhere)

Appendix 18

Appendix 20

Appendix 21

Appendix 22

Appendix 23

Appendix 24

Colour optical illusion

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