Stephen E. Jones

Shroud of Turin quotes: Unclassified quotes: December 2009

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The following are quotes added to my Shroud of Turin unclassified quotes in December 2009. See copyright conditions at end.

[Index: Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul-Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov]

"Have we got definitive proof of the authenticity of the Shroud? We have certainly reached the point of 
absolutely excluding the work of a painter forger or a plagiarist of experiments, since it is a question of a real 
scourging, a real crowning with thorns, a real thrust of a lance in the side of a corpse. Even the burial is seen 
to be mysteriously interrupted: the perfect transfer of the blood onto the material which happens `when the 
fibrin is half dissolved, neither before, nor after,' would seem to prove that the phenomenon of fibrinolisis, 
the rate of which varies with time, was suspended after some hours of contact. In addition to what has been 
set forth above, if biochemical tests of the imprint should show that it is real blood that has kept its typical 
faded carmine-mallow coloration owing to the presence of aloes and myrrh in a shroud subjected to intense 
heat (experiments of Vignon and others) - if the process of fibrionolisis makes it possible to explain the 
perfect transfer of the coagulated or congealed blood in the precise limits of time of the temporary burial - 
then the convergence of the findings, some of which cannot be repeated by the paint-brush, such as that of 
the photographic negative and the phenomenon of coagulation with real blood, transferred to the material, 
will cause us to conclude that the Man of the Shroud is that Jesus of whom the Gospels speak, excluding 
any other crucified person in history. In the present state of research, there are so few probabilities in favor 
of the latter hypothesis that it verges upon the ridiculous merely to put it forward." (Ricci, G., "Historical, 
Medical and Physical Study of the Holy Shroud," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., "Proceedings of the 1977 United 
States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, 1977, p.73)

"The occasion of the Shroud being housed in this new case, immediately prior to the expositions of 1998, 
also saw the removal by Swiss textile conservator Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, assisted by Sister Maria 
Clara Antonini, of a blue satin frame-type surround that had been sewn onto the Shroud in the nineteenth 
century, and its replacement by a new white cloth. This removal enabled the original cloth's dimensions to 
be measured rather more precisely than had been possible before, at 437 cm long by 111 cm wide. In 
describing its most salient features, we shall use terms such as `left', `right', `top' and `bottom' to refer to the 
mode in which it was displayed in 1998, that is landscape-wise, with the imprint of the front half of the 
`Christ' body ranged to the left, and the back half imprint ranged to the right, as in the photograph on this 
page. This has the virtue that it is also the mode in which it has most commonly been displayed since as 
early as the 1350s, up to and including my own second viewing in March 2000." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 
"The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, p.18)

"THE Shroud is a long, rectangular piece of linen. We may assume that the cloth was once white, but now it 
has the color of ivory or heavy cream. On what we may call the `top' surface of the Shroud are visible the 
frontal and dorsal images of a man's naked body. The color of the images is a shade of brown, most often 
described as sepia. More precisely the Shroud measures 14 feet 3 inches in length, and 3 feet 7 inches in 
width. The entire fabric was woven in a single piece except for the left edge. Looking at the top surface, one 
notices a seam running down the left side of the cloth: a narrow strip, 3 1/2 inches wide, was at some time 
attached to the cloth, whose original width was therefore only 3 feet 3 1/2 inches. The image is entirely 
restricted to the original cloth, so it is possible that the strip was attached to the cloth after the image had 
been made." (Drews, R., "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman 
& Allanheld: Totowa NJ, 1984, p.11. Emphasis original)

"The following discussion concerns specific observations of the fabric and threads. The 4.3 x 1.1 m Shroud 
appears to consist of two panels of visually identical linen material joined together lengthwise by a seam 
which is 4-5 mm wide. The image is located wholly on the larger `main' section of the cloth. Apparently sewn 
to this main section is the so-called side strip that varies in width between 7.8 and 8.4 cm. ... Raes examined 
two threads (1 warp and 1 weft) from the main portion of the cloth and a triangular-shaped sample (about 40 
mm wide x 42 mm high) of the fabric that had been removed from one end of the Shroud along the edge ... 
The triangular-shaped sample evidently consisted of two pieces: one from the main section and one from the 
side strip. Raes reported both pieces to have the same herringbone 3:1 twill weave but, because this type of 
weave is not particularly distinctive, could not determine where or when the cloth had originated. Weft 
threads from the two pieces were found to differ somewhat in diameter although the number of weft threads 
per centimeter were virtually identical. Raes was unable to tell whether or not the main cloth and side strip 
were of different manufacture because of the short thread lengths that were available to him. More recent 
data have provided supplementary information. The radiograph ... suggests that the side strip either is, or at 
least was, at one time an integral portion of the full cloth. In this particular area, there are alternating high- 
and low-material-density `bands' that evidently correspond to weft lots of different weight used in the 
weaving. (The visible-light transmission photographs of Schwortz also clearly show these structures.) The 
density variations of the material are apparently associated with the Shroud, because they are not visible in 
the cut-out portion in which only the backing cloth is present. The distinct weft structure is continuous 
across the seam joining the two panels and strongly suggests that the side strip and the main section were 
of a single manufacture. A more careful examination of the seam needs to be made to determine whether the 
side strip was actually detached." (Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of 
Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Reprinted from Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, No. 1, 1982, 
pp.3-49, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co: Amsterdam, 1982, pp.41-42. Emphasis original)

"For, if Jesus really did leave behind the cloth we now know as the Turin Shroud, it carries unique evidence 
for his existence, his Passion, perhaps even for his Resurrection. But equally it can scarcely be said that he 
made its authenticity obvious or the story it tells plain for all to see. (Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin: The 
Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 1979, p.18)

"THE Shroud of Turin has an eccentric following. At one and the same time the Shroud has been the object 
of enormous interest and thoroughly ignored. It is an artifact so precious that three centuries ago a 
cathedral chapel was constructed specifically to house and protect it, and so famous that at its most recent 
public display in the autumn of 1978, more than three million people came to view it. We may safely say that 
no single object is as venerated by the Christian world as is the Shroud of Turin. But the Shroud has 
scarcely been noticed by those who, one would suppose, should have a professional interest in it: scholars 
whose province includes the ancient world and the beginnings of Christianity. ... Nor, with an occasional 
exception, will one find publications about the Shroud in the bibliographies of New Testament studies or 
Biblical archaeology. The reason for this indifference, of course, has been the assumption (almost universal 
among historians) that the Shroud is a fake. Only if it were demonstrated that the Shroud is not a fake would 
historians be obliged to deal with it and its implications." (Drews, R., "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New 
Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Allanheld: Totowa NJ, 1984, pp.1-2 Emphasis original)

"Fortunately, what professional historians have neglected has been studied intensely by others, and a 
varied and colorful company has produced a considerable literature about the Shroud. These somewhat 
clandestine articles tend to appear in obscure journals, and what books there are on the subject have not 
been published by university presses. Among those who have contributed to present knowledge of (or 
theories about) the Shroud are physicians, chemists, photographers, journalists, physicists, a coroner, a 
criminologist, and even a stage magician. To them, and not to professional historians, credit must be given 
both for insisting upon the profound importance of the Shroud, and for launching an investigation of its 
nature and authenticity." (Drews, R., "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and 
Origins," Rowman & Allanheld: Totowa NJ, 1984, p.2)

"That the scholarly world has been so reluctant to turn its attention to the Shroud may at first glance seem 
puzzling, but is explicable all the same. The Shroud is a sheet of linen bearing frontal and dorsal images of a 
body said to be the crucified body of Jesus Christ. This sensational, or even preposterous, claim is itself an 
explanation for the indifference of scholarly historians: an object touted as a memento from the crucifixion of 
Jesus, and so from the central episode in Western history, is obviously too good to be true. So many relics 
of Jesus' passion - fragments of the cross, drops of the holy blood, the crown of thorns-were `discovered' in 
the Middle Ages, only to be derided in the Enlightenment, that by the nineteenth century an historian who 
maintained the authenticity of a relic was invariably looked at askance by his colleagues, and was in some 
danger of losing his standing altogether in the scholarly community." (Drews, R., "In Search of the Shroud 
of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Allanheld: Totowa NJ, 1984, p.2)

"HAD PHOTOGRAPHY never been invented, it is most unlikely that the Shroud would ever have been 
considered of serious scientific interest. At the end of the last century even Roman Catholic historians were 
well aware of the fourteenth-century forgery allegations and, with so many of the Church's so-called `relics' 
being of doubtful authenticity, it had to rank among the most doubtful. But, as is now part of Shroud 
folklore, such attitudes received a serious jolt on the night of 28 May 1898. It was the third day of an eight-
day period of public expositions of the Shroud in Turin Cathedral, the first such to be held for thirty years. 
As part of the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the Italian Constitution, the Shroud had been 
brought down from its normal repository in the elevated Guarini chapel and set up on the Cathedral's high 
altar in a brand-new display frame. .... And, with the science of black-and-white photography now well 
established, the Shroud's then owner, King Umberto I of Italy, at long last granted permission for the first 
ever official photograph of the cloth to be taken. The man appointed for this was thncillor and proficient amateur photographer Secondo Pia. .... Mounting his heavy box camera on a 
temporary platform matching the height of the displayed Shroud, he carefully focused his Voigtlander lens 
on the cloth, loaded a large glass photographic plate and gave it a twelve-minute exposure, followed by 
another for fourteen minutes, doing much the same with several smaller plates. Then he hurried back to his 
darkroom to develop these as the negatives from which prints would be made." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 
"The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, p.29)

"Given that the Shroud's imprint is so shadowy and ephemeral, Pia had little if any expectation that its 
negative would prove any more meaningful - but he received the shock of his life. Under the developer there 
began to appear an image so extraordinarily lifelike that it was as if the Shroud itself was a negative, so that 
photography produced a `positive' photograph from it. To all appearances the Shroud man's face and body 
were `lit' with natural light and shade, with the blood-flows as from crucifixion and the wound in the chest 
showing up in white. This immediately raised the question of how any forger back in the Middle Ages could 
produce an image like that, without any means of checking his work, and without anyone properly able to 
appreciate it for another five hundred years. Pia, as he would later attest with no little emotion, felt himself to 
be the first man since the days of the apostles to gaze on the body of Jesus, as this had appeared in death 
nearly nineteen centuries before." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," 
Michael O'Mara Books: London, 2000, pp.29-30) 

"A particularly notable example occurs in a work entitled the Funeral Oration, forming part of the Pray 
manuscript [Budapest, Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar (National Szechenyi Library), MNY I] preserved in the 
National Széchényi Library of Budapest. Four pages of pen and ink drawings accompany a text that is 
among the very earliest in the Hungarian language, and in one of these, fol. 28 [pl. 29, above], we see Jesus's 
body being laid out full length on a shroud, entirely naked, and with the hands crossed over the pelvis in 
precisely the manner so characteristic of the Turin `shroud' image. [Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in 
Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., trans., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, 1969, pl. III] This 
drawing can be accurately dated, being reliably thought to have been made at the ancient Benedictine 
monastery of Boldva in Hungary between the years 1192 and 1195. And according to the specialist of 
Hungarian medieval manuscripts, Ilona Berkovits: ... the style of its miniatures shows resemblance to the art 
associated with the middle of the [twelfth] century. It is not impossible that the miniaturist followed the 
illumination of an earlier, more elaborate manuscript, from the end of the eleventh or the beginning of the 
twelfth century, which has since been lost, and copied its compositions. [Ibid., p. 19]" (Wilson, I., "Holy 
Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, 1991, pp.150-151)


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Created: 2 December, 2009. Updated: 16 April, 2010.