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The following are quotes added to my Shroud of Turin unclassified quotes in June-September 2012. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]
6/06/2012 "One of the greatest treasures in the National Library of Budapest is the Pray Codex, a manuscript which contains, among other things, the earliest Hungarian annals and the earliest work of Hungarian literature. The main part of the codex, including the part that interests us here, was produced around 1192-5 in one of the country's Benedictine monasteries. Hungary was ruled at the time by King Bela III, a staunch ally of the Byzantine Empire, who had spent eight years as a young man in the imperial court at Constantinople. During his reign, therefore, cultural links between Hungary and the Byzantine capital were strong." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.178). 6/06/2012 "On folio 28r of the Pray Codex, in the midst of a liturgical text relating to the celebration of Holy Week, are a couple of drawings that together document the existence of the Shroud in the late twelfth century ... The artist's idiom is rather crude, making interpretation of the pictures slightly tricky, but his intentions are none the less reasonably clear. There are two scenes, one above the other. The upper scene is a rare depiction of the Anointing of Christ, in which Jesus' corpse is prepared for burial on Good Friday. [John 19:39-40] In the centre we see Nicodemus pouring a flask of ointment over the dead body, which is laid out on a rectangular tomb-slab and a large sheet characterized by conspicuous folds. To the left and right stand Joseph of Arimathea and St John the Evangelist, respectively, holding the other half of the winding sheet between them. The bottom half of the page represents the much more common scene of the Three Marys at the Sepulchre. The women are on the right, while on the left appears the angel they encounter at the tomb, who informs them of the Resurrection. [Mark 16:5-6] At the base of the composition are a couple of highly patterned rectangles, one predominantly zigzagged, the other cross-covered ... It was Ian Wilson who first drew attention to the potential relevance of this page of the Pray Codex to the subject of the Shroud. [Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," 1978, p.137] He noticed two unusual aspects of the depiction of Christ in the Anointing that reminded him of the Shroud. First, the wrists are crossed, right over left, at the level of the groin. This pose, which is uncommon in the art of the period, corresponds to the pose of the Shroud figure. Secondly, the figure of Christ is represented naked. As noted earlier, in medieval art Christ's modesty was almost always preserved by a loincloth or by his burial cloth, yet he also appears naked in the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.178-179). 6/06/2012 "Researchers have since noticed several other features of the same drawing that recall the Shroud. Heinrich Pfeiffer has suggested that the red mark above Christ's right eyebrow is intended to represent the noticeable bloodstain in the same place on the forehead of the Shroud figure. It could perhaps be an accidental smudge, but the placing is perfect, and a chance coincidence seems unlikely. More significant is the fact that the hands of Christ lack thumbs, as they do on the Shroud. This is notable especially in the case of the left hand, whose thumb should definitely be visible ... Also significant is the artist's conception of the winding sheet, which corresponds to the bi-fold form of the Shroud: the upper half of the sheet is held by Joseph and John, and, when Nicodemus finishes the anointing, they will wrap it around the head and lay it over the rest of the body. The scene of the Anointing corresponds to the Shroud, then, in five telling respects: it represents Jesus naked, his wrists crossed over his groin, his hands lacking thumbs, a prominent red stain above his right eye, about to be enfolded in a long sheet drawn up and over his head. Does this not look like an attempt to imagine the burial of Christ on the basis of the Shroud? What are the odds in favour of all these rare correspondences with the Shroud occurring in the same image just by chance?" (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.179). 6/06/2012 "We have yet to consider the most impressive evidence, which is found in the scene of the Three Marys below. The most conspicuous and peculiar features of this composition are the large, ornate rectangles beneath the figures. At first glance, these shapes seem quite incomprehensible. Anyone well versed in medieval iconography would expect this part of the picture to be occupied by an empty sarcophagus, but no sarcophagus was ever painted with crosses and zigzags like this. It is the zigzags that give the game away. As Andre Dubarle observes, they look like an attempt to imitate the herringbone weave of the Shroud. The artist has struggled to work out the design, but the stepped-pyramid pattern that fills the upper rectangle clearly evokes the visual effect of the Shroud's three-to-one twill weave ... If we follow the sloping, zigzagged rectangle downwards, we find that it meets the horizontal, cross-covered rectangle at an acute angle in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. This implies that the two rectangles are two halves of the same cloth, folded over on the left, in accordance with the depiction of the winding sheet in the scene above - and with the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.179-180). 6/06/2012 "This interpretation is confirmed by the most important details in the whole drawing: two tiny sets of circles, one on either half of the cloth. In the midst of the herringbone pattern is a group of four circles disposed like a knight's move in chess ... , while to the right, in among the crosses of the lower rectangle, is a similar group of five circles. These circles make no sense whatsoever as decorative motifs. They are plainly meant to signify something, and their meaning becomes clear the moment we recall the 'poker-holes' that disfigure the Shroud ... There are four sets of poker-holes, each set resembling a knight's move in chess, perfectly matching the configuration of the circles in the drawing. The artist has depicted the circles on either rectangle to show how the holes went through the cloth. Given that he was working from memory and was not particularly skilful, his rendering of the poker-holes is astonishingly accurate. They are an unmistakable mark of identity." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.180). 6/06/2012 "We have now identified eight telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on a single page of the Pray Codex. The first five, found in the scene of the Anointing, are sufficient on their own to indicate that the artist of the Pray Codex knew the Shroud. Conclusive proof is provided by the three correspondences in the lower scene: the stepped-pyramid pattern in the upper rectangle, evoking the distinctive herringbone weave of the Shroud; the folding of the object in two halves; and the small circle formations, which match the pattern of the poker-holes. It is inconceivable that all these detailed links with the Shroud, several of which are found nowhere else, could have occurred on a single manuscript page by chance. The only reasonable conclusion is that the artist of the Pray Codex was aware of the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.180). 6/06/2012 "The Shroud existed and was already damaged, then, by 1192-5, when the illustrations in the Pray Codex were drawn. Given the close links at the time between Hungary and Byzantium, it can hardly be doubted that the artist saw the relic in Constantinople. The Shroud was the Byzantine Sindon. The realization that the Pray Codex contains a depiction of the Shroud begs an obvious question: why did the artist not depict the cloth's figure? There are several likely reasons. As someone privileged to view the relic, the artist may have been bound by the same code of secrecy as Nicholas Mesarites. He may have wanted to provide himself with a vivid portrayal of the events of Good Friday and Easter morning, focusing on the Shroud, but without revealing the secret to others. Knowledge of the 'miraculous' image was not to be divulged to all and sundry. Moreover, he would have found the Shroud figure virtually impossible to draw. It could be defined, as we have seen, by its lack of outline (aperilepton), but, like every other draughtsman of the age, the Pray Codex artist depended on outline. If he had simply ignored this problem and drawn the figure in anyway, it would have looked as if the body of Christ was still lying in the tomb - a heretical idea." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.180-181). 6/06/2012 "Fortunately, he had a much better solution. Instead of representing the Shroud figuratively, he could represent it symbolically. That is why the lower rectangle, representing the interior surface of the Shroud, is covered in red crosses: they symbolize the sacred, bloodstained image. This opens up a broad avenue of art-historical research, since cross-covered cloths of one sort or another were relatively common in the Middle Ages. Only the most important analogy can be mentioned here. From the mid eleventh century onwards the patriarchs of the Byzantine Church took to wearing a new type of liturgical garment, a robe covered with a field of black or red crosses, known as a polystaurion (`many-crossed'). The design of this garment matched the pattern drawn on the interior surface of the Shroud in the Pray Codex, and the liturgical context in which it was worn suggests that the symbolism was exactly the same. Dressed in his liturgical robes, the priest stood in for the figure of Christ, a function emphasized by the multiple crosses. The Hungarian artist has simply appropriated this sign, using a 'many-crossed' cloth to stand in for the absent Shroud figure. In doing so, he revealed, I suspecgin and meaning of the polystaurion itself, and he also confirmed the Byzantine provenance of the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.180-181). 6/06/2). 6/06/2012 "The Shroud of Turin, then, was once the Sindon of Constantinople. Seen in public by Robert de Clari and his fellow Crusaders in 1203-4, it was kept before then in a state of religious purdah, witnessed only by members of the Byzantine court and esteemed visitors, who, once initiated, could be trusted to keep the secret of its astonishing image. Historical records show that the Sindon was kept in the Pharos Chapel as part of the imperial relic collection, being first documented there in 958, 400 years before it was put on show in the small French village of Lirey." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.181). 6/06/2012 "The case against the Shroud rests largely on a dubious reading of the documents concerning its emergence in the mid fourteenth century. To begin with, sceptics have leapt on the claim of Pierre d'Arcis, bishop of Troyes, that 'thirty-four years or thereabouts' before he wrote, i.e. in about 1355, one of his predecessors, Henry of Poitiers, had investigated the Shroud and found it to be 'a work of human skill'. [Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," 1978, pp.230-231] In the late nineteenth century, when scholars first became aware of this claim, they were understandably inclined to take it seriously, since little or nothing was then known about the Shroud and its image. In the early twenty-first century, however, there is no longer any excuse for believing the Shroud to be a fourteenth-century work of art. Enough is now known about it (and about fourteenth-century art) to render the idea risible. ... Rather than swallow Bishop d'Arcis's claim, we should recognize it as hearsay evidence that tells us something about fourteenth-century events at Lirey, but nothing about the origin of the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.181-182). 6/06/2012 "Suspicion has also been aroused by the failure of the cloth's owners, the de Charnys, to explain how they came by their extraordinary treasure. They did no more than offer conflicting hints, Geoffrey II de Charny saying that his father had been given it, Geoffrey II's daughter, Margaret, saying that Geoffrey I had won it as a spoil of war. This shiftiness has been taken as a sign that the de Charnys knew the relic was a fake, but it might just as well indicate that their ownership of the cloth was somehow illegitimate. Having identified the Shroud as the Sindon of Constantinople and remembering the Fourth Crusade, we can now see that this was the case. The de Charnys could not divulge the provenance of the Shroud or openly declare it to be the true Shroud of Christ, because it was not rightfully theirs - or any other Westerner's. They would have risked having it confiscated. It was preferable to pay lip-service to the idea that it was a copy, maintain possession of the cloth and look for a future opportunity to promote its cause." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.182). 6/06/2012 "The Shroud's problematic provenance also explains why Pope Clement VII permitted displays of the cloth to continue (to the dismay of Pierre d'Arcis), but only if it was publicly proclaimed to be 'a figure or representation of the Shroud of Our Lord', not the real thing. As a relative of the de Charnys, Clement almost certainly knew the cloth's provenance, but he could not allow it to be recognized as the true Shroud of Christ, for fear of causing a diplomatic incident. The Shroud was a cultural treasure that meant as much to the Greek emperors of Byzantium as the Elgin Marbles do to Greeks today, and it had been stolen from them in a looting campaign as brazen as any perpetrated by Napoleon or the Nazis. Nearly two centuries after the Fourth Crusade, the Sack of Constantinople was still an extremely sore point in Byzantium, and, if John V Palaiologos, the Byzantine emperor at the time, had heard that the priceless Sindon was being displayed in France, he would have made moves to recover it. Pope Clement would have been put on the spot, and the anticipated reunion of the Roman and Byzantine Churches, which was being actively discussed at the time, would have been put in jeopardy. Clement, then, had good reason not to acknowledge the real identity of the Shroud and to enjoin perpetual silence on Bishop d'Arcis as well." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.182-183). 6/06/2012 "There is no substance to Chevalier's claim that the fourteenth-century documents concerning the Shroud at Lirey prove that it was a recently executed painting - or any other sort of artwork. This was a conclusion reached in ignorance of the Shroud's exceptional qualities as an image and its early, eastern history, proved by the Pray Codex. The poker-hole patterns represented in the Pray Codex drawing, first noticed in 1998, are also the final nail in the coffin of the carbon-dating result. The cloth now in Turin must be at least three centuries older than the earliest date indicated by the radiocarbon age of the sample tested - a sizeable error. The 95 per cent confidence level the laboratories cited is meaningless, except, perhaps, as a measure of scientific hubris. Physics is not the only way to date the Shroud; historical and art-historical records have their part to play, as do the various indications gleaned from medical, chemical and archaeological investigations. This broad spectrum of research indicates that the Shroud dates not from the Middle Ages, but from antiquity. The evidence regarding the Shroud's earlier incarnation as the Sindon of Constantinople is consistent with this. Indeed, beyond proving that the Shroud existed over a millennium ago, it helps confirm the conclusion that the cloth is nearer 2,000 years old, that it is, in fact, what it purports to be. Everything we have learnt from a study of the cloth itself supports its authenticity, and, in the absence of any credible evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to conclude that the Shroud was used to wrap the dead body of Jesus." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.183). 6/06/2012 "This conclusion holds whether or not the Shroud's history can be retraced in its entirety. Sceptics like to assert that the Shroud cannot be ancient, since nothing is known of it before the fourteenth century, but, even if this were true, it would prove nothing. We could remain entirely ignorant of the cloth's whereabouts before 1355 - or 958 - and still logically conclude that it must have been used for the burial of Jesus." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.183). Jul [top]
1/07/2012 "One hot, bright morning in the early summer of 2004 I ambled out into the orchard beside my house in Cambridge, lay down on the grass and immersed myself in The Turin Shroud by Ian Wilson. ... I had spent the previous few days reading up on the Shroud, my interest having been kindled by a TV documentary screened that Easter, which cast serious doubt on the reliability of the carbon-dating test. I was now thoroughly hooked on the subject. ... I hoped Wilson's book, brought out into the fresh air, might act as a catalyst. It did. Leafing through its arguments and illustrations, I became caught up in the Shroud's mystery as never before, exploring its apparent paradoxes with a refreshing sense of intellectual abandon. ... Though sceptical of the relic's authenticity, for all the usual reasons, I was nevertheless fascinated by some of the historical evidence Wilson presented. Various texts he cited - such as Robert de Clari's account of the Byzantine cloth on which 'the figure of Our Lord could be plainly seen' did seem to point to a Shroud-like relic existing long before the fourteenth century, the date indicated by the problematic carbon-14 test." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, pp.192-193). 1/07/2012 "Moreover, I was aware by then of the major clue first recognized by Andre Dubarle: the distinctive pattern of the 'poker-holes' found on the representation of Christ's burial cloth in the Pray Codex. Unable to dismiss this as a coincidence, I found myself forced to reckon with the heretical idea that the Shroud was already known in the twelfth century. I also had to admit that Wilson's identification of the Shroud with the Mandylion was plausible and accounted for a good deal of evidence that, as far as I could see, orthodox opinion either ignored or dismissed without proper justification. For a while I lay there in the shade of the apple tree, turning these issues over in my mind. If Wilson's theory was correct, the Shroud's provenance could be traced back to the sixth century. And if it was that old, the chances of its being a fake were drastically reduced." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.192). 1/07/2012 "As an agnostic, used to thinking about Jesus in conventional Christian terms, I was extremely uncomfortable with the idea that the Shroud might be an authentic marvel; and, as an art historian familiar with the merry-go- round of medieval relics, I was extremely sceptical that this one - the most astonishing of all - might be genuine. Nevertheless, having considered every alternative explanation and found it wanting, I felt pinned down and forced to think the unthinkable. The execution and burial of Jesus, I told myself, is the only recorded event that could have resulted in a length of linen becoming stained by the body of a man flogged, crucified, crowned with thorns and speared in the side, and it is an event that is unlikely ever to have been exactly repeated. I couldn't avoid the conclusion: from a purely historical point of view, the death and burial of Jesus seemed to be the best explanation for the Shroud." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.192). 1/07/2012 "For a sceptical agnostic, this was a suffocating thought. The idea that the Shroud might be authentic hinted at something uncanny happening to Jesus' body in the tomb. Preconditioned as I was, my thoughts inevitably turned to the supposed miracle that lies at the heart of Christianity, the Resurrection, an idea that challenged some of my deepest convictions. It was as if the Shroud, backed by the vast weight of Christian tradition, was pressing down on me, threatening to stifle my secular worldview. Instead of enjoying a quiet loll in the summer sun, I found myself battling with a fierce metaphysical adversary, like Jacob wrestling with the angel." (de Wesselow, T., "The Sign: The Shroud of Turin and the Secret of the Resurrection," Viking: London, 2012, p.192). 7/07/2012 "IT WAS SPRING IN THE YEAR 943, exactly a century after religious images had been restored in Constantinople. In Edessa, the city's Muslim emir looked out with dismay over his walls at a sight his messengers had warned him to expect, and which had now become hard reality: an eighty-thousand-strong Byzantine army led by John Curcuas, a hugely successful Armenian-born commander-in-chief - with the reputation of a Montgomery or a Rommel. ... But to the emir's utter astonishment, Curcuas made no attempt to attack. Instead he offered him an immediate deal. He said that he was prepared to spare the city and release two hundred high-ranking Muslim prisoners he was holding all for just one thing: the safe hand-over of the Image of Edessa. ... Curcuas's demand was no off-the-cuff whim. As the army's commander-in-chief, his orders had come directly from Byzantium's septuagenarian and now ailing emperor Romanos Lecapenos." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.156-157). 7/07/2012 "When the Edessa emir's emissary arrived in Baghdad with the news of Curcuas's extraordinary demand, the then caliph, al-Muttaqi, duly convened his qadis (his chief legal advisers) to consider the problem. Their debate was prolonged, with some strong stands taken. All sides exhibited quite remarkable respect for the Image of Edessa - hardly what might be expected among the highest echelons of image-abhorring Islamic society had the Image genuinely been just the 'some old icon' modern-day historians often suppose ... Edessa's emir was duly instructed that he should surrender the Image in return for the two hundred high-ranking prisoners held by Curcuas, but with the extra proviso that Byzantium should issue a special decree promising Edessa and its near neighbours perpetual immunity from any future Byzantine attack. Curcuas duly agreed to the deal ... " (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.158-159). 7/07/2012 "Amid so much ceremony and self-evident excitement it is difficult to determine when and where, if at any point at all, anyone meaningfully saw the Image removed from its casket in a way that could enable proper study. Nevertheless, that this actually happened is confirmed by an independent contemporary account, not part of the Story of the Image of Edessa. According to this, 'A few days beforehand, when they [the imperial party] were all looking at the marvellous features of the Son of God on the holy imprint, the Emperor's sons [i.e. Stephen and Constantine] declared that they could only see the face, while Constantine his son-in-law said he could see the eyes and the ears.' Given the extraordinary efforts that had been made to obtain the Image, several historians have expressed puzzlement that it should have appeared so indistinct to the few who were allowed to view it directly. As the eminent Cambridge historian Sir Steven Runciman remarked, 'It is possible that the young Lecapeni [i.e. Emperor Romanos's two sons Stephen and Constantine] were drunk, though in that case it is curious that Constantine [i.e. the rightful emperor], who was notoriously fond of stimulants, should have missed the opportunity for drinking too.' If the Image of Edessa was genuinely one and the same object as today's Shroud of Turin, no such explanation is of course necessary. The Shroud's watery-looking impression and its uncertainty of detail would readily explain Romanos's sons' perception difficulties." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.165). 7/07/2012 "So, within months of the Image of Edessa's arrival in Constantinople, Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos at last properly succeeded to the imperial throne that had been rightly his throughout the past thirty-three years ... Certainly Constantine, no less superstitious than his fellow countrymen, very quickly gave the Image of Edessa the appropriate recognition for the long-hoped-for turnabout in his fortunes, reinforcing this for all time in a variety of ways. First, he had the date of the Image's 'official' arrival in Constantinople, 16 August 944, instituted on the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar as a permal feast day for the Image. (Remarkably, the Orthodox Church continues to observe this feast day, even though the Image itself has been lost to them for more than eight hundred years.)." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.167). 7/07/2012 "Second, and with no less foresight, Constantine commissioned the writing of the Story of the Image of Edessa, the single work that more than any other has enabled us to piece together a cogent history for the Image. Preserved in some three dozen early manuscripts - there are copies in Moscow, Paris, Spain, Vienna and the Vatican, with the lion's share scattered around the monasteries of Mount Athos - the Story carries in its opening sentence the somewhat unbelievable claim that Constantine himself was its author. In fact, because of Constantine's well-attested bookishness, it is not at all unlikely that he took the closest interest in its compilation. Whatever the scale of his personal involvement, the Story's authority was such that it was adopted completely unaltered for the Menologion, or collection of saints' lives, most assiduously assembled in Constantine's time by Byzantium's renowned editor and bibliophile Symeon Metaphrastes." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.167). 7/07/2012 "The third no less enduring way in which Constantine marked his indebtedness to the Image was via his coinage. He had a special love of the goldsmith's craft and within weeks of his accession he issued a particularly beautiful gold solidus coin with his own bearded likeness on onness on one side and the now familiar Rex Regnantium Christ likeness (earlier established as having the strongest association with the Image of Edessa) on the other. Similar Rex Regnantium-type images lid been used on the coins of Constantine's near-immediate predecessors during the century since the overthrow of Iconoclasm. In all these, something of the basic, familiar facial likeness is thut the coins issued by Constantine - the one emperor we know to have seen the imprint on the Image of Edessa directly with his own eyes - exhibit a remarkable change ...: nothing other than what appears to have been a deliberate attempt to reproduce in the Christ face features quite uncannily close to the exact imprint that appears on the Turin Shroud." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.168). 7/07/2012 "This characteristic, which first occurred less than a year after the Image of Edessa's arrival in Constantinople, was actually noted over twenty years ago by a Hungarian-born Oxford scholar with a very strong interest in Byzantine coins, Dr Eugene Csocsin de Varallja. As Csocsan de Varallja remarked of Constantine Porphyrogennetos's coin issues, 'Just following the arrival of the Edessa [Image in] ... 944 ... a completely new image of Christ appeared on the bezants. On these coins Christ's nose became as elongated as on the Shroud, the angle of his eyebrows changed to match the Shroud eyebrows, and the slightly differing angle of each moustache seems to mirror that on the Shroud. In addition the Christ image took on just as impressionistic a character as on the Shroud.' Two decades on there is one further feature that can be added to these observations: the very distinctive mark running down from the hairline to immediately above Christ's (spectator's) right eyebrow, just to the right of the nose. It appears too deliberate to be some random blemish, and is in fact repeated on later coins. On the Shroud, in this identical location is the reverse '3'-shaped blood flow that runs from hairline to eyebrow." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.168). 7/07/2012 "Around a year before Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos died (in 959), he sent a letter of encouragement to his troops then campaigning around Tarsus. He told them that he was sending them a supply of holy water that had been consecrated by contact with the relics of Christ's Passion held in his palace. These relics he carefully specified as 'the precious wood [of the cross], the unstained lance, the precious inscription [i.e. the title attached to the cross], the reed which caused miracles, the life giving blood from his side, the venerable tunic, the sacred spargana, [and] the sindon which God wore ...' Constantine made no apparent mention of the Image of Edessa, despite his close identification with it. The spargana are usually understood to be the baby Jesus's swaddling clothes, but the intriguing word is sindon. This is because there is simply no earlier record of the presence of Jesus's burial shroud in the imperial collection. So did Constantine mean the Image of Edessa, which he had otherwise omitted to mention and, as was earlier noted, was specifically referred to as a sindon in several pre-tenth-century texts? Is this evidence that in the time between the Image's arrival in Constantinople in 944 and his writing a letter to his troops in 958, Constantine had become aware that the Image was one and the same as Jesus's burial shroud?" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.168-169). 8/07/2012 "There doesn't seem to be any mention of the shroud again until the middle of the fourteenth century, when a knight named Geoffrey de Charny may have owned it. He was an important figure in the early battles of what would turn out to be the Hundred Years' War. [Kaeuper, R.W. & Kennedy, E., "The Book of Chivalry of Geoffroi de Charney," University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1996, p.5] He also joined a crusade to Smyrna in Turkey in 1345, an experience he did not enjoy. [Ibid., p.7] Later he became a charter member of the short-lived Company of the Star, a group of knights close to the king of France, John 11. [Ibid., pp.14-15] Charny was killed at the Battle of Poitiers on September 19, 1356. [Ibid., p.17] In between his military exploits, he managed to write three treatises on chivalry. He also had a chapel built on his land at Lirey for the purpose of celebrating masses for the souls of his family and as a family cemetery. [Ibid., p.38] Now, in all his petitions to have his church built and in his own writings, Geoffrey de Charny never mentioned that he had a holy shroud. But, as soon as he had died, his son, also named Geoffrey, began to show the shroud to friends, neighbors, and paying guests as an object of veneration, always taking care not to say that it was the actual burial cloth of Jesus. The local bishop tried to get him to stop doing this, certain that the shroud was a fake. Eventually, he succeeded." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, p.382). 8/07/2012 "No one mentioned the Templars. There was no reason to. The Templars did not take part in the Fourth Crusade. They did not believe in fighting other Christians-at least, that was what they told the organizers of the crusade, and I think they probably meant it. They were far too busy at the time fighting the heirs of Saladin and must have been irked that the crusaders were looting the Greek Empire instead of helping them. It's possible that Geoffrey de Charny bought the shroud as a souvenir when he was in Turkey, not believing that it was genuine, but rather a full-body icon. Whether his son knew this or not is impossible to say. So why are the Templars connected to the shroud? It all has to do with the coincidence that the Templar Visitor of Normandy, Geoffrey of Charney, who was burned at the stake just after Jacques de Molay, has the same name as the first owner of the shroud. The two Geoffreys may have been related but there is no evidence for this. That didn't stop a twentieth-century author, Ian Wilson, from deciding that, not only were the two men connected but that the shroud also originally belonged to the Templars. [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," Doubleday: New York NY] This is an example of taking one fact, that the two men have the same name, and then creating an entire scenario based on no evidence whatsoever." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, pp.382-383). 8/07/2012 "There are several problems with Wilson's theory. I've already pointed out that the Templars weren't in on the looting of Constantinople. That's the first problem. However, if somehow they did get something that they thought was the sydoine there is no way they would have kept it a secret. As I have pointed out, the Templars were constantly short of cash and relics were big business. The relics they did have were displayed, such as the head of Virgin Number 58 at the Paris commandery or the cross made from a tub that Jesus had once bathed in. [Barber, M., "The Templars and the Turin Shroud," The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 68, No. 2, April 1982, pp. 206-225] Wilson says that the shroud and the veil of Veronica were confused and they were the same thing. [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," Doubleday: New York NY, pp.81-98] Then he says that the shroud, or maybe images of it, were what the Templars were accused of worshipping at their trial. [Ibid., pp.154-166] Considering the number of imaginative descriptions made by the Templars of the head they were supposed to worship, that doesn't work. But also, if they had a genuine relic of the Resurrection, doesn't it stand to reason that they would say so? The idea that this would be a secret makes no sense in the framework of the medieval world, or the modern one for that matter." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, p.383). 8/07/2012 "One of the more surprising theories that has grown out of connecting the shroud to the Templars suggests that the image on the cloth is actually Jacques de Molay. [Knight, C. & Lomas, R., "The Second Messiah," Element Books: Rockport MA, 1997] This was made, not surprisingly, by two Masons, neither of whom is a historian. They base this conclusion on a series of suppositions. The first assumption is that Jacques was tortured by the inquisitors in an imitation of Christ's passion. Afterward, the bleeding Grand Master was placed on a shroud because, `like the Jerusalem Church before them and Freemasonry after them, the Templars kept a linen shroud to wrap the candidates for senior membership.' [Ibid., p.165] They did? I can't find anything about this in the Rule or in the various records of the interrogations. I'd love to know where it says this but, unfortunately, the authors don't cite their source." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, p.384). 8/07/2012 "The book presents a gruesome scenario, complete with illustrations, on how Molay must have been tortured. Oddly, this imagined torture corresponds exactly to the wounds on the image on the shroud. However, there is a problem with this, too. (Actually, there are a lot of problems but I'll go with the most obvious.) First of all, there is no record anywhere of a person being tortured by the Inquisition in imitation of Christ. This would not only be blasphemy but it would also elevate the status of the accused, making his suffering seem equal to that of Jesus. More importantly, the authors state that Jacques de Molay showed the marks of torture when he came before the masters of the University of Paris. Jacques de Molay did not take off his shirt to show how he had been tortured, as the book says, nor did he make the speech the authors quote. [Knight, C. & Lomas, R., "The Second Messiah," Element Books: Rockport MA, 1997, p.171] They quote it, by the way, not from the records of the trial, but from a translation made in a book called Secret Societies of the Middle Ages. The author is that well-known figure Anonymous. According to the records, Jacques never said that he was tortured. He said he had been starved and threatened with torture. When he rolled up his sleeve before the masters of Paris, it was to show them how thin he had become. [Michelet. M. "Procès des templiers," Publié Par, 1841]." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, p.384). 8/07/2012 "That leads me to the most compelling reason to think that, whatever the shroud is, it's not a portrait of Jacques de Molay. The image on the Shroud of Turin is of a tall and fairly robust young man with long hair and a beard. Now, after some time in prison, Jacques could have let himself go a bit, not trimming his beard or cutting his hair. But Jacques de Molay was in his late sixties, if not older. [Demurger, A., "Jacques de Molay : Le Crépuscule des templiers," Payot: Paris, 2002] He had been starved. Looking at the image on the shroud, even with the best intentions, I can't see that the man there is an emaciated seventy-year-old." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, pp.384-385). 8/07/2012 "Finally, another theory on the Shroud of Turin that has received some notice is that of Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. At first it seems safely free of the Templars. They think that the shroud was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. [Picknett, L. & Prince, C., "The Turin Shroud: In Whose Image?: The Truth Behind the Centuries-Long Conspiracy of Silence," HarperCollins: New York NY, 1994] But you know, they just couldn't keep the Templars out of it, even though Leonardo lived over a century after the dissolution of the order. They base the Templar connection not on primary research but on another popular book, The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail. This book is based on, among other things, a hoax and forged documents. I have seen these documents and they are riddled with inaccuracies and mistakes. [Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code," Berkeley: New York, 2005] Again the authors add the Templars to the mix by continuing the assumption that the Geoffreys of Charney and Charny are connected and adding them to the family tree of the rulers of the Latin kingdoms and thence to the Templars again. There is no documentation for this and it doesn't agree with known genealogies of the families. I don't really care what the Shroud of Turin is. I just think that it's time we left the Templars out of the arguments. The poor guys have had enough." (Newman, S., "The Real History Behind the Templars," The Berkley Publishing Group: New York NY, 2007, p.385). 10/07/2012 "As recently as October 2009 came yet another claim to have `reproduced' how the Shroud was faked. Luigi Garlaschelli, the bearded, pipe-smoking Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Pavia in Italy, has made something of a speciality of debunking claims of religious paranormal phenomena. Stigmata and bleeding statues have been among his earlier targets. In the case of the Shroud, Garlaschelli's method was to place a linen sheet flat over a volunteer model, then rub this with a pigment containing acid. The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven, then the cloth was washed. This process removed the pigment from the surface but left an image reputedly similar to that of the Shroud. Garlaschelli's claim, presented at a conference in northern Italy for atheists and agnostics, prompted a flurry of news headlines around the world. Yet even the most cursory comparison between his 'negative' (pl. 4e) and that on the Shroud reveals the former as hardly the 'definitive proof' of the Shroud's fraudulence that he has claimed for it. As remarked by one 'general public' commentator on the Reuters news story, `Why isn't anyone saying the obvious? Compare these two images ... the modern copy is garish, lacking any gradations of tone ... it's completely inferior, especially when one contrasts the faces and the chest areas.' Furthermore, both the Nicholas Allen and Luigi Garlaschelli theories require that after the hypothetical medieval artist-faker had so laboriously produced the 'body' image, he would then have had to daub on bloodstains for effect. If someone from the Middle Ages genuinely had worked in this way, we would surely expect modern-day forensic experts quickly to see through such a deception. But as we are about to see, this is very far from being the case." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.29). 13/07/2012 "I have heard many say that they are convinced that the Shroud was not produced in the fourteenth century, and that it has all the appearance of being the genuine Shroud of Christ, but they own to a feeling of diffidence regarding the long stretch of time from the thirteenth century backward. My aim in this chapter is, so far as I am able, to win the confidence and assent of such persons, and to convince them that the proof of authenticity, as it spans these centuries, is not so formidable as it appears. My chief argument is the self-proof which the Shroud has stamped upon it. This in itself, even if we had not a single document to quote, is quite sufficient. And I wish to stress the same with all the emphasis I can, lest, in the course of our long historical enquiry, it should be lost sight of. When, for instance, archaeologists desire to know the history of some ancient building or monument, they do not think of going to parish registers in search of documents. NO, they examine the building or monument itself, and they are satisfied with whatever reasonable testimony may be found therein. I will give an example even more to the point. Some eighteen months ago the London Times had a photograph of a bronze statue that was found at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. Experts examined it and pronounced it a genuine Greek statue. It was accepted as such; no one doubted the opinion that was expressed; and it will be labelled for all future time as a Greek statue. Suppose someone had objected and said: `No; I refuse to believe that it is a Greek statue unless I get documentary evidence as to when and where it was made, and how it came to be at the bottom of the sea.' Would that attitude be regarded as reasonable? Would his opinion influence anyone? NO, rather he would be looked upon as eccentric in not being able to see that the statue carried in itself its own proof of its genuineness. Very well, but we have vastly stronger intrinsic proof for the genuineness of the Shroud. We are dependent on the opinion of a few experts in regard to the statue. They may be wrong for aught we know, yet we trust them. But in the Shroud we have not one but several intrinsic proofs of authenticity, the force of which, at least several of which, even the untutored can see. And while not even legend has a word to say for the Greek statue, we have attaching to the Shroud a jealously guarded tradition that was never broken. In a word, if it be not what these many and varied proofs coalesce in proclaiming it to be, then it is at once a challenge and a mystery. Rather than this alternative, do not common-sense and logic both say that, even in the absence of historical evidence, it should be accepted for what it is on the strength of its own intrinsic proof?" (Beecher, P.A., "The Holy Shroud: Reply to the Rev. Herbert Thurston, S.J.," M.H. Gill & Son: Dublin, 1928, pp.136-137. Emphasis original). 17/07/2012 "As it happened, even half a century later the idea of allowing the Shroud to be photographed was regarded as too unseemly for something so holy. Certainly this was the opinion of the Shroud's then owner, Italy's ultra- conservative King Umberto I of Savoy, son of the Victor Emmanuel who had married back in 1842. It took a great deal of persuasion before King Umberto agreed to permit an official photograph, and when he did so the task fell at very short notice to Secondo Pia ... a forty-three-year-old lawyer who enjoyed a good reputation as an amateur photographer but who had never previously even set eyes on the Shroud. As Pia quickly discovered, the assignment presented many technical difficulties. He was being allowed to photograph the Shroud only as it hung behind glass in a frame suspended above the cathedral altar. Because the cathedral's natural lighting was (and still is) rather dim, he needed electric lighting, a new and uncertain commodity in 1898. He also had to build a three-metre-high wooden platform for his camera in order to take the photograph from the right level. It has often been said that he was unsuccessful during the first session, a trial one shortly before two p.m. on 25 May. Certainly he had problems with his electric lamps, the glass screens of which cracked under the heat. But he managed two exposures, and although they were less than perfect, already evident on these negatives was a rather strange effect." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.18). 17/07/2012 "Pia returned to the cathedral the night of 28 May, accompanied by Don Nogier and cathedral security guard Felice Fino, another amateur camera enthusiast. He began at around 9.30 p.m. with two trial exposures, and Don Nogier and Fino seem to have taken some unofficial photos of their own at this time. For the proper, definitive photos that he intended to take, Pia loaded his camera with the first of four 50 X 60 photographic plates, applied his most prized Voigtlander lens, then took four exposures, the maximum of fourteen minutes, the minimum of eight, only two of which he would officially record. In his darkroom later that night, as the best of the four plates revealed itself under the developer, Pia was able properly to verify the odd effect he had observed on his first trial negatives. There slowly appeared before him not the feeble ghosts of the shadowy imprints visible on the cloth, as anyone might expect, but something altogether more extraordinary. In negative, the Shroud's head-to-head double figures could be seen to have undergone a dramatic change. Instead of their former difficult-to-interpret shadowiness, which so many of the copyists had 'seen' as grotesque, they had now acquired quite unmistakably natural light and dark shading, giving them meaningful relief and depth. The bloodstains, showing up in white, could be seen to flow very realistically from the hands and feet, from the right side, and from all around the crown of the head. Instead of a mask-like, almost gingerbread-man appearance, the man of the Shroud could be seen as a well-proportioned individual of an impressive build. Most striking of all was his face, so dignified in death, so incredibly lifelike against the black background - yet all on a photographic negative. With that eerie chill that can accompany such experiences, Pia found himself thinking that he was the first man for nearly 1,900 years to gaze on the actual appearance of the body of Christ as he had been laid in the tomb. He had discovered what could only be interpreted as a real photograph, hitherto hidden in the cloth, until it could be revealed by the eye of the camera." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000- Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.18-19). 17/07/2012 "Even over a century ago news could travel fast. The first media report, in L'Italia Reale Corriere Nazionale, appeared on 1 June, quickly followed by one of the unofficial photos. Not long after that the first doubters surfaced, the Italia Corriere, on 15 June, authoritatively claiming that the strange effect was due to Pia's use of a yellow filter. There followed further 'intelligent'; scientific-sounding explanations for the phenomenon. It was just an accident of 'transparency', or of 'over-exposure', or of 'refraction'. More hurtfully for Pia, there were also sly insinuations that he must have `retouched' his negative, the strange effect thereby being just a cynical hoax that he had perpetrated. Within the next three years even some prominent Roman Catholic churchmen came out on the side of the doubters. They heavily emphasized the Shroud's most suspicious lack of any historical provenance before its appearance in northern France in the mid-fourteenth century, when even back then it was beset by accusations that it was a fake. All this resulted in the reputation of both the Shroud and Secondo Pia falling under a dark cloud rather similar to that which followed the 1988 radiocarbon dating." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.19-20). 17/07/2012 "That dark cloud would remain for thirty years, until a fresh occasion to exhibit the Shroud presented itself. That occasion, in 1931, was the wedding of the then dashing young Prince Umberto of Piedmont (the later King Umberto II) to Princess Maria Jose of Belgium. It would attract some two million visitors to Turin, and to mark the event in what had become their traditional way, the Savoy family chose to put the Shroud on public display, from 3 to 14 May. Also, in order to check and hopefully improve upon the controversial Pia photograph, they appointed a fully professional Turin photographer, Giuseppe Enrie, to take some proper new official photographs. Between 21 and 23 May Enrie duly took an impressive series of definitive black-and- white photographs, all of them with the Shroud unprotected by covering glass, and using photographic equipment that was technically a vast improvement on Secondo Pia's. For official purposes at least there were a dozen photographs in all: four of the entire Shroud, the Shroud in three sections, the complete back-of-the-body imprint, the face and chest, the face two-thirds the natural size of the original, the face the natural size of the original, and a direct sevenfold enlargement of the nail wound in the left wrist. They are all superb-quality, state-of-the-art examples of pre-digital-era black-and-white plate camera technology. ... That same glass plate, which I personally studied at Enrie's old studio in 1994, is now a historic object in its own right. Today it can be viewed in Turin's Museum of the Shroud. It speaks for itself. In the light of that glass plate, and the literally thousands of similar negative photographs of the Shroud face, both professional and amateur, that have since followed it, any suggestion that the phenomenon Pia first brought to light back in 1898 was some kind of hoax could now be dismissed out of hand. And, thankfully, Pia, although now seventy-six, was still alive to see his work thus vindicated. He had been invited to be present at the showing, along with a public notary and photographic experts to make absolutely sure that Enrie, in his turn, could not be accused of any trickery. ." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.20-21). 17/07/2012 "Nor was this the only surprise the Shroud would spring for the world of photographic imagery during the course of the twentieth century. In 1976, by which time the Shroud had been photographed for the first time in colour, the mystery of its photographic imprint had come to intrigue a group of young science teachers at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, USA. One of the group, physicist Dr John Jackson, had been given access to a then state-of-the-art piece of equipment developed for the NASA space programme, an Interpretation Systems VP-8 Image Analyzer, a device designed to enable shades of black and white to be translated into levels of vertical relief that can be viewed and adjusted via a television screen. A normal photograph records only variations in light and does not contain information about the camera's distance from the object being photographed. So when viewed via the VP-8, the result is almost invariably collapsed and distorted, the VP-8 not having been designed or intended to produce any 'true' 3D display, only a semblance of it. However, when the Shroud's negative image was placed beneath the machine, the result was nothing short of astonishing. A consistent 'true' 3D effect was produced ... around which it was possible, via the device's TV monitor, to move, viewitours of the body just as if viewing a range of mountains from a moving helicopter. The Shroud image's varying tones - the scientists called them 'intensity levels' - could thereby be seen not so much as true light and shade, but rather as encodings of the (still theoretical) body's relief in relation to its distance from the cloth at each related image point." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.21-22). 17/07/2012 "Even today it is difficult for laymen to appreciate just how astonishing this discovery was to the group of physicists and other technicians who first came across it. As John Jackson remarked, `When I first saw this ...I think I knew how Secondo Pia must have felt when in 1898 he saw his photographic image.' The VP-8 Image Analyzer's inventor, Peter Schumacher, who personally delivered the machine to Jackson and his team, has recalled his similar emotions on seeing the Shroud's full-body image on his system's TV monitor for the very first time: 'A "true three-dimensional image" appeared on the monitor ...The nose ramped in relief. The facial features were contoured properly. Body shapes of the arms, legs and chest and the basic human form ... I had never heard of the Shroud of Turin before that moment. I had no idea what I was looking at. However, the results are unlike anything I have processed through the VP-8 Image Analyze; before or since. Only the Shroud of Turin has [ever] produced these results from a VP-8 Image Analyzer.' 9 With regard to the idea of some unknown medieval artist-forger producing such an image, Schumacher had this to say: One must consider how and why an artist would embed three-dimensional information in the 'grey' shading of an image [when] no means of viewing this property of the image would be available for at least 650 years after this was done. One would have to ask why is this result not obtained in the analysis of other works? ... Why would the artist make only one such work requiring such special skills and talent, and not pass the technique along to others? How could the artist control the quality of the work when he or she could not 'see' grey scale as elevation? ... Would an artist produce this work before the device to show the results was [even] invented?" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.22-23). 17/07/2012 "Within just a few months of their discovery, John Jackson and some two dozen colleagues found themselves in Turin with permission to conduct the most extensive scientific examination of the Shroud ever. Their work included a variety of photographic techniques, from conventional colour photography to x-radiography, transmitted light photography, photography under ultraviolet light and photomicroscopy. One of the two professional photographers with this self-styled `STURP' team was Barrie Schwortz, a Los Angelean of Jewish parentage with positively no Christian affiliations. A self-confessed 'certified sceptic', by his own admission he fully expected to 'see the brushstrokes and go home'. In the event he became so fascinated he found himself working almost round the clock during the 120 hours the team had had allotted for their work. And during the subsequent decades he became so convinced by the Shroud that he went on to found the world's first website on the subject, still active to this day." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.23). 17/07/2012 "As a result of the STURP's efforts, a wealth of good-quality colour photographs of the Shroud, including detailed close-ups, were widely circulated, and some of the more scientific varieties of their photographic work will feature in later chapters of this book. But high-quality and exhaustive though the STURP photographic work was for its time, fresh photographic approaches to the Shroud have by no means stood still during more recent decades. On 25 June 1997, only weeks after the Shroud had narrowly escaped destruction in a major fire in Turin Cathedral's Holy Shroud Chapel, the cloth was brought unannounced to Turin's Church of the Confraternity of the Holy Shroud. There, once again a photographer found himself called upon at the shortest possible notice to take official photographs. On this occasion it was Turin-based professional Gian Carlo Durante who photographed the Shroud in its entirety and a close-up of the face in both colour and black and white on 13 x 18 and 10 x 12 format transparencies respectively. Less than a year later Durante's superb- quality colour photo of the Shroud face was being viewed worldwide in more than four million homes via the front cover of Time magazine. [ Time, 20 April 1998]" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.23-24). 22/07/2012 "One of the things that shook my natural predisposition to scepticism about the Turin shroud was precisely that it could not at all easily be harmonized with the New Testament account of the grave-clothes. I am not saying that it is incompatible with them but simply that no forger starting, as he inevitably would, from the details of the Gospels, and especially that of the fourth, would have created the shroud we have." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.5). 23/07/2012 "Following therefore what evidence we have, which is factual and circumstantial and not obviously subject to doctrinal motivation or suspicious alignment, there is multiple testimony for the tradition that the body of Jesus, released by Pilate at the request of Joseph of Arimathea, was taken from the cross late on the Friday afternoon (Matt. 27:57; Mark 15:42) and laid in a rock tomb (Matt. 27:60; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53) hitherto unused (Matt. 27:60; Luke 23:53; John 19:41). By then, despite the proximity of the grave (John 19:42), Luke tells us in an odd but graphic phrase (epephosken 23:54) it was already beginning to be what we should call lighting- up time' on the Sabbath, i.e., when the lamps were lit or, more probably, the first stars became visible. Clearly there was no time before further work became illegal and darkness set in for more than the most preliminary attention to the corpse." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.24). 23/07/2012 "According to Mark (15:46) Joseph had already bought a linen cloth (sindon) and in this he wrapped (eneilesen) or according to Matthew (27:59) and Luke (23:53) folded (enetylixen) the body of Jesus. According to John (20:39f) Joseph and Nicodemus 'bound' it (edesan though one uncial manuscript has 'wrapped', perhaps by assimilation to Mark) in othonia. This is a word of uncertain meaning but is probably best regarded as a generic plural for grave-clothes of unspecified material, though presumably linen. At any rate Luke, or his scribe, in 24:12 uses othonia to cover whatcover what he had previously (23:23) described as the sindon." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.24). 23/07/2012 "John adds that a substantial mixture of myrrh and aloes, evidently in powdered or granule form like incense, was brought by Nicodemus and put 'with' the clothing, presumably to serve as a disinfectant to arrest the effects of putrefaction until further attention could be given. One of the things specifically allowed by the Mishnah (Shab. 23:5) to be done for a corpse if need be on the Sabbath was to 'let it lie on sand that it may be the longer preserved'. The enormous quantity of material (100 lbs, though the Roman pound was only three- quarters of ours) could be an exaggerated figure to bring out the generosity of the gesture, like the stress in the earlier story of the anointing on the vastly expensive flask of oil the woman broke into (Matt. 26:6,9; Mark 14:3,5; John 12:3,5; cf. Luke 7:47). But there are parallels for such quantities, and if the mixture was packed under and around the sides of the body (perhaps thus explaining the flatness of the Shroud) a lot would have been needed." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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, pp.24-25). 23/07/2012 "Finally, all the evangelists agree, a stone was 'rolled across' (Matt. 27:60; Mark 15:46; and by implication Luke 24:2 and John 20:1) the mouth of the tomb for protection until the women could return some thirty-six hours later at first light on Sunday. Meanwhile according to Mark (16:1) the women purchased aromatic oils after nightfall on the Sabbath, precisely as the Mishnah lays down (Shab. 23:4). (Luke 23:56) has them prepare spices and perfumes early on the Friday evening before resting on the Sabbath.) These were evidently in liquid form to 'anoint' the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1), just as before his death the woman had anointed it (Luke 7:38,46; John 12:3; cf. 11:2) by 'pouring' (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3) perfumed oil from her flask. The purpose of these unguents was quite different from that of the Johannine mixture. It was, after the obligatory washing of the corpse (cf. Acts 9:37), for which elementary act it is clear from the silence of all the witnesses there had been no time on the Friday, to clean it up and leave it in a decorous and fragrant condition. Normally of course this would have been done in preparation for burial (cf. Matt. 26:12; Mark 14:8; John 12:7) rather than after it. ." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.25). 23/07/2012 "So far there is no difficulty in correlating the Biblical evidence with that of the Shroud. Any presumption that the body was wrapped round in a winding sheet (contrast the swaddling cloths of Luke 2:7) or swathed in 'strips of linen' (John 19:40, NEB), rather like an Egyptian mummy, is read into the texts and has no support in Palestinian burial customs, which the fourth evangelist insists were followed (John 19:40). Later we read in Acts (5:6) that the body of Ananias was simply 'covered' (cf. Ecclus, 38:16) and buried. That the corpse of Jesus was enfolded in a simple linen cloth passing lengthwise over the head and covering the whole body back and front is not, I submit, what any forger with medieval or modern presuppositions would have thought of; but it makes complete sense of the texts and comforts with the other ancient evidence." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.25. Emphasis original). 23/07/2012 "That the sudarion was a jaw-band has been recognized by some commentators from the New Testament material alone (e.g. J. N. Sanders). It seems an altogether more likely interpretation of the Johannine evidence than that it refers to some purely hypothetical turban-like object collapsed in upon itself such as H. Latham presupposed in his famous chapter on the witness of the grave-clothes in The Risen Master. This in any case would be described as going `round the head', which John does not say of Jesus, and could not possibly be said to go 'round the face', as he does say of Lazarus. But though the Turin shroud is not itself required to establish this point, it has certainly helped me to envisage more clearly what the function and position of the sudarion must have been. This again is not, I suggest, how any forger would have thought. He would have imagined it lying over the face, rather like the bogus St. Veronica's handkerchief, and incorporated its image on a separate piece of material." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.28). 23/07/2012 "But in what position are we to suppose that the sudarion was subsequently found? This depends on what picture the fourth evangelist is intending to present. That he means us to draw the conclusion that the grave had been rifled and the body removed from the clothes (as his expressions would allow) is clearly impossible: this first and most natural explanation is firmly corrected. Does he intend us to suppose that the grave-clothes had been left behind undisturbed in their original positions, the body having passed through and out of them, as Latham and many others argued? I had always assumed this was his intention but I am not so sure. He could of course have imagined the body passing through the clothes as later it did through locked doors (20:19,26), though why then was the stone moved away? ." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave- Clothes of the Gospels," 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.28). 23/07/2012 "Dematerialization is I suspect a modern way of envisaging the relationship between flesh and spirit, matter and energy, of being 'changed' or 'clothed upon' with a body of 'glory'. How a first-century Jew would naturally have envisaged resurrection (though this does not of course mean that this is how it actually happened) would surely have been as a corpse waking up from sleep, like Tabitha in Acts (9:40), as indeed Jesus predicts of Lazarus (John 11:11), and then like Lazarus walking out of the tomb. The difference in the case of Jesus was that the grave-clothes did not need to be taken off him nor the stones removed: he did it himself. For, unlike Lazarus, he was not simply being restored to the weakness of a flesh-body. In the power of the Spirit he broke the bonds of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. Far from being viewed as helpless and naked, he would probably have been envisaged in robes of light like the angels at the tomb, as in the vision of the risen Christ in the Apocalypse (cf. especially Matt. 28:3 with Rev. 1:14). Something like this seems to have been imagined by the apocryphal Gospel according to the Hebrews where Jesus, having apparently divested himself, hands the sindon to the servant of the (high) priest." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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, pp.28-29). 23/07/2012 "The same seems to be true of most exegetes until recent times (and even they are much divided). Thus Chrysostom makes the point that the arrangement of the grave-clothes argues not that they have not been moved but that it could not have been the work of robbers, who would either have taken them with the body or left them' in disarray. Bengel, the great eighteenth-century commentator, says that it means that they were not 'thrown off in a disorderly or hasty manner: the angels doubtless ministered to the rising man, one of them composing the linen cloths, the other the napkin'! Godet at the end of the nineteenth century says, The napkin especially, wrapped together and carefully put aside, attested not a precipitate removal, but a calm and holy awakening', and Westcott takes the same line. But one is bound to admit that the tidiness of the arrangement lies more in the eye of the beholder than in the Greek. Moreover, if the clothes had been left in position the sudarion would not have been separated from the rest in a place by itself, but been between the two layers of the sindon. To attempt with Pere Lavergne, to make the Greek mean that it was not in a place apart but was 'on the contrary wrapped (in the shroud) in the same position as it had been' is I think a desperate expedient. If this is what the evangelist meant to say his language is not merely loose but positively misleading. I think indeed that he intends us to infer that while the othonia were lying flat the sudarion was still in its twisted oval shape (as it could have been however it was removed). But that the latter was inside the former is an impossible deduction." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.29). 23/07/2012 "Finally, what difference would the evidence of the Shroud, if genuine, make? It certainly supports the tradition of a tomb found empty and of grave-clothes separated from a body. For how else would this shroud, unlike others, not have disintegrated with the body it wrapped? But I cannot see that it adds anything to the picture of how they became separated. It is obviously compatible with the apocryphal legend [The Gospel according to the Hebrews] to which I have referred. Above all I do not think that it necessarily presupposes, let alone `catches', some moment of dematerialization. The marks might conceivably have been left on the surface of the cloth by some kind of paranormal, though not necessarily miraculous, radiation from the body during the period when the two were in contact." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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, pp.29-30. Emphasis original). 23/07/2012 "Why they became separated, the Shroud, even if genuine, does not seem to me to indicate. I am not convinced that it rules out the removal of the body after it had left its record for the puzzled sleuths of this and every age. In fact it provides no knock-down proof of resurrection, and faith would surely not wish to have it so. What it has done, if genuine, is to take us into the tomb itself during those thirty-six hours. And this none of the canonical Gospels do. It is a unique story, complete with exclusive picture. But the picture is the latest and final testimony to the past. It is of the dead Jesus, however vivid and majestic, not of the living Christ. Yet if in the recognition of the face and the hands and the feet and all the other wounds, we, like those who knew him best, are led to say, `It is the Lord!', then perhaps we may have to learn to count ourselves also among those who have `seen and believed'. But that, as St. John makes clear, brings with it no special blessing (20:29) - rather special responsibility (17:18-21)." (Robinson, J.A.T., " The Shroud of Turin and the Grave-Clothes of the Gospels," 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.30). 25/07/2012 "In the course of the next half dozen years, Eleanor [of Aquitaine] bore Henry II three sons who survived to play important roles in the history of France. Henry, the eldest, surnamed Courtmantel, but also known as the `Young King', was born in 1155. Richard, afterwards known as Coeur de Lion, was born in 1157, and Geoffrey, later Duke of Brittany, in 1158. Nine years later she bore him a fourth son, John, surnamed Lackland, his father's favourite son and England's most ignoble king. ... ... the 1170s ... would have witnessed the rebellion of the King's sons; the acknowledgement of Richard as heir to his mother's dukedom of Aquitaine; the coronation in the old King's lifetime, of the `Young King', Henry Courtmantel; the marriage of the `Young King' to the Princess Marguerite, daughter of Louis VII by his second wife; the death of the `Young King' and the remarriage of his widow to King Bela III of Hungary..." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, 1984, p.54). 25/07/2012 "In that city [Constantinople], meanwhile, the Emperor Isaac Angelos had married the ten-year-old daughter of King Bela III of Hungary, Margaret, who on her marriage took the additional name of Mary in accordance to the custom of Byzantium. In 1195, ten years after the wedding, Isaac was deposed in a palace revolution by his brother, Alexius, and thrown into prison with his wife and two young sons, where his eyes were torn out. Towards the end of 1202, the elder of these sons, likewise called Alexius, escaped and fled to Germany, where he made a treaty with Boniface de Montferrat and the other leaders of the Crusade, by which they agreed to attack Byzantium and to restore him to his father's throne." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, 1984, p.60). 25/07/2012 "The ex-Empress Mary-Margaret was the daughter of King Bela III of Hungary by his first wife, Agnes de Chatillon, and the step-daughter of Marguerite de France, King Bela's second wife, the daughter of King Louis VII of France and widow of Henry Courtmantel, the `Young King' and eldest son of King Henry II of England.* Mary-Margaret was born about 1175 and had married the Emperor Isaac when she was ten. She was consequently still a young woman of under thirty when she found herself in lonely charge of the Boukoleon Palace on the night of April 12/13. Boniface de Montferrat received the surrender of the Palace, and almost at once proposed to marry the young ex-Empress. The wedding took place before the end of April 1204, and through this he hoped to be elected Emperor by his fellow Crusaders. He was not. By way of consolation he was offered and accepted the throne of Salonica, a Kingdom which then included parts of Thrace, Macedonia and northern Greece. Boniface and Mary-Margaret left Constantinople in July 1204 and took up residence in their new kingdom in September. It is clear from the account of an eyewitness, Geoffrey de Villehardouin, that they took much of the imperial treasure with them, for Boniface was compelled to return the imperial vestments and vermilion boots to the new Emperor, Baldwin, in November 1204. Among those who were also eyewitnesses to these events was Geoffrey de Charny's great-grandfather, the man after whom he was named, Geoffrey de Joinville, Seneschal of Champagne. Did they take the Mandylion as well? ..." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, 1984, p.54). 25/07/2012 "Mary-Margaret's marriage to Boniface did not last long, for he died in the early summer of 1207. In the meantime she had borne him a son, Demetrios, who became King of Salonica in succession to his father, and who was crowned on January 6, 1208. Mary-Margaret's second widowhood was shorter than her first. Within a year of Boniface's death she married Nicholas de Saint-Omer, a son of the titular prince of Galilee and a kinsman of Godfrey de Saint-Omer, one of the two founders of the Order of Knights Templar. This marriage lasted little longer than the last for Nicholas died in 1212, but not before Mary-Margaret had borne him two sons, Bela and William de Saint-Omer. Ten years later in 1222, Mary-Margaret was driven into exile following the collapse of the kingdom of Salonica, which she had ruled as regent for her son, Demetrios. She took refuge with her three surviving sons in Hungary at the Court of her brother King Andrew II. He appointed her eldest son, Kalojan, (whom she had had by the Emperor Isaac) Duke of Sirmium. This province had originally been Margaret's dowry when she married the Emperor, and she was appointed regent on his behalf." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, 1984, pp.72-73). 25/07/2012 "The reign of Margaret's father, Bela III (1172-1196) was a glorious period in the history of Hungary. His family relations assured him a high place in the hierarchy of European monarchs, and was consequently a reason for making me believe that he would have been aware of the nature and extent of the collection of relics at Constantinople. During his reign French influence in Hungary reached its highest point. His two French queens brought with them knights, priests and architects from France. French literary influence on Hungary was extensive, and knowledge of the popular romances, including those of Chretien de Troyes and Robert de Boron spread rapidly at Court and among the nobility. During the reigns of Bela III's successors, Imre (1196-1204) and Andrew II (1205-1235), at least two Provençal troubadours, Pierre Vidal and Gaucelm Faidit, are known to have turned up at the Court of Esztergom, then the capital of the country. In church matters French influence was equally strong. Bela III invited the Cistercians to Hungary and granted them considerable privileges." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Holy Grail and the Shroud of Christ: The Quest Renewed," ARA Publications: Maulden UK, 1984, pp.73-74). 26/07/2012 "I have recounted this period of Hungarian history very briefly, but the more I considered it, the more I felt that the clue to the whereabouts of the Shroud rested in the doings of the ex-Empress Mary-Margaret, for she provides the link between Constantinople, Hungary and the Templars. I became convinced that if anyone had had an opportunity and the motive to take it, it was she. This did not, of course, explain how it came into the hands of the de Vergy and de Charny families, but at least I seemed to have taken a step forward in time." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 1987, pp.79-80). 26/07/2012 "Let us look at this a little more closely. Prince William and his wife, Princess Margaret, Bela IV's second daughter, had had a daughter of their own, also called Margaret, who was then an infant of but a few months old. At the age of 9 she was sent to join her aunt, yet another Margaret, (the future Saint Margaret of Hungary) in a Dominican convent, where she lived until 1276. Consequently, William's next of kin would have been his father-in-law, King Bela IV if we ignore his youngest brother, Bela de Saint-Omer, of whom I shall have something to say in a moment." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 1987, p.80). 26/07/2012 "Bela IV's only financial assets at this time consisted of the Hungarian Crown Jewels, which he could not dispose of for obvious reasons. His only hope was to borrow money from the Templars, in whose castle he and his family had taken refuge. The Templars, however, were then the bankers of Europe; they were also hard- headed businessmen, and always demanded security for the money they lent. It would have been essential, therefore, for Bela IV to offer them something of value by way of security: could this have been the Shroud/Mandylion?" (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 1987, p.80). 26/07/2012 "In the city of Salonica there is a very ancient church dating from the ninth or tenth century. It was originally called the Basilica of the Theotokos, which means the Church of the Mother of God. During the Turkish occupation of Salonica it was turned into a mosque and is now in a considerable state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the only royal person known to have been associated with it in the middle ages was Marie de Montferrat, who, of course, was none other than the ex-Empress Mary-Margaret. Furthermore, at some period of its history its name was changed from Theotokos to Hagia Paraskevi or Akheiropoeitos, which mean Good Friday and Not-made-by-human-hands respectively. Now this struck me as highly significant, not only because, as I have shown the Mandylion was so intimately connected with Good Friday when it was in Constantinople, but also the term Akheiropoeitos was often used in connection with sindon of Christ, the Mandylion. This strikes me as a piece of strongly circumstantial evidence to support the theory that the ex-Empress did take the Mandylion with her when she went to Salonica. If that were the case, then it was likely that she also took it to Hungary when she left that city in 1222." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 1987, pp.80-81). 26/07/2012 "From 1208 to 1222 Mary-Margaret was compelled to spend large sums of money to support her young son's kingdom. If she were the owner of the Shroud she could have raised a very large loan on the security of it. If she had done so, several things might have happened; either the Shroud would have passed directly into the hands of the lender, or it might have stayed in the custody of a third party mutually agreeable to the ex-Empress and her creditors such as the clergy of the Basilica of Theotokos. As I've already pointed out, the only bankers rich enough to finance such a loan were the Templars, and because her third husband's family had been so closely associated with the Order from the time of its foundation, they were the obvious people to turn to. However, even if Mary-Margaret did not need such a substantial sum of money, her impoverished nephew certainly did. It is uncertain when she died, but it was after 1229, which is the date of the last known reference to her in historical records. Of one thing we can be reasonably certain. Having taken the relic from Constantinople in 1204 it is highly unlikely that Mary-Margaret or her sons would have left it behind in Salonica when they went to Hungary in 1222." (Currer-Briggs, N., "The Shroud and the Grail: A Modern Quest for the True Grail," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, 1987, p.81). 27/07/2012 "In the cathedral town of Oviedo in the north of Spain there is a cloth measuring approximately 84 x 53 cm on which there are bloodstains, fold marks, and other things invisible to the naked eye, such as pollen, but definitely no image. What makes this cloth special is that the bloodstains are claimed to be those of Jesus. ... Such a cloth is known to have existed from the gospel of John: Simon Peter, following him, also came up, went into the tomb, saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. (John 20.6-7) ... John describes in detail the cloths he saw in the tomb. First he mentions the linen cloths, or as other translations of the gospel call them, the linen wrappings. The Greek word is, `ta othonia', which means `pieces of fine linen'. It is a different word from that used in the other gospels, but the meaning is the same, and the curious thing here is that the word is plural. The other gospels only refer to the one cloth in which Jesus was wrapped, whereas John mentions at least two. ... The interesting point is the other piece of material that John saw -'the cloth that had been over his head'. The word he uses is, `to soudarion', which is an adaptation of the Latin `sudarium'. This word ... means a `face cloth' or `towel', used for drying or wiping the face. John saw this cloth rolled or folded up ... separate from the other cloths. On seeing these cloths, John tells us that he believed. ... Early Christian writers ... attribute John's believing on seeing the cloths to his realisation that if the cloths were still there, the body could not have been stolen, as no robbers would have taken the time and trouble to unwrap the corpse and leave the cloths folded or wrapped up, each in its own place." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," Lutterworth Press: Cambridge UK, 1998, pp.8-11). 27/07/2012 "The history of the sudarium is well documented, and much more straightforward than that of the Shroud. Most of the information comes from the twelfth century bishop of Oviedo, Pelagius (or Pelayo), whose historical works are the Book of the Testaments of Oviedo, and the Chronicon Regum Legionensium. According to this history, the sudarium was in Palestine until shortly before the year 614, when Jerusalem was attacked and conquered by Chosroes II, who was king of Persia from 590 to 628. It was taken away to avoid destruction in the invasion, first to Alexandria by the presbyter Philip, then across the north of Africa when Chosroes conquered Alexandria in 616. The sudarium entered Spain at Cartagena, along with people who were fleeing from the Persians. The bishop of Ecija, Fulgentius, welcomed the refugees and the relics, and surrendered the chest, or ark, to Leandro, bishop of Seville. He took it to Seville, where it spent some years. Saint Isidore was later bishop of Seville, and teacher of Saint Ildefonso, who was in turn appointed bishop of Toledo. When he left Seville to take up his post there, he took the chest with him. It stayed in Toledo until the year 718. It was then taken further north to avoid destruction at the hands of the Muslims, who conquered the majority of the Iberian peninsula at the beginning of the eighth century. It was first kept in a cave that is now called Monsacro, ten kilometres from Oviedo. King Alfonso II had a special chapel built for the chest, called the "Cámara Santa", later incorporated into the cathedral. The key date in the history of the sudarium is the 14th March 1075, when the chest was officially opened in the presence of King Alfonso VI, his sister Doña Urraca, and Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known as El Cid. A list was made of the relics that were in the chest, and which included the sudarium. In the year 1113, the chest was covered with silver plating, on which there is an inscription inviting all Christians to venerate this relic which contains the holy blood. The sudarium has been kept in the cathedral at Oviedo ever since." (Mark Guscin, "The Sudarium of Oviedo: Its History and Relationship to the Shroud of Turin," 1997). Aug [top]
4/08/2012 "Narrative respecting the prince of Edessa. THE divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being famed abroad among all men, in consequence of his wonder-working power, attracted immense numbers, bath from abroad and from the remotest parts of Judea, with the hope of being cured of their diseases and various afflictions. Agbarus, therefore, who reigned over the nations beyond the Euphrates with great glory, and who had been wasted away with a disease, both dreadful and incurable by human means when he heard the name of Jesus frequently mentioned, and his miracles unanimously attested by all, sent a suppliant message to him, by a letter-carrier, entreating a deliverance from his disease. But, though he did not yield to his call at that time, he nevertheless condescended to write him a private letter, and to send one of his disciples to heal his disorder; at the same time, promising salvation to him and all his relatives. And it was not long, indeed, before the promise was fulfilled. After the resurrection, however, and his return to the heavens, Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, by a divine impulse, sent Thaddeus, who was also one of the seventy disciples to Edessa, as a herald and evangelist of the doctrines of Christ And by his agency all the promises of our Saviour were fulfilled. Of this, also, we have the evidence, in a written answer, taken from the public records of the city of Edessa, then under the government of the king. For in the public registers there, which embrace the ancient history and the transactions of Agbarus, these circumstances respecting him are found still preserved down to the present day. There is nothing, however, like hearing the epistles themselves, taken by us from the archives, and the style of it as it has been literally translated by us, from the Syriac language." (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, p.42-43. Emphasis original). 4/08/2012 "COPY OF THE LETTER WRITTEN BY KING AGBARUS, TO JESUS, AND SENT TO HIM, AT JERUSALEM, BY ANANIAS, THE COURIER. Agbarus, prince of Edessa, sends greeting to Jesus the excellent Saviour, who has appeared in the borders of Jerusalem. I have heard the reports respecting thee and thy cures, as performed by thee without medicines and without the use of herbs. For as it is said, thou causest the blind to see again, the lame to walk, and thou cleansest the lepers, and thou castest out impure spirits and demons, and thou healest those that are tormented by long disease, and thou raisest the dead. And hearing all these things of thee, l concluded in my mind one of two things: either that thou art God, and having descended from heaven, doest these things, or else doing them, thou art the son of God. Therefore, now I have written and besought thee to visit me, and to heal the disease with which I am afflicted. I have, also, heard that the Jews murmur against thee, and are plotting to injure thee; I have, however, a very small but noble state, which is sufficient for us both." (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, p.44-45. Capitals original). 4/08/2012 "This epistle, he thus wrote, whilst yet somewhat enlightened by the rays of divine truth. It is, also, worth the time to learn the epistle sent to him from Jesus, by the same bearer, which, though very brief, is yet very nervous, written in the following style: THE ANSWER OF JESUS, TO KING AGBARUS, BY THE COURIER, ANANIAS. Blessed art thou, O Agbarus, who, without seeing, hast believed in me. For it is written concerning me, that they who have seen me will not believe, that they who have not seen, may believe and live. But in regard to what thou hast written, that I should come to thee, it is necessary that I should fulfil all things here, for which I have been sent. And after this fulfilment, thus to be received again by Him that sent me. And after I have been received up, I will send to thee a certain one of my disciples, that he may heal thy affliction, and give life to thee and to those who are with thee." (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, p.45. Capitals original). 4/08/2012 "To these letters there was, also, subjoined in the Syriac language: `After the ascension of Jesus, Judas, who is also called Thomas, sent him Thaddeus, the apostle, one of the seventy; who, when he came, remained at the house of Tobias, the son of Tobias. When the report was circulated concerning his arrival, and he became publicly known by the miracles which he performed, it was communicated to Agbarus, that an apostle of Jesus had came thither, as he had written. Thaddeus, therefore, began in the power of God to heal every kind of disease and infirmity; so that all were amazed. But when Agbarus heard the great deeds and miracles which he performed, and how he healed men in the name and power of Jesus Christ, he began to suspect that this was the very person concerning whom Jesus had written, saying, after I have been received up again, I Will send to thee one of my disciples, who shall heal thy affliction. Having, therefore, sent for Tobias, with whom he staid, I have heard, said he, that a certain powerful man, who hath come from Jerusalem, is staying at thy house, and is performing many cures in the name of Jesus. He answered, Yea, my lord, a certain stranger has come, who hath lodged with me, and is performing many wonders. And he replied, Bring him to me. Tobias, then, returning to Thaddeus, said to him, Agbarus the king having sent for me, has told me to conduct thee to him, that thou mayest heal his disorder. And Thaddeus replied, I will go, since I have been sent with power, to him.'" (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, pp.45-46). 4/08/2012 "`Tobias, therefore, arose early the next day, and taking Thaddeus with him, came to Agbarus. When he came, his nobles were present, and stood around. Immediately on his entrance, something extraordinary appeared to Agbarus, in the countenance of the apostle Thaddeus; which Agbarus observing, paid him reverence. But all around were amazed; for they did not perceive the vision which appeared to Agbarus alone: he then asked Agbarus whether he were truly a disciple of Jesus the Son of God, who had said to him, I will send one of my disciples to thee, who will heal thy sickness, and will give life to thee and to all thy connexions? And Thaddeus answered, Since thou hast had great confidence in the Lord Jesus, who hath sent me, therefore, I am sent to thee. And, moreover, if thou believest in him, with increasing faith, the petitions of thy heart shall be granted thee, as thou believest. And Agbarus replied, So much did I believe in him that I had formed the resolution to take forces, in order to destroy those Jews who had crucified him, had I not been deterred from my purpose by a regard for the Roman empire. Thaddeus replied, Our Lord and God, Jesus the Christ, hath fulfilled the will of his Father, and having fulfilled it, was taken up again to his Father. Agbarus saith to him, I have believed both in him and in his Father. Then said Thaddeus, Therefore, I place my hand upon thee in the name of the same Lord Jesus. And this being done, he was immediately healed of the sickness and sufferings with which he was afflicted. And Agbarus was amazed, that just as he had heard respecting Jesus, so in very deed he received it through his disciple and apostle Thaddeus, who had healed him without any medicine and herbs, and not only him, but Abdas also, the son of Abdas, who was afflicted with the podagra. He also, approaching, fell down at his feet, and received his benediction, with the imposition of his hand, and was healed. Many of the same city were also healed by the same apostle, who performed wonderful and great deeds, and proclaimed the word of God. '" (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, pp.46-47). 4/08/2012 "`After this, said Agbarus, Thaddeus, thou doest these things by the power of God, and we are filled with wonder. But, beside these things, I request thee, also, to inform me respecting the coming of Jesus, how he was born, and as to his power, with what power he performed these things which we have heard. And Thaddeus answered, Now, indeed, I will not tell thee, since I have been sent to proclaim the word abroad; but to-morrow assemble all thy citizens, and before them I will proclaim the word of God, and will sow among them the word of life, both respecting the coming of Jesus, as he was, and respecting his mission, and for what purpose he was sent by the Father; also, concerning the power of his works, and the mysteries which he declared in the world; by what power, also, he did these things, concerning his new mode of preaching, his lowly and abject condition, his humiliation in his external appearance, how ne humbled himself, and died, and lowered his divinity; what things, also, he suffered from the Jews; how he was crucified, and descended into hell, (hades,) and burst the bars which had never yet been broken, and rose again, and also raised with himself the dead that had slept for ages. And how he descended alone, but ascended with a great multitude to his Father. And how he sitteth at the right hand of God and the Father, with glory, in the heavens; and how he is about to come again with glory and power, to judge the living and dead.-Agbarus, therefore, commanded his subjects to be called early in the morning, and to hear the annunciation of Thaddeus; and after this, he commanded gold and silver to be given him; but he would not receive it, saying, If we have left our own, how shall we take what belongs to others ? These things were done in the three hundred and fortieth year. Which also, we have literally translated from the Syriac language, opportunely as we hope, and not without profit.'" (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," Cruse, C.F., transl., , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth printing, 1966, p.47). 4/08/2012 "The oldest surviving history of Christianity was written early in the fourth century by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, [Eusebius, "The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine," Williamson, G.A., trans, Penguin, 1965] and in this Eusebius tells how Abgar V of Edessa, then suffering from an incurable disease, heard of the miracles Jesus was performing and sent to Jerusalem a messenger bearing a letter addressed to Jesus, asking him to come to his city to heal him. Jesus declined, saying he needed to stay in Jerusalem to await his fate, but he blessed Abgar for his show of faith and promised that after being 'taken up' he would send one of his disciples to Edessa to cure him and bring him the Christian message. According to Eusebius, Abgar's and Jesus's 'actual letters' were still preserved in the Public Record Office in their original Syriac, which he had translated for his readers' benefit. And joined with the two letters was another Syriac document, also dating from the time of the Abgar dynasty, telling what happened next. Although these original documents have inevitably disappeared, in the early nineteenth century some early Syriac manuscripts were discovered, one called the Doctrine of Addai, which despite having some anachronistic later interpolations essentially checks out with Eusebius's account of what followed, suggesting that both were based on genuine earlier texts." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.116). 4/08/2012 "Apparently, the disciple Jesus had promised to send to Edessa was the very same Addai whom the Assyrian Church of the East still reveres as its founder, his name given by Eusebius in its Graeco-Roman form as Thaddaeus. On Addai's arrival, Abgar sent for him, whereupon according to the Doctrine of Addai version, 'When Addai came up and went to Abgar, who was accompanied by leading members of his court, on his going towards him a wonderful vision was seen by Abgar in the face of Addai. At the moment that Abgar saw the vision, he fell down and worshipped Addai. Great astonishment seized all those who were standing there before him, because they did not see the vision which was seen by Abgar.' Immediately following this mysterious 'wonderful vision', Abgar reportedly declared his belief in Jesus, and Addai cured him of his disease. Addai was then allowed to preach the Christian message before an assembly of Edessan citizens. Many were converted, including members of the city's Jewish community and even some of Edessa's pagan priests. According to both Eusebius and the Doctrine, all this happened in AD 30, the year of Jesus's crucifixion, and therefore well over a decade before St Paul started his missionary journeys." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.116-117). 4/08/2012 "Although neither Eusebius nor the Doctrine manuscript explained what the 'wonderful vision' was that had been seen solely by Abgar, later Eastern Orthodox tradition unhesitatingly identified this as the Christ-likeness imprinted cloth known as the Image of Edessa. Among the manuscripts in the Mount Athos monasteries studied by Mark Guscin were early copies of the Eastern Orthodox Church's tenth-century official Story of the Image of Edessa, which makes precisely this identification. According to this, Addai 'placed the Image on his own forehead and went in thus to Abgar. The king ... seemed to see a light shining out of his face, too bright to look at, sent forth by the Image that was covering him.' [Guscin, M., "The Image of Edessa," Brill: Boston MA, 2009] A typical depiction of this scene, though the Image is not shown actually on Addai's forehead, can be found in a manuscript of the eleventh century originally created at the Stavronikita monastery on Mount Athos, but which is today in Moscow ... ." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.117). 4/08/2012 "So what about that hornets' nest of controversy? Immediately needing to be made clear is that, even without its tenth-century Image of Edessa component, the Abgar story is one that historians have long viewed with the greatest scepticism. As far back as the fifth-century Pope Gelasius (pontificate 492-6), the letters supposedly exchanged between Abgar and Jesus were declared to be apocryphal, an assessment most modern-day scholars regard as fully justified. For instance, the second sentence of Jesus's letter, as quoted by Eusebius - 'It is written of me that those who have seen me will not believe in me' - alludes to St John's gospel chapter 20 verse 29. It thereby presupposes that John's gospel had been written in Jesus's lifetime, which of course it could not have been. Bluntly, the letters seem to be fakes, albeit very early ones." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.117-118). 4/08/2012 "Furthermore, although historically there was an Abgar V of Edessa directly contemporary with Jesus, historians have long doubted that any king could have been converted to Christianity so early in the religion's existence without some independent record having been made. But apart from 'church propaganda' such as the Doctrine of Addai, no such record survives. Everything of Edessa's once famous Record Office, along with its equally once famous churches, was destroyed following the Turks' capture of the city in 1144. Abgar's coinage, which might have shown some religious affiliation, bore no likeness of him, having been issued in the name of his Parthian overlords. And in the Annals of the Roman author Tacitus, virtually our only surviving `historical' source, Abgar V features unflatteringly only as a 'deceitful ruler', a trickster who favoured the Parthians rather more than the Romans [Tacitus, Annals, VI, 31]." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year- Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.118). 4/08/2012 "Abgar V was part of a dynasty of rulers bearing this same name, and one successor slightly more favoured by historians as the Abgar whom Addai converted (and who therefore may have been the true recipiue recipient of the Image of Edessa/Shroud) is Abgar VIII, who reigned from 179 to 212. In its entry for the year 201, the Chronicle of Edessa included a very detailed description of a lethal flood in Edessa during which the floodwaters 'destroyed the great and beautiful palace of our lord king and removed everything that was found in their path - the charming and beautiful buildings of the city, everything that was near the river to the south and north. They caused damage, moreover, to the nave [Syr. haikla, can also mean 'shrine'] of the church of the Christians [my italics]. This is one of those tiny nuggets of information indicating that Christianity genuinely must have arrived very early in Edessa, to the extent of its having an officially recognized Christian church building as early as AD 201. As such this is a world first for Edessa, yet historians all too often sit on their hands over acknowledging this." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.118). 4/08/2012 "A second nugget is Abgar VIII's coinage. In a recent article describing the evidence for Abgar VIII's conversion to Christianity as 'extremely flimsy', distinguished Oxford Syriac scholar Professor Sebastian Brock remarked that 'important ... in this connection is the negative evidence of the coins of the kings of Edessa, none of which bear any hint of a Christian symbol'. [Brock, S., " Transformations of the Edessa Portrait of Christ," Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, Vol. 18, 2004, pp.227] When I pointed out to him that on several examples of Abgar VIII's coins, some of them housed in London's British Museum, there is an unmistakable Christian cross on the king's head-dress ... , Professor Brock very graciously acknowledged, 'It certainly looks as if I was too categorical.' [Email to the author, 12 March 2009] Abgar VIII, who issued his coins in close liaison with the Romans, seems to have dared to be open about his Christian affiliations only during the reign of Emperor Commodus, whose wife/mistress Marcia had Christian leanings. As the earliest-known instance of a monarch displaying the Christian cross symbol on his head-dress, this was another Edessan world first. It also sets Abgar VIII's adoption of Christianity back in time to no later than AD 192, because Commodus died in that year." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.118-119). 4/08/2012 "A third nugget is an archaic-looking sculpted stone lion ... that stands forlornly in the open-air, outdoor section of Sanliurfa's present-day museum, typically with no accompanying explanatory information. Judging by the hole drilled in the animal's mouth it clearly once served as a city fountain; but our interest is in what stands on top of its head: an unmistakable sculpted Christian cross, an all-too-rare sight in present-day Sanliurfa. In Syriac, the word for `lion' is aryu - the name of Edessa's ruling dynasty. This fountain has to have stood in Edessa when the city was ruled by a Christian king of the Abgars' Aryu dynasty, a line that ended for ever when the Romans took over in AD 215." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.119). 4/08/2012 "We can therefore say with some confidence that Christianity arrived in Edessa while the city was ruled by members of the Abgar line, that one of these kings definitely adopted Christianity, and that this most likely happened before AD 192, because of the Abgar VIII/Commodus coin. But was Abgar VIII the first or the second of his dynasty to adopt the new religion? That is, was the Abgar of the story of the Image of Edessa's arrival in the city Abgar VIII, for whose acceptance of Christianity we have some definite supportive evidence, or was it Abgar V, Jesus's direct contemporary, as attested by Eusebius and the Doctrine of Addai manuscript, but otherwise unsubstantiated? Strongly favouring the latter is the fact that the known circumstances of Abgar VIII's reign and its immediate aftermath simply do not `fit' the Doctrine of Addai's account of events after the `wonderful vision' episode and King Abgar's conversion. According to the Doctrine, Addai went on to make many converts in Edessa and its surrounds, among these Aggai, maker of the royal headdresses, before dying a peaceful, natural death in the city. Addai was then greatly honoured by Abgar by being buried in the same great sculpted mausoleum 'in which those of the house of Aryu, the ancestors of the father of king Abgar, were placed'. Abgar then died himself, and 'years after' there was a reversion to the old pagan religion by 'one of his sons'. When this son called upon Aggai to renounce his Christianity and make him a head-dress bearing the old pagan symbols, Aggai refused, whereupon the son ordered Aggai's legs to be broken, resulting in his death." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.119-120). 4/08/2012 "Abgar V is known to have died in AD 50, and to have been followed by two sons, first Ma'nu V, then on his death in AD 57 a younger son who became Ma'nu VI. If Christianity had achieved significant success in Edessa under Abgar V and Ma'nu V, it is easy to understand aggrieved priests of Edessa's supplanted old religion persuading Ma'nu VI to turn back the clock. Not only do these circumstances fit those recounted in the Doctrine of Addai , they also make sense of how the Shroud, if it was brought to Edessa very soon after the crucifixion, could well have disappeared again very quickly - indeed, before a single gospel had been written - as our later information indicates happened." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.120). 4/08/2012 "The circumstances of Abgar VIII's reign were quite different. After this Abgar's death only one son succeeded, Abgar IX, whom the Romans almost immediately seized and deposed, thereafter making Edessa a Roman colonia. The monarchy was never reinstated, so there was neither the time nor the right circumstances for any successor of Abgar VIII to instigate persecutions. And the Doctrine of Addai gives no hint of any Roman involvement in this particular story, even though Edessa has plenty of later traditions of Christian martyrdoms that did take place while the city was under Roman mastery." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.120). 4/08/2012 "Also needing to be pointed out is that Addai, albeit as the disciple of Christ responsible for evangelizing Edessa, actually has rather more historicity than many modern commentators are prepared to allow. As early as AD 190 the Church father Clement of Alexandria, in his book Outlines, alluded to the existence of Addai's tomb in Edessa as part of a listing of the burial places of Jesus's disciples. Clement, who lived between c. 150 and 215, would hardly have included Addai in such a list if this individual had been contemporary with his own time. The site still exists, on a spectacular mountain-top location some six miles out of present-day Sanliurfa, reachable by the roughest and most winding of tracks ... The bones of Addai and Abgar are of course long gone, historically recorded to have been' transferred in the year 494 to the safety of a church inside the walls of Edessa due to Persians raiding the surrounding countryside - and just as well, for today the site consists of little more than mounds of rubble." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.120-121). 4/08/2012 "But the overriding point is that western Christianity's New Testament may lack any mention of whoever might have taken charge of Jesus's Shroud after the crucifixion, just as Bishop d'Arcis insisted so stridently, but in the world of eastern Christianity the disciple Addai was not only associated with the bringing of a Christ-imprinted cloth to Edessa at some time earlier than AD 192, he was also sufficiently flesh-and-blood and non-legendary for the whereabouts of his physical remains to be known and reliably recorded." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.121). 4/08/2012 "That Addai's Image-bearing missionary journey ... even though it did not gain a mention in western Christianity's canonical gospels, happened in the first century rather than the second is further indicated by any glance at a map of the missionary journeys of St Paul. Every one of Paul's journeys started from Antioch, modern-day Antakya in south-eastern Turkey, from which he ventured five hundred miles westwards to Ephesus, a further five hundred miles westwards to Malta, and ultimately even further, to Rome. In contrast to these far-flung destinations, Syriac-speaking Edessa lies only 180 miles to Antioch's east, and on a direct trade route from both Antioch and Jerusalem. Is it really likely that throughout Christianity's first 150 years the first Christians should have ignored Edessa as a target for their missionary activities?" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.121-122). 4/08/2012 "That they did not is further indicated by the chronicle of one of Edessa's further-flung neighbours, the small border kingdom of Adiabene, whose capital was Arbela, today the large Iraqi city of Arbil. Arbela's ancient lineage of bishops began with one Pkhida, who can reliably be dated to the year 104. And according to Arbela's chronicle it was Addai who converted Pkhida to Christianity, thereby again indicating that Addai belonged to Abgar V's first century rather than Abgar VIII's second. As has been pointed out by the Estonian-born American scholar Arthur Voobus, if Christianity had reached as far as Adiabene by the year 100, there can be 'no doubt' that in Edessa 'the Christian faith had been established before the end of the first century'. [Voobus, A., "History of Asceticism in the Syrian Orient," Vol. 1, 1958, p.7]" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.122). 4/08/2012 "Being as sure as we can be that the Image arrived very early in Edessa is important, because the next difficulty we face is that almost as quickly and mysteriously it vanished, and in circumstances sufficiently dire that all living memory of its hiding place became lost, arguably as a result of drastic persecution of that first Christian community, just as had happened to Addai's successor Aggai. That the Image certainly did not stay around is evident from two key facts. First, when it was dramatically rediscovered in the sixth century ... it had clearly been very purposefully hidden away, and had remained that way for a very long time. Second, when Christianity was re-established in Edessa (as it arguably was from Abgar VIII's reign onward), there was no sign of the Image. Instead, what, seems to have remained in Edessa through the next several centuries was a deep sense that the city had been specially blessed by Jesus, his supposed letter to King Abgar, fabrication though it may have been, being very central to this, and acting as some kind of substitute." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.122-123). 4/08/2012 "For however unconvincing this letter may have been to Pope Gelasius in Rome, and may be to modern scholars, its fame spread right across the world, and with quite remarkable potency. Numerous papyrus and parchment copies have been found as far afield as Egypt dating from the fourth through to the thirteenth centuries, some of them having magical protective properties associated with them. Versions inscribed on stone have been found in northern Anatolia, at Philippi in Macedonian Greece, and at Kirk Magara near Edessa ... In England it was included in a service book of the Saxon era, in a position of honour immediately after the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed. [Moffett, S.H., "A History of Christianity in Asia: Beginnings to 1500," 1992, p.80, n.9.] From the variations in text between one early example and another - reflected also in the variations between manuscript renditions - there is a very strong sense that there never was one master 'authorized' version. Versions from the late fourth century on, for instance, enigmatically take on the extra sentence 'Your city shall be blessed and no enemy shall ever be master of it.'" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.123). 4/08/2012 "Had the Christ-imprinted cloth Image of Edessa been around late in the fourth century the one person who would undoubtedly have let us know all about it was a highly observant lady pilgrim whom historians mostly label Egeria, in the absence of any certain knowledge of her real name (the single manuscript of her travels, when it was found by chance in Italy in the late nineteenth century, had lost both its beginning and its end, leaving only the middle). Having journeyed all the way from western Gaul or Spain, Egeria arrived in Edessa some time between the years 384 and 394. If anything as interesting as the Image of Edessa had been in evidence in the city, there can be no doubt that this intrepid lady would have sought it out, and given us a full description. With engaging chattiness, Egeria tells us that she visited Edessa's newly built church containing the remains of St Thomas, recently brought from India. Hosted by the local bishop, she went on to the still extant palace of the Abgar dynasty, where she viewed stone sculptures of Abgar and his son 'Magnus' (i.e. Ma'nu). Next on her itinerary was Edessa's famous fish-pools ... the only tourist attraction from her time that still survives in Sanliurfa. Last stop was the city's gate, where the bishop read out to her Jesus's letter to Abgar - its text with the added protective sentence seems to have been inscribed on the gate's brickwork - after telling her a long introductory story about how it had magically protected Edessa from a Persian army's attempt to capture the city. But Egeria made no mention of any Image being kept in the city." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000- Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.123-124). 5/08/2012 "And for well over a century after Egeria's time other prolific contemporary writers, among them the famous St Ephrem of Edessa, were also silent on the subject. It was as if it had never existed. One important point to be observed is that even though this `silent' pre-sixth-century period was much closer to the time of Jesus than our own time, there prevailed an essentially universal lack of any awareness of what Jesus had looked like. One of the notable omissions on the part of the gospel writers was the provision of any detail of Jesus's physical appearance. And because of the already mentioned Jewish abhorrence of images it is most unlikely that anyone ever painted a portrait of Jesus in his lifetime. So when, in the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became an official religion of the formerly pagan Roman Empire in which representational images abounded, people very understandably began asking what Jesus had looked like. And despite the strong disapproval of some traditionalist churchmen such as the earlier mentioned Bishop Eusebius, [Farrar, F.W., "The Life of Christ as Represented in Art," 1901, p.56] representational images of Jesus gradually began to creep in. ." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.124-125). 17/08/2012 "For westerners, the most familiar example of the genre will probably be the famous Veronica cloth. This is popularly associated with the story of a woman called Veronica wiping Jesus's face with her veil as he struggled with his cross through Jerusalem's streets on his way to be crucified. According to the story, Jesus's 'Likeness' became miraculously imprinted on Veronica's veil. Dozens of medieval and Renaissance artists depicted the scene, and thousands of Roman Catholic churches have it included among their 'Stations of the Cross', leading many to suppose the story must be in the gospels ... In fact the story in this form dates no earlier than the late Middle Ages, seeming to have been invented to spice up 'miracle play' dramatizations of the Passion story. In a twelfth-century version" there was no woman called Veronica, though at that time the canons of St Peter's, Rome were already keeping under close guard a cloth that was supposed to be the Vera Icon or 'True Likeness' of Jesus. Reputedly this likeness was imprinted not during Jesus's carrying of the cross but when he wiped his face after the 'bloody sweat' in the Garden of Gethsemane. A popular attraction for pilgrimages to Rome during the Middle Ages, this cloth can be traced historically no earlier than the eleventh century. It seems to have been an official 'copy' for the western world of something that was altogether older and more mysterious being preserved at that time in the Byzantine east, in Constantinople." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.110-111). 23/08/2012 "But we still come back to a key question. Even if we accept that the Image of Edessa was a piece of cloth bearing Christ's imprint, so far that is all we have heard about it, that it bore the face of Jesus. Why should we believe it was a cloth of the fourteen-foot dimensions of the Shroud? And what evidence do we have that this Edessa cloth actually was the Shroud? In the case of the Image of Edessa's dimensions, one important indicator is to be found in one of the very first documents to provide a 'revised version' of the King Abgar story in the wake of the cloth's rediscovery. The document in question is the Acts of Thaddaeus, dating either to the sixth or early seventh century. Although its initially off-putting aspect is that it 'explains' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself, it intriguingly goes on to describe the cloth on which the Image was imprinted as tetradiplon `doubled in four'. It is a very unusual word, in all Byzantine literature pertaining only to the Image of Edessa, and therefore seeming to indicate some unusual way in which the Edessa cloth was folded. So what happens if we try doubling the Shroud in four? If we take a full-length photographic print of the Shroud, double it, then double it twice again, we find the Shroud in eight (or two times four) segments, an arrangement seeming to correspond to what is intended by the sixth-century description (fig. 25). And the quite startling finding from folding the Shroud in this way is that its face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.140). 23/08/2012 "In the Story of the Image of Edessa, the Image is specifically described as mounted on a board. So a folding for presentation purposes in this 'doubled in four' way actually makes a great deal of sense. It reduces the Shroud's extremely awkward fourteen-foot length into a manageable and presentable twenty-one inches by forty-five inches, and displays by far the most meaningful section of the cloth, the face." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.140). 23/08/2012 "Fig. 25 THE SHROUD FOLDED TETRADIPLON, OR DOUBLED IN FOUR. When the Shroud is folded in the 'doubled in four' manner of texts describing the Image of Edessa, the face appears disembodied on a landscape aspect cloth in the exact semblance of artists' depictions of the Image of Edessa. Here the Shroud is reconstructed with the damage from the fire of 1532 and from the 'triple burn-hole' incident both removed. face." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.140). 23/08/2012 "And if we think of the face as seen in this way in the dim lighting conditions of a church interior - conditions in which, as we know from surgeon Dr Pierre Barbet, the different colour of the bloodstains does not show up - it is easy to understand how the face might have been supposed to be of a watery origination, exactly as envisaged in the sixth-century Acts of Thaddaeus account. Moreover, not only does this document use the word tetradiplon, thereby indicating the Image of Edessa to have been on a large cloth, in the very next sentence it also uses the word sindon for the Image - the very same word all three synoptic gospel authors used for Jesus's burial shroud. Nor is the Acts alone in this. Both Mark Guscin ["The Image of Edessa," Brill, 2009] and Georgian scholar Dr Irma Karaulashvili ["The Date of the Epistula Abgari," 2002] have pointed out three other documents from this same early period which do exactly the same. This is not to suggest that the Image of Edessa had necessarily yet been recognized as Jesus's burial shroud; it may well not yet have been unfastened from its 'doubled in four mounting'. For our present purposes the documentary confirmation that the Image of Edessa was a large cloth, and not the hand-towel size often envisaged, is enough." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.140-141). 28/08/2012 "One of the first jurisdictions in the world to embrace Christianity was the city-state of Edessa, which is now Urfa in the nation of Turkey. The teachings of Jesus were introduced there in the third or fourth decade of the first century, under King Abgar V, who died in A.D. 50. The fourth-century historian Eusebius, who had access to the archives of Edessa, found documentation of a correspondence between Abgar and Jesus. Abgar at the time was seriously ill and wrote the Nazarene, asking Him to come there to heal him. Jesus sent word that He was unable to come, but promised, `When I have been taken up I will send you one of my disciples to cure your disorder and bring life to you and those with you.' [Eusebius, "The History of the Christian Church," Williamson G.A., transl., Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 1965, p.67] Shortly after the resurrection the apostle Thaddeus went to Edessa and cured Abgar. Eusebius does not mention Thaddeus taking the Shroud with him." (Ruffin, C.B., "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, 1999, p.54). 28/08/2012 "Nevertheless, there was a very strong tradition that Thaddeus brought with him a cloth that, in most ways, fits the description of the Holy Shroud. According to The Doctrine of Addai (Thaddeus), written around the fourth century (about the same time Eusebius was writing), when Jesus declined to go physically to Abgar, He sent the Edessan ruler a portrait of Himself, painted from life, which the sick king touched, and was healed. [Scavone, D.C., "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, 1989, p.81] The earliest version of The Acts of Thaddeus dates from the sixth or seventh century, but many scholars believe that it is based on a text that dates from the third century. It tells a similar story. King Abgar sends a messenger named Ananias to Jesus, charging him `to take accurate account of Christ, of what appearance He was, and His stature, and His hair.' When he delivered the letter Ananias stared intently at Jesus, trying to fix in his mind His physical features. Christ, who knew what the messenger was thinking about, announced that He was going to wash Himself. When He did so he handed Ananias the towel with which He had wiped His face now imprinted with His image - and told him that He was going to send His disciple Thaddeus to enlighten the king and his subjects. It is significant that the towel was, in this narrative, called the `Tetradiplon,' or `the doubled in four.' [Roberts, A. & Donaldson, J., eds., "The Ante-Nicene Fathers," Vol. 8, Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA, 1995, p.558]." (Ruffin, C.B., "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, 1999, pp.54-55). 28/08/2012 "A writer named Evagrius Scholasticus, writing shortly after the event, described an attempt by the Persians (who were Zoroastrians) to conquer the Christian city of Edessa by laying siege to it in A.D. 540. Under their leader Chosroes, the Persians constructed a huge mound of earth and timber from which they intended to hurl deadly projectiles onto the defenders of Edessa. The Edessans then tunneled under the mound and crammed the tunnel with wood, which they tried to set on fire to cause the mound to collapse. When, because of insufficient oxygen, the defenders were unable to keep the fire going, Evagrius related, `In this state of utter perplexity, they bring the divinely wrought image, which the hands of men did not form, but Christ our God sent to Abgarus on his desiring to see Him.' They took the image into the tunnel, washed the image with water, then sprinkled some water on the timber. When the wood kindled immediately and eventually brought about the desired collapse of the mound, thus frustrating the efforts of Chosroes to take the city, the people of Edessa attributed their deliverance from the Persians to the miraculous image. [Evagrius Scholastic, "A History of the Church in Six Books, from A.D. 431 to A.D. 594." Samuel Bagster: London, 1846, pp.219-221]." (Ruffin, C.B., "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, 1999, pp.54-55). 28/08/2012 "This miraculous image was called different things. We have seen that it was sometimes referred to as the `Cloth Folded in Four,' or the Tetradiplon. It was often called the `Sacred Mandylion' (mandylion is Greek for handkerchief or towel) or the `Acheiropoietos,' which means `not made with hands.' Sometimes it was simply called `The Holy Face' or `The Holy Face of Edessa.'" (Ruffin, C.B., "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To- Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, 1999, p.55). Sep [top]
2/09/2012 "According to the Story's [The Story of the Image of Edessa] information, the Image had been kept `hidden away above the city gate' in a place 'shaped like a cylindrical semi-circle'. Various icons depict a discovery-place of this kind ... and later depictions of the Image right across the Orthodox world are frequently located over entranceways ... so the tradition of this location was clearly a strong one. Sixth-century Edessa had at least four gates set into its walls ... and the western gate was specifically known as the Kappe Gate, meaning Gate of Arches or Vaults. This seems to fit the Story's 'cylindrical semi-circle' description very well." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.131-132). 2/09/2012 "Also making this Kappe Gate a credible candidate for the Image's hiding-place over the five centuries (and therefore potentially the Shroud's) is its commanding height above the broad flood-plain below. Due to some occasional very erratic behaviour on the part of Edessa's river Daisan (`the Leaper'), the city suffered several serious floods during the centuries the Image was immured above the gateway: in 201 (as earlier noted), and again in 303, 413 and 525." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.132). 2/09/2012 "But why would anyone, in any era, choose such a strange hiding-place? The clue lies in the 'tile' found with the Image. Like the Image itself, this tile became a historical object in its own right, called by the Byzantines the Keramion ... and specifically noted by the tenth-century Story writer as 'still kept in Edessa even today'. It is thereby known to have been a piece of ceramic with Jesus's face represented on it in the identical front-facing disembodied manner of its companion. Back around the first century it was common practice in Parthian tributary states, and indeed elsewhere in the pagan world ... for relief sculpture heads of gods to be set up over gateways, or their near vicinity. Examples can still be seen at Parthian Hatra, one of Edessa's near neighbours ... Typically for Parthian art, such heads were rigidly frontal. Because the area of the face on the Shroud happened to exhibit this same rigid frontality, it would have been perfectly natural for Abgar, who had none of the Jewish qualms over religious images, to order a ceramic version of his new 'god' set up over his city's gateway. ." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.132). 2/09/2012 "Accordingly, it would have been this same ceramic, or tile, version of Jesus's face, rather than the Image itself, as described in the Story, which Abgar's second son ordered to be removed from above the gate when he reverted to paganism and began persecuting Edessa's Christians. Whoever carried out this removal may have simply turned the tile around so that its 'face' side was turned inwards to the cavity behind. The clay oil lamp reportedly found in the same cavity suggests that this operation was carried out at night. And someone seems to have had the idea of using this same cavity to hide the Image/Shroud until the persecutions of Edessa's Christian community had blown over. By daybreak the gateway's brickwork would have been sealed up with mortar, no evidence of any Christ portrait remaining. If this was indeed how and where the Shroud lay hidden between the mid first century and some time in the first half of the sixth century, it would certainly have enjoyed near hermetically sealed conditions' throughout." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.132-133). 2/09/2012 "Certainly in 787, a certain Leo the Reader of Constantinople when he visited Edessa was able to report, 'When I, your unworthy servant, went to Syria with the royal commission, I came to Edessa and saw the holy image that was not made by human hands, held in honour and venerated by the faithful.' [Mansi, in Guscin, M., "The Image of Edessa," 2009, p.179] By no means clear from Leo the Reader's remarks is whether he saw just the Image's casket (which would have been the norm) or the Image itself. " (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000- Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.154). 4/09/2012 "Although many wonder why anyone should find a few stains on an old piece of linen so fascinating, it is the character of those stains, unquestionably at least six hundred years old (radiocarbon dating has at least confirmed that!), which is so compelling. The plain fact is that no normal human body leaves behind an image of itself, certainly not one with the extraordinarily photographic character of that on the Shroud. Can it be by accident, therefore, that this phenomenon has happened uniquely in the case of Jesus Christ, the one man in all human history who is accredited with having broken the bounds of death? If the Shroud really is two thousand years old, could whatever happened at that moment in time quite literally have flashed itself on to the cloth that we have today, a now permanent time-capsule of how Jesus's body looked at the very moment of his resurrection?" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, p.293). 16/09/2012 "All this makes all the more intriguing the evidence that someone, sometime after the Mandylion's arrival in Constantinople, seems to have undone the gold trelliswork covering the cloth, untwined the fringe from the surrounding nails, carefully unfolded the cloth, and, for the first time since the days of the apostles, set eyes on the concealed full-length figure. Frustratingly, this is another of those moments in the Mandylion's history that has gone unrecorded, yet is crucial to it. It is attested as a real happening from an impressive array of circumstantial evidence. The first indications, and the most direct, come from western authors. The earliest, datable to sometime before 1130, is an interpolation in an original eighth-century sermon by Pope Stephen III. [von Dobschutz, E., Christusbilder, Leipzig, 1889, p, 134] Referring to the Mandylion, it tells us: `For the very same mediator between God and man [Christ], that he might in every way satisfy the king [Abgar], stretched his WHOLE BODY ON A CLOTH, white as snow, on which the glorious image of the Lord's face and the LENGTH OF HIS WHOLE BODY was so divinely transformed that it was sufficient for those who could not see the LORD BODILY IN THE FLESH, to see the transfiguration made on the cloth.' [Green, M., "Enshrouded in Silence," Ampleforth Journal, LXXIV, 1969, p.333]" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 1979, pp.157-158. My emphasis). 16/09/2012 "Another account, from the prodigious History of the Church written by the English monk Ordericus Vitalis about 1130, seemed to derive from the first. According to this version: `Abgar reigned as toparch of Edessa. To him the Lord Jesus sent ... a most precious cloth with which he wiped the sweat from his face, and on which shone the Savior's features miraculously reproduced. This displayed to those who gazed on it the likeness and proportions of the BODY OF THE LORD.' [Ordericus Vitalis, Historia ecclesiastica, part III, bk. IX, 8]" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 1979, p.158. My emphasis). 16/09/2012 "A Vatican Library codex, also datable to the twelfth century, repeated this tradition in its version of Christ's letter to Abgar: `If indeed you desire to look bodily upon my face, I send you a cloth on which know that the image not only of my face, but of my WHOLE BODY had been divinely transformed.' [Vatican Library Codex No. 5696, fol. 35, published in P. Savio, Ricerche storlche sulla Santa Sindone, Turin, 1957, footnote 31. p. 340]" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 1979, p.158. My emphasis). 16/09/2012 "By the thirteenth century, Gervase of Tilbury, a great retailer of the gossip of the time, not only repeated these words of Christ to Abgar, but added: `Far it is handed down from archives of ancient authority that the Lord prostrated himself FULL LENGTH on most white linen, and so by divine power the most beautiful likeness not only of the face, but also of the WHOLE BODY OF THE LORD was impressed upon the cloth.' [Gervase of Tilbury, Otia Imperialia, III, from Scriptores rerum brunsvicensium, ed. G. Leibnitz, Hanover, 1707, I, pp. 966-67]" (Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, 1979, p.159. My emphasis). 21/09/2012 "The Vignon markings-how Byzantine artists created a living likeness from the Shroud image. (1) Transverse streak across forehead, (2) three-sided `square' between brows, (3) V shape at bridge of nose, (4) second V within marking 2, (5) raised right eyebrow, (6) accentuated left cheek, (7) accentuated right cheek, (8) enlarged left nostril, (9) accentuated line between nose and upper lip, (10) heavy line under lower lip, (11) hairless area between lower lip and beard, (12) forked beard, (13) transverse line across throat, (14) heavily accentuated owlish eyes, (15) two strands of hair." (Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, 1978, p.82e). 21/09/2012 "But why should we believe that this Image of Edessa cloth was our Shroud? The main clue lies in a quite extraordinary change in how artists portrayed Jesus's likeness, which happened very soon after the Image of Edessa cloth came to light. We noted in the last chapter how right up until at least the end of the fifth century the portrayals of Jesus lacked any authority, most representation depicting him beardless. As evidenced by St Augustine's remarks, there was a general lack of any awareness of what he looked like. But in the art of the sixth century there occurred a remarkable transformation in the way Jesus was depicted. Just two of several surviving examples will serve to illustrate this. The first is a 'Christ Pantocrator' icon painted in encaustic - a wax technique, the recipe for which became lost after the eighth century - that is preserved in the remote monastery of St Catherine in the Sinai desert ... The second is a relief portrait of Christ on a silver vase that was found at Homs in Syria, and is now in the Louvre in Paris ... Firmly datable to the sixth century, both are authoritative, definitive versions of the distinctive likeness that today we instinctively recognize as Jesus Christ. And if we compare these front-facing likenesses with the face as visible on the Shroud before any discovery of the hidden photographic negative, there is a very uncanny resemblance: the same frontality, the same long hair, long nose, beard, etc. It is as if someone has studied the Shroud's facial imprint and for public consumption has very carefully crafted an interpretative official likeness from this in the guise of Christ Pantocrator - the 'King of All'." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.133,135). 21/09/2012 "Tradition in Georgia, the former republic of the old Soviet Union, has long held that some time around the mid 530s twelve Assyrian monks left Mesopotamia and travelled north to found several monasteries in Georgia. Present-day tour groups to Georgia car follow in these missionary monks' footsteps, and in Georgia's capital Tbilisi there is a very badly worn sixth-century Chris Pantocrator icon, the Anchiskhati - an almost exact counterpart to the one at St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai - which is thought to have been brought to Georgia by this mission ... The quite remarkable new insight from one of the recently discovered Georgian documents from Sinai is what it tells of the activities of two of these Assyrian monks, Theodosius from Edessa and Isidore from Edessa's sister city Hierapolis. Theodosius is specifically described as 'a deacon and monk [in charge] of the Image of Christ' in Edessa. As Georgian scholars recognize, this Image can be none other than our Image of Edessa, thereby confirming Evagrius's information that this was an extant historical object by this time, one evidently sufficiently important to have its own `carer'. Theodosius's companion Isidore was apparently responsible for a tile image belonging to Edessa's sister city Hierapolis. Both monks travelled to Georgia specifically to paint interpretative versions of their charges for the newly founded churches there. Never before have we been afforded a glimpse of who lay behind the rash of Christ portraits that appeared in the sixth century. It is quite evident from the Georgian document that they were Assyrian artist-monks from Edessa and its environs who saw themselves as missionaries or icon evangelists for the newly revealed 'divine likeness' that had been so recently rediscovered in Edessa." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London, 2010, pp.135-136). 28/09/2012 "But what about the cloth of Edessa/Shroud? Arguably, it is no coincidence that during the particular period of some three or more centuries in which it would have lain, whereabouts unknown, in its niche above Edessa's gate (whoever put it there presumably having been killed during the time of persecution, hence its non- recovery), Christian art was at its vaguest concerning what Jesus looked like, and this despite this same period's comparative proximity to Jesus's own lifetime. Thus by far the greater majority of portraits of Jesus from this time show him as a beardless youth, as in many catacomb frescos, also in the fourth-century mosaic discovered on the floor of a Roman villa at Hinton St Mary, Dorset. And although there are a few bearded examples, such as in the catacombs of Commodilla and Ss Peter and Marcellinus, these are vague and markedly lacking in the Shroud-like frontality of the later, 'authoritative' Christ portraits. It is seemingly as if they derived just from some vague oral tradition of Jesus's human appearance, there being not a jot of guidance to this in the gospels." (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1998, p.172-173).#
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Created: 1 July, 2012. Updated: 2 November, 2012.