Thursday, December 17, 2009

Burial shroud proves Turin Shroud not from 1st century C.E. Jerusalem?

The Web is abuzz with the news of the discovery (reported in 2003) in a Jerusalem tomb of fragments of a 1st century (part

[Above (click to enlarge): A sample of this shroud, showing its simple two-way weave: National Geographic.]

woollen) burial shroud with a simple weave which (somehow) proves that the Shroud of Turin was not from 1st century Jerusalem! See ABC, AFP, BBC, CNN, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Irish Times, Jerusalem Post, JTA, National Geographic, New York Daily News, ScienceDaily and The Times, for example.

But clearly it is statistically fallacious that, from a sample of two surviving 1st century Jerusalem shrouds, out of what must have been many thousands from that area and time that have not survived, to deduce that all those thousands of shrouds that did not survive were like only one of these two surviving shrouds, and therefore the other surviving one must be a fake.

Quite frankly the archaeologist who made this fallacious and unscientific claim, Shimon Gibson, should be ashamed of himself,

[Above (click to enlarge): Archaeologist Shimon Gibson inside a burial cave on the edge of Jerusalem's Old City, where shroud remains from the Jesus-era were discovered in 2000: Daily Mail.]

as should all those journalists who mindlessly regurgitated his press release without asking the obvious question of how exactly can the fact that one surviving 1st century Jerusalem shroud has a simple weave, prove that another burial shroud with a more complex weave (the Shroud of Turin), is not also from 1st century Jerusalem?

Anyway, there is a glaring contradiction in what Gibson says elsewhere that completely invalidates his argument against the Shroud of Turin (see below)!

I will here comment on the original press release, in EurekAlert! , with its words in bold to distinguish them from mine.

DNA of Jesus-era shrouded man in Jerusalem reveals earliest case of leprosy: Burial shroud proves Turin Shroud not from 1st century C.E. Jerusalem, EurekAlert! 16-Dec-2009, Rebecca Zeffert, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem My first comment is about the sub-title, "Burial shroud proves Turin Shroud not from 1st century C.E. Jerusalem." This is gratuitous and has nothing to do with the discovery that "DNA of Jesus-era shrouded man in Jerusalem reveals earliest case of leprosy." But then there is no fame and fortune (because the National Geographic article is independent of the press release, I suspect it is behind this anti-Shroud of Turin angle for a future TV documentary, like its fraudulent "Jesus Family Tomb" beat-up) in merely reporting the actual scientific facts, that a DNA test of the remains revealed the presence of leprosy. It is noteworthy that in Gibson's co-authored scientific paper, "Molecular Exploration of the First-Century Tomb of the Shroud in Akeldama, Jerusalem," PLoS ONE, December 16, 2009, there is no mention of the Shroud of Turin!

[Above (click to enlarge): The tomb where the shroud was found: Daily Mail]

The DNA of a 1st century shrouded man found in a tomb on the edge of the Old City of Jerusalem has revealed the earliest proven case of leprosy. Details of the research will be published December 16 in the PloS ONE Journal. .... The archaeological excavation was led by Prof. Shimon Gibson ... on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The burial cave, which is known as the Tomb of the Shroud, is located in the lower Hinnom Valley and is part of a 1st century C.E. cemetery known as Akeldama or 'Field of Blood' (Matthew 27:3-8; Acts 1:19) - next to the area where Judas is said to have committed suicide. The tomb of the shrouded man is located next to the tomb of Annas, the high priest (6-15 C.E.), who was the father in law of Caiaphas, the high priest who betrayed Jesus to the Romans [Jn 18:13] . It is thus thought that this shrouded man was either a priest or a member of the aristocracy. According to Prof. Gibson, the view from the tomb would have looked directly toward the Jewish Temple. Note how the Bible's place and names are archaeologically accurate!

No second burial What is particularly rare about this tomb is that it was clear this man, which is dated by radiocarbon methods to 1-50 C.E., did not receive a secondary burial. Secondary burials were common practice at the time, where the bones were removed after a year and placed in an ossuary (a stone bone box). This would help explain why so few Jewish burial shrouds have been discovered (there is only one other to my knowledge-from Jericho). But even when they are discovered, as in this case, they are just fragments, having covered a decomposed body. This is one of the proofs that the Shroud of Turin is Jesus' - that it was separated from its body before decomposition set in:

"The New Testament asserts that Jesus' body did not undergo corruption (Acts 2:22-32) but that he was raised from the dead. ... Here we will simply note the parallel with the Shroud. There are no signs of decomposition on the Shroud. Additionally, the bloodstains are anatomically perfect and have not been smeared by the linen being separated from the body. This parallel is especially interesting because we have many ancient burial shrouds showing decomposition stains. Thus we have to estimate the probability that another crucified man's body was somehow removed from its burial shroud before it decomposed, and in such a way that the wounds were not smeared. " (Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R. , 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, p.127).

In this case, however, the entrance to this part of the tomb was completely sealed with plaster. Prof. Spigelman believes this is due to the fact that this man had suffered from leprosy and died of tuberculosis, as the DNA of both diseases was found in his bones. Historically, disfiguring diseases - particularly leprosy - caused the afflicted individuals to be ostracized from their communities. However, a number of indications - the location and size of the tomb, the type of textiles used as shroud wrappings, and the clean state of the hair -

[Above (click to enlarge): A sample of hair of the shrouded man, which had been ritually cut before burial: EurekaAlert!]

suggest that the shrouded individual was a fairly affluent member of society in Jerusalem and that tuberculosis and leprosy may have crossed social boundaries in the first century C.E. It is significant that this press release does not mention what "the type of textiles used as shroud wrappings" were, namely "something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles":

"The newfound shroud was something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles, the study found. The Shroud of Turin, by contrast, is made of a single textile woven in a complex twill pattern, a type of cloth not known to have been available in the region until medieval times, Gibson said. Despite its simpler weave, the new textile offers evidence for the apparently elite status of the corpse, he added. The way the wool in the shroud was spun indicates it had been imported from elsewhere in the Mediterranean-something a wealthy Jerusalem family from this period would likely have done." (Milstein, M., "Shroud of Turin Not Jesus', Tomb Discovery Suggests," National Geographic, December 16, 2009)

presumably because it would tend to undermine Gibson's comparison with the all-linen Shroud of Turin.

Disproves Turin Shroud? This is also the first time fragments of a burial shroud have been found from the time of Jesus in Jerusalem. The shroud is very different to that of the Turin Shroud, hitherto assumed to be the one that was used to wrap the body of Jesus. Unlike the complex weave of the Turin Shroud, this is made up of a simple two-way weave, as the textiles historian Dr. Orit Shamir was able to show. Note the question mark after "Disproves the Turin Shroud." Being scientists they must know that just because this shroud has one type of weave, that cannot logically be used to disprove that another shroud with a different type of weave, i.e. the Shroud of Turin, is also of 1st century Jerusalem.

Based on the assumption that this is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus, the researchers conclude that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem. That "assumption" is statistically invalid that this one burial shroud "is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus." In fact it is contradicted by Gibson's own claim in the National Geographic article above that:

"The way the wool in the shroud was spun indicates it had been imported from elsewhere in the Mediterranean - something a wealthy Jerusalem family from this period would likely have done."

So on Gibson's own admission, his shroud is not "representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus." As stated previously, this contradicts and completely invalidates Gibson's argument against the Shroud of Turin!

Besides, it has never been claimed as an argument in favour of the Shroud of Turin that it is typical of first century Jewish burial shrouds in the type and quality of its weave, because "we know from the Gospels that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and it was he who provided the Shroud used to bury Jesus":

"Dr. Raes reported that the Shroud was indeed woven of linen with a three-to-one herringbone twill with a Z-twist and that it is sewn with linen thread (all the warp, weft and sewing threads of the Shroud are of linen). He noted that the yarn was indicative of a good-quality workmanship and the weave density an average of a little over thirty-five threads per centimeter, corresponding favorably with the thirty thread per centimeter average of the finest Egyptian mummy fabrics. The normal weave in Palestinian, Roman and Egyptian loom-technology was a one-over-one. The three-to-one herringbone twill was a more refined weave. It would have been an expensive piece of cloth for the first century. However, we know from the Gospels that Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man and it was he who provided the Shroud used to bury Jesus (Mt 27:57-61). " (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin," p.13).

The excavation also found a clump of the shrouded man's hair, which had been ritually cut prior to his burial. These are both unique discoveries because organic remains are hardly ever preserved in the Jerusalem area owing to high humidity levels in the ground. Again, since the convergence of botanical evidence proves that the Shroud of Turin is from an area a "mere twenty miles between Hebron and Jerusalem," i.e. "the same environs in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and died":

"As Danin sums up ... superimposing the known distribution sites of Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum and Cistus creticus, together with three further specific pollen types confirmed to be on the Shroud ... the very narrow geographical region that all these plants share in common is the mere twenty miles between Hebron and Jerusalem ... the conclusion is inescapable ... at some time in its history the Turin Shroud positively must have been in the same environs in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and died." (Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," p.92).

and that shrouds (being made of linen or wool and therefore organic) are like other "organic remains ... hardly ever preserved in the Jerusalem area owing to high humidity levels in the ground," the rarity of this discovery supports the Shroud of Turin being Jesus' and its image of Him was formed supernaturally by His resurrection.

Social health in antiquity ... the origins and development of leprosy are largely obscure. Leprosy in the Old Testament may well refer to skin rashes such as psoriasis. The leprosy known to us today was thought to have originated in India and brought over to the Near East and to Mediterranean countries in the Hellenistic period. The results from the first-century C.E. Tomb of the Shroud fill a vital gap in our knowledge of this disease. .... This is the real scientific significance of this find. So Gibson's tacking on of the "disproves the Turn Shroud?" angle was, I suspect, to gain fame and funding from National Geographic.

But because the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus it will backfire in the end. Indeed, as already noted, the fragmentary and decomposed state of this shroud, its rarity due to the "high humidity levels in the ground" in "the Jerusalem area" and the fact that the Shroud of Turin is from the Jerusalem area (see above), is more evidence for the Shroud of Turin being the burial sheet of Jesus and bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

PS: Another reason why Gibson's argument is fallacious is that it assumes that the linen of the Shroud of Turin was intended to be a burial shroud. But the Bible only says that "Joseph [of Arimathea] bought some linen cloth ..." (Mk 15:46) which he then used as a burial shroud for Jesus' body. And that Joseph had to buy the linen cloth in a hurry, because "the Sabbath was about to begin" (Lk 23:54). Therefore it is entirely possible and consistent with the Biblical evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin was intended, not for a burial shroud, but for clothing, as Hoare pointed out:

"While the exact time and place of manufacture are uncertain, there can be no doubt that the Shroud is a beautifully made length of cloth, and probably cost a very great deal. This has prompted the suggestion that it was intended as apparel rather than a shroud. [Tyrer, J., "Looking at the Turin Shroud as a Textile," Textile Horizons, December 1981, pp.20-23, p.22] There is a lot of sense to this. A shroud would probably have been made from the simplest weave, which is why the funeral cloths that have been preserved from early times are nearly all plain weave. Garments do not survive so frequently. Incidentally, it is worth noting that this material would have been allowed under the Mosaic Law, for in the Mishna flax may have impurities of cotton. Mixtures of flax and wool were strictly forbidden, however; as it says in Leviticus (19:19), `Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not ... neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.'" (Hoare, R., 1995, "The Turin Shroud Is Genuine: The Irrefutable Evidence," Souvenir Press: London, p.18).

Stephen E. Jones, BSc.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!


"A Danin sums up, particularly from superimposing the known distribution sites of Gundelia tournefortii, Zygophyllum dumosum and Cistus creticus, together with three further specific pollen types confirmed to be on the Shroud, 19 [Lomelosia (Scabiosa) prolifera (L) Greuter et Burdet, Cistus incanus-type and Cistus salvifoliustype] the very narrow geographical region that all these plants share in common is the mere twenty miles between Hebron and Jerusalem. [Danin, A., "Micro-traces of plants on the Shroud of Turin as geographical markers," in Scannerini, S. & Savarino, P., eds, "The Turin Shroud: Past, Present and Future," International scientific symposium, Turin, 2-5 March 2000," Effatà: Cantalupa, 2000, pp.495-500] So the conclusion is inescapable, in the very teeth of the radiocarbon dating, that at some time in its history the Turin Shroud positively must have been in the same environs in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and died." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B. , 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.92. Emphasis original).

Updated: 25 July 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Shroud of Turin is the Burial Sheet of Jesus!

This is my overview page of what will eventually be a multi-page series explaining why the Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus,

[Right (click to enlarge). Full Shroud of Turin showing head to head images of the front and back of the man on the Shroud: Wikipedia. This is how the Shroud actually is: a photographic negative, yet photographic negatives were not known until 1840, i.e. nearly 500 years after the Shroud first appeared in the undisputed historical record at Lirey, France, in the 1350s!]

bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

This is a work-in-progress - I will keep adding to it over time. Topics that become too long I will split off to their own separate pages and link them back to this page. References are linked to quotes at the foot of each page and/or to web pages.


THE SHROUD OF TURIN IS THE BURIAL SHEET OF JESUS!

© Stephen E. Jones

Introduction. The Shroud of Turin is a linen sheet measuring approximately 4.37 x 1.11 metres (14.34 x 3.64 feet) (Cassanelli, 2002, p.15; Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.18).

The Shroud bears the front and back images, head to head (see above right), of a man who matches the Bible's description of the suffering, death and burial of Jesus.

On either side of the image are large triangular patches sewn on to repair damage caused by a fire in 1532 when molten silver burned through the folded cloth.

Since 1578 the Shroud has been located in Turin, Italy, in

[Left (click to enlarge): Shroud reliquary in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Turin, Italy: WhyGo Italy.]

the Cathedral of St John the Baptist.

The Bible and the Shroud. The image on the Shroud matches the Bible's description of Jesus: 1. a Jew (Mt 1:1,16; Jn 4:9; Heb 7:14); 2. in Jerusalem (Mt 20:18-19; Lk 24:18-20; Jn 19:20); 3. flogged (Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Jn 19:1); 4. crowned with thorns (Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17-18; Jn 19:2); 5. beaten (Mt 27:30; Mk 15:19; Lk 22:63-64; Jn 19:3); 6. carried His cross (Jn 19:17; Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26); 7. crucified (Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:18); 8. by nails through His hands and feet (Lk 24:39; Jn 20:20,25-27; Acts 2:23; Col 2:14); 9. His legs not broken (Jn 19:31-33); 10. speared through His side (Jn 19:34; 20:25,27); 11. causing a flow of blood and water (Jn 19:34); 12. died (Mt 27:50; Mk 15:37,39; Lk 23:46; Jn 19:30,33); 13. buried in linen graveclothes (Mt 27:59-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:52-53; Jn 19:40); 14. in a rock tomb (Mt 27:60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:52-53; Jn 19:41-42); 15. His body not decomposed (Acts 2:22-27,31; 13:34-37); and 16. resurrected (Mt 28:5-6; Mk 16:6; Lk 24:1-6; Jn 20:1-9).

Atheist and Shroud critic Steven Schafersman agrees that because of these many specific matches between the Gospels' account of Jesus' passion and the image on the Shroud, "the odds [are] 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus" and therefore "If the shroud is authentic" (i.e. not a forgery), "the image is that of Jesus" (my emphasis):

"Either the shroud is authentic ... or it is a product of human artifice ... Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson and Stevenson and Habermas go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ ... I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus." (Schafersman, 1982, p.42).

Art and the Shroud. The Hungarian Pray codex of 1192-95 is clearly based on the Shroud, with the

[Right: The Hungarian Pray codex of 1192-95: Shroud of Turin for Journalists]

latter's nude Jesus (otherwise unknown in the Middle Ages), hands crossed in front, thumbs not shown, shroud with a herringbone weave pattern and even four L-shaped burn holes. This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Shroud was in existence at least 65 years before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260 (see below), and at least 130 years before the middle date of 1325, claimed by Shroud critics as the date of the Shroud. And then the Shroud would have had to have existed long before 1192 to have become an object of religious veneration in Hungary. Which in turn renders the forgery hypothesis even more untenable because the unknown forger would have had to have lived in or before the 12th century (in fact in or before the 7th century-see below)!

There is other very strong art evidence, including the Vignon markings, that the

[Left (click to enlarge): Vignon markings on the Shroud and found, to varying degrees, in Christian art since the 6th century: Ian Wilson, 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.82d]

Shroud has been copied by Christian artists from at least the 6th century.

History and the Shroud. There is historical evidence that the Shroud has existed since the 1st century.

[Right: Tenth century depiction of King Abgar V of Edessa (4 BC-50 AD) receiving an image of Jesus: Wikipedia. Note Jesus' head is in highly unusual landscape view.]

But during the 1st to 10th centuries the Shroud was doubled in four to show only the head in landscape view and was known as the Image of Edessa.

Science and the Shroud. All the scientific evidence, with the

[Above: Triumphant announcement by Prof. Edward Hall, Dr. Michael Tite and Prof. Robert Hedges, on 13 October 1988, that the Shroud was radio- carbon dated to "1260-1390!": Ian Wilson, 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," pl.3b]

sole exception of the 1988 radiocarbon dating to 1260-1390 of a tiny sample from the edge of the Shroud, points to the Shroud being the burial sheet of Jesus. But that radiocarbon dating was seriously flawed on a number of counts, including the sample tested was part of a medieval patch, not the Shroud itself (Benford & Marino, 2008 & Benford & Marino, 2002), and should be set aside.

The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud. Bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo (i.e. "the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head" (Jn 20:5-7) match those on the Shroud, yet the

[Above: Perfect match of bloodstains on the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud, proving they once covered the head of the same crucifixion victim: Bennett, J., 2001, "Sacred Blood, Sacred Image" Ignatius Press: San Francisco CA, p.122]

Sudarium has been in Spain since 631 and has a historical record before that back to Palestine in at least 570. So the unknown forger would have had to create both the Shroud and the Sudarium in or before the 7th century!

The image on the Shroud. Features of the image on the Shroud of Turin that must be explained by any image formation theory include: photographic negativity, three-dimensionality,

[Left: Three-dimensionality of the Shroud image as revealed by the VP-8 Image Analyzer: Shroud.com]

superficiality, non- directionality, blood is real and was on the linen before the image, etc.

Image formation theories. All major image formation theories outlined and critiqued. All naturalistic image formation theories fail to account for the major features of the Shroud's image. Only supernaturalistic image formation theories based on the resurrection of Jesus can explain the image on the Shroud.

Objections answered. Common objections to the Shroud's authenticity answered.

Conclusion. The Shroud of Turin is the burial sheet of Jesus, and bears the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!


"The Shroud is in the form of a cloth strip, yellowish-white in colour, 4.37 metres long, 1.11 metres wide and 1.450 kg in weight." (Cassanelli, A. , 2002, "The Holy Shroud," Williams, B., transl., Gracewing: Leominster UK, p.15).

"Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson [Wilson, I., "The Shroud of Turin," 1979, pp.51-53] and Stevenson and Habermas [Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., "Verdict on the Shroud," 1981, pp.121-129] go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas [Ibid., p.128] even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.' [Schafersman, S.D., "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1982, pp.37-56, p.42]" (Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. Emphasis original).

"The occasion of the Shroud being housed in this new case, immediately prior to the expositions of 1998, also saw the removal by Swiss textile conservator Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, assisted by Sister Maria Clara Antonini, of a blue satin frame-type surround that had been sewn onto the Shroud in the nineteenth century, and its replacement by a new white cloth. This removal enabled the original cloth's dimensions to be measured rather more precisely than had been possible before, at 437 cm long by 111 cm wide." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.18-19).

Updated: 24 July 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin

Italian scientist reproduces Shroud of Turin, Reuters, Mon Oct 5, 2009 ... ROME (Reuters) - An Italian scientist says he has

[Above: The face of the Shroud (L) compared with Garlaschelli's shroud's image (R): Reuters]

reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ's burial cloth is a medieval fake. It is now over 20 years since a report in Nature, the world's most prestigious scientific journal, declared that radiocarbon dating had provided "conclusive evidence" that the Shroud was "mediaeval":

"The results of radiocarbon measurements at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range .. for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of AD 1260 - 1390 ... These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval." (Damon, 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, 337, p.614. My emphasis).

But that there is still a need to "prove... definitively" that the Shroud is a medieval fake, is tacit acknowledgment by Shroud sceptics (i.e. true believers in the Shroud's inauthenticity) that none of their previous `proofs' of the Shroud being a fake, including the above radiocarbon-dating (see below), hold water. And as we shall see, neither does this latest claim that the Shroud is a medieval fake hold water either.

The shroud, measuring 14 feet, 4 inches by 3 feet, 7 inches bears the image, eerily reversed like a photographic negative, of a crucified man some believers say is Christ. This is one of the tests that those who claim they have reproduced the Shroud must meet: it must be "reversed like a photographic negative." It is not enough to produce an image that is only superficially like the Shroud. It must be exactly like the Shroud in its uniquely important details - down to the microscopic level. I here predict that if this claimed reproduction of the Shroud is submitted for microscopic analysis, it will be shown to be unlike the Shroud, and therefore itself just a fake copy of the Shroud original.

But there is no need to even do that. There is a major difference between Garlaschelli's description of how he made his shroud's image (see below) and the image on the Shroud of Turin, that totally disqualifies Garlaschelli's shroud from being a faithful and credible reproduction of the Shroud of Turin.

"We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as the Shroud," Luigi Garlaschelli,

[Left: Luigi Garlaschelli, Researcher in Organic Chemistry, University of Pavia, Italy: Fifth World Skeptics Congress, 2004, Italy]

who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday. Note that Garlaschelli only claims vaguely that his alleged reproduction "has the same characteristics as the Shroud." Why doesn't he say, "has the exact same characteristics as the Shroud"? Because he knows it doesn't!

A professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia, Garlaschelli made available to Reuters the paper he will deliver and the accompanying comparative photographs. Superficially Garlaschelli's photographs look very convincing. It may even be that he has produced the best reproduction of the Shroud yet. If it is, and it fails to withstand microscopic analysis (as I predict it will-if it is ever submitted for such testing, which I predict it won't), that will be more evidence that the Shroud cannot be reproduced and therefore is the very burial sheet of Jesus, bearing the image of His crucified and resurrected body!

The Shroud of Turin shows the back and front of a bearded man with long hair, his arms crossed on his chest, while the entire cloth is marked by what appears to be rivulets of blood from wounds in the wrists, feet and side. These marks don't just appear to be blood; they are blood!:

"Adler was asked how he could answer McCrone's claim that there was no blood, but merely a mixture of red ocher and vermilion. Adler flashed on the screen the following table from our paper. Table 5 Tests confirming the presence of whole blood on the Shroud 1. High iron in blood areas by X-ray fluorescence 2. Indicative reflection spectra 3. Indicative microspectrophotometric transmission spectra 4. Chemical generation of characteristic porphyrin fluorescence 5. Positive hemochromogen tests 6. Positive cyanomethemoglobin tests 7. Positive detection of bile pigments 8. Positive demonstration of protein 9. Positive indication of albumin 10. Protease tests, leaving no residue 11. Positive immunological test for human albumin 12. Microscopic appearance as compared with appropriate controls 13. Forensic judgment of the appearance of the various wound and blood marks Then, after explaining each item briefly, Al said, `That means that the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!'" (Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," pp.215-216. Italics original).

Carbon dating tests by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona in 1988 caused a sensation by dating it from between 1260 and 1390. That dating is wrong. For one thing (among many)

[Above: The Hungarian Pray Manuscript and the Poker Holes]

the Hungarian Pray manuscript (or codex) is dated 1192-95, or 65-68 years before 1260 the earliest possible radiocarbon date of the Shroud (and 130-133 years before the claimed middle date of 1325). Yet the Pray manuscript is obviously depicting the Shroud with its: 1. naked Jesus (otherwise unknown in the middle ages); 2. having his arms crossed in front; 3. hands with no thumbs; 4. about to be covered by a shroud with the same rare herringbone weave pattern; and 5. (the clincher) the Pray manuscript's

[Above: The Shroud of Turin's "L"-shaped pattern of burn holes depicted on the Pray codex of 1192-95]

shroud depicts the same pattern of burn holes that are on the Shroud of Turin!

Sceptics said it was a hoax, possibly made to attract the profitable medieval pilgrimage business. If the "sceptics" were truly sceptical (and not just true believers in the Shroud's inauthenticity) they would realise that it would take far less than the Shroud to make money in the gullible middle ages:

"Also is it not rather incredible that this unknown individual should have gone to so much trouble and effort to deceive in an age in which, as twentieth-century journalists have reminded us, a large proportion of the populace would have been very easily duped by a feather of the Archangel Gabriel or a phial of the last breath of St Joseph?" (Wilson, 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," pp.58-60).

But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth. Yes! But given that:

"The Shroud of Turin is now the most intensively studied artifact in the history of the world. Somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 scientific man-hours have been spent on it, with the best analytical tools available." (Heller, 1983, Ibid., p.219. My emphasis).

how can it be that "scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth"? How could an unknown medieval forger create only one work such that the advanced science of the 20-21st century has been "at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth"? That alone is proof (if one thinks about it) that no medieval (or any time) forger created the image on the Shroud.

Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages. That materials were available in the middle ages does not mean that someone then could have reproduced the Shroud. For starters it was not known the Shroud was a photographic negative until the end of the 19th century:

"The modern history of the Shroud might be said to have begun on May 8, 1898, when Secondo Pia was permitted to photograph the Shroud for the first time while it was being exhibited at the Cathedral in Turin. Pia was flabbergasted to find that his glass-plate photographic negative was turning out in the developing bath to show, in fact, a photographic positive image. The Shroud itself had somehow been stained in such a way that the body imprint on the cloth was a negative. This feature alone would seem to rule out the claim that the Shroud is an ancient or medieval forgery. What artist, centuries before, would have fabricated details that could only be discerned with the help of a nineteenth-century invention? And the photographic process, subsequently confirmed by the photographs taken by G. Enrie in 1931, brought out a wealth of hitherto concealed details." (Sullivan, B.M., 2005, "Reading the Shroud of Turin: How in fact was Jesus Christ laid in his tomb?," National Review, July 20, 1973, Reprinted March 24, 2005).

They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. Note the "rubbed it." That means the pigment and acid marks on Garlaschelli's shroud's image would have, like all known works of human art, directionality. But the Shroud of Turin has no directionality:

"Still further, the shroud image is nondirectional. Now if one is going to put paint on a cloth, one moves the hand from side to side. When one gets tired, one often starts moving the hand up and down. But even if one only moves from side to side all of the time, that is directionality. One cannot generally apply paint without directionality. If one uses a spray gun it still involves directionality. But there is no directionality on the shroud image." (Habermas, 1987, "Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?," p.119).

A mask was used for the face. ... The pigment was then artificially

[Above: The front body of the Shroud (L) compared with Garlaschelli's image (R): Reuters]

aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries. Note again "similar to" not "identical to"! And Garlaschelli's "the pigment on the original Shroud faded" is a tacit admission by him that there is no pigment on the Shroud of Turin:

"We do not have to know how somebody could have painted it, but science is adept at finding paint when it is present. But first, if the scientists have come up with one major conclusion, it is that the shroud is not a known fake. There is no paint, dye, powder, or other foreign substance on the image fibrils that could account for the image. Microchemical analyses revealed no paints or pigments ... A 1982 report from a team of scientists, released at a New London, Connecticut, meeting, states that, `No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found in the fibrils.' [Press Release, The Shroud of Turin Research Project, 8 October 1981] So again, we could falsify the shroud if there was paint. But they have not found any ... The shroud image does not appear to be painted at all." (Habermas, 1987, "Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?," p.119).

but there is pigment on his shroud. After all, what is Garlaschelli's "fuzzy, half-tone image" if it is not a residue of the "pigment containing traces of acid" that he applied and then mostly washed off his shroud?

They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect. Here is a major difference between Garlaschelli's shroud and the Shroud of Turin. Garlaschelli "added blood stains" to his shroud after the image was created, but the blood on the Shroud of Turin is before its image, i.e. there is no image under its bloodstains (which fits the Shroud being Jesus' and its image being imprinted by His resurrection):

"Our hypothetical artist obviously must have used blood - both pre-mortem and post-mortem. And he had to paint with serum albumin alongside the edges of the scourge marks. Since serum albumin is visible only under ultraviolet, not white light, he had to paint with an invisible medium. If an artist had painted the Shroud, the blood must have been put on after the images. We decided to check that point. We took some blood- and serum-covered fibrils from a body image area. If the images were there before the blood, and if we removed the blood, we could expect to see straw-yellow image fibers. We prepared a mixture of enzymes that digest blood and its proteins. When all the blood and protein were gone, the underlying fibrils were not straw-yellow; they were ordinary background fibrils. This was strong evidence that the blood had gone on before the images. It suggested that blood had protected the linen from the image-making process. Surely this was a weird way to paint a picture." (Heller, 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," pp.202-203).

Shroud experts Dr John Jackson and Dr. Keith Propp also made this criticism of Garlaschelli's method, that on the Shroud of Turin, "the blood was on it first, then the body image came second" and "the blood contacted the shroud before the body":

"CNA spoke with Dr. John Jackson who runs the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado and is a physics lecturer at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Jackson led a team of 30 researchers in 1978 who determined that the shroud was not painted, dyed or stained. He explained to CNA that based off the Reuters report as well as photos of Garlaschelli's shroud on the internet, it appeared that it doesn't exactly match the Shroud of Turin. Dr. Jackson first questioned the technique used by Garlaschelli's team, taking issue with the method of adding blood after aging the cloth. Jackson explained that he has conducted `two independent observations that argue that the blood features on the shroud' show `that the blood was on it first, then the body image came second.' Dr. Keith Propp, a physicist who is also a colleague of Jackson's, told CNA that while Garlaschelli's shroud `does create an image that could've been done in medieval times,' there are a many things that `are not consistent with what the actual shroud shows us.' For example, he continued, we know that the blood contacted the shroud before the body `because there's no image beneath the shroud.' He added that this image pattern would be difficult to duplicate `because it would ruin the blood stains.' " ("Experts question scientist's claim of reproducing Shroud of Turin," Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2009).

Shroud photographer Barrie Schwortz also noticed this major discrepancy (amongst others):

"It has been demonstrated scientifically that the bloodstains on the Shroud came from direct contact with a body and are all forensically accurate. It has also been shown that the bloodstains were on the Shroud BEFORE the image was formed since the blood and serum acted to inhibit the image formation mechanism. There is NO image under the blood and serum stains on the Shroud. However, to make this new `reproduction,' the `blood' was added (using a different pigment) AFTER the image was created. Obviously, it is much easier to add the blood to the image than to first create the blood stains and then create the forensically accurate image around them, which is exactly what a medieval forger would have had to do to duplicate the actual physical properties of the Shroud! Many of the bloodstains on the Shroud show a surrounding halo of serum stains that are ONLY visible with UV fluorescence photography. Also, the blood has been chemically analyzed and determined to include components of actual blood, NOT pigment." ("Science by Press Release? An Editorial Response by Barrie Schwortz," Shroud.com, 7 October 2009. Emphasis original).

As did Shroud lecturer and researcher Russ Breault:

"We can make an artificial diamond that looks real, but it is still not an authentic diamond. Making something that looks like the Shroud does not prove it is a medieval fraud. The qualifying criteria are very specific. The image must be so superficial that it penetrates only the top two microfibers, about the depth of a single bacterium. There can be no coloration beyond the crowns of the fibers and no image on the side of the fibers or under the fibers. For this we need a microscope to validate. The image must demonstrate to be an accurate negative image and also possess accurate distance information where parts of the body still reveal an image even though not in direct contact with the cloth of distances up to 4 cm. However this is only half the problem. There are two sets of images: body image and blood image. Interestingly, there is no image under the blood meaning that the order of events is blood first followed by image. This is the correct sequence if authentic but nearly impossible for an artist. As such, according to the article, they added blood after the image was already created. That fact alone invalidates their claim." (Russ Breault, "Is the Shroud of Turin a Fake?," EzineArticles.com, 11 October 2009).

The Catholic Church does not claim the Shroud is authentic nor that it is a matter of faith, but says it should be a powerful reminder of Christ's passion. This is an important point for Protestants (like me) who may be opposed to the Shroud because it is a `Catholic relic' (as I originally was), that the Roman Catholic Church has only owned the Shroud since 1983 when it was bequeathed to it by its owner ex-king of Italy, Umberto II of Savoy (see also below), and has always hedged its bets on the Shroud's authenticity.

One of Christianity's most disputed relics, it is locked away at Turin Cathedral in Italy and rarely exhibited. It was last on display in 2000 and is due to be shown again next year. Garlaschelli expects people to contest his findings. Garlaschelli does not sound supremely confident that he would be if he knew he had duplicated the Shroud! "If they don't want to believe carbon dating done by some of the world's best laboratories they certainly won't believe me," he said. Its not a question of belief but what explanation best fits all the evidence of the Shroud. And neither the 1988 radiocarbon age of 1260-1390 nor Garlaschelli's shroud does. The accuracy of the 1988 tests was challenged by some hard-core believers who said restorations of the Shroud in past centuries had contaminated the results. There is in fact strong evidence that the part of the Shroud that was radiocarbon-dated in 1988 was a medieval patch and not part of the original Shroud.

The history of the Shroud is long and controversial. After surfacing in the Middle East and France, it was brought by Italy's former royal family, the Savoys, to their seat in Turin in 1578. In 1983 ex-King Umberto II bequeathed it to the late Pope John Paul. See my above point that only since 1983 has the Shroud actually been owned by the Roman Catholic church. The Shroud narrowly escaped destruction in 1997 when a fire ravaged the Guarini Chapel of the Turin cathedral where it is held. The cloth was saved by a fireman who risked his life. It is further evidence of the Divine origin of the Shroud and therefore its providential protection, that there have been many attempts and events that could have destroyed the Shroud, but it has outlasted them all:

"It is ironic that every edifice in which the Shroud was supposedly housed before the fifteenth century has long since vanished through the hazards of time, yet this frail piece of linen has come through almost unscathed ... one cannot help feeling that it has its role to play, and that its hour is imminent." (Wilson, 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," p.251).

Garlaschelli received funding for his work by an Italian association of atheists and agnostics but said it had no effect on his results. So Garlaschelli's is just the latest in a long line of anti-Christian (and I assume ultimately Satanic) attempts to destroy the Shroud! "Money has no odor," he said. "This was done scientifically. It wasn't. If Garlaschelli's work was truly scientific he would submit it to a peer-reviewed journal (as all Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) papers were):

"Jackson noted that he or his colleagues would be open to testing the Garlaschelli shroud or any other `idea about the shroud relative to the scientific characteristics that have been documented in respect to the shroud,' however to do so they would need `more detailed information about what was specifically done.' ... Jackson also pointed out that Garlaschelli's findings have yet to be peer reviewed. What scientists need `to do is present their work for publication before their peers.' He explained that any person can conduct his or her own research, but it doesn't matter whether or not the author believes his or her hypothesis was proven. In the end, what the scientific community decides `upon seeing and reviewing the work' is what counts, he said." ("Experts question scientist's claim of reproducing Shroud of Turin," Catholic News Agency, October 6, 2009).

If the Church wants to fund me in the future, here I am." Here and above Garlaschelli admits he was paid by atheists (and presumably he is one) to debunk the Shroud!

For other (mostly uncritical) news articles on this see also: AP, BBC, CNN, Daily Mail and The Australian. For news articles pointing out the flaws in Garlaschelli's `reproduction' see: "Study debunks Shroud of Turin's authenticity; Springs believers not swayed," Colorado Springs Gazette, October 6, 2009; "Mexican expert on Shroud points out flaws of supposed 'duplicate'," Catholic News Agency, 12 October 2009; and "Experts question scientist's claim of reproducing Shroud of Turin," Catholic News Agency, 6 October 2009.

There has been huge interest in this. Barrie Schwortz in the above "Editorial Response" reports that his Shroud.com website had 20,000 hits the day the story broke. This my own blog's Sitemeter jumped from last week's average visits per day of 44 and total for the week of 306, to average visits per day of 278 and a total this week of 1,946! So if nothing else, Garlaschelli has re-kindled widespread public interest in the Shroud.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!


"The results of radiocarbon measurements at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range with at least 95% confidence for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of AD 1260 - 1390 (rounded down/up to nearest 10 yr). These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval." (Damon, P.E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, 1989, pp.611-615, p.614).

"We do not have to know how somebody could have painted it, but science is adept at finding paint when it is present. But first, if the scientists have come up with one major conclusion, it is that the shroud is not a known fake. There is no paint, dye, powder, or other foreign substance on the image fibrils that could account for the image. Microchemical analyses revealed no paints or pigments. Also, fraud is refuted by the shroud's 3-D characteristics. Paintings do not produce a 3-D effect, but the shroud image is 3-D. This has been checked out in a laboratory. In addition, the shroud image is superficial, which means that it is only on the top few fibrils of the affected threads. Each thread has about 200 fibrils, and the image is on the top few fibrils only. It does not even soak to the back threads, let alone to the back of the cloth. Paint is not superficial, and reproducing the shroud has not been possible in the laboratory. Further, there are no plateaus or saturation points on the shroud image. But if you apply any pigment or dye there will naturally be saturation points. Still further, the shroud image is nondirectional. Now if one is going to put paint on a cloth, one moves the hand from side to side. When one gets tired, one often starts moving the hand up and down. But even if one only moves from side to side all of the time, that is directionality. One cannot generally apply paint without directionality. If one uses a spray gun it still involves directionality. But there is no directionality on the shroud image. Also, there is no capillary flow on the shroud, which rules out any liquid movement. In addition, the 1532 fire that the shroud was involved in would have caused chemical changes in organic pigments, but there are no changes in the shroud. Further, the water applied to the shroud to put out the 1532 fire would usually cause chemical changes, but there are no such changes observed on the shroud. Finally, the shroud image is nontraditional. For instance, the nail wounds are in the wrists and the crown of thorns appears to be a skullcap. Someone painting the shroud in the Middle Ages would presumably not have known that the nails were placed in the wrists. A 1982 report from a team of scientists, released at a New London, Connecticut, meeting, states that, `No pigments, paints, dyes or stains have been found in the fibrils.' [Press Release, The Shroud of Turin Research Project, 8 October 1981] So again, we could falsify the shroud if there was paint. But they have not found any. Now maybe they will find some in the future. I am open to that, but right now that is a weak hypothesis. I cannot speak for anybody on the team of scientists, but just judging from their publications, the fraud thesis is the one theory that, according to a recent survey, nobody on the team of scientists holds. I think I would even say that this would be the easiest theory to refute. The shroud image does not appear to be painted at all." (Habermas, G.R., 1987, "Discussion: Antony G. N. Flew, Gary R. Habermas, Terry L. Miethe, and W. David Beck," in Habermas, G.R., Flew A.G.N. & Miethe, T.L., ed., "Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?: The Resurrection Debate," Harper & Row: San Francisco CA, p.119).

"We began our presentation. One by one, we gave our short talks with slides, graphs, spectra, and tried to make them intelligible to the nonscientist. Everything that had been done was included, from mathematical models, VP-8 and physical experiments, to pathology. ... We explained that we hoped to obtain permission to do a carbon 14 dating test some time in the future, but we had not yet received permission. We all wanted to be very careful that we did not overstate anything. We were extremely cautious to make no statement of any kind that could not be supported by the data. Bit by bit, the complex story involving optics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine unfolded. Most of the questions were excellent. Adler was asked how he could answer McCrone's claim that there was no blood, but merely a mixture of red ocher and vermilion. Adler flashed on the screen the following table from our paper. Table 5 Tests confirming the presence of whole blood on the Shroud 1. High iron in blood areas by X-ray fluorescence 2. Indicative reflection spectra 3. Indicative microspectrophotometric transmission spectra 4. Chemical generation of characteristic porphyrin fluorescence 5. Positive hemochromogen tests 6. Positive cyanomethemoglobin tests 7. Positive detection of bile pigments 8. Positive demonstration of protein 9. Positive indication of albumin 10. Protease tests, leaving no residue 11. Positive immunological test for human albumin 12. Microscopic appearance as compared with appropriate controls 13. Forensic judgment of the appearance of the various wound and blood marks Then, after explaining each item briefly, Al said, `That means that the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!'" (Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, pp.215-216. Emphasis original).

"Epilogue So where does all this huge amount of science leave us? The Shroud of Turin is now the most intensively studied artifact in the history of the world. Somewhere between 100,000 and 150,000 scientific man-hours have been spent on it, with the best analytical tools available. The physical and chemical data fit hand in glove. It is certainly true that if a similar number of data had been found in the funerary linen attributed to Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, or Socrates, there would be no doubt in anyone's mind that it was, indeed, the shroud of that historical person. But because of the unique position that Jesus holds, such evidence is not enough. I have discussed with most of the team, during the interviews preceding my writing of this book, how they felt about the Shroud. Three of them, John Jackson, Robert Bucklin, and Barrie Schwortz, believe that it is probably the authentic, burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth. The rest of us have to say that we do not know. There is no such thing as a scientific test for Jesus, and there probably never will be." (Heller, 1983, Ibid., p.219. Emphasis original).

"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant the blood dematerializes, dissolved perhaps by the flash, while its image and that of the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection. However the image was formed, we may well be entranced by the fourteen-foot length of linen in Turin. For if the author's reconstruction is correct, the Shroud has survived first-century persecution of Christians, repeated Edessan floods, an Edessan earthquake, Byzantine iconoclasm, Moslem invasion, crusader looting, the destruction of the Knights Templars, not to mention the burning incident that caused the triple holes, the 1532 fire, and a serious arson attempt made in 1972. It is ironic that every edifice in which the Shroud was supposedly housed before the fifteenth century has long since vanished through the hazards of time, yet this frail piece of linen has come through almost unscathed. Frustratingly, the Shroud has not yet fully proven itself to us-not uncharacteristic of the gospel Jesus, who at certain times seems almost deliberately to have made his presence obscure, as in his post-Resurrection appearance to Mary Magdalen when she mistook him for a gardener, and in his walking, shortly after, as an unrecognized stranger with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. But one cannot help feeling that it has its role to play, and that its hour is imminent." (Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.250-251).

"Yet none of this, of course, means that the Shroud cannot be the work of a `cunning' mediaeval forger. Perhaps, whoever he was, this individual enjoyed such power that he could arrange for a six-foot man, possibly some prisoner, to be crucified in the exact manner of Jesus Christ? Perhaps he was able to obtain authentic ancient weaponry for the carrying out of details such as the scourging? Perhaps, given that Jews were well established throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, he knew the special burial requirements that pertained to those of this religion who had died a bloody death and arranged for an all-enveloping cloth accordingly? Of course, even if he had managed all this, how he managed to get the image onto the cloth still remains unexplained. Also is it not rather incredible that this unknown individual should have gone to so much trouble and effort to deceive in an age in which, as twentieth-century journalists have reminded us, a large proportion of the populace would have been very easily duped by a feather of the Archangel Gabriel or a phial of the last breath of St Joseph?" (Wilson, I. , 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.58-60).

Updated: 23 July 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Re: There is compelling evidence it is the burial cloth of Christ, or a man crucified during that time #3

Kris

Continuing from my Re: There is compelling evidence it is the burial cloth of Christ, or a man crucified during that time #2,

[Above (click to enlarge): Shroud coins identified as Pontius Pilate leptons: T.V. Oommen]

"The following picture collage is based on images extracted from the Shroud eye area image by Jean-Philippe Fontanille in Montreal, Canada and sent to the author. In his book, `The Coins of Pontius Pilate' (Shangri La Publications, July 2001), Jean-Philippe has identified the right eye coin as in the collage, but the left eye coin was not clearly identified, though an attempt was made to identify the AD 29 Pilate coin known as Julia lepton with three barleys and a simpulum as claimed by Dr.Alan Whanger who had used his polarized overlay technique ... His later identification of the left eye coin as shown in the collage, not in his book, indicates that it is a Pilate lepton with a lituus similar to the one on the right eye."(Oommen, T.V., "The Coinage Evidence," The Mysterious Holy Shroud of Christ, 14 February 2007).]

----- Original Message -----
From: Anonymous
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 6:00 PM
Subject: [The Shroud of Turin] New comment on Bogus: Shroud of Turin? #10: The Shroud's blood an....

which is part #3 of my multi-part response to your comment to my post: Bogus: Shroud of Turin? #10: The Shroud's blood and pollen closely matches the Sudarium of Oviedo's.

This part #3 is only about one of the last two of the at least twenty-three (23) separate and independent features on the Shroud of Turin that match the gospel's description of the crucifixion of Jesus, the coins in the eyes of the man in the Shroud. My conservative estimate of the proportion of Roman crucifixion victims that had that particular feature is in square brackets. My emphasis is bold.

22. The eyes have images of two coins minted by Pontius Pilate in AD 29 [1 in 1,000].

[Above: Image of lepton (Gk. lepton "mite" - Mark 12:42-44) on left eye of man of the Shroud: "Pilate's Coins and Turin Shroud," Jean-Philippe Fontanille. As a coin expert Fontanille writes:

"For my part, I must admit that I have failed to detect any trace of the year 29 coin on the right eye. On the other hand, the similarity of the centre left eye image to a coin bearing the lituus motif is actually more disturbing. The round form gives an impression suggestive of the lituus cross, (albeit a little less curved than in usual) surrounded by traces of letters which could be a vestige of the centre of the inscription `TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC [Tiberius Caesar (42BC-AD37)]'."(Fontanille, J.-P., 2007, "Pilate's Coins and Turin Shroud," Numismalink, 5 April).]

In 1977 STURP members, physicists John Jackson, Eric Jumper and Bill Mottern, after viewing high-quality photographs of the Shroud, reported, "over each eye appeared objects resembling small buttons" which "may be some kind of coins" in which case they could be "a Lepton of Pontius Pilate coined in A.D. 30-31":

"Another photograph of the Shroud which we subjected to relief enhancement ... was a close up of the face ... revealed something unexpected - over each eye appeared objects resembling small buttons ... we were left with but one conclusion - that the buttonlike features are what they seem to be, namely solid objects resting upon the eyelids. This identification agrees with ancient Jewish burial custom where objects ... were apparently sometimes placed over the eyes ... we propose that they may be some kind of coins since.: ... they are both nearly circular and approximately the same size ... " (Jackson., 1977, "The Three Dimensional Image On Jesus' Burial Cloth," pp.90-91).

Medical examiner the late Dr Robert Bucklin confirmed that "rounded foreign objects can be noted ... in the area of the right and left eyes'":

"... medical examiner Robert Bucklin noted `rounded foreign objects can be noted ... in the area of the right and left eyes' ... Jackson and his colleagues also noticed `buttonlike objects' over each eye in their VP-8 relief.' ... Giulio Ricci ... examined five possible explanations for these objects ... there was but one conclusion possible ...`... the button-like features are ... solid objects resting upon the eyelids' ... Jackson believed [they] ...were ... coins ... to keep his eyes closed after death ... " (Ruffin, 1999, "The Shroud of Turin," p.105).

Jackson et al. also pointed out that if "these images" are "solid objects over the eyes" then "the image forming process" would have "acted uniformly through space over the body, front and back, and ... independently of the type of surface, organic and inorganic, from which the image was generated" (which would only be true of radiation)" :

"If the identification of these images as solid objects over the eyes is correct, then ... the image forming process, acted uniformly through space over the body, front and back, and even seemed to act independently of the type of surface, organic and inorganic, from which the image was generated." (Jackson, 1977, p.91).

It was subsequently discovered by a Fr. Francis L. Filas that there were tiny "letters arranged circle-wise" which means these were indeed "coins ... placed in the eye ... areas of the Shroud" and what's more, from their "irregular diameter, with a maximum axis of 16mm" and "the imprint of a staff in the shape of `a question mark' reversed" lead to "the ... conclusion that on the Shroud .. a coin really was imprinted ... minted by Pontius Pilate in ... 29-30 AD":

"The two roundish bodies in relief, pointed out by J. Jackson and G. Tamburelli, and a few alphabetical letters arranged circle-wise, detected by Father Filas, are the premises for considering that coins were placed in the eye-socket areas of the Shroud ... The coin, we have found out ... having an irregular diameter, with a maximum axis of 16mm, in addition to the imprint of a staff in the shape of `a question mark' reversed ... By radiographic experiments carried out on a skull and by using coins of that period, we also confirm that only a certain kind of small coins laid on the eyes can reach the medialis hollow of the skull .... Also the ... discovery of two skulls - both with two small coins of Christ's time - at ... Jericho, lead us to the irrefutable conclusion that on the Shroud cloth a decal of a coin really was imprinted which portrayed a `staff' or LITUUS, the symbol existing uniquely on very rare coins minted by Pontius Pilate in ... 29-30 AD. " (Moroni, 1991, "Pontius Pilate's Coin on the Right Eye of the Man in the Holy Shroud," pp.295-297).

Specifically, Filas identified "the letters UCAI and a design resembling a shepherd's crook, or lituus, in the coin area over the right ... eye" which "match those of a lepton of Pontius Pilate [AD26-36] struck in Israel during the time of Jesus":

"In a VP-8 relief made from a photograph of the Shroud face, researchers noted flat button-like objects over each eye ... Jackson theorized that these objects were coins placed on the eyes to keep them closed in death. In 1979, the late Francis L. Filas reported identifying the letters UCAI and a design resembling a shepherd's crook, or lituus, in the coin area over the right anatomic eye ... These patterns match those of a lepton of Pontius Pilate, struck in Israel during the time of Jesus ..." (Borkan, 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," p.28).

"Filas found the letters UCAI on the right eye, arranged in a coin-like curve. He thought that these might be the central letters of the coin inscription TIBERIOU CAISEROS - Greek for Tiberius Caesar, who was Roman Emperor during the time of Christ's ministry. He also found over the eye a tiny design that looked like a shepherd's crook. He was able to locate authentic Roman coins, minted between A.D. 29 and A.D. 32 (which was the time of Jesus' ministry) that contained a shepherd's staff as well as the Greek inscription TIBERIOU CAISEROS ... " (Ruffin, 1999, p.106).

As Antonacci points out the, "matching of four consecutive letters strongly suggests that this is not an optical illusion or coincidence" and together with "an astrologer's staff, or lituus" .were a "motif on coins minted by Pontius Pilate after A.D. 29" but "Following the rule of Pilate" (in AD36) it "was not used again ... anywhere in the Roman world":

"More evidence of the presence of a coin was found ... several features ... were uniquely characteristic of a Pontius Pilate coin, or lepton, issued between A.D 29 and 32 ... The first of the features noted ... were the letters UCAI ... on the coin over the right eye ... part of the inscription TIOUKAICAPOC ... Greek for `Of Tiberius Caesar' ... Both inscriptions have been identified on Pilate coins ... the size of the letters on the Pilate coin and the Shroud eye matched ... The matching of four consecutive letters strongly suggests that this is not an optical illusion or coincidence ... the letters UCAI on the Shroud face are located around the curve of an astrologer's staff, or lituus ... it was used as a constant motif on coins minted by Pontius Pilate after A.D. 29. Following the rule of Pilate, this lituus was not used again by a ruler in Palestine, nor anywhere in the Roman world ..." (Antonacci, 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud," pp.102-104).

Filas' discovery was confirmed by Dr. Alan and Mary Whanger who "found a very close match, noting at least 74 points of congruence" between the coin image over the man of the Shroud's right eye and that particular "Pontius Pilate lepton"which "was struck: the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, or 29 C.E." They also found "three additional letters in their proper positions":

"... the Whangers compared a photograph of Filas' coin with a computer-enhanced photo of the area over the right eye on the Shroud. .... They found a very close match, noting at least 74 points of congruence ... Image analysis revealed not only the letters UCAI but also three additional letters in their proper positions ... The ... coin image over the right eye `is so similar to [Filas' lepton] that the two coins must have been struck from the same die.' The pattern on the back of Filas' coin identifies the year in which it was struck: the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, or 29 C.E. This is also the only year in which another Pontius Pilate lepton, the Julia lepton, was struck; though the image over the left eye on the Shroud is less distinct than that over the right, the Whangers have reported 73 points of congruence between the image over the left eye and a Julia lepton. ... the images over the eyes on the Shroud are not anomalies in the cloth weave. ... this provides supportive evidence for the presence of coins on the eyes of the man in the Shroud ..." (Borkan, 1995, p.28).

"Whanger ... Comparing a photograph of the Tiberius Caesar coin, known as a lepton ... with a computer-enhanced photograph of the area over the right eye of the Shroud image ... found `a very close match,' noting at least seventy-four `areas of congruence.' In other words, the Whangers found seventy-four features on the coin that closely corresponded to features on the Shroud image ... ..." (Ruffin, 1999, pp.106-107).

The Whangers later found over the left eye a less distinct image of

[Above (click to enlarge): Julia lepton with three barley sheaves on one side and a simpulum (Roman vessel) and letters meaning "Tiberius Caesar" on the other, of which the catalogue says, "JUDAEA, PONTIUS PILATE, 26-36 AD. Lepton ... Excellent example of this coin struck under the authority of the Roman Procurator who condemned Jesus to the cross.]

another coin which has "73 points of congruence" with "another Pontius Pilate lepton, the Julia lepton" which was only minted in "... the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, or 29 C.E.":

"... the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, or 29 C.E. ... is also the only year in which another Pontius Pilate lepton, the Julia lepton, was struck; though the image over the left eye on the Shroud is less distinct than that over the right, the Whangers have reported 73 points of congruence between the image over the left eye and a Julia lepton...." (Borkan, 1995, p.28).

"The image of the object over the left eye on the Shroud is fainter ... but the Whangers found seventy-three points of congruence between that image and a Roman coin, contemporary to the time of Christ, known as a `Julia lepton.' ..." (Ruffin, 1999, p.107).

Dr. Robert Haralick then at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory in an analysis commissioned by Filas concluded: "...in the enlargement of the right eye image we find supporting evidence for a ... shepherd's staff pattern ... and ... the letters OUCAIC." Dr Haralick added that this "is definitely supporting evidence because there is some degree of match between what one would expect to find if the Shroud did indeed contain a faint image of the Pilate coin and what we can in fact observe in the original and in the digitally produced images":

"The Haralick Report ... Fr. Filas subsequently submitted the coin and Shroud image for comparative analysis at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory. Dr. Robert Haralick, then at the Institute, offered cautious support to Filas' hypothesis ... Dr. Haralick advises that: `A number of digital enhancements were performed on imagery digitized from the 1931 Enrie photographs of the Shroud ... The enhancements provide supporting evidence that the right eye area of the Shroud image contains remnants of patterns similar to those of a known Pontius Pilate coin dating from 29 A.D ... Dr. Haralick concludes: `Thus, in the enlargement of the right eye image we find supporting evidence for a bright oval area: a shepherd's staff pattern as the main feature in the bright area; and bright segment patterns just to the side and top of the staff pattern, which in varying degrees match to the letters OUCAIC. [p.34] ... the evidence is definitely supporting evidence because there is some degree of match between what one would expect to find if the Shroud did indeed contain a faint image of the Pilate coin and what we can in fact observe in the original and in the digitally produced images. [p.34]" (Iannone, 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin, pp.39-40. Italics original).

"... Haralick gave `cautious support' to the Whangers and to Filas ... He offered, `The evidence is definitely supporting evidence because there is some degree of match between what one would expect to find if the Shroud did indeed contain a faint image of the Pilate coin ... Archaeologists working in Israel have, in fact, found coins in the eye orbits of three skulls from the approximate time of Jesus ..." (Ruffin, 1999, p.107).

As originally pointed out by Jackson, the identification of "objects" (let alone coins minted just before the time of Jesus' crucifixion which was AD30 or 33), strengthens the authenticity of the Shroud, because "what ... forger in the Fourteenth Century would have thought to place objects on the eyes of Jesus?":

"In addition, this identification of the `objects' seems to strengthen the authenticity of the Shroud. For what artist or forger in the Fourteenth Century would have thought to place objects on the eyes of Jesus? " (Jackson, 1977, p.91).

considering that they are of "a coin" indeed coins "then unknown and that could not be discerned for at least another five hundred years ... in photographic negative ... reflecting letters 1/32 inches high with a rare misspelling, including an astrologer's staff existing practically nowhere else in numismatic history ":

"A Medieval or Renaissance Artist? ... since this unique coin, struck in 29 A.D., was not found until 1977, it is hardly plausible to claim that a medieval artist (or forger) would have included this tiny detail of a coin then unknown and that could not be discerned for at least another five hundred years when optical, photographic and computer imaging techniques would first be able to demonstrate such fine points ... The conclusion points in one inescapable direction: forgery of the Shroud is utterly impossible. No forger in the Middle Ages or even earlier would have been able to fabricate tiny imprints over both eyes on the Shroud cloth in photographic negative - with no pigment - reflecting letters 1/32 inches high with a rare misspelling, including an astrologer's staff existing practically nowhere else in numismatic history ... " (Iannone, 1998, pp.43-44).

Not only does this overwhelming evidence of images of coins dated to "the seven-year period from A.D. 29 ... to A.D. 36" on the eyes of the man on the Shroud, "completely eliminate the possibility of forgery of the Shroud" it also invalidates the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud linen to the 14th century because this gives "a verified date for the Shroud image that is far more precise than carbon-dating can ever be":

"Even more impressive is the coin-on-the-eye work of Professor Francis L. Filas ... which seems to give us a verified date for the Shroud image that is far more precise than carbon-dating can ever be ... Filas was enlarging his slides of the Shroud image to fill a twelve foot, closed-circuit television screen. He was startled to see what appeared to be Greek letters on the right eye of the Shroud Face. With ... assistance of coin expert Michael Marx, he discovered a 15mm (5/8 inch) disc inscribed with four recognizable Greek letters and an astrologer's staff, a lituus. ... the size of the coin, the size and shape and position of the inscriptions, and the sequence of the four letters, were all found to be exactly correct for a small bronze coin known as the Pontius Pilate coin, minted in Palestine from 29 to 32 ... The astrologer's staff was used as an independent symbol on no other coin in the Roman world at any time ... The odds in favor of the identification of the coin and its date are in the range of millions to one against any other interpretation ... Professor Alan Whanger ... finds the actual coin to be almost a perfect match for the markings on the Shroud face, so that the only reasonable conclusion he can come to is that they were coins struck from the same die ... Whanger's technique identifies the coin on the left eye as another Pontius Pilate lepton, known as the Julia coin, struck only in the year 29 ... Sheaves of grain and parts of eleven ... letters that appear on the coin are identified by Whanger ... the Filas/Whanger coin identification work would seem to completely eliminate the possibility of forgery of the Shroud ... Haralick's use of computer-enhanced digital image analysis now gives strong evidence for nine Greek letters in sequence on the perimeter of the coin appearing over the right eye ... This work would seem to historically pinpoint ... the seven-year period from A.D. 29, when these coins were first minted in Judea, to A.D. 36, when Pilate left office ...." (Tribbe, 2006, "Portrait of Jesus," pp.114-120).

To be continued in part #4 of this series with: 23. The Shroud's head bloodstains match those of the Sudarium of Oviedo.

Quotes below are hyperlinked to inline references above. I have left them in full for further reading.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!


"One indication of an even more specific date for the crucifixion of this particular victim may be available in the Turin Shroud image. It comes from the uncorroborated evidence of coin images found over the eyes of the man in the Shroud. The presence of coins was first suggested by the three-dimensional images of the Shroud face made with the VP-8 Image Analyzer in 1976. [Jackson, J.P., et al., "The Three-Dimensional Image on Jesus' Burial Cloth," 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.74-94, pp.90-91] In these experiments, scientists were surprised to discover two small objects, both nearly circular and approximately the same size, over the eyes ... More evidence of the presence of a coin was found later when photographs were taken of an enlargement of the Shroud face made from a sepia print based on the original 1931 photographic plates of Giuseppe Enrie. These photographs suggested several features that were uniquely characteristic of a Pontius Pilate coin, or lepton, issued between A.D 29 and 32. These studies were conducted by the late Francis L. Filas, S.J., of Loyola University in Chicago, and several numismatists who assisted him. The first of the features noted by the Loyola team were the letters UCAI appearing at the 9:30 to 11:30 clock positions on the coin over the right eye. These letters seem to be part of the inscription TIOUKAICAPOC ... an abbreviation of TIBEPIOUKAICAPOC ('Tiberiou Kaisaros,' Greek for `Of Tiberius Caesar'). Both inscriptions have been identified on Pilate coins. Pontius Pilate coins that bear this first inscription have the same corresponding letters, UCAI or UKAI, appearing at the same 9:30 to 11:30 clock positions as those found on the coin over the right eye of the man in the Shroud. When a Pilate coin with this same inscription was enlarged on a screen to match the size of the enlarged right-eye area of the man in the Shroud, the size of the letters on the Pilate coin and the Shroud eye matched, with both measuring approximately 1½ mm. [Filas, F.L., "The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from Coins of Pontius Pilate," Cogan Productions: Youngstown AZ, Second edition, 1982] The matching of four consecutive letters strongly suggests that this is not an optical illusion or coincidence. According to Father Filas, for these letters to have appeared by accident, or as a result of a chance pattern in the weave of the cloth, is almost impossible; the odds of all four letters appearing in consecutive order are extremely remote. [Filas, Ibid.] An even more convincing point of authenticity to support the existence of a Pontius Pilate coin over the right eye of the Shroud image can be found in the letters UCAI. Prior to the identification of these letters on the Shroud, an interesting point concerning these Pilate coins had never been known to numismatists. The UCAI is actually misspelled and should read UKAI. The misspelling probably occurred because the pronunciations of `Caesar' in Latin and `Kaisaros' in Greek were identical, with both having the hard `K' sound (though the Greek C sounded like the Latin S). After finding this spelling over the right eye of the man in the Shroud, Pilate coins were checked for their spelling. It was discovered that at least four Pilate coins with this same misspelling exist today. [Otterbein, A.J., personal communication, September 23, 1986] Furthermore, the letters UCAI on the Shroud face are located around the curve of an astrologer's staff, or lituus. This lituus is another very important point of identification, for it was used as a constant motif on coins minted by Pontius Pilate after A.D. 29. Following the rule of Pilate, this lituus was not used again by a ruler in Palestine, nor anywhere in the Roman world, as a central independent symbol. [Filas, F.L., "The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from Coins of Pontius Pilate," Cogan Productions: Youngstown AZ, Second edition, 1982] Occasionally, it has been found as a small side decoration, but never more than that. On the Shroud image, the lituus is not as clear as the inscription, but the image on the coin is completely consistent with a lituus turned to the right, or clockwise, as was the lituus on the coin with the inscription TIOUKAICAPOC. When a photo of the Pilate coin was enlarged to match the size of the enlarged coin over the right eye of the man in the Shroud, the lituus measured 11 to 12 mm from its base to the top of its curve; this is the same measurement as the lituus on the coin found on the Shroud. [Filas, Ibid.] In addition, unlike the graceful curves of the lituus stem on most Pilate coins, the coin mentioned above with the abbreviated inscription has a cruder-appearing lituus that lacks graceful curves on its stem. Again, this design matches the lituus found on the coin over the right eye of the man in the Shroud. [Ibid.] ... Further comparison of the enlarged area over the right eye of the man in the Shroud with the enlarged Pontius Pilate lepton reveals even more similarities. The sizes and outlines of both are quite similar. [Filas, F.L., "The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from Coins of Pontius Pilate," Cogan Productions: Youngstown AZ, Second edition, 1982, pp. 11-12] Further, the right side of the rim of each has been clipped at the 1:30 to 3:30 o'clock position ... Father Filas summarized the many points of comparison: `To sum up, there exists a combination of size, position, angular rotation, relative mutual proportion, accuracy of duplication ... and parity [i.e., turned in the proper direction]. This combination concerns at least six motifs: a lituus or astrologer's staff, four letters, `UCAI,' and a clipped coin margin.' [Ibid., p.5] While these features are seen in varying degrees on numerous photographic negatives taken by different photographers, [Ibid., p.7] They are most clearly visible on an enlargement of the entire two thirds life-size photograph. The Enrie photographs were taken with film that emphasized contrast, whereas subsequent photographers used improved film that tended to downplay contrasts [Ibid.] . Also, subsequent photographers secured the Shroud to its frame with magnets, which produced tiny folds or draping effects rather than the stretched tautness of the Shroud cloth that was obtained by Enrie, who is thought to have used metal tacks.[Ibid., p.7] Unfortunately this means that STURP's many photos do little to prove or disprove the existence of these coins. Further imaging of the Shroud should take Ernie's method into account so we may learn more about this theory. The photographic negative from which all of the above-discussed features were found has been processed in a Log E Interpretation System, which is very similar to a VP-8 Image Analyzer. Pictures of the enlarged areas over the eyes were also processed with this system. The letters UCAI, the lituus, and the clipped edge at the 1:30 to 3:30 clock position are all apparent ... Furthermore, for the first time the clarity of the boundary of a coin over the left eye also became visible. These nondistorted features appear on the Log E Interpretation image in the same manner as found on the photographic negative; this only points further toward a coin with the same inscription, motifs, and designs." (Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, pp.102-105).

"In a VP-8 relief made from a photograph of the Shroud face, researchers noted flat button-like objects over each eye. The characteristics of these images led the investigators to conclude that they were solid objects on top of the eyes of the man in the Shroud. In light of readings he made about Jewish burial customs, Jackson theorized that these objects were coins placed on the eyes to keep them closed in death. In 1979, the late Francis Filas reported identifying the letters UCAI and a design resembling a shepherd's crook, or lituus, in the coin area over the right anatomic eye. [Whanger & Whanger 1991:3, Whanger & Whanger 1985:767, Stevenson & Habermas 1990:66] These patterns match those of a lepton of Pontius Pilate, struck in Israel during the time of Jesus, with the exception that the Latin C is apparently a misspelling of what should have been the (identically pronounced) Greek K in KAICAROC (Caesar). Filas, however, managed to obtain a Pontius Pilate lepton with exactly this misspelling, and at least six others have been found, [Whanger in Meacham 1983 Comments, p.304] thus rendering academic any debate over the likelihood of a coin with such a misspelling being struck. Using their overlay technique, the Whangers compared a photograph of Filas' coin with a computer-enhanced photo of the area over the right eye on the Shroud. .... They found a very close match, noting at least 74 points of congruence. In order to demonstrate that it is not the case, as one critic of the Shroud has put it, that `the alleged coin-images are artifacts of observers' hopes and beyond the limits of photo enlargements and the coarseness of the Shroud weave,' [John R. Cole in Meacham 1983 Comments, p. 296] a number of confirmatory studies have been carried out. The Whangers twice repeated their polarized overlay comparison, first with a right-left reversal of the coin, and then with a top-bottom reversal. In the first case, they observed only ten points of congruence; in the latter, they observed six. They also performed a comparison with a lepton of the Procurator Coponius (C.E. 6-9) in place of the Pontius Pilate lepton (the two coins are nearly the same size and shape,) but were able to tabulate only 11 points of congruence. [Whanger & Whanger 1985:770] A series of computer-aided studies of the Shroud image carried out by Robert Haralick of the Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory at Virginia Polytechnic and State University also supports Filas' initial observations. Image analysis revealed not only the letters UCAI but also three additional letters in their proper positions. [Haralick 1983:34] The Whangers further noted that the coin image over the right eye `is so similar to [Filas' lepton] that the two coins must have been struck from the same die.' The pattern on the back of F'ilas' coin identifies the year in which it was struck: the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, or 29 C.E. This is also the only year in which another Pontius Pilate lepton, the Julia lepton, was struck; though the image over the left eye on the Shroud is less distinct than that over the right, the Whangers have reported 73 points of congruence between the image over the left eye and a Julia lepton. [Whanger & Whanger 1985:767, Whanger & Whanger 1991:4] Extensive debate has surrounded the discovery of coins on the eyes of the man in the Shroud. Critics have questioned both the reliability of the identification and the archaeological evidence for the practice of placing coins on the eyes of a corpse. The work of Haralick and the Whangers demonstrates that the images over the eyes on the Shroud are not anomalies in the cloth weave. In conjunction with the VP-8 analysis, this provides supportive evidence for the presence of coins on the eyes of the man in the Shroud. For several years after the initial identification of these images, the issue of archaeological justification for this discovery was hotly debated. It has become apparent in recent years that there is little archaeological support for a first-century Jewish practice of placing coins on the eyes of the deceased. [Hachlili and Killebrew 1983] However, there is neither a complete lack of support nor a strong theoretical argument against such an occasional practice." (Borkan, M., 1995, "Ecce Homo?: Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University, Winter, Vol. X, No. 2, pp.18-51, pp.28-29).

"One might well say that the Turin shroud guards its mystery to this day. Could it be possible that new developments may come from so unexpected a field as numismatics ? Strange as it may seem, the possibility cannot be excluded. It all began at NASA in 1978. At this time researchers Jackson, Jumper and Stephenson wanted to test the capacities of their VP8 new computer, specially for three dimensional extrapolation, so they submitted the face on the shroud for analysis. The image obtained, now famous, distinctly revealed two circular protrusions on the eyelids. The experts immediately made a connection with an ancient custom which advocated the placing of coins on the eyes of the dead to keep them closed. Archaeological excavations have confirmed this tradition. Skeletons from the first and second century C.E. have been found with a coin in each eye-socket at Jericho and at En Boqeq. Everything then happened very quickly. The following year Professor Francis Filas, a teacher at Loyola University of Chicago, made an enlargement of the image of the left eye and noticed a strange curved shape with traces of letters above it. Intrigued, he went to an ancient coins expert from Chicago, Michael Marx, who concluded that it was probably the image of Pilate's lituus coin. I have reproduced the relevant illustration so that anyone may form their own opinion on the matter. In 1980, an electronic analysis performed in the Overland Park Laboratory in Texas confirmed not only the soundness of Professor Filas' findings, but also allowed the admission of evidence of another coin on the right eye, without however being able to identify why precise details were absent. Other researchers, Alan and Mary Whanger, took up the investigation in 1985, applying the technique of polarised light superimposition; they thought they detected on the left eye coin the three ears of barley encircled with faint traces of letters: this indicated that it could be the coin minted in year 29. What credibility may be given to these `discoveries' ? Like everything else touching on the Turin Shroud, each discovery, whether in favour of its authenticity or against, is immediately contested by supporters holding the opposite view. The thesis of Pilate's coins on the eyes is neither more or less argued about than any other discovery or supposition concerning this shroud. For my part, I must admit that I have failed to detect any trace of the year 29 coin on the right eye. On the other hand, the similarity of the centre left eye image to a coin bearing the lituus motif is actually more disturbing. The round form gives an impression suggestive of the lituus cross, (albeit a little less curved than in usual) surrounded by traces of letters which could be a vestige of the centre of the inscription `TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC'."(Fontanille, J.-P., 2007, "Pilate's Coins and Turin Shroud," Numismalink, 5 April).

"" The Haralick Report It became apparent that computer enhancement or some such sophisticated technique might be an important avenue to allow identification. Fr. Filas subsequently submitted the coin and Shroud image for comparative analysis at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory. Dr. Robert Haralick, then at the Institute, offered cautious support to Filas' hypothesis while stressing the fundamental problem that science has no way of determining whether what appears as a coin inscription is anything but a random quirk of the Shroud's weave. In the abstract introducing his report, Dr. Haralick advises that: `A number of digital enhancements were performed on imagery digitized from the 1931 Enrie photographs of the Shroud and a 1978 S.T.U.R.P. photograph taken by Vernon Miller. The enhancements provide supporting evidence that the right eye area of the Shroud image contains remnants of patterns similar to those of a known Pontius Pilate coin dating from 29 A.D. [Haralick, R.M., "Analysis of Digital Images of the Shroud of Turin," Spacial Data Analysis Laboratory, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Blacksburg VA, December 1983, p.2] After extensive study, Dr. Haralick concludes: `Thus, in the enlargement of the right eye image we find supporting evidence for a bright oval area: a shepherd's staff pattern as the main feature in the bright area; and bright segment patterns just to the side and top of the staff pattern, which in varying degrees match to the letters OUCAIC. [p.34] Haralick goes on to caution the reader that: This evidence cannot be said to be conclusive evidence that an image of the Pontius Pilate coin appears in the right eye of the Enrie Shroud Image... however, the evidence is definitely supporting evidence because there is some degree of match between what one would expect to find if the Shroud did indeed contain a faint image of the Pilate coin and what we can in fact observe in the original and in the digitally produced images. [p.34]" (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.39-40. Emphasis original).

"A Medieval or Renaissance Artist? Dr. Whanger observes that, since this unique coin, struck in 29 A.D., was not found until 1977, it is hardly plausible to claim that a medieval artist (or forger) would have included this tiny detail of a coin then unknown and that could not be discerned for at least another five hundred years when optical, photographic and computer imaging techniques would first be able to demonstrate such fine points. [Whanger, A. & M., "Polarized Image Overlay Technique," Applied Optics, March 15, 1985, p.767] Fr. Filas supports the authenticity also by saying that: `The conclusion points in one inescapable direction: forgery of the Shroud is utterly impossible. No forger in the Middle Ages or even earlier would have been able to fabricate tiny imprints over both eyes on the Shroud cloth in photographic negative - with no pigment - reflecting letters 1/32 inches high with a rare misspelling, including an astrologer's staff existing practically nowhere else in numismatic history in full size of 1/2 inch, from one Roman coin (Pilate lepton) issued certainly in Palestine in 29 A.D. - and a second Roman coin (Julia lepton) whose traces point again to Palestine and 29 A.D.' [Filas, F., "The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from Coins of Pontius Pilate," Cogan Productions, 1984, p.20] (Iannone, 1998, pp.43-44. Emphasis original).

"Another photograph of the Shroud which we subjected to relief enhancement with the relief purposefully somewhat suppressed was a close up of the face. .... The suppression revealed something unexpected - over each eye appeared objects resembling small buttons. Though it seemed natural on the basis of the computer generated picture to interpret these features as objects resting atop closed eyelids, we felt compelled to consider several alternative explanations: ... we were left with but one conclusion - that the buttonlike features are what they seem to be, namely solid objects resting upon the eyelids. This identification agrees with ancient Jewish burial custom where objects (potsherd fragments or coins) were apparently sometimes placed over the eyes. Detailed identification is not possible without further investigation, but we propose that they may be some kind of coins since: (1) they are both nearly circular and approximately the same size, and (2) scriptural accounts indicate that Joseph of Arimathaea, a wealthy man, was responsible for burying Jesus. He obviously had money on his person at the time of Jesus' burial for he was able to purchase a linen burial cloth. Thus, if Joseph followed Jewish burial custom to cover the eyes, then it is not unreasonable that the most natural and convenient thing for him to use would have been coins rather than pottery fragments. If our conjecture is true that these images are of coins, then we may have a truly unique method of dating the image. Computer enhancement of high quality closeup photographs of the eye region followed by a statistical correlation with known coinage of a given era and locality may be able to: (1) identify the objects as coins and (2) date and locate the probable time and place the image and not just the cloth was formed. Indeed, we have some computer enhancements which, though lacking sufficient resolution for positive identification, indicate a possible structure on the surface of the objects. In addition, Ian Wilson has suggested several Judean Bronze Lepton coins which are about the correct size as the buttonlike images. In particular, a Lepton of Pontius Pilate coined in A.D. 30-31 seems to agree especially well. .... According to Wilson, a Lepton would probably be a likely candidate for Joseph of Arimathaea, an orthodox Jew, to use since it was acceptable as a Temple offering. .... If the identification of these images as solid objects over the eyes is correct, then another significant aspect of the image forming process comes to light: whatever process formed the image had to have acted the same way not only over the body and hair, but also over presumably organically inert fragments situated atop the eyes. This conclusion, we believe, is of significance, for it places great restrictions on the possible image formation processes. In short, three dimensionality implies that the image forming process, acted uniformly through space over the body, front and back, and even seemed to act independently of the type of surface, organic and inorganic, from which the image was generated. In addition, this identification of the `objects' seems to strengthen the authenticity of the Shroud. For what artist or forger in the Fourteenth Century would have thought to place objects on the eyes of Jesus?" (Jackson, J.P., et al., 1977, "The Three Dimensional Image On Jesus' Burial Cloth," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, pp.74-94, pp.89-91).

"As we have seen, medical examiner Robert Bucklin noted `rounded foreign objects can be noted on the imprint in the area of the right and left eyes.' [Bucklin, R., "Autopsy on the Man of the Shroud," Third International Scientific Symposium on the Shroud of Turin, Nice, France, 12 May 1997, p.3] Jackson and his colleagues also noticed `buttonlike objects' over each eye in their VP-8 relief.' [Borkan, M., "Ecce Homo? Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University Magazine of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Winter 1995, Vol. X, No. 2, p.28] ... Giulio Ricci ... examined five possible explanations for these objects ... Ricci insisted that there was but one conclusion possible, and that was `that the button-like features are ... solid objects resting upon the eyelids.' [Ricci, G., "Historical, Medical, and Physical Study of the Holy Shroud," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, 1977, pp.89-90] Jackson believed that the button-like objects were in fact coins placed by Jesus' family and friends to keep his eyes closed after death. Research by Francis L. Filas, a professor of theology at Loyola University in Chicago, tended to support this hypothesis. Using high-magnification photography, Filas found the letters UCAI on the right eye, arranged in a coin-like curve. He thought that these might be the central letters of the coin inscription TIBERIOU CAISEROS - Greek for Tiberius Caesar, who was Roman Emperor during the time of Christ's ministry. He also found over the eye a tiny design that looked like a shepherd's crook. He was able to locate authentic Roman coins, minted between A.D. 29 and A.D. 32 (which was the time of Jesus' ministry) that contained a shepherd's staff as well as the Greek inscription TIBERIOU CAISEROS ... Alan and Mary Whanger ... Comparing a photograph of the Tiberius Caesar coin, known as a lepton, or `widow's mite,' with a computer-enhanced photograph of the area over the right eye of the Shroud image .. found `a very close match,' noting at least seventy-four `areas of congruence.' In other words, the Whangers found seventy-four features on the coin that closely corresponded to features on the Shroud image. ... [Borkan, M., "Ecce Homo? Science and the Authenticity of the Turin Shroud," Vertices, Duke University Magazine of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Winter 1995, Vol. X, No. 2, p.28] The image of the object over the left eye on the Shroud is fainter than that over the right, but the Whangers found seventy-three points of congruence between that image and a Roman coin, contemporary to the time of Christ, known as a `Julia lepton.' [Borkan, pp.28-29] The Whangers sent their findings to be checked by Robert Haralick of the Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory of the Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech). Haralick gave `cautious support' to the Whangers and to Filas ... He offered, `The evidence is definitely supporting evidence because there is some degree of match between what one would expect to find if the Shroud did indeed contain a faint image of the Pilate coin and what we can in fact observe in the original and in the digitally processed images.' [Whanger, A.D., "A Reply to Doubts Concerning the Coins Over the Eyes," The Holy Shroud Guild Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 56, December, 1997, p.7] ... it seems to have been a Jewish custom to close the eyes of the deceased, and the placement of coins was a practical way of keeping the eyelids shut. Archaeologists working in Israel have, in fact, found coins in the eye orbits of three skulls from the approximate time of Jesus. [Moroni, M., "Pontius Pilate's Coin on the Right Eye of the Man in the Holy Shroud in the Light of New Archaeological Findings," Berard, A., ed., "Symposium Proceedings: History, Science, Theology, and the Shroud, St. Louis, MO, USA, June 22-23, 1991," The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo: Amarillo TX, 1991, p.278]." (Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "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, pp.105-108).

"SUMMARY The two roundish bodies in relief, pointed out by J. Jackson and G. Tamburelli, and a few alphabetical letters arranged circle-wise, detected by Father Filas, are the premises for considering that coins were placed in the eye-socket areas of the Shroud. Now this hypothesis is beginning to consolidate: the shape of the `K' letter, a small `pastoral' or `shepherd's' staff with a crooked end, and two faint parallel segments just under the vertical line, are imprinted on the right eye: it is missing the rim of the coin, but there is the presence of a roundish halo reveals its rim. The coin, we have found out, never known before by numismatists, having an irregular diameter, with a maximum axis of 16mm, in addition to the imprint of a staff in the shape of `a question mark' reversed, has also the imprint of two segments, only a few millimeters long, which certainly do not belong to the `shepherd's staff' outline, but are part of the stamp. Furthermore, the discovery of an ancient stone, used to found coins of the first century, explains the possible rare presence of the two segments: these segments be imprinted on any point on the rim of the coin, caused by tongs which are used during the final step of coinage. By radiographic experiments carried out on a skull and by using coins of that period, we also confirm that only a certain kind of small coins laid on the eyes can reach the medialis hollow of the skull when these coins come out of the `superior orbitalis fissure.' Moreover, it will be explained that the coins placed in the mouth fall, in the contrary, outside the skull due to decay. Also the well-known discovery of two skulls - both with two small coins of Christ's time - at the Jewish Community Cemetery of Jericho, lead us to the irrefutable conclusion that on the Shroud cloth a decal of a coin really was imprinted which portrayed a `staff' or LITUUS, the symbol existing uniquely on very rare coins minted by Pontius Pilate in the XVIth year of the Tiberius Kingdom, 29-30 AD." (Moroni, M., 1991, "Pontius Pilate's Coin on the Right Eye of the Man in the Holy Shroud, in the Light of the New Archaeological Findings," in Berard, A., ed., "History, Science, Theology and the Shroud," Symposium Proceedings, St. Louis Missouri, June 22-23, 1991, The Man in the Shroud Committee of Amarillo, Texas: Amarillo TX, pp.295-297. Emphasis original).

"Even more impressive is the coin-on-the-eye work of Professor Francis L. Filas of Loyola University, Chicago, which seems to give us a verified date for the Shroud image that is far more precise than carbon-dating can ever be. [Filas, F.L., "The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from Coins of Pontius Pilate," 1982] Three-dimensional enlargements of the Face of the Shroud are like relief maps, and there are some objects on the eyelids that stand up like thick buttons. During their early 3-D work, Drs. Jackson and Jumper noted these definite protuberances and tentatively concluded that they might be coins placed on each eyelid to keep them closed, as was a common burial practice in the first half of the first century in Judea. [Marino, J., "First Century Jewish Burial Customs," Saint Louis Priory, St. Louis, MO, n.d.] Thereafter, tentative validation came by happenstance in August 1979 when Professor Filas was enlarging his slides of the Shroud image to fill a twelve foot, closed-circuit television screen. He was startled to see what appeared to be Greek letters on the right eye of the Shroud Face. With better enlargements and the technical assistance of coin expert Michael Marx, he discovered a 15mm (5/8 inch) disc inscribed with four recognizable Greek letters and an astrologer's staff, a lituus . After research on historic coins, the size of the coin, the size and shape and position of the inscriptions, and the sequence of the four letters, were all found to be exactly correct for a small bronze coin known as the Pontius Pilate coin, minted in Palestine from 29 to 32. (Pilate was procurator of Judea from A.D. 26 to 36). The astrologer's staff was used as an independent symbol on no other coin in the Roman world at any time (it occasionally appeared as a small side decoration). The odds in favor of the identification of the coin and its date are in the range of millions to one against any other interpretation. Although the coin is very rare, copies of it are available and have been compared with the Shroud by Filas. However, the coin of the Shroud has a misspelling: magnification shows the Greek letters `Y CAI' but should read, `TIBEPIOY KAICAPOC' (meaning, `Of Tiberius Caesar'). Some variations of the coin show only IOY instead of the full name of Tiberius (language specialists use different letters for transliteration of the Greek characters; IOY, end of first word, is rendered IOU by some). All coin experts know that coins of that period and coinage did sometimes contain spelling errors, and now, even more spectacularly, Filas has found three actual Pontius Pilate coins that do have that error, a C instead of K ... The very strong evidence presented by Filas in dating the Shroud was supported in spring 1982 by the independent research of Professor Alan Whanger of Duke University. Whanger developed a photographic technique ... using polarized light and computer enhancement. Using one of Filas's actual Pontius Pilate coins to superimpose over a right-eye enlargement of the Shroud face, he states that he has found seventy-four points of congruence between the two. He finds the actual coin to be almost a perfect match for the markings on the Shroud face, so that the only reasonable conclusion he can come to is that they were coins struck from the same die. Whanger was able to extend the findings of Filas by identifying six Greek letters (IOY CAI) on the Shroud, whereas Filas had been able to discern only four. Whanger's technique identifies the coin on the left eye as another Pontius Pilate lepton, known as the Julia coin, struck only in the year 29, in honor of Caesar's mother, who died that year. Sheaves of grain and parts of eleven (out of a total of fourteen) letters that appear on the coin are identified by Whanger. This is not as certain an identification as the coin on the right eye, but no other coin of the period will fit at all. Filas now owns two Pontius Pilate coins with the C for K misspelling ... Even the critics do not say the 3-D protuberances over the Shroud eyes are not coins; the disagreement is whether a particular coin is proven. ... In any event, the Filas/Whanger coin identification work would seem to completely eliminate the possibility of forgery of the Shroud. Such a forger/artist would have had to execute, without pigment and in photographic negativity, tiny coin imprints on each eye containing letters one-thirty-second of an inch (one millimeter) high. The three scientific techniques ... identifying the Pontius Pilate coins of A.D. 29-31 on the eyes of the Man in the Shroud, have been further validated and extended by Dr. Robert M. Haralick of the Spatial Data Analysis Laboratory at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (four different techniques). Haralick's use of computer-enhanced digital image analysis now gives strong evidence for nine Greek letters in sequence on the perimeter of the coin appearing over the right eye, expanding the four-letter sequence found initially by Filas, who died February 15, 1985. This work would seem to historically pinpoint the death of Jesus to the seven-year period from A.D. 29, when these coins were first minted in Judea, to A.D. 36, when Pilate left office (since his coins then would no longer be legal tender) ... Subsequently, in 1985, Italian numismatist Mario Maroni announced confirmation of these findings." (Tribbe, F.C., 2006, "Portrait of Jesus: The Illustrated Story of the Shroud of Turin," [1983], Paragon House Publishers: St. Paul MN, Second edition, pp.114-120).