Thursday, August 23, 2012

My critique of Charles Freeman's "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," part 6: "The Image of Edessa" (2)

This is part 6, "The Image of Edessa" (2) of my critique of historian Charles Freeman's, "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," May 24, 2012 [pages 5-6]. Freeman's paper's words are bold. See previous parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

[Above (click to enlarge): The Image of Edessa (11th century), Sakli church, Goreme, Turkey: Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam: London, 2010, plate 22b. Again note that Jesus' head appears in landscape aspect, which is obtained by doubling the Shroud of Turin four times, as Wilson points out in his book, but Freeman conceals it from his readers:

"But we still come back to a key question. Even if we accept that the Image of Edessa was a piece of cloth bearing Christ's imprint, so far that is all we have heard about it, that it bore the face of Jesus. Why should we believe it was a cloth of the fourteen-foot dimensions of the Shroud? And what evidence do we have that this Edessa cloth actually was the Shroud? In the case of the Image of Edessa's dimensions, one important indicator is to be found in one of the very first documents to provide a 'revised version' of the King Abgar story in the wake of the cloth's rediscovery. The document in question is the Acts of Thaddaeus, dating either to the sixth or early seventh century. Although its initially off-putting aspect is that it 'explains' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself, it intriguingly goes on to describe the cloth on which the Image was imprinted as tetradiplon `doubled in four'. It is a very unusual word, in all Byzantine literature pertaining only to the Image of Edessa, and therefore seeming to indicate some unusual way in which the Edessa cloth was folded. So what happens if we try doubling the Shroud in four? If we take a full-length photographic print of the Shroud, double it, then double it twice again, we find the Shroud in eight (or two times four) segments, an arrangement seeming to correspond to what is intended by the sixth-century description ... And the quite startling finding from folding the Shroud in this way is that its face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa." (Wilson, 2010, p.140)]

[Above (click to enlarge): How the Shroud "doubled in four" (Greek tetradiplon) results in Jesus' face in landscape aspect, exactly as it is in depictions of the Image of Edessa, like that in the Sakli church above: Dan Porter, "The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ: Tetradiplon" (2009). Wilson has a similar set of diagrams in his book on the opposite page 141, to illustrate his point above, but it is only in black and white. But again Freeman conceals this crucial information from his readers. And perhaps even from himself?]

Freeman resumes his fallacious argument that because there are many copies of the Image of Edessa (i.e. the Shroud of Turin doubled-in-four), therefore there cannot be an original from which all those copies ultimately derive:

The late sixth century saw the emergence of many such images and they have been studied in detail by Hans Belting in his authoritative Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, Chicago, 1994. This period was one when the first intimations of iconoclasm were being heard. Could Christ be represented in images? The response was the appearance of a number of paintings that were said to be acheiropoieton, `not made by human hands'. Most, but not all, were images left by the living Christ on a cloth, though there were others such as the traces left by Christ's body on the pillar against which he was scourged. So Christ had apparently shown, during his own lifetime, that he could be represented and so the iconoclasts could be resisted. Yet the emergence of these images came over five hundred years after the life of Christ! Each acheiropite or image therefore had to develop a story, telling how had it been created and where had it been in the intervening five hundred years. In the case of the Image of Edessa there were two or three stories, that it had been painted by the court painter of king Abgar or, more usually, that Christ himself had wiped his face with a cloth and the image had been imprinted.

Freeman continues to mislead his readers by confusing the Image of Edessa with the "Veil of Veronica" story that "Christ himself had wiped his face with a cloth and the image had been imprinted" on

[Above: Poor quality distance photograph of the Vatican's Veronica, which the Vatican apparently refuses to allow to be photographed close up, presumably because they know it is merely a deteriorated copy of the Mandylion/Image of Edessa: Veronica's Veil]

it. But as Freeman must know if he has read Ian Wilson's latest book, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved" (2010), which Freeman implies he has (under an alternative subtitle):

"Despite many years of research de Wesselow uncritically accepts much of the work of the veteran Shroud researcher Ian Wilson whose latest volume, The Shroud, Fresh Light on the 2000-year-old Mystery, Bantam Books, 2011, is used here" (page 1)
the Vatican's Veronica is merely "an official 'copy' for the western world of something that was altogether older and more mysterious being preserved at that time in the Byzantine east, in Constantinople", namely the Shroud:
"For westerners, the most familiar example of the genre will probably be the famous Veronica cloth. This is popularly associated with the story of a woman called Veronica wiping Jesus's face with her veil as he struggled with his cross through Jerusalem's streets on his way to be crucified. According to the story, Jesus's 'Likeness' became miraculously imprinted on Veronica's veil. Dozens of medieval and Renaissance artists depicted the scene, and thousands of Roman Catholic churches have it included among their 'Stations of the Cross', leading many to suppose the story must be in the gospels ... In fact the story in this form dates no earlier than the late Middle Ages, seeming to have been invented to spice up 'miracle play' dramatizations of the Passion story. In a twelfth-century version" there was no woman called Veronica, though at that time the canons of St Peter's, Rome were already keeping under close guard a cloth that was supposed to be the Vera Icon or 'True Likeness' of Jesus. Reputedly this likeness was imprinted not during Jesus's carrying of the cross but when he wiped his face after the 'bloody sweat' in the Garden of Gethsemane. A popular attraction for pilgrimages to Rome during the Middle Ages, this cloth can be traced historically no earlier than the eleventh century. It seems to have been an official 'copy' for the western world of something that was altogether older and more mysterious being preserved at that time in the Byzantine east, in Constantinople." (Wilson, 2010, pp.110-111).

So, as previously observed, either Freeman has not read Wilson's book thoroughly (which would be scholarly incompetence) or he has read the above, but is concealing it from his readers (which would be scholarly dishonesty).

Freeman continues with irrelevant red herrings about "Greek myths" and "Veronica's Veil" as part of his overall strategy to depict the Shroud as just another fake relic:

Varying legends were common, just as many Greek myths have several versions. The Abgar legends then went on to claim that the image had come to Edessa in the first century where it had been hidden in the city wall before its `reappearance' in the sixth century. Similar legends tell of images or other relics from the first century being buried (and often revealed in a dream) or stolen by Jews in the early days after the Crucifixion. Veronica's Veil was supposed to have been brought to Rome by Veronica after she had [6] wiped Christ's face with it and then presented it to the emperor Tiberius. (In fact Veronica was simply a corruption of Vera Iconica, `the true likeness'.) There is also a set of icons of the Virgin Mary that appear at this time said to have been painted by the evangelist Luke. Again the attribution is in order to give them status. What is important is that these images are not known before the sixth century and the stories of their origins must be treated as legendary.

But the difference is that: 1) unlike "Greek myths" the Shroud does exist today; and 2) no one (including Freeman) would bother arguing whether "Greek myths" are authentic.

And as for "The Abgar legends" which "claim that the image had come to Edessa in the first century where it had been hidden in the city wall before its `reappearance' in the sixth century" Freeman either is concealing from his readers, or may be simply ignorant of the fact, that many (if not most) Shroud pro-authenticists (including me) accept the modification to Ian Wilson's theory proposed by attorney/historian John J. (Jack) Markwardt that the Shroud was in Antioch from c. AD 47 until Antioch was devastated by a major earthquake in AD 526, after which the Shroud was taken to Edessa, and the Edessans retrospectively applied to their city, the true history of the Shroud at Antioch.

Briefly Markwardt's theory as set forth in his "The Fire and the Portrait" (1998); and "Antioch and the Shroud" (1999) [PDF]; and "Ancient Edessa and the Shroud" (2008) [PDF], proposes:

  1. The Shroud was first in the custody of the Apostle Peter in Jerusalem from c. AD 30-47, having been recovered by him when he and John entered Jesus' empty tomb, as recorded in Jn 20:3-8.

  2. Then following the persecution of the early Jewish Christians recorded in Acts 6:8-8:3, the Shroud was taken by St. Peter to Antioch, in ancient Syria. See Gal 2:11-12 where Peter was the leader of the church in Antioch, about AD 50.

  3. The Shroud was kept secret in and around Antioch from c. 47 to 357, most of that time in the control of minority Christian groups, the Arians and Monophysites, who kept the Shroud a closely guarded secret from iconoclastic Christians and Jews.

  4. In c. 357, following the Emperor Constantine's policy of centralisng all passion relics in Constantinople, the Shroud was hidden in Antioch's city wall above the Gate of the Cherubim (the source of Edessa's similar legend) until it was rediscovered following the destruction of Antioch's city wall in a major earthquake in 526.

  5. Then, between 526 and the Persian further destruction of Antioch in 540, the Shroud was taken to Edessa, where it was regarded as a secondary relic to Edessa's letter of Jesus to Abgar V.

  6. During the Persian siege of Edessa in 544, following the failure of Jesus' letter to Abgar V protect the city, the Edessans took the Shroud into a tunnel under the Persian's wooden siege tower where they thrust a hot poker four times into the folded Shroud (the poker holes), the Persian siege tower miraculously caught fire, and the Persians abandoned their siege, sparing Edessa from Antioch's fate.

  7. The Edessans then regarded the Shroud as their primary relic, and to cover up the poker holes damage they doubled the Shroud in four and framed it, so that Jesus' face only appeared in landscape mode, becoming the Mandylion or Image of Edessa.

Markwardt's theory plausibly explains so many facts about the Shroud in its pre- and early-Eddessan period (c. AD 30-540) that it should be preferred over that part of Wilson's general theory.

Continued in part 7: "The Image of Edessa" (3)

Stephen E. Jones.
My other blogs: Jesus is Jehovah! and CreationEvolutionDesign (inactive)

73 comments:

Chris P. said...

Steve: The Markwardt account is interesting and I did not know that many people now prefer it to Wilson's theory It would follow that the accounts of the cloth coming to Edessa in the first century.e.g. in the Acts of Thaddeus, are therefore only legendary. What do you think?
Looking back at Freeman's account that you quote- and I went back to his article, is he not saying that, according to Belting, there were many DIFFERENT images appearing in the sixth century. ( Most must have disappeared in the iconoclastic period, of course, so that makes the survival of the Image of Edessa something special. ) I don't think he is saying anywhere that there was not a single Image of Edessa from which copies were made but perhaps you have read it differently.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P.

Thanks for your comment.

>Steve: The Markwardt account is interesting and I did not know that many people now prefer it to Wilson's theory

Well, Markward's theory was presented at three fairly recent Shroud Conferences: Dallas 1998; Richmond Virginia 1999; and Columbus Ohio 2008, so I stand by my claim that:

"... many (if not most) Shroud pro-authenticists (inluding me) accept the modification to Ian Wilson's theory proposed by attorney/historian John J. (Jack) Markwardt ..."

By "Shroud pro-authenticists" I mean those who are aware of Markwardt's theory.

>It would follow that the accounts of the cloth coming to Edessa in the first century.e.g. in the Acts of Thaddeus, are therefore only legendary. What do you think?

Yes. Even Wilson accepts that. He now agrees that it was not until the reign of Abgar VIII (177-212) that Edessa became Christian.

But having said that, I don't mean (and nor does Markwardt), that the Abgar legend in the Acts of Thaddeus, is totally false. I and Markwardt regard them as retrospectively applying events in the true history of the Shroud in Antioch to Edessa.

>Looking back at Freeman's account that you quote- and I went back to his article, is he not saying that, according to Belting, there were many DIFFERENT images appearing in the sixth century.

I don't deny that. But the whole thrust of Freeman's article is to undermine the Shroud of Turin's authenticity by pointing out there are many images.

>( Most must have disappeared in the iconoclastic period, of course, so that makes the survival of the Image of Edessa something special. )

Since the evidence is OVERWHELMING that the Image of Edessa IS the Shroud, doubled in four (see my additions to my post above), it IS "something special" (to put it mildly)!

>I don't think he is saying anywhere that there was not a single Image of Edessa from which copies were made but perhaps you have read it differently.

Indeed I do!

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Chris P. said...

Steve. Thank you for your prompt response. i was not sure what your point was about the Vatican concealing the fact that the Veil of Veronica may have been a copy of the Image of Edessa. The Vatican has an ancient copy of the Mandylion which it was happy to send to the British Museum's exhibition of relics last year. Chris.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris

>Steve. Thank you for your prompt response. i was not sure what your point was about the Vatican concealing the fact that the Veil of Veronica may have been a copy of the Image of Edessa.

I didn't say that. Please quote MY WORDS EXACTLY and then comment on those. Otherwise I will delete such "putting words in my mouth" comments as "sub-standard".

>The Vatican has an ancient copy of the Mandylion which it was happy to send to the British Museum's exhibition of relics last year. Chris.

See above.

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Chris P. said...

Steve, In view of your response , i do not expect a reply to this.I have reread Freeman's article, thank you for putting me on to it, and surely he (and Belting if he is correctly citing him) is saying that there were a number of different images of Christ that appeared in the sixth century of which the Image of Edessa was only one. Most of the others would presumably have disappeared in the iconoclasm controversy. No one doubts that the Image of Edessa was copied and later in the article Freeman gives a rather fuzzy example so he seems to believe that there was an original image in Edessa from the sixth century that was copied. You are implying that he does not say this. Cheers, Chris.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris

>Steve, In view of your response , i do not expect a reply to this

Why would I not reply to it? My problem with your previous comment was with you putting words into my mouth that my "point was about the Vatican concealing the fact that the Veil of Veronica may have been a copy of the Image of Edessa."

My only point about "the Vatican's Veronica" was that "the Vatican apparently refuses to allow [it] to be photographed close up, presumably because they know it is merely a deteriorated copy of the Mandylion/Image of Edessa." I base that on Wilson's book, "Holy Faces, Secret Places," where from memory he says that.

And there is in fact no close up photo on the Internet of the Vatican's ORIGINAL Veronica (there are COPIES of it). If there is a close up of the Vatican's ORIGINAL Veronica, and I am provided with a link to it, I will gladly take that back.

And as can be seen, I actually implied, that the Vatican knows that its "Veil of Veronica" icon was "a copy of the Image of Edessa."

>I have reread Freeman's article, thank you for putting me on to it, and surely he (and Belting if he is correctly citing him) is saying that there were a number of different images of Christ that appeared in the sixth century of which the Image of Edessa was only one.

I have not read Belting but I don't disagree with the above, except that the Image of Edessa, which was the Shroud doubled in four, was THE ORIGINAL from which all those "different images of Christ that appeared in the sixth century" derived.

>Most of the others would presumably have disappeared in the iconoclasm controversy.

And also when what is now Turkey came under Muslim control "in the latter half of the 11th century". It is itself a miracle of Divine Providence that the Image of Edessa, as the Shroud of Turin, has survived to this day.

And note that Markwardt's theory entails a miracle which God worked through the Shroud, namely Edessa being spared from Persian desttruction in 544, by the Edessans' thrusting a hot poker four times through the folded Shroud, believing that would cause the Persian wooden siege tower to catch fire, which it did.

>No one doubts that the Image of Edessa was copied and later in the article Freeman gives a rather fuzzy example so he seems to believe that there was an original image in Edessa from the sixth century that was copied.

Please quote where Freeman says that. Thanks.

>You are implying that he does not say this.

Agreed. I will be interested in your quote from Freeman's article where he states that there was ONE ORIGINAL Image of Edessa from which ALL the other "different images of Christ that appeared in the sixth century," which were COPIES of that ONE ORIGINAL, derive.

Because that (and that the Image of Edesssa was the Shroud) are my ONLY differences with Freeman regarding that "number of different images of Christ that appeared in the sixth century of which the Image of Edessa was only one."

Stephen E. Jones

Chris P. said...

So am I right in summarising your position as follows. There were other sixth century images of Christ but they were all copies of the Shroud/ Image of Edessa. (Freeman,of course, gives examples of pre- sixth century bearded Christs as he challenges Wilson here.) The Veil of Veronica was also a copy of the same as we would be able to see if we could have a close-up look. (Then there was ANOTHER Vatican copy of the Mandylion, the one lent to the British Museum in 2010.)
Did you see that Freeman has just posted a new article on the same website- you certainly are going to be kept busy!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P.

>So am I right in summarising your position as follows. There were other sixth century images of Christ but they were all copies of the Shroud/ Image of Edessa.

You have correctly summarised what I wrote, but I now realise that it was too sweeping.

As Wilson pointed out, there were early images of Christ which were beardless and looked like the Greek god Apollo. I do not (nor does Wilson) claim that they were based on the Shroud.

As Wilson also pointed out, there were also some early images of Christ in the catacombs of Rome, which may have been based on the Shroud, pre-Edessa, or they may have been based on an independent tradition of what Christ looked like.

So my revised STATEMENT of my position (not my revised position since I have believed it all along) is that ALL early images of Christ, which: 1) depict Christ's head only in landscape aspect; and/or 2) contain some of the 15 Vignon markings; were ALL based on the Shroud.

>(Freeman,of course, gives examples of pre- sixth century bearded Christs as he challenges Wilson here.)

See above. Freeman is not really challenging Wilson because what I wrote above as my revised statement of my position is also Wilson's position. Just having a beard

>The Veil of Veronica was also a copy of the same as we would be able to see if we could have a close-up look.

Agreed. As I said, Wilson covered this in his "Holy Faces, Secret Places." The Vatican's Veronica is one of a number of three-pointed beard COPIES of the Image of Edessa, in poor condition.

While the Vatican's Veronica has not, as far as I am aware, been photographed close up, it has been SEEN close up by a chosen few, one of them being artist/physicist Isabel Piczek. Ian Wilson quotes her impression of it:

"A present-day liturgic artist, Isabel Piczek from Los Angeles, who saw the Veronica in 1950 while she was working on a fresco for the Papal Biblical Institute, described it to me in the same way, adding resolutely `you couldn’t discern any face or features, not even the smallest sign'. Is the breadth of cloth kept in St. Peter’s chapel the same Veil thousands of pilgrims wanted to see during the Middle Ages pressing together in Piazza San Pietro, even though the Image, faded in the long run, is now nearly invisible?" (Ian Wilson, " "`VERONICA' and the Holy Shroud: Where is nowadays the ancient Roman Veronica?," The Holy Face).

>(Then there was ANOTHER Vatican copy of the Mandylion, the one lent to the British Museum in 2010.)

I was not aware of that, but I take your word for it.

>Did you see that Freeman has just posted a new article on the same website- you certainly are going to be kept busy!

No. I am not aware of Freeman's new article. I would appreciate a link to it. But I am not necessarily going to be busy because of it, as I am not necessarily going to waste my time continuing to respond to Freeman.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

>Just having a beard

Please ignore the above fragment.

>My only point about "the Vatican's Veronica" was that "the Vatican apparently refuses to allow [it] to be photographed close up, presumably because they know it is merely a deteriorated copy of the Mandylion/Image of Edessa." I base that on Wilson's book, "Holy Faces, Secret Places," where from memory he says that.

If I had thoroughly read the brief article by Wilson I quoted, I would have also quoted the following, "At present no kind of photograph is findable and ... [requests] to photograph it are denied or ignored":

"Even though it seems that the Veil was shown from its balcony during the Holy Year 1950, it was impossible to see any Image on it. At present no kind of photograph is findable and even the most formal and important requirements to photograph it are denied or ignored and this reserve only for this Veil is suspect, as to take a pitcure of the Holy Shroud of Turin has never been forbidden." (Ian Wilson, " "`VERONICA' and the Holy Shroud: Where is nowadays the ancient Roman Veronica?," The Holy Face).

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Hi Stephen,

Another nice set of points refutting Freeman's irresponsible paper. I have a thing or two to say about his mention of 'bearded' Christ paintings before the 6th century; I have heard this before and am aware of three Christ paintings being found in the catacombs. One found very recently claims to date to the late first century(Not substantiated as yet). Two of the images have a striking resemblance to the Shroud image. Anyways my point is that these catacomb paintings, which seem to be a rarity among those found before the 6th century, and would be accessible to only a few. Very few would have ventured into the depths of the catacombs to view these paintings (frescos). It is a misconception that Christians congregated in the catacombs in the early years and most catacombs were abandoned and forgotten by the 4th -5th centuries. Most depictions of Christ found anywhere "outside the catacombs" were always of a young beardless appollo type figure, even in the Hagia Sophia it was so. Strangely enough by the end of the 6th century in the same Hagia Sophia on opposite walls, depictions of a bearded Christ were added!...Details such as these cannot be dismissed and I would state; Very little can be placed on Freeman's pre-6th century bearded Christs.

F3

Flagrum3 said...

Sorry need to correct my statement above. Where it should read as "I am aware of 'atleast' three 'bearded' Christ paintings found in the catacombs along with many non-bearded youthful renditions.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Another nice set of points refutting Freeman's irresponsible paper.

Thanks.

>... about his mention of 'bearded' Christ paintings before the 6th century; I ... am aware of [at least] three Christ paintings being found in the catacombs.

It is not essential to Wilson's Jerusalem-Edessa (1st-6th century) theory or Markwardt's Jerusalem-Antioch (1st-6th century) and Antioch-Edessa (6th century) theory that there cannot be other, independent, genuine images of Christ.

While that would be more of a problem for Wilson's theory that the Shroud was hidden in Edessa's city wall from the mid-1st to early 6th century, with no one remembering it was there; it would be less of a problem for Markwardt's theory since the latter claims that the Shroud was hidden in Antioch's city wall only from the 4th-6th century. It is even possible that very early, Shroudlike depictions of Jesus, derive from Christians who saw the Shroud in Antioch in the late 1st-early 4th centuries.

But in both theories there is nothing to preclude a genuine independent stream of tradition passed down by Christians from the first century of what Jesus looked like, and being, for example, recorded on the walls of Rome's catacombs.

>One found very recently claims to date to the late first century(Not substantiated as yet).

I would appreciate a link or reference to that.

>Two of the images have a striking resemblance to the Shroud image.

And to those two.

>Anyways my point is that these catacomb paintings, which seem to be a rarity among those found before the 6th century, and would be accessible to only a few.

One reason that a Jewish-looking Jesus is rare in Christian art depictions before the 6th century may be dues to Gentile Christian's antipathy towards Jews, because of the Jewish persecution of Christians, who were mostly Gentile, including informing on them to the Romans, from the 1st to the 4th century.

>Very few would have ventured into the depths of the catacombs to view these paintings (frescos). It is a misconception that Christians congregated in the catacombs in the early years and most catacombs were abandoned and forgotten by the 4th -5th centuries.

Good point.

>Most depictions of Christ found anywhere "outside the catacombs" were always of a young beardless appollo type figure, even in the Hagia Sophia it was so.

Gentile Christians would have known that Jesus was Jewish, but in the absence of firm evidence of what He looked like, they understandably depicted Him as Deity in terms they, as Gentiles, conceived Him to be. Also, by depicting Jesus as Apollo-like, they were apparently attempting to convey the idea of Jesus being cut-off in the prime of His life and His now endless God-man life.

>Strangely enough by the end of the 6th century in the same Hagia Sophia on opposite walls, depictions of a bearded Christ were added!...

Great point. Religious traditions are inherently very conservative and it would have required the discovery in the early 6th century of an image that was undeniably of Jesus, such as the Shroud is, to overcome Gentile Christians' antipathy to Jews, and suddenly replace their Gentile traditional conceptions of Christ being beardless and Apollo-like, with a Jewish, bearded Jesus.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Details such as these cannot be dismissed and I would state; Very little can be placed on Freeman's pre-6th century bearded Christs.

Agreed. In this Freeman and his Shroud anti-authenticist ilk are the very ANTITHESIS of scholarship. The French agnostic anatomy professor Delage's point that, `if it was anyone else but Jesus such evidence would be readily accepted', applies:

"I willingly recognize that none of these given arguments offer the features of an irrefutable demonstration; but it must be recognized that their whole constitutes a bundle of imposing probabilities, some of which are very near being proven ... a religious question has been needlessly injected into a problem which in itself is purely scientific, with the result that feelings have run high, and reason has been led astray. If, instead of Christ, there were a question of some person like a Sargon, an Achilles or one of the Pharaohs, no one would have thought of making any objection ... I have been faithful to the true spirit of science in treating this question, intent only on the truth, not concerned in the least whether it would affect the interests of any religious party ... I recognize Christ as a historical personage and I see no reason why anyone should be scandalized that there still exist material traces of his earthly life.'" (Walsh, J.E., "The Shroud," 1963, pp.106-107).

Stephen E. Jones

Chris P. said...

Steve-1) The new article by Freeman is called 'Tetradiplon Revisited' - that should get you to it if you were ever interested. I make no comment in it.
2) The Vatican's Mandylion is illustrated in the catalogue to the British Museum's exhibition, Treasures of Heaven, Catalogue entry no.113.
3) Catholic Churches used to have a reproduction of what they called the Veil of Veronica- I remember at least one from a church in my childhood- but I can't remember them looking like the Image of Edessa.
Flagrum3 One of the bearded Christs, Freeman provides is from Ravenna- he dates it, rightly or wrongly, to AD 500. That seems to be the most convincing because it was in a very prominent public place but perhaps there are objections to his view that I don't know about.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P.

>Steve-1) The new article by Freeman is called 'Tetradiplon Revisited' - that should get you to it if you were ever interested.

Thanks. It is at "Tetradiplon Revisited"

>I make no comment in it.

I will comment on it briefly. There is nothing really new in it. Freeman does not actually refute Wilson's tetradiplon (Greek "four-doubled") argument and tellingly Freeman still does not address the fact discovered by Wilson that if one doubles the Shroud in four, keeping the face uppermost, one is left with Jesus' face in landscape aspect, EXACTLY as it is on copies of the Image of Edessa (and presumably rare if not unique in all of art).

Freeman also rubbishes Wilson' theory because it relies on the legendary Acts of Thaddaeus. But if ancient historians worked on that basis, there wouldn't be much ancient history left. It is another of Freeman's fallacies that just because something is contained in a legendary account, it must be wholly false.

Moreover, much of Freeman's criticisms of Wilson's Edessa theory does not apply to Markwardt's Antioch theory.

>2) The Vatican's Mandylion is illustrated in the catalogue to the British Museum's exhibition, Treasures of Heaven, Catalogue entry no.113.

Thanks. Here is an extract of a Daily Mail article about it, complete with a photo:

"Is this a true portrait of Christ? Vatican treasures, including Holy Towel Of Jesus, to go on display at British Museum," Daily Mail, 6 April 2011. A towel claimed to be used by Jesus Christ to dry his face - and which now bears his image - will be one of the star attractions at an exhibition of Christian relics to be held in the UK this summer. The Holy Towel Of Jesus - otherwise known as the Mandylion Of Edessa - is normally kept at the Pope's private chapel in the Vatican. But the British Museum has acquired the relic as the centrepiece of its Treasures From The Vatican display, which opens in London in June. Self portrait: The Mandylion of Edessa was formed when Jesus wiped his face on a towel , some scholars claim There is some scholarly dispute over the provenance of the towel. Some experts claim that it is a copy of the original made in about 400AD. ...

That this is not the original Veronica, but presumably only a copy of it is evident in that: 1) it is kept in the Pope's private chapel, but the original Veronica is kept in a pillar of St. Peter's Basilica; and 2) that "Some [presumably most, if not all] experts claim that it is a copy of the original made in about 400AD"

And it was never was an issue with me that the Vatican had extra copies of the Veronica or indeed the Image of Edessa (although apart from the Veronica, it appears it hasn't).

>3) Catholic Churches used to have a reproduction of what they called the Veil of Veronica- I remember at least one from a church in my childhood- but I can't remember them looking like the Image of Edessa.

If you Google "Veil of Veronica" you will find other (presumably Catholic) artistic depictions of it.

[continued]

Chris P said...

I have now had a proper look at Freeman's new article. I did not know, if he is right, that the folding of the cloth was before Jesus had imprinted his face on it and there is no evidence that it was refolded afterwards or that there was a separate reference in the Acts to the burial cloths. I leave it to others to comment.
I agree with you that legendary accounts do sometimes contain some historical truths but surely these have to be supported by other evidence because how otherwise do you distinguish between the legend and the history.
I note also that Freeman argues that many authenticists are now rejecting Wilson wholesale- again I leave it to others to comment.

Flagrum3 said...

The "Vatican's Mandylion" mentioned by Chris, is actually not a Mandylion at all, but simply a Veil and 'decisively' appears to be an exact copy of the 'Veil of San Salvestro', maybe one in the same!. As a matter of fact there are many copies of this in many places; The Holy veil of Vienna, of Jaen, and of San Salvestro to name a few. My personal view of these relics (and I also will add the Manoppello image to this also), is that they are quite evidently artist renditions. One must be quite naive to think otherwise, it's just too obvious to this amateur student of art anyways, but all things being equal, I may be wrong. But a few of these veils do have a keen likeness to known depictions of the Mandylion.

--------

I have just finished reading Freeman's paper, the 'Tetradiplon Revisited' and I must say I have read many of the same arguments before! Obviously I have read from the same sources as Freemen...So nothing new here, but I'll say no more. I'll wait for Stephen's rebuttal, which should be interesting, as there is alot to refute ;-)

Anyways, one thing I am hoping Stephen can find or post, is a actual Greek version of the 'Acts of Thaddeus' or the statements in question in particular, with thier English interpretations; (I have found this before but it was years ago and am having trouble finding it again). Reason being; I have found in the past many mis-interpretations of the actual Greek, posted in one's argument. It would only seem right that the actual source material be posted or atleast linked too.

Thanks,

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Flagrum3 One of the bearded Christs, Freeman provides is from Ravenna- he dates it, rightly or wrongly, to AD 500.

Freeman is wrong about that date. The church was not even built until "sometime after 500 AD":

"This basilica was built by Theodoric sometime after 500 AD as an Arian cathedral (in the same era as the Arian Baptistery) dedicated to Christ; it was converted into a Catholic church dedicated to St. Martin around 560." ("Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna," Sacred Destinations).

And the "'Mosaic of Christ enthroned surrounded by angels in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna" was "made under the Arian rule of Theodoric the Ostrogoth (496-526)":

"Mosaic of Christ enthroned surrounded by angels in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, c.500 AD. The mosaic was made under the Arian rule of Theodoric the Ostrogoth (496-526) and left in place by the Catholics who took over the basilica in c.560." ("Mosaic of Christ enthroned with angels, "Sacred Destinations).

And, according to Wikipedia, "Christ surrounded by angels and saints" in the "Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy" was "completed within 526 AD by the so-called `Master of Sant'Apollinare'".

Significantly, this latter year, 526:

1) is the very year that the Eddessan claimed that the Image of Edessa was discovered after a flood (according to Wilson's theory), and also the year that Antioch was devastated by a major earthquake:

"The 526 Antioch earthquake was a major earthquake that hit Syria and Antioch in the Byzantine Empire in 526. It struck during late May, probably between May 20–29, at mid-morning, killing approximately 250,000 people.[3] The earthquake was followed by a fire that destroyed most of the buildings left standing by the earthquake. The maximum intensity in Antioch is estimated to be between VIII (destructive) and IX (violent) on the Mercalli intensity scale." ("526 Antioch earthquake," Wikipedia, 1 August 2012).

and the Shroud was rediscovered within Antioch's destroyed Gate of the Cherubim (according to Markwardt's theory).

And also;

2) The mosaic "was made under ... Arian rule" and according to Markwardt's theory, the Shroud was under Arian control in Antioch.

While it would be a tight timeframe to create the mosaic between late May and the end of 526, it would not be impossible. And 526 may be the year the mosaic was started.

Also, it is possible that there were unrecorded Antioch earthquakes in the years leading up to the major earthquake of 526, which revealed the Shroud's hiding place in the Antioch's Gate of the Cherubim and the Shroud was actually discovered then.

>That seems to be the most convincing because it was in a very prominent public place but perhaps there are objections to his view that I don't know about

See above.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P

>I have now had a proper look at Freeman's new article. I did not know, if he is right,

Chris, you seem to be adopting the cowardly tactic of making statements but then covering yourself by claiming that you don't know if it is right. As one who tries to always `nail his colours to the mast' I have little respect for your appoach. How about you stop being disingenuous and state what you REALLY believe: 1) that Freeman is right; and 2) the Shroud is a fake?

>that the folding of the cloth was before Jesus had imprinted his face on it and there is no evidence that it was refolded afterwards or that there was a separate reference in the Acts to the burial cloths.

You are just repeating Freeman's strawman fallacy:

"A straw man, known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To `attack a straw man' is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the `straw man'), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position." ("Straw man," Wikipedia, 20 August 2012)

that Wilson claims that EVERY DETAIL of the Acts of Thaddaeus is true, when in fact Wilson admits it is legendary.

>I leave it to others to comment.

And again Chris you are being disingenuous, by claiming you are not commenting, when you ARE. Please stop playing these games and state what you REALLY believe and then be prepared to defend it.

>I agree with you that legendary accounts do sometimes contain some historical truths but surely these have to be supported by other evidence because how otherwise do you distinguish between the legend and the history.

See what I mean? Your position in fact is that: 1) Freeman is right; and 2) the Shroud is a fake. So why not come right out and STATE that?

>I note also that Freeman argues that many authenticists are now rejecting Wilson wholesale-

And I "note" that you really do accept Freeman's arguments "wholesale."

Who ARE these "many authenticists " who "are now rejecting Wilson wholesale"? A FEW bloggers.

And of those like myself who reject Wilson's Edessa 1st to 6th century theory in favour of Markwardt's Antioch 1st to 6th century theory, we don't reject Wilson' theory WHOLESALE, but only that PART of it.

> leave it to others to comment.

But you ARE commenting Chris! Please have the INTESTINAL FORTITUDE to admit it and stop being disingenuous that you are not arguing in favour of Freeman and against the authenticity of the Shroud, when you ARE.

Stephen E. Jones

Matt said...

Freeman says:

"So I assumed that the reference to tetradiplon suggested the cloth was folded in this way after it had received its image. Wilson goes on, of course, to argue that this somehow proves that it was the Turin Shroud, folded up so that the double image of the dead body was concealed and only the ‘dead’ face was left revealed. Implausible though this would be―surely it would be known that such a bulky folded cloth had other images on them and that these were of a dead man―it seems to be the only argument that Wilson can offer to support his bizarre hypothesis―not one, so far as I know, accepted anywhere in scholarship―that the Image of Edessa and the Turin Shroud are one and the same. The Turin Shroud is a shroud and cannot be considered to be anything else. Its double image is distinctive and I, for one, would never accept any account of an image on a cloth as referring to the Turin Shroud unless it was made quite clear that the cloth was a shroud carrying a double image. There are simply too many other images on cloth recorded from the sixth century onwards to relate any to the Turin Shroud without such a distinctive description."

I find this passage rather poorly written and somewhat incoherent, but having read it a couple of times I conclude that it is pretty lame.
It is not in fact implausible that the Shroud might have been doubled in four to reveal only the image of the head in landscape. Doubled in 4 the Shroud would have been much more easily stored and / or displayed. Furthermore, as discussed here on many occasions, displaying only the face was a way of getting around not showing the nude and tortured body of Christ, which would have been offensive not only because of its nudity, but also because it showed a tortured and beaten Christ that contrasted with the victorious, risen Christ that dominated theology of the time.

And just because there is a lack of scholarship confirming Wilson's theory (there is also a lack of scholarship denying it!) does not necessarily make it wrong!

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P

>... Freeman ... is right, that the folding of the cloth was before Jesus had imprinted his face on it and there is no evidence that it was refolded afterwards or that there was a separate reference in the Acts to the burial cloths.

Here is the relevant part of the Acts of Thaddeus:

"In those times there was a governor of the city of Edessa, Abgarus [Abgar V] by name. And there having gone abroad the fame of Christ, of the wonders which He did, and of His teaching, Abgarus having heard of it, was astonished, and desired to see Christ ... Abgarus, being seized by an incurable disease, sent a letter to Christ by Ananias the courier ... And Ananias, having gone and given the letter, was carefully looking at Christ, but was unable to fix Him in his mind. And He knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel [Gk. tetradiplon] was given Him; and when He had washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen [Gk. sindon], He gave it to Ananias, saying: Give this, and take back this message, to him that sent you ..." ("The Acts of Thaddaeus, One of the Twelve," New Advent, 29 January 2010).

As can be seen, the "folding of the cloth," i.e. the Greek word translated "towel" is actually the unique word in all of known ancient Greek literature, tetradiplon, i.e. "four-doubled," and a few sentences later it is called a sindon, a large linen sheet.

That in this legendary account Jesus' "image having been imprinted upon the linen" is `explained' as the cloth being folded first and then Jesus "washed Himself, He wiped His face with it" is just an early attempt to explain the inexplicable.

And here is all that Wilson claims of the Acts of Thaddaeus, that its significance is in the word "tetradiplon `doubled in four'" which if the Shroud is, the result is Jesus' "face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa", and Wilson admits that it "'explains' [in quotes, therefore wrongly] the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself":

"And what evidence do we have that this Edessa cloth actually was the Shroud? In the case of the Image of Edessa's dimensions, one important indicator is to be found in one of the very first documents to provide a 'revised version' of the King Abgar story in the wake of the cloth's rediscovery. The document in question is the Acts of Thaddaeus, dating either to the sixth or early seventh century. Although its initially off-putting aspect is that it 'explains' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself, it intriguingly goes on to describe the cloth on which the Image was imprinted as tetradiplon `doubled in four'. It is a very unusual word, in all Byzantine literature pertaining only to the Image of Edessa, and therefore seeming to indicate some unusual way in which the Edessa cloth was folded. So what happens if we try doubling the Shroud in four? If we take a full-length photographic print of the Shroud, double it, then double it twice again, we find the Shroud in eight (or two times four) segments, an arrangement seeming to correspond to what is intended by the sixth-century description ... And the quite startling finding from folding the Shroud in this way is that its face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved,", 2010, p.140).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

And remember Freeman has not refuted this CORE tetradiplon "doubled in four" discovery of Wilson. As I pointed out in a comment under my post, "`The Turin Shroud is a fake ... and it's one of 40': Antonio Lombatti," and I will point out again when I get to that part of Freeman's article, Freeman's `explanation' that " four doublings" of "a two foot by two foot square" of cloth would be sufficient to account for tetradiplon:

"Now let us suppose the Image was four foot by four foot. Lay it on the ground, draw a horizontal fold across the cloth one foot down from the top and fold the resulting rectangle underneath the cloth. This is the first doubling. Repeat with the lower part of the cloth and then the two sides, so as to make four doublings, and you have a folded cloth, with the face, now in a two foot by two foot square, ready for storing in a much smaller box." (Charles Freeman, "The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website, May 24, 2012).

simply doesn't work.

For Freeman (and Chris P) to nit-pick this admittedly legendary account, in which highly significant (to put it mildly) later information (tetradiplon and sindon) was added to it after the Shroud was discovered, is just `straining at gnats and swallowing camels" (Mt 23:24).

I will answer in my next comment Flagrum 3's question confirming that "towel" is tetradiplon in the original and where he may be able to find a Greek version of the Acts of Thaddeus.

Stephen E. Jones

Matt said...

Stephen
I really do not know where to start with Freeman's lame and frankly unscholarly latest piece!

"So here Ananias, the messenger of the sick King Abgar of Edessa, visits Jesus and receives an image of Jesus which he takes back to his sick master, who ‘adores’ it and is cured of his illness. This is a fairly standard version of the legend (and it is important to stress that the Acts of Thaddeus are typical of the legends created to give a history to venerated objects). This is the only example that Wilson gives so when he says that that the text ‘goes on’ to describe the cloth as tetradiplon, he is being misleading. As this is the only argument of any significance that he produces to back his claim that this is the Shroud of Turin, this is a serious matter. I have been alerted to a single other reference to tetradiplon by the Greek author Kedrenos in a text describing the same events which describes ‘to rhakos tetradiplon’, ‘the four-folded rag’. It may be that the towel or rag was quite small, after all a handkerchief is normally folded four-fold.

Yet there is more to this. One only has to read the Acts in full to find the following. Thaddeus eventually arrives in Edessa (in this version of the legend when the Image of Edessa is already in the city) and tells the story of the crucifixion:

And they took Him, and spit upon Him, with the soldiers, and made a great mock of Him, and crucified Him, and laid Him in the tomb, and secured it well, having also set guards upon Him. And on the third day before dawn He rose, leaving His burial-clothes in the tomb. And He was seen first by His mother and other women, and by Peter and John first of my fellow disciples, and thereafter to us the twelve, who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection for many days.

So here, in the very same text, we have a clear reference to the burial cloths having been left in the tomb. This immediately destroys Wilson’s argument. The Acts have already made it clear that the Image of the living Christ has arrived in Edessa and here are the burial cloths described independently of them."

Firstly, Wilson's comment that the text goes on to describe the towel as a tetradiplon is NOT misleading as Freeman attests. If one wants to be a nit picker, it doesn't really describe the towel as a tetradiplon - the towel, the object in question IS the tetradiplon. But that is beside the point.

And Freeman's comment that the account of the resurrection destroys Wilson's argument is baloney. Freeman is clearly not as clever as he makes out, or is disingenious, or deceiving, or a combination of all of the above. Clearly in the legend, the image of Edessa is not considered to be the burial cloths of Christ, but a cloth upon which Jesus's facial image was imprinted. The legend simply misinterpreted the Image of Edessa (which we think is the Shroud) as a cloth upon which Christ's face was imprinted, because those who had seen it or heard of it had seen it folded and only showing the face. The image WAS IN FACT the Shroud, the burial cloths, so there is no destruction of Wilson's theory. The only destruction is of Freeman's questionable credibility!!!

Chris P. said...

Steve, I am sorry you have taken exception to what I have written. I simply stated what Freeman wrote and left to others who appear to have greater knowledge than I do to comment. That is a normal way of proceeding in an academic debate when a question or issue remains open to debate as here.

Personally, from what I know,from limited reading of both sides of the argument, I find it hard to believe that the Shroud is as early as the first century but,at least, i have the courtesy to leave the matter open for others to comment and, possibly, persuade me otherwise. Although there seems to have been an immense amount of scientific research on the Shroud, I have not seen,as yet, a single piece of scientific evidence that pins it to the first century.

Christian belief does not depend on whether the Shroud is genuine or not. No committed Christian would depend on it for their faith or leave their faith if it WAS shown to be a fake. In fact, in would doubt the commitment of any Christian for whom commitment to the Shroud was a sine qua non of their faith.

P.S Falgrum3. The British Museum classified the Mandlyion that they borrowed for their exhibition as an icon (painted on cloth) and the clear photograph they provided shows no sign of its being a veil. Perhaps you are thinking of a different image.

Chris P. said...

P.S. As I understood Freeman's original article, he is not saying definitively that the Shroud is a fake but that the onus of proof is on those who think it is authentic to provide the evidence for this.
In addition, Freeman provides an alternative means of exploring the Shroud's History , that it came to the Blachernae Chapel in Constantinople with other relics known to have come direct from Jerusalem in the fourth and fifth centuries and that is why it was seen there by Robert de Clari. He is suggesting that further research is needed here.
As i see it, his main target is Wilson's way of being a historian.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P.

>Steve, I am sorry you have taken exception to what I have written.

I take exception to LACK OF HONESTY, i.e. refusing to state that your position really is: 1) Freeman is right; and 2) the Shroud is a fake.

>I simply stated what Freeman wrote and left to others who appear to have greater knowledge than I do to comment.

No. You are arguing for Charles Freeman's position but pretending you are not. Well, I deem such tactics to be "substandard" on this blog, so any more comments from you which are of the type:

"I simply stated what Freeman wrote and left to others who appear to have greater knowledge than I do to comment"

simply won't appear.

>That is a normal way of proceeding in an academic debate when a question or issue remains open to debate as here.

No its NOT. In academic debate one states what one's position is and then argues for it.

>Personally, from what I know,from limited reading of both sides of the argument,

I doubt that is true. If you are who I think you are, you have a wide reading of both sides of the Shroud authenticity argument. In fact you imply below that from your reading of "an immense amount of scientific research on the Shroud," you "have not seen, as yet, a single piece of scientific evidence that pins it to the first century"!

>I find it hard to believe that the Shroud is as early as the first century

Thanks for finally confirming your position is that the Shroud is a fake. And again that yours is NOT a "limited reading of both sides of the argument"!

>but,at least, i have the courtesy to leave the matter open for others to comment and, possibly, persuade me otherwise.

What would it take for one of us here on this blog to "persuade you otherwise" that the Shroud is authentic?

>Although there seems to have been an immense amount of scientific research on the Shroud, I have not seen,as yet, a single piece of scientific evidence that pins it to the first century.

See above on your claim that you have only a "limited reading of both sides of the argument"!

What about the ENEA report which found by "scientific research" that to replicate the Shroud image's colour on linen, the size of a man doubled, would require the equivalent "34 thousand billion watts" of ultraviolet energy:

"However, ENEA scientists warn, `it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )" ("The Shroud is not a fake," Marco Tosatti, The Vatican Insider, 12/12/2011).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued.]

Or what about atheist Steven Schafersman's admission that "If the shroud is authentic" and by that he meant not "a product of human artifice," then "the image is that of Jesus":

"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: 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 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 (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." (Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, p.141).

If you are not convinced by these two lines of evidence, then please state what "single piece of scientific evidence" would convince you that the Shroud was "first century"?

>Christian belief does not depend on whether the Shroud is genuine or not. No committed Christian would depend on it for their faith or leave their faith if it WAS shown to be a fake.
>
>In fact, in would doubt the commitment of any Christian for whom commitment to the Shroud was a sine qua non of their faith.

Agreed. But that is just a Red Herring diversion on your part. NO Christian is claiming here, and I doubt that any Christian has EVER claimed, that "the Shroud was a sine qua non [without which nothing] of their faith."

I myself have stated many times that I was a Christian for nearly 40 years before I accepted that the Shroud was authentic. So if the Shroud was shown to be a fake, then I would still be the same Christian that I have now been for over 40 years.

>P.S Falgrum3. The British Museum classified the Mandlyion that they borrowed for their exhibition as an icon (painted on cloth) and the clear photograph they provided shows no sign of its being a veil. Perhaps you are thinking of a different image.

Even the original Veronica, as its name (L. vera icon = "true image") implies, is just a painted copy of the Image of Edessa, which is the Shroud, doubled in four, and framed with Jesus' head in landscape aspect.

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Flagrum3 said...

To Chris; "no scientific proof of the Shroud's first century origin"? How about the BASIC knowledge that the Shroud is "most evidently" of 1st century manufacture and of a Syrian design to boot! Definately not the 'product'of the medieval period? What of the stitching found on the Shroud; never seen before except in first century Judea? (In Masada 72AD to be exact)What about the 'cotton' thread found in their sample, by one of the C14 labs in 1988 (intertwined with the Linen) which was identified 'precisely' as 1st century Eqyptian cotton? ...How or where would a 13th or 14th century artist find a prestine 1st century linen? ..This is a point very often 'overlooked' by Shroud opponents. He (the artist) would then have just ONE CRACK at creating this marvelous image...it is completely obsurd to think this the case! The Shroud is of 1st century origin and the facts prove so.
Because one refuses to see in the details the truth, does not make the Shroud a fake.

As for Freeman's statement on the 'tetradiplon'...I have heard some very mediocre and sometimes childish remarks about this, such as; Freeman's rediculous folding example or another big one is the Mandylion was never depicted in art as showing blood on the image...Unbelievably stupid assertions! Why is it so hard for some to accept the statement studied in the acts of Thaddeus dealing with the mandylion, as simply a naive attempt by one viewing the image to interpret what he cannot understand. It would not be the only time the image was described as being from bodily secretions (sweat). Freeman with his rediculous little cloth folding example, literally ignores the fact the Image of Edessa/Mandylion were folded in such a way as the cloth was left in a 'Landscape' form...Unbelievable!

F3

Chris P. said...

Obviously we move in different circles. In the academic circles of which I have been part, it is usual for people to put forward ideas of which they are not sure either way to hear how others respond. This is before they expose them to a wider audience in print. It is pretty standard practice. Most of us live with doubt especially in matters like this where there is unresolved debate and if we are honest(!) and courteous we wait to hear what other people have to say.
Of course, this your blog and you can conduct it any way you want, encourage new ideas, and thus play a useful part in debate, or disparage them.

Flagrum3 said...

Oh I forgot one thing, sorry Stephen for the double-post here, but further to Chris; In actuality the image shown of the "Mandylion" by the British museum IS one in the same as the Veil of San Silvestro! You can compare them yourself. I am 100% sure of this.

Thanks,

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P.

>Obviously we move in different circles. In the academic circles of which I have been part, it is usual for people to put forward ideas of which they are not sure either way to hear how others respond.

You are LYING Chris. You are VERY SURE of what you believe: 1) Freeman is right; 2. the Shroud is a fake.

>This is before they expose them to a wider audience in print. It is pretty standard practice.

Not in the Blogosphere it isn't. The standard practice is to STATE what you believe and be prepared to argue for it.

>Most of us live with doubt especially in matters like this where there is unresolved debate and if we are honest(!) and courteous we wait to hear what other people have to say.

That's the problem here. You are NOT being honest.

>Of course, this your blog and you can conduct it any way you want, encourage new ideas, and thus play a useful part in debate, or disparage them.

It is NOT useful on this blog to act like a TROLL and LIE about what you REALLY believe: 1) Freeman is right; and 2) the Shroud is a fake. And about the extent of your WIDE and DEEP knowledge of the Shroud.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>The "Vatican's Mandylion" mentioned by Chris, is actually not a Mandylion at all, but simply a Veil

Disagree. The "Veil of Veronica" is the Roman Catholic legend to account for the origin of the Vatican's copy of the Image of Edesssa. That a woman named Veronica (whose name `just happened' to mean "true icon" in Latin!) pressed her veil to Jesus' face as He was carrying His crosss to the site of His crucifixion:

"The Veil of Veronica ... often called simply `The Veronica' and known in Italian as the Volto Santo or Holy Face ... is a Catholic relic, which, according to legend, bears the likeness of the Face of Jesus not made by human hand (i.e. an Acheiropoieton). The most recent version of the legend recounts that Saint Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus along the Via Dolorosa on the way to Calvary. When she paused to wipe the sweat ... off his face with her veil, his image was imprinted on the cloth. The event is commemorated by the Sixth Station of the Stations of the Cross. ... The story is not recorded in its present form until the Middle Ages and for this reason, is unlikely to be historical. Rather, its origins are more likely to be found in the story of the image of Jesus associated with the Eastern Church known as the Mandylion, coupled with the desire of the faithful be able to see the face of their Redeemer. " ("Veil of Veronica," Wikipedia, 6 August 2012).

>and 'decisively' appears to be an exact copy of the 'Veil of San Salvestro', maybe one in the same!.

They are probably just copies of the Vatican's copy of the Image of Edessa, which it calls the "Veronica" (L. vera icona = "true icon" or "true image"):

"Holy Face of S. Silvestro. This image was kept in Rome’s church of S. Silvestro until 1870 and is now kept in the Matilda chapel in the Vatican. It is housed in a Baroque frame donated by one Sister Dionora Chiarucci in 1623. The earliest evidence of its existence is 1517 when the nuns were forbidden to exhibit it to avoid competition with the Veronica. Like the Genoa image, it is painted on board and therefore is likely to be a copy." ("Veil of Veronica: Holy Face of S. Silvestro," Wikipedia, 6 August 2012).

>As a matter of fact there are many copies of this in many places; The Holy veil of Vienna, of Jaen, and of San Salvestro to name a few. My personal view of these relics (and I also will add the Manoppello image to this also), is that they are quite evidently artist renditions. One must be quite naive to think otherwise, it's just too obvious to this amateur student of art anyways, but all things being equal, I may be wrong. But a few of these veils do have a keen likeness to known depictions of the Mandylion.

Agreed.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>I have just finished reading Freeman's paper, the 'Tetradiplon Revisited' and I must say I have read many of the same arguments before! Obviously I have read from the same sources as Freemen...So nothing new here, but I'll say no more. I'll wait for Stephen's rebuttal, which should be interesting, as there is alot to refute ;-)

You might wait a long time! As I said, I will continue working through Freeman's "The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," and I may never respond to Freeman's latest paper, "Tetradiplon Revisited."

>Anyways, one thing I am hoping Stephen can find or post, is a actual Greek version of the 'Acts of Thaddeus' or the statements in question in particular, with thier English interpretations; (I have found this before but it was years ago and am having trouble finding it again). Reason being; I have found in the past many mis-interpretations of the actual Greek, posted in one's argument. It would only seem right that the actual source material be posted or atleast linked too.

I don't know where there is a Greek version of The Acts of Thaddeus but here is a quote which confirms that the word "towel" in it is the Greek word tetradiplon ("four-doubled") and it cites a reference to volume 8 of "The Ante-Nicene Fathers" for that identification, which may mean that that is where there is a copy of the original Greek:

"Nevertheless, there was a very strong tradition that Thaddeus brought with him a cloth that, in most ways, fits the description of the Holy Shroud. According to The Doctrine of Addai (Thaddeus), written around the fourth century (about the same time Eusebius was writing), when Jesus declined to go physically to Abgar, He sent the Edessan ruler a portrait of Himself, painted from life, which the sick king touched, and was healed. [Scavone, D.C., "The Shroud of Turin: Opposing Viewpoints," Greenhaven Press: San Diego CA, 1989, p.81] The earliest version of The Acts of Thaddeus dates from the sixth or seventh century, but many scholars believe that it is based on a text that dates from the third century. It tells a similar story. King Abgar sends a messenger named Ananias to Jesus, charging him `to take accurate account of Christ, of what appearance He was, and His stature, and His hair.' When he delivered the letter Ananias stared intently at Jesus, trying to fix in his mind His physical features. Christ, who knew what the messenger was thinking about, announced that He was going to wash Himself. When He did so he handed Ananias the towel with which He had wiped His face now imprinted with His image - and told him that He was going to send His disciple Thaddeus to enlighten the king and his subjects. It is significant that the towel was, in this narrative, called the `Tetradiplon,' or `the doubled in four.' [Roberts, A. & Donaldson, J., eds., "The Ante-Nicene Fathers," Vol. 8, Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA, 1995, p.558]." (Ruffin, C.B., "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," 1999, pp.54-55).

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Hi Stephen. I should clarify when I mentioned Veil of San Silvestro, I meant The "Holy face" of San Silvestro. I tend to intermix the words Veil and Holy face as they all seem to be the same in appearance, even the Veronica the Vatican has seems to be the same size, dimensions and most probably at one time had the same face adorning it, in all probability. But if you use your Wiki-link to the S.Silvestro and compare it too the image shown in the link to the British museum, I'm sure you will agree with my point that they may be one in the same, as they look identical, including the casing. Which was the point I was trying to make to Chris.

As for your future rebuttal to Freeman's "Tetradiplon" paper; I'm fairly patient. I can wait ;-)

I look forward to your next installment to this on-going rebuttal.

As for the asking of the Greek version to The Acts of Thaddeus, thanks for the response, I will continue searching. My daughter happens to speak Greek fluently and has studied ancient Greek. It's compulsory in Greek schools apparently, where she has lived most her life and she is quite a good student of the language...It's a nice bonus for me as I can get her to translate quite well for me without having to rely on other's translations. As an example she has stated that Tetradiplon can be translated two ways; four folded or four doubled.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Matt

>Freeman says:
>
>"So I assumed that the reference to tetradiplon suggested the cloth was folded in this way after it had received its image.

This is from Freeman's latest paper, "Tetradiplon Revisited," August 10, 2012.

Freeman is up to his usual fallacious tricks, in this case the Straw man Fallacy:

"A straw man, known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To `attack a straw man' is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the `straw man'), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position." ("Straw man," Wikipedia, 27 August 2012).

Wilson makes no claim based on the order of events in the legendary The Acts of Thaddeus, i.e. that in the latter the tetradiplon was folded first and Jesus' image was then imprinted. Neither Wilson nor ANY Shroud pro-authenticist thinks that the Shroud was doubled-in-four first and then Jesus' image was imprinted on it as The Acts of Thaddeus, envisages. Wilson even says in the quote from his latest book that stands in at the beginning of this very paper of Freeman's that it is "off-putting" in "that it 'explains' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself":

"In the case of the Image of Edessa's dimensions, one important indicator is to be found in one of the very first documents to provide a 'revised version' of the King Abgar story in the wake of the cloth's rediscovery. The document in question is the Acts of Thaddaeus, dating either to the sixth or early seventh century. Although its initially off-putting aspect is that it 'explains' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself, it intriguingly goes on to describe the cloth on which the Image was imprinted as tetradiplon `doubled in four'. It is a very unusual word, in all Byzantine literature pertaining only to the Image of Edessa, and therefore seeming to indicate some unusual way in which the Edessa cloth was folded." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud," 2010, p.140).

Clearly the Acts of Thaddaeus' explanation is a very early, pre-scientific attempt to account for how the image of Jesus' face was imprinted on the Image of Edessa (i.e. the Shroud "four-doubled").

>Wilson goes on, of course, to argue that this somehow proves that it was the Turin Shroud, folded up so that the double image of the dead body was concealed and only the `dead' face was left revealed.

Freeman here conceals from his readers (and probably from himself) what Wilson REALLY "goes on ... to argue" (in the NEXT PARAGRAPH):

"So what happens if we try doubling the Shroud in four? If we take a full-length photographic print of the Shroud, double it, then double it twice again, we find the Shroud in eight (or two times four) segments, an arrangement seeming to correspond to what is intended by the sixth-century description ... And the quite startling finding from folding the Shroud in this way is that its face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa." (Wilson, 2010, p.140).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Implausible though this would be-surely it would be known that such a bulky folded cloth had other images on them and that these were of a dead man-

The Shroud is NOT "bulky" when folded. It's thickness is about "0.343 mm, or just a little heavier than shirt cloth":

"The Shroud's overall dimensions were measured, then its thickness was gauged with a micrometer and determined at 0.343 mm, or just a little heavier than shirt cloth." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," 2000, p.68).

Therefore, when folded eight times ("four-doubled"), the Shroud's thickness would be 8 x 0.343 mm = 2.744 mm, or about a tenth of an inch (~0.11 inch). So once again Freeman does not check his maths.

And as for "it would be known that such a ... folded cloth had other images on them and that these were of a dead man" it is not necessary to Wilson's, and certainly not to Markwardt's, argument that NO ONE knew that the cloth under the face "had other images on them ... of a dead man." Those who folded the cloth and framed it so that only the face could be seen, would have known.

And according to Markwardt's theory (which Freeman is either ignorant of - in which case INEXUSABLY so, or he knows about it but conceals it from his readers - in which case DISHONESTLY so), it was only after the Edessans' deliberately burned the poker holes in the Shroud in 544 so as to miraculously cause the Persians' wooden siege tower to catch fire, that the Shroud was doubled-in-four and framed to hide the damage they had inflicted on it. In that case many 6th century Edessans would have known the cloth under the face "had other images on them ... of a dead man."

>it seems to be the only argument that Wilson can offer to support his bizarre hypothesis-

Freeman is either LYING or DELUDED. He simply IGNORES Wilson's argument above, ON THE VERY SAME PAGE (p.140), that:

"If we take a full-length photograph...of the Shroud, double it, then double it twice again, we find the Shroud in eight (or two times four) segments... And ... its face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa."!

>not one, so far as I know, accepted anywhere in scholarship-that the Image of Edessa and the Turin Shroud are one and the same.

This would only be true if by "scholarship" Freeman means Shroud ANTI-AUTHENTICITY scholarship. But in that case it is TRUE BY DEFINITION. A scholar who thinks the Shroud is a medieval fake, BY DEFINITION cannot accept that "the Image of Edessa and the Turin Shroud are one and the same." But the MAJORITY of Shroud PRO-AUTHENTICITY scholarship has accepted Wilson's theory that "the Image of Edessa and the Turin Shroud are one and the same" (i.e. the Image of Edessa was the Shroud doubled four times, so the face only is visible in landscape aspect, mounted on a board and framed, such that the underlying rest of the Shroud could not be seen).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>The Turin Shroud is a shroud and cannot be considered to be anything else.

This is fallacious. No one is claiming that the Image of Edessa is "anything else" than the Shroud. As Freeman himself stated it: "the Image of Edessa and the Turin Shroud are ONE AND THE SAME." A sheet does not become something else when it is folded!

>Its double image is distinctive and I, for one, would never accept any account of an image on a cloth as referring to the Turin Shroud unless it was made quite clear that the cloth was a shroud carrying a double image.

WHO CARES what Freeman would, or would not, accept about the Shroud? His STARTING POSITION is that the Shroud is a FAKE, so NO amount of evidence would suffice to convince him otherwise.

>There are simply too many other images on cloth recorded from the sixth century onwards to relate any to the Turin Shroud without such a distinctive description."

And MANY of those "other images on cloth recorded from the sixth century onwards" bear many of the 15 distinctive Vignon marking which are ALL found on the Shroud, some of them just flaws in the weave or creases, which have no artistic significance for them to be slavishly copied as they have been.

>I find this passage rather poorly written and somewhat incoherent, but having read it a couple of times I conclude that it is pretty lame.

Agreed. It is MORE than lame. See above that it is either DISHONEST or DELUDED.

>It is not in fact implausible that the Shroud might have been doubled in four to reveal only the image of the head in landscape.

It is in fact PROBABLE, given the bloodstains, horrific wounds, and total nudity of the Shroud Man, Jesus.

>Doubled in 4 the Shroud would have been much more easily stored and / or displayed.

Yes, and protected from accidental damage.

>Furthermore, as discussed here on many occasions, displaying only the face was a way of getting around not showing the nude and tortured body of Christ, which would have been offensive not only because of its nudity, but also because it showed a tortured and beaten Christ that contrasted with the victorious, risen Christ that dominated theology of the time.

Agreed, see above.

>And just because there is a lack of scholarship confirming Wilson's theory (there is also a lack of scholarship denying it!) does not necessarily make it wrong!

Good point. The vast majority of scholarship (including Christian scholarship) simply IGNORE the Shroud. Only a TINY MINORITY of scholars are actually ACTIVELY OPPOSED to the authenticity of the Shroud.

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Stephen here sre those frescos of Jesus from the catacombs you asked for;

http://www.jesusandhischristines.org/pic2.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChristPeterPaul.jpg

F3

Flagrum3 said...

Well it looks like those two links didn't work. Anyways these are of the renditions found to appear very similar to the Shroud face, the third one which I did not link too does not. Also with further reading on the Callistus fresco, it apparently dates most likely to the late 2nd century from what I gathered.

F3

The Deuce said...

Hi Steve,

Charles Freeman illustrates something about Shroud debate that I've noticed: Critics of the Shroud invariably leave out major salient facts to make their case.

It's not that we have a certain set of facts before us that we all agree on, but that the Shroud-authenticists and Shroud-deniers simply disagree on the interpretation.

Rather, the Shroud-authenticists deal with all the facts, whereas the Shroud-deniers conveniently forget or ignore known salient facts and features of the Shroud that are incompatible with the argument they are trying to make, as if ignoring them means they no longer require an explanation.

It's a dynamic that Shroud-authenticists should find very encouraging. When your opponent is forced to attack a straw man position, it's often an indication that he can't deal with the real one. When he's also forced to attack a straw man physical artifact, it should indicate that even more strongly.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Matt

>I really do not know where to start with Freeman's lame and frankly unscholarly latest piece!

It is difficult to follow which are Freeman's words in his " Tetradiplon Revisited." So I will preface his words with "F>"

F>"So here Ananias, the messenger of the sick King Abgar of Edessa, visits Jesus and receives an image of Jesus which he takes back to his sick master, who `adores' it and is cured of his illness. This is a fairly standard version of the legend (and it is important to stress that the Acts of Thaddeus are typical of the legends created to give a history to venerated objects).

Freeman omits to mention that this "receives an image of Jesus which he takes back to his sick master" is a LATER ADDITION (after the Shroud came to Edessa from Antioch in c. AD 526) to the original first century story of King Abgar V of Edessa being healed by Jesus. Eusebius (c. AD 263-339) in his Ecclesiastical History, gives the original account, "taken from the public records of the city of Edessa" which mention no "image" but only a "letter" from Jesus to "the prince of Edessa ... Agbarus" which promised that after His resurrection He would "send one of his disciples to heal his disorder," and this duly happened when "Thaddeus, who was also one of the seventy disciples," was sent by the Apostle Thomas:

"Narrative respecting the prince of Edessa. THE divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being famed abroad among all men, in consequence of his wonder-working power, attracted immense numbers, bath from abroad and from the remotest parts of Judea, with the hope of being cured of their diseases and various afflictions. Agbarus, therefore, who reigned over the nations beyond the Euphrates with great glory, and who had been wasted away with a disease, both dreadful and incurable by human means when he heard the name of Jesus frequently mentioned, and his miracles unanimously attested by all, sent a suppliant message to him, by a letter-carrier, entreating a deliverance from his disease. But, though he did not yield to his call at that time, he nevertheless condescended to write him a private letter, and to send one of his disciples to heal his disorder; at the same time, promising salvation to him and all his relatives. And it was not long, indeed, before the promise was fulfilled. After the resurrection, however, and his return to the heavens, Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, by a divine impulse, sent Thaddeus, who was also one of the seventy disciples to Edessa, as a herald and evangelist of the doctrines of Christ And by his agency all the promises of our Saviour were fulfilled. Of this, also, we have the evidence, in a written answer, taken from the public records of the city of Edessa, then under the government of the king. For in the public registers there, which embrace the ancient history and the transactions of Agbarus, these circumstances respecting him are found still preserved down to the present day. There is nothing, however, like hearing the epistles themselves, taken by us from the archives, and the style of it as it has been literally translated by us, from the Syriac language." (Eusebius, "The Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus," 1955, p.42-43).

This pattern of either IGNORANCE on the part of Freeman, and/or WILFUL DISREGARD FOR THE TRUTH, calls into question whether Freeman really IS a historian or is just someone who has a degree in history. The latter seems to be the case:

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

Again Freeman conceals from his readers what Wilson's "argument" actually is, even though it immediately continues on the same page (p.140) with diagrams on the facing page (p.140):

"So what happens if we try doubling the Shroud in four? If we take a full-length photographic print of the Shroud, double it, then double it twice again, we find the Shroud in eight (or two times four) segments, an arrangement seeming to correspond to what is intended by the sixth-century description (fig. 25). And the quite startling finding from folding the Shroud in this way is that its face appears disembodied on a landscape-aspect cloth exactly corresponding to the later 'direct' artists' copies of the Image of Edessa." (Wilson, 2010, p.140).

F>I have been alerted to a single other reference to tetradiplon by the Greek author Kedrenos in a text describing the same events which describes `to rhakos tetradiplon', `the four-folded rag'. It may be that the towel or rag was quite small, after all a handkerchief is normally folded four-fold.

Freeman again CONCEALS from his readers (and maybe even from himself?) that Wilson continues on the very next page (p.141), by pointing out that the Acts of Thaddaeus "also uses the word sindon for the Image - the very same word all three synoptic gospel authors used for Jesus's burial shroud":

" Moreover, not only does this document [Acts of Thaddaeus] use the word tetradiplon, thereby indicating the Image of Edessa to have been on a large cloth, in the very next sentence it also uses the word sindon for the Image - the very same word all three synoptic gospel authors used for Jesus's burial shroud ... For our present purposes the documentary confirmation that the Image of Edessa was a large cloth, and not the hand-towel size often envisaged, is enough." (Wilson, 2010, p.141).

F>Yet there is more to this. One only has to read the Acts in full to find the following. Thaddeus eventually arrives in Edessa (in this version of the legend when the Image of Edessa is already in the city) and tells the story of the crucifixion:

One doesn't have to read the whole Acts of Thaddaeus to discover that. According to its second and third paragraphs, it was Ananias, not Thaddaeus, who brought the Image of Christ's face imprinted on the tetradiplon, which was a sindon, to Edessa while Christ was still alive.

"Abgarus enjoined Ananias to take accurate account of Christ, of what appearance He was, and His stature, and His hair, and in a word everything. And Ananias, having gone and given the letter, was carefully looking at Christ, but was unable to fix Him in his mind. And He knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel [Gk. tetradiplon] was given Him; and when He had washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen [sindon], He gave it to Ananias, saying: Give this, and take back this message, to him that sent you ..."! ("The Acts of Thaddaeus, One of the Twelve," New Advent, 29 January 2010).

F>And they took Him, and spit upon Him, with the soldiers, and made a great mock of Him, and crucified Him, and laid Him in the tomb, and secured it well, having also set guards upon Him. And on the third day before dawn He rose, leaving His burial-clothes in the tomb. And He was seen first by His mother and other women, and by Peter and John first of my fellow disciples, and thereafter to us the twelve, who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection for many days.

See above. This SEVENTH paragraph quotation by Freeman is irrelevant since on the SECOND and THIRD paragraphs the reader of the Acts of Thaddaeus already knows that according to it, Jesus was alive when He imprinted His face image on the four-doubled cloth.

[continued]

Matt said...

Flagrum 3
Thanks for posting those frescoes, interesting. However, isn't it a stretch to compare them to the Shroud?
Yes, there are similarities but as far as I can tell nothing definitive that would say the frescoes were based on the shroud?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Chris P.

>P.S. As I understood Freeman's original article, he is not saying definitively that the Shroud is a fake

Freeman concluded his first article "The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey:

"For myself, as a historian of medieval relics, however, the Shroud fits well within the thousands of other purportedly first century relics that crammed the churches of medieval Europe. I think it is unlikely to the very first of these thousands to be proved to be genuine and the onus is on those who claim a first century origin to provide the evidence for this."

What does "the Shroud ... is UNLIKELY TO ... BE PROVED TO BE GENUINE" mean if not that Freeman regards the Shroud as currently having the status of NON-GENUINE, i.e. a FAKE?

"I am writing this in the hope that those who read Ian Wilson's immensely enjoyable but essentially fictional account of the history of the Turin Shroud accept it as such, fiction not history. ... If the Shroud has a history that extends beyond the fourteenth century he certainly has not found it. ... What Wilson has done is to follow in the steps of medieval chroniclers and create a legendary account of the origins of a relic cult that happens to have become enormously popular over the past fifty years. "

What does this mean, if not that Freeman believes "the Shroud" DOES NOT have "a history that extends beyond the fourteenth century" and therefore it is a FAKE?

Now you can quibble that Freeman has not actually said: "The Shroud of Turin IS a fake," but the vast majority of Freeman's readers would understand that is what he believes and means.

F>So where did the Mandylion end up? I would suggest that it lies, folded tetradiplon, in the casket below.
>
>The Mandylion in Paris. The casket containing the Mandylion, La Sainte Face (no.18 in the accompanying caption), lies on the altar in the Sainte-Chapelle in front of the right hand cross reliquary which contains the Lance which pierced Jesus' side. The casket fits well with descriptions of the Mandylion in the Pharos Chapel and the Mandylion was presumably placed in the casket for protection against damp and handling. It only needed to be folded tetradiplon for the image to be exposed at the top. Note too, no. 17, the St. Suaire, the Holy Shroud, the Sudarium recorded as having been transferred from the Pharos chapel ?, on the wall behind the Mandylion. Note the chapel's most prestigious relic, the Crown of Thorns, in the centre. From an engraving of the altar of 1790. Click on the image for a full-size version.

Note the PRESENT tense "it lies, folded tetradiplon, in the casket below." So like something out of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, all Freeman points to is a "casket" and claims the Mandylion/Image of Edessa is CURRENTLY inside it!

But Wikipedia says this copy of the Image of Edessa "disappeared from Constantinople during the ... Sack of Constantinople ... in 1204, reappearing as a relic in King Louis IX of France's Sainte Chapelle in Paris" and "finally DISAPPEARED IN THE FRENCH REVOLUTION":

"The first record of the existence of a physical image in the ancient city of Edessa (now Urfa) was in Evagrius Scholasticus, writing about AD 600, who reports a portrait of Christ, of divine origin (θεότευκτος), which effected the miraculous aid in the defence of Edessa against the Persians in 544. The image was moved to Constantinople in the 10th century. The cloth disappeared from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade [Sack of Constantinople] in 1204, reappearing as a relic in King Louis IX of France's Sainte Chapelle in Paris. It finally disappeared in the French Revolution." ("Image of Edessa," Wikipedia, 13 August 2012)

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

If you dispute this of yourself, then answer my question in a previous comment under this post:

"If you [Chris P.] are not convinced by these two lines of evidence, then please state what `single piece of scientific evidence' would convince you that the Shroud was `first century'?

>In addition, Freeman provides an alternative means of exploring the Shroud's History, that it came to the Blachernae Chapel in Constantinople with other relics known to have come direct from Jerusalem in the fourth and fifth centuries and that is why it was seen there by Robert de Clari. He is suggesting that further research is needed here.

This is just Freeman seeking to maintain his self-image of an open-minded seeker of truth in respect of the Shroud. When in reality as his many concealments of important information supporting the Shroud's authenticity attest, Freeman's mind is CLOSED to the MANY lines of evidence which point to the Shroud being authentic and having come down to us from 1st century Jerusalem to 14th century France, via 1st-6th centuryAntioch, 6th-10th century Edessa, 10th-13th century Constantinople and 13th-14th century Greece.

>As i see it, his main target is Wilson's way of being a historian.

It is not as though Freeman is much of a "historian" himself. See my previous comment where Wikipedia (presumably written by Freeman) describes Freeman as a "freelance historian," who has held no university History post, the nearest to that being his appointment as "head of history at St Clare's, Oxford" which is merely a "day and boarding school in North Oxford, England":

"Charles Freeman Charles Freeman is a scholar and freelance historian specializing in the history of ancient Greece and Rome. He is the author of numerous books on the ancient world including The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason. He has taught courses on ancient history in Cambridge's Adult Education program and is Historical Consultant to the Blue Guides. He also leads cultural study tours to Italy, Greece and Turkey. In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He lives in Suffolk, England. ... In addition to a law degree, he holds a master's degree in African history and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an additional master's degree in applied research in education from the University of East Anglia. In 1978 he was appointed ("Charles Freeman (historian)," Wikipedia, 11 May 2012).

No, Freeman's vendetta against Wilson is explained by Wilson in respect of others who have tried to stop him making his case for the authenticity of the Shroud, namely "certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth" who "actually do recognize truth, but ... see it as too threatening to their own quite different priorities for it to be allowed to live":

"Speaking personally, one of my most painful and yet illuminating experiences, having as a writer expressed my beliefs in Jesus in the 1984 version of this book and also in the otherwise so discredited Turin Shroud, has been to be most deviously targeted in efforts to undermine these beliefs by certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth. The illuminating aspect is that for modern-day people to be so motivated can only mean that they actually do recognize truth, but like Caiaphas, see it as too threatening to their own quite different priorities for it to be allowed to live." (Wilson, I., "Jesus: The Evidence," 1996, pp.178-179).

And that in turn is explained by Revelation 12!

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

F>So where did the Mandylion end up? I would suggest that it lies, folded tetradiplon, in the casket below.
>
>The Mandylion in Paris. The casket containing the Mandylion, La Sainte Face (no.18 in the accompanying caption), lies on the altar in the Sainte-Chapelle in front of the right hand cross reliquary which contains the Lance which pierced Jesus' side. The casket fits well with descriptions of the Mandylion in the Pharos Chapel and the Mandylion was presumably placed in the casket for protection against damp and handling. It only needed to be folded tetradiplon for the image to be exposed at the top. Note too, no. 17, the St. Suaire, the Holy Shroud, the Sudarium recorded as having been transferred from the Pharos chapel ?, on the wall behind the Mandylion. Note the chapel's most prestigious relic, the Crown of Thorns, in the centre. From an engraving of the altar of 1790. Click on the image for a full-size version.

I have just realised that the above was not in Chris P.'s comment but was inadvertently copy- and-pasted by me from Freman's article, "The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey."

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>... further to Chris; In actuality the image shown of the "Mandylion" by the British museum IS one in the same as the Veil of San Silvestro! You can compare them yourself. I am 100% sure of this.

Wikipedia says they are one and the same:

"Holy Face of San Silvestro This image was kept in Rome's church of San Silvestro in Capite, attached to a convent of Poor Clares, up to 1870 and is now kept in the Matilda chapel in the Vatican Palace. It is housed in a Baroque frame added by Sister Dionora Chiarucci, head of the convent, in 1623. The earliest evidence of its existence is 1517, when the nuns were forbidden to exhibit it to avoid competition with the Veronica. Like the Genoa image, it is painted on board and therefore is likely to be a copy. It was exhibited at Germany’s Expo 2000 in the pavilion of the Holy See. It is currently [sic] (with very little fuss) in an exhibition on Relics in the British Museum until early October 2011, where it can be seen well-lit and close-up. No date of location of origin is attempted in the catalogue." ("Image of Edessa: Surviving images," Wikipedia, 13 August 2012).

But well spotted!

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>To Chris; "no scientific proof of the Shroud's first century origin"?

Chris evidently means: "no scientific proof" THAT I WOULD ACCEPT "of the Shroud's first century origin."

>How about the BASIC knowledge that the Shroud is "most evidently" of 1st century manufacture and of a Syrian design to boot!

Good point. But you forget how CLEVER was the Shroud's unknown, and unknowable, forger. He, in 14th century France, was an expert in "1st century manufacture" of shrouds "of a Syrian design" and he managed to find one.

He needed to do this in order to fool his 14th century contemporaries, who although they were gullible enough to be "duped by a" relic claiming to be a "feather of the Archangel Gabriel or a phial of the last breath of St Joseph":

"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., "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1998, pp.58-60).

they too were all experts "1st century manufacture" of shrouds "of a Syrian design"!

>Definately not the 'product'of the medieval period? What of the stitching found on the Shroud; never seen before except in first century Judea? (In Masada 72AD to be exact)

Elementary my dear Flagrum3. The unknown and unknowable 14th century forger and "a large proportion of the populace" at the time, were all experts in "stitching ,,, in first century Judea" and in "Masada 72AD to be exact"!

>What about the 'cotton' thread found in their sample, by one of the C14 labs in 1988 (intertwined with the Linen) which was identified 'precisely' as 1st century Eqyptian cotton?

How many times do you have to be told? The unknown and unknowable 14th century forger and "a large proportion of" his contemporaries were also experts in "1st century Egyptian cotton"!

> ...How or where would a 13th or 14th century artist find a prestine 1st century linen?

He was very resourceful, this unknown and unknowable 14th century forger!

>..This is a point very often 'overlooked' by Shroud opponents. He (the artist) would then have just ONE CRACK at creating this marvelous image...it is completely obsurd to think this the case!

No problem at all for this Superhero forger!

>The Shroud is of 1st century origin and the facts prove so.

No, sorry but Charles Freeman, "freelance historian" extraordinaire, historian," onetime holder of the lofty academic post of "head of history at St Clare's, Oxford ... day and boarding school" has declared that "the onus is on those who claim a first century origin to provide the evidence for this."

>Because one refuses to see in the details the truth, does not make the Shroud a fake.

It is if that "one" is Charles Freeman, "freelance historian" apparently!

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>I should clarify when I mentioned Veil of San Silvestro, I meant The "Holy face" of San Silvestro.

OK.

>I tend to intermix the words Veil and Holy face as they all seem to be the same in appearance, even the Veronica the Vatican has seems to be the same size, dimensions and most probably at one time had the same face adorning it, in all probability.

Interesting observation. Maybe they are all modelled on a woman's veil? Which would explain why they are all so similar, and so different from the Shroud.

>But if you use your Wiki-link to the S.Silvestro and compare it too the image shown in the link to the British museum, I'm sure you will agree with my point that they may be one in the same, as they look identical, including the casing.

See my previous comment where Wikipedia STATES they are one and the same.

>Which was the point I was trying to make to Chris.

Google "Chris P." and "Shroud" and you will find who "Chris P." may be.

And why she didn't respond to my comment:

"I doubt that is true [that she has only a `limited reading of both sides of the argument']. If you are who I think you are, you have a wide reading of both sides of the Shroud authenticity argument."

>As for your future rebuttal to Freeman's "Tetradiplon" paper; I'm fairly patient. I can wait ;-)

OK. I may yet respond to it before I get to the end of my critique of Freeman's first article.

>I look forward to your next installment to this on-going rebuttal.

I have started on it.

>As for the asking of the Greek version to The Acts of Thaddeus, thanks for the response, I will continue searching.

See my previous comment that it may be in volume 8 of The Ante-Nicene Fathers.

>My daughter happens to speak Greek fluently and has studied ancient Greek. ...

Great. But we can take it on good authority that in The Acts of Thaddeus the word translated "towel" is tetradiplon ("four-doubled") and the word translated "the linen" is sindon:

"And Ananias, having gone and given the letter, was carefully looking at Christ, but was unable to fix Him in his mind. And He knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel [Gk. tetradiplon] was given Him; and when He had washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen [Gk. sindon], He gave it to Ananias, saying: Give this, and take back this message, to him that sent you ... And after I have been taken up into the heavens I shall send you my disciple Thaddæus, who shall enlighten you, and guide you into all the truth, both you and your city." ("The Acts of Thaddaeus, One of the Twelve," New Advent, 29 January 2010).

>... As an example she has stated that Tetradiplon can be translated two ways; four folded or four doubled.

Yes. See this quote from Wilson which had posted previously that diplon means "`two fold' or `doubled'":

"... I noticed how a sixth-century Greek version of the Abgar story, the Acts of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus, describes the Edessa cloth as a tetradiplon. ... an extremely rare word, and totally exclusive to the Edessa cloth. Yet, because it is a combination of two common words, tetra meaning `four' and diplon meaning `two fold' or `doubled', its meaning is actually very clear: `doubled in four', suggesting four times two folds." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," 2000, pp.110).

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

>Google "Chris P." and "Shroud" and you will find who "Chris P." may be.

One hit brings up a "Chris P" who comments on a Shroud article, "Local shroud expert talks about burial-cloth discovery dating to first-century Palestine," Colorado Springs Gazette, December 17th, 2009:

--------------------------------
How can it [the Shroud] be said to be from `the time of Jesus' when there is no proof whatsoever of the existence of Jesus. You are supposed to be writing factual articles for a newspaper.

The `Shroud of Turin' certainly is not from then so why talk to these people. We need to move on and not keep revisiting people’s imaginary beliefs.

Colorado Springs needs facts based industry to provide jobs not faith based nuttery.
--------------------------------

If this is our Chris P., then she does not even believe in "the existence of Jesus" let alone that "The `Shroud of Turin' ... is not from then [first-century Palestine]"!

Perhaps Chris P. will enlighten us who she really is. Note that anyone who does not believe in the existence of Jesus or that the Shroud of Turin is not from first-century Palestine is welcome to comment on this blog.

But they must not be DISHONEST, pretending they are simply presenting what others have written (e.g. Charles Freeman that the Shroud is a fake), implying that it is not necessarily their position and are merely leaving it to others to comment on it, when it IS their position that the Shroud is a fake.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Stephen here sre those frescos of Jesus from the catacombs you asked for;
>
>http://www.jesusandhischristines.org/pic2.htm

Thanks, this is "The Callistus Fresco" However, it is not a photograph of the fresco itself, which had been long ago destroyed by rock damp and taper smoke, but a photograph of a claimed painting of it by a Thomas Heaphy, and Heaphy's original painting of it is missing (Rex Morgan, "The Holy Shroud and the Earliest Paintings of Christ," 1986, p.62).

But Ian Wilson, from a detailed comparison of Heaphy's paintings with the relics he claimed to have based them on, concluded that Heaphy was "a cheat" and "a time-wasting deceiver" who "never ever gained the privileged access he claimed" but "liked to pretend that he had" and his copies were therefore "pure fiction" ("Holy Faces, Secret Places," 1991, pp.89-90).

Note that I do not necessarily agree with Wilson that ALL of Heaphy's catacomb paintings were copies of copies, or based on his imagination, but Wilson shows that many of them were, so Heaphy cannot be relied upon.

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChristPeterPaul.jpg

However, this one, "Christ Between Peter and Paul, 4th century" in the "Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter on the Via Labicana":

"This cemetery is at the third milestone on Via Labicana, near to an imperial villa belonging to Constantine. `Christ with the book of the Gospels is seated between Peter and Paul. Below, the Lamb is standing in the centre on a hill, from which flow out the four symbolic rivers of Scripture. To the sides are the most venerated Martyrs, with their names: Gorgonius, Peter, Marcellinus, Tiburtius, all acclaiming the Lamb." ... The historical and religious associations of this catacomb [the Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter] are summed up and illustrated in a beautiful picture representing the Savior with S. Paul on his right and S. Peter on his left: and, on a line below, the four martyrs who were buried in the cemetery, Gorgonius, Peter, Marcellinus, and Tiburtius, pointing with their right hands to the Divine Lamb on the mountain. The heads of the two apostles are particularly fine, and the shape of their beards most characteristic. This well-known fresco, preserved in cubiculum no. 25 of Bosio's plan, was discovered in 1851 by de Rossi ..." ("File:ChristPeterPaul.jpg," Wikipedia, 12 January 2006).

is VERY interesting because in the enlargement of Jesus' face and upper body, in "which Jesus was beginning to be depicted as older and bearded, in contrast to earlier Christian art":

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Stephen here sre those frescos of Jesus from the catacombs you asked for;
>
>http://www.jesusandhischristines.org/pic2.htm

Thanks, this is "The Callistus Fresco" However, it is not a photograph of the fresco itself, which had been long ago destroyed by rock damp and taper smoke, but a photograph of a claimed painting of it by a Thomas Heaphy, and Heaphy's original painting of it is missing (Rex Morgan, "The Holy Shroud and the Earliest Paintings of Christ," 1986, p.62).

But Ian Wilson, from a detailed comparison of Heaphy's paintings with the relics he claimed to have based them on, concluded that Heaphy was "a cheat" and "a time-wasting deceiver" who "never ever gained the privileged access he claimed" but "liked to pretend that he had" and his copies were therefore "pure fiction" ("Holy Faces, Secret Places," 1991, pp.89-90).

Note that I do not necessarily agree with Wilson that ALL of Heaphy's catacomb paintings were copies of copies, or based on his imagination, but Wilson shows that many of them were, so Heaphy cannot be relied upon.

>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ChristPeterPaul.jpg

However, this one, "Christ Between Peter and Paul, 4th century" in the "Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter on the Via Labicana":

"This cemetery is at the third milestone on Via Labicana, near to an imperial villa belonging to Constantine. `Christ with the book of the Gospels is seated between Peter and Paul. Below, the Lamb is standing in the centre on a hill, from which flow out the four symbolic rivers of Scripture. To the sides are the most venerated Martyrs, with their names: Gorgonius, Peter, Marcellinus, Tiburtius, all acclaiming the Lamb." ... The historical and religious associations of this catacomb [the Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter] are summed up and illustrated in a beautiful picture representing the Savior with S. Paul on his right and S. Peter on his left: and, on a line below, the four martyrs who were buried in the cemetery, Gorgonius, Peter, Marcellinus, and Tiburtius, pointing with their right hands to the Divine Lamb on the mountain. The heads of the two apostles are particularly fine, and the shape of their beards most characteristic. This well-known fresco, preserved in cubiculum no. 25 of Bosio's plan, was discovered in 1851 by de Rossi ..." ("File:ChristPeterPaul.jpg," Wikipedia, 12 January 2006).

is VERY interesting because in the enlargement of Jesus' face and upper body, in "which Jesus was beginning to be depicted as older and bearded, in contrast to earlier Christian art":

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

"On the larger picture, Jesus is between S. Peter and S. Paul and above a painting of the Divine Lamb. Detail of a fresco on the catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Via Labicana, Rome, Itally, 4th century. (See larger picture on the right). During the 4th century, Jesus was beginning to be depicted as older and bearded, in contrast to earlier Christian art, which usually showed a young and clean-shaven Jesus." ("File:ChristPeterPaul detail.jpg," Wikipedia, 15 January 2006).

especially the "Full resolution ‎(540 × 787 pixels" Jesus is unmistakably in Pantocrator pose, with His hair parted in the centre, His eyes wide and staring, His right hand with its fingers in the act of opening, and what looks like Vignon marking 2, the `topless square, which is a flaw in the weave of the Shroud!

I can only find one reference on my computer to this catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter fresco:

"Now the image on the Cloth of Turin clearly agrees with this type of representation of Christ, at least in the basic features. It shows a very striking similarity to some very ancient pictures of Christ, e.g., to a picture in the catacomb of Peter and Marcellinus (about 400), to the Christ of the three crosses on the portal of St. Sabina in Rome (beginning of the fifth century), to several mosaics in S. Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna (around 500), and to the mosaic in the apse of SS. Cosmas and Damian, Rome (about the sixth century). Such being the case, we must have here some relationship of dependency either direct or at least indirect. Agreement so extensive cannot be due to chance. There would be no trouble explaining it, if the image on the Cloth of Turin were a painting. Then it would simply be another link in the artistic tradition. Anyone making a `Shroud of Christ' must abide by the portrait canonized as traditional and legitimate. But should the fact be that the image on the Cloth of Turin is not a work of art at all, as those who have probed its artistic technique and style all but unanimously confess, then what? How explain its remarkable agreement with the traditional portrait of Christ?" (Bulst, W., "The Shroud of Turin," 1957, p.41).

Clearly Bulst, who was an expert on the Vignon markings, thought this fresco had at least some of those markings and therefore was based on the Shroud.

If this fresco could be PROVEN to be 4th century (but I doubt it was because there would be many more like it from that century-although not necessarily-see below) then it would defeat that part of Wilson's theory that the Shroud was hidden above a gate in Edessa's wall from AD 57-525.

It would not however defeat Markwardt's theory that the Shroud was hidden above a gate in Antioch's wall, from AD 326-526, since copies of the Shroud could have been made in Antioch in the first quarter of the 4th century.

Indeed, it may have been such early copies based on the Shroud which prompted Constantine's sister Constantia to ask Eusebius for the "image of Christ" in about AD 325 and drove it underground. It may be significant that this catacomb was "near to an imperial villa belonging to Constantine."

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Well it looks like those two links didn't work.

They worked for me. See my previous comment.

>Anyways these are of the renditions found to appear very similar to the Shroud face,

The first one, "The Callistus Fresco" is not a fresco (it having been destroyed by damp and smoke) but a photo of a painting (the original of which has disappeared) by an English painter Thomas Heaphy (1775-1835), who has been proven to be a fraud in at least some of his catacomb and relic reproductions.

The second however, "Christ Between Peter and Paul, 4th century [?]" in the "Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter on the Via Labicana" is VERY significant, being clearly a Pantocrator, appearing to bear at least one key Vignon marking, No. 2, the topless square (although due to the low resolution this may be an illusion).

As I commented above, if it really is 4th century, and it really is based on the Shroud, and not an independent tradition of what Jesus looked like, then it would falsify that part of Wilson's theory which claims the Shroud was hidden above Edessa's main gate from AD 57-525.

But it would not necessarily falsify Markwardt's theory that the Shroud was hidden above Antioch's Gate of the Cherubim from about AD 326-526.

So if this "Christ Between Peter and Paul" fresco in the Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, was painted in the first quarter of the 4th century then it would be consistent with Markwardt's theory.

But this "4th century" and "about 400) dates may be just guesstimates. Nevertheless, I am surprised that I had not read more about this fresco.

I have just found a Wikipedia page about the two martyrs Marcellinus and Peter (not the St. Mark and the Apostle Peter):

"Saints Marcellinus and Peter ... were two 4th century Christian martyrs in the city of Rome ... Very little is known about the two martyrs' lives. Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304, during the persecution of Diocletian. Pope Damasus I claimed that he heard the story of these two martyrs from their executioner who became a Christian after their deaths. Damasus' account is the oldest source concerning these two martyrs. Damasus states that they were killed at an out-of-the-way spot by the magistrate Severus or Serenus, so that other Christians would not have a chance to bury and venerate their bodies. The two saints happily cleared the spot chosen for their death: a thicket overgrown with thorns, brambles, and briers three miles from Rome. They were beheaded and buried in that spot. ... According to the Liber Pontificalis, Constantine the Great built a basilica in their honor, since a structure built by Damasus had been destroyed by the Goths. Constantine had his mother, St. Helena, buried in a porphyry tomb in this church," ("Saints Marcellinus and Peter," Wikipedia, 8 March 2012).

The Constantine connection is significant. Especially Helena, Constantine's mother, who was the royal family's main relic collector. It would explain why two relatively obscure martyrs, as these two were, had one of the first Pantocrators painted in their catacomb.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Well it looks like those two links didn't work.

They worked for me. See my previous comment.

>Anyways these are of the renditions found to appear very similar to the Shroud face,

The first one, "The Callistus Fresco" is not a fresco (it having been destroyed by damp and smoke) but a photo of a painting (the original of which has disappeared) by an English painter Thomas Heaphy (1775-1835), who has been proven to be a fraud in at least some of his catacomb and relic reproductions.

The second however, "Christ Between Peter and Paul, 4th century [?]" in the "Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter on the Via Labicana" is VERY significant, being clearly a Pantocrator, appearing to bear at least one key Vignon marking, No. 2, the topless square (although due to the low resolution this may be an illusion).

As I commented above, if it really is 4th century, and it really is based on the Shroud, and not an independent tradition of what Jesus looked like, then it would falsify that part of Wilson's theory which claims the Shroud was hidden above Edessa's main gate from AD 57-525.

But it would not necessarily falsify Markwardt's theory that the Shroud was hidden above Antioch's Gate of the Cherubim from about AD 326-526.

So if this "Christ Between Peter and Paul" fresco in the Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, was painted in the first quarter of the 4th century then it would be consistent with Markwardt's theory.

But this "4th century" and "about 400) dates may be just guesstimates. Nevertheless, I am surprised that I had not read more about this fresco.

I have just found a Wikipedia page about the two martyrs Marcellinus and Peter (not the St. Mark and the Apostle Peter):

"Saints Marcellinus and Peter ... were two 4th century Christian martyrs in the city of Rome ... Very little is known about the two martyrs' lives. Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, died in the year 304, during the persecution of Diocletian. Pope Damasus I claimed that he heard the story of these two martyrs from their executioner who became a Christian after their deaths. Damasus' account is the oldest source concerning these two martyrs. Damasus states that they were killed at an out-of-the-way spot by the magistrate Severus or Serenus, so that other Christians would not have a chance to bury and venerate their bodies. The two saints happily cleared the spot chosen for their death: a thicket overgrown with thorns, brambles, and briers three miles from Rome. They were beheaded and buried in that spot. ... According to the Liber Pontificalis, Constantine the Great built a basilica in their honor, since a structure built by Damasus had been destroyed by the Goths. Constantine had his mother, St. Helena, buried in a porphyry tomb in this church," ("Saints Marcellinus and Peter," Wikipedia, 8 March 2012).

The Constantine connection is significant. Especially Helena, Constantine's mother, who was the royal family's main relic collector. It would explain why two relatively obscure martyrs, as these two were, had one of the first Pantocrators painted in their catacomb.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>the third one which I did not link too does not.

Was it this Christ with a Beard in the catacomb of Commodilla:

"Mural painting from the catacomb of Commodilla. Bust of Christ. This is one of first bearded images of Christ. Earlier Christian art in Rome portrayed Jesus most often as the Good Shepherd, disguised as Orpheus, young, beardless and in a short tunic. During the 4th century Jesus was beginning to be depicted as a man of identifiably Jewish appearance, with a full beard and long hair, a style not usually worn by Romans. The symbols on either side are Alpha and Omega signifying `I am the beginning and the end'. Date: Late 4th century" ("File:Christ with beard.jpg," Wikipedia, 12 January 2006).

Or was it another bearded Jewish-looking Christ, the "Good Shepherd fresco from the Catacombs of San Callisto":

"Close on Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Ceiling - S. Callisto catacomb. Period: early Christian Date: mid 3rd century A.D. Materials: painting in catacomb ("File:Good shepherd 02b close.jpg," Wikipedia, 13 January 2006).

>Also with further reading on the Callistus fresco, it apparently dates most likely to the late 2nd century from what I gathered.

If you mean the first one mentioned, the original might have been late 2nd century, although as O'Rahilly observed, that date was assigned by Heaphy who "was prone to early dates" and "the third century is much more probable" (O'Rahilly, A., "The Crucified," 1985, p.90).

But see above that that fresco had been long since destroyed by damp and smoke and Heaphy's painting of it may be just from his imagination since Wilson has proved Heaphy committed fraud in some (if not most) of his catacomb and relic paintings.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>Charles Freeman illustrates something about Shroud debate that I've noticed: Critics of the Shroud invariably leave out major salient facts to make their case.

Good point. And if they had the truth, and in their heart of hearts knew it, they wouldn't need to conceal important fact and misrepresent the Shroud pro-authenticity position as they do.

>It's not that we have a certain set of facts before us that we all agree on, but that the Shroud-authenticists and Shroud-deniers simply disagree on the interpretation.

Agreed. But it is significant that even if the Shroud was a 14th century or earlier fake, it would be the greatest work of art the world has ever seen. Yet "Shroud-deniers," including the history of art community, ignore it as though the Shroud doesn't exist!

Former British Society for the Turin Shroud General Secretary Dr Michael Clift raised this point with the Oxford Radiocarbon Lab's late Director, Prof. Edward Hall:

"I find most thought-provoking the failure of the scientists in 1988, with their fanfare-style accusations of `fake', to have killed the Shroud stone dead by now. ... Therefore it is not without justification that I bring before you some of the considerations which make me more and more sceptical as time goes on. Firstly the attitude of one of those 1988 scientists, Professor 'Teddy' Hall, was in my eyes starkly unobjective. He said something like, `It's finished, finished! No one will have any further interest in the Shroud of Turin'. Setting aside the fact, unconcealed by him, that he is an atheist (and might therefore have an axe of his own to grind) I really must tell of his reaction when I questioned him on these words of his. `Surely, Professor Hall', I asked him, `if your result shows that the image was not produced miraculously by God the Father, will not scientists now be more interested in it, to find out how man did this thing?' His incredible reply was, `I don't believe in God the Father, old boy'! At that moment of breath-taking non sequitur I wrote him off as a thinker. 'The Fool hath said in his heart ...' (Michael Clift, "Carbon Dating - What Some of us Think Now," BSTS Newsletter, No. 33, February 1993, p.5).

but all he got was an inane non sequitur reply. The reason was not because Prof. Hall was stupid-as a nuclear physicist he must have had a very high IQ. It is just that for a "Shroud-denier" that question is UNANSWERABLE, so they DON'T answer it.

>Rather, the Shroud-authenticists deal with all the facts, whereas the Shroud-deniers conveniently forget or ignore known salient facts and features of the Shroud that are incompatible with the argument they are trying to make, as if ignoring them means they no longer require an explanation.

Agreed. See above. It is why no one has come up with a Shroud forgery theory which completely and plausibly explained all the "known salient facts and features of the Shroud." Whoever did it would be hailed as a secular superhero, would become a multi-millionaire from the book publishing, movie rights and lecture circuit, and they would probably bestow a Nobel Peace Prize (peace from secularists' private worries that the Shroud might be authentic!) for him/her.

But if any "Shroud-denier" had ever tried it, they would have quietly shelved it. Because, as the improbable explanations increasingly mounted, it would become obvious to them that such a theory would be far harder to believe than that the image on the Shroud was created as a by-product of Jesus' resurrection!

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

And yet as none other than the two Kings of Shroud denierdom, Steve Schafersman points out, and Joe Nickell agrees, "If the shroud is authentic [i.e. not "a product of human artifice"], the image is that of Jesus":

"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: 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 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 (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, Spring 1982, p.42]" (Nickell, J., "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," 1987, p.141).

So if the Shroud is not authentic, then it MUST be "a product of human artifice." But then why has not any Shroud denier yet come up with a plausible, comprehensive human artifice forgery theory which includes all the major features and facts about the Shroud?

I have even toyed with the idea of doing it myself-to seriously try to explain away the Shroud as "a product of human artifice." And then it would be seen how ABSURD is the Shroud forgery theory!

>It's a dynamic that Shroud-authenticists should find very encouraging. When your opponent is forced to attack a straw man position, it's often an indication that he can't deal with the real one.

Agreed. And in their heart of hearts the "Shroud deniers" must know it too!

>When he's also forced to attack a straw man physical artifact, it should indicate that even more strongly.

Good point. That is really what all the attempts to recreate AN ASPECTS of the Shroud's image and then claim it as how the Shroud was produced. In effect they are examples of "The Straw Man fallacy ... committed when a person simply IGNORES A PERSON'S ACTUAL position and SUBSTITUTES A DISTORTED, EXAGGERATED OR MISREPRESENTED VERSION of that position":

"The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of `reasoning' has the following pattern: Person A has position X. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X). Person B attacks position Y. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed. This sort of `reasoning' is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person." ("Fallacy: Straw Man," The Nizkor Project, 31 August 2012).

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for clarify the Callistus fresco, I couldn't find much info on the internet about it actually, so I was a little suspicious actually about it's dating or provenance but thought it was interesting nonetheless, and Yes the third Jesus fresco I spoke of, is the one you linked to.

As to Matt's comment to me. I never said the fresco's matched the Image on the Shroud but simply there were 'simularities', especially the one in Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Thanks for clarify the Callistus fresco, I couldn't find much info on the internet about it actually,

Since it no longer exists, there isn't be any tourist guide information about it. It's a pity that rock damp and taper smoke had caused the fresco's paint to flake off.

Sir Wyke Bayliss (1835–1906) who owned Heaphy's original painting but which has disappeared, wrote of the photograph of it:

"The facsimile reproduced here however, was made by Thomas Heaphy before the deadly effects of damp and smoke had destroyed this loveliest of all the remembrances of our Blessed Lord - which I believe to have been the work of a Roman artist, a portrait painter, who had himself seen Christ." (Morgan, R., "The Holy Shroud and the Earliest Paintings of Christ," 1986, p.62).

Morgan points out that even accepting an early or middle second century date (AD 101-150), it is "difficult" that the artist "had himself seen Christ." If he was 10 when he saw Jesus in AD 30, he would have been 80 in AD 100.

So if Heaphy's painting was an accurate reproduction of the fading fresco (and I don't agree with Wilson's sweeping rejection as fraudulent of ALL of Heaphy's work) then it is not impossible that the fresco's artist relied on an accurate, passed-down, recollection of what Jesus looked like.

Indeed, if Markwardt's "Antioch and the Shroud theory [PDF]" theory is correct (as I believe it is) then the Shroud image, while not publicly available, was not hidden from minority Christian groups in and around Antioch for nearly 300 years from AD 30-326, which is plenty of time for artists to copy it from memory and create an earlier parallel tradition of Shroud likenesses, which could even include some of the more prominent Vignon markings such as the topless square between the eyebrows.

>so I was a little suspicious actually about it's dating or provenance but thought it was interesting nonetheless,

It is good to be sceptical to reduce the likelihood of false positives (thinking something is authentic when it isn't). But if one is TOO sceptical, one increases the likelihood of false negatives (thinking something isn't authentic when it is).

>and Yes the third Jesus fresco I spoke of, is the one you linked to.

I linked to two others, but I presume you mean the "Good Shepherd fresco from the Catacombs of San Callisto".

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>As to Matt's comment to me. I never said the fresco's matched the Image on the Shroud but simply there were 'simularities', especially the one in Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter.

Agreed. But there are also differences. Wikipedia in its following " Christ Pantocrator" entry, states that "the title `Pantokrator' to refer to Christ ... was a result of the Christological shift that occurred during the fourth century" and "The development of the earliest stages of the icon from Roman Imperial imagery is easier to trace":

"In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator refers to a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator or Pantokrator (from the Greek Παντοκράτωρ) is a translation of one of many Names of God in Judaism. ...Meaning. The most common translation of Pantocrator is `Almighty' or `All-powerful'. In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek words for `all' and the noun `strength' (κρατος). ... Another, more literal translation is `Ruler of All' ... Later development. The primary transference of the title `Pantokrator' to refer to Christ rather than the Creator was a result of the Christological shift that occurred during the fourth century, reflected through iconography; Christ Pantocrator has come to suggest Christ as a mild but stern, all-powerful judge of humanity. The icon of Christ Pantokrator is one of the most widely used religious images of Orthodox Christianity. Generally speaking, in Byzantine church art and architecture, an iconic mosaic or fresco of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church, in the half-dome of the apse or on the nave vault. ... The development of the earliest stages of the icon from Roman Imperial imagery is easier to trace." ("Christ Pantocrator," Wikipedia, 22 August 2012).

This caused me to speculate that there may be two streams of Christ Pantocrator iconography:

1. An earlier, beginning 4th century, Roman Western Christ Pantocrator, based on the Shroud at Antioch, with none or few, Vignon markings; and

2. A later, beginning 5th century, Byzantine Eastern Christ Pantocrator, based on the Shroud at Edessa, with many Vignon markings.

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Hi Stephen,

Actually, I meant the "Christ with beard" as my the third choice of frescos-(I should learn to be more specific in my comments). I have done a bit of research, myself, on early Christ images and I have to say I have been contemplating along the same lines as you; "there being two streams". But, as you say the earlier stream of paintings (frescos), had their differences from the later ones and few Vignon markings and/or not as 'exacting to the Shroud' as the 'Panticrator' images are. Which again I believe, adds credence to the Shroud suddenly appearing in Edessa in the mid to early 6th century. It's possible the artists of the catacomb frescos, if they had seen the Shroud in Antioch, were not allowed to copy it, so they were bascially working off memory, hense not many congruences. I showed the Pantocrator of St. Cahterines monastery to my daughter, (which happens to be my favourite rendition) and "immediately" she stated 'Panticrator' meant 'Ruler of All' with no hesitation. This leads me to believe this may be most likely the proper translation of the word, seeing as she had no hesitation in her mind.

Just a note; Freeman has left a comment on Dan's blog and it refers "STRONGLY to you" if you haven't ventured there lately you may like to read what he's said! I wonder why he wouldn't just aswell done so here?

Thanks for all your responses, and a big thanks for all the work you put in at Shroud.com making all those BTSB articles viewable.

Cheers,

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Just a note; Freeman has left a comment on Dan's blog and it refers "STRONGLY to you" if you haven't ventured there lately you may like to read what he's said! I wonder why he wouldn't just aswell done so here?

Thanks for the tip-off. I normally don't read comments on Dan's blog, just his posts, so I had not read Freeman's comment about me.

I agree that it is strange that Freeman would read comments about him on my blog, and yet reply to those comments on Dan's blog, where those comments had never appeared!

The following is a copy of my response to Freeman on Dan's blog. As can be seen, I withdraw unreservedly my assumption that he must be being paid money for his articles in Free Inquiry's "The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website."

I also will delete all comments where I claimed that Freeman was being paid for his articles. Blogger does not allow me to edit comments, only delete them.

But because those comments had other matters in them, I will repost them below, minus anything about Freeman being paid for his articles.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

As mentioned above, here is my comment on Dan Porter's blog, where I responded to Charles Freeman's comment about my assumption that he must be being paid for his articles in Free Inquiry and/or its "The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website":

==================================
http://shroudstory.com/2012/08/23/scholarly-incompetence-or-dishonesty/#comment-15692
September 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm | #40

I don’t normally read comments to Dan’s blog, but I was tipped off by a commenter on my blog that Charles Freeman had replied to a comment on my blog, on Dan’s blog, where the comment, as far as I am aware, has never appeared.

Mr Freeman states above:

----------------------------------
Jones’ latest contribution:

He [Freeman] is merely a “freelance” `gun for hire’ who presumably was PAID MONEY by the atheist publication Free Inquiry and/or its “The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website,” run by arch-atheist and Shroud anti-authenticist Steven Schafersman to write his two `hatchet job’ articles on the Image of Edessa for the gullible, true believers in the Shroud’s inauthenticity, `sceptical’ (so-called), readership of Free [so-called] Inquiry!


Freeman is deliberately writing WHAT HE KNOWS TO BE FALSE for Free Inquiry’s “The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website to MAKE MONEY.
----------------------------------

I accept Mr Freeman’s assurance that there was no payment asked or received for his articles:

----------------------------------
Unfortunately Jones has now over-reached himself as can be seen below (from the Comment provided by him on his latest critique on his blog). There is no payment asked or received for my articles.
----------------------------------

I will delete immediately any comments (Blogger does not give the option of modifying them) which alleged that Mr Freeman was paid for his articles.

I apologise to Mr Freeman for any hurt or embarrassment I caused him by my assumption that he was paid for his articles in Free Inquiry and/or “The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website.”

I will also immediately post this comment where I made the above assumption.

Stephen E. Jones
==================================

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

As mentioned above, here is a copy of a comment I made on August 30, 2012 at 12:32 AM, which I have deleted, because it claimed (wrongly) that Charles Freeman was paid for his articles.

That comment is here reposted because it contained matters other than the above claim.

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

"Charles Freeman Charles Freeman is a scholar and freelance historian specializing in the history of ancient Greece and Rome. He is the author of numerous books on the ancient world including The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason. He has taught courses on ancient history in Cambridge's Adult Education program and is Historical Consultant to the Blue Guides. He also leads cultural study tours to Italy, Greece and Turkey. In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He lives in Suffolk, England. ... In addition to a law degree, he holds a master's degree in African history and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an additional master's degree in applied research in education from the University of East Anglia. In 1978 he was appointed head of history at St Clare's, Oxford." ("Charles Freeman (historian)," Wikipedia, 11 May 2012).

So it seems that Freeman specialty is "African history," which has little or no relevance to the history of the Image of Edessa and the Shroud, And Freeman has held no university History appointment. "St Clare's, Oxford" is merely a "day and boarding school in North Oxford, England."

Which explains the LACK OF ACADEMIC RIGOUR and indeed DISHONESTY in Freeman's articles on the Image of Edessa. [DELETED]

F>This is the only example that Wilson gives so when he says that that the text `goes on' to describe the cloth as tetradiplon, he is being misleading.

Here is what Wilson wrote:

"And what evidence do we have that this Edessa cloth actually was the Shroud? In the case of the Image of Edessa's dimensions, one important indicator is to be found in one of the very first documents to provide a 'revised version' of the King Abgar story in the wake of the cloth's rediscovery. The document in question is the Acts of Thaddaeus, dating either to the sixth or early seventh century. Although its initially off-putting aspect is that it 'explains' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself, it intriguingly goes on to describe the cloth on which the Image was imprinted as tetradiplon `doubled in four'. It is a very unusual word, in all Byzantine literature pertaining only to the Image of Edessa, and therefore seeming to indicate some unusual way in which the Edessa cloth was folded." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud, 2010, p.140).

Wilson, unlike Freeman, is not "being misleading" at all. He states that the "Acts of Thaddaeus" is "a 'REVISED VERSION' of the King Abgar story IN THE WAKE OF THE CLOTH'S REDISCOVERY." And Wilson also states that it "its initially OFF-PUTTING ASPECT is that it 'EXPLAINS' the creation of the Image as by Jesus washing himself." So Wilson makes it clear to his readers that he does NOT accept as historically true the Acts of Thaddaeus's REVISED account of the image being imprinted on the cloth after it was "four-doubled" (Gk. tetradiplon).

F>As this is the only argument of any significance that he produces to back his claim that this is the Shroud of Turin, this is a serious matter.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

Here is another comment I made, this one on August 30, 2012 at 12:41 AM, which contained an assumption by me that Charles Freeman must have been paid for his articles. See above. I have deleted any reference to Freeman being paid, and am reposting this comment because it contained other matters.

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

F>So here, in the very same text, we have a clear reference to the burial cloths having been left in the tomb. This immediately destroys Wilson's argument. The Acts have already made it clear that the Image of the living Christ has arrived in Edessa and here are the burial cloths described independently of them."

It is hard to believe that even Freeman could write such NONSENSE! It would only "destroy... Wilson's argument" if either: 1) the order of events in the Acts of Thaddaeus were TRUE; and/or 2) "Wilson's argument" was BASED ON the order of events in the Acts of Thaddaeus being true. But NEITHER is the case.

NO Shroud pro-authenticist (let alone Wilson) believes that the image on the Shroud was imprinted by Jesus' washing His face and drying it on the Shroud while He was still alive. How was Jesus' body image imprinted on the Shroud, for starters?

Quite clearly the Acts of Thaddaeus is (as Wilson believes) an attempt by an early writer to revise the existing Edessan Story of Abgar, with the discovery that what was thought to be only an image of Jesus' face on a small piece of cloth was in fact a "four-doubled" (tetradiplon) large linen sheet (sindon).

>Firstly, Wilson's comment that the text goes on to describe the towel as a tetradiplon is NOT misleading as Freeman attests. If one wants to be a nit picker, it doesn't really describe the towel as a tetradiplon - the towel, the object in question IS the tetradiplon. But that is beside the point.

Good point. And Wilson doesn't even mention a towel, but says "cloth" (see above).

>And Freeman's comment that the account of the resurrection destroys Wilson's argument is baloney.

Agreed. It would only do that if the Acts of Thaddaeus was infallibly true, but even Freeman wouldn't believe that. [DELETED]

Wilson describes his works being attacked by "certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth" who "actually do recognize truth, but ... see it as too threatening to their own quite different priorities for it to be allowed to live":

"Speaking personally, one of my most painful and yet illuminating experiences, having as a writer expressed my beliefs in Jesus in the 1984 version of this book and also in the otherwise so discredited Turin Shroud, has been to be most deviously targeted in efforts to undermine these beliefs by certain plausible-sounding and publicity-seeking people with absolutely no concern for truth. The illuminating aspect is that for modern-day people to be so motivated can only mean that they actually do recognize truth, but like Caiaphas, see it as too threatening to their own quite different priorities for it to be allowed to live." (Wilson, I., "Jesus: The Evidence," 1996, pp.178-179).

Although I don't say it because it would be regarded as the ultimate ad hominem, I firmly believe there is a deeper and darker dimension to these attacks on the Shroud and on Shroud pro-authenticists.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

See above. Here is a copy of comment I made on August 30, 2012 at 12:44 AM, in which I wrongly claimed that Charles Freeman was being paid to write his articles. I am reposting this comment, minus that claim.

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Freeman is clearly not as clever as he makes out, or is disingenious, or deceiving, or a combination of all of the above.

Agreed. [...]

>Clearly in the legend, the image of Edessa is not considered to be the burial cloths of Christ, but a cloth upon which Jesus's facial image was imprinted.

Agreed.

>The legend simply misinterpreted the Image of Edessa (which we think is the Shroud) as a cloth upon which Christ's face was imprinted, because those who had seen it or heard of it had seen it folded and only showing the face.

Agreed. As the Veronica legend did. If one could only see the face image, then for a pre-scientific 6th-7th century writer, it is a reasonable assumption that Jesus' face image was imprinted on the cloth while He was still alive to satisfy Abgar V's request for healing.

>The image WAS IN FACT the Shroud, the burial cloths, so there is no destruction of Wilson's theory.

Agreed. Freeman gets it back to front. It isn't Wilson's theory which is destroyed by the Acts of Thaddaeus's theory, but rather the Acts of Thaddaeus' theory which is destroyed by Wilson's theory!

>The only destruction is of Freeman's questionable credibility!!!

Agreed. But then Freeman is an academic nobody, a "freelance historian," not accountable to anyone [...].

Freeman and his anti-Christian ilk don't realise that in so doing they are acting out their part in Christs' Play. In "The Parable of the Weeds" (Mt 13:24-30) He whose image is on the Shroud told us that He allows these weeds to "grow ... until the harvest" at which time (if they don't repent) He "will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds ... and bind them in bundles to be burned."

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Here is another comment I am reposting, minus any claim of mine that Charles Freeman was paid for his articles. Apologies if these reposted comment are out of date/time order.

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>As for Freeman's statement on the 'tetradiplon'...I have heard some very mediocre and sometimes childish remarks about this, such as; Freeman's rediculous folding example or another big one is the Mandylion was never depicted in art as showing blood on the image...

Great point!

>Unbelievably stupid assertions!

Or just wilful disregard for the truth, in order to make money out for the gullible readership of Free Inquiry, who desperately need reassurance that the Shroud is a fake.

>Why is it so hard for some to accept the statement studied in dealing with the mandylion, as simply a naive attempt by one viewing the image to interpret what he cannot understand.

What? Are you saying that The Acts of Thaddeus is not 100% true? But then Wilson could be right after all, that tetradiplon ("four-doubled") and sindon (a large linen sheet) were, after the discovery in the 6th century that what was thought to be just a face only image of Jesus, was in fact a large linen sheet with the naked, bloodstained and horrifically tortured image of Jesus' whole body, front and back, inserted into an earlier version of The Acts of Thaddeus containing a legendary account of Edessa's King Abgar V's servant Ananias receiving from Jesus before His crucifixion an imprint of His face on a cloth to try to `explain' that earlier known face only visible Image of Edessa.

>It would not be the only time the image was described as being from bodily secretions (sweat).

In fact that was the basis of Paul Vignon's c. 1902 Vaporographic theory and of Ray Rogers' 2003 Maillard Reaction theory.

>Freeman with his rediculous little cloth folding example, literally ignores the fact the Image of Edessa/Mandylion were folded in such a way as the cloth was left in a 'Landscape' form...

[DELETED]

>Unbelievable!

Except that St. Paul predicted that near the time of Jesus' return, most people won't want to hear that Christianity is true, but will listen to false teachers who will scratch their "itching ears" by telling them falsehoods that they want to hear:

2 Tim 4:3. "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,"

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Here is another reposted comment, minus anything about Charles Freeman having been paid for his articles (see above). I will then delete the original.

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

Freeman either does not know this, in which case he is IGNORANT; or more likely he does know this, in which case he is again DISHONEST, in concealing this important information from his readers.

And/or, as suggested in my previous comment:

[DELETED]

But Freeman has inadvertently highlighted what is a plausible solution to the problem of some n important part of the Shroud's history,

"However, just when the Shroud/Image of Edessa identification might seem all but established, we encounter a setback. During the twelfth century, various visitors to Constantinople, when writing about their experience, provided lists of the relics they had been told were kept in the imperial collection. Whereas previously there had been no mention of Constantinople possessing Jesus's burial linens, now, without any indication of how these had suddenly appeared, they were listed, and with no reference to any imprint. But also listed, as if a separate object, was what sounds like the Image of Edessa. ... While such duplication is disquieting (though in any event it is unlikely that either pilgrim saw the relics they listed), it is easy enough to account for. Tourist confusion is not uncommon in any century. Even in modern times visitors to Turin viewing a photographic copy of the Shroud sometimes suppose they are seeing the true original. But there may well be a deeper explanation. If the cloth, as they seem to have done, they could not simply tear up as so much waste paper the Image of Edessa's tradition that Jesus had created it in life, as an image just of his face. As stressed earlier, this would not have been in the Byzantine mindset. Their solution would have been to use a copy of the Image as the 'face only' relic and gradually suggest that there existed an imprint on the burial linens likewise." (Wilson, I., "The Shroud,
2010, pp.184-185).

So this Image of Edessa which "disappeared from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade ... reappearing as a relic in King Louis IX of France's Sainte Chapelle in Paris" and "finally disappeared in the French Revolution" was probably this COPY of the Image of Edessa which Constantinople ALREADY HAD when it ALSO ACQUIRED the Shroud in 944.

>but that the onus of proof is on those who think it is authentic to provide the evidence for this.

This is DISHONEST of Freeman and of you Chris for quoting it without disclaimer, to give the impression that "those who think it [the Shroud] is authentic" need "to provide the evidence for this," as though they HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE THIS.

The real problem for Freeman, and for you, is that, in regards to the authenticity of the Shroud you are INVINCIBLY IGNORANT:

"There does remain, nonetheless, a cast of mind which seems peculiarly closed to evidence. When confronted with such a mind, one feels helpless, for no amount of evidence seems to be clinching. Frequently the facts are simply ignored or brushed aside as somehow deceptive, and the principles are reaffirmed in unshakable conviction. One seems confronted with what has been called `invincible ignorance.' ... the cast of mind that clings with blind certainty to principles, even in the teeth of the facts." (Fearnside, W.W. & Holther, W.B., "Fallacy: The Counterfeit of Argument,", 1959, pp.111-113)

The fact is that NO AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE that the Shroud is authentic would convince Freeman, you, and your anti-authenticity ilk, that it is.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

I have deleted all my comments in which I wrongly assumed that Charles Freeman must have been paid for his articles on the Image of Edessa (see above).

I have reposted those deleted comments minus anything about Freeman being paid for his articles.

Some of the comments are now out of chronological order, but there does not seem much point to reposting the reposted posts in current chronological order because they will be out of sequence with the posts they were a continuation of.

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Correction to my last post; I meant to thank you for your work with the BSTS Newsletters, not BTSB as stated.

Thanks,

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Actually, I meant the "Christ with beard" as my the third choice of frescos-(I should learn to be more specific in my comments).

OK. Well, I wanted to link to those bearded Christ frescoes anyway.

>I have done a bit of research, myself, on early Christ images and I have to say I have been contemplating along the same lines as you; "there being two streams".

I don't know if Markwardt agrees with it, but it does support his Antioch theory, where the Shroud was viewable from AD 30/33-c.326, rather than Wilson's Edessa theory where the Shroud was not viewable from AD 57-526.

>But, as you say the earlier stream of paintings (frescos), had their differences from the later ones and few Vignon markings and/or not as 'exacting to the Shroud' as the 'Panticrator' images are.

Considering the Medieval Gentile Christians antipathy towards Jews, who had persecuted Christians and informed on them to the Romans, for the last 3 centuries, it is surprising (to put it mildly) that from the 4th century, Roman Christians started depicting Christ as Pantocrator (Almighty, All-Ruler) with a Jewish face.

Only the knowledge of the Shroud's image, from the 4th century, could account for that.

And that would fit with Constantine through his sister, Constantia, in the early 4th century, asking Eusebius for the "image of Christ" a copy of which was painted as a fresco in the catacomb of Marcellinus and Peter (both martyred AD 304), which was near Constantine's villa

>Which again I believe, adds credence to the Shroud suddenly appearing in Edessa in the mid to early 6th century.

Agreed, the sudden appearance of the Shroud at Edessa in AD. 526 is common to both Wilson's and Markwardt's theory.

>It's possible the artists of the catacomb frescos, if they had seen the Shroud in Antioch, were not allowed to copy it, so they were bascially working off memory, hense not many congruences.

Agreed. Markwardt also believes that the image only appeared gradually (the ENEA report proposed a mechanism for this), which would explain why there were less Vignon markings in the earlier Antioch depictions.

This also would explain why Vignon marking 2, the topless square above Jesus' nose is so common, and may be in that early 4th century catacomb of Marcellinus and Peter Pantocrator fresco. It is a flaw in the Shroud's weave and so would always have been there, as the face image appeared around it.

>I showed the Pantocrator of St. Cahterines monastery to my daughter, (which happens to be my favourite rendition) and "immediately" she stated 'Panticrator' meant 'Ruler of All' with no hesitation. This leads me to believe this may be most likely the proper translation of the word, seeing as she had no hesitation in her mind.

Agreed.

>Just a note; Freeman has left a comment on Dan's blog and it refers "STRONGLY to you" if you haven't ventured there lately you may like to read what he's said! I wonder why he wouldn't just aswell done so here?

Thanks again for this. I want to be 100% truthful on my blog and even through Freeman did not ask me to remove my allegation that he must have been paid by Free Inquiry to explain the evident falsehoods in his articles, I immediately deleted them.

>Thanks for all your responses, and a big thanks for all the work you put in at Shroud.com making all those BTSB articles viewable.

Thanks, and your correction of BSTS (British Society for the Turin Shroud) is noted.

Stephen E. Jones

Stephen E. Jones said...

Here is a comment I have just now posted to Dan Porter's blog under the post: "Scholarly Incompetence or Dishonesty?"

==================================
September 2, 2012 at 6:00 am | #47

I am receiving comments to this post only on Dan's blog, because I wanted to see if Mr Freeman responded to my apology, and action I took to immediately remove from the comments on my blog every claim of mine that Charles Freeman was being paid to write his articles on the Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa. I note that Mr Freeman puts the word "apology" in single quotes. That is his problem.

The comment "WHAT HE KNOWS TO BE FALSE" was in a sentence about Charles Freeman being paid money, so it was deleted along with that sentence.

I have no particular desire to gratuitously hurt or embarrass Mr Freeman, or damage his reputation, so in future I am going to confine myself to objectively pointing out his false statements and any relevant information he fails to tell his readers because it would undermine his case, with no personal observations by me about Mr Freeman himself.

I point out that Charles Freeman himself has set a precedent in this in claiming in his "The Shroud of Turin and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey" that "[Ian] Wilson fails to tell his readers that it [The Doctrine of Addai] contains relevant material which might undermine his case":

"The Doctrine of Addai is used completely inappropriately as Wilson fails to tell his readers that it contains relevant material which might undermine his case, weak though it already is."

with the clear implication by Charles Freeman that Ian Wilson is being less than completely academically honest in that.

I am going to post a copy of this comment of mine to my blog under, "My critique of Charles Freeman's "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa: A Misguided Journey," part 6: "The Turin Shroud and the Image of Edessa" (2). "

I am then going to unsubscribe again to this Dan Porter's blog. So if Charles Freeman has any more complaints or criticisms about my ongoing series critiquing his paper above, he should comment under the relevant post on my blog, otherwise I won't see it.

Stephen E. Jones
==================================

Stephen E. Jones