Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shroud of Turin is subject to reexamination

Los Angeles Times has a story titled Shroud of Turin stirs new controversy.

shroud of turin
The photo you see on the left is a heavily post-processed version (credits: omnos)of a documentary photo of what some have claimed to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.

The Shroud of Turin (or Turin Shroud) is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. It is believed by many to be the cloth placed on Jesus of Nazareth at the time of his burial (Wikipedia, The Shroud of Turin).


Two Masonic historians, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, have written a controversial book called The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud, and the Great Secret of Freemasonry, which claims that the Turin Shroud is actually an image of Jacques de Molay, not of Jesus Christ as is common belief. They claim that when King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V seized and dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar, that one of the French king's inquisitors, Guillame de Nogaret, tortured and crucified de Molay in a parody of the crucifixion of Jesus. He then put a cloth on de Molay's head, and de Molay's face was imprinted on the cloth. The authors claim that one of the reasons the Knights Templar were suppressed was because they knew a secret true history of Jesus which had been distorted by the Roman Catholic Church. According to Knight and Lomas, Jesus considered himself not God, but a Jewish revolutionary working to establish God's kingdom on Earth, and that the Templars' initiation ceremony involved a denial of Jesus as God.

Apart from Knight and Lomas' suggested scenario, there is a connection in the provenance of the Shroud of Turin and the Templars. Geoffroi de Charny's widow Jeanne de Vergy is the first reliably recorded owner of the Turin shroud; his uncle, Geoffrey de Charney, was Preceptor of Normandy for the Knights Templar. This uncle is the same Geoffrey de Charney who was initially sentenced to lifetime imprisonment with de Molay, and was burned with de Molay in 1314 after both proclaimed their innocence, recanting torture-induced confessions. (Wikipedia, Jacques de Molay)


shroud of turin

Doc Kazi (the above photo is from his Flickr images) on Flickr says:
The most controversial cloth in human history is the Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have been physically traumatized in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is presently kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Some believe it is the cloth that covered Jesus of Nazareth when he was placed in his tomb and that his image was recorded on its fibers at or near the time of his proclaimed resurrection. Skeptics contend the shroud is a medieval hoax or forgery — or even a devotional work of artistic verisimilitude. It is nevetheless the subject of intense debate among some scientists, believers, historians and writers, regarding where, when and how the shroud and its images were created.


Los Angeles Times story tells:

It brought Rebecca, an Orthodox Jew, to the Catholic Church; it led John to suspend himself from an 8-foot-tall cross to study how blood might have stained the cloth. Together, the two have committed to memory every crease, scorch mark and unexplained stain in their years-long pursuit of the mystery.

But John Jackson, one of the shroud's most prominent researchers, was among those who insisted that the results made no sense. Too much else about the shroud, they said, including characteristics of the cloth and details in the image, suggested that it was much older.

Twenty years later, Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud.

If the challenge is successful, Jackson hopes to be allowed to reexamine the shroud, which is owned by the Vatican and stored in a protective chamber in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.


Here is the photo of the shroud:

shroud of turin