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The Turin Shroud: Evidence of Man or God?

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Showing 301-317 of 317 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 01:00:15 BDT
Tom C. - "What on earth does this mean? What personal experience? Is it just a kind of warm fuzzy feeling of "christian-ness" you get by walking around?"

What I mean is that if you live in Bradford or Southall, for example, you will quickly get the impression that most of the people are Hindu or Muslim, very differently, say, from Golders Green or High Barnet. In a village in the country, you might have some four or five different churches, e.g. CoE, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist, and pretty soon you get to know which families frequent them (from time to time).
Here in Brazil, most people have been baptised into the RC Church, but not so many are weekly attenders (in the cities, at least), attendance being far more obvious and assiduous at the so-called Evangelical (cover-term for Protestant) Churches, and one meets with a fair number of Kardeckian Spiritists, yet signs of Afro-Syncretic beliefs (Candomble and Umbanda) are omnipresent and not mutually exclusive.
Unless someone has made a personal choice to convert to another religion, I think most people will answer a questionnaire with the religion in which they were raised, whether or not they are regular practitioners, and this in most cases is that of their parents and families.
This is the kind of thing I mean by personal experience here, and yes indeed, it is rather subjective, but then so are most people's personal beliefs, which is precisely why it is so difficult to quantify them.
In terms of statistics, I quote what is available, and, preferably, recent. I guess the Times, as a publisher, must be a very dubious source, but I have none better to hand.

Posted on 27 Jun 2012 15:57:33 BDT
"The general impression one has from one's own personal experience ... is probably a rather better indicator than the statistics themselves."


In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 16:28:48 BDT
"Here in Brazil, most people have been baptised into the RC Church, but not so many are weekly attenders"

I, along with everyone I know, was baptised (not all at the same time, that would be silly, although not as silly as thinking dunking a babies head in some water a vicar has mumbled over grants them some kind of special protection but hey ho), the split of believers in this group is roughly 75% atheist to 25% theist. In the most part it is a child that is baptised and that child has no choice in the matter, that decision is made by their parents, hell my parents aren't even religous but I was baptised because it was the done thing in the early 80's. So with this in mind counting the number of people baptised will not give you an accurate reflection on number of believers, church attendance would be a much better measure of this.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 02:26:07 BDT
Andy etc. - "counting the number of people baptised will not give you an accurate reflection on number of believers, church attendance would be a much better measure of this."

Your point about baptism (as well as confirmation/ 1st communion) as an indicator of belief is precisely what I was trying to point out, but also the fact that may so-called "believers" demonstrate only sporadic or rare church attendance, so this is not a reliable indicator either. As a result, any statistics on religious belief probably don't mean very much.
As you point out, many parents who are not particularly religious still baptise their children purely out of convention and not for religious reasons.

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 02:59:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 06:20:51 BDT
Pendragon - MYRRH & ALOES

I can't find the previous reference again.
I stated previously that another reference might come from an apocryphal gospel and found it in Graves' "Nazarene Gospel".
Ch. XLVIII (446) "And on the morrow Nakemidam [Nicodemus] shewed them [Mary the Braider and the other Mary] an hundred pound weight of myrrh mixed with aloes, with which they should anoint the body of Jesus when the Sabbath was ended."
In this version, Nicodemus pays the Roman soldiers, who take down the body from the cross, to wrap the body with ointment and lay him in the tomb on the sabbath eve, "lest we be defiled".
Furthermore, it is the curious watchmen who roll away the stone from the tomb, later giving the feeble excuse to their officer that "the earth trembled". Jesus "came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes, and his face bound about with a napkin", exactly like Lazarus.
"Then the officer, knowing that it was Jesus and no spirit ... "!

Wherever there is some ambiguity in the canonical Gospels, I almost always find it informative to make a comparison with this version.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 09:20:00 BDT
CAS - "Nobody has yet come up for a viable radiation cause. Exactly."

You forgot to answer my last question "IS GUINNESS GOOD (FOR YOU)?" ;)

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 09:29:55 BDT
Pendragon says:

We have talked about Graves' "Nazarene Gospel" before. It is not a gospel. Nor is it an apocryphal gospel. Graves wrote it in the mid 20th century to express his own interpretation of the NT story, with a good many features that he simply made up and added in (like Jesus not dying on the cross, but much later in Rome). It is closer to the Da Vinci Code than to anything you will find in an ancient text.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 10:51:40 BDT
There are also parents in the UK who want to get their children into church schools due to their academic record and in order to do so will start attending church. i think Christening is seen by some as part of this 'procedure'.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 22:40:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Jun 2012 03:46:14 BDT
Pendragon - "We have talked about Graves' "Nazarene Gospel" before."

Though I have not had access to the full annotated edition, "The Nazarene Gospel Restored", it is alleged to be drawn (by Joshua Podro) entirely from Aramaic and Hebrew sources preserved from oral tradition (just like the canonical Gospels) by the Apostolic Church of Jerusalem, and therefore should, in theory, be closer to the original tradition and freer of equivocal translations than the Bible. Of course it must have been influenced by the personal views and beliefs of its authors, but what gospel is not?
My understanding of the word gospel is any relation of the story of Jesus including the ministry and the passion, and my understanding of the word apocryphal is anything that is not included in the canon, so that I include under this description not only the ancient apocrypha, but also modern and akashic works such as Levi Dowling's, Ousely's, Szekely's and Steiner's, but unaccountably, for some reason I hesitate to include the derivative and poorly-written "Autobiography of Jesus" and even Grave's own eclectic and unsourced "King Jesus", though all of these may have some bearing on our understanding of the story and its message.
As for Jesus going to Rome, I can't imagine where this comes from, for "The Nazarene Gospel" has Ch. LI entitled "How he departed unto the land of Nod", in which it states:
(465) "But Jesus gat him from the Land of Israel, he and Mary [of Bethany] his sister-wife, and John the son of Annas went with him a part of the way.
And he came to the Land of Nod, where are many Israelites which dwell under the rule of the Parthians.
There was he a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, and returned not again unto his own people."
This is in agreement (to some extent) with the various accounts of Jesus in India after the crucifixion.
In both "The Nazarene Gospel" and Notovitch, it is not Pilate who washes his hands, but Nicodemus ("Bunni was called Nikemidam of all the people, which is 'Innocent of Blood'") and the priests and elders respectively.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012 16:25:40 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Miraculous? No.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2012 16:54:06 BDT
Pendragon says:

"alleged to be drawn (by Joshua Podro) entirely from Aramaic and Hebrew sources preserved from oral tradition ... by the Apostolic Church of Jerusalem".

What and where are these sources? Why does no-one else make use of them?

Sorry, so far as I can see this is just Graves fiction drawing on some well known and other imagined sources. No wonder that it is seldom referred to, and never in any book I have read referenced.

"As for Jesus going to Rome, I can't imagine where this comes from ...".

Since I do not have a copy of the book you have the advantage of me, but you should be able to "imagine where this comes from". I have commented to you before (31 May 2012, on thread "The best atheist quotes to challenge the religious mind" page 124) that:

"... a look at the Robert Graves org website indicates that, amongst other things, in the book Graves maintains that Jesus engineered his own death to satisfy certain prophecies of Zechariah, and that Jesus did not die on the cross and appeared later in Rome. Hmmm.


Land of Nod? Isn't that where little children go when they fall asleep?

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 02:50:31 BDT
Pendragon - "What and where are these sources? Why does no-one else make use of them?"

Perhaps the Church of Jerusalem is regarded by the establishment as non-Christian and therefore a heretical source, though why this should be more so than the gnostic Nag Hammadi library, I cannot think.
Biblical texts have all sorts of strange geographical names and the Land of Nod is just one of them. [Wiki] "The Land of Nod (Hebrew: eretz-Nod‎, ארץ נוד) is a place in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, located "on the east of Eden" (qidmat-`Eden), to which Cain chose to flee after murdering his brother Abel." ... "The first recorded use of the phrase to mean "sleep" comes from Jonathan Swift in his Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation (1737)[3] and Gulliver's Travels. "
The word Nod, in Hebrew, means "wanderer, exile or fugitive." See my previous quote from TNG. In other words, it was the land of exile.

I seem to recollect that I did recently locate an online version of the text (without the notes) and even post a link, but I can no longer find it.
See extracts from the critique below.
"The Nazarene Gospel Restored (published by Cassell, London, 1953; and Doubleday in New York, 1954) is one of the most difficult (but not *the* most difficult) of Graves' works to find. Estimates as to how many were printed vary: the largest estimate I have come across is 5,000 copies in all."

"Jesus in Rome is, like The Nazarene Gospel Restored, not a work of fiction, and also co-authored with Joshua Podro (published by Cassell in 1957). It might be regarded as an extended addendum to the earlier study of the Gospels."

"Maccoby contributed a paper to the first issue of Gravesiana (June 1996)"

"in The Nazarene Gospel Restored. Instead, Jesus is simply an apocalyptic Jew, whose aim is to fulfil the prophecies of the Old Testament about the coming of a human liberating Messiah, and thereby [to] release his people from slavery to Rome. His death comes about not in combat with the Goddess, but with the imperial power of Rome.

Maccoby also throws light on the poor reception accorded to The Nazarene Gospel Restored, pointing out that

From the standpoint of New Testament scholarship, The Nazarene Gospel Restored belongs to ... the Tuebingen school founded by F. C. Baur. This school of thought builds on the insight that the early Christian Church was split into two warring factions, the Jerusalem Church (sometimes called the Petrine Church) and the Pauline, or Gentile Church. ....The Jewish-Christians of the Jerusalem Church, on this view, regarded themselves as part of the general Jewish community, not as a new religion. They saw Jesus as a human Messiah... who never claimed divinity.... The Pauline Church on the other hand, had turned Jesus from a Jewish messiah into a Hellenistic saviour-god, substituting mystical identification with the death of the god for the Jewish belief in the revelation on Mount Sinai.... "

"The book is also short on the kind of scholarly apparatus one might expect in a work of New Testament exegesis. This has led some readers of the book to doubt that Graves worked from a base of thorough knowledge of his sources. Maccoby argues that the contrary is true, a fact which was shown by the libel action taken out against the Times Literary Supplement, which had published a hostile anonymous review. This review 'was followed by a correspondence in which the reviewer accused Graves of deliberately falsifying the Greek of a New Testament text. Graves was able to show that his textual scholarship was far superior to that of the reviewer, who had failed to take into account some important textual variations. The TLS eventually published an apololgy and the libel action was never taken to court'. Original sources are cited fully, but Graves was reluctant to become involved in dull exchanges with the views of other scholars: the consequence is that it has been too easy for scholars to dismiss the importance of the book. "

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 03:13:21 BDT
CAS - "Miraculous? No. "

Surviving flogging and crucifixion seems pretty "miraculous" to me. Try it for yourself!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2012 09:43:45 BDT
C. A. Small says:
MLJ- only it didn't happen- unless you have some evidence that it did?

Posted on 1 Jul 2012 17:09:36 BDT
Spin says:
Where is the evidence that American troops tortured prisoners at Guantanomo bay? Where is the evidence that the british tortured german POWS? Be serious. Torture is never recorded for public records. (And I do not think Romans had cameras in those days). Archeology has shown the bones of the crucified vistims to reveal scars, marks and cuts consistent with torture of various kinds. Roman annals describe the process and methods of torture. It is hard to believe the Romans refrained from thier brutality for the sake of one individual. It is possible to survive a brutal flogging but not without medical attention. If one is crucified after flogging, one dies relatively quickly. In normal circumstances a healthy body would take 7+ days to die on a cross, Jesus died quickily because of his previous wounds. His torn flesh rubbing against the wood as he lifted and lowered himself on the cross in an attempt to ease the alternating pain in his wrists and feet. The amount of blood on the Shroud and the Sudarium is astonishing. Whoever this man on the shroud was, he suffered terribly.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 21:44:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jul 2012 09:30:48 BDT
CAS - "only it didn't happen- unless you have some evidence that it did?"

What didn't happen? Roman floggings and crucifixions? There is rather a lot of evidence that they did!
Any survivors probably wouldn't have been documented. It would have been an admission of gross inefficiency by the soldiers in charge and the victim's friends would want to keep it secret.
As for the Shroud, the questions are whether it represents a real crucifixion victim or a mock-up, and when and how. If it is a real burial shroud, then why was it removed from the body instead of decomposing along with the corpse, as is the usual custom? If it is an imitation, then we should be able to replicate ALL its unique features and explain how, when and why it was made.

Nor did Oswald shoot JFK - unless you have some special evidence of this, but Kennedy is dead and the legend survives.

BTW what evidence do you have that it didn't happen (whatever IT was)?

Posted on 2 Apr 2013 17:53:26 BDT
Was it only a year ago that we were last discussing the Turin Shroud?
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Initial post:  6 Apr 2011
Latest post:  2 Apr 2013

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