Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do You Believe In Magic? Then What Are You Doing Here?

The BBC reports on a 1st Century Common Era burial shroud just unearthed by archeologist.

A team of archaeologists and scientists says it has, for the first time, found pieces of a burial shroud from the time of Jesus in a tomb in Jerusalem.

The researchers, from Hebrew University and institutions in Canada and the US, said the shroud was very different from the controversial Turin Shroud.

Some people believe the Turin Shroud to have been Christ's burial cloth, but others believe it is a fake.

The newly found cloth has a simpler weave than Turin's, the scientists say.

The body of a man wrapped in fragments of the shroud was found in a tomb dating from the time of Jesus near the Old City of Jerusalem.

The tomb is part of a cemetery called the Field of Blood, where Judas Iscariot is said to have killed himself.

The researchers believe the man was a Jewish high priest or member of the aristocracy who died of leprosy, the earliest proven case.

They say he was wrapped in a cloth made of a simple two-way weave, very different to the complex weave of the Turin Shroud.

The researchers believe that the fragments are typical of the burial cloths used at the time of Jesus.

As a result, they conclude that the Turin Shroud did not originate from 1st Century Jerusalem.

The Turin Shroud has been the subject of much controversy.

Tests 20 years ago dated the fabric to the Middle Ages, but believers say the cloth bears the imprint of a man's face that is an authentic image of Christ.


The BBC is overly kind in reporting the controversy. On one side there is the hard science that dated the Shroud of Turin to the middle ages. Now there is an actual shroud dating to the early part of the 1st Century of the Common Era. That shroud bears no resemblance to the shroud of Turin. It is of a much simpler weave. Thus we now have at least two hard science reasons to dismiss the shroud of Turin as authentic.

What is on the other side? People's belief. Any hard evidence? Sorry, none of that please, we are devout Roman Catholics. The best possible scenario is that the faithful of Turin somehow had the original but natural processes of decay destroyed the relic. A new shroud was then made to replace the old one. This is not a very likely scenario but it is best possible one for the faithful. More likely it was a purpose made fraud. It was once said that there were enough pieces of the true cross floating around Europe in the Middle Ages to build a house. Sorry, but science trumps faith almost every day of the week except Sunday.
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