Not the Real Face of Jesus

I was annoyed and surprised to learn from a publicist that this weekend the History Channel is airing a programme named “The Real Face of Jesus” that takes a credulous approach to the shroud of Turin. The shroud is a 14th century fake relic, as has been well documented by historical sources and radiocarbon analysis. Here’s a quick machine-assisted translation of a 2004 article I wrote on the subject.


The shroud of Turin, a linen cloth, 4.5 x 1.2 m, with the image of a wounded male body. The wounds are consistent with the New Testament’s portrayal of the last days and death of Jesus of Nazareth. The cloth depicts both the body’s front and back as if it had been folded over the body which then made an instant impression in light brown where it touched the fabric, almost like a photographic film. The body’s sides do not appear as they would if the cloth had been wrapped around a corpse. The fabric has been radiocarbon-dated to AD 1260-1390. This date coincides with the first written mention of the cloth from AD 1357. At the time it was displayed in a small church built for that purpose by Geoffrey de Charny at Lirey in northern France. Subsequently, the cloth has been kept in the Italian city of Turin.

Many have wanted to believe, or even do so still, that the cloth is the shroud of Jesus. The skilfully crafted cloth is in fact a piece of Medieval church art, or, put less favourably, a counterfeit relic. It is based on the same idea as the legend of St. Veronica’s veil, which tells of a woman who dabbed at Jesus’ face on his way to Calvary, whereupon his image appeared on the cloth. This story too inspired Medieval relic makers. Those who believe that the shroud of Turin is Jesus’ shroud assume that it is identical to a shroud that allegedly disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204, and that the cloth was nearly 1200 years old even then. The shroud of Constantinople and other pictorial cloths mentioned during the Middle Ages should rather be seen as members of the same artefact type as the shroud of Turin, that is, as evidence that the shroud of Jesus was an established type among the era’s relic manufacturers. Already upon the shroud’s original display in Lirey the area’s bishop demanded that it be removed because it was in his opinion a forgery.

During the Middle Ages, relics of popular saints could attract huge numbers of pilgrims to a church and thus also generate huge revenues. The most prominent example is Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. The city became one of the Christian world’s main pilgrimages thanks to an unlikely story that Jesus’ scantily documented brother James had been buried there. Perhaps Geoffrey de Charny had similar hopes for his church and its relic. But Lirey remained a small village.


I’ve never watched the History Channel. But I’ve reviewed two pretty poor archaeology specials of theirs (here & here) that they sent me on DVD. And now this: endorsing mistaken beliefs on a long-settled issue. Tell me, Dear Reader – isn’t the History Channel kinda crap?

Update 4 April: Lots of hits and comments on this one! Looking at the reactions, it’s almost as if I had questioned some central tenet of Christianity. Actually, I reject all supernatural tenets of all religions — but there’s nothing about that issue in the above blog entry. It’s about the date of a certain piece of linen fabric. Despite what the History Channel might say (I’m in Sweden and I don’t subscribe to cable), there is no non-religious reason to question the radiocarbon analyses. The samples were not taken from secondary repair threads, and the idea of smoke contamination is a piece of special pleading that professional archaeologists and radiocarbon analysts do not accept. It was the subject of one of creationist Dimitri Kouznetsov’s fraudulent papers. And anyway: even if a person is a devout Christian, they needn’t believe that the shroud of Turin is more than 700 years old. Many large sects within that religion in fact stress the importance of faith without proof. To such a theology, hanging on to the shroud of Turin is a mark of weak faith.

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394 thoughts on “Not the Real Face of Jesus

  1. BTW yeah a scientist recreated it:

    “Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.

    They placed a linen sheet flat over a volunteer and then rubbed it with a pigment containing traces of acid. A mask was used for the face.

    PIGMENT, BLOODSTAINS AND SCORCHES

    The pigment was then artificially aged by heating the cloth in an oven and washing it, a process which removed it from the surface but left a fuzzy, half-tone image similar to that on the Shroud. He believes the pigment on the original Shroud faded naturally over the centuries.

    They then added blood stains, burn holes, scorches and water stains to achieve the final effect”

    This is the work of a man, professor or Organic Chemistry, from the twenty first century who went to a University studied Chemistry with the knowledge and technology available only in the twenty and twenty first century.

    Let’s use common sense in this: how many people during medieval times, with the knowledge available to medieval people, under the circumstances of the medieval times where people were highly supersticious and they did not have a notion about what it was going to happen centuries later, and with the ignorance from those days, would have come up with this “tecnical” way of forgery? I don’t think anyone. Why doing a complicate mix of blood, etc., if you can paint it? I mean do you think they knew that today we were going to have the technology to discover when something was not painted? How they knew that photography was going to be created and they had to come up with a forgery as a negative? They could have had the materials but they didn’t have enough knowledge to know that centuries later we were going to have such advanced technology to discover from the type of blood to the negative image.

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  2. mfm,

    Well, regarding your claim that “Every test that has been performed on the shroud

    showed that it is not a medieval fake. The blood has been proven to be real,

    composed of hemoglobin and gave positive for serum albumin and from the AB

    blood type — confirmed by numerous tests.” you are apparently in error, according to

    the researchers who actually did the tests. Please see:

    http://www.factsplusfacts.com/shroud-of-turin-blood.htm wherin the following

    appears:

    ” Ray Rogers (see curriculum vitae summary below) responds to the question:

    “How do you know that there is real blood on the Shroud?”

    Alan Adler was an expert on porphyrins, the types of colored compounds seen in

    blood, chlorophyll, and many other natural products. He and Dr. John Heller,

    MD, studied the blood flecks on the STURP sampling tapes [Heller and Adler,

    Applied Optics 19, (16) 1980]. They converted the heme into its parent

    porphyrin, and they interpreted the spectra taken of blood spots by Gilbert

    and Gilbert. They concluded that the blood flecks are real blood. In addition

    to that, the x-ray-fluorescence spectra taken by STURP showed excess iron in

    blood areas, as expected for blood. Microchemical tests for proteins were

    positive in blood areas but not in any other parts of the Shroud.

    Several claims have been made that the blood has been found to be type AB, and

    claims have been made about DNA testing. We sent blood flecks to the

    laboratory devoted to the study of ancient blood at the State University of

    New York. None of these claims could be confirmed. The blood appears to be so

    old that the DNA is badly fragmented. Dr. Andrew Merriwether at SUNY has said

    that “… anyone can walk in off the street and amplify DNA from anything. The

    hard part is not to amplify what you don’t want and only amplify what you want

    (endogenous DNA vs contamination).” It is doubtful that good DNA analyses can

    be obtained from the Shroud.

    It is almost certain that the blood spots are blood, but no definitive

    statements can be made about its nature or provenience, i.e., whether it is

    male and from the Near East.”

    Now, mfm, please try not to make claims so easily to prove wrong when engaging

    in a discussion such as this. As a matter of fact, you should go to the site

    linked above and read it carefully and you may actually have more information

    to justify your position. You certainly would become better informed about a

    subject that you currently are not.

    Here’s the “acid” test of the shroud’s authenticity: If it is really the

    shroud of Jesus of Nazrath AND if he is the son of God and actually Lord,

    whose blood can wash away all sins, it surely should have the power to heal.

    This test would therefore determine the truth: Allow a thousand terminally ill

    blind and deaf patients to touch the “blood”. If all 1,000 are immediately

    and completely healed, then the authenticity of the shroud could be claimed.

    Anything less would indicate fraud.

    Now as to your further claims regarding Luigi Garlaschelli’s “shroud” image. All of the materials he used were easily obtainable by artists in the Middle ages and, in fact, were often used by artists. The “negative” image has nothing to do with the invention of photography. The phenomenon of “negative” and “positive” are facts of physics, albeit arrived at in by different methods.

    It is quite possible that the shroud indeed does show the image of a crucified human, but even if that is so, there is no way other than the “acid test” to prove that it is the burial cloth of Jesus. It would be interesting to see the results of a test wherein currently expired humans would be similarly covered in linen cloth for three days and then see if an image would appear years later on the cloths. I personally also would be intrigued should dna ever be successfully gleaned from the blood on the shroud, to see it compared with the dna of hereditary lines of claimed descendants.

    Again, see my earlier posts regarding the nonsense of survival beyond physical life. Without proof of survival, nay, even without logical argument showing likelyhood of survival, all religious dogma falls to ground as false and the whole subject becomes as moot as moot can be.

    As far as your bible is concerned, again, I must direct you to “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine. I have said many times over the last 50 years that the most miraculous thing about christianity is that anyone could still beleive in it after reading Age of Reason

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  3. I actully watched the face of jesus. I thought it was prety creepy but, it was so fake i Guess cause it didnt seem true. Plus dated age of it says it all.

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  4. the reason the carbon dating does not date back to Jesus time is because they took pieces from the part that had been exposed to the fire that occured in the year of its carbon testing result. they had not taken a piece from other parts that were not exposed or less exposed because they did not want to ruin it.

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  5. Crystal,
    By your comment you have admitted that you have not read all the above posts. It would not matter if the carbon dating fixed the age of the cloth at 2010 years old, it would prove nothing. Religion is supersition. Anyone with a lick of common sense who has also studied the worlds major religions will eventually come to the inescapable conclusion: All religions are false. You may wonder how all the people in your life that you consider wise can express belief in your religion, but consider the geography of religion. Had you been born in Saudi Arabia, you would be Muslim. If India, you would most likely be Hindu. Ad Nauseum, ad Infinitum. Go and read Age of Reason by Thomas Paine and then come back and discuss the Bible as a “revelation” of god’s word. The shroud may well be that of a crucified man, but even if it is, it is of no consequence.

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  6. It’s amazing on how many people find a surmountatble amount of excuses or theories on how and why they are non-believers. But what non-believers and believers dont realize is that evidence is there and yet do not believe. There are a ton of non-believers who believe in the supernatural, ghosts and such that catch and strikes their curiosity. They believe in Ghost, they dont see them but let them make a noise and, or experience something unexplained and the tables turn. If you believe in Ghost’s which are supernatural, then you must understand that GOD exist for HE is SUPERNATURAL. Believers we sometimes say we believe but have many doubts because we listen to others that do not believe, or seem to make a point that changes our minds. GOD does his work for those who choose to listen and have an open sometimes the answers are right in front of us, but refuse to embrace the thruth. Therefore making excuses to why it cannot be true. As far as Carbon Dating goes, watch the show and they themselves will tell you that the piece of shroud that was taken to test it was inconsistent. Because they picked up a piece that was not of the original shroud.

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  7. Gustavo,

    You really need to review the rules of logic, specifically as to major and minor premise and the need for there to actually be a connection between them and the conclusion. For your elucidation, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

    You posit that if one believes in ghosts (which I do not) that God must exist. I have not seen a flimsier argument with less intellectual support since I was in the first grade. In fact, look at your use of the word “supernatural”. The FACT is that something either exists or it does not. If it exists, it is natural. “Supernatural” is impossible, only ignorance of what naturally exists explains what one might call “supernatural”.

    Once again we see a post from someone who has neglected to read the entire thread prior to exposing his ignorance by suggesting that we should believe in the rantings of mortals who knew not of the existence of germs, believed in all sorts of magic and wondered who had hidden the sun every night.

    Again as I posted just above at 355, ” The shroud may well be that of a crucified man, but even if it is, it is of no consequence. ”

    Read the whole post at 355 ( better yet, read the entire thread) and tell me where you were born and the religion of your parents and I will tell you your own religion with 99% accuracy. Just consider: how in the world could your parents and everyone else you know and love be so stupid as to believe in a god that does not exist in any form posited by their religion. Then consider the fact that out of an estimated 6.5 BILLION humans on earth, only about 39% claim to be Christian. Gee, isn’t that a little lopsided after only 2,000 years? My belief is that ALL religions are false. Compare the beliefs of the major religions and you will see that they are not reconcilable, which is due to the fact that all of them began with superstition. If Christanity is the one true way to salvation (Whatever that is), then your god has done a crappy job of salesmanship.

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  8. Wow, I haven’t been on this site for months, and I come back to find the discussion still going.

    For those atheists who don’t believe that Jesus existed, check out this article:

    http://www.leaderu.com/theology/burialcave.html

    At the turn of the century, an archeologist discovered coffins of first-century Christians in Jerusalem. Many of these stone coffins (ossuaries) were engraved with a cross and the name “Yeshua”, Jesus. In addition, many of the names on these coffins were people who were mentioned in the New Testament – Lazarus, Mary, Martha, Simon Peter, etc.

    These people were real. They lived and died. So, if Jesus didn’t exist, why would they have His name and the sign of the cross on their coffins? Because He did exist. They knew Him, walked with Him, listened to His teachings. He made an impact on them and changed their lives, just as He is changing lives today.

    Think about it. When Jesus was arrested, stood trial, and was crucified, his disciples scattered and hid. Not one of them stood with him, not one dared brave death to defend Him. Even Peter, who was one of the closest to Him, denied that he even knew Jesus, not once, but three times. They were left confused and doubting because their Teacher had been killed, the one they thought was the Messiah who had come to save them.

    And yet, weeks later, this same terrified, confused band of people are boldly preaching about Jesus on the streets. What changed? There certainly wasn’t any personal gain; in fact, quite the opposite. They knew they faced certain imprisonment and death for even speaking His name. So why would they do that? Because they knew the truth, and the truth set them free!

    Early Christians faced horrible prosecution for their beliefs. They were tortured and murdered. If you and your entire family (children included) were facing death and had any doubt that Jesus did not live and did not die and did not rise again, you would recant your beliefs to save your lives. But they knew the truth because they were there and saw the miracles that Jesus did. They saw the empty tomb. They had first hand knowledge that He is who He said, the Son of God.

    You need to face the facts. You’re being blinded by Satan, who doesn’t want you to see the truth. Jesus exists. God exists. Get your head out of the sand and repent while there is still time. Jesus’ return is imminent. It’s time to get right or get left behind.

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  9. If we’re to believe the Gospels, that’s what the man himself said 2000 years ago. I think that qualifies as a falsified prophecy.

    One day is as a thousand years with the Lord. And just how long have you been studying Biblical prophesy?

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  10. As far as your bible is concerned, again, I must direct you to “The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine. I have said many times over the last 50 years that the most miraculous thing about christianity is that anyone could still beleive in it after reading Age of Reason.

    To me, the most miraculous thing about atheism is that anyone could still believe that God does not exist after reading the Bible!

    The Age of Reason is one man’s opinion, as he himself states from the very first sentence. It’s not truth, and it’s not fact. Undoubtedly, Mr. Paine’s opinions were highly influenced by his experience with organized religion and the abuses that he witnessed.

    Please note, there is a huge difference between organized religion and a personal relationship with God. Even Jesus decried the organized religion of His day, condemning them for their injustices and hypocrisy.

    There are many who go through the motions, who adhere to the rituals and rules of their religious organizations and think that it is enough. However going to church or cathedral doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a Cadillac.

    Mr. Paine’s ramblings are those of someone who has become disillusioned by his religion (as are yours, John). The problem begins when you look to man for answers and put your faith and trust in priest, ministers, pastors, preachers. Men will fail, and men will fall. God will not.

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  11. I need to correct an error in my post #358 above. The discovery of the ossuaries of the early Christians and St. Peter in Jerusalem was in the 1950s, not the turn of the century. Sorry about that!

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  12. Lisa, I never said Jesus did not exist. I propose that even if he was a real person, that he was no more the

    son of god than I or any other man, or in your case, the daughter of god. And if you want to understand the

    problem with believing anything in the bible is the word of god, then you really should research the Council of

    Nicaea, and become enlightened. Now you bring up satan. Since your so called god is the author of all that

    exists, then he/she must have created satan as well as everything else. What’s that? you say? satan turned

    against the perfect creator that can do no wrong? That god created satan with the possibility that satan

    would turn against him? Only an idiot could believe that ton of crap. You can’t have it both ways: God is

    perfect, but satan, whom he created is, evil. Balderdash! Oh, but yes! you profess to believe in one god, but

    then speak of God, Jesus, and the holy ghost which, if you were paying attention, are three separate gods. Regarding satan, please familiarize yourself with Samuel Clemens “Letters From the Earth”.

    And Mia, if you have REALLY studied biblical prophecy as you would like us to believe, rather than just

    accepting the crap your preacher feeds you every Sunday, you would know that the “prophecies” that are

    noted in the bible that supposedly foretold Jesus coming, were all fulfilled long before he was born and had

    nothing to do with Jesus himself.

    Back to Lisa: I read the bible cover to cover in the fashion of a novel 13 times straight through over 50 years ago. I also studied many biblical reference books, including Moody’s. Not stopping there, I also studied the Veda, the Koran, the Analects, The Avestas, Purvas, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, and even the book of Mormon and the texts of various other Christian related sects, and this is just a partial list of my studies. How many of these have you studied? My guess is that you stopped with the old and new testaments.

    Lisa you claim not to look to man for answers, but men wrote the bible as they also wrote all of the other texts I referenced above. Your “personal” relationship with god is a figment of your imagination. Of course, you can look at the stars and feel wonder. Of course you can have an “epiphany”, but you can have the same experience if you suffer from a lack of oxygen. There is no personality without life, and once dead, you are gone forever. You will enjoy only the non existence you had prior to your birth.

    You state that your god will not fall. He already has: see above re: the creation of satan.

    Oh, and Go and read the texts I listed above, and you will begin to recognize that most of them read much like your bible, and are as likely to be believable to someone whose experience is limited to that point of view alone, but you will also see that all have a very different view of god or gods as the case may be. How do you know you have the “right” one? (Remember, lack of oxygen can result from hyperventilation).

    I must again postulate: all religions are false. And from your last comment above separating “organized religion” from personal religion, I detect that you are beginning to arrive at that conclusion yourself. You just need to make the next step. I should warn you, however, that publicly identifying yourself as a non- believer will have severe consequences (though not as severe as if you were denouncing islam). You would find out very quickly just how “christian” some of your friends and family are as they distance themselves from you.

    You could call me a hypocrite, but I have many christian friends who have no idea of my personal beliefs. I can say many blessings, know the words to many hymns, and christmas remains one of my favorite holidays, but for reasons other than religious ones. I decorate a tree every year and enjoy it immensely, even though I know in my heart that once I lay down for the last time that my race will surely be done. But until then, life is good.

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  13. Well, John. Tell you what. You enjoy your Godless, hopeless life and your non-existence after you’re dead. I hope those work out for you.

    As for me, I’m enjoying my life of peace, joy, hope, and love that comes from knowing God, and I’m definitely looking forward to an eternity spent with Him and my loved ones.

    To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t trade my beliefs for yours for all the riches of the world!

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  14. Lisa,
    I must disagree with your assessment of my life. I am in my 70’s and have had so far a wonderful life. I have enjoyed my life immensely and have gleaned the most enjoyment from my family and friends, but especially charitable work, with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, an organization with deep roots in profession of faith in god, but that is no obstacle to one who believes in the intrinsic value of any organization that teaches self reliance and leadership skills. As far as happiness goes, I have known many highly religious folks who were very unhappy.

    Just think about the big picture: We have very good evidence that it is likely to the point of near certainty that there are not just thousands, but millions or even billions of stars like our sun with planets like ours that most likely support life of some form. Only a closed minded dolt would reject the near certainty that intelligent life must have evolved on millions of these earthlike planets. One must wonder what god they might worship. If one ascribes to your version of god and jesus and the big spook, then jesus must have been very busy travelling from planet to planet millions of times, getting his divine self crucified over and over. Now there’s something to ponder……

    Or are you one of those fanatics who believes that dinosaur bones were placed around the earth by satan in order to confuse us????? If so, you have already sipped the koolaid….

    But then, as far as trading beliefs goes, you also have already exhibited that you are one in whom the seeds of doubt have been growing for some time by your veiled indictment of “organized religion”.

    As before, It is most likely that the shroud is a fake, but even if it is not, it is of no consequence, as all religions are false.

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  15. John, God did not create evil, as you claim. Evil is not a “thing” that it can be created, like a tree or a mountain or a flower. Evil is the absences of good, just as darkness is not a thing in itself, but is the absence of light.

    Yes, God created Lucifer, an angel of light. He did not create him (or us either) to be an automaton, blindly following orders, without a choice. Instead He gave him (and us) a free will because He wanted him to choose to serve Him freely, just as we have that choice.

    When Lucifer decided that he wanted to be above God, he was removed from Heaven and removed from God’s presence. Evil entered into Lucifer because evil is the absence of good. Evil is the absence of God!

    As for the universe, I don’t know that there is life on other planets or not, and neither do you. (You claim not to believe in God or ghosts, but you believe in aliens?) Perhaps there are other intelligent life forms and perhaps there aren’t. (I happen to think that there very well may be.) If there are, it is rather ludicrous to assume or to even suggest that their civilizations and experiences would mirror our own. Earthlings sold out to Lucifer and needed redemption. That doesn’t mean that all life forms in the universe did.

    I’m sincerely glad that you have had a wonderful life. And just as sincerely, I pray that you decide to have a wonderful afterlife as well.

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  16. I just watched this program – nowhere in it did the researchers claim that the Shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus. It was perhaps implied but not explicitly stated. Religious commentarians concluded that it was – but Ray Downing who was the main animator on the project was simply extracting an image from the cloth. It was fascinating to watch the process. Am I believer in God? Yes I am. But this documentary didn’t make me believe. There are tons of questions regarding the authenticity of the shroud. Do I believe it is the burial cloth of Christ? I am not sure. But the process that was used to create the image was certainly educational.

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  17. NO THIS IS NOT THE REAL FACE OF JESUS

    Here is what you have discovered instead.

    You have created an image of a Semite, Turkish, and Edomite etc., archetype instead. THIS IS NOT THE IMAGE OF JESUS (YASHUA).

    When you have read the Bible and write articles about it and the original bloodlines on earth as I am, what glares at me is that this image you created is modeled after a Semite, Turkish, Edomite Archetype who are also connected with the Hyksos, Apiru, Indian Adams. This dark hair dark eyed people group bred with the Scandinavian populations in Israel and southwestern Russia to become the Ashkenazim, Sephardic Jews also known as the Khazar and Zionist Jews.

    JESUS WAS NOT A JEW. If you actually DO YOUR HOMEWORK you will realize that Jesus was born and bred a Nazarene and Mary was from Migdal, both groups are associated with the Magdalénien Era in southwestern Europe before and during the last ice age. The Nazarenes were a SCANDINAVIAN TRIBE.

    It is no surprise that the Knights Templar had this artifact, which makes it suspicious in and of itself.

    Today the AshkeNAZIM, Sephardic, Zionist Jews are busy “Copy Pasting” Jesus (Yashua) into their bloodline in many different ways. They are doing it in the Holy Grail series as well. They are part of the Serpent Bloodline who are still misleading the public as to who Jesus (Yashua) really was. Hitler was an AshkeNAZIM Jew who was busy creating his own version of the blonde blue-eyed Aryan Race. The Bible, as misleading as it is, clearly describes Jesus (Yashua) as a Nazarene from Nazareth who was hated and killed by the Jews who never thought of him as their messiah.

    Wherever this artifact came from, it is not a depiction of Jesus, whether it came from human or other worldly sources. It is a scam. It is part of what Jesus referred to as the “End Time Deception of Mankind.”

    Buyers Beware

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  18. Dear sirs;
    I think I have a good explanation for the image on the shroud of Turin!
    The image is detailed like a photograph, a 3-D image of a body and milimeter-deep on the surface of the cloth.

    This seems to me to represent alpha-particle damage of the cellolose tissue. Perhaps the body was embalmbed then covered in radio-active mud ( or oils), and then the image appeared due to the radioactivity over time.

    Has anyone covered a mold in a radioactive paste then covered it with linen to see if a superficial image appears??

    Rgds
    Brian Derby

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  19. Brian,

    Why don’t you get some “radioactive paste” and perform the experiment yourself? Now, before you go and irradiate yourself, allow me to explain to you why your experiment is unnecessary. First (and last) the shroud most certainly DOES NOT contain a 3-d image. It has a 2-d image. The process whereby a “3-d” image was produced is much the same as the process by which 3-d movies are created from 2-d movies ( See http://www.technewsdaily.com/how-hollywood-converts-2-d-silver-into-3-d-gold-0194/ ). By making assumptions based on guessed depth measurements, it is possible to create a 3-d image out of ANY 2-d image, even if the image is only stick figures. In addition, should anyone supply irrefutable evidence that there is no personality survival of humans beyond death, the entire dogma of all religions proposing afterlife would be demonstrated to be false superstition, and theories about such relics as the shroud would have only curious interest.
    Here is such irrefutable proof: The human personality emanates from thought processes in the human brain which in fact are electrical signals within the brain within nerve synapses. This is proven scientific fact. Severe damage to the brain and the circuitry that determines one’s personality, whether by mechanical damage or from disease, such as Alzheimer’s necessarily affects one’s personality which may range from constant melancholy to rage to reduced consciousness. This is also proven scientific fact. Thus, it is proven that the personality, that which defines us as individuals, is dependent on the functioning of the physical brain. You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to understand the impact that this fact has upon the concept of survival of death. The above logic proves that, there is no survival of physical death, hence all religions that include afterlife as a tenet fall to the ground, along with any argument that the shroud could possibly have been wrapped around the earthly body of God, who spends most of his time being a magic man in the sky.

    By the way, stories of faith healings, reincarnation, ghosts and other such drivel abound in all religions, and are oddly provable in none.

    I challenge anyone to refute my logical argument above without expounding on the Bible or any other book of man being a book of God, or by referencing “faith”, which is belief in something without any credible evidence that it is so.

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  20. Although not strongly stated in the documentary, the carbon dating that was done that (proved?) that the shroud was from the middle ages was not a true test. The reason being that the shroud had been damaged and nuns of the middle ages weaved material from that time and that was the piece that was used in the test which made the test totally wrong. The material of the shroud and the pollen found on it were scientifically proved to be from the time of Jesus. It is also true of carbon dating that archeological finds in the nineties had the result that carbon dating is not only wrong, the process involves conjecture and opinion at certain points and that makes it useless.

    After reading some of the posts (sigh) I wish they would read the Bible and see for themselves that there is real joy in having a relationship with Jesus our Saviour and that atheism is the perspective of the lost. While here, there is hope.

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  21. Hope for what? Most atheists I know are pretty cheerful and optimistic. Except that they don’t expect to be conscious after their brains shut down at death. But then, as Epicurus pointed out over 2000 years ago, if you’re not conscious you can’t be conscious of any problems. Kim, your faith will be snuffed out along with your conscience one day, just as it is every night when you fall into dreamless sleep.

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  22. Darwin’s theories don’t explain where matter came from…evolution while remarkable, is only a set within a set…
    The shroud can be dated by multiple other means. You show that your efforts in the area of the shroud are at best superficial.
    If you live to 100 years of age thats only 5200 weeks. You forget your first five years, and most people die in there 80’s. You probably really only get 4200 weeks of life. Thats 4200 Saturdays and Sundays…Enjoy your weekends…..

    Best of luck in your atheistic theories.

    Well studied reluctant Christian.

    :0)

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  23. :0), Would you please include a coherent thought in your next post, because the one above lacks any. Darwin described a theory based on observable facts that are observable by anyone who chooses to repeat his work. He did not endeavor to explain matter, for the best theories regarding that immense subject, you need to consult the work of Albert E. and S. Hawking. Oh, and please read the entire above thread before demonstrating your ignorance regarding the actual reported work by those who have personally examined and attempted to date and determine the origin of the shroud. And so sorry to burst your bubble, but ALL religions are false, there is NO survival of this mortal coil, and you have been had by lies of biblical (I couldn’t help myself) proportion by everyone who has infected your psyche with the promise of everlasting life. Grow up and cast aside those childish fairy tales upon which you have already wasted much of your intellectual life. Now the best to you in your enlightenement.

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  24. Well well well…the guy who apparently knows everything….then why don’t you explain the blood found on the shroud if its fake??

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  25. Good grief, Joy! I’ve bled many times in my 72 years, often getting blood on cloth. If the shroud were created as a fake claiming to be an authentic relic, would not the faker be intelligent enough to add blood in appropriate places? Or even if the shroud was faked by using real crucified corpse, would not there also be blood on it? And lastly, should in the most inconceivable case that the shroud did wrap the body of some poor soul named Jesus who thought he was the son of a virgin, would not there be blood upon it? But even if the last of this list were true, it is not proof of deity of either someone named Jesus or the god of the old testament or new testament, for that matter. Additionally, you might become aware via close scrutiny that these two gods (old and new testament) have been endowed with completely different personalities.
    Now you insultingly describe me as “the guy who knows everything”, a claim I have never and will never make for myself, as in my view it is the superstitious fools who cling to ancient religions in the face of provable facts* that claim to know “everything”. [*For example, the earth has been shown scientifically to be 4,500,000,000 years old, not the 6,000 according to the bible, which majkes the bible wrong by a factor of 750,000 to 1.]

    Now, Joy in order to help you avoid appearing inattentive, I direct you back to my post #352 above wherein I posted the link
    http://www.factsplusfacts.com/shroud-of-turin-blood.htm in which the actual examiners the shroud speak to the “blood” issue.
    Now I state the following: I have strongly held opinions regarding religion, survival, and death. These opinions have resulted from independent study over many years, with not only scientific provability being important, but also what I call the “smell” test. I believe in those things that appear to be most likely, based on the evidence at hand. Using that criteria, all religions stink to high heaven, because to believe in them one must abandon common sense. Please explain a single important tenet of your religious belief that passes the smell test and does not require you to ignore the most likely evidence at hand. Let me help you again: you can’t.

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  26. For proof that we exist after death, read some of the over 2500 near death experiences documented at http://www.nderf.org, particularly the ones at the bottom of this page: http://www.nderf.org/archives_1998_2001.htm and this one experience in particular in which there is physical proof of the experience (many of them have physical proof, but this is a good one): http://www.nderf.org/mary's_NDE.htm

    There is life after after death. Even atheist who have had these experiences have changed their beliefs. They’re amazing and fascinating experiences that medical science cannot explain, though they lamely try to. I challenge you to read them. They’ll change your life and how you view death, religion, and God.

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  27. LISA,
    Regarding the “red sticker” as proof of everlasting life, what we have here is a story told by someone of a “revelation” that they may have had. We have no affidavits of the event from the perspective of the nurses and others, who are presented to us without names (as is the central character). While I agree that there are many coincidences and happenings that seem to be beyond explanation, such stories as this one appear in almost every religion, many of which are in total disagreement with Christianity.
    Going back to Thomas Paine with paraphrase, even if this “lady” did indeed receive a revelation from god, it is not a revelation to anyone else who has not had the same experience. Hearsay evidence of such matters is no evidence at all. According to my logical approach to the matter, which is more likely of the following possibilities?
    1. The story describes the events exactly as they occurred and is true.
    2. The story resulted from a lady’s excruciatingly painful experience which easily could have left her believing the events that flowed out of her subconscious imagination. In her semiconscious recovery period she may have even dreamed of having convinced the nurse to get a ladder and climb up it to see the red sticker.
    3. The entire story was made up out of whole cloth to be used as a tool to convince witless dunderheads of the belief in everlasting life.
    There are many other iterations possible from the proposition given but these three should suffice for an analysis. Now which of the three appears most likely? Number one is the least likely, given the lack of specifics as to names, dates, and the great leap of illogic that is required to believe it. Number 2 is possible, much more so than number one. As we have discussed earlier, when under severe stress, the mind often conjures illogical concepts as a result of stress induced dementia. I have seen dementia first hand in people and I can testify that they really believe their hallucinations to be true. But given the way the story reads, it most reminds me of the fraudulent emails that clog up the internet, most of which begin by claiming to be “true” and confirmed by Snopes, which of course they are not. Applying my “most likely” smell test, the “red sticker” story is most likely a bald faced lie and is not “evidence” of anything but the gullibility of those who choose to believe it because it parallels their own personally held, but not logically examined beliefs.

    Reading through the other source you cite ( NDERF (1998-2001) ) I am left with the same impression: A nice list of personal testimonials reminiscent of the 19th century advertisement for the drink Postum, wherein the fan claims “I could digest a brick if only I had my Postum to drink with it”. This list is a collection of claims by people who may or may not have experienced what they claim. In fact, I could produce many even more convincing personal testimonials by people who claim to have been kidnapped by extraterrestrials.
    And then, I am reminded of my own NDE: With a bladder bursting with jellied blood from a botched TURP my Blood pressure dropped to zero as I faded into blackness and then became aware of a bright light above me that appeared as the sun at noon and as my body responded to the blood being transfused into my arm and awareness became less foggy, I realized that the bright light beckoning to me from above was the electric flood above the operating table upon which I then reposed. Perhaps the difference between my NDE and those you cited is that as an atheist, i had no expectations of angels or goblins beckoning me.
    My considered opinion of the “evidence” you present, is “Balderdash”.
    But then, it is good to hear from you again, my friend!

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  28. John, a lot of things in life are just stories that other people are telling that we are expected to accept “on faith”. For example, how do we know that things in history actually took place. Because the books tell us they do? We weren’t there to witness these occurrence, so how can we be sure they really happened? Columbus sailed across the ocean or so we’ve been told. But how do we know? We weren’t there. How do we know that there was a battle at the Alamo? Because someone wrote about it in a history book? Newspapers every day relate stories that were written by people we don’t know. How can we be sure we can trust these unknown people and what they are saying? All we can really do is take what they are saying on faith.

    It’s odd how no one questions these individuals as to whether or not their “stories” are true when we actually should because, according to your logic, we didn’t experience what they are telling us.

    There are almost 3,000 near-death experiences recorded at the website I cited above. Some of these experiences happened to small children, several of which who were not raised in a religious home and had no preconceived ideas of God or the afterlife, some happened to atheists and agnostics, some happened to people of other religions. If you read them, you will start seeing similarities in these occurrences which span all religions, all beliefs (or non-beliefs), all cultures, all ages.

    I too am very familiar with the rambling hallucinations of dementia(my mother passed away because of that horrible disease, Alzheimers, in 2005.) None of her hallucinations were so detailed. None of them followed any type of logical chain of events. They were rambling, there was no order to them, her thoughts were chaotic, and they did not change her life, as these accounts changed the lives of those who had them.

    Read some of these accounts, particularly the ones at the bottom of that page I cited. I’ve read almost 200 of them so far. If even one of them is true, just one, then our lives do not end at death. And I, for one, sincerely hope it does not.

    Oh, and it’s good to hear from you too. And I truly mean that. 🙂

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  29. Lisa,

    The reason that we accept as true, historical records, such as Columbus’ journey to the new world are because in most instances, there is corroborating evidence that the occurrences happened. In addition, most such things written by people we don’t know may be accepted on “faith” if they appear reasonable and we have no reason to suspect that they are not out to misinform us. Regarding the battle of the Alamo, there were many people who wrote about it and it was “news” at the time. Additionally, many books written about the battle include references to exhaustive research, both into the lives of those that died there and also historical records put down by those who were the immediate victors. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who was the leader of the Mexican forces that won the battle left copious notes on the campaign. With the attention given the event at the time by hundreds of journalists and historians, in addition to the 200 to 300 dead Texan defenders of the fortress, it would seem most likely that the event occurred. Yes we do accept those accounts on faith, but not without considering their believability along with corroborating evidence.
    It does not, however appear likely that Jesus mother was a virgin and that his father was the god of all existence, when in the common beliefs of the day almost any unusually adept hero was claimed to have been sired by Zeus or Jupiter or some other fantastic story (See Leda and the Swan). Nowadays it is uncommon to believe in so many heroes being sired by gods, along with whittling of the number of gods down from multitudes to three.
    As an example, suppose you have a sister, and though unmarried, she was to present herself pregnant, and told you that she had an epiphany, the result of which was her impregnation by god. Would you believe her? If not, then why would you believe the same story told of a girl becoming pregnant in the same manner some 2,000 years ago? Because it is written in a book that crusty old men tell you is the word of god? Now in all fairness to Mary, or whatever her real name was, a close study of history strongly suggests that she never made that claim herself, but it was written as an accoutrement to the story of Jesus several hundred years after the event.
    I must say that I am sorry that your mother endured the curse of Alzheimer’s, and even more sorry for you, who most assuredly suffered more than she because you had to watch your beloved mother’s personality disintegrate before your very eyes, where as her cognizance of self deteriorated, her personal suffering was muted. My sister-in-law’s mother-in-law as well as her ex- husband both died with the affliction, and though the old lady became violent and dangerous towards the end, she had no sense
    of self at all. My father had a brain embolism after a broken hip that cause senile dementia that progressed steadily for four years until he passed. My mother suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage as a result of hitting her head in a fall which cause progressive dementia as well. The last years of both my parents’ lives were spent in a nursing home as they slowly entered the deepening fog of lost sense of self.
    As much as anything else the loss of mental capacity that occurs in most of us as we age, especially in those with some type of dementia, or with a brain injury (as in my own case with the intracerebral hemorrhage due to acute hypertension that I suffered some 17 years ago.) convinces me that for the personality to exist, the brain must be healthy. As regards survival of this mortal coil, with your beloved mother in mind, what would she be like on the other side? Completely healed? As she was at age 40? At age 20? Age 10? What age would she choose to spend eternity? Please tell me anything on this subject expounded upon by those supposedly in the know (preachers) that passes the simplest smell test you can devise. You probably will hear some crap like “We are not allowed to know everything” and “The Lord will provide the answer after we die” or “You mustn’t worry yourself with minor details such as that” or finally, “Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain”.
    Three thousand NDE testimonials are not a revelation. Again, we don’t know who these anonymous people are or if they are telling the truth as they know it or if they have embellished their stories for effect. But we do know that their stories are fantastic. And as noted before, pilots who experience oxygen deprivation (altitude sickness) often have hallucinations similar to NDE’s. When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, brain cells begin to die. The neural effects of this process are not evident unless the blood flow is restored and he person regains consciousness. Then we are regaled to learn of the fantastic voyage the individual has experienced into the nether regions and back again. You mentioned the commonality of the stories told by the victims. This is no argument for the validity of the story, but rather evidence of the effects of hypoxia.
    Now, here’s a site for you to read: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html
    Please read all of the argument, it may take a couple of hours, but every word is important.
    Now using your ability to think, disassociate yourself from emotion for ten seconds and consider the arguments for and against the idea of NDE’s being actual evidence of survival. Applying logic and the smell test of what is most likely, given what is known to be actual fact or at least reasonable, form a hypothesis as to the most likely explanation, that of the NDE proponents, or that of the opponents.
    Now defend your decision. (Even given that I am certain that you desperately wish NDE’s to be evidence of survival, I’ll bet that even if you choose the NDE side that you will be less certain of your choice).

    Reiteration: I postulate that there is no survival of death, ergo, whether the shroud was wrapped around Jesus body or not is irrelevant as is the shroud itself.

    All the best to you and yours, Lisa.

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  30. A lot of these posts would have been posted if people had watched the program.

    A lot of unbiased research has been done on the shroud, years before the documentary was even conceived – 32 scientists over 5 days.

    The question about carbon dating has been refuted by art historians who point to images of the shroud with its exact markings in paintings that pre-date the carbon dating. Please note that I wrote “question” in the first sentence because that was how it was presented in the documentary – as a question. Similarly, art historians point to many images wherein the cloth is held in the same section where the carbon dating sample was taken. The carbon dating sample was taken from the worst possible area of the cloth. So who wants to take it from the middle now?

    Regardless of authenticity, the part that struck me most about this documentary was the brutality of the act of scourging and crucifixion. What happened to Jesus is significant because it represents one of (one of) the most horrific acts that has happened to a human being.

    According to the written account Christ was slowly, brutally murdered by a mob. Think about that for a second. That is the man who so many people say is God. What exactly did that man go through? How has the retelling of that murder again and again served to make people stop and think? A story like that in the consciousness of humanity cannot be a bad thing. It is helpful to know what we are capable of. The story of the crucifixion is shocking and that alone has the power to make us stop and ultimately, has likely saved many lives.

    If this is the artifice of human beings or the true artwork of God, I don’t care. It proved its point.

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  31. Kate,

    Did you actually read your comment before posting? Please excuse me for pointing out that as a whole, your comments make no sense whatsoever, especially your beginning sentence. And what makes you think for a moment that a man named “Jesus” actually existed, and even if he did, and even if he were “scourged” and crucified, that his suffering even approached that of the victims of Vlad the impaler? ( I would bet that you never heard of him or his favorite torture method.) And the most fundamental question of all, why do you think that a man could also be God?. And please spend 15 seconds reflecting on the total absurdity of God the creator of the universe causing himself (as Jesus) to suffer for the “sins” of the miserable humans that arose from his creation accounting for the fact that if it were true, that the resulting sinful nature of man was the result of “God” having made the fatal MISTAKE of also creating Lucifer and giving him and man free will. You seem to lament that some posters above neglected to see the program. I lament the obvious fact that you have neglected to read the entire thread before exposing your incomprehensible point of view.

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  32. John, what a cracker jack you are! I didn’t see it before. Your intellectual preeminence is intimidating. I like how mean you are. Why didn’t I think of Vlad the Impaler before? I see it now. The suffering that Vlad the Impaler gave to his victims is surety that Jesus’ suffering means nothing. That is completely logical. Your intellectual superiority is dizzying. I understand now that you are too smart for faith. Forgive me.

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  33. Kate,
    My point is this: Even IF Jesus was God (or one of three gods) that created the universe, (and remembering that if there be a GOD, then ALL things existing in said universe were created by he/she, including evil and the devil, should he/she also exist) then said god deciding to “save” mankind from the hell he created for nonbelievers, decided that 1/3 of he/she should come to earth and live as a man, then die by crucifixion (A death likely less painful than millions of women have endured by dying in childbirth) that a death via crucifixion could in no way atone for the “sins” of all mankind. Think just how ludicrous it all is! This scenario is completely illogical. What a complete doofus we must be to have ever believed in such a scam, even in the days that most people thought someone was hiding the sun every night.

    You sarcastically accuse me of intellectual preeminence. Compare my logical beliefs with all of your superstitious balderdash, and you may be more right in that accusation than you now think.
    Now you probably believe that you will spend eternity in heaven with god and all your friends. But you likely also believe that cows and monkeys and snakes will not, because they are mere soulless animals. But the one thing that distinguishes humans from animals is the capability of higher learning, i.e. logic.

    But your beliefs are illogical. Mine are not. If you ever decide to think for yourself, and honestly reflect upon everything I have said throughout this thread, you could not escape reaching the same conclusion I did when I was a young soldier.
    My belief:
    1. There may or not be a god. In the absence of testable evidence, I believe it is more probable that there is not.
    2. There is no survival of death. There is no real testable evidence of survival. Reported NDE’s are not provable and ARE explainable.
    3. All religions of man are false. This I believe to be true whether or not I am wrong about number one above.
    4. It is more likely than not that there is life on other planets. It is equally likely that there is intelligent life outside of our world as well. Most religions have no accounting for this likelihood.
    5. Without survival of death, and given the complete lack of intelligence exhibited by all organized religions, the importance of the shroud of Turin is less than what I had for dinner tonight.
    6. And, Oh, by the way, I forgive you. But please think for yourself. What you hear from me is worth what you pay for it, but IMHO is worth a trillion times what you will hear from preachers, mullahs, or rabbis.

    And To the self identified troll: Shalom, and Allah Akbar!
    1. Def. Urban Dict.: Troll-One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

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  34. I watched the re-run of this documentary today and read the wiki page for the Shroud of Turin. You seem to characterize the circumstances surrounding the Shroud of Turin as a straight forward case of forgery motivated by religion from a 14th century artist. But you pay little attention to the controversy surrounding the scientific investigation of this artifact. What about the fact that no pigmentation has been found in the shroud? Or the fact that scientists have been unable to reproduce this artifact using artistic methods from the 14th century? What about the fact that scientists have discovered pollen and earth samples that are unique to the Jerusalem and Constantinople areas? To this day, Scientists have not been able to conclusively determine how the shroud of Turin was produced. So to dismiss this compelling evidence, to characterize the Shroud of Turin as a simple case of medieval forgery is not only bias on an intense level but is also a mockery to responsible and open-minded scientific inquiry. I do not claim that the Shroud of Turin is provable by any means. But that does not mean that it can be so easily dismissed either in the face of evidence that speaks to the contrary.

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  35. EB14,

    It is woefully apparent that you have not read all of the prior comments on this thread; otherwise you would not be professing your ignorance in such obvious innocence. To wit, it matters not whether the shroud was draped across Jesus body or not, there is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus was divine. Christianity is as much a superstition as any organized religion extant in the world today and as such along with all the rest deserves to be relegated to the dustbins of history. There is no survival of this life, when you die; you are the same as a dead dog, gone forever. As a result, the shroud is of no consequence whatsoever except in the minds of #/&%¤}s such as yourself. Go back and read the entire thread and then comment, should you have the cojones to once again expose your ignorance.

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  36. Well, if you think it is a fake from the 14th Century, think of this, when they took the sample for the carbon dating, they cut a piece from the corner, where dozens of hands have touched that exact same spot for display to the public. So, in theory, the carbon dating tests just simply showed the last time it was held in that area. If they took it from an area that hasn’t been handled, then they probably would have gotten the correct date for when Jesus, the Savior and Son of God had ascended into Heaven. Plus paintings that show a very long cloth with the shadow and features of a body have been found that predate the carbon dating test results by hundreds and maybe a couple of thousand years. So, the moral of my comment is, if you are going to rant and rave saying that something isn’t real, do checking and research to verify it. Because not only is the Shroud of Turin real, but Jesus is the real Savior and Son of God.

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  37. What is the point of arguing? You can lead a sheep to water but you can’t make it drink. No matter what is really true, If you don’t believe it, no link or tv show will make “YOU” believe otherwise. This arguing is just for the sake of arguing. Anyone who reads these posts that disagrees with you will not agree with you no matter how badly you want them to. Worry about YOU. If you believe in something then you deserve it. Go for it. Why argue about beliefs?

    be·lief
    /biˈlēf/
    Noun
    An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
    Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
    Synonyms
    faith – trust – confidence – persuasion – credence

    For example, I know that a lot of the world is corrupt and things don’t go our way where as a person who has lead the easy life would think I was a fool and obviously going to the wrong bar. We each have 4200 or whatever weeks to live “OUR” lives. We all believe what we believe because that is where our lives have taken us. To say you know all is to sound ignorant and foolish. I would rather have scholars argue these facts in front of me then you random fingers. I’ll stick to finding out what I am interested in knowing and keeping an open mind about everything. I am only human and unlike you people, I hunger for more knowledge everyday. All this is can be equated to human drivel. You might as well be drooling out words as far as I’m concerned. Athiests crying because people believe in God. Religious buffs crying because their athiest sister in law is a bitch to them about God. An athiest who thinks that the world revolves around him or her will never accept the fact that a higher power exists. They are the bees knees. They have that cocky smirk like your stupid and they are insanely smart. A lot of people who believe in a higher power on the other hand seem to be more saddened folks with problems. The thought that someone loves them no matter what is comforting. All I see when I witness athiests try to disprove God are cocky prick bullies that should basically find a new hobbie and worry about their wonderful lives. It is so pathetic. I mean really….Hit the gym. Read a book. Watch some History channel. Throw the pigskin at some Christian. I mean seriously. The cocky smiles and all. I know your feces are a delicacy in Spain and Portugal but really…For years now I have never been so amazed at a group of people. If I want to believe that Captain planet is real and I was going to be a planeteer until my urine tested positive for pot then I am entitled to believe just that. None of you have any proof as to what you speak. You just look for “keywords” that supposedly prove your side and post it. A lot of the things you people are saying actually hold no bearing to me in 2013. The most recent post stating an opinion is about as useless as the horse he rode in on. Die and come back and tell me what happens after you die. Until then I think you should leave it to the experts or risk sounding foolish again. Thank you.

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  38. MR — You might want to take a look at the studies accomplished by Ray Rogers concerning the validity of the tests on the shroud. Any statement or absolute conclusion of the true date of the shroud based on the noteworthy C14 date tests taken on the corner sample of the shroud do not provide or negate the “validity” of the shroud or otherwise. What the tests do prove is that the material used to patch the shroud was from around the year 1300 — period. Ray Rogers, the most avid of those defenders of the original C14 tests, exposes the errors of the investigation, of which he was part, in his final paper. Do some reading — it will help you understand.

    What is more confusing to logical thought is how you get to your statement that there is “no God … no Saviour … ,” etc. How one would assume a logical derivative from carbon dating of a verified 14th century patch of this shroud to such an absolute statement that, “there is no God,” is not at all logical or scientific.

    Therefore, what is it exactly that you are trying to say here?

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  39. Jon G Well, there certainly is no dearth of animus towards atheists in your belief system! You claim to have an open mind but then proceed to trash atheists as “pricks”. In fact it seems from your post that you are really pissed off at everybody. It is true that everyone is entitled to their own stupid opinion, but the problem with religionists it that they constantly try to enforce their stupid opinions on the behavior of everyone else. Leaving out totalitarians, which exist in every category, atheists, for the most part, do not. As regards the feelings of most atheists towards believers in any religion, not just Christianity, we mostly are as dumbfounded by them as you would be meeting someone above the age of 21 who fervently still believes in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy. And should you think that such a meeting would be unlikely to ever occur, there are those today who do believe in leprechauns, ghosts, Bigfoot, and Voodoo, and many who truly believe that they were abducted by aliens. From this point on, I have assumed that you are Xian. If that is incorrect I apologize in advance. Those who believe in a literal interpretation of the Christian Bible, a many times over translated book written by men, swear that the earth is only 6,000 years old in the face of immensely strong scientific evidence that Homo Sapiens was walking around on earth at least 100,000 years ago and equally strong evidence that the earth is at least 4.54 billion years old. That’s 6,000 to 4,540,000,000, which puts the bible in error by a factor of seven hundred and fifty six thousand six hundred and sixty seven. (756,667). Of course, there are the backsliders who pick and choose the parts of the bible or whatever other religious writing they ascribe to that they profess to believe and ignore the other not so easy to believe parts. Here is the problem: If you could ever clear your mind enough to actually study the religious dogmas of just the main world religions (Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist) with focus on beginnings and early history and central tenets you will begin to understand how all grew out of superstition about magic gods that live in the sky. But it is likely that you never will undertake such a task, not only because of the effort and time required, but mostly because of the rift your new understanding would cause between you and your family and peer group unless you hypocritically hide from them your discoveries. If you do not undertake the task, you will be choosing to remain ignorant for the rest of your life. If you in fact have the courage to question that your opinion of atheists might be mistaken, I would suggest careful reading of Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” parts I and II. Be sure to have your Bible handy while doing so as well. Then understand that in the time of Paine, while vilified by believers for claiming to be a Deist, his treatment would have been far harsher had he claimed atheism, which in fact is a first cousin to Deism.
    jfkjax,
    Do some reading yourself. Start with Paine. Read a few National Geographic magazines. Next time in church really listen to what the preacher says and compare it what you see in your daily life, things like computers, airplanes, television, iPhones, the internet, all of which are the result of science, which religion has tried to suppress for ages and now finds itself becoming as irrelevant as buggy whips.
    Kaelan,
    Your assignment for today is to research and explain to someone else the omnipotence paradox. Hopefully there are not too many syllables there for you to wrap your mind around. If you are able to achieve that assignment, then read “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. Thirdly reread your post here and grade your own paper.

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