Skip to comments.Another Source Verifies Gibson's 'Passion' Account
Posted on 01/27/2004 9:38:45 PM PST by Swordmaker
"We did not know. Nobody ever told us." Pope Pius XII, after learning what the Shroud of Turin revealed about the extent of Christ's suffering.
An arrogant gang of so-called scholars and journalists is conducting a very public crucifixion of Mel Gibson for daring to make his new film, "The Passion of the Christ," and it's about time that the motives behind their attempt to destroy him were examined.
To begin at the beginning, after being alerted to the film by Gibson's appearance on the Bill O'Reilly show and by a sleazy New York Times magazine smear of Gibson's father, a group falsely depicting itself as an official arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) got its hands on a shooting script of the film, then in the first stages of production in Italy, and charged that it was a historically flawed work that would promote anti-Semitism.
Unreported was the real motive behind the complaint: This group of Catholic and Jewish revisionists doesn't think very highly of the New Testament, which the Roman Catholic Church for 2,000 years has insisted was inspired by the Holy Spirit and is therefore, as other Christian churches agree, unerrant.
Based on these scholars' own historical research, which simply contradicts the most basic tenets of Christianity, they charge that the New Testament is based on the prejudices of the apostles and rigged by their successors. One of them even claimed that the Gospel accounts of Christ's passion and death were written to curry favor with the Romans the same Romans who returned the favor by gleefully executing many of them.
After their first attacks on the film based on their perusal of a stolen, rough, shooting script were met by the rejoinder that the film, then simply titled "The Passion," is solidly based on the Four Gospels and is therefore factual, the critics charged that the Gospels themselves can be construed as anti-Semitic and therefore any script based on them can be expected to stir up anti-Semitism among viewers.
To put it simply, these revisionist scholars are telling the world that the Gospels can't be trusted and, by implication, that the biblical story of Christ's passion and death is at the very least partially fictional because it is slanted in favor of the Romans and, in their warped opinions, historically inaccurate.
But the details in the New Testament accounts of Christ's passion and death are not the only evidence backing their authenticity. There is another source one just as vivid as Gibson's film in showing the incredible horrors Jesus endured in the last 12 hours of his life.
That source is the Holy Shroud of Turin, an artifact that has been subjected to much of the same kind of treatment Mel Gibson is now enduring.
I know a few things about the Shroud of Turin. I have been intrigued by it since I was a young boy, studied it for years, wrote a small book about it in 1996 and, just as Gibson has done, concentrated on Christ's ordeal at the hands of his Roman tormentors and executioners.
My motives were the same as Gibson's: to reveal in the most graphic manner possible what our Lord endured for all of us, to show the extent of his love for a flawed mankind.
The Shroud has been called "The Fifth Gospel." Experts of all kinds, from forensic medical examiners to widely respected Israeli horticulturists, have testified as to its authenticity. Others have all but demolished the widely reported Carbon 14 testing that allegedly dated the Shroud to the 14th century.
What the Shroud depicts are the terrible wounds inflicted on Jesus by the scourging. It reveals that the Lord was whipped by Roman flagrums, some 120 marks caused by double-thonged flagrums with barbell-shaped pieces of metal or bone embedded in their tips.
The Shroud reveals that Jesus was scourged by two men, one taller than the other, and that all over his torso his flesh was deeply lacerated and torn from his body by the thongs and their cruel tips.
The Shroud reveals the wounds inflicted on Christ's head by the so-called crown of thorns and shows it to have been a cap rather than a crown. Christ was the only victim of crucifixion ever to have such a cap placed atop his skull.
The Shroud, whose image does not penetrate the linen but floats mysteriously on its surface, is stained with his blood, which did sink into the fibrils.
Step by step, Christ's final hours can be traced. The face of the man on the Shroud bears mute testimony to the beatings he endured at the hands of Romans, his knees show the contusions caused when he fell on the rough surfaces as he carried the patibulum, the crosspiece of his cross, to Calvary. And his shoulders show the wounds caused by the 100-pound patibulum digging into them.
The Shroud shows the nail marks in his wrists, testifying to the agony Christ endured when the nails rubbed against the great and highly sensitive median nerves located there.
In my book, "Sancta Sindone," I was able to follow Christ as he endured the final 12 hours of his life, just as Mel Gibson has now done. His source was the Gospels, mine the Shroud and medical experts who interpreted what it showed.
Our accounts agree in most details. (Mel shows Christ carrying the complete cross; the Shroud shows he carried only the patibulum, which on Calvary was affixed atop the stipes, the upright piece embedded in the ground. And Mel shows the nails being pounded into Christ's palms, while the Shroud shows them penetrating his wrists).
The whole story is told in my book, which, although dated and overcome by new evidence of its authenticity, allows the reader to learn the basic facts about the Shroud and follow Christ step by step to Calvary. My book can be read free in its entirety on my personal Web site, "Wednesday on the Web." (http://www.pvbr.com/Issue_1/sindone.htm)
Read it and then go see "The Passion of the Christ." It has a vitally important message I am convinced, along with Mel Gibson, that the Lord wants delivered in these troubled and faithless times. It is a message of complete love, a message that tells us: "This is what I did for you every single one of you. Now follow me and love one another."
* * * * * *
Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist who writes for NewsMax.com. He is editor & publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
He can be reached at email@example.com
Consider yourselves pinged...
"the case for authenticity is a compelling preponderance of scientific and historic evidence."
(As usual, if you would like to be added to or removed from my "conservative Catholics" ping list, just send me a FReepmail. Please realize that some of my "ping" posts are long.)
The latest on the placement of the nails is that is IS possible for a palm driven nail to support more than half the body weight.
This fallacy was created by a French medical doctor, Pierre Barbet, who told the world that tests on cadavers showed the nail would pull through. However, he was using the entire weight of the body on one hand as his bench mark thinking that at times a crucified person would use one hand to pull himself back up. He also ignored the fact that some of the weight would of necessity be on the nail through the feet. It was Barbet who proposed that the nails passed through the Space of Destot, touching or severing the median nerve which would cause the thumb to curl into the palm answering the question of the missing thumbs on the Shroud image.
For most of the last Century, this was the assumed "last word" on the situation. However, the latest review shows some serious problems with this scenario.
1- The median nerve does not pass through the Space of Destot... it is not even NEAR the space.
2- The "missing thumbs" problem is not a problem when one realizes that the natural position of human thumbs in repose is below the hand, toward the plam. (let your hand relax and your wrist droop and see where your thumbs rest.) The shroud apparently does not image body parts more than a half inch from the shroud inner surface... the thumbs are more like an inch below where the shroud would have draped.
3 - The space of Destot does not lead quite to the location where we see the wrist exit wound.
4 - Modern tests with LIVING subjects on a cross (not nailed, but attached in similar locations) shows that the force on the hand nails is much less than Barbet assumed because the living subject used his feet to ease the force on the hands, something a cadaver could not do.
One of the problems that has distorted this discussion is the fact that the Shroud shows not only the fingers of the hand but the Metacarpals UNDER the flesh of the palm as well. When this is understood, it answers the question of the "longer than normal fingers" that some have used to claim it a "work of art with an error." Instead of extra long fingers, the shroud is showing a radiograph like image of the matacarpal and carpal bones of the hand and wrist.
Another medical doctor, a forensic pathologist, after criticizing Barbet's conclusions, proposed ANOTHER pathway for the nail... one that also does not break bones.
Hold your arm up and allow your hand to relax at the wrist. It will drop forward. At the base of your palm you can feel a valley between the thumb and the palm. A nail driven right into the bottom of that valley, slightly angled toward the wrist, will go through another space in the carpals and exit exactly where the wrist wound on the Shroud shows an exit wound. Notice also how that nail would be STRAIGHT if the wrist were layed on a thick board and the elbow were on the ground, perhaps with a knee pressed into it. This puts the nail head in the base of the palm, about an inch above the wrist, passes through the carpals without breaking them, supports much more than the weight of the entire body, AND has a natural pathway to the exit point shown on the Shroud.
This would provide the classical nail heads in the palm AND agree with the evidence of the exit wound on the wrist on the Shroud.
Actually, the C-14 tests were probably accurate.
The problem arose from the SAMPLE they tested. At the last minute, the agreed on protocol which required samples from eight areas of the shroud, we unilaterally changed to ONE SAMPLE from a corner of the shroud... the area all of the scientists who made the original protocol agreed SHOULD NOT BE TESTED.
It turns out that photographs of the now destroyed-in-testing sample show that it was apparently a combination of original shroud linen and a sixteenth century "invisible" reweaving repaired area. On examination, it is found that the "rewoven" area is composed of linen that has an "S" twist from its original spinning of the flax. The rest of the Shroud has a "Z" twist from its original spinning.
Pyrolysis/mass spectrometry tests just released of linen fibrils taken from various areas of the shroud including the "invisible" patched area, show that the linen fibrils from the patched area are UNIQUE on the shroud. The results show that the flax used is from a different species, the fullering used (to add suppleness) is different, and the rewoven threads are covered with a gum not present on any other parts of the shroud.
The C-14 tests performed by three laboratories returned results showing a creation date of from 1230-1436 with a +/- 50 year degree of confidence. Note that the dates are actually 200 years spread, and with their degree of confidence actually 300 years spread. The next interesting data is that one lab was given TWO samples, one from each end of the original sample taken from the combined patch/original shroud area. It was this lab that came up with both the youngest AND oldest dates... from essentially the same test. The other two labs' results were distributed between the extremes. It turns out that the observed percentages of sixteenth century PATCH and first century (?) original material accounts for ALL of the variation in ages in the four tests. The more patch, the younger the age, the more original, the older the age. And the percentages can predict the ages calculated by the labs.
The interesting thing is that the percentages give us a probable age for the original material. Assuming a 1550 date for the reweaving, the calculations only come up with the dates the labs reported if you assume the original material was created in the first century AD. Because of assumptions, the degree of confidence is high... +/- 200 years.
I don't care one way or the other if the shroud is real or not, because I won't bow and worship anything or anybody but Christ, but people here go to the wall defending the "science" of carbon dating. The shroud has never been dated over 1k years, I don't believe.
Kinda like Gore really winning the election, when NOT ONE of the numerous recounts showed him the winner, but thats beside the point, if you are a Demorat.
Suicides usually cut transversally ACROSS the wrist. These were puncture wounds THROUGH the wrist. It is unlikely that any major arteries would be severed. If they were, the nail provides a "plug" to keep it from pumping out.
Arteries are TOUGH. I once had a doctor attempt to take some "blood gas" samples from my wrist... he had a tough time puncturing the artery with a needle. He said they move around quite a bit and would move out of the way of his attempts to puncture them.
Recent studies by Frederick Zugibe suggest that Pierre Barbet was completely wrong about that.
Photo Index: http://www.sindone.org/it/scient/restauro_gallery.htm
Hi-Res Full Length:http://www.sindone.org/restauro/hires/sindone_recto.jpg
Hi-Res Face: http://www.sindone.org/restauro/hires/il_volto.jpg
Video footage: http://www.sindone.org/it/scient/restauro_filmati.htm
Research Overview: http://www.shroudstory.com/index.htm
Perhaps the most interesting item on the ShroudStory site:
ESSAY: The Resurrection Problem and the Shroud of Turin
which has research details, especially:
The most intriguing characteristic
A picture of a million words
How were the images formed?
(Note: the site is schismatic, but the article is interesting).
Claims that a linen of the Middle Ages was substituted for the 1988 tests.
A noteworthy "Sindone 2000" conference paper on:
"Evidence for the Skewing of the C-14 Dating Due to Repairs"
Provides evidence that the corner of the Shroud where the C-14 samples were taken from in 1988 contained spurious fibers from a medieval reweaving, resulting in an inaccurate date.
Wow! Thanks. This explains the discrepancy, and something else that's perplexed me, the hand wounds of stigmatics.
I get IVs every 6 months and this is always the case with me. It usually takes two or three attempts.
A high percentage of skeptical scientists who have studied the Shroud have become believers. Most skeptics don't want to know, so they don't spend much time studying the science.
Hmmm...how does one respond to such? One cannot.
In a sense his prayer was answered, because the humiliation that the crucified person feels when not being able to keep himself from trying to breathe in spite of the pain caused by trying most probably did not occur.
I thought the exact same thing when I read that sentence.
Absence of Proof is not Proof of Absence!
Passion and Shroud bump!
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