• Busting Shroud Myths: Did Carbon 14 dating prove that The Shroud of Turin was a fake?

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    Jessica Spitz, writing recently for NBCNews.com, basically asserts that science has proven – again and again – that The Shroud of Turin is conclusively a fake. The centerpiece of her argument is the carbon dating of The Shroud. She writes: 

    Forensic scientists have once again concluded that the Shroud of Turin, supposedly the burial cloth Jesus was wrapped in after his crucifixion, was artificially created. read more

  • Shroud of Turin Overview: The Knight of The Shroud (Shroud mini-series, episode 2)

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    Today,  I think it would be helpful to have an episode that takes a broad and wide view of The Shroud – that covers all of the basics, so that we’re all on the same page. That’s the focus of this episode – let’s call it an overview of The Shroud of Turin, but the material we cover won’t all be introductory level. 

    As I mentioned in the first episode, I first heard about The Shroud way back in the very early 80s from In Search of.   PLAY CLIP
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  • Full Text of the Memorandum of Bishop Pierre D’Arcis Alleging That The Shroud of Turin is a Fraud.

    The following memo was said to have been written to Antipope Clement VII around 1389-1390 by Bishop D’Arcis of Troyes, France. It is referred to in episode 2 of the Bible Mystery Podcast’s coverage of The Shroud of Turin, and likely other episodes as well. It is unsigned and undated, and is said to have possibly been a rough draft. It is translated from the Latin by the Reverend Herbert Thurston in his 1903 work, “The Holy Shroud and The Verdict of History” I’ve updated the spelling and slightly/lightly modernized some portions for readability. I note here that in Catholic customs, an ordinary is an officer of the church, and The Ordinary (capitalized) is the Pope.

    I would consider this memorandum to be one of the stronger evidences against the authenticity of The Shroud. It fails to be completely convincing, however, for three primary reasons:

    1. D’Arcis’ memo mentions that the Lirey Shroud was painted, and the painter confessed. The Turin Shroud shows no evidence or sign whatsoever of being painted, and it has been carefully and chemically analyzed for paint.
    2. There are several other documents of the same time period that dispute what is in this memorandum. For instance, D’Arcis claims that his predecessor had The Shroud removed because it was a fake, but other documents from the time assert that The Shroud was removed for protection because of war nearby. It is possible – though not proven – that D’Arcis memo was motivated by political issues, or perhaps by competing relic claims. D’Arcis was the Bishop of Troyes – was he disturbed/bothered by people flocking to nearby Lirey to see The Shroud? While his letter claims he is not writing for competitive purposes, it is easy to see why a Bishop of a nearby town – lacking a profound relic – might be opposed to The Shroud drawing crowds elsewhere.

      That said, I certainly appreciate his anti-profit and anti-swindling the faithful stance, and wish more churchmen of the time held to it. This alone gives the memo an air of authority and authenticity.
    3. The memo is unsigned, unsealed, and not found in any official Vatican records. This likely means it was unsent to the Antipope. Did D’Arcis reconsider the authenticity of The Shroud? What made him withhold the sending of the memo?

    I also note that Bishop D’Arcis has written a sentence below with 160 – count ’em – 160 words! (see if you can find it.)

    The case, Holy Father, stands thus. Some time since in this diocese of Troyes the Dean of a certain collegiate church, to wit, that of Lirey, falsely and deceitfully, being consumed with the passion of avarice, and not from any motive of devotion but only of gain, procured for his church a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by a clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say, the back and front, he falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Savior Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb, and upon which the whole likeness of the Savior had remained thus impressed together with the wounds which He bore. This story was put about not only in the kingdom of France, but, so to speak, throughout the world, so that from all parts people came together to view it. And further to attract the multitude so that money might cunningly be wrung from them, pretended miracles were worked, certain men being hired to represent themselves as healed at the moment of the exhibition of the shroud, which all believed to the shroud of our Lord. read more

  • Episode 8: The Shroud of Turin Introduction

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    Today’s episode is a beginning. It does not YET represent rigorous research, but only a skimming. My opinion at the beginning of this journey is a middle opinion. Call me a Shroud agnostic, at least for now. There are Shroud atheists out there that quickly and completely dismiss the Shroud. They may be right, but I’m not sure they’ve thoroughly researched their conclusions. Likewise, many faithful Shroud believers seemingly assume its real and don’t really interact with some legitimate reasons for debunking. The fact is that there is pretty solid evidence on both sides, which probably explains why The Shroud still has its believers and detractors. This is not a religious issue for me – I am firmly convinced that Jesus rose from the dead with or without The Shroud, and even wrote a book about the resurrection of Jesus. (Easter: Fact or Fiction.)

    Why should I – a Baptist preacher who doesn’t believe at all in the Roman Catholic concept of relics or icons,  do a long series on the Shroud of Turin? Protestants have taken two positions on the Shroud over the years. I can neatly frame those two positions by quoting from two of my heroes, Charles Spurgeon and C.S. Lewis:

    On the negative, anti-Shroud side, we have Charles Spurgeon: 

    Spurgeon on the Shroud: Do you not think, too, that some seekers miss comfort because they forget that Jesus Christ is alive? The Christ of the Church of Rome is always seen in one of two positions—either as a babe in his mother’s arms, or else as dead. That is Rome’s Christ, but our Christ is alive. Jesus who rose has “left the dead no more to die.” I was requested in Turin to join with others in asking to see the shroud in which the Saviour was buried. I must confess that I had not faith enough to believe in the shroud, nor had I curiosity enough to wish to look at the fictitious linen. I would not care a penny for the article, even if I knew it to be genuine. Our Lord has left his shroud and sepulchre, and lives in heaven. To-night he so lives that a sigh of yours will reach him, a tear will find him, a desire in your heart will bring him to you. Only seek him as a loving, living Saviour, and put your trust in him as risen from the dead no more to die, and comfort will, I trust, come into your spirit. read more

  • Episode 7: What does John 3:16 Really Mean?

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    Today’s Question: What does John 3:16 REALLY MEAN? Are we wrong about the most famous verse in the Bible?. 

    John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.for most of my life it has been the most famous verse in the Bible.   It’s only rival today is ‘Judge not that ye not be judged’. More on that soon. 

    Spurgeon: OF all the stars in the sky the pole-star is the most useful to the mariner. This text is a pole-star, for it has guided more souls to salvation than any other Scripture. It is among promises what the Great Bear is among constellations.
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  • Episode 6: Bible Myths and Factoids

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    Shownotes below are unrefined, unedited and unattributed. I’ll eventually fix that.

    Today we’re talking about the Bible itself – the longest verses, books, chapters, etc. Chapters and verses are NOT found in the original autographs, or writings of the Books of the Bible. These books were written like letters and books, and did not have chapter divisions or verses, or even punctuation like modern books. 

    Prior to the 800s, the Bible was divided up in various ways, but it wasn’t until the 800s that some kind  of chapter divisions that were similar to modern chapters came into view. Chapter divisions, with titles, the 9th century Tours manuscript the so-called Bible of Rorigo. read more

  • Episode #5 What is Gossip, and why is it so Delicious to our Ears?

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    The church has been talking about gossip for a very, very long time!

    Clement of Rome, who likely knew Peter and John (and died in 99AD) Wrote this about gossip: Since, then, we are a holy portion, we should do everything that makes for holiness. We should flee from slandering, vile and impure embraces, drunkenness, rioting, filthy lusts, detestable adultery and disgusting arrogance. “For God,” says Scripture, “resists the arrogant but gives grace to the humble.” We should attach ourselves to those to whom God’s grace has been given. We should clothe ourselves with concord, being humble, self-controlled, far removed from all gossiping and slandering, and justified by our deeds, not by words.

    read more

  • Episode #4 Aliens and the Bible

    Note: The Shownotes and Transcript below are a bit of a trainwork editing wise. I’ll polish them up soon!

    C.S. Lewis from His essay The Seeing Eye, found in Christian Reflections: 1963, 6 years before the Moon Landing.  (Discussing Space travel) a more practical issue will arise when, if ever, we discover rational creatures on other planets. I think myself, this is a very remote contingency. The balance of probability is against life on any other planet of the solar system. We shall hardly find it nearer than the stars. And even if we reach the Moon we shall be no nearer to stellar travel than the first man who paddled across a river was to crossing the Pacific.This thought is welcome to me because, to be frank, I have no pleasure in looking forward to a meeting between humanity and any alien rational species. I observe how the white man has hitherto treated the black, and how, even among civilized men, the stronger have treated the weaker. If we encounter in the depth of space a race, however innocent and amiable, which is technologically weaker than ourselves, I do not doubt that the same revolting story will be repeated. We shall enslave, deceive, exploit or exterminate; at the very least we shall corrupt it with our vices and infect it with our diseases.

    We are not fit yet to visit other worlds. We have filled our own with massacre, torture, syphilis, famine, dust bowls and with all that is hideous to ear or eye. Must we go on to infect new realms?  It was in part these reflections that first moved me to make my own small contributions to science fiction. In those days writers in that genre almost automatically represented the inhabitants of other worlds as monsters and the terrestrial invaders as good. Since then the opposite set-up has become fairly common. If I could believe that I had in any degree contributed to this change, I should be a proud man.1 read more

  • Episode #3 The Unpardonable Sin (Blasphemy of the Spirit/Unforgivable sin)

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    Episode 4: What is the Unforgivable sin?? 
    It’s a terrifying reality: Jesus warned His disciples and the Pharisees that there was a sin that could be committed that was unpardonable – unforgivable for all eternity. People have speculated and worried about this teaching of Jesus for hundreds of years. What precisely is the unpardonable sin? How can we know whether or not we’ve done it? Let’s dive in!

    The Didache First century – RIGHT after the NT: Now concerning the apostles and prophets, deal with them as follows in accordance with the rule of the gospel. (4) Let every apostle who comes to you be welcomed as if he were the Lord. (5) But he is not to stay for more than one day, unless there is need, in which case he may stay another. But if he stays three days, he is a false prophet. (6) And when the apostle leaves, he is to take nothing except bread until he finds his next night’s lodging. But if he asks for money, he is a false prophet. read more

  • Episode #2 Unicorns? In the Bible!?

    Today’s topic is Unicorns, and it is dedicated to my daughter, Phoebe - who is a huge unicorn fan. You might be wondering what Unicorns have to do with the Bible, but if you are a King James only kind of person, you probably already know that the word ‘Unicorns’ appears in the KJV version of the Bible 9 times in the 1611 KJV and 9 times in the updated 1769 Standard version.

    So - what gives? Does the Bible really teach that unicorns are/were real? read more

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