Catholics staged false dating shroud

Clearly, authenticity should be judged on criteria no more and no less stringent than those applied in the usual identification of ancient city sites, royal tombs, manuscripts, etc. Amidst burn marks, patches, water stains, and creases, the frontal and dorsal images of a male body may be discerned, with apparent blood flows at the wrists, right side (in the positive), head, and feet. Enrie, 1933; © 1935, 1963 by the Holy Shroud Guild.Scientific scrutiny of the Shroud image began in 1900 at the Sorbonne. Carleton Coon (quoted in Wilcox 193) describes the man as "of a physical type found in modern times among Sephardic Jews and noble Arabs." Curto (quoted in Sox 19, 131), however, describes the physiognomy as more Iranian than Semitic.From its first recorded exhibition in France in 1357, this cloth has been the object of mass veneration, on the one hand, and scorn from a number of learned clerics and freethinkers, on the other.Appearing as it did in an age of unparalleled relic-mongering and forgery and, if genuine, lacking documentation of its whereabouts for 1,300 years, the Shroud would certainly have long ago been consigned to the ranks of spurious relics (along with several other shrouds with similar claims) were it not for the extraordinary image it bears.The fact that it is a religious relic associated with supernatural claims is of no consequence here; certainly there is no justification for employing different or stricter criteria than for any other important artifact, except perhaps in according greater consideration to the possibility of forgery.Considerations of the Shroud have frequently been marred by an intense desire to believe and an imprecise use of data among the overzealous and by an insistence on impossible standards of proof among the skeptics.The body was that of an adult male, nude, with beard, mustache, and long hair falling to the shoulders and drawn at the back into a pigtail. There is, however, no evidence of initial decomposition of the body, no issue of fluids from the orifices, and no decline of rigor mortis leading to flattening of the back and blurred or double imprints.

The cloth is an unprovenanced artifact purporting to be associated with events in recorded history and encoded with considerable information about its past.

It has frozen an attitude of death while hanging by the arms; the rib cage is abnormally expanded, the large pectoral muscles are in an attitude of extreme inspiration (enlarged and drawn up toward the collarbone and arms), the lower abdomen is distended, and the epigastric hollow is drawn in sharply.

The protrusion of the femoral quadriceps and hip muscles is consistent with slow death by hanging, during which the victim must raise his body by exertion of the legs in order to exhale.

Remarkably, its negative image was found to be an altogether more lifelike portrait of the body and, especially, of the face.

From the rather grotesque and murky facial imprint visible on the cloth, reversal of light and dark revealed a harmonious and properly proportioned visage.

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