Featured Jesus (as)

Jesus’ Survival from the Cross

O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death and I will exalt thee to Myself. (Ch.3: v.56) But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; And if Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (Holy Bible: Corinthians 15: 13 –14) On 27th October 1972 the Guardian newspaper carried the following report: ‘An anaesthetist told the High Court in London that he believed Christ did not die on the Cross. Mr James Gerald Bourne, formerly Senior Anaesthetist to St Thomas’ Hospital, London said that he believed that the Re s u r r e c t i o n was Jesus’ recovery from a faint. Mr Bourne was asked by Mr. James Comyn, QC, “are you saying that is a widely held view?” Mr Bourne told Mr Justice Ackner he believed an increasing number of people were no longer accepting the “miraculous view” “Do you feel that all right- thinking people should take that view?” Mr. Comyn asked. “I think it would be an advance,” Mr. Bourne said, “To quote a writer of the second century AD, ‘If an offence comes out of the truth it is better that the offence comes out rather than the truth be concealed.’” Mr Bourne said he realised that his view would be offensive to a great number of people. Mr. Comyn asked: “Do you realise that it makes nonsense of a good deal of Christian teaching?” Mr Bourne replied: “Yes: but not of Christian ethics. He was not suggesting that the Crucifixion and the Resurrection were hoaxes. “I 13 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross By Muzaffar Clarke, UK This article examines some of the evidence from a biblical perspective regarding the events surrounding Jesus being placed on the Cross. It takes into account the timing of the crucifixion as well as the key players involved – both in public and behind the scenes – in the unfolding of what could be considered as one of the greatest miracles of all time – Jesus’s survival from the Cross. have never believed, since a school-boy, in the miraculous or supernatural.” Mr. Bourne who had been called as a witness in a libel action concerning an anaesthetic technique, said his belief about the Resurrection was “a conviction which seems to me, and it may be wrong, to be common sense.” He said he believed that Jesus fainted sometime during the three hours on the cross. He was then taken down and entombed. “I think the faint simulated death – a faint which he conquered.”’ The Resurrection of Jesus(as) is a very sensitive subject for Christians and we must always remember that we are talking about deeply held and treasured beliefs. From a very early age, I was taught that it was sinful to question the teachings of the Catholic Church about anything. As a young boy, I genuinely wanted answers to certain questions so that I could unde- rstand them properly. The nuns and priests responsible for my Catholic education sternly discouraged me. Being young, this just made me more curious. I suppose I was unlike other kids because I really did want to know. My mother tried her best to make sure that I was brought up as a good Catholic. I suppose I must have been because a school report describes me as ‘A staunch Roman Catholic’. I think I was only seven or eight at the time. This refusal to give me more information lead me to look at what other Christians believed. If my Parish Priest had found out he would have twisted my ear, told me off and may have reported me to the Bishop. The Church told you what to believe and it was up to the Church to make sure you did not get confused or ‘fall into error’ as the Church put it. Well I still was not satisfied and one of the things that really troubled me was the death of Jesus(as) on the cross. The more I studied the Bible the surer I became that Jesus(as) came to lead people back to God by his own example of loving kindness and to reconcile people to God through repentance and spiritual re-birth. I could not make any sense at all of a supposedly merciful God, who could not forgive weak humans without requiring the torture and murder of His only ‘begotten son’. It seemed an injustice that God’s 14 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 sense of justice required retribution for sin through the death of whom Christians believe to be his most loved. The Church teaches that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) died on the cross to pay for your sins and mine. Revelation 1:v.5 says: ‘Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ It also teaches that: ‘He who knew no sin became sin.’ (2 Corinthians 5:21) and: ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.’ (Isaiah 53:5) Well a sinner I may be, but I am not so sinful as to expect God to punish an innocent man for my misdeeds. I thank Allah for leading me out of darkness into light and for teaching me that I am responsible for my actions and that He is Most Gracious, Ever Merciful to those who repent and turn to Him for forgiveness. My personal Saviour is Allah and Allah alone. The story of the Resurrection of J e s u s( a s ) as told in the New Testament has long been taken for granted. It is part of the cultural background of Western man. Britain may not be a nation of Christians but we follow broadly Christian values and these are reflected in our laws and social values. The majority of people are not church-going Christians but they still revere Jesus(as) as someone who exem- plifies the best in human behaviour. Many people aspire to follow his example in doing good deeds and acting in a decent manner. His supposed death on the cross is seen as the ultimate example of sacrificing one’s life for others. Many people, while not describing themselves as especially religious, have followed his example and have performed outstanding feats of personal bravery and sacrifice. The person of Jesus(as) forms part of the psyche of Western nations. A tragic and moving story, the Resurrection offers hope and promise. While I was researching this topic I was amazed to discover that so many leading Christians have raised doubts about the Resurrection. Many Christians seem to have given up the idea that Jesus(as) survived death on the cross at all. George C a r y, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury was at the centre of a 15 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 media storm over the resurrection. An interview by a reporter from The Mail newspaper was published in August 1999: Cary was quoted as saying: ‘While we can be absolutely sure that Jesus lived and that he was certainly crucified on the cross, we cannot with the same certainty say that we know he was raised by God from the dead’ Opposition Member of Parliament Ann Widdecombe said that if the Archbishop ‘in any way leaves the Resurrection open to doubt then that is the ultimate betrayal.’ Archbishop Cary commented later that he had been misquoted. He had actually said that there is enough historical evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus( a s ) lived; however there is not the same amount of evidence that he was resurrected. As an Ahmadi Muslim, I do not believe that Jesus(as) actually rose from the dead after crucifixion, rather that he revived after being treated and cared for by Nicodemus. I accept that he was seen in the flesh by his disciples, that he was very keen to show them his physical injuries and to eat in front of them. Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) provided evidence from the Bible that Jesus(as) survived crucifixion. He also provided independent documentary evi-dence of J e s u s ’( a s ) subsequent journey eastwards from Palestine to find and deliver his message to the other Jews. His book Jesus in India is of monumental impor- tance because it removes all doubt. This book provided me with the key to understand what really took place 2,000 years ago before a bloodthirsty mob at a rubbish dump called Golgotha outside the walls of Jerusalem. Palestine was one of the worst trouble spots in the whole of the Empire. The Jews were unlike any other religious group because their beliefs could not be incorporated into the Ro m a n pantheon. The Romans ruthlessly crushed any opposition and this resulted in thousands of crucifixions. The Romans were experts in crucifixion. This argu- ment appears to be a strong proof that Jesus(as) did die on the cross. The Romans could make crucifixion last for days. Crucifixion was commonly used to execute insurgents and rebels and was a stark warning to those 16 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 who challenged the power of the Roman Empire. We may ask the question “If the Romans were so efficient, how could Jesus(as) have escaped?” The answer to the question lies in an extraordinary set of factors that came into play. On the night of his arrest, Jesus(as) went with his followers to the garden of Gethsemane where he threw himself before God and prayed passionately that God should not allow him to die a shameless and humiliating death in front of his enemies. Jesus’(as) prayer that the cup of death be removed could not go unaccepted. Indeed Jesus(as) was not afraid of dying if God willed it but he was fearful that he would be seen to have died an accursed death. He knew he would suffer the most extreme, shameful form of punishment devised. Galatians 3:13 reads: ‘Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.’ If he had died on the cross he would have died a curse and as a criminal. He would have died in total shame and disgrace in the eyes of the world. Jesus’ apostles had followed him for three years. The apostle Peter had boasted only days earlier: ‘Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.’ (Matthew 26:35) There he was that night standing in the mob. Defeated, confused and hurt. Jesus was dead! He was crucified as a blasphemer! One of the women saw Peter and said ‘And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.’ (Mark 14:67) The Bible says, ‘he began to curse and to swear, saying I know not this man of whom ye speak’ (Mark 14:71). Mark 14: 50 says that the apostles deserted Jesus ( a s ) . ‘And they forsook him and fled’. But something happened! Something happened to that small band of frightened and humiliated men. Less than two months later they were back in Jerusalem preaching that Jesus(as) was alive! During the ‘trial’ of Jesus (as), if it can be called a trial, Pilate the Roman governor did everything possible to avoid getting involved in what he saw as an internal Jewish matter. Caiaphas, President of the Sanhedrin, the supreme religious tribunal wanted Jesus ( a s ) executed for blasphemy but they could not kill Jesus(as) themselves because blasphemy was not punishable by Roman law. They had to convince Pilate to agree to 17 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 the death sentence on the basis that as Jesus said he was ‘The Messiah’ this would make him a popular hero and he would incite the Jewish population against Rome. Pilate could not ignore this political charge. He was not the sort of man to go along with Jewish demands without good reason, certainly not to be a rubber stamp on their independent decisions. He is described by a contemporary as ‘naturally inflexible, a blend of self-will and relentlessness’. The accounts also show a provocative man who found it hard to climb down. The Jewish authorities would have been only too pleased to denounce him to Rome for not doing his job. So Pilate was obliged to handle the case. Pilate was convinced that it was a trumped-up charge and that J e s u s( a s ) was no revolutionary but a religious fanatic, and not dangerous. Like one of his successors faced with a similar case, Pilate was inclined to pronounce him as a maniac and let him go. He hoped to achieve his freedom by invoking the established practice of releasing a Jewish prisoner before the Passover festival. So Pi l a t e offered to release Jesus( a s ). This was not a very clever idea because the custom was to release a popular prisoner and J e s u s( a s ) was anything but popular with the people to whom Pi l a t e had made the offer. They had their own candidate, Barabbas and they had taken the precaution of gathering a big enough crowd to drown out any support for Jesus( a s ). Beaten in his attempt to discharge Jesus( a s ) completely Pilate tried a compromise. He had Jesus( a s ) scourged. This was serious enough and was a regular punishment before crucifixion. The victim was tied to a post and his back flayed raw with leather throngs. The throngs had lead balls attached. He seems to have relied on the popular demand for Jesus’ ( a s ) blood being satisfied by this savage treatment. To add to the psychological effect he had his soldiers dress Jesus( a s ) in a royal robe and put on his head a ‘crown’ of thorny twigs. Often the scourging itself was fatal. But Pilate did not intend it to be fatal. It could have been another attempt to thwart Jewish demands by substituting a lesser sentence. But he had miscalculated. 18 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 The Jewish punishment for blasphemy was death and they would accept nothing less from the Romans. Political pressure was put on Pilate to sign the death warrant, which he reluctantly did. He was undoubt- edly influenced by his wife who had experienced troubling dreams about Jesus(as) and had warned him not to harm Jesus(as). He had received the message from his wife while he was actually conducting the trial. Pilate said he could find no fault with Jesus(as). God uses the most unlikely looking people to aid His cause. It may be that Pilate’s determination to free Jesus( a s ) was his most noble action. We know that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, who moved in the same social circles as Pilate and his wife, were secret followers of Jesus( a s ) and that they may have influenced her. Events moved extremely quickly because Jesus’(as) enemies want- ed him dead before the start of the Passover at dusk on Friday. The Romans gave him more rough treatment before forcing him to carry his cross to Golgotha. There he was crucified along with two others. The gospels tell us that Jesus(as) remained on the cross between three and six hours. Some commentators say that Jesus(as) was in the prime of his youth and in excellent health and therefore it is surprising that he could have died in such a short time. However, it would be unjust to overlook the fact that Jesus(as) had been physically punished before the crucifixion. He was blindfolded, vilified, spat at, punched, beaten with reeds and whipped. Soldiers had rammed a crown of thorns on to his head. He had been dragged before six different hearings in one night. After his ‘trial’ he was made to carry the wooden crosspiece through the streets to the place of execution. There he was stripped and large car- penters’ nails were hammered between his wrist bones to secure his arms to the crosspiece. His feet were nailed onto a wooden block. There was also a wooden support between his legs. This helped to relieve the pain in his wrists and feet and reduced some of the pressure on his lungs when his legs could not support him. The pain returned when the victim had to push himself up in order to breathe properly. This process was repeated over and over again. The Romans made 19 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 crucifixion as long and painful as possible. Between three and six hours later it was beginning to get dark. Jesus(as) appeared to be dead. The other condemned men were still alive. The Roman execution party had been ordered by Pilate to speed up the crucifixions before the start of the Passover. They broke the legs of the two others with blows from a h a m m e r. This caused them to collapse and die more quickly. When they came to Jesus(as) they thought he was already dead. A Roman soldier jabbed him in the side with a spear and blood and water, probably serum, flowed from a wound. He was taken down from the cross and put in a rock tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea. Meanwhile Joseph had quickly gone to Pilate and reported that Jesus(as)was dead. He asked for the body of Jesus(as) so that he could bury him. Pilate was surprised that Jesus(as) had died so quickly. He gave Joseph permission to take the body. Nicodemus went with Joseph to J e s u s(as) taking with them a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus and wound it in linen cloths with the spices, ‘as the manner of the Jews is to bury’. This is clearly stated in John 19:40. If we pause for a moment it is obvious that Nicodemus and Joseph were bandaging Jesus’(as) injuries. Myrrh and aloes is a powerful ointment for healing wounds. This is attested to by the Promised Messiah(as) in Jesus in I n d i a. There are hundreds of references in ancient books to ‘The Ointment of Jesus’. The writer of the Gospel of John also states that wrapping the body in bandages and spices is a Jewish burial rite. Mr Fishel Todd of the ‘Shema Israel Torah Network International Burial Society’ was asked if the Biblical account actually fell in line with Jewish burial traditions. Mr Fishel Todd said that Jewish burial customs had not changed in 3,500 years and that the body was not to be touched except to give it a ritual bath called a Tahara (meaning purity). The body is then put in the ground in the quickest simplest fashion available with only traditional burial shrouds. Mr Todd said that if the biblical account was accurate then Nicodemus carried the spices to 20 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 the scene with the intention applying them to Jesus’ ( a s ) wounds so he would be healed. When the women came to the tomb they found that the stone had been rolled away and J e s u s( a s )had gone. They encountered two individuals who asked them ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead?’ (Luke: 24;5) In order to convince the Disciples that he had survived the crucifixion, Jesus(as) asked them to realise that spirits or ghosts or apparitions do not have human flesh and bones. To make his point firmly he asked for something to eat. They gave him fish and a honeycomb and he ate it in front of them while they watched. What was the need for a supernatural divinity or God Himself to eat food? Apart from his attempts to assure them that they were not seeing an apparition, it is most likely that Jesus(as) was extremely hungry: having gone through pure hell in being beaten and nailed to a cross. Christians are bound by the doctrine that defines Jesus (peace be upon him) as both man and God. They view his post- crucifixion appearances as the appearance of this dual being. Non-Christians are not bound by religious faith to believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) was a special supernatural being. When we considerer the evidence i m p a r t i a l l y, then the events surrounding the crucifixion become clear and simple. They demonstrate one reality: Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) survived the crucifixion. The night of his arrest Jesus (peace be upon) prayed so hard that his sweat was like drops of blood. God answered his prayer: ‘In his life on earth Jesus made his prayers and requests to God, Who could save him from death. Because he was humble and devoted, God heard him.’ (Hebrews 5:7) 21 Jesus’s Survival from the Cross Review of Religions – April 2002 Abstract Since the late 1970’s, dozens of researchers, scholars, skeptics and ‘professional debunkers’ have presented their theories on how the image on the Shroud of Turin was formed. Some are based on serious science while others show a complete lack of understanding of the Shroud image or its properties. In this paper, I will review the “proto-photography” theory proposed by Prof. Nicholas Allen of South Africa. This theory concludes that the raw materials to produce photo- graphy not only existed in 22 Review of Religions – April 2002 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory By Barrie M. Schwortz, USA The Turin Shroud has been a focus of world-wide attention ever since it was discovered to be a negative image. Its first photographer was Secondo Pia and since then it has been photographed millions of times and even been subjected to a comprehensive examination by an international team of experts in 1978, who were eager to discover more about the cloth and whether it could have been the shroud of Jesus as many claimed. Twenty- four years on this debate still rages on and many theories have been put forward to try and explain how the image was formed. The author of this article was fortunate to have been the official photographer of the 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project. An established professional photographer in his own right, Barrie Schwortz reviews the theory of Prof. Nicholas Allen that that the Shroud is nothing more than a photograph that was taken around the 14th century using materials that were readily available to people at that time. This is a fascinating proposition, as photography did not emerge until nearly 500 years later in the late 19th century. medieval times, but that a brilliant medieval ‘photo- grapher’ actually used them to invent photography 500 years before the d o c u m e n t e d creation of the first photo- graphic negative by Joseph Niepce in 1818. To his credit, Allen has actually achieved what he set out to accomplish. He has, without question, used medieval raw materials to create a faint but good quality photographic image on linen cloth. As I will show however, his own results provide the best evidence against the validity of his theory. In the end, any attempt at dupli- cating the image on the Shroud of Turin must match all of its physical and chemical properties, not just a select few. It must also withstand the scrutiny of careful, side-by- side comparison to the original. In this paper I will provide just such side-by-side comparisons of key areas of the Shroud image vs. Allen’s results and present my arguments against the validity of his theory based on my 30 years of professional photography experience. I. Introduction In the last 30 years, the Shroud of Turin underwent the most intense and exhaustive study in its history. In 1969, 1973 and particularly 1978, literally thousands of photographs were made of the cloth and its image. With the advent of personal computers and more recently, the explosive growth of the Internet, the Shroud has become far more available for study than it ever was before. In fact, photographs of the Shroud are now readily available to anyone with a modem and the willingness to spend a few minutes downloading them. This has not been without impact in the world of Sindonology. Since the late 1970’s, dozens of researchers, scholars, skeptics and ‘professional debunkers’ have presented their theories 23 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 on how the image on the Shroud was formed or described other artifacts they believe they have discovered hidden in the image. Some are based on serious science and are very credible, while others show a complete lack of under- standing of the image and its properties and reveal the absence of any real research on the part of their proponents. To make matters worse, many of these theories have received wide public attention and in some cases, have actually been adopted as part of the ‘mythology’ of the Shroud. In this paper, I will review the ‘proto-photography’ theory proposed by Prof. Nicholas Allen and present my argu- ments against its validity. II. The Proto-Photography Theory This theory concludes that the raw materials to produce photography not only existed in medieval times, but that a medieval photographer creat- ed a light sensitive emulsion, coated it onto linen cloth and ‘exposed’ this medieval ‘film’ using a room sized camera obscura and a dead body hanging in front of its crystal lens as the subject matter.1 He goes on to claim that one half of the Shroud image was exposed at a time, first the ventral and then the dorsal half. He further concludes that it would take about four days to properly expose each half of the cloth, needing at least eight days to complete the entire task. Re c e n t l y, he modified his theory to include a third exposure for the face, made with a different lens2. To prevent the decay of the body during more than a week of exposure to the bright sunlight necessary for adequate exposure of the ‘film,’ Allen suggests that the camera obscura was located in a cold climate. III. Comments Allen has not been able to provide even one example of this medieval proto-photo- graphy process anywhere in art or photographic history, 24 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 although he has carefully and extensively documented early historical references to lenses and cameras obscura3. However, he has not demon- strated that anyone in medieval times ever combined this knowledge with the various sophisticated chemical and physical requirements of photographic science and brought them all together to make the process work. And if someone had, why didn’t they create more examples of this unique art form that would have certainly made them famous? Were this truly the case, many other examples of this type of image would certainly exist and photo- graphy would be acknowl- edged as a medieval science rather than one developed in the earliest stages of the industrial revolution. Allen also expressed to me his more recent belief that the Shroud is actually a composite of three different exposures, now concluding that the facial image was made as a distinctly different and third exposure onto the cloth. He writes: ‘My own work is confirming… that the details of the head are much more exacting than those of the body and especially the dorsal image (which is by far the worst image). I am surmising that the head was made with a separate lens. The frontal figure (sans head) was made with a lens closer to the one I used originally… and finally this lens was used for the dorsal image which needs no details such as are found on the face, fingers, etc.’4 He supports this claim by stating that he has recently detected ‘spherical aber- rations’ in the facial image on the Shroud which leads him to this conclusion5. Obviously, this would make the process of creating the image even more complex for a medieval photographer and even harder to accomplish. To d a y, even with the advanced state of modern digital imaging tech- 25 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 niques, such a perfect composite image could only be accurately accomplished by a highly trained photographic expert. To conclude it was produced by a medieval photographer truly stretches the imagination. Both the ventral and dorsal Shroud images do in fact include many intricate details, although Allen refers to the dorsal image as ‘by far the worst…’ I submit that the dorsal view lacks the equivalent detail only because facial features and fingers are not seen from behind. However, one must not ignore the scores of scourge marks across the shoulders, back, buttocks and legs on the dorsal image, since they in fact are excellent details that have been verified by no fewer than three expert forensic pathologists and anatomists.6 During our discussions he also stated: ‘…(the Shroud) shows stigmata that reflects the religious mores of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century.’7 I believe this conclusion is directly challenged by the multitude of expert forensic pathologists who have seriously studied the Shroud and have unanimously concluded that the accuracy of the pathology illustrated on the cloth is precise and completely realistic. Also, Allen makes no attempt to explain the forensic accuracy of the bloodstains on the Shroud. Since research done by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) and others has shown that there is no image underneath these bloodstains, we have been able to conclude that they were on the cloth before the image was formed. In fact, it appears that they actually acted to inhibit the image formation mechanism8. Pr o f . Allen’s mechanism leaves the critical issue of the bloodstains totally unresolved. 26 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 Allen’s rationale for his theory is obviously based on his personal acceptance of the carbon dating of the Shroud as medieval and his rejection of the image as a painting. Thus he apparently concludes that, since the Shroud image is known to exhibit certain photographic properties and it does not appear to be a painting, it must be a photograph. In fact, he stated: ‘It shows an image that could only have been produced photo- g r a p h i c a l l y … ’9 ( e m p h a s i s mine). Although he has created a photographic image on linen cloth, I disagree that the Shroud image could only have been produced in this manner. In fact, his own results provide the best evidence against the validity of this theory. Any attempt at recreating an image like that on the Shroud of Turin must match all of the physical and chemical properties of the original, not just a few. IV. Comparison Direction of Light To artists, accurate duplication of the light falling on their subjects is the primary basis for realism in their results. The history of art clearly documents the attempts made by artists at achieving this through the centuries. It is this relationship of highlights and shadows on a subject that provides the modeling that allows depth, shape and form to exist in a two dimensional plane. Artists must first discipline themselves to ‘see’the effects of light on their subject, then perfect the techniques for incorporating these effects into their artwork. Without doubt, this task is much simpler for photographers since it is the light itself that creates the result that is captured on the film. Allen’s photographs contain a strong directionality of light. 27 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 This is obvious from the deep shadows cast on his subject by the strong overhead sunlight he used to create his images (Figure 1). These are clearly seen in the eye sockets, under the nose and chin and below the hands and is unlike the image on the Shroud (Figure 2), which demonstrates no such directionality of light at all. It is further confirmed by 28 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 FIGURE 1 (© 1995 Nicholas Allen) FIGURE 2 (© 1978 Barrie M. Schwortz) the ‘washing out’ of detail in certain parts of the image, most notably the tops of the feet, which received far more light and cumulative exposure than the rest of the body (Figure 3). When Allen and I discussed this particular property of his image, he suggested that he would ‘…have to wait for the right time of year to do this, when the sun is very low in the sky. The result will be a more frontally illuminated image (like the Shroud of Turin).’10 In effect, this adds an additional layer of complexity to his theory and taxes the imagination to accept that a medieval photographer would have had the understanding of all of these principles, let alone the knowledge and skills to incorporate them into his work. In addition, his suggestion that the image on the Shroud is ‘frontally illuminated’ makes it obvious that he has failed to grasp certain image properties evidenced on the cloth. I am specifically referring to the darker areas (on the negative image) surrounding the crossed hands (Figures 2 and 4 ) . If the Shroud were frontally illuminated, this distinctive darkening could not 29 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 FIGURE 3 (© 1995 Nicholas Allen) FIGURE 4 (© 1978 Barrie M. Schwortz) exist, since front lighting would not cast any shadows at all, let alone above and below the hands. It is obvious that the darkening around the hands is not a s h a d o w or the effect caused by directionality of light. Yet other research completed over the last three decades provides a very logical explanation for their existence. Dimensional Encoding The experiments completed by the STURP team and other researchers have provided clear evidence that there is certain dimensional infor- mation encoded into the S h r o u d ’s image.1 1 , 1 2 This is often referred to as ‘three dimensional’ data. Of course, that is not technically correct since ‘three dimensional’ implies 360 degrees of information. What we actually see in the Shroud image is an accurate dimensional relief, similar to that created by the bas relief art technique. The result on the Shroud is a natural relief of a human form. This dimensional data was first visualized by the STURP team in 1976 with an instrument known as the VP-8 Image A n a l y z e r, a device used by NASA for mapping image density to vertical relief (Figure 5). It was further supported by the density /relief mapping techniques used by several Italian researchers around the same period of time13,14 and verified in recent years by the work of an Italian professional photographer and Shroud imaging expert using refined photographic edge enhance- ment techniques1 5 , 1 6. O f course, today it can also be done using some of the latest digital imaging software programs (Figure 6).17 The fact that all of these techniques yield the exact same result 30 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 FIGURE 5 (© 1997 Barrie M. Schwortz) clearly confirms the existence of the dimensional data first visually revealed by the VP-8. The STURP team concluded that there was a correlation between the density (or darkness) of the image on the Shroud and the distance the cloth was from the body at the time the image was formed. The researchers calculated that the image on the Shroud was formed at a cloth-to-body distance of up to approx- imately 4 centimeters, but beyond that, imaging did not occur. The closer the cloth was to the body, the darker the resulting image in that area, with the darkest parts of the image being formed where there was direct contact between the two. The image became proportionately lighter as the distance increased until it reached the maximum imaging distance.18 19 It is this very fact that explains 31 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 FIGURE 6 (© 1999 Mark Bruzon) the phenomenon of the ‘shadows’ surrounding the hands and helps to exclude frontal illumination as a viable possibility for the Shroud image. Since the crossed hands of the man of the Shroud caused the cloth to be raised away from the body, the distance between the cloth and body in the areas immediately surrounding the hands was increased, thus decreasing the image density (Figures 2 and 4). This clearly accounts for the less dense areas that surround the crossed hands in the image and that are identified by Allen as ‘shadows.’ This image prop- erty cannot be achieved using light or photography. Since the densities on a photo- graphic negative are not dependent on the distance between subject and film, there is no way that this density information can be incor- porated into an image p h o t o g r a p h i c a l l y. Consequently, when subjected to VP-8 image analysis, Allen’s results do not yield a proper dimensional relief of a human form like that on the Shroud (Figure 7).2 0 T h i s is reason enough to disqualify p h o t ography as a possible expla-nation for the image on the Shroud and is supported by research from a number of independent sources. Allen’s conclusions seem to indicate that he does not fully understand these rather complex dimensional pro- perties of the Shroud image. Sharp edges There is one additional facet of Allen’s image that is considerably different from the image on the Shroud. The Shroud image has no distinct or sharp edges, yet Allen’s body image has a very distinct and sharp edge, much as one would expect from a properly 32 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 FIGURE 7 (© 2000 Kevin Moran) focused photograph. This property of the Shroud rein- forces the distance-to-density correlation mentioned earlier. In essence, the distance between the peripheral of the body and the cloth increased gradually until it reached the maximum imaging distance and caused very soft, gradated edges that simply fade into the background. Once again, A l l e n ’s image provides the necessary evidence to disqualify photography as the S h r o u d ’s image formation process. IV. Conclusions The proto-photography theory proposed by Prof. Nicholas Allen was able to create an image on linen cloth, but not one that duplicated the image properties of the Shroud of Turin. When attempting to provide a viable image for- mation mechanism for the Shroud, one has to account for all of the image properties, not just a few of them. Allen failed to understand certain important facets of the image on the Shroud of Turin. Much as it truly takes a professional artist to properly evaluate a painting, so too must photo- graphy be evaluated by the professional photographer. In the case of the proto- photography theory, other professional evaluations of A l l e n ’s theory have reached similar conclusions.21 Admittedly, Allen was able to create a viable photographic image using medieval raw materials, but he did so from the perspective of 21st century science. Surely raw materials must exist on our planet today that may even- tually lead to the development of interstellar travel, but their mere exis-tence is not enough to actually provide us with the technology22. That will have to wait until our technological development advances to a much higher level than exists today. If we accept the argument that the mere existence of certain raw materials is reason enough to believe someone actually used them to invent a 33 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 technology that was still 500 years in the future, we should start searching archaeological sites around the world for the remains of medieval cellular phones, microwave ovens and nuclear weapons! Just because the raw materials for these highly advanced technologies existed, does nott mean someone actually created them, particularly before human knowledge advanced enough technologically to truly make this possible. Notes 1. Allen, Nicholas P.L. – Verification of the Nature and Causes of the Photo-negative Images on the Shroud of Lirey- C h a m b e r y – Turin* [1995]. h t t p : / / w w w. p e t e c h . a c . z a / s h r o ud/nature.htm 2. Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 10, 1999. 3. Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 6, 1999. 4. Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 10, 1999. 5. Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 10, 1999. 6. Dr. Pierre Barbet, Dr. Ro b e r t Bucklin and Dr. Frederick Zugibe. 7. Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 6, 1999. 8. Adler, Alan D. – The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Tu r i n. [June 1999]. h t t p : / / w w w. s h r o u d . c o m / p d f s / adler.pdf. 9. Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 6, 1999. 1 0 Personal correspondence with Nicholas Allen, May 10, 1999 11. Jackson, J.P., E.J. Jumper and W.R. Ercoline, T h r e e Dimensional Characteristic of the Shroud Image, IEEE 1982 Proceedings of the International Conference on Cybernetics and Society, October 1982, pp. 559- 575. 12. Jackson, J.P., E.J. Jumper, and W.R. Ercoline, ‘Correlation of Image Intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D Structure of a Human Body Shape,’ Applied Optics, Vol. 23, No. 14, 1984, pp. 2244-2270. 13. Tamburelli, G. – The results in the processing of the Holy Shroud of Turin – IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 3, No. 6, Nov. 1981, pp. 670-76. 14. Tamburelli, G. – N. Balossino – 34 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002 Nouveau visage tridimensionnel eidomatique du S.Suaire et nouvelles correspondences eidomatiques avec l’Evangile et la tradition – Ty p e s c r i p t , Symposium Scientifique International de Paris sur le Linceul de Turin, 7-8 Septembre 1989, pp. 1-4. 15. Guerreschi, Aldo, ‘The Tu r i n Shroud: From the Photo to the Three-dimensional,’ May 2000 Imaging Conference in San Felice Circeo, Italy. h t t p : / / w w w. s h r o u d . c o m / p d f s / aldo1.pdf 1 6. Guerreschi, Aldo, ‘The Tu r i n Shroud and Ph o t o – Re l i e f Technique,’ May 2000 Imaging Conference in San Felice Circeo, Italy. h t t p : / / w w w. s h r o u d . c o m / p d f s / aldo2.pdf 17. Image produced by Mark Bruzon using Bryce software from an original scan of a Barrie Schwortz photograph. 18. Jackson, J.P., E.J. Jumper, and W.R. Ercoline, ‘Correlation of Image Intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D Structure of a Human Body Shape,’Applied Optics, Vol. 23, No. 14, 1984, pp. 2244-2270. 19. Jackson, J.P., E.J. Jumper and W.R. Ercoline, ‘Three Dimensional Characteristic of the Shroud Image,’ IEEE 1982 Proceedings of the International Conference on Cybernetics and Society, October 1982, pp. 559- 575. 20. VP-8 analysis of Nicholas Allen’s photograph courtesy of Kevin Moran 21. Ware, Mike, ‘On Pr o t o – Photography and the Shroud of Turin,’ The History of Photography, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 261-268. 22. Concept from a presentation by Isabel Piczek 35 Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? Review of Religions – April 2002