Shroud Wars 2- Dale Vs. Alan Debate Round #2


Enjoy the podcast:–Dale-Vs–Alan-Debate-Round-2-e2nqvl

Well folks, its that time again!  Round 2 of our Shroud Wars series once again pits Dale (Pro-Shroud side) vs. Alan (Shroud skeptic side) on the issue of the historical provenance of the Shroud of Turin.  This time around, it will be Dale that has the burden of proof as I try to establish the claim that the Shroud of Turin is older than the Medieval period by centuries; at the very least it dates to the 6th century A.D. or earlier!  Furthermore, Alan will attempt to show that the Shroud cannot be linked back to the historical Jesus (and/or a Jew from the first-century A.D.)- the pro-Jesus historicity case is entailed in the Anatomical Accuracies topic and as such it will be delayed until Round 3.  You won’t want to miss this one!

The topics that will be covered in Round 2 include;

i) Contra-Medieval Evidence #1– The Argument from Art History/Numismatic Coins via the “Odd Features” & other Points of Comparison (6thcentury A.D. or earlier).

ii) Contra-Medieval Evidence #2– The 3 Physical Tests Conducted by Fanti (FTIR, Raman Spectroscopy and Tensile Strength of the Flax tests- combined c. 33 B.C +/- 250 years with a claimed 95% degree of certainty) & the Micro-Chemical Comparison Tests conducted by Ray Rogers (c. 250 B.C.-70 A.D.).

iii) Contra-Medieval Evidence #3– The Argument from the Link to the Sudarium of Oviedo (6th or 5th century A.D. or earlier).

iv) Pro-Historical Jesus Case– Dale establishes the Shroud can be linked historically to the historical Jesus (delayed until Round 3).

v) Contra-Historical Jesus Case– Alan establishes that the Shroud probably did not belong to the historical Jesus and/or a Jew form the first-century A.D.

Enjoy the show 😊

Recommended Sources (for further study):


1.  General Dating & Other Shroud Sources;

a) See various presentations on all Shroud related topics (including  multiple topics related to the Shroud’s history going back to Jesus)- includes papers, PowerPoint presentations and video presentations; see 2014 St. Louis conference material here  = & 2017 International Conference on the Shroud of Turin with many topics covered on all topics here =

Please, take some time to look into some of the sources from these Conferences- you will get a good idea of the who’s who of Shroud researchers today and get a glimpse or overview of the most up to date Shroud research 😊

b) As I have utilized and referenced Shroud historian’s Ian Wilson’s work and historical hypothesis, I wanted people to understand Ian Wilson is not the only game in town amoung Pro-Shroud historians/advocates, see Jack Markwardt provide his own historical hypothesis on the history of the Shroud as well = (76-page presentation paper) or see  (VIDEO VERSION- approx. 1 hour) & a 27 min presentation on the Full History of the Shroud from Apostolic times onwards (including a possible allusion to the Shroud made in the NT book of Galatians 3) = and/or see Bob Rucker reference the Galatians 3 issue on p.2/6 article called “History of the Shroud of Turin” from here = .  Also, he presents a historical explanation as to how the Shroud arrived in the hands of Geoffrey I in the 1350’s here = (covers the gap from 1204 in Constantinople to Lirey France in 1350’s when shown publicly for the first time since 4th Crusade).


c) Historian Daniel Scavone presents = “Constantinople Documents as Evidence of the Shroud in Edessa” = OR Youtube video =


2. Art History & Numismatic Coins Argument;

a) Art History Argument; Firstly, in regards to the “Art History” argument specifically (comparing the Shroud to various art images/icons in paintings, etc- see = (33-page scholarly paper), OR PowerPoint with picture illustrations =  OR Video presentation = .

Also see Shroud historian Ian Wilson explaining his own historical hypothesis, C-14, etc. = (15 min video).

From the 2017 Conference on this argument see = OR Video Presentation = .

b) Numismatic Coin Comparison Sources;

See Alan Whanger’s work on this argument and results here = on p.7-9) & on p.8-9).  Finally, see Giulio Fanti’s more recent research on this (on the 692-695 A.D. Justinian II coins) from =   (36 page report) or PowerPoint Slides = (POWERPOINT SLIDES)  OR for 56 min YouTube video presentation see =

3. Sudarium of Oviedo;

NEW SOURCES (NOT INCLUDED IN PART 2 PODCAST):  Presentation on Sudarium’s link to the Shroud of Turin =  (7-page article presented at 2014 Workshop on Advances  in the Turin Shroud Investigation).


A great BBC Documentary outlining the evidence from the Hungarian Pray Codex evidence, Sudarium of Oviedo (specifically discussed at approx. 36-40 min mark), other historical evidence not mentioned in my Podcast (for the sake of time such as the Man of Sorrow icons and the folding patterns on the Shroud) and the C-14 unreliableness/questionable nature amoung other things. This is a great Intro source = .

Also, for detailed study on the Forensic comparisons made between the Shroud and the Sudarium see the following 3 sources =  (short write-up) or  (63-page report) and  (a 17-page report).

Also, for information on the 2012 dirt (with Calcium) comparison tests between the Shroud, Sudarium and the Calvary site in Jerusalem =  (9-pages) OR YouTube video presentation here  =  (18 mins).

Lastly, for sources on the 2014 evidence using the Sudarium’s Pollen findings in comparison to the Shroud of Turin see the abstract = & 35 min YouTube presentation here (first 24 mins on Forensic link of Sudarium to Shroud and covers the Dirt comparison as well, then Pollen findings starts at the 24 min mark onwards)  = .

UPDATE: Alan also took me to task on the rare blood group AB evidence, I mentioned it was confirmed by different researchers and Alan denied this saying it was done only by Baima Ballone, I knew this was wrong but couldn’t think of the name on the show and so I confirmed that Dr. Garza-Valdez also did some work on the AB blood as well in the late 1990’s, see Dr. Kelly Kearse summarize all of the evidence on the bloodstains up to 2014 (including the AB blood group data) in this 30 min video here = .

4. Pro/Contra- Historical Jesus (and/or First-Century Jew);


Art documentary (from a Shroud skeptical perspective) detailing the historical development of Christian art and depictions of Jesus from its inception in the first century through to the late Dark Ages, is by Waldemar Januszczak and called “The Dark Ages: An Age Of Light – Part One”- see here = .  *** Note that these pictures typically date to the 2nd-3rd-4thcentury A.D. or later therefore being much too late in themselves to be argued to have any historical connection to what the actual historical Jesus looked like. The NT itself makes little to no mention of Jesus’ physical characteristics (seeing the Christianity emerged from within a Jewish context such images would have been problematic with Jewish sensitivities related to possible idolatry).

Christian Apologist Dr. Gary Habermas articles on the Shroud in general and its historical Link to Jesus = &

Robert (Bob) Bucklin; Forensic Medical Exert identifies the Shroud Man to Jesus- bear in mind I don’t want to go into too much detail as to the various anatomical findings found on the Shroud Man but as it is relevant to establishing the historical link, I wanted to provide this one source with the quote from Bucklin that I gave during the Podcast = for some of Bucklin’s bio info = .

Textile Evidences: (John Tyrer’s article Looking at the Shroud as a Textile- 11 pages); (John Jackson article on the History of the Shroud based on the fold marks in the linen cloth- 24 pages) ; Side strip of cloth by Alan Whanger =  (short write-up) ; Radiological studies of the Shroud cloth by Alan Whanger =  (15 pages) ; Water Stain evidence and other textile factors = (15 pages) & (10 pages) respectively.

Barrie Schwortz article on “Five Reasons Why Some Christians are Shroud Skeptics”;  This includes discussion on some of the historical objections raised by Shroud skeptics that we included in Part 3 but also has additional more theological objections which we shall address in other Podcasts in our Shroud series as skeptical “Counter-features” = .

Dirt & Pollen/Flowers, etc. Comparison Studies:  (26-page report).  Also 2014 evidence using the Sudarium’s Pollen findings in comparison to the Shroud of Turin see the abstract = & 35 min YouTube presentation here (first 24 mins on Forensic link of Sudarium to Shroud and covers the Dirt comparison as well, then Pollen findings starts at the 24 min mark onwards)  = .

Pontius Pilate Coins: (Scholarly 7 page article by Dr. T. V. Oommen) or see short write up by Alan Whanger on his own main website on this = – specifically under the “Jewish Coins” section (but see other interesting sections on other evidences we have mentioned as well as additional ones) = .

Contra-Pontius Pilate Coin Argument is Sketchy or Controversial:  Contrast this with skeptical articles related to pattern recognition and issues with image enhancement techniques use to prove the Pontius Pilate coins (as well as other features such as the bones and teeth, etc. that we shall address later on in our Shroud series) with a paper co-authored by my friend and Shroud expert Barrie Schwortz as well = (16 pages) &/OR,  (7 pages).

Contra- Alan’s claim that the position of feet being nailed on Shroud contradicts Yohanan archeological evidence = not true = .

Also, a good source on the Roman flagrum and/or scourging issue with the Shroud Man = .  Or see the 25-minute video here = .

Finally, here are some sources addressing the claim the Shroud Man’s long hair invalidates him as Jesus and/or a first-century Jew as fallacious, see here =  or  GARY HABERMAS REFUTES THIS = . ALSO LONG HAIR IS BECOMING A PROPHET = . Barrie Schwortz’s take on the Long Hair, see Objection #4 here = .  Even fellow Shroud skeptic Hugh Farey backs me up vs. Alan in one of his comments on this issue here = where he says “I think the answer is simpler still. Ordinary length hair (for men) was to the shoulder, while long hair (typical of women) was to the waist. ‘Long’ is a cultural relative”.

P.S. Having researched Alan’s claim about Josephus, I fail to find the proof he mentioned for Jews having to have short hair, the only reference was to Moses comparing him to Egyptian priests who had shaved heads, but the Israelite Levitical laws forbad this to differentiate themselves from this pagan practice, so Alan’s claims are wrong here (or at best I was unable to find them in the source he mentioned on the show)- search “hair” here = .



1. So, as per Alan’s advice I have re-listened to his part on Jews having “close-cropped hair” and searched for his sources- this appears to be where he is getting his info from as opposed to the actual primary sources like what I use = . I could be wrong on that and Alan is free to correct the record here on that front, but this seems to follow his presentation about Zeus and has the source references in precisely the same way Alan lists them in the Podcast.

Quote from Alan’s apparent source (again he can correct the record if I’m wrong but this looks to be right here) =

“The apostle Paul said it was a shame for a man to have long hair because the male is made in the image of God who is groomed with short hair (I Corinthians 11:3-16). It was a common characteristic of Jewish men to wear their hair in a close-cropped fashion. Eusebius copied the text of the Jewish historian Josephus in Against Apion I.22, para.173-4. In this section, Josephus was quoting an early Gentile author who gave some unique grooming styles of Jewish men. Josephus shows that the Jews were known, as Eusebius renders it, for “their close-cropped hair” (Preparation for the Gospel, IX.9, sect 412b)”.

2. In the actual quote in Eusebius himself (the primary source as opposed to an internet skeptic’s site),- it doesn’t refer to Jews in the first century A.D. at all, but is about some Jews during the time of the Persian king Xerxes in around the mid-400’s B.C. It is the description of Jews by a poet who was peeved they invaded Greece with the Persians.

Here is the quote in Eusebius from = .


[JOSEPHUS] 10 ‘CHOERILUS also, an ancient poet, has mentioned the Jewish nation, and how they served with king Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. And thus he speaks:

“Next passed a nation wondrous to behold,
Whose lips pronounced the strange Phoenician tongue;
Upon the hills of Solyma they dwelt
By the broad inland sea. Rough and unkempt
Their close-cropped hair, and on their heads they wore
The smoke-dried skin flayed from a horse’s face.

‘Now that he spake this concerning Jews is evident from the fact that Hierosolyma lies on the mountains called by the Greeks Solyma, and that near it is the Asphaltic lake, which is very broad as the poet says, and larger than any of the lakes in Syria.’

Such then is this man’s testimony.”

3. What about in Jospehus himself- check out this (I can’t copy and paste it but primary source of verses 173-174 referenced by Alan along with a commentary by Josephus scholar on p.101-103 here = .

4. Also, the arch of Titus shows a Jew with long hair and beard as well unlike the others (2nd from the left).


Final Update: I noticed I forgot to include any sources for the 3 Physical Tests by Guilio Fanti so people can check out some details about it in this 14-page article here = .




41 thoughts on “Shroud Wars 2- Dale Vs. Alan Debate Round #2

  1. Dale
    So thanks for the link to roman flagrum report. I had already read it and indeed referenced it in my discussion with you. You of course are going to show me a photo of an actual (not reconstructed ) flagrum which matches the wounds on the shroud as per so many shroud articles.

    And talking of photos, how do i embed photos, and links in these reply boxes ?
    As for Josephus, I suggest you listen to what I actually said. I had no problem finding the reference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The article I reference provides archaeological proof of what it looked like, and thus it is consistent with the photo I was looking at which is a replica based on visual illustrations in our historical/archaeological records. Anyways as I said you keep shifting the burden of proof, you had to prove the Shroud wounds don’t match a Roman flagrum and/or scourging device of the first-century- you cannot and did not do that.

      I don’t know know how to put photos up.

      As for Josephus, well why don’t you provide the quote you are talking about along with the link then, I couldn’t find it I could only find the part about Moses, so provide your own source on here for people to read then, I want to see it and apparently couldn’t find what you are talking about- where is it? Also, while you are at it, where is the Maccabees reference as well- not as relevant but just curious now that you mention it.

      As to the arch of Titus- I saw with my own eyes by the way, but anyways yeah we know Romans depicted barbarians in inaccurate ways- Trajan’s Column for example, so the depictions are you reading stuff into them but is suggestive at best.

      Finally, do you honestly think, even if I granted all of your claims (once I see this mysterious Josephus quote), that this is representative of all Jews living 60 years earlier- Josephus represents urbanized Jerusalem not rural Galilee, there were significant differences in terms of localized customs and fashions during that time. Then there is the whole issue of the Nazarite vow and/or growing long hair (meaning more unkempt hair/beard) was a sign of being a prophet- much in the same way John the Baptist was and Jesus was baptized/associated with him, makes sense historically.

      There are just so many things that refute this common skeptical claim, that its actually seen as sort of a joke objection amoung scholars- that’s why when I mentioned it with Barrie in his interview he burst out laughing uncontrollably at this type of thing, just as you did to me when you had no idea about the physics of radiation as per Rucker’s Neutron Flux/Absorption hypothesis which has been scientifically verified and published in credible peer-reviewed journals as being a valid potential explanation for the C-14 dates.


      1. “The article I reference provides archaeological proof of what it looked like”
        It does no such thing. Show me the evidence.

        “Anyways as I said you keep shifting the burden of proof, you had to prove the Shroud wounds don’t match a Roman flagrum and/or scourging device of the first-century- you cannot and did not do that.”
        This is laughable. Again and again you require people to prove a negative. I can’t believe after all this time you haven’t figured this out. We keep telling you over and over and over . We are under no obligation to show that something doesn’t exist.

        You have to show why the marks on the image on the shroud are whip marks. Why on earth would you think that ?
        If you think the marks were caused by a flagrum, you then have to establish that there is such a thing as a flagrum in the first century.
        You must show what this thing looked like. What were the materials it was made of .
        And finally you must show evidence that the parts on the implement match the marks on the image.

        Otherwise I feel justified in concluding there are No whip marks on the image. How exactly are you going to show that the marks are consistent with someone who has undergone the ritual tortures involved with crucifixion ?

        Yes I will show the background to the issue relating to Josephus and references. You clearly haven’t understood what I said. Suggest you listen again.

        I am completely unimpressed with your constant reference to supposed authorities. If you think they have valid evidence, SHOW THAT EVIDENCE. Lets see the pictures of Semites wearing long hair. If you have documentary evidence from the period that shows that the common Jew wore long hair, lets see that.

        You have acknowledged the Hellenistic influence in the way Jews looked in the period just before the first century.
        You have also acknowledged the same influence in the period just after the first century. Wouldn’t that indicate the same influence in the period in between ?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Firstly, logically it is naive to claim you can’t prove a universal negative- you can, logicians have been telling you skeptics that for millennia- how are you still using these false cliche of pop cultural nonsense. But anyways, OK by your own admission you can’t prove the Shroud didn’t belong to the historical Jesus, thus I won that section of the debate then, my pro-Jesus historicity case will be in Round 3 not Round 2, that was where you tried to prove your claim that it couldn’t have belonged to Jesus. So thus, none of the evidence (according to you) accomplishes this so great I and everyone else can ignore it completely.

          As to the experts, yes I realize you engage in special pleading and ignore any experts or evidence that goes against your skeptical notions about the Shroud, but that is not the way honest seekers engage with evidence- according to you that is putting one’s conclusions before analyzing the evidence and that is pseudo-history/science; that is my take on how you analyze the evidence.

          I acknowledge that some Jews (including mainstream Jewish authorities and influential people) were Hellenized in the period, we know that the Greeks were forcing Jews to be so and eat pork during Maccabean times as well but i wouldn’t use that as evidence to prove every Jew was eating pork- same deal with the hair. Again, I need to see the quotes and the references b/c I wasn’t able to find it- the quote that I found, is that the passage you have in mind or is it something else??? If its the one I found in the link I provided, then it certainly does not say what you claim it does. So yeah, please provide the specific quotes and links to what you are referring to so I can see it with my own eyes and read it for myself. Here is a link to Against Apion in Josephus 1.22- unfortunately they don’t number the verses/paragraphs so I had to scan it- there is nothing about hair or beards in there from searching for it using the find feature = .

          What about the other reference in Eusebius book 4.1.25- where is the quote you are talking about =

          Now, I will try to re-listen to the show when I get the time but I don’t have a spare 2.5 hours right now but what is it you are saying I’m getting wrong, you claimed they would have been clean shaven and shaved heads and this is not the case historically, if you are saying I misunderstood your claim then so be it, just clarify so I know what I’m looking for. If you meant the ponytail is beyond shoulder length then this is easily explained by scholars but again I want to understand your claim first via the sources/quotes you give and obviously according to you I haven’t seen them yet, so let’s see them.


          1. “OK by your own admission you can’t prove the Shroud didn’t belong to the historical Jesus, thus I won that section of the debate then,..”

            Actually, you don’t. To win you would have to demonstrate that what you are claiming is accurate.

            You still haven’t done that.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Lol Hello Darren my skeptical friend,

              It seems we keep going around and around with the same thing. I was obviously being a little playful with Alan about the “I win” part but still, you never seem to understand the fact that the person making a claim bears the burden of proof. I was making a claim with the Art/Coin argument, the 3 Physical/Chemical test (which failed by my own admission but is still valid indicative evidence awaiting further future confirmation for validity) and the Sudarium of Oviedo. Thus, I had the burden of proof and met it- I crushed it on Argument #1 and #3 whereas Alan crushed it in on Argument #2 and showing I failed to meet my burden of proof (I was planning on this, as I wanted to be kind to him and reflect the fact that his middle argument based on the Medallion in Round 1 was complete rubbish as well, thus I gave an easy to refute argument as well- I was being nice here- I could have used the fold marks or textile evidence by John Tyrer to prove the Shroud wasn’t medieval if I wanted to but I gave Alan a gift by trying to mirror my claims based on the relative strengths of his evidences in Round 1).

              Now, as to the final section- Alan made a claim or was supposed to be doing that anyways, he claimed the Shroud can’t belong to Jesus or a first-century Jew. By his own admission none of his evidences on Crucifixion accomplished this goal; perhaps the best he had was the long hair claim whereby he does claim to have some evidence which could be used to make an inference that it is improbable that Jesus had long hair as depicted on the Shroud. Again, I need to see the quotes first-off to see what Josephus or Maccabees actually says and even then, he will have the problem of assuming these texts are accurate for non-urbanized Jews from Galilee and one who claimed to be a prophet and was associated with John the Baptist (known for being in the wilderness with unkempt hair and beard, etc.). But its like saying, well Philo was Hellenized Jew in Alexandria and thus whatever he says reflects mainstream Jewish beliefs in Judea- no you can’t do that; or the fact that some Jews compromised to Hellenism and were worshiping pagan gods, eating pork, etc. doesn’t mean this is the norm for most Jews, especially again rural religious Jews living in the country side as opposed to urbanized city- obviously the fact there was a revolt because of this stuff proves many Jews rejected these practices and refused to compromise.

              Its the same deal with the hair, I think Alan is reading too much into the artistic depictions that are not warranted but the texts could potentially have some relevance, I need to read them to see what they say- hence why I want to see what quote he is talking about- does Josephus say every single Jew living in Judea and Galilee had short hair and no beard or is he talking about the priests/upper class in Jerusalem with whom he was associated in his time?- I have no idea b/c I can’t find what Alan has in mind here. As he bears the burden of proof, he needs to provide these quotes for me to investigate and then assess the significance of in terms of proving Jesus probably had short hair and/or shorter hair then what is depicted on the Shroud, especially when I have quotes from historians telling me the Shroud Man’s hair is absolutely “typical of Jews in ancient times”- all I’m doing is asking to see the evidence for myself and decide what to make of it because everything I’ve read from the scholars and actual historians beg to differ with Alan’s claim here (at least in terms of making any dogmatic statements that would be all encompassing like Alan wants to establish).

              One needs to understand humility when claiming practices from ancient times- burial shroud practices, the different types of scourge weapons and the acceptable length of hair for men, etc. and on that front Alan may have a point against me when I attempt to link the Shroud to Jesus in Round 3 but not here in Round 2.


              1. “It seems we keep going around and around with the same thing. I was obviously being a little playful with Alan about the “I win” part but still, you never seem to understand the fact that the person making a claim bears the burden of proof.”

                Sure. And you are the one claiming that the shroud belonged to Jesus.

                Just because Alan can’t demonstrate that claim to be false doesn’t mean that you win.

                You don’t win until you can demonstrate the claim is true.

                This is the comment I was responding to.

                “OK by your own admission you can’t prove the Shroud didn’t belong to the historical Jesus, thus I won that section of the debate then,..”

                Again. You don’t win because Alan can’t prove the shroud doesn’t belong to the historical jesus.


                1. I explicitly said I was not making a pro-Jesus historicity claim, Alan made the claim not me in Round 2. Its simple Darren, its even in the Introduction I wrote up in the selected topics. I win in this section doesn’t mean I can prove it belonged to Jesus, it means Alan can’t prove it didn’t.

                  You have to be able to focus on what the actual topic being discussed is instead of bringing in assumptions (whether true or not) about my opinions elsewhere and then making that a claim of mine in the context of the debate which isn’t on that topic specifically. Round 3 will be my making this claim to which Alan can perhaps recycle his evidence on the lack of scourging equipment preserved to refute my claim the Shroud’s scourge wounds are historically accurate or something (if I use that as evidence for historicity vs. just anatomical accuracy for example) but not here.


                  1. “I explicitly said I was not making a pro-Jesus historicity claim,”

                    Then perhaps you shouldn’t have written this then.

                    “OK by your own admission you can’t prove the Shroud didn’t belong to the historical Jesus, thus I won that section of the debate then,..”

                    You can whine all you want about not making that claim in the podcast, it doesn’t change the fact that you made the claim here in writing. I wish you would stop saying you didn’t make the claim that I just quoted you as making. No one is impressed.


                    1. (Sigh), that isn’t a claim, or if you insist it is then at least its not the claim you mistake it to be. “Winning” in this context means preventing Alan from establishing his claim; I’m the one who made the statement thus you should believe me when I tell you what it means unless you think I’m just lying about it or something. Anyways as I said, I was just being a bit playful there with Alan, so it doesn’t really matter.

                      Let me ask the more substantive issue, as this is what I care about and I’m sure its what Alan cares about as well- based solely on the arguments presented by Alan in final section of the debate (starting with the long hair onwards), do you believe Alan was successful in “proving” that the Shroud probably did not belong to Jesus/first-century Jew because of any of these factors he mentions (Alan “wins”) or are you agnostic on the issue (I “win”)?


                    2. “…do you believe Alan was successful in “proving” that the Shroud probably did not belong to Jesus/first-century Jew because of any of these factors he mentions (Alan “wins”) or are you agnostic on the issue (I “win”)?”

                      I would say Alan won that round, assuming he was conveying accurate facts.

                      He came with actual customs from the people of the time, he showed how your methodologies are flawed, and that some of the conclusions you make don’t follow from the observations you are making.

                      I didn’t agree with all of his critiques, and there were some that weren’t valid, but overall I think he did a good job in showing that your argument doesn’t really do what you think it does, while at the same time giving a fairly solid foundation for a medieval shroud.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Hmm OK that is what I expected you would say, thanks for the feedback 🙂


  2. I noticed some of you clicked on the 76-page Jack Markwardt link on the history of the Shroud and it didn’t work, I have put an updated link that should work now and/or can check it out here = .

    If anyone notices that one of the links doesn’t work please let me know, sometimes it happens and I can update it so they are working again 🙂




  3. This site looked so promising a few weeks ago as a new, apparently open-minded forum on which to discuss the pros and cons of Shroud authenticity . (Not my own focus I have to add, being more interested in claims that the TS image is non-reproducible with any known or presently unknown science or technology).

    Sadly, it’s gone the way of so many predecessor sites. Don’t ask me to say why – time is too precious a commodity at my time of life to keep going over old ground…

    So it’s a case of good bye Dale. Goodbye site…

    Email me Dale anytime you wish to discuss and/or evaluate my Model 10 (flour imprinting to achieve a simulated sweat imprint of MEDIEVAL origin).

    Bye, for now at any rate…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK Colin, that is fine- I would just say that it feels a little unfair of you here, I’ve bent over backwards in accommodating skeptics with my Shroud series, doing debates (never a part of the original plan), interacting with Hugh and sharing Bob Rucker’s feedback to his comments. You weren’t here for all the previous comments that disparaged all my hard work by multiple skeptics on the Unbelievable Boards (that stuff would probably really turn you off), but try to understand that there are times when it feels like I have to work twice as hard as skeptics do just to have my arguments even considered on the same level- every little claim I make is scrutinized and probed with a fine tooth comb to find even the smallest of error whereas skeptics can generally say whatever they want and no one bothers to validate any of it- it just seems to be accepted and/or at least get a free pass from any criticism (it was refreshing to see one of our listeners Travis provide a balanced feedback critiquing both David and me for a change, I really appreciated that sort of even-handedness).

      As a case in point; Alan claimed people were nailed through the groin- what? I would love to see the scholar who says this. It doesn’t exist of course, the only thing I can think of is that Alan is referring to Seneca where a stick was used to humiliate them but had nothing to do with nailing them to the cross through the groin area. Or take his claim about the etymology of “barbarian”, he was totally off-base about it having to do with beards, hair, etc.- I know because I watch many docs and read a lot about ancient Rome and Greece, it had to do with the language they speak (non-Greek speakers were barbarians as though they said bar bar or in our words bla bla bla), see = , yet most listening will just take this kind of stuff for granted because Alan is a skeptic and thus he never has to prove anything he says.

      I would never get away with that type of thing- if I claimed something like that, I better have a source as backup or else I would be accused of lying or something. So, as far as I know, I’ve always been respectful of skeptics to greater or lesser extents sure, but I was certainly being respectful though a little playful with Alan here (though that hasn’t always been the case between us) and certainly always been especially respectful toward you and Hugh on here.

      So, maybe the comments are coming off as more harsh than I intended them to come across, I don’t know as my social skills are not as sharp as they could be. Just be aware that I doubt Alan is upset at anything I’ve written here, and I am not upset with what he has written to me in response. That said, I respect your decision to leave the site even if I disagree with it.

      Take care and thanks for being willing to let me email you when I get to assessing your Model 10, I will definitely be in touch in the New Year when preparing that Podcast.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale, I have had enough of your juvenile sniping.
    I get no pleasure at all from debating this topic with you, and I only started this because others encouraged me to show ‘the other side’ from your extremely biased analysis.

    Lets look at the disgraceful things you have said /done already this week.
    Firstly you use the summary area at the top of the page to attack the points i raised during the podcast. I cannot respond or provide any links at all. You use this opportunity to launch an attack on my reference to Josephus by saying you had researched it ( you hadn’t ) and you couldn’t find any reference. You go further and try to get some childish point scoring in by suggesting that people do a search for the word “hair” . Did I say Josephus used the word “hair” ?

    ” La La La I win I win” I’m sick to death with it.

    “joke objection among scholars”
    “……… he burst out laughing uncontrollably at this type of thing”
    ” I won this, I won that, I crushed it , arent’ I brilliant”
    “I wanted to be kind to him ….. I was being nice here” Patronising little s*t.
    ” I realize you engage in special pleading and ignore any experts or evidence” Really Dale ?
    “his middle argument … was complete rubbish”
    “By his own admission none of his evidences on Crucifixion accomplished this goal” I think we call that a lie.
    “Alan is a skeptic and thus he never has to prove anything.” Yep, constant whinging.

    I take exception to the assertion that I am not using scholarly sources, especially when so often the ‘scholars’ and ‘experts’ that Dale appeals to turn out to be extremely biased ‘believers’ with an axe to grind. As I put it in the podcast, Not only do they have a horse in the race, they’ve doped the horse!

    As far as the appearance of Jesus is concerned, much, but not all of the information I presented was from the highly relevant book “What Did Jesus Look Like? ” by Joan E Taylor Professor of Christian Origins and Second Temple Judaism at King’s College London. She has conducted a thorough analysis of the sources pertaining to the first century.
    Here is a short interview the BBC conducted with her earlier this year:

    And finally, I will respond to this pathetic assertion:
    “As a case in point; Alan claimed people were nailed through the groin- what? I would love to see the scholar who says this. It doesn’t exist of course”

    There are loads of references to this on the interweb, though I do caution people not to take anything for granted because when it comes to crucixion there is much misinformation out there.
    Here I reference the book – Crucifixion in the Mediterranean world
    John Granger Cook Professor of Religion at La Grange College
    Seneca also indicated that the genitals of the victim were sometimes impaled “alli per obscena stipitem egerunt” some drove a stake through their private parts.

    Here’s another
    Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion
    David W. Chapman (PhD, University of Cambridge) Associate professor of New Testament and archaeology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
    A well-known quote from Seneca indicates otherwise:
    “Video istic cruces non unius quidem generis sed aliter ab aliis fabricatas: capite quidam conversos in terram suspendere, alii per obscena stipitem egerunt, alii brachia patibulo explicuerunt.” (“I see there crosses, not merely of one kind, but fashioned differently by others: a certain one suspends [a person] with his head upside down towards the ground, others impale a stake through the sexual organs, others extend the arms by a yoke [patibulum].”)

    The point I was trying to get across in the podcast was that the only part of the body we know associated by crucifixion was the penis. There are no known mentions of hands or wrists.

    Anyway, I’ve had enough of Dale’s sad delusional rants, I get no pleasure from this at all.
    I agree with Colin Berry, no point going any further. I’m out.


    1. Wow, really???? I didn’t think you were taking it this way and even said so to Colin, I thought we were having a good convo and I didn’t realize that Colin was right that you felt this way about what we were saying to each other- interesting to see I was wrong, I wonder if its just because of Colin’s reaction or you’ve been keeping this sentiment to yourself this whole time- either way you could have just emailed me to let me know you didn’t appreciate the comments back and forth.

      Anyways, yeah that is cool, I have no desire to go further on with you either; in fact I was only ever doing it for you and the skeptics listening. Anyways, as you feel so strongly that I have wronged you here, I will let you have the last say completely unaddressed by me as I think that is only fair to you given the situation.

      As to the sources- I asked you multiple times to provide your sources for people, you didn’t even have the decency to get back to me about them so I had to assumed you had none; that is your fault not mine as I was going out of my way to ask you for them to include in the intro. As to what sources I put in my own intro- none of your business, I will take the initiative to educate people on the topics discussed in the debate anytime I please, who are you to deny me that right. If you have sources you now want to provide just ask and they shall be put up for people to check out.

      Anyways, good bye and good luck to you, I think you need to take my criticisms about your obvious bias and double standards seriously- they weren’t just attacks. I really believe them to be true about you; imagine I did what you do and just dismissed the scholars you cited as being biased and therefore told the audience they should be completely ignored- unlike you, I look at what both sides have to say and then decide!


      Liked by 1 person

  5. So why is there no depiction of the iconic double-body-image, oriented head-to-head, Dale, prior to the Lirey Badge, mid 13th century?

    What price all those so-called ‘sightings’ of the Shroud image in earlier centuries, ones that fail spectacularly to convey the essence of the Shroud’s unique image?

    Even Dan Porter, in the dying days of his shroudstory site, expressed surprise when I flagged up the late appearance of the distinctive, identifying feature of the TS body image:

    So kindly spare us please the alleged surfeit of so-called evidence for prior sightings pre-14th century, Dale, it it’s hard objective scientific evidence you wish to deploy. Please spare hard-headed sceptics like myself the soft-centre of pro-authenticity special pleading.

    It may influence the gullible. But it leaves some of of us mildly irritated at best by its constant repetition, when having been shot down, so to speak, years ago on web forums like the ‘home-in-on-the-nitty-gritty’ Dan Porter site…

    We’ve moved on (or should have) …


    1. Hey Colin,

      Lol, I thought you had moved on from this site yourself, so I’m glad to see you’re still hanging in there and I do thank you for providing a source for people to check out.

      Anyways, I will just say this, Alan left a message to me, so apparently he does agree with you that my comments were offending him- he never informed or brought it to my attention otherwise I would have removed them but he certainly did likewise to me during the shows with dismissal of the experts and evidence that proves the Shroud is NOT MEDIEVAL! Kind of like what your comment here is to me- but I suppose you feel you are just reciprocating my comments to Alan or something and so as that would mean I’m the initiator then I’m happy to give you a pass here.

      Colin we have hard scientific/forensic data that links the Shroud to the Sudarium of Oviedo and same deal with the coins/artwork, though the latter is not as conclusive in my opinion. Your argument strikes me at first glance as typifying the old absence of evidence is evidence of absence gambit- will look more into it before making any final judgements but I think its harder than you pretend to prove that we should expect more evidence than what we’ve got given any number of historically plausible scenarios which might have applied to the Shroud pre-14th century. My sources provide detailed analysis of the Shroud’s possible provenance during this time.

      So yeah, I think you and skeptics are the ones special pleading here- simply dismiss and ignore any evidence/experts that contradict a medieval date and then impose the shame of being called a “flat-earther” on anyone who questions the C-14 results (Oh wait, I forgot that was Alan insulting me and/or experts supporting the Pro-Shroud side so that’s perfectly cool then).

      Look, you are a Shroud researcher and expert, I presented what I think is the strongest Contra-Medieval evidence from the Sudarium of Oviedo (hard forensic data/evidence for a link between the two objects, which if true, would totally bypass your argument above about double sided images not being mentioned before the 14th century)- when I researched criticisms of this evidence I was able to find your one-liner dismissal of the data/comparisons; are you able to expand on this dismissal with details or sources to back you up. Everything I find from forensic experts seems to suggest that while further confirmations are required, the balance of evidence gleaned so far makes it very probable that they covered the same corpse. What say you?


      P.S. – Here is a link to the comment from Colin on the Sudairum that I’m talking about (and Colin this is just posted for people’s info- if you take issue with my sharing it just let me know and I will remove it for you) 🙂 =

      Anyways, in the comments Pro-Shroud forensic expert Kelly Kearse says this about the matter, I think you’ll find his comment provides much appreciated nuance and qualification so that skeptics shouldn’t charge him with allowing his bias to make bold unsubstantiated claims, he is completely fair with the data and issues involved here);

      “I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity a few weeks ago to spend the afternoon with Dr. Alan Whanger & one of the things we discussed was the overlap of the bloodstains on the two cloths. He demonstrated the polarized overlay technique which allowed going between the Shroud & the Sudarium as you wished-Each image is projected separately through a polarized filter, then a hand-held filter is used to switch back & forth. For me, this was a huge help in appreciating the congruence between bloodstain patterns, especially the neck region on the dorsal image of the Shroud-I had always found it somewhat difficult to compare specific areas in photographs between the two. I am unsure if this has ever been computer simulated to overlay/morph between them, but I found this type of approach extremely helpful.

      Blood typing comparison is an exclusion type test; the only definitive conclusion that can be made from such studies is if distinct blood types exist, indicating that the cloths could not have wrapped the same person. In the case of the Shroud and Sudarium, with the same blood type, AB, such results are consistent with the idea that the cloths may have at one time covered the same individual, but they are by no means conclusive. The overlap in bloodstains helps to provide additional evidence of a shared relationship.

      If feasible, it would be interesting to evaluate mitochondrial DNA isolated from the bloodstains on both cloths (unlike chromosomal DNA, which is inherited from both parents, mitochondrial DNA is received only from the mother; mitochondrial DNA is typically less fragmented than nuclear DNA and more copies per cell exist). This is again an exclusion type test, but the chance of two unrelated individuals having the same mitochondrial DNA is extremely low.”


  6. Hello everyone,

    1. So, as per Alan’s advice I have re-listened to his part on Jews having “close-cropped hair” and searched for his sources- this appears to be where he is getting his info from as opposed to the actual primary sources like what I use = . I could be wrong on that and Alan is free to correct the record here on that front, but this seems to follow his presentation about Zeus and has the source references in precisely the same way Alan lists them in the Podcast.

    Quote from Alan’s apparent source (again he can correct the record if I’m wrong but this looks to be right here) =

    “The apostle Paul said it was a shame for a man to have long hair because the male is made in the image of God who is groomed with short hair (I Corinthians 11:3-16). It was a common characteristic of Jewish men to wear their hair in a close-cropped fashion. Eusebius copied the text of the Jewish historian Josephus in Against Apion I.22, para.173-4. In this section, Josephus was quoting an early Gentile author who gave some unique grooming styles of Jewish men. Josephus shows that the Jews were known, as Eusebius renders it, for “their close-cropped hair” (Preparation for the Gospel, IX.9, sect 412b)”.

    2. In the actual quote in Eusebius himself (the primary source as opposed to an internet skeptic’s site),- it doesn’t refer to Jews in the first century A.D. at all, but is about some Jews during the time of the Persian king Xerxes in around the mid-400’s B.C. It is the description of Jews by a poet who was peeved they invaded Greece with the Persians.

    Here is the quote in Eusebius from = .


    [JOSEPHUS] 10 ‘CHOERILUS also, an ancient poet, has mentioned the Jewish nation, and how they served with king Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. And thus he speaks:

    “Next passed a nation wondrous to behold,
    Whose lips pronounced the strange Phoenician tongue;
    Upon the hills of Solyma they dwelt
    By the broad inland sea. Rough and unkempt
    Their close-cropped hair, and on their heads they wore
    The smoke-dried skin flayed from a horse’s face.

    ‘Now that he spake this concerning Jews is evident from the fact that Hierosolyma lies on the mountains called by the Greeks Solyma, and that near it is the Asphaltic lake, which is very broad as the poet says, and larger than any of the lakes in Syria.’

    Such then is this man’s testimony.”

    3. What about in Jospehus himself- check out this (I can’t copy and paste it but primary source of verses 173-174 referenced by Alan along with a commentary by biblical scholar Dr. John M.G. Barclay on p.101-103 here = .

    IN CLOSING: This supposed first-century evidence for what Jews looked like in the first century is utter garbage and untrue. Josephus never said any such thing, the quote in question refers to a time 4.5 centuries earlier and was made by a Greek poet/historian. According to scholars we aren’t even sure the quote is referencing Jews as opposed to “Syrians in Palestine” (see the scholarly analysis refuting that it really does describe Jews at all) Consider this claim of Alan’s debunked and I can do the same for the others in Maccabees as well probably, again not sure to what he refers here.

    The arch of Titus shows a Jew with long hair and beard as well unlike the others (2nd from the left).

    Be careful about just believing everything you hear, the details usually tend to dis-confirm this kind of stuff.

    Thank you and good night



  7. Hi Dale!
    Goodness me there’s been a lot going on, and I’m afraid I’m a bit too occupied at the moment to respond appropriately. I’m still here though, and will take your points in detail before too long.

    For the moment, here’s a couple of curve balls.

    1) The Vignon markings. On the whole these are misunderstood, as they are only fully discussed in Vignon’s 1939 book, Le Saint Suaire de Turin, devant la Science, l’Archéologie, l’Histoire, l’Iconographie, la Logique, which has never been translated into English. Vignon himself considers that almost every Byzantine saint owes something to the Shroud, and most of his detailed examples are not of Christ at all, but various apostles and saints. However, he was clearly slightly blinded by his discovery. Mentioning the supra-nasal square, which he thinks must be derived from some very faint eccentricities of the Shroud weave, he exclaims: “Admire, if I may say, the deliberate lack of anatomical significance, the blatant futility of what would seem to us to be a bizarre ornament, if we didn’t know that it shows one of the most significant of the ‘accidents’ found on the shroud itself.” And now Google “old man” “portrait”, and observe how many of the wrinkled images actually display just such a feature. As for the idea that the crease across the neck has been misrepresented as the neckline of a Byzantine garment, try comparing the photos of Secondo Pia (such as and Giuseppe Enrie (such as and you’ll notice that the crease wasn’t there at all until the Shroud was rolled up between the ostentations of 1898 and 1931. it certainly had no influence on tenth century Byzantine tunic fashion.

    2) Alan Whanger’s “points of congruence”. While the ability to superimpose two image and fade gradually between the two was quite difficult to do thirty years ago, so that ‘polarized image overlay’ was quite a clever invention, everything it could do and more can now be carried out in half the time and greater detail on any laptop. It is no longer the last word in image comparison techniques. What Alan never clearly explained is how he quantified his “points of congruence”, by which he set such store. There is no publication which demonstrates or enumerates any of his findings, leaving us with endless bald statements of 33 here or 74 there or 211 somewhere else. Consider this, give two people a piece of A4 millimetric graph paper and ask each to scribble a random shape. Then overlay the papers and compare each of the 80000 square millimetres on each paper. Where both are unmarked, or both are marked, that square millimetre is a valid point of congruence. Only where one is unmarked and the other is marked are the points not congruent. The fact that the vast majority of the squares are points of congruence is no evidence, however, that the shapes are in any way related. And then, what on earth made him claim that the FBI or CIA or county police require this many or that many points of congruence before considering two fingerprints or two portraits from the same source. There is not now, nor ever has been, any such simplistic requirement. If two fingerprints are from the same finger then they must be wholly congruent, not just in a few places. Any single difference, such as a fork on one print compared to an island in the same place on another, is enough to demonstrate conclusively that the prints are from different fingers.

    3) The Roman Flagrum. There are, of course, no Roman flagra archaeologically extant, and as far as we know there never have been. Some illustrations in old classical dictionaries have turned out to be sketches of job lots of Etruscan metalware bought from antique souvenir sellers in the 19th century, and the various chains and decorative knobs in the Vatican Museum much beloved of Dr Flavia Manservigi look nothing like the few illustrations on coins and paintings from Roman times, and very like very similar artefacts that are unquestionably either chains for hanging lamps from or horse trapping decorations. For a very comprehensive consideration of the evidence see Andrea Nicolotti’s The_Scourge_of_Jesus_and_the_Roman_Scourge at I have corresponded with Dr Manservigi and I think she is beginning to admit that she may be mistaken….
    The many modern models of Roman flagra have almost all been manufactured specifically to fit the alleged scourge marks on the Shroud, and are certainly not exact reproductions of anything.

    How’s that for starters?
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful, I’m glad that you are still lurking around as you have a lot to share and you provide links for people and me to check out as well which is awesome (that paper by Nicolotti is the same one Alan mentioned in the show). I am grateful and feel lucky to have you and Colin (hopefully) still lurking around the boards.

      But yeah, I would say that is off to a great start, I will type a quick follow up to this at some point tomorrow, very helpful 🙂

      Talk to you tomorrow 🙂



    2. Hey Hugh,

      OK well let the games begin I suppose.


      Firstly, let me just say its refreshing that you noticed the three-pronged nature of my argument here, I’m not sure I was clear enough in my presentation in the Podcast itself as I don’t think Alan understood the difference between the “Odd-Features” aspect and the “Points of Congruence via Whanger” aspect. My argument consisted of three separate aspects being used to establish it; a) The “Odd Feature” comparisons (Paul Vignon and more recently Ian Wilson and even more recently Emanuela Marinelli- see my sources below and/or in the introduction section above), b) the “Points of Congruence/Comparison” of Artistic Images and Coins (Alan Whanger’s Polarized Image Overlay technique) and, c) the Statistical analysis on the Justinian II solidus coin minted in 692-695 A.D. coins giving a 99.99% certainty they were copied from the Shroud of Turin (by Guilio Fanti & Pierandrea Malfi).

      a) Vignon/Ian Wilson’s “Odd-Feature” Comparisons;

      Firstly, I have been using Ian Wilson’s more recent study on this issue obviously rather than Vignon’s 1939 study so just wanted to say that it is interesting about Vignon discovering some of these features on various images of saints and apostles as well- I confess I didn’t know that.

      FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS: Do you have any sources or proof for this claim that I can check out? How many images share these sorts of “odd-features” that don’t depict Jesus but someone else (just a handful or quite a lot) and how many of the dozens of identified “odd-features” are found on such images? Do they just appear on religious figures and if so, couldn’t this lend some support to Vignon’s notion that maybe the Byzantines were using the Shroud as an authoritative source not just for Jesus but other “Holy men” as well? If there a portraits of “ordinary” people that share these traits, then perhaps I would tend to agree with you that these were just things that Byzantines drew back in the day for whatever reason (although even there, it could very well be that the Shroud of Turin inspired this change in iconography as a whole but this would be a weaker argument to my mind), but anyways my understanding is that they didn’t do this for just everyone (hence, why they are considered to be “odd features” artistically speaking).

      Next, as to the specific “odd-features” that you do mention;

      i) The three-sided square- OK interesting, I did do the google search for “old man portrait” as you suggested and I can see some examples of what you are talking about there. However, Jesus was not an old man and thus this is somewhat problematic to my mind if you want to say an old man’s wrinkles were the motivation behind portraying Jesus or the apostles, etc. in this way- I don’t find the same thing when I google search “young man in their 30’s portrait”. I suppose at best, you’ve provided a plausible artistic reason as to why this feature shows up, maybe Byzantine artists were attracted to the wisdom of old men and wanted Jesus to display that wisdom in the form of old man wrinkles or something along those lines, but this seems very ad hoc to my mind. OK, that’s one “odd-feature” feature addressed, what about all the others?

      ii) The transverse line across the throat- First let me just say that, if true, this explanation would completely refute the use of this “odd-feature” as evidence (and thanks for the links to the pictures to compare).

      Now here is the problem, I actually do still see the transverse line across the throat in Pia’s photo negative image (though not nearly as pronounced as in Enrie’s photo negative perhaps). Also, one issue is that we don’t have the photo positives to compare as well which would also be helpful for us to “see” the Shroud as it would have been with the naked eye back then to see if such a transverse line would have been apparent in that way (and thus assumed to be so in the 6th-13th centuries as well).

      I will admit there does seem to be a difference in this area between the two photo negatives taken in 1898 vs. 1931 and thus, you maybe correct to point out that such this feature may or may not have been present on the Shroud at all in centuries past but then again I’m not sure we are able to rule it out either. One thing seems certain still, the odd fold in Jesus garments is left unexplained in your explanation and the Shroud provides the only known reason as to why a Byzantine artist would create such images, because they were copying what they thought was an authoritative image. Do you know of any other plausible artistic reasons why this “odd-feature” is present on images of Jesus during this time?

      iii) OTHER ODD FEATURES- That’s it, you don’t address any other feature comparisons as obviously your comment was just a quick reply to start but there are multiple other such features as well which Hugh has yet to tackle at all- my sources provide you with detailed explanation of these see here = (PowerPoint Presentation) or here for the 33-page paper or see a short 36 min video on it here = . Another source with illustrations at a glance of some of the Vignon markings is here = .

      Finally, the most recent presentation of this “Odd Feature” analysis is from the 2017 International conference by Emanuela Marinelli, see = OR for a 38 min video presentation see = .

      In closing for the “Odd-Feature Comparison” argument, depending on your answers to my probative follow-up questions above, I still think on a balance of probabilities this argument succeeds in making it more probable than not that the Shroud was the authoritative inspiration for Byzantine art to depict such features on their images of Jesus and apparently even some apostles and saints as well (subject to change based on your answers to my follow-up questions of course).

      b) Polarized Image Overlay (Dr. Alan Whanger)- “Points of Congruence/Comparison” on Art/Coins;

      Dr. Alan Whanger is a world-renowned scientists and Shroud researcher (see info on his work here = ), so thank you for recognizing the brilliance of his innovative techniques back in the 1990’s in this regard, I think he deserves recognition for what he accomplished given the limitations of the technology at the time; I’m glad to see you understand how the “Points of Congruences” are said to work and you seem to have illustrated how they work better than I did on the show with your illustration of drawing the shape- hopefully people will pick up on what were talking about as Alan was hopelessly confused (probably my fault not his here- though I would just say he should have researched into the matter instead of relying on my awkward explanation during the show), anyways when Alan talks about having two eyes and a nose as being “irrelevant points of comparison” this just shows there is no proper understanding of what we are talking about here, so I appreciate you clarifying that for listeners here Hugh 😊

      Anyways, as to your criticisms, as to the lack of specifics here, well there have been numerous sources I’ve seen that talk about his results here, giving multiple numbers given the multiple objects (coins, etc.) he evaluated. I provided two such sources for people to investigate written by Whanger himself on this (see below), but I do hear you on the whole needing more information about how he quantified these points, etc.

      Likewise, you take Alan Whanger to task regarding the points of congruence needing to be minimally 45-60 points to establish a connection; I confess I am trusting Whanger on this as I find it hard to believe based on what I know of him that he just completely made these requirements up out of thin air- there is probably some forensic basis for what he is saying here despite any mention of where he is getting this info from (remember he had associations with multiple forensic experts don’t forget).

      Now, let’s stick to the issue of polytypic images like a face as this is directly relevant to the Shroud (whereas monotypic images like fingerprints are not), both you and Alan (skeptic not Whanger) mention possible “Points of Difference” and that this somehow invalidates that they are the same face/person. Well, as to the forensic requirements in general this can make perfect sense since photos/videos of people’s faces that are being compared to a suspect can be incomplete or partial images and thus they established a minimal required amount that is necessary to establish a conclusive link without having to match every single point of the entire face- nothing about this minimal standard assumes that there are “pints of difference), same deal with partial fingerprints as well (I think you get the idea). But what about “Points of Difference”? Well, as the technology was not as advanced in the 1990’s perhaps technical issues sometimes resulted in false “points of difference” and thus to counter this they established a minimal standard by which they could feel confident that the technology has connected the two faces together.
      Finally, in the case of the Shroud vs. art/coin facial images which is what Whanger is actually doing here, we have to remember the “Points of Difference” are expected- my goodness no one can ever duplicate the Mona Lisa exactly the same as though comparing two full finger-prints or actual photos of faces. Humans will never be expected to produce all the same points and thus its incredible to have the number of “Points of Congruence” that we do find- this is why the evidence is indicative that artists/coin makers must have been using the Shroud closely to get all such points so unexpectedly. If what you say is true, then can you point to any experiments using this technique and/or the more advanced image comparison techniques that compare the Mona Lisa to another portrait of a random woman for example to see if such “Points of Congruence” show up by chance alone or how about also comparing an original portrait of someone to a known artistic copy/fraud where someone was trying as best they could to re-create the same image and thus the same “points of congruence”- I bet you a billion bucks even the best “knock off” in the world would have many “points of difference” between the two (the documentary series Fake or Fortune has investigated many such copies/knock-offs and discovered ways to differentiate them from an original, see show info here = .

      In closing, we would expect there to be points of difference in any copy made by a human being (obviously not all the “odd features” are present on a single object but instead disparate, being dispersed throughout various artistic images/coins unlike on the Shroud where all of them are present in one object).

      SOURCES: See Alan Whanger sources on this, here = (starting on p.7-9) & (starting on p.8-9).

      c) The Statistical Argument from the Coins (Giulio Fanti, etc.);

      Here, you didn’t have time to mention it at all and so will wait to see your take on this but please do better than Alan who just leveled ad hominem false attacks on a brilliant man who deserves our respect for all the research he has been doing on the Shroud- some of his results/conclusions are better established than others no doubt, but still they shouldn’t be dismissed in the cavalier way that lay Shroud skeptics like Alan like to do and I think this applies to the evidence in this particular case in regards to the Numismatic argument.

      Fanti provides detailed sources complete with the mathematical equation/calculations he uses to reach his final conclusion- its disingenuous for skeptics to not even other to read through it or scan through it at least but instead simply write it off as “pseudo-science” out of sheer ignorance and bias (not saying anyone in particular does this, just saying in general anyone that does should be ashamed of themselves).
      Again here were the sources I provided on this front;

      i) See Giulio Fanti’s research on the 692-695 A.D. Justinian II coins from = (36 page report) or PowerPoint Slides = (POWERPOINT SLIDES) OR for a 56 min YouTube video presentation see = .


      a) ROMAN FLAGURM ISSUE: OK, I already admitted I was wrong and the example I had in mind was in fact a modern replica like all the rest. Now as to the presentation of Dr Flavia Manservigi whose article/presentation I linked to in my sources, fair enough as you know her personally, who am I to question what you say here if you tell me she has admitted she was wrong.

      But, I will just say this- I don’t care! Not being rude at all lol- just saying pretend I grant everything you say here as being true, the skeptic is making the claim that they can prove the Shroud is historically inauthentic because of the appearance of the scourge wounds being inconsistent with a first-century Roman flagrum. By your own admission, we have no idea one way or the other if this is the case and thus the default position should be agnosticism as to whether the Shroud Man’s scourge wounds are historically accurate or not.

      Now, I will concede this much, I have used the scourge wounds previously in my series to make a positive claim that the Shroud Man is probably consistent with the first-century flagrum and on this front, perhaps you could try and refute my claim via the evidence of Manservigi and that the metal objects we do have in the archeological record are either chains for hanging lamps from or horse trapping decorations. Fair enough, glad to have learned not to be too dogmatic there, but I nevertheless certain that the Shroud Man’s scourge wounds are realistic and accurate wounds anatomically speaking at least and given the fact we can’t rule out a first-century flagrum and/or some other scourging weapon being used on this person in conjunction with the other contextual wounds being indicative of the Jesus of the Christian Gospels, I still feel warranted in claiming it probably belonged to the historical Jesus.

      b) ALAN’S OTHER CONTRA-JESUS/FIRST-CENTURY JEW ARGUMENTS: On this last section of the debate, I know you are knowledgeable and a fellow Christian Hugh, Alan made some very questionable and outright false claims in his presentation against the historical Jesus and crucifixion practices in general as portrayed in the Gospels. For him, these were new or revelatory but of course most of what he said has been known about for decades and have been subsequently countered/refuted by biblical scholars on numerous occasions (truly nothing new under the sun it would seem). For example, scholars used to say there was no evidence for nails being used at all in crucifixion until 1968 when “whoops, I guess they did use nails, but only in the ankles/feet never the hands- until we find proof of that too and then we will modify our claims again”. Of course the NT itself is evidence that they did nail in the hands/wrists/forearms (as per the Greek word including all those things)- why would they lie about something so benign as to where they nailed Jesus in the first-century to begin with when everyone living back then would have known it was a lie- doesn’t make sense skeptics- c’mon think for a second before making wild accusations! One point that I missed in the show was about carrying the cross beam- Alan acted as though this was some sort of brilliant new insight that hasn’t been known about until he revealed it to us- news flash the Passion of the Christ movie does not necessarily reflect accurate Christian doctrine/teaching and we have known about this for a long time actually- this fact is perfectly consistent with the Bible and the Shroud and so there simply is no issue here at all one way or the other.

      Anyways, as I know you are a Catholic, I’m interested to see you critique Alan’s claims in the last section on the debate starting with the long hair and onto his various “Crucifixion Myths”; I’m interested to see if you interact with the scholarship on both sides of such issues and if you acknowledge that Alan’s examples have been addressed and/or are unproblematic for Christians, the Bible, and for the most part even for pro-Shroud proponents. If it’s about discovering the truth, then you have to critique/correct Alan’s false claims just as you do with my claims when you provide your take on the evidence- we have to be consistent here (please and thank you).

      Kind regards and look forward to your more detailed critiques one you get the time 😊



  8. Just wanted to add at least one source on the 3 Fanti Physical Tests evidences in case people want to chek it out = see this 14-page article on them here = .


  9. Right, a few more observations! (Not necessarily in the right order…)

    1) Vignon.
    As I said, Paul Vignon’s massive (33cm x 27cm) book has never been translated into English, so you’ll have to wait till the Summer (probably), when I hope to publish a paper on the subject, for chapter and verse. As an example, here is what he says about the Neon Baptistery in Ravenna:

    “Around the centre of the dome, the Apostles process around Christ who is being baptised by the Forerunner. Neither Jesus nor John the Baptist here are of the lineage of the Shroud. But it is different for some of the Apostles: Andrew, James the Greater, Simon Peter and especially Paul. As I understand it, Christ and the Forerunner were placed here in about 458, at a time when no copy of the Mandylion, derived from the so-called picture painted by the envoy of Abgar, had yet reached Ravenna. But soon models arrived, and some of the Apostles were marked with the sign of Christ; though not all, because one wouldn’t want to overdo it.”
    “Look at this superb supranasal square, on St Paul. See that in order to mark the sides by lines, the tesserae are not the usual squares, but thin rectangles. Admire, if I may say, the deliberate lack of anatomical significance, the blatant futility of what would seem to us to be a bizarre ornament if we didn’t know that it shows one of the most significant of the ‘accidents’ found on the shroud itself.”
    “There is more: here, across the brow, the transverse shadow, drawn from the Shroud. It might be better to say, here’s the stain, or the transverse bruise of the Shroud, that the enthusiasm of the mosaicist has set as a perfect copy of the original, even raising it a little to the right, just as it appears on the Shroud. The rest of the face is less immediately revealing. Note, however, under the nose, the wide separation of the moustaches, exposing the ‘nasolabial furrow’ between them. Note, on the mouth, the dark line between two lighter areas, and how the space between the mouth and the top of the chin is deliberately left beardless.”

    Vignon goes on to enumerate several more influences from the Shroud, as he sees them, on the apostles around the central image, while acknowledging that Jesus, in the middle, actually has none of them. Later on he finds the ‘supranasal square’ on several other apostles, saints and even the Emperors Justinian and Constantine.

    I think this illustrates one of the chief problems with all the alleged similarities between the Shroud and early art. If a feature of the Shroud appears on Jesus, it’s evidence of a copy, if it appears anywhere else, it’s fortuitous. Byzantine mosaics in their hundreds show men with tunics hemmed at the neck; it was a very common fashion. Must we suppose that if Jesus wears such a tunic it derives from a mark on the Shroud, but for the others, its fortuitous? Or two or three stands of loose hair on the forehead? If they’re on Jesus, they represent the epsilon bloodflow; if they’re on anyone else, they’re just loose stands of hair. I’m afraid that, for me, this simply isn’t convincing.

    2) Giulio Fanti’s Coins.
    I have the utmost respect for Giulio, who in all his Shroud studies, attempts, not always satisfactorily, to combine total emotional conviction that the Shroud is authentic with a professional scientific experimental approach. His collection of Byzantine coins is most impressive. However, the sheer variety of exactly which little sindonological idiosyncrasies each alleged minter decided to include in his die does not argue strongly in favour of any of them being derived from the Shroud. Some may have been derived from each other, some are idiosyncrasies of die itself, the stamping, and the subsequent handling, and some are sheer coincidences. He would be on stronger ground without trying to associate every nick and bump on every coin with a mark on the Shroud. There is, indisputably, a common source for all these coins, probably a statue or mosaic in Constantinople, so I think the research should better be into the model for that, and not to assume that every moneyer in Byzantium rushed along to the palace to take minutely accurate measurements from the Shroud before carving his die.

    I’m afraid I’m also not impressed by Fanti’s collection of statistics based on the probabilities of the idiosyncrasies he observes. They appear to be based on guesswork rather than observation. For instance, he gives a probability of 0.01 to the likelihood of an artist reproducing a ‘reversed 3’ mark on his figure’s forehead quite arbitrarily and without reference to an extant image. What does this mean? There are in fact no examples at all of any such reproduction. Why should any artist include such a distinct shape entirely arbitrarily? If Giulio is referring to the little strands of hair that are often, quite unjustifiedly, considered to refer to the epsilon bloodstain, then I think the probability of an artist including them, in line with contemporary convention, is more than 0.5. They were extremely common, in all sorts of portraits both secular and religious.

    3) Radiocarbon again!
    Thomas Phillips’s letter to Nature is immediately followed by another by Robert Hedges, from the Oxford Radiocarbon Unit, who begins: “the processes suggested by Phillips were suggested by the participating laboratories,” and follows this up with several reasons why it was not investigated further. An interesting statistical one is that there are enough neutrons in a body to convert the date of some cloth to some 100 000 years into the future, so that it is most unlikely that just enough should have emerged and converted the radiocarbon area to just the ‘right’ date to fit the known thirteenth/fourteenth century origin of the cloth. If the Shroud is a miracle, of course, then anything is possible.

    4) Pseudo-science.
    I love pseudo-science. One of my favourite books is a semi-serious biological study of the physiology of huge, flying, fire-breathing, cave-dwelling, knight-killing, princess-eating dragons. (The Flight of Dragons by Peter Dickinson). He even explains why the fact that there is no evidence for them is, in itself, evidence of their existence. It is an entertaining and sometimes worthwhile exercise to start with a wholly unjustified assumption, such as that dragons really existed or that a first century artefact carbon-dated to the thirteenth century, or that the earth is flat, or the moon is made of cheese, and then come up with a viable (and preferably falsifiable) scientific hypothesis that could explain how it could be so. Nothing wrong with that. What is totally wrong, however, is to argue that because such a hypothesis exists, it justifies the assumption. To be fair, though, I guess neither you nor Bob would disagree with that.

    5) Alan Whanger.
    “Dr. Alan Whanger is a world-renowned scientist.” Really? No. Alan was Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University, specialising in senile dementia. The University is prestigious, and to achieve a position of Emeritus Professor is extremely creditable, but nothing in his professional life related to research into the Shroud, in which he was no more an expert than anybody else. I have listened to his broadcasts, have his book “The Shroud of Turin Shroud, an Adventure of Discovery” in front of me, and had the privilege of debating the Shroud with him on Premier Christian Radio a few years ago, shortly before he died, but nowhere in any of his publications is there any clear indication of how he measured his points of congruence, nor any lists, enumerations or illustrations of them. Sadly, his later discoveries, not only of coins and flowers, but of nails, spear, sponge, two crowns of thorns, rope, dice, titulus and goodness knows what else, has largely discredited him even among the most ardent authenticists. I do not think he invented his alleged forensic numbers, but I do think he misunderstood his information, and applied it incorrectly and out of context to his own image comparisons. I’m afraid that your defence – perhaps they did this or perhaps they did that – is wholly without evidence or substantiation. They didn’t. The best discussion of this I have found is at, a paper by Jennifer Mnookin entitled ‘Of Black Boxes, Instruments, and Experts: Testing the Validity of Forensic Science’.

    4) Long hair.
    This sent me on a convoluted trail! St Paul’s word, in Greek and Latin, is κόμη or koma, with no adjective of length at all. In his context, we might infer that koma meant long hair in particular (there were other words for hair as well) as it is also referred to as a ‘covering’ of the head, but most of the time it just seems to mean hair in general. Perhaps a clue to Paul’s real meaning can be found in the Latin Vulgate translation. Whereas the Greek simply says that koma is disgrace to men but the glory of women, the Latin says: if a man nourishes his hair (koma nutriat), it is a disgrace to him, while if a woman nourishes hers, it is her glory. This suggests that it was the attention one paid to one’s hair that made the difference. Men should leave theirs alone.
    There is a discussion on this at, and a biblical article entirely devoted to 1 Corinthians and long hair at
    Either way, I can find no convincing evidence that long hair was forbidden to first century Jews, nor we can say one way or the other whether Jesus was likely to have had it or not. Some early church fathers seem determined that he had short, even curly hair. Eusebius objected to him looking like a Nazirite, and Gannadius cured a man whose hand had withered up as a result of his painting Jesus with long hair like Zeus.

    5) Crucifixion Myths.
    Myth 1. Crucifixion victims died of asphyxiation. Perhaps some did. Forensic experts disagree, in particular the two most eminent Shroud advocates, Dr Bucklin and Dr Zugibe. Maslen and Mitchell (Medical Theories on the Cause of Death in Crucifixion) list ten possibilities suggested by doctors of one sort or another (including “didn’t actually die”!).

    Myth 2. Crucifixion victims had their legs broken to hasten death. Perhaps some did. Although almost all the Roman descriptions suggest that crucifixion was meant to last for some time, it is quite possible that in Pontius Pilate’s highly unstable Judea, some consideration was given to the religious taboo of leaving bodies unburied on the Sabbath or over the Passover. It has to be said that it is much easier to kill people with a spear than bashing their legs with a baseball bat, but I don’t think the gospel should be disbelieved entirely on that account.

    Myth 3. Crucifixion victims’ feet were pinned with one nail. Perhaps some were, although it seems quite a difficult procedure. Alan is correct that the closer an illustration was made to the time and place of Jesus’s execution, the more likely it is to show the feet separated, mostly standing on a little bar attached to the cross. And of course, the two examples of crucifixion that we have, have the bones pierced sideways. But I think it unwise to generalise from two examples out of thousands. To me, the fact that of the thousands of crucifixion victims, we have only two archaeological illustrations, suggests to me that in general, the nails did not damage the bones.

    Myth 4. Crucifixion victims had their hands higher than their heads. Alan is correct that most early crucifixion images show Jesus with his hands out sideways, but then the earliest ones often show him alive and fully clothed as well, and are as symbolic of the resurrection as they are of death. That trope may have continued into the more ‘realistic’ versions later on. Even if my hands were stretched out horizontally, I think I would probably slump down on them when I died.

    Myth 5. Crucifixion victims carried the whole cross. Perhaps some did, although there seems a little more consistency in early descriptions regarding the ‘patibulum only’ walk to the gibbet.

    Myth 6. Crucifixion victims were nailed through the hands. Perhaps some were. The exact position was hardly relevant if the victims were standing on a bar. It’s much easier to nail people through the hands than the feet, so since the feet were nailed, it’s quite probable that the hands were too. There’s a discussion of the evidence at, “Crucifixion in the Roman World: The Use of Nails at the Time of Christ” by John C Robinson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One again awesome, thanks Hugh, I don’t have time to read through this all now, but will devote time to going through all of it over the next day or so. From what I scanned, I just wanted to say thank you very much for having an even-handed approach and critiquing both sides and being fair to the truth on these issues (as you see it at least).

      I’m looking forward to reading through your reply here more thoroughly in a bit 🙂



    2. Hey Hugh,

      OK here are my thoughts;

      1. Vignon “Odd-Feature Comparison” Argument:

      Interesting take here and possible good refutation- I googled images from that church in Ravenna but wasn’t able to find close enough images to look for the features you mention on the apostles vs. Jesus. Also, as to some emperors having them, well don’t forget some Emperors considered themselves to be on the same level as apostles just as Constantine and/or Justinian I did by putting himself/themselves smack dab in the middle of them.

      But as you say, I need to wait until you publish your paper for the details to know for sure one way or the other if you have a good point or not here- please be thorough in it, with pictures for comparison and covering multiple “odd-features” rather than just a few, I look forward to reading it and hope you’ll remember to post the link up on here for people to check out for themselves 😊

      So for now, I guess we can tentatively agree that a final conclusion needs to await your research being posted up. Just remember though the Mandylion/Wilson theory is only one historical hypothesis, there are others such as Jack Markwardt’s “Image of God Incarnate” theory as well, so try to be exhaustive in not just refuting one type of theory but encompass the different options in your refutation as well (see Jack’s 30 min video on history of the Shroud here = ).

      2. Fanti’s Statistical Argument:

      As to the numbers, OK, I can respect your taking issue with the somewhat arbitrary nature of the Bayesian approach and the probability values that Fanti assigns to them (arriving at 99.99% degree of certainty strikes me as rather like Richard Swinburne claiming he proved the Resurrection to a 97% degree of certainty using Bayes as well), but that is neither here nor there quite frankly, as Fanti clearly provides the numbers he uses and his own explanations for those values, so people can decide for themselves and follow the calculation but the essential point seems to be endorsed by you- the coins had a common source used as inspiration for their images.

      Great, that means all we need disagree over is what the common source was? Was it the Shroud or some statue or something? Here is why I think the Shroud of Turin is the more likely option as the authoritative archetype vs. a statue or mosaic; the Shroud of Turin bears most of the corresponding features whereas some coins have some but not others, etc.- it strikes me as odd that only the Shroud of Turin should have been so all encompassing in terms of copying all the correspondences from this alleged statue/mosaic but not any of the other copies.

      I put forward that the simplest explanation is that the Shroud of Turin itself was the common source for all these coins, that seems more probable than not to my mind.

      3. C-14 AGAIN:

      I know, it wasn’t supposed to be brought up but Alan brought up the issue of biased investigators in his rebuttals and forced my hand to have to confront his nonsensical claims that everyone presenting evidence on the Pro-Shroud side is just biased and needs to be dismissed out of hand- yet the C-14 shouldn’t even be questioned at all but simply accepted on blind faith because they were of course the “good scientists”. To my mind such intellectual laziness needs to be confronted so the audience won’t fall into this kind of erroneous logical reasoning. That is the only reason, I allowed myself to talk a little about it again but as briefly as possible to show that there are valid questions regarding the C-14 dating that deserves serious consideration. I think you would agree with that much at least as despite whatever final conclusion one comes to we need to be willing at least to consider all the viable options on the table before we make our final conclusion one way or the other. This is why I think its fruitful to engage with you as there seems to be a sincere effort on both sides to try our best to arrive at the truth.

      As to your critiques, yeah Bob Rucker is fully aware of these types of claims and has fully addressed them. In the first place, some have claimed that there is not enough Nitrogen in the loth to move the Shroud from first to 14th century as well- not true!

      So the way it works is that only an increase of 16% in -14 is needed to move the Shroud from 30-33 A.D. to 1260-1390 A.D. Half of our body weight as humans is neutrons thus we have about 20 * 10 ^28 neutrons available in our bodies for a man weighing 170-175 lbs like the Shroud Man is estimated to weigh. So the total 16% increases achieved via the product of neutrons * Nitrogen to get result- if one number is small then the other can be bigger and get the same result. So if low nitrogen which accounts for 90% of the new C-14 necessary then more neutrons will make up the difference. Given Rucker’s expertise using MCNP calculations he has demonstrated that 1 neutron per 10 billion neutrons is needed to take the Shroud’s c-14 date from 1st to 14th century just like what we got.

      Again, I hope to have him on in May, so you guys can debate this specifically, if both agree or else I will note to ask him about this in a solo interview 😊

      4. Pseudo-Science:

      Agree 100% with you here Hugh, this is the problem with lay Shroud skeptics like Alan, they are too afraid of investigation and discovery for fear of being called a “pseudo-scientist” that they put limits on what research is valid or not- but as you say there is nothing wrong with figuring out let’s assume a body did emit neutrons, what would happen scientifically if that was the case or he mocked John Jackson for taking steps to analyze his Cloth Collapse hypothesis- these are all worthwhile investigations in themselves to conduct and may potentially lead to discovery of truth eventually- to my mind skeptics with a closed mind inhibit scientific progress when they artificially limit what types of questions can be asked and assessed- who cares if it turns out to be false or not, we are still able to learn new things in the process of asking such questions.

      5. Alan Whanger;

      As to Whanger, I obviously know of his background already so fine let’s say he is “world renowned” Shroud expert then if you prefer, I don’t care much about semantics- either way he is someone people need to consider; he made various scientific discoveries about the Shroud. I’m aware not all of his findings/conclusions are necessarily valid, I reject some of them myself- but I would never just dismiss them without thought. Also I did hear the debate you had with him, here it is for those interested = .

      As to my defenses on forensic criteria in general- yeah, they were only meant to be plausible speculations, so I appreciate the source you provided. The main point of course, is that Alan did discover these points of congruence and even you admit you don’t think he was lying about it. I admit I don’t believe everything Alan says he found either, but Kelly Kearse has used the method in another context and is convinced by it, so I trust the method and the claims about the points of congruence- I can understand skepticism though as precise details are not available and I will concede that one is perhaps rationally justified in withholding belief in this line of evidence until further confirmation and/or details are provided- so I will retract this aspect tentatively until further work or details is done. Until then I will mention it only as an indicator but not as a historical anchor evidence- I have to be consistent and if this was a skeptical argument, I wouldn’t buy it unless such details were available and so I can’t expect skeptics to take Whanger’s results as gospel without any substantiation apart from his word on his final results.


      Thank you very much for your take there Hugh, just as I said- total vindication of what I said! That said, many lay skeptics like Alan will never believe anything I say, so to have a fellow respected Shroud-skeptic back me up and rebut the notion that we should have any degree of confidence in using these sorts of false attacks on the Shroud will hopefully be enlightening to them 😊


  10. Well thanks. Primary sources, that’s all I ask for…

    So let’s have a look at…

    The Three-to-One Herringbone Weave.
    (Or actually, not herringbone at all, but chevron or reversing twill to be more accurate)

    I don’t believe there was anybody who could, or did, produce long, wide lengths of 3/1 linen in the first century Levant. There are no such textiles throughout ancient Egypt, and nothing much resembling it until the development of four shaft treadle loom in the ninth or tenth century. This remarkable statement:

    “There are dozens of examples of cloths with just as complicated and/or more complicated weaving patterns dating back thousands of years before Jesus […], during the time of Jesus and after the time of Jesus as well.”

    needs enormous qualification. Your three examples are typical of those often produced to support the Shroud, but do not stand up to any kind of scrutiny. All the Egyptian textiles for example (such as “A 4/1 twill from 1450 BC in Egypt”) are from narrow bands of needlework (rather than shuttlework) attached to the sides of entirely plainly woven (albeit with staggeringly fine thread) cloth, and have nothing in common with long metre-wide bolts of sheeting. Apart from these, twill of any kind is virtually unknown south of Turkey. It was in Europe where twill was more popular, but it was fairly simple (such as the “2/2 twill leggings from 800 – 500 BC” which emerged from an Alpine pass in 1994), and almost invariably in wool. Even the Palmyran fabrics do not really compare with the Shroud, being a hundred years later than its purported use, and in silk. It seems that elaborate silk-looms made their way along the Silk Road, following the silk-trade itself, around 200 AD, but it was several hundred years before they were developed into something you could use for major lengths of fabric.

    Once the treadle loom had been invented (the earliest picture being from about 1250, but it seems to have been invented earlier), then long sheets of complex weave were easily achievable, although something like the Shroud was very awkward to set up and tricky to weave, and extremely expensive (It still is. I had a piece about 20cm x 50cm made by an expert medieval weave copier in York. A whole Shroud would have cost a fortune). To say that there is nothing comparable to the Shroud in the Middle Ages is a bit unfair. Its own particular weave is indeed unique, and there seems to be only one other example of 3/1 herringbone that anybody knows about, but there are other bits and pieces of 3/1 twill: (see, wool from 6th century France, St Ulrich’s 10th century chasuble (Medieval Clothing and Textiles, Volume 10) and a linen mitre from 13th century. Charles Freeman points out that there is actually very little medieval linen of any kind left, in spite of plenty of evidence of its common and widespread use, so perhaps the lack of much of an extremely exclusive kind is hardly surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting going into the textile evidence, something not mentioned in the debate but I do bring it up in my series, I’m guessing you were the one who took at look at what textile expert John Tyrer said there in the article I provided and I also have other textile experts who claim that there is nothing inconsistent with it being a high quality work of the 1st century and not from the medieval era- he said;

      “The Shroud is a very poor product by comparison (to medieval European fabrics). It is full of warp and weft weaving defects. The impression I am left with is that the cloth is a much cruder and probably earlier fabric than the backing and patches. This I think lifts the Shroud out of the Middle Ages more than anything I have seen about the textile”. I have other quotes from textile experts as well.

      Anyways, will go over this in more detail and your source as well, but it sounds to me like you can’t rule it out as being first-century either and/or you don’t think we can show it is medieval based on textile evidences alone either, if I understood you correctly here. Is that correct, what’s your main conclusion based on the textile evidence itself? (Probably answer my own question as I read it properly over next day or so but just in case wanted to ask) 🙂


  11. You’re perfectly correct that it is not possible to say conclusively that the Shroud cannot have been made in the first century, or that it must have been made in the thirteenth. I personally think that the technology for producing large bolts of such cloth was simply not available before the Middle Ages. The Roman silks which appear to be the only comparable products from the second or third centuries were made in very small quantities by teams of people holding up the requisite warp threads individually as necessary to form the patterns, in a quite different context from the mass production of a particular weave (see

    John Tyrer’s comments are interesting. He observes that the tabby weave cloth from the 16th century is of better quality than the chevron twill of two or three hundred years earlier, but I don’t know what he really means by that. To say that any 3/1 twill is a “poor product” compared to any 1/1 tabby is an extraordinary remark, given the complexity of the one compared to the other, regardless of weaving imperfections. His other article on the Shroud, for Textile Horizons, is much more balanced (

    It is true that Mechthild Flury-Lemberg and John Tyrer have said things to the effect that nothing about the Shroud makes it incompatible with a possible first century Judaean production, but I’m afraid this is more thanks to a lack of archaeological evidence than any positive identification. My own “expert” (Ruth Gilbert – see agrees with Tyrer that “the smooth surface of a twill would probably be an ideal base upon which a forger could paint,” although in fact I believe such fabric was more usually used for block printing, for which it would be even more suitable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK cool, thanks for clarifying your position there and for the helpful sources on the textile evidence as well 🙂


  12. Any more for the mill?
    Stop me if you’re getting bored….

    The Famous “International Collaborative Program” in which 38 laboratories all radiocarbon dated eight samples and of them 23 failed to meet “three basic criteria for an adequate performance in the production of C-14 dates.” (See

    Three different types of laboratory were included. While 21 of the 33 liquid scintillation and gas counting laboratories “failed”, only 2 of the 5 AMS labs did, which was probably why only AMS labs were chosen by the Vatican for testing the Shroud.

    The “three basic criteria” were:
    1) Internal consistency. Individual labs testing duplicate samples should achieve similar results. All five AMS labs passed this test.
    2) External consistency. The results from individual labs should match those of others and of the known dates. All five AMS labs passed this test.
    3) Systematic bias. The results from individual labs should be fairly distributed around the known dates. Three of the five labs passed this test. It s not possible to identify the reasons why the other two failed it, as the data are not labelled with the individual labs providing them.

    In my opinion, to quote this paper as a reason for discrediting the 1988 Shroud radiocarbon tests is unjustified.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Hugh,

      No I’m not bored at all, I’ve been saving the links you provide for my own research actually. On that front, thanks for this take on the 38 labs failure to date the samples properly and your explanation of it. I appreciate you corroborating that I’m not just making things up even if you confirm it to refute the conclusion I make on it 🙂

      Did you have any thoughts on the Sudarium of Oviedo at all?


  13. To be honest I don’t know what to make of the Sudarium of Oviedo, mostly because of the almost complete lack of primary sources. I have read Mark Guscin’s and Janice Bennett’s books, but they are desperately short of important references. There has been extensive comment about scientific researches, but as far as I know nothing has been published in peer-reviewed or non-peer-reviewed places. The article on The Second International Conference on the Sudarium of Oviedo mentions that just before it started, April 2007, a major comparative radiocarbon study was carried out, using four different cloths of known date as well as the Sudarium. Three tested as expected, an alleged mummy cloth appeared to date to the 20th century, and the Sudarium to 700 AD. “The laboratory used (via the National Museum in Madrid) said they were surprised….” What are we to make of this? Such a significant experiment should surely have been written up in Radiocarbon, the universal compendium of interesting radiocarbon results, but there’s nothing. What is the National Museum in Madrid anyway? No Museum is so called. El Prado, the National Museum of Science and Technology, the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the National Museum of Archaeology? Why aren’t we told?

    Luckily Felipe Montero Ortego has written a detailed discussion of the radiocarbon dates of the Sudarium. “The Date of the Linens for the Method of the C14” at In it he first shows honestly how three laboratories, Tucson (1990), Toronto (1992) and Beta Analytic in Miami (2006) all achieved astonishingly coherent dates of 1292, 1300 and 1240 BP respectively, corresponding to about 700AD. The rest of his paper is devoted to explaining why these dates must be wrong, eventually deciding that particles of soot are adhering to the cloth. What of the alleged four other tests? Montero Ortego doesn’t mention them at all.

    The Sudarium appears to have been folded in half and used to cover the face of an effusively wounded person. There are a number of quite separate blood flows overlapping on the cloth, each of which, according to Guscin, most have dried before the next appeared. This lead him to a remarkable scenario in which Jesus was left in successive still positions for half an hour or so, sometimes face down, on his route from the cross to the tomb. It doesn’t ring true to me.

    Various other studies are said to have been done on myrrh, aloes, pollens, limestone, and even flowers, all of which of course exactly match the Shroud, and none of which have any provenance at all.

    So I don’t really get involved in Sudarium studies. I don’t like arguments that say “scientists” (or “experts”) “have proved…” this or that. I want them to speak for themselves, and if they don’t, or can’t, or won’t, then there’s nothing I can say…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cool, thanks for your take there 🙂 Keep in touch and I look forward to having you on the show in April/May or thereabouts to have discussion with Barrie and perhaps Bob Rucker as well- I think those will be helpful debates/discussions for the audience.

      I appreciated your replies here and welcome anymore knowledge you have to share anytime; including if you take an interest in the other topics as well- don’t feel your restricted to only commenting on the Shroud stuff, you’re free to comment on any topics you like 🙂

      Kind regards,



  14. I try to keep my religious contemplations separate from my forensic historical ones, but thank you. I have read some of the non-Shroud posts and may be inspired to comment at some time!

    However, meanwhile, I’ve been looking at Felipe Montero Ortego’s attempt to swing the radiocarbon date of the Sudarium from 30AD to 700AD using pure carbon of a more modern date. The calculations are quite simple, using online calculators to convert calendar dates, BP dates and proportions of radiocarbon left in old organic matter. Even if the ‘modern’ carbon particles were from the last few hundred years, a sample of mixed 30AD/1900AD material, made of cellulose and soot, the proportions are about 4/1. One fifth of the mixture would have to be soot. This is, of course, nothing like what is observed.

    Some historians claim that the Sudarium has a definite history dating to well before 700 AD, but this is based entirely on the works of the twelfth century Bishop of Oviedo, Pelagius, four hundred years later, of whom modern biographers say: “His work as a historian is generally reliable, but for the forged, interpolated, and otherwise skillfully altered documents that emanated from his office he has been called el Fabulador (“the Fabulist”) and the “prince of falsifiers” (Wikipedia). It seems very likely that the blood-soaked cloth derives from the Muslim advances on Southern Spain at the beginning of the 8th century.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK Fair enough then, but feel free to comment on anything in my Shroud series then unless you decide to venture into other territory but it would be nice to have a fellow Christian contribute on the boards on a regular basis as that would take some pressure off me to have to always respond to everything.

      I take the view of historians arguing for an older provenance as even the C-14 scientists themselves did but here are some interesting sources for some to check out on this;


      2. (already included in my Sudairum sources)



      My understanding is that most but not all of the information comes from Pelagius, but most historians confirm his info to be reliable here, even so much so that the C-14 scientists who dated it accepted their own dates to be in error.


  15. I don’t think the evidence for a pre-700AD existence for the Sudarium is compelling. Certainly, in Jerusalem as well as Constantinople, every conceivable artefact connected with the life of Christ was claimed to be preserved, but to associate a mention of a sudarium in early Jerusalem is not evidence that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the same one, any more than a mention of a shroud is evidence that it was the Shroud of Turin . Nor do I think “most historians” accept Pelagius’s stories. His Wikipedia article only lists several rather critical of him. Nor do I think that Beta Analytic accepted that their results were in error. There is no evidence in Montero Ortega’s account of any such thing, and if not his, whose? Of course, if Beta Analytic was told that the Sudarium was unquestionably older than their date could encompass, then they would have to accept that if that were correct, then they must be wrong, but they would first have to swallow that big “if”, which I don’t believe they did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OK, well I am convinced by my sources that it is convincingly proven to be older than 700 A.D. and to be linked to Jerusalem by credible historians, a fact that you yourself acknowledged in your prior comment (granted you say some as opposed to most but nonetheless). Also I’ve read that the C-14 scientists involved attributed it to oil contamination- this was admitted at a conference where they presented the results apparently. Obviously, I don’t know for sure if this is true since I wasn’t there or haven’t talked to them personally, so it comes down to I trust my sources are not lying or making things up.

      Now, as to saying its wrong, let’s pretend you are right, as I know you have personal connections and speak personally with many of the Shroud experts, thus if you claim first or even second-hand knowledge that they did not admit this, then I won’t question you as I don’t believe you would flat out lie to me either. However, the point is we have a way to explain the C-14 dates from first century to 700 A.D. via Rucker’s explanation that I find to be convincing and thus even if they don’t deny their own date as you say then we come to the same issue as trusting the 1988 C-14 dates.


  16. Absolutely no offence taken, Dale.

    I don’t believe many people generally are liars. I think they are sometimes mistaken, and frequently read more into an account than is actually there, especially as a story gets transmitted from person to person. Hence the need for Primary Sources. Or they may simply have not read their source properly. A post or so back I said: “What of the alleged four other tests? Montero Ortego doesn’t mention them at all.” Actually, rereading his paper, I find that he does mention them (although he doesn’t say what the results were). Was I lying? No, as I had no intent to deceive; I just hadn’t picked up that part of the paper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool, thank you very much for being so understanding and I would just say to you that Colin is completely off here, I was never saying I thought you were lying- I said the exact opposite actually. I was saying that since I know you have personal contacts with many of these people and probably attend many of the conferences if you told me you were there and that the C-14 scientists didn’t say the results were wrong, then I would have believed you over my sources since I know they were not there in person themselves. Also, thanks for the correction via your re-reading.

      So yeah, I was actually saying something positive there and have no idea how it could have been perceived as the exact opposite of what I said. I’m glad to see that you understand what I said. Also, I respect that even if somehow you did think I was calling you a liar, then your response was very Christ-like as I have this bad habit of taking offense at that sort of thing.

      Maybe he didn’t like the fact that I ended up disagreeing with your take on the Sudarium and this caused him to see me as being closed-minded, I don’t know.

      Anyways thanks again for seeing that I wasn’t saying what Colin seems to think I was, the exact opposite was the case there 🙂



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