SCIENCE PROVES RESURRECTION A MYSTERY
Temecula, CA – Jesus! Since the review of Songs, a Greek erotica play, my highlighting the 420Nurses, and the release stories about Memoirs, the news has been just shitty. With Obama igging 250,000 petition signers to make Monsanto/Big Ag persona non touchus no matter what the side effects come from their genetically manipulated crops or fowl, and North Korea going to Defcon 2, the news has been plentiful but all bad. Even the local news has turned on a tragic note, all leading up to Easter.
However, just in time for Easter, the news that science has proved, at last, what we all knew was true, is very welcome indeed. That news would be that the Shroud of Turin is indeed as old as was first reported. Whether or not you believe the ‘image’ is Jesus, that verdict is up to the believer. That said, science also says that like the Pyramids of Giza, they can’t duplicate the resultant image or explain just how it occurred. Happy Easter!
New scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin, which went on display Saturday in a special TV appearance introduced by the Pope, dates the cloth to ancient times, challenging earlier experiments dating it only to the Middle Ages. Pope Francis sent a special video message to the televised event in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, which coincided with Holy Saturday, when Catholics and other Christians mark the period between Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The Vatican, tiptoeing carefully, has never* claimed that the 14-foot linen cloth was, as some believers claim, used to cover Christ after he was taken from the cross 2,000 years ago. Pope Francis, reflecting that careful Vatican policy, on Saturday called the cloth, which is kept in a climate-controlled case, an "icon" -- not a relic.
But Cesare Nosiglia, the Archbishop of Turin and "pontifical custodian of the shroud," said the special display on Holy Saturday "means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord," The Telegraph reported.
If you’re a fan of the Shroud of Turin, the 14ft-long linen cloth, which clearly displays the face and body of a bearded man, has for centuries been associated as the burial cloth used to cover/wrap Christ’s body when he was lifted down from the cross, after being crucified approximately 2,000 years ago. Now new experiments have allowed the Shroud of Turin to bare new scientific evidence, placing its origins closely around the first century.
Scientists have conducted test on the religious relic at the University of Padua in northern Italy. Their conclusions suggest that the “shroud” of Turin dates back in time to between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D., a few centuries before or after the historic Christ lived. Catholics, in overwhelming numbers worldwide, believed in the shroud’s authenticity since its first recorded discovery, arguably around 1353 or 1357. Christians or more correctly Protestant Christians are not as aware of the Shroud as Catholic Christians, from whom the Shroud has come
Some scientific experts dispute the mid 14th century date simply because, physical proof of its existence was not documented until 1390, when its presence was discovered in Lirey, France by Bishop Pierre d’Arcis. Pierre wrote a memorandum to Clement VII, claiming that the shroud was a forgery*, as the artist had provided a complete confession.
The results of the latest testing has been published in Giulio Fanti and Saverio Gaeta’s new book, titled, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or “The Mystery of the Shroud.”
Giulio Fanti is a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta is a professional journalist. Their tests have revived the debate over the true origins of one of Christianity’s most prized but mysterious relics.
According to their book, the two used infra-red light and spectroscopy – the measurement of radiation intensity through wavelengths – to analyze fibers from the shroud. The sacred cloth is kept in a special climate-controlled case in Turin, and has been there since 1578. Their published study shows that the shroud is much older than previous tests had concluded.
Fanti and Gaeta’s findings fly in the face of scientific tests conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona, which support Bishop Pierre d’Arcis theory that the shroud was a fake. These Independent tests were carried out in 1988 and concluded with confidence that the shroud’s material couldn’t have been older than 1260-1390 CE, and therefore it couldn’t have been associated with Christ’s burial.
Nevertheless, the 1988 results were disputed on the basis that they may have been skewed by a contamination of the fibers from the cloth section that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages. Fanti, a Catholic, said his results were the fruit of 15 years of research. He said the carbon-14 dating tests, carried out in 1988, were “false” because of laboratory contamination.
Scientists have never been able to explain how the image of a man’s body, complete with nail wounds to his wrists and feet, pinpricks from thorns around his forehead and a spear wound to his chest, could have formed on the cloth. Fanti said the imprint was caused by a blast of “exceptional radiation”, although he stopped short of describing it as a miracle.
Catholic Online*, in opposition to Fanti suggest that previous samples, which were radiocarbon dated in 1988, were taken directly from the shroud in a documented manner by a textile expert from the British Museum and transferred in a “blind” fashion to no fewer than three laboratories—all selected for their expertise and impartiality. The tests also utilized swatches of ancient cloths of known dates as controls. In contrast, the new samples—only tiny fibers—allegedly came from the “shroud” in 1978 and were obtained from pro-shroud researcher Giovanni Riggi di Numana who died in 2008. If the samples cannot be legally certified as unquestionably authentic, they are inadmissible as scientific evidence.
But Fanti counters the Catholic Online claim, arguing that his tests backed up earlier results which claimed to have found on the shroud traces of dust and pollen which could only have come from the Holy Land.
The Vatican* stands between these two sides of the coin. The Church in Rome has never said whether it believes the shroud to be authentic or a fake, although Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said that the enigmatic image imprinted on the cloth “reminds us always” of Christ’s suffering. His newly-elected successor, Pope Francis, provided an introduction when images of the shroud appeared on television this past Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, which commemorates the resurrection.
Cesare Nosiglia, the Archbishop of Turin, who also has the title “pontifical custodian of the shroud,” has stated that “The display of the shroud on a day as special as Holy Saturday means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord.
In-spite of the today’s Catholic Easter ceremony, Catholic Online* is quick to point out that in the past, such pre-Easter claims—published first in the media instead of scientific journals—have been made by pro-shroud religious zealots, and they have often been proved to be scientifically dubious. Moreover, Catholic Online* argues that since the accuracy of the 1988 tests was confirmed by three laboratories who obtained dates in such close agreement, it’s like three arrows hitting a bullseye.
Nevertheless, Fonti and Gaeta were able to partially reproduce the doubly body image of the Shroud. Dozens of tests were conducted in 2010-2013 in the Laboratory of High Voltages of Padua University to explain the origin of the mysterious image. Their findings suggested, that presently, if we were to reproduce a similar image on a fabric in 1/2 scale, it would require a voltage of about 300,000 V. But according to the American scientist Igor Bensen, a voltage of 50,000,000 Volts would be necessary for the Shroud body image in a 1/1 scale.
Fanti was also able to show, following robust statistical analyses in collaboration with the Universities of London (Anthony Atkinsons), Parma (Marco Riani) and Udine (Fabio Crosilla), that there were differences of more than 200 years between the laboratories of Arizona and Oxford in the response of carbon 14 dating on the Shroud.
A statistical model has highlighted the systematic tendency to change: if for a few centimeters of fabric there are differences in 200 years, it’s easy to think that there are thousands years of variations along the nearly 4.5 m of the Shroud.
Clearly, both Catholic Online and Fonti and Gaeta are entrenched in their beliefs. Their arguments have been well defined well supported and well documented. The only question that lingers is why the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize the Shroud in light of this new information. Throughout history it has seemed that the Church goes out of their way to stamp out real phenomena that would give weight to Jesus being factually believed as authentic by those outside the religious organization. There are two theories for this that my research has led to. One such theory is revealed in Chapter 20 of Memoirs. The second theory involves the man called Peter, the ‘wingman’ in JC’s crew.
St. Peter's true and original name was Simon, sometimes occurring in the form Symeon. (Acts 15:14; 2 Peter 1:1). He was the son of Jona (Johannes) and was born in Bethsaida (John 1:42, 44). The surname Petrus given him by Christ is especially emphasized (Matthew 10:2): "Duodecim autem Apostolorum nomina haec: Primus Simon qui dicitur Petrus. . .";
According to the testimony of St. Justin ("First Apolog.", xxvi), whose statement as to this should probably be believed, another Simon came from Gitta (in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, II, xxii, called (Getthon) in the country of the Samaritans. At the outbreak of the persecution (c. 37 A.D.) of the early Christian community at Jerusalem that began with the martyrdom of St. Stephen, when Philip the Deacon went from Jerusalem to Samaria, Simon lived in the latter city. By his magic arts, because of which he was called "Magus", and by his teachings in which he announced himself as the "great power of God", he had made a name for himself and had won adherents.
He listened to Philip's sermons, was impressed by them, and like many of his countrymen was baptized and united with the community of believers in Christ. But, as was evident later, his conversion was not the result of the inner conviction of faith in Christ as the Redeemer, but rather from selfish motives, for he hoped to gain greater magical power and thus to increase his influence. For when the Apostles Peter and John came to Samaria to bestow on the believers baptized by Philip the outpouring of the Spirit which was accompanied by miraculous manifestations, Simon offered them money, desiring them to grant him what he regarded as magical power, so that he also by the laying on of hands could bestow the Holy Ghost, and thereby produce such miraculous results.
Full of indignation at such an offer Peter rebuked him sharply, exhorted him to penance and conversion and warned him of the wickedness of his conduct. Under the influence of Peter's rebuke Simon begged the Apostles to pray for him (Acts 8:9-29). However, according to the unanimous report of the authorities of the second century, he persisted in his false views. The ecclesiastical writers of the early Church universally represent him as the first heretic, the "Father of Heresies".
Simon is not mentioned again in the writings of the New Testament. The account in the Acts of the Apostles is the sole authoritative report that we have about him. The statements of the writers of the second century concerning him are largely legendary, and it is difficult or rather impossible to extract from them any historical fact the details of which are established with certainty.
St. Justin of Rome ("First Apolog.", xxvi, lvi; "Dialogus c. Tryphonem", cxx) describes Simon as a man who, at the instigation of demons, claimed to be a god. Justin says further that Simon came to Rome during the reign of the Emperor Claudius and by his magic arts won many followers so that these erected on the island in the Tiber a statue to him as a divinity with the inscription "Simon the Holy God". The statue, however, that Justin took for one dedicated to Simon was purportedly one to the old Sabine divinity Semo Sancus.
Statues of this early god with similar inscriptions have been found on the island in the Tiber and elsewhere in Rome. It is plain that the interchange of e and i in the Roman characters led Justin or the Roman Christians before him, to look upon the statue of the early Sabine deity, of whom they knew nothing, as a statue of the magician.
Whether Justin's opinion that Simon Magus came to Rome rests only on the fact that he believed Roman followers had erected this statue to him, or whether he had other information on this point, cannot now be positively determined. Simon plays an important part in the "Pseudo-Clementines". He appears here as the chief antagonist of the apostle Peter, by whom he is everywhere followed and opposed. The alleged magical arts of the magician and Peter's efforts against him are described in a way that is absolutely imaginary, read ‘magical’ in description.
Tradition seems to maintain that Peter went to Rome toward the end of his life and there suffered martyrdom UNDER NERO. NO SOURCE describes the place of Peter's martyrdom as other than Rome. It seems most probable, on the whole, that Peter died a martyr's death IN ROME TOWARD THE CLOSE OF NERO'S REIGN, sometime AFTER the cessation of the general persecution. In research completed through 1963 to 1968 directed by Margherita Guarducci, the death of St. Peter is believed to have occurred on October 13.A.D. 64 during the festivities of the occasion of the 'dies imperii' (regnal day anniversary) of Emperor Nero. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed the city of Rome. Emperor Nero blamed the fire on the Christians. The 'dies imperii' took place exactly ten years after Nero ascended the throne and was accompanied by much bloodshed.
From the 1st century an apocryphal work called the Ascension of Isaiah has come down to us; and this is probably the FIRST AND EARLIEST document that attests to the martyrdom of Peter IN ROME. In a passage (Chap. 4:2f) we read the following prediction:
“...then will arise Beliar, the great prince, the king of this world, who has ruled it since its origin; and he shall descend from his firmament in HUMAN FORM, king of wickedness, MURDERER OF HIS MOTHER, who himself is king of this world; and he will persecute the PLANT which the 12 apostles of the Beloved shall have planted; ONE OF THE 12 WILL BE DELIVERED INTO HIS HANDS.”
This is a clear reference to Emperor Nero who murdered his mother Agrippina in 59 A.D., and put Peter to death in February of 68 A.D. It cannot refer to Paul -- he was beheaded in January of 67 A.D. by Helius, one the prefects who was left in charge of Rome while Nero was away in Greece entertaining the fawning citizens of this vassal province.
The ancient historian Josephus describes ways the Roman soldiers amused themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions. While the position attributed to the crucifixion of Saint Peter is plausible, tradition says St. Peter requested not to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. St. Peter said he was not worthy to die in the same way as his Lord. So the Roman soldiers crucified him upside down.
More gruesome details concerning the martyrdom of Saint Peter have circulated for ages; including that it took Peter three days to die upside down. Death in the ordinary position of crucifixion causes suffocation but one does not suffocate when hanging upside down. There are stories that the soldiers attempted to burn St. Peter crucified on his cross but he did not die. After three days he is said to have been beheaded while hanging upside down.
That singular declaration portrayed his prominence and immense faith which is honored today by an upside down cross pictured on the back of the Pope's chair in St. Peter's Basilica at Rome.
A cryptic reference to the death of Peter occurs in the Book of John in the Bible which, most authorities believe, was written in the last decade of the first century. Here, in verses 18 and 19 of chapter 21, we read:
"I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old YOU WILL STRETCH OUT YOUR HANDS, and someone else will dress you and lead you WHERE YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO."
Is it so hard to imagine that Simon Magus, Peter and Paul’s old nemesis, somehow obtained the blood/head of Peter with the help of Nero to, like the Serpent being the father of Cain’s bloodline, became the ‘father’ of the Church* as foretold cryptically in Scriptures?
I believe that if we allow historical logic to prevail, the answer to this question is quite simple.