Shroud of Turin

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Date Host Richard Syrett
Guests Barrie Schwortz, Samuel Zinner

Shroud of Turin expert/photographer Barrie Schwortz joined host Richard Syrett for a discussion on the latest updates on the Shroud and new evidence that may prove it to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Schwortz pointed to the first photographic negatives of the Shroud, taken by Secondo Pia in 1898, which reveal a much clearer rendition of the image than could be seen by the naked eye. This suggests the Shroud itself is a negative image and not a painted forgery, Schwortz said. A spectral analysis of the Shroud found no paint or pigment in the image, he added. He also noted that ultraviolet fluorescence photography shows the image on the cloth is not the result of high temperature, such as scorching (a method put forth by skeptics for how the image came to be).

Schwortz covered the carbon-14 dating controversy, which placed the Shroud material to the late thirteenth century. According to Schwortz, this date is inaccurate because the material was taken from a part of the Shroud that had been repaired in the Late Medieval Period. The Shroud image seems to accurately portray a victim of Roman crucifixion, including accurate placement of a palm wound where the nail would have been driven, he continued. "This cloth depicts a body that was wrapped within the cloth, the blood stains are natural... they soaked through the cloth the way actual blood stains would, and the blood has been chemically tested and it's blood," Schwortz said. In addition to crucifixion wounds, the Shroud image contains evidence of a man who was scourged with a Roman flagrum, speared in his side, had his face beaten, and wore a crown of thorns, he explained, pointing out that only one man in history reportedly suffered all of these tortures—Jesus.

Jordan Codices

In the third hour, multidisciplinary researcher Samuel Zinner provided an update on the Jordan Codices—seventy ancient metal books which could have something to do with the historical Jesus, or possibly contain intriguing new mysteries about Jewish Kabbalah. The codices were found near a mikvah (a pool used for purification in Judaism) in a cave where they appear to have been ritually interred, Zinner explained, noting that the tablets look like "test objects." Since they contained imperfections as well as the sacred name of God, they were buried, he added. Zinner spoke about the iconography used within the Codices and dated them to the Bar Kokhba revolt in the second century. Experts are still trying to determine if these objects are modern forgeries, kabbalistic amulets, or ancient Hebrew-Christian artifacts, he said. The majority of the text is short, some of it is indecipherable, and it seems mostly related to Jewish Kabbalah than Christianity, Zinner added.

The final hour of the program featured Open Lines.

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