A question for Stephen Jones re his so-called “wounds” on the Shroud (not to be confused with bloodstains)


Late addition (July 2019)

Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”,  correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.

That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.

(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.

Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)? 
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.



Face shown  (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image.  I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.

No, NOT  a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it,  the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.

How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless! 
Welcome to modern day sindonology. 
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.

Start of original posting:




Stephen Jones: your latest post focuses on “wounds” and bloodstains on the Shroud. (See also Dan Porter’s current posting which alerted me to it).  Nowhere do you define what you mean by “wound”,  yet you use the terms “wounds” and “bloodstains” interchangeably.

Here’s a conundrum to consider. Given that received wisdom is that bloodstains were acquired before body image, and there is allegedly no body image under bloodstains (thinking of Heller and Adler’s much-cited  though less-than-conclusive experiment with proteolytic enzyme) then how can there be any imprinting of a wound  (one that is not merely a smudge of blood, that is) ? Any wound-imprinting would have to be ON TOP of a bloodstain. Please show a wound imprint that you think is on top of a bloodstain….

Late addition: one is not thinking here of sites where the blood has clearly flowed, or assumed to have flowed,   a sizeable distance,  say those complex trails  and patterns on mid and upper forearms, well away from the site of supposed nail wound(s).  One is thinking of situations where there is no compelling evidence for thinking blood has flowed very far from the site of a putative wound, i.e. where the blood is highly prominent, yet no corresponding wound site is apparent within a realistic distance (e.g. the blood on the back of the head/hair  – but no apparent wounds from a “crown of thorns”). Do I hear the riposte that the wound would be concealed by hair?  Maybe, but it is Stephen Jones  who claims there are thorn wounds visible, not I/me  (sorry, my English grammar advisor has just popped out) . It is hardly scientific to claim that the latter are visible if they are not,  and that the reason one cannot see them is because they are hidden by hair.  To be scientific, one has to dump the term “wound” and replace it with “putative wound”. But the Shroud image without its bloodstains (faked?) , with no visible wounds, just “putative wounds” is simply an image of a naked man with crossed hands protecting modesty. Where’s the evidence, lacking blood (fake?) or wounds (not there)  that the man in the Shroud had ever been crucified, far less in a highly distinctive fashion? Who’s to say the Man in the Shroud  was not a purpose-made image, created for a reason one can only guess at,  of someone who may have been tortured or otherwise abused, but had never been subject to such heavily (overdone?) scourging, to crown of thorns, or nails or spear wound? The Shroud of the Unknown Martyr?

Bloodstains, real or simulated, yes, but where are the scalp wounds from the crown of thorns?

Bloodstains, real or simulated, yes, but where are the scalp wounds from the crown of thorns?


Please show one of more examples of “wounds” on the Shroud that are definitely NOT  accountable for as “mere” bloodstains. (I personally have spent many hours with Shroud Scope, and have failed to find a single feature of the faint and fuzzy body image  that looks unequivocally like a wound, or laceration, or scourge mark – and indeed have repudiated Fanti’s claim to see a spear wound above the location of the bloodstain it is alleged to have produced).  Professor Fanti himself acknowledges that so-called “scourge marks”, dumb-bell-shaped ones included,  are in fact a subset of “bloodstains”.


Oh, and if there were no genuine wounds on the Shroud, as distinct from bloodstains, then who is to say that a medieval forger did not simply paint on some blood (or blood-substitute) in strategic places, chosen to “corroborate” the  Biblical account, so as to convey an impression of wounds?


About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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