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March 24, 2008



Um, the idea that the shroud is authentic, i.e. was used to hold a man crucified in first century Israel, has no bearing on the veracity or otherwise of Christianity. Being under science and nature is perfectly valid, since it's a programme about a possible archaeological item from the Roman Empire in the first century. Similarly, Jesus may have indeed existed, being one of a number of apocalyptic preachers around at a time of great stress in Judaism under the Roman yoke.

None of that includes resurrection or sons of divine beings, so you really shouldn't let your anti-religious stance block what is actually an interesting bit of archaeology.


Were it proved that the Shroud was the burial cloth used to wrap Jesus, it still wouldn't prove the Resurrection or otherwise substantiate Christian claims about Jesus.

But it is hardly strange that on Easter Sunday, in a country where the majority profess Christianity, that the BBC should run a programme about this kind of topic. And why isn't a putative 1st century burial shroud of a crucifixion victim of scientific interest. Whether or not it's genuine it's the only one we've got.

Finally, you posed a question but refused an answer. Of course the body was washed - consistent with the Gospels and Jewish practice at the time - otherwise the shroud would be covered in blood. A link to an article follows which sets out the consistency of the medical evidence on what happens to wounds in dead bodies when they are washed. http://www.shroud.com/zugibe2.htm


You will no doubt be disconcerted to discover that David Lindsay, founder of the British People's Alliance and a man well known, at least in his own mind, for being absolutely right about everything, disagrees with you about the provenance of the shroud. He writes:

For does anyone seriously believe that a Mediaeval forger was able to fake the anatomical accuracy, the perfect consistency with the effects of crucifixion on the body, the Jewish features of the face, and what are still the inexplicable three-dimensional properties of the image? If you do believe that, then you really will believe absolutely anything at all. Rather, as so often with accounts of the miraculous, acceptance of the miraculous is in fact the most or only reasonable response, with which the purely descriptive realm of science will just have to come to terms.

The theory of a Mediaeval forgery is obviously absurd. What we have in the Holy Shroud is the image of Our Lord’s face, left by Him miraculously as a relic for our veneration and as a stimulus to faith. It was providentially proposed after nineteen centuries to the age of an unbelief founded on an historically and philosophically erroneous appeal to the science that in fact could not have arisen, and cannot survive, apart from the principles unique to Christianity. Even the BBC seems to be getting the point.

Incidentally, on another subject close to his heart, he asks the important question, "How long before the Han have to wear yellow stars?"

To quote the New Yorker cartoon: "No, Thursday's out. How about never - is never good for you?"


a man well known, at least in his own mind, for being absolutely right about everything

I can only assume that the reason Lindsay's posts rarely attract any comments (either on the blog itself or elsewhere) is because his is so clearly the final and definitive word on any given subject.

Truly, we are not worthy.


There was some very incongrous content in the last episode of Delia, e.g. Delia wandering around with Sister Wendy banging on about how great their faith was.


Weirdly, David Lindsay and someone called Martin Miller make exactly the same comment, one after the other, here - on a thread about the Embryology Bill on which Oliver Kamm has also commented.

I wonder who Martin Miller is.


Lindsay is now alleging that Oliver Kamm is engaged in a campaign of criminal harassment against him.

Oliver Kamm

Good grief, not another one....

Fake David Lindsay

Martin Miller is a sock puppet invented by David Lindsay to post booster comments about (dah-dah!) David Lindsay. Martin Miller wrote to the editors of CiF to say how brilliant David Lindsay was and that they really ought to give him a column. He posted comments on lots of blogs to say how brilliant David Lindsay was. He even posted comments on the Speccie blog to recommend the Speccie to take Lindsay on as a columnist. Most crazily of all, Martin Miller posted comments on Lindsay's OWN blog agreeing with David Lindsay. It all came to grief when Lindsay posted a comment on Harry's Place but forgot to sign it as Martin Miller and put his real name instead.

I don't think the new Martin Miller is Lindsay, though.


I've just read the thread on Lindsay's blog.

Good grief, what a loon.

And I remember "Martin Miller's" slip-up - it occurred at 12:20pm on Thursday November 6 in this thread.

Presumably the act of disinterring public posts made voluntarily in a public forum and drawing them to your readers' attention for the purposes of mockery also constitutes "criminal harassment", but I'll try not to lose any sleep over it. Unless said sleep is forcibly curtailed by a 5am knock at the door, but I'll take that risk.

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