The Turin Shroud at Immanuel.at:
the image of an idol? / Reply Herbert Röder 00, 2007-03-10
The Turin Shroud /
/ Results of the research group of Prof. John Jackson, Colorado Springs
The linen wrappings and the
face-cloth / Reply Wolfgang Niemetz 00, 2007-04-02
The three days and three nights
/ Replik Giuseppe De Candia 00, 2007-04-08
When did the women buy the spices
A new view of "Holy Week"
The sign of Jonah –
How long was Jesus in the tomb? by Dr. Werner Papke, Pp. 38ff / Book by Dr. Werner Papke
Table –The true "Holy Week" -
tabular Overview of the Week of Jesus’ Crucifixion
The Lamb of God
Did the Lord’s Supper and the
crucifixion occur on the same day? / Reply Walter Neumeier 00,
The reconstruction of the
face in the Turin Shroud / Morphing method, Dennis Hooper, journal
"Profil" of 1995-01-23
The image of the body on the Shroud
is not explicable / Study by the National Agency for Energy and Sustainable
As you know, I am a keen reader of your interpretations at
"Immanuel". But one thing is a matter of great concern to me, since
you display a picture of our supposed Lord and Savior on your website. In
the Bible the second command, which the Roman Catholic church has completely
deleted, states that we should not make for ourselves an image of God. I
would be glad to hear your opinion on this, and why you have this image on
your website. Today when surfing the internet I hit upon a Catholic site,
where there was an urgent injunction to reverence the image of Jesus!!! I
wonder now, if Catholics visit your website and see this picture, will they
be encouraged to reverence it and so practice idolatry on an evangelical
The website of the Catholic church, then, referred to by H.
Röder here in his e-mail of this text is indeed a typical example
of the Catholic practice of reverencing relics and worshiping idols.
They worship demons, and the idols of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
Rev 9,20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed
by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to
worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone
and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. Rev 9,20
And it is also completely correct that the Catholic church, with
intent to deceive its adherents, has kept quiet about the second of the ten
commandments up to the present day. But because that would have resulted in only
nine commandments, the tenth commandment has been divided into two. That way it
comes out to ten again.
(See also Discourse 32: "Commentary
on the manifesto Dominus Jesus of the Catholic Congregation of Faith.")
Now the Catholic church has every reason to hush up the second
commandment, seeing that in the Catholic Mary they worship an idol and by
calling on Catholic "saints" practice a cult of the dead, which to God
is an abomination.
Do not turn to mediums or spiritists.
Lev 19,31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or
spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your
God. Lev 19,31;
Should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Isa 8,19 When they say to you, "Consult the
mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people
consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? Isa
The second of the ten commandments forbids all believers from
making any images of idols or images of existing things in order to bow down
before them and worship them.
You shall not make for yourself an idol. You shall not worship them or serve them.
Ex 20,3 "You shall have no other gods
before Me. 20,4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or
any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water
under the eart, 20,5 "you shall not worship them or serve them; for
I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on
the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 20,6
but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My
commandments. Ex 20, 3- 6;
When we look carefully at the text, we can see that this
commandment is not about forbidding the faithful to make any images at all.
Surely Mr. Röder too must have a few pictures in his possession - even if they
are only photos of members of his family. Nor is it written here that "we
should not make for ourselves an image of God", as Mr. Röder writes
above - on the contrary, the text reads: "You shall have no other gods
before Me." So the point here is quite simply that people are not to make
for themselves any images of idols or worship them or bow down before
them, like the endless genuflections of the Catholics in their church before all
possible kinds of figures and images. And this background is also shown, with
quite exceptional clarity, when we look at the translation of this commandment
from the Hebrew by Martin Buber, which is as faithful as possible to the
And the Turin Shroud is a linen cloth in which a man who had been crucified was wrapped. We find an objective assessment of this in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, for all its undeniably worldly orientation:
Do not make for yourself any graven image, do not bow down to them and do not serve them.
Names (Exodus) 20,3-6 Let no other godhead be
against my countenance. And do not make for
yourself any graven image - and all forms that are in the heavens above or on
earth or in the waters that are below the earth, do not bow down to them and
do not serve them, for I your God am a jealous Godlord,
attaching the faults of the
fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those that
hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep
my commandments. Names 20, 3- 6;
So although this interpretation cannot be doubted, either in
logic or in reality (after all, there have always been pictures!), in brethren
who have one-sided background information an incorrect basic understanding may
be found. This is also supported by some translations - e.g. the Elberfeld and
King James bibles - which end the sentence at the end of verse 4, and start a
new sentence in verse 5. As a result the fact that these two statements belong
together gets lost, and each sentence - especially Ex 20,4 - is incorrectly
regarded in isolation as a commandment in its own right.
Ex 20,4 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in
the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. - 20,5 Thou
shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them;
Some German and English translations (e.g. Luther, Darby) resort
to a colon at the end of verse 4, so as to emphasize the way these texts belong
together. But the right way of reading the passage is as follows:
Ex 20,4-5 You shall not make for yourself an
idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in
the water under the earth and you shall not worship them or serve them. Ex
20, 4- 5;
So we should not make for ourselves an image to bow down before
it and worship it. An image which is not worshiped, where there is no invitation
to worship it, is thus not an idol and so does not contravene the second
commandment either. But this point of view is also confirmed by quite concrete
examples in the Bible. All those brethren who think that the second commandment
forbids the making of images and sculptures as such would be recommended to read
Exodus 25. There the Israelites are given the task, for example, of making a
cover for the Ark of the Covenant. And there we read:
You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat.
Ex 25,17 "You shall make a mercy seat of pure
gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. 25,18 "You
shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of
the mercy seat. 25,19 "Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the
other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at
its two ends. 25,20 "The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward,
covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of
the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat. Ex 25,17-20;
Here the Israelites had to make two cherubim - two angels, that
is, and thus heavenly figures. And the order to do so came from God the
Almighty. So it is not conceivable that in Ex 20,4-5 God would proclaim a
commandment whereby images and sculptures (carven images) were absolutely
forbidden, and then in Ex 25,17-20 command the Israelites to make two angels of
hammered gold. As so often with Christian faith, what is definitive is not what
we have before our eyes but what we have in our heads. And here, of course,
there is wide scope for differences.
But one thing is quite clear: in the second commandment of God it is not the "likeness/picture" that constitutes the criterion, but the "worship". Only when people serve this image and bow down before it are they idol-worshipers and an abomination to God. And we then likewise find a situation like this with the people of Israel in Ex 32,1. Moses had been with God on Sinai, to receive the two tables of the law, and his return was delayed.
Come, make us a god who will go before us.
Ex 32,1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed
to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to
him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses,
the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become
of him." Ex 32, 1;
Although God had given the Israelites more than enough proofs of
his grace and friendliness, they had very quickly thrown their loyalty to God
over board and made themselves an idol. Interestingly, there is here a certain
similarity that can be made out with the behavior of the Catholic church in our
own day. There too people said "Come, make us an idol", when the dogma
of the "infallible" Pope in the year 1931 decreed the Catholic Mary to
be the "Mother of God" and "Queen of Heaven" and soon
thereafter, in the year 1950, also made the "Assumption of the Virgin
Mary" into a dogma. In this way in the Catholic church this Mary, as the
"Mother of God", has been practically raised to a hierarchic level
above the Son, our Lord, who is now only referred to as the "child
Jesus". As long ago as 1854, after all, they invented the "Immaculate
Conception of Mary" - which does not, as might be supposed, relate to the
virgin birth of our Lord, but rather to the fact that Anna, the mother of
Mary, according to Catholic doctrine is supposed to have conceived her in
just the same immaculate and virginal way, and through the Holy Spirit, as Mary
did the Lord. Consequently the only blemish remaining was the lack of a
demonstration of the physical assumption of Mary into heaven, which then was
finally done away with as well with the dogma of 1950, so that in the Catholic
church the idol Mary is practically put on the same level as the Son of God.
(See also Discourse 78: "The
doctrine of the Catholic church and the Bible a debate")
So we see that the Catholic church does not shrink from any lie
or deceit in order to help its idol - and so of course itself as well - to power
and glory. And so it would also be quite conceivable that someone there might
one day hit upon the idea of reverencing and worshiping the Lord Jesus as the
"Lamb of God" - as he is after all described in Scripture. Would Mr.
Röder then also ask me to remove the picture at the top of my home page of my
sheep and lambs in the meadow, on the grounds that otherwise some Catholics
might "be encouraged to reverence it"?
Or if we consider the position of the Koran in Islam - there the sacred book of the Moslems is described as having been "sent down from heaven", and it is reverenced and kissed. Now seeing that Pope John Paul II has already kissed the Koran (on 5.14.1999), it would be quite conceivable that the Catholic church should also call for the Bible to be reverenced and kissed. Would Mr. Röder then insist on my deleting the picture of a Bible from the welcoming page of Immanuel.at? And what would then be the situation with the reading of the Bible? In the opinion of the above commentators, would we even still be allowed to read it? Or would they then see the Bible too as being a "false word of God" and an "antichristian book", just because the Catholic church has declared it to be a relic?
As we can see, views like these result in completely incorrect
interpretations. The inquisitors of the Catholic church may have had a similar
attitude of mind when, under the pretended necessity of protecting the church
against heretics, they persecuted and tortured rightly believing Christians and
burned them at the stake if they refused to abjure their faith. By contrast with
Catholic doctrine, which appeals to its oral and written tradition and puts the
Bible in second place, the doctrine of Christians faithful to the Bible is
founded exclusively on the Bible itself, and here in particular on the
statements of our Lord Jesus Christ. So here there are no unbiblical saints,
relics, transformations of bread or reverencing of idols, but we pray in spirit
and truth to God the Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
Jn 4,21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me,
an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you
worship the Father. 4,22 "You worship what you do not know; we worship what
we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 4,23 "But an hour is coming,
and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and
truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 4,24 "God
is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Nor do we pray in public in front of people and in the churches,
as the hypocrites do. They already have their reward in the respect that people
accord them as a result. But we, in order to pray, go into our inner room, close
the door and pray to our Father in heaven who is in secret. Nor do we babble and
mumble our way through ten "Ave Marias" or prayers to some kind of
saints - instead we speak to our God and our Lord Jesus Christ without artifice,
but in humility and uprightness, offer thanks in quite concrete terms for what
we have already received, and ask for what we think we still are in need of.
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret.
Mt 6,5 "When you pray, you are not to be like
the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the
street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have
their reward in full. 6,6 "But you, when you pray, go into your inner
room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father
who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 6,7"And when you are
praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose
that they will be heard for their many words. Mt 6, 5- 7;
If we were to go to a church in order to pray, we would run the
risk of dishonoring the true temple of God that we ourselves are. We will not
find God in churches and public services, but in our spirit and in the quiet and
seclusion of our inner rooms. Anyone who worships images and figures in the
churches is worshiping idols. And what connection do we have, as the temple of
God, with images of idols?
We are the temple of the living God, And He will be a father to us, And we shall be sons and daughters to Him.
2Cor 6,16 Or what agreement has the temple of
God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God
said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be My people. 6,17 "Therefore, come out from their midst and
be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And
I will welcome you. 6,18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall
be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. 2Cor 6,16-18;
Gottfried Daniel Pomacher, an Awakening preacher from Wuppertal,
took the same view when he said:
"Christianity does not consist in words, but in
the power of the Holy Spirit in the faithful. The pillars of the temple are not
those who with their public prayers of "Lord, Lord" earn the
admiration of those who hear them, but rather those who address their prayers to
God at home, in the quiet of their inner room and without anyone listening -
these are the real carriers of the congregation."
And now the second of the ten commandments says that we should
not make for ourselves any images of idols. But just in the same way as a person
is only saved when he comes to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ - and not before -
so a picture (or a man or an animal - Rom 1,22-23) only becomes an idol when it
is worshiped and reverenced. So this commandment is not telling us that we
should not make any images at all of things in heaven, on earth or under water,
but that we should not make any images for worship, because that would be
service paid to idols. If this happens in other religions and churches, that
lies in the responsibility of those people who believe in such practices, and
not in ours.
As Christians faithful to the Bible, we do not worship either images or figures, nor do we pray in public, but only in the intimate prayer of our inner room. And like any other picture, the picture of the Turin Shroud on the welcoming page of Immanuel.at cannot violate the second commandment, provided that there is no invitation there to reverence and worship this picture. Moreover we find there, quite on the contrary, as a commentary on the picture the following explicit indication:
For us believing Christians, whether the Turin
shroud is genuine and how Jesus actually looked are matters completely
irrelevant. We love him because he is our Lord, God and Savior. Because he died
for us on the cross, to atone for our sins to the Father. - And because he rose
from the dead and thereby showed us the way that we too will go.
Just from these four sentences even a Catholic would be able to
recognize the true gospel. When he then returns to his church and there
continues to worship the dead "saints" and the idol Mary, what happens
to him will be according to the promise of the Lord in Jn 3,36:
He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Jn 3,35 "The Father loves the Son and has
given all things into His hand. 3,36 "He who believes in
the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God abides on him." Jn 3,35-36;
As for the "picture of our supposed Lord and Savior"
on the Turin Shroud to which Herbert Röder objects, we have the statement of
John in Scripture, amongst others, that he and Peter found the grave in which
the Lord had lain empty, and only saw the linen wrappings there in which Joseph
of Arimathea had wrapped him three days before (Mt 27,57-61).
And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there.
Jn 20,3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth,
and they were going to the tomb. 20,4 The two were running together; and the
other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 20,5 and
stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not
go in. 20,6 And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the
tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, 20,7 and the face-cloth
which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in
a place by itself. 20,8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb
then also entered, and he saw and believed. Jn 20, 3- 8;
And the Turin Shroud is a linen cloth in which a man who had
been crucified was wrapped. We find an objective assessment of this in the
online encyclopedia Wikipedia, for all its undeniably worldly orientation:
It is incontestable that in the Shroud we have to do with a
singularity, above all on account of the following properties:
The likeness is without distortion, having been realized by a kind of photographic projection onto a plane surface, so it is not a contact imprint. In spite of this it shows the front and the back of the person depicted in full and identical size.
Based on brightness parameters, the likeness is a negative. Only photographic techniques developed in recent times make it possible to reverse the image, yielding a completely realistic "black and white photo" that is shaded without gradations. This excludes the possibility of the picture’s having been created by painting.
The likeness shows or purports to show a man who has
been crucified as Jesus was, with traces of scourging, crowning with
thorns, the marks of nails and a wound in the chest. It is a notable
fact however that the details, while deviating from Christian
iconography, agree with the findings of modern archeological
research: the traces of the crown of thorns suggest not a garland
but a hood (in the Orient a hood of thorns was usual, a crown of
thorns was unusual); the hands appear to have been perforated not in
the palm but at the base; and the legs must have been angled to the
side on the cross, not stretched out.
Extract from Wikipedia-Turiner
On the eyes of the man the imprints may be made out of coins
from the time of Pontius Pilate. Pollen analysis also argues in favor of the
shroud’s being dated to the time of Jesus. The radio carbon method cannot be
used for dating, because the shroud has been frequently exposed to fires
which have altered the carbon values.
To date it has not been possible to give a final negative
verdict. All attempts to date the shroud to the Middle Ages have failed.
Extract from http:/www.theologiewiki.de/Turiner_Grabtuch
In the judgment of the experts, then, who have been
investigating the Turin Shroud scientifically for decades, it has not been
possible to date to disprove the authenticity of the shroud. One might well wish
that a similarly objective scientific verdict could be delivered in connection
with the doctrine of creation.
The claim at the start of these investigations that the shroud, though magnificently executed, was a painting has now been disproved beyond all possible doubt on the basis of the most modern photographic techniques. The frequently quoted dating of the shroud to the Middle Ages, based on 14C dating (radio carbon method/short time meter), has also turned out to be unsustainable in view of the effects of fire on the shroud.
What lends the Turin Shroud a considerable amount of credibility, moreover, is the fact, first of all, that whereas the pictures of Christ in past centuries showed the wounds of the nails in the palms, the Turin Shroud shows these wounds at the wrist.
And this is exactly the position that is confirmed by modern archeological research in which crucified persons from this period have been exhumed. And then, too, the numismatic experts Prof. Filas (Chicago) and Prof. Whanger (Durham) have identified the two coin imprints on the eyes as procurator’s coins.
They originate from a copper coin that Pilate had minted between 28 and 30 AD, and which was no longer in circulation after the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. This coin is known in several minted versions, and bears the inscription "TIBERIOU KAISEROS" (Emperor Tiberius). Only in the year 29 did the master of the mint make a slip.
He wrote KAISEROS with C instead of a K. And it is just these rare coins that have left their imprint on the shroud - imprints that it has been possible to identify beyond doubt.
Procurator␁s coin. On the right, the
reconstructed inscription UCAI and the shepherd’s crook
If we leave aside the way in which the likeness has been
created, which science is unable to explain, all these details - the imprints on
the eyes of coins from the time of Pontius Pilate, the traces of scourging, the
wounds of the nails and wound in the chest - could in principle be those of any
crucified person from about the year 30 of our era.
But what we would hardly expect to find with an ordinary criminal crucified by Pilate is a hood of thorns. Here what is at issue is not so much the fact that in the Orient pictures of Christ generally showed a hood of thorns rather than a garland of thorns as in western lands, while the Turin Shroud likewise shows a hood of thorns - it is more a matter of the biblical circumstance that this "crown" was set on the head of Jesus Christ by Roman soldiers in mockery, because he said he was the King of the Jews.
"Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."
Mt 27,11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and
the governor questioned Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say." Mt 27,11;
Jesus was handed over to Pontius Pilate by the high priests and
elders on the grounds that he claimed to be the King of the Jews. And Pilate,
having interrogated him and found no fault in him, wanted to release him. But
the Jews yelled, and even threatened Pilate on the grounds that he was no friend
of Caesar if he released Jesus.
But the Jews cried out saying, "Everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar."
Jn 19,12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to
release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, "If you release this Man,
you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes
Caesar." Jn 19,12;
The Lord’s statement that he was the King of the Jews, and the
hatred felt by the Jews for this Jesus of Nazareth, were thus the official
reason why Pilate condemned him to death on the cross. Then when Jesus was
handed over to the soldiers, they scourged him and mocked him by dressing him in
a scarlet robe, twisting a hood of thorns and setting it on his head, and then
kneeling to him and crying, Hail, King of the Jews.
And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
Mt 27,27 Then the soldiers of the governor took
Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 27,28
They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 27,29 And after twisting
together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right
hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of
the Jews!" 27,30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat
Him on the head. 27,31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off
Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. Mt
And just this, now, is the critical point. Seeing that, on the
basis of the scientific findings referred to above, it has been impossible to
show that the Turin Shroud was artificially produced, and because of a general
reluctance to identify the person wrapped in the shroud with Jesus of Nazareth,
the indications leave only one alternative - the supposition that we here have
to do with another victim of crucifixion from the time of the Pontius Pilate’s
procuratorship. But it is practically impossible to believe that just any
criminal of the period would have been mocked as "King of the Jews"
and would have had a crown of thorns set on his head, as the Turin Shroud shows
was done. Looking at it in this way, this very mocking of the Son of God by the
Roman soldiers would turn out to be a historic demonstration, millennia later,
of his existence, death and resurrection.
For a long time it was an insoluble problem that the likeness had been produced without distortion in the manner of a photographic projection onto a plane surface, and so could not be a contact imprint. In spite of this it shows the front and back of the person depicted in full and identical size. In any kind of contact imprint the outline of the image would have to be distorted, just because of the topology of the human body - e.g. the side imprints of the face, on the cloth that was then laid flat, would have yielded a widened image. This has been investigated by a research group under John Jackson, Professor of Theoretical Physics in Colorado Springs. The group included members from prestigious institutions like NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, IBM, the Santa Barbara Research Center, the N.U.T.E.K., the Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Nuclear Technology Corp., Lockheed Missiles and Space Corp., Los Alamos National Laboratory and others. The development of computer-based graphics analysis technology gave Jackson the idea of applying these new techniques to the Turin Shroud.
He got Donald Devan of the Information Science Institute in Santa Barbara and Dr. Eric Jumper, an air force officer and physicist, interested in the shroud. Jackson, Jumper and other scientists now spent every available minute studying photos of the shroud that had been taken in 1931 and 1973. They investigated the pictures with the VP8 image analysis tool - a sophisticated piece of equipment that can transform the intensity of the image into a vertical relief. To their surprise they found that the picture on the shroud contains exact three-dimensional data, which is not the case with traditional photographs and paintings. With the help of the computer data, they were able to construct a three-dimensional model of the image.
(...) there were further spectacular results. An unknown
form of radiation, as the catalyst for the creation of the image, was the
only theory that stood up in the light of these new research findings, and
Prof. Jackson now capped it all by putting forward the shroud collapse
hypothesis. The evaluation of all the data acquired in 1978, and at earlier
and later stages, seemed to leave only one possibility open:
At the moment of radiation, the half of the shroud lying on the body fell downward into the area where the body had been lying just before. The traces of the image developed exactly at the time when this radiation occurred and the shroud began to collapse on itself. This resulted in distortions in the image, and non-agreement between features of the body and of the image (and bloodstains), as well as the absence of lateral images. The peripheral areas of eye and cheek, for instance, seem to be sliding outward into the void. These features - the distortions, non-agreements and the blurring of the lateral images - were findings that emerged from the researches of scientists with a background in medicine, anatomy, graphics analysis and many other disciplines, and it was only Jackson’s collapse hypothesis that made sense of them. This idea, of a shroud falling into the region of the body lying below it, with the image being created at the same time, calls for the following essential assumptions:
o The body became "penetrable" in
mechanical terms in relation to its physical environment - or it disappeared
at this moment - or it was transformed into energy.
o There must have been a trigger to effect
the disappearance of the body, and at the same time record the falling of
the shroud into the space the body had vacated in the resulting
To date it remains absolutely unclear what the physical
nature of this trigger could have been. What (or who?) could have occasioned
or carried out such a process, of which we know, at least, that it resulted
from some form of radiation? There are three possibilities:
o A supernatural process brought about by
God - i.e. a miracle that we are unable to explain.
o A scientifically explicable process of a
nature unknown to us.
o A scientifically explicable technological
intervention by an alien intelligence superior to ours.
Jackson himself said, in commenting on this startling
research finding: "As a physicist I must admit that I do have some
problems with this idea, but at the same time I know that we scientists must
be prepared to throw over our most sacred principles, when the observed
facts demand it... Some researchers and lay persons go on the tacit
assumption that there may be a hidden side of Nature that has not been
observed or studied by modern science hitherto, or which revealed itself for
the first time, for whatever reason, at the time when the image on the
shroud was created. Of course it is easy to assert that the image on the
shroud was formed by a unique process that was never to be repeated. Perhaps
this was the case. But this would remove the discussion from the sphere of
scientific investigation, seeing that what characterizes the scientific
approach is the concept of empirical repeatability."
As a result of an unknown intervention, involving a still unknown type of radiation, two things happened simultaneously. The body either became physically penetrable, or was removed or transformed into energy at that precise moment, and in consequence of this process the cellulose of the fiber tips of the shroud above and below the body were changed in such a way that an image was created - burned or singed onto the cloth, as it were. Here hi-tech shroud research is a matter of interest for biblical commentators who think that the mysterious resurrection was the essential factor. Where ecclesiastical curiosity leaves off, however, is the point where scientific interest really gets started. And under this aspect the Turin Shroud is also of interest for paleo-SETI research:
As the body lying in the shroud was definitively dead, and at the time when the image was created and the enigmatic radiation process occurred was already in a state of rigor mortis (one of the most certain conclusions of a hundred years of research into the shroud, on which medical specialists are entirely agreed), there follows from this an important question: who was the originator of this process? What is more credible - a supernatural miracle, effected by a dead body in rigor mortis - or a controlled intervention, carried out by an originator unknown to us by means of a form of radiation which resulted in (or was designed to bring about?) the disappearance or physical "penetrability" of the dead body?
Extract from the website Das Turiner Grabtuch [The Turin Shroud]
The principal reason why worldly scientists who are halfway
objective are unable to classify the image of the Turin Shroud as a forgery is
the impossibility of explaining, in scientific and empirical terms, the way in
which it was created or the background to the process of its creation. This is a
problem complex which we, as Christians familiar with the Bible, might be able
to clarify. In 1Cor 15,51-53 Paul writes to the Corinthians about the raising of
the dead on the Second Coming of the Lord, and proceeds to tell them of a
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.
1Cor 15,51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we
will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 15,52 in a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 15,53 For
this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on
immortality. 1Cor 15,51-53;
As Paul writes, on the Second Coming of the Lord the dead in
Christ will be raised in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and will be
transformed and become imperishable. He refers again to this transformation in
his second letter to the Corinthians, where he admits:
We groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven.
2Cor 5,1 For we know that if the earthly tent which
is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens. 5,2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing
to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 5,3 inasmuch as we, having put
it on, will not be found naked. 5,4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we
groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be
clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 2Cor 5, 1- 4;
And here Paul writes that he longs to be clothed, while still
alive, with the "dwelling from heaven" - the spiritual body - rather
than first dying (being unclothed) and only later at the Second Coming of the
Lord being raised and clothed in the same way with the body of his glory.
(See also Excursus 07: "The
Christ who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory.
Phil 3,20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from
which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 3,21 who
will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His
glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things
to Himself. Phil 3,30-21;
As John tells us in the passage quoted above (Jn 20,3-8), at the
time when he and Peter found the linen cloths in the empty grave, Mary Magdalen
was also with them. Only after the two of them had gone did she dare to look
into the tomb.
Jesus says to her, Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
Jn 20,11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb
weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 20,12 and
she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where
the body of Jesus had been lying. 20,13 And they said to her, "Woman, why
are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my
Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."
20,14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 20,15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." 20,16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher).
20,17 Jesus says to her, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’" 20,18 Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her. Jn 20,11-18;;
Mary Magdalen here saw the Lord, three days after his death,
directly after his having been raised from the dead. And he had that "body
of his glory" - the spiritual body - of which Paul writes in Phil 3,21
quoted above. This is also indicated by the express commandment of the Lord to
Mary Magdalen that she should not touch him because he had not yet ascended to
his Father in heaven. Only following his having been raised from the dead, and
then having ascended to his Father in heaven, and subsequently returning, in his
resurrection and in the resurrection body to earth in physical form to meet his
disciples, would he have no worries about being touched by the disciples. On the
contrary, he then showed them that his body was of flesh and bones - he even ate
fish and drank something to lay to rest the disciples’ fear that he might be a
Touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.
Lk 24,36 While they were telling these things, He
Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you."
24,37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a
spirit. 24,38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts
arise in your hearts?
24,39 "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." 24,40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
24,41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" 24,42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 24,43 and He took it and ate it before them. Lk 24,36-43;
Reach here your hand and put it into My side.
Jn 20,26 After eight days His disciples were again
inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood
in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." 20,27 Then He said to
Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here
your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."
(See also Chapter 12: "The
So the dead body of the Lord lay for three days in the tomb,
while his spirit was in the realm of the dead and there preached the gospel to
the the spirits of the dead - that is, to all people who have lived and died
since the beginning of the world.
The Son of Man was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mt 12,38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees
said to Him, ’Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ 1239 But He answered and
said to them, ’An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no
sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 12,40 for
just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster,
so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth.
Eph 4,8 Therefore it says, ’when He ascended on
high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.’ 4,9 Now this
expression, ’He ascended,’ what does it mean except that He also had
descended into the lower parts of the earth? 4,10 He who descended is
Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill
all things. Eph 4, 8-10;
The gospel has been preached even to those who are dead.
1Ptr 4,6 For the gospel has for this purpose
been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the
flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. 1Pet 4,
(See also Excursus 09: "The
Here we not only have the decided statement that the Lord
descended, after his death, into the realm of the dead - we also have an
explanation of what he was up to during this time spent in the realm of the
dead: as in his lifetime he preached to the living, here now, as one of the
dead, he preached the gospel to the dead in the realm of the dead, those who had
died before his earthly existence, and offered them salvation through grace. On
the third day he then returned from the realm of the dead, and the spirit of
life from God came into his body and he was raised.
God raised Him up on the third day and we ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
Acts 10,38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how
God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about
doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with
Him. 10,39 "We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of
the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.
10,40 "God raised Him up [egeiren] on
the third day and granted that He become visible, 10,41 not to all the
people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who
ate and drank with Him after He arose [anastenai] from the
dead. Acts 10,38-40;
(See also Chapter 12: "Raising
from the dead and Resurrection.")
We also have an excellent example of this process of raising in
Revelation. The two witnesses of God, to whom full authority is given by God to
prophesy for 1260 days, and during this time to close the heavens and to strike
the earth with every kind of affliction whenever they please, are killed when
their period comes to an end by the beast from the sea, the demonic Antichrist.
And their bodies will now lie in the streets of Jerusalem, and people will
rejoice that they are finally rid of these prophets who tormented them, and will
celebrate, and prevent their bodies being buried. But after three and a half
days, here is what happens:
But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them.
Rev 11,11 But after the three and a half days,
the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet;
and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 11,12 And they heard a
loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." Then they
went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. Rev
So after three and a half days the two witnesses of God are
raised from the dead (clothed) and translated to heaven. But this, now, is
exactly the process of which we have a report from the apostles in the passage
quoted earlier in relation to the raising of the Lord. And this same process of
raising, whereby the spirit of life from God transformed (clothed) the body of
the Lord, could be the origin of the otherwise completely inexplicable imprint
of the body on the Turin Shroud.
Science, unfortunately, will reject this argument as unscientific, and will prefer to remain in uncertainty. Although we can do no more than just accept these facts because worldly men have no faith and certainly have not the least idea of the Bible, for believing Christians it is a different matter. One who, as a Christian, refuses to take these possibilities into account, classifying them a priori as "antichristian" and "blasphemous", as the contribution cited at the start of this text from the website of Bibelkreis.ch does, only succeeds in demonstrating his superficiality and ignorance of Scripture, so we must simply assume that the rest of what he believes is not founded on the Bible either.
In your last Discourse, "The Turin Shroud", you
did an excellent job of assembling all the currently relevant facts in
relation to this theme and collocating them with the corresponding passages
in Scripture. This makes your text extremely helpful for the discussion and
realistic assessment of this whole problem complex.
But what you have unfortunately not treated in any closer detail in your work is the fact that in Jn 20,5-7 John three times speaks of "linen wrappings" - in the plural - and the Turin shroud, of course, is just one linen cloth. The evangelist also refers, in Jn 20,7, to a face-cloth which had been on Jesus’ head and which, at the time when Peter and John visited the tomb, was lying rolled up in a place by itself. So if the face-cloth had been wound around the head of the dead man, on the Resurrection the imprint of his face would have been on the face-cloth and not on the shroud.
Many thanks for this comment, which is altogether justified and
testifies to an exceptionally attentive reading of the text. The fact that in
the above Discourse these scriptural passages were not mentioned is probably
attributable to the circumstance that, so far as I know, there has been no
biblical commentator in the past who has gone into these details in connection
with this particular theme, and so clearly they escaped my notice as well. At
the same time it must be remarked that it is only John who mentions these linen
wrappings, whereas the other evangelists only speak of a single linen cloth, as
is shown by the following passages.
And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.
Mt 27,57 When it was evening, there came a rich man
from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
57,58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate
ordered it to be given to him. 27,59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it
in a clean linen cloth, 27,60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which
he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of
the tomb and went away. 27,61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary,
sitting opposite the grave. Mt 27,57-61;
Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth.
Mk 15,42 When evening had already come, because it
was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 15,43 Joseph of
Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for
the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and
asked for the body of Jesus. 15,44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time,
and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already
dead. 15,45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to
Joseph. 15,46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in
the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the
rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 15,47 Mary
Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.
And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth.
Lk 23,50 And a man named Joseph, who was a member
of the Council, a good and righteous man 23,51 (he had not consented to their
plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for
the kingdom of God; 23,52 this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of
Jesus. 23,53 And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth,
and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. 23,54 It
was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 23.55 Now the women
who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body
was laid. Lk 23,50-55;
Now the reports we find in the synoptic gospels, unlike the
Gospel of John, are not direct eyewitness reports, but rely on statements made
by contemporary witnesses at second or third hand. So a particular value
attaches to the Gospel of John in this case, and we must examine his statements
in connection with this theme very carefully. So let us try to see what is going
on here, and take another look at the relevant passage in Scirpture:
Simon Peter saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head in a place by itself.
Jn 20,1 Now on the first day of the week Mary
Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone
already taken away from the tomb. 20,2 So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to
the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken
away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid
Him." 20,3 So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going
to the tomb. 20,4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran
ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 20,5 and stooping and
looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.
20,6 And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and
he saw the linen wrappings lying there, 20,7 and the face-cloth
which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but
rolled up in a place by itself. 20,8 So the other disciple who had first
come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. 20,9 For as yet
they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
20,10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes. Jn 20, 1-10;
If John writes here of linen wrappings, in the plural, it seems
to me that there may be two reasons for this. When people were buried in Israel
at that time, it was by no means customary to wrap the dead person in just one
big gravecloth. Cloths of this size - and the Turin shroud measures 4.36 meters
in length and 1.10 meters in width - were after all rather expensive, and an
average family probably would have been unable to afford it or unwilling to pay
the expense. We find proof of this in Scripture, when Lazarus is raised by the
The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings.
Jn 11,41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus
raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
11,42 "I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing
around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me." 11,43 When He
had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come
forth." 11,44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with
wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them,
"Unbind him, and let him go." Jn 11,41-44;
So Lazarus’ feet and hands were wrapped in a number of
gravecloths. This was the standard, and at the time the generally familiar way
of proceeding in the case of burials under the Mosaic law. And now when John, in
the above passage, bends down to look into the tomb without entering
immediately, he sees "linen wrappings" lying there. Having seen the empty
tomb, both Peter and John then left again immediately, without inspecting these
linen wrappings at close quarters. The reason for their hesitation about
entering the tomb is to be sought in the severe regulations of the Law of Moses,
according to which touching the objects of a dead person - and even entering the
tomb where a dead person is lying - makes the believer ritually impure so that
he must do subsequent atonement. It is therefore altogether plausible to suppose
that John, on a cursory inspection, presumed that there were, as was customary,
a number of cloths lying in a heap, although in fact there was only one cloth
And then there is the second possibility - that in actual fact there were several gravecloths. The dead body could have been wrapped in the long shroud lengthwise, and then had several smaller cloths wrapped around it from side to side. This is admittedly improbable, as we will see in a moment, but in this case as well the effect of the imprint on the shroud at the time of the raising from the dead would have been the same as it would have been if the body had only been enveloped in the one big linen cloth.
Now if we compare the burial of Christ with the burial ritual then prescribed and practiced in the Jewish religion - and to some extent still practiced today - we can see that in the case of the death of the Lord it was no means a matter of a ritual burial in accordance with the Law. The Mosaic ritual prescribes, for example, that the dead person must be washed, and the mortal is then wrapped in linen cloths. If the Turin Shroud is genuine, both of these prescriptions were ignored. The many bloodstains on the shroud make it evident that the body was not washed; and then, too, its being enveloped in a single linen cloth rather than being properly wrapped prompts the question why Joseph of Arimathea should have left so much undone. So if we are to come to a better understanding of the situation, we need to acquaint ourselves more closely with the person of this Joseph of Arimathea and with the background circumstances prevailing at the time.
Joseph came from Arimathea, today called Rentis, situated to the north-east of Lydda, a small town not far from Tel Aviv. He was a respected council member (Mk 15,43; Lk 23,50) which also made him a member of the Council of elders of the people. He was a rich man (Mt 27,57), one who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God (Mk 15,43), and he had not consented to the verdict of the Council that Jesus of Nazareth should be handed over to the Romans to be crucified (Lk 23,51), because although he was a member of the Council of elders he was at the same time himself a disciple of Jesus (Mt 27,57).
The crucifixion day was a preparation day. That is the day before a Jewish feast day, thus either before the weekly Sabbath, i.e. Friday, or as in this case (Jn 19,31) before the annual "Great Sabbath," (Sabbath haGadol), which is not bound to a certain day of the week but to a date (the 14th day of Nisan). A further peculiarity of Jewish chronology was that the 24 hour day did not start at midnight, as is usual today - instead, the day started when the sun went down. The counting of the hours therefore started at 6.00 pm with the night (the ‘eve’), which then lasted twelve hours up to six in the morning. Then at six in the morning the day started, and lasted for twelve hours, until six in the evening. And it is in this light that we must understand statements about time in the biblical reports of the crucifixion.
Jesus’ death on the cross.
Mk 15,24 And they crucified Him, and divided up His
garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should
take. 15,25 It was the third hour when they crucified Him. 15,26 The
inscription of the charge against Him read, "THE KING OF THE JEWS."
15,27 They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.
15,28 [Ad the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with
transgressors."] 15,29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging
their heads, and saying, "Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and
rebuild it in three days, 15,30 save Yourself, and come down from the
cross!" 15,31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the
scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; He
cannot save Himself. 15,32 "Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come
down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" Those who were
crucified with Him were also insulting Him. 15,33 When the sixth hour
came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 15,34 At the
ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "EOI, ELOI, LAMA
SABACHTHANI?" which is translated, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU
FORSAKEN ME?" 15,35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began
saying, "Behold, He is calling for Elijah." 15,36 Someone ran and
filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying,
"Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down." 15,37 And
Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. Mk 15,24-37;
At the third hour of this day - that is, at nine o’clock - they
crucified him and at the sixth hour - at twelve o’clock midday - there was a
darkness over the whole land, and at the ninth hour - that is, at 3:00 p.m. -
our Lord died on the cross. Joseph of Arimathea owned a rock-hewn tomb in
Jerusalem, which he had purchased for his own burial. And he had resolved to
take the Lord down from the cross and to lay him in this unused grave.
But now Joseph of Arimathea was faced with a race against time. For him to be allowed to take the Lord down from the cross, he had to get authorization from Pilate. The latter first summoned the centurion in command of the soldiers at Golgotha, the place of the skull (Mt 27,54; Mk 15,44-45), to ask him whether the Nazarene was really dead. When this was confirmed, Pilate granted the body to Joseph. Joseph then bought the linen cloth and the face-cloth in the town (Mk 15,46), and he still had to get servants together to take the dead man down from the cross and carry the body to the tomb in the rock.
The time pressure that Joseph was under was to be put down to the circumstance that at 6.00 pm the Great Sabbath would begin, after which Jews were not allowed to perform any kind of work, and certainly would not have been allowed to carry out a burial. So he had something like three hours of time available, the greater part of which must have been used in his going into town to visit Pilate and get permission to take down the body from the cross, his procuring the linen cloths, assembling servants and getting back to Golgotha, plus the deposition itself and the transport of the body to the tomb - for the burial itself, there cannot have been a lot of time left over. And in view of the fact that under the Law of Moses contact with a dead person entailed seven days of ritual impurity (Num 19:11,14) - which would include the entire period of the Passover festival - Joseph of Arimathea of all people, as a member of the Council, could not touch the body himself, and so had to postpone the actual ritual burial, by Jewish men and women, to the day after the Sabbath.
The one who touches the corpse of any person shall be unclean for seven days.
Num 19,11 ‘The one who touches the corpse of
any person shall be unclean for seven days. 19,12 ‘That one shall purify
himself from uncleanness with the water on the third day and on the seventh day,
and then he will be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day
and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. 19,13 ‘Anyone who touches a
corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the
tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel.
Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean;
his uncleanness is still on him. 18,14 ‘This is the law when a man dies in a
tent: everyone who comes into the tent and everyone who is in the tent shall be
unclean for seven days. 19,15 ‘Every open vessel, which has no covering tied
down on it, shall be unclean. 19,16 ‘Also, anyone who in the open field
touches one who has been slain with a sword or who has died naturally, or a
human bone or a grave, shall be unclean for seven days. Num 19,11-16;
The reports in the Gospels (e.g. Mt 27,59-60) that state that
Joseph of Arimathea himself wrapped the Lord in the linen cloths, himself laid
him in the tomb and himself rolled the heavy stone to block the entrance are
therefore to be seen as narrative abbreviations, a common enough phenomenon in
Scripture. The same applies to the statement in Mt 27,60 that Joseph had himself
hewn the tomb in the rock, or the statement in Jn 19,41 to the effect that this
tomb was situated in a garden adjoining the place of crucifixion. A rich and
highly regarded member of the Council of elders like Joseph of Arimathea would
not hew his tomb out of the rock in person; and if he had acquired it, he would
never have purchased a tomb in close proximity to the spot used by the occupying
Roman power for the execution of criminals. So the transport of the body to the
tomb in the rock, which after all must have been a bit further away, must also
have taken up much of what was left of those three hours.
And all this now seems to account for the fact that Joseph of Arimathea, being pressed for time, postponed the ritual operations of washing, embalming and wrapping in the gravecloth, laying Jesus in the grave as quickly as he could with the intention of doing what was required on the day after next. And that, too, is why we find all these bloodstains on the shroud, because the body was not washed, and there is not a trace of embalming - only loose aloes and myrrh, probably to cover the smell of the body that was to be expected when the burial was carried out on the day after the Sabbath. And finally the body was just enveloped in a large linen cloth, instead of being properly wrapped.
The only people who followed Joseph of Arimathea from the cross to the tomb, and so were eyewitnesses of his being laid in the tomb, were those women (Mt 27,61; Mk 15,47; Lk 23,55) who had also been present at the cross during the crucifixion (Lk 23,49; Jn 19,25-26). We find no indication in the synoptics that the disciples were present at the cross or at the Lord’s being laid in the tomb. To the contrary, as we read in Mt 26,35, all the disciples of the Lord abandoned him when he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and fled.
Only John reports that he stood with the mother of Jesus and the other women by the cross, but he says nothing about his having also been there at the entombment. So we have to presume that he was not familiar either with the look of the linen cloth with which Joseph had the body of Jesus covered, and this is why he speaks, unspecifically, of the "linen wrappings" which he saw lying in the empty tomb after Jesus’ raising from the dead. By contrast with this, the information of the synoptics clearly has its origin in the statements of the women who were present at the Lord’s laying in the tomb, and so saw that the body of the Lord was enclosed in a single large linen shroud.
(See also Discourse 40: ""Are
there errors in the Bible?")
And finally, there are other statements connected with this
theme in the Gospel of John that disagree with the texts of the synoptic
gospels. For example, John speaks of Joseph of Arimathea having wrapped the body
together with Nicodemus. The synoptic gospels do not mention Nicodemus in this
connection at all. John also writes that these two embalmed the body with a
mixture of myrrh and aloes of "about a hundred litra". A litra is an
ancient Greek unit of weight, roughly equivalent to a pound, so
this would make 33 kilos.
They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
Jn 19,39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by
night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred
pounds weight. 19,40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen
wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Jn 19,39-40;
In the synoptic gospels, on the other hand, we read that it was
the women who after returning to their houses prepared spices and perfumes (Lk
23,56), and then went to the tomb at a very early hour, at sunrise, on the first
day of the week (Sunday morning), with the intention of embalming the body. But
at this time they found the tomb already empty (Mk 16,2-6; Lk 24,1-3).
But even if these women were no longer able to anoint the Lord as they had planned, all the same the ritual anointing with perfumes, such as was customary with Jewish burials, had already been carried out. Two days before his crucifixion (Mt 26,2; Lk 22,1), the Lord was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, reclining at the table. And there came a woman to him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume and poured it out upon his head.
For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.
Mt 26,6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home
of Simon the leper, 25,7 a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very
costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.
26,8 But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why
this waste? 26,9 "For this perfume might have been sold for a high price
and the money given to the poor." 26,10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to
them, "Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.
26,11 "For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have
Me. 26,12 "For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to
prepare Me for burial. Mt 26, 6-12;
As John informs us in the parallel passage (Jn 12,1-8), it was
Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who had been raised from the
dead by the Lord, who here anointed the Lord, so anticipating, without knowing
it, the anointing for his burial on the following day.
As for the face-cloth which John mentions, we must agree without
reservation to the argument advanced by Mr. Niemetz in his above reply. If the
head of the Lord had indeed been wrapped in the face-cloth, then when he was
raised, with the transformation of the dead physical body into a spiritual body,
the imprint would have been left on the face-cloth and not on the shroud.
But here again we must take into account the fact that, as with the "linen wrappings" referred to earlier, John was not present at the entombment (Jn 19,38-42) and so could not have known whether the head of Jesus was wrapped in the face-cloth or not. And just as he may, in his haste, have taken the linen cloth to be a number of cloths, because this was in accordance with custom, so here too he may automatically have assumed, seeing a face-cloth lying there, that it had been wrapped around the head of the Lord.
But in view of our analysis of the situation above, this very point is highly debatable. As we have seen, when Joseph of Arimathea reached the tomb in the rock with the body, he would have just had time to envelop it in the linen cloth and place it in the tomb. The wrapping of the head was a labor which, if it was to be carried out properly (and that would have involved washing the head, of course), would have taken some time, and time was just what Joseph did not have at this point.
From the indications given us in Scripture, we were also able to conclude earlier that Joseph had evidently decided, in view of the shortness of time remaining, to postpone the ritual burial - with washing, embalming and wrapping with the shroud and the face-cloth - till the day after the Sabbath, and for the moment just meant to cover the body in a provisional way and deposit it in the tomb. And he may perhaps have discussed this with the women as well, who had taken part in this provisional entombment and had seen how the body of the Lord had been laid to rest (Lk 23,55). This, then, is why they prepared "spices and perfumes" and went to the tomb at crack of dawn on the first day of the week, after the Sabbath, with the intention of embalming the body (Mk 16,1).
From this we can now infer that the head of the Lord was not wrapped with the face-cloth - instead, the shroud covered the entire dead body both above and below. And so the energy emitted on the transformation of the physical into a spiritual body resulted in the imprint of the face on the shroud, together with the imprint of the body as a whole.
Position of the body in relation to the shroud
But if the face-cloth was not used, a final question suggests
itself after all - how could John have identified the face-cloth, unambiguously
and without any doubt, when he looked into the tomb? If we consider the entire
passage in this connection, we can recognize what lies behind it:
He saw the face-cloth not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.
Jn 20,6 And so Simon Peter also came, following
him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, 20,7 and
the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings,
but rolled up in a place by itself. Jn 20, 6- 7;
Many biblical commentators may well have wondered here why the
Lord, after his raising from the dead, paid no attention to the shroud, while
carefully folding up the face-cloth and depositing it in a special place. But in
the light of the above analysis the answer is quite simple: it was not the Lord
who put the face-cloth to one side after being raised. It was Joseph of
Arimathea who had provided the face-cloth and the shroud from the city, where he
had purchased them, and seeing that the time was insufficient for a burial in
keeping with ritual prescription, had enveloped the body in the shroud as a
provisional measure and placed the unused face-cloth to one side so that it
would be ready for the proper burial on the day after next.
At most, Jesus lay in the grave from Friday, about 5:00 p.m.
until Sunday, very early in the morning. If we assume 7:00 a.m. at the
latest, we do - somewhat artificially - come up with 3 days: the last hour
of Friday, the whole Saturday and the first few hours of Sunday. But three
nights just doesn’t fit. Is Friday thus the day of crucifixion? (...)
I shouldn’t get stuck on an inaccuracy in the Bible, specifically on this verse, Mt. 12,40 - not least because these are words spoken by the Lord himself. Immanuel.at has emphasized repeatedly that such words have priority when compatibility with other Bible verses is sought.
When I first became a believer, David Pawson was a great help to me in understanding God’s Word. It has been several years ago since I read or heard his explanation of this question. In short, it was that there was another day between the day of rest and the first day of the week on this great Sabbath. I have forgotten the details of his explanation, have asked for it again and, if I may, would like to send it to you.
Giuseppe De Candia
(The book which G. De Candia mentions in his above reply, is
"The Road to Hell" by David Pawson and the original English edition
was published by Hodder & Stoughton. I thank Brother De Candia for ceding to
me this excellent study.)
(See also Discourse 88: "David
Pawson and the Interpretation of the End-Time Events.")
Thank you for the hint! This is actually a question with which
exegesis is constantly preoccupied but has been unable to find a clear answer
until now. We have the statement of the Lord in Matt 12,40:
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mt 12,38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees
said to Him, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." 12.39 But He
answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a
sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;
12,40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the
sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart
of the earth. 12,41 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this
generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the
preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here."
This is the entirely clear and unmistakable statement - which,
on top of that, was spoken by the Lord himself - that he would be in the heart
of the earth for three days and three nights. But as Brother De Candia has
correctly remarked in his above reply, the conventional interpretation sees the
Lord’s time in the grave as extending only from his death on the cross on the
preparation day (the day before the Sabbath, which is widely understood to be
Friday) at the ninth hour (thus about 3:00 p.m. our time) until Sunday morning
(somewhere around 6-7:00 a.m.), when the women discovered the empty grave.
Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
Mk 16,1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary
Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that
they might come and anoint Him. 16,2 Very early on the first day of the week,
they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 16,3 They were saying to one
another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"
16,4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was
extremely large. Mk 16, 1- 4;
That makes only two nights and, if one takes the Jewish division
of the day into account, three days in only a nominal sense, i.e. 3 hours on the
day of crucifixion, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (when the preparation day ended
and the Sabbath began), the whole Sabbath till 6:00 p.m. (when the Sabbath ended
and the first day of the week began), and until daybreak when the women came to
anoint the body and found the empty grave. Until now, this inaccuracy has been
explained by reference to the fact that there are many statements of the Lord in
which he prophesied that he would be raised up "on the third day." And even
if these days were not three 24-hour days, they were three days according to the
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must be raised up on the third day.
Mt 16,21 From that time Jesus began to show His
disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the
elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the
third day. Mt 16,21;
(See also Mt 20,19; Lk 9,22; 13,32; 18,33; 24,7.46;)
However, the following exegetical problem arises immediately:
whereas Mark writes in Mk 16,1 that the women bought spices and perfumes after
the Sabbath, Luke reports that the women prepared the spices and perfumes on
their return from Jesus’ burial by Joseph of Arimathea late on the preparation
day - thus before the Sabbath - and then rested on the Sabbath, according
to the commandment.
Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Lk 23,54 It was the preparation day, and the
Sabbath was about to begin. 23,55 Now the women who had come with Him out of
Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. 23,56 Then they
returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested
according to the commandment. Lk 23,54-56;
Precisely these differing reports are, however, very important
because they offer the first clue to solving the problem: it certainly appears
as if Mark and Luke are speaking of two different Sabbaths. Above, we
established that these women had attended the burial by Joseph of Arimathea
until it was over - thus shortly before 6:00 p.m. on the preparation day and
therefore at the beginning of the Sabbath. But if Luke writes in Lk 23,56 that
they prepared (in Mark: "had bought") the spices and perfumes when they
returned, the Sabbath would have already begun at 6:00 p.m. and they would
have been forbidden to do so.
It also appears that Luke speaks of two different Sabbaths: once of the Sabbath after the preparation day on which the Lord was crucified and then of a second Sabbath, which was separated by its own preparation day from the preceding Sabbath. On the preparation day for that Sabbath the women could have prepared/bought the spices. On the second Sabbath they rested according to the commandment and, very early, on the first day of the week they went to the tomb. And we will see later, this is completely plausible. The time that the women (or woman) went to the tomb seems to be the same in all the gospel accounts. Mark writes (Mk 16,2): "very early on the first day of the week" and Luke has: "On the first day of the week, at early dawn".
On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb.
Lk 24,1 But on the first day of the week, at
early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had
prepared. 24,2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 24,3 but when
they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. Lk 24,1- 3;
John also talks about the first day of the week, even though in
his account it is only Mary Magdalene who goes to the tomb. Matthew (with King
James, Darby and Luther) does confirm that there were (a number of) women who
went to the tomb, namely those who have been present during the Lord’s burial
by Joseph of Arimathea, but gives the time as "late on Sabbath, as it was the
dusk of the next day after Sabbath". This would mean that the women went to
the tomb already late on Sabbath (Saturday evening around 6:00 p.m.) and that
the tomb was already empty at that time.
On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark.
Jn 20,1 Now on the first day of the week Mary
Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone
already taken away from the tomb. 20,2 So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to
the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken
away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid
Him." Jn 20, 1- 2;
Late on Sabbath, as it was the dusk of the next day after Sabbath.
Mt 28,1 Now late on sabbath, as it was the dusk
of the next day after sabbath, came Mary of Magdala and the other Mary to look
at the sepulchre. 28,2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an
angel of the Lord, descending out of heaven, came and rolled away the stone and
sat upon it. Mt 28, 1- 2;
By means of this information, we can thus establish with some
certainty the raising from the dead of the Lord yet before the arrival of the
women - very early on the first day of the week - when it was still dark. Since
this first day of the week would have begun on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. according
to our calendar, the raising from the dead could have occurred already on
Saturday evening, as Mat 28,1 above suggests by its "Now late on the Sabbath,"
It is also interesting that in Mat 28,1 the Sabbath is written in the plural in
Greek, thus "late on the Sabbaths [sabbatwn],"
by which we again have a reference to two Sabbaths in this week.
But what can we say then about the day of death? The statement by the Lord that he would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights indicates that his entry into the realm of the dead must have occurred three days and three nights before. Depending on whether these three days began at the time of his death or at the time of his burial, the period would have started on Wednesday between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. The continuation of the above text from Matthew would support this, for the women came to the grave already late on the Sabbath and the Lord had already been raised.
Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead.
Mt 28,2 And behold, there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord, descending out of heaven, came and rolled away the
stone and sat upon it. 28,3 And his look was as lightning, and his clothing
white as snow. 28,4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became as dead
men. 28,5 And the angel answering said to the women, Fear not ye, for I know
that ye seek Jesus the crucified one. 28,6 He is not here, for he is
risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 28,7 And go
quickly and say to his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold,
he goes before you into Galilee, there shall ye see him. Behold, I have told
you. Mt 28, 2- 7;
We should also point out that, at that time, Passover was just
around the corner - the great Sabbath. Because the high priests wanted to avoid
carrying out a crucifixion that they had been given charge of on Passover, the
crucifixion of Jesus was arranged on the day before the Passover, the
preparation day for Passover.
Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people.
Mt 26,3 Then the chief priests and the elders of
the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named
Caiaphas; 26,4 and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.
26,5 But they were saying, "Not during the festival, otherwise a riot
might occur among the people." Mt 26, 3- 5;
To have a better grasp of the situation here, the origin of this
Passover feast should be briefly explained. It goes back to the exodus of Israel
from Egypt. When the Pharaoh did not want to let the Israelites leave Egypt, God
promised that at midnight all the male first-born in Egypt would die - from the
first-born of Pharaoh to the first-born of the lowliest slave girl and the
first-born of all cattle.
But the Israelites God commanded to slaughter a year-old unblemished male lamb or kid "between the two evenings" on this day - it was the 14th day of the first month (Nisan). As in Jewish division of the day the day begins with 6:00 p.m. the first evening is meant from the sunset (6:00 p.m.) until night has fallen completely and the second evening on the next day when the sun first begins to decline (3:00 p.m.) until the sunset at 6:00 p.m. They were to spread the blood of the slaughtered lamb on their doorposts and lintels; the angel of the Lord would thus recognize these houses and exclude them from the plague. But they were to eat the meat the same night, roasted on a fire and with unleavened bread (matzot) and bitter herbs.
You shall kill it on the fourteenth day of the same month and put some of the blood on the two doorposts.
Ex 12,5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a
yearling male; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats. 12,6 And
ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; and the whole
congregation of the assembly of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings.
12,7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two door-posts and
on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 12,8 And they shall eat
the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter
herbs shall they eat it. Ex 12, 5- 8;
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live.
Ex 12,12 "For I will go through the land of Egypt
on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both
man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments - I am
the LORD. 12,13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you
live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall
you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." Ex 12,12-13;
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.
Ex 12,17 "You shall also observe the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of
Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a
permanent ordinance. 12,18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of
the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day
of the month at evening." Ex 12,17-18;
Starting on this day, the Israelites were to eat unleavened
bread for the next seven days. This was the feast of unleavened bread (Passover)
celebrated as a memorial of the exodus from Egypt, which began with the
slaughter of a lamb in the evening hours of the first day (Preparation Day), on
the 14th day of Nisan, and then lasted further seven days until the 21st day of
Therefore, it looks as if two Sabbaths were celebrated in Israel
in the week when Jesus was crucified. The first, the "great" Sabbath, was
that of the annual Passover feast, which began on the 14th day of Nisan, a
Wednesday, with the preparation day. The second Sabbath was then the normal
weekly Sabbath, thus the Saturday whose preparation day was Friday. And this
solves all the exegetical problems mentioned above: the Lord was precisely three
days and three nights in the tomb; the women had a day between both Sabbaths to
buy and to prepare the spices and perfumes. And the plural in the Greek text of
Mt 28,1 - which translators ignored until now due to the lack of better
understanding - is completely justified.
In researching this topic, one of the books that helped me a great deal was Das Zeichen des Jona [The Sign of Jonah] by Dr. Werner Papke, not least because it agreed with my own discoveries. In his work, Dr. Papke has meticulously researched the dating problem of the Jewish calendar especially and could even determine the date of Jesus’ crucifixion precisely to the day. This book is recommended to all readers interested in this topic. Below is a short summary of the results of his research:
On the 14th day of Nisan, a Wednesday
Joseph of Arimathea placed the body of Jesus in the rock tomb. He had a
stone rolled in front of the tomb and then left about 6:00 p.m. shortly
The 15th day of Nisan, the great Sabbath began at sunset and ended at sunset on Thursday.
On the 16th day of Nisan, on Friday, the women bought the spices and perfumes and prepared them.
The weekly Sabbath, the 17th day of Nisan, began at sunset on Friday, The women rested until the end of the Sabbath on Saturday evening.
Jesus rose on the Sabbath, on Saturday evening, when it was still the 17th day of Nisan, shortly before sunset at the end of the Sabbath.
The 18th day of Nisan began at sunset on Saturday evening, and lasted until Sunday evening.
On Sunday morning, on the 18th day of Nisan, the women set out "very early in the morning" to anoint the body of Jesus. Shortly before this, an angel had moved the stone from the tomb. The grave was empty.
This refutes the dominant Good Friday - Easter Sunday tradition: Jesus was buried in the evening of the 14th day of Nisan, on Wednesday evening and rose on the evening of the 17th day of Nissan on Saturday evening from the grave.
(Excerpt from the book Das Zeichen des Jona - Wie lange war Jesus im Grab? [The Sign of Jonah: How Long was Jesus in the Grave?] P. 42f, by Dr. Werner Papke)
|13th Nisan||14th Nisan||15th Nisan||16th Nisan||17th Nisan||18th Nisan||19th Nisan|
|Night Day||Night Day||Night Day||Night Day||Night Day||Night Day||Night Day|
after 6:00 p.m.
the Lord’s supper
Death on the
~ 6:00 p.m.
Spices and Perfumes
~ 6:00 p.m.
First Day of
Women arrive at
the empty tomb
In Jewish division of the day, the day begins with 6:00 p.m. and ends
on the next day at 6:00 p.m.)
Although the dates and facts have now been discussed in
connection with the death of the Lord, his burial and his raising from the dead,
there is still an area - the most important - that needs to be discussed; the
symbolism of the events.
As we saw above, when we explained the Passover feast using some Scripture passages from the Old Testament (Exodus 12:5-18), God commanded the Israelites in Egypt to slaughter a lamb on the 14th day of Nisan and to spread the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and lintels. These houses would then be recognizable and be spared the plague by which God would punish the Egyptians, because they would not allow the Israelites to leave the country.
But God did not only fix a date; he also commanded a specific time for the slaughter. In Exodus 12,6 we read:
Ex 12,6 And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth
day of this month; and the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel shall
kill it between the two evenings. Ex 12,6;
The slaughter of this lamb would also be done "between the two
evenings." As was already stated above, the phrase "between the two evenings"
refers to the time from sunset (6:00 p.m.) until night has fallen completely
(first evening) and the next day from the beginning of the sun’s decline (3:00
p.m.) until sunset.
And here we perceive the connection between this event in Egypt at the time and the death of the Lord in Jerusalem. Just as the blood of the slaughtered lamb protected the Israelites from the wrath of God at that time, Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God, was slaughtered for us. We are saved and protected from the wrath of God by the blood of Christ. And this happened exactly on that day, i.e. the 14th day of Nisan, on which the Passover lamb was slaughtered. Indeed, even the time was the same: beginning with 3:00 p.m. the Israelites should slaughter their lamb and at 3:00 p.m. the Lord died on the cross.
However, just as at that time only those Israelites were spared who had actually spread the blood on the doorposts, so only those who believe in Christ and consciously accept his redemptive sacrifice for their sins are saved now. That must be made clear in a time in which irresponsible preachers distort the gospel and lead the people they preach to into believing that Christ had saved unciondirionally all people by his dead. The Son of God did indeed die for all people, but not all people want to accept this sacrifice. It is also up to the individuals themselves as to whether they will be saved or - like the Egyptians at that time - become the objects of God’s wrath.
... Your interpretations of the course of events around the
death of Jesus Christ [Discourse 87: The Turin Shroud; Comment FH]
are really quite informative and have filled a gap in my understanding.
There is, however, one final problem that you did not discuss. The synoptic
gospels contain accounts of the last supper, at which Jesus and his
disciples celebrated the Passover and ate the lamb.
You write that Jesus (the Lamb of God) was killed precisely at the time that the Jews slaughtered the Passover lamb and celebrated Passover. But, as we can read in the gospels, Jesus was condemned and killed on the day after this celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Thus, there is a whole day between this celebration of the Lord’s Supper with the apostles and his death on the cross.
Many thanks for this tip! Your criticism is completely
justified. I did not explain this point in enough detail. Above all, I did not
clearly present the problem between the Jewish and Christian calendars in
relation to this context precisely. The text in Ex 12,6 reads:
Ex 12,6 And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth
day of this month; and the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel shall
kill it between the two evenings. Ex 12, 6;
For us, who are accustomed to the Christian calendar, it is
completely natural to think that "two evenings" concerns the evening of this
day and the evening of the next day.
But, in fact, that is not the case. It is true that these two evenings do refer to two days according to our calendar, but, according to Hebrew dating, only to one day, namely, the 14th day of Nisan. That is because - as already explained above - the Jewish day begins at 6:00 p.m. our time and ends at 6:00 p.m. on what to us would be the following day. Therefore there are two evenings to every Jewish day: one at the beginning of the day (from 6:00 p.m. until it gets dark) and a second at the end (for us, the following day) from 3:00 p.m. (the setting of the sun) until 6:00 p.m. It is also very simple to learn it from Lev 23,32:
On the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your Sabbath.
Lev 23,32 "It is to be a sabbath of complete
rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at
evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath. Lev
Unfortunately, there are also many translations of the Bible
that do not take this Jewish division of the day into account. Thus, Luther
translates it as "towards evening" and English translations as well, i.e. the
King James and the RSV translate "in the evening." The NAS translates it in a
general sense as "at twilight." Only the Darby Translation, the German Elberfelder
Bible and the Italian Diodati have the correct meaning of "between the two evenings," although they do not
point out that in the Jewish division of the day this is equal to the evenings
of two of our days.
What is more, it is very simple to verify this view. In Lev 23 God announces to Moses those feasts that are holy gatherings and that the Israelites must celebrate. The Passover is included among them, of course.
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month between the two evenings, is the LORD’S Passover.
Lev 23,4 ‘These are the appointed times of the
LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for
them. 23,5 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month
between the two evenings, is the LORD’S Passover. 23,6 ‘Then on the
fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the
LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Lev 23, 4- 6;
According to God’s command, the Passover thus occurs on the
14th day of the month, between the two evenings. And one cannot assume that, if
God says "on the fourteenth day of the month, between the two evenings," he
actually means the evening of the fifteenth day of the month. This is so
because, if the evening were understood in that way, as presented in the above
Bible translations, it must already be - as of 6:00 p.m. - the 15th day of Nisan,
according to Hebrew dating.
As can be gathered from the timetables further above, the 14th day of Nisan began, according to our time, at 6:00 p.m. of the day before (Tuesday). At this same time, this was also the "first evening" of this Jewish day. The command in Ex 12,6 to carry out the slaughter between the two evenings thus means, in our understanding of time, slaughtering the lamb between 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.
According to the synoptics, we now have the following situation: On Tuesday evening, from 6:00 p.m. on, at the beginning of the 14th day of Nisan, the Lord celebrated the Passover with the twelve (the start of the Lord’s Supper). After that, they went to the Mount of Olives, into the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed and where the arrest by the high priests occurred later that night. Jesus was questioned in the subsequent hours of that night (Peter’s denial) and was condemned and scourged on the following morning. Finally, there was the journey with the cross to Golgotha and the crucifixion. At 3:00 p.m. the Lord died on the cross. After that, Joseph of Arimathea took him down from the cross and, at around 6:00 p.m., at the end of the 14th day of Nisan, Jesus was laid in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. Thus, both the celebration of the Lord’s Supper and the death of Jesus occurred on the 14th day of Nisan, between the two evenings.
To clear up this misunderstanding, I have amended the tables further above concerning the celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Tuesday.
With the help of the process known as ‘morphing’,
scientists have used the vague expression on the Turin shroud as the basis
for a true-to-life portrait that has an astonishing similarity with the
historical representations of Christ in art. This photo is based on eight
years of research work by the British expert Dennis Hooper, who
reconstructed the portrait numerically in a three-dimensional computer
procedure that is also used by the FBI.
(From "Profil" magazine, 23. 1. 1995)
For us believing Christians, whether
the Turin shroud is genuine and how Jesus actually looked are
matters completely irrelevant. We love him because he is our Lord,
God and Savior. Because he died for us on the cross, to atone for
our sins to the Father. - And because he rose from the dead and
thereby showed us the way that we too will go.
The image of the body on the Shroud
is not explicable / Study by the National Agency for Energy and Sustainable