by Mary Whanger & Alan Whanger Paperback - 160 pages (1998)
|I have a question for you. Are
you interested in the truth as evidenced by nearly all the Shroud history?
Or, are you looking for more complex answers that leave the Shroud somewhat
less venerable? One of the few statements left standing by the current
Pope is that the Shroud is "worthy of veneration".
When I started my study of the Turin Shroud, I had about three years background in my new business of making and selling coin jewelry. Before that, I had about six years of Bible study. I was at the time what could be called a full-time student with an "end-time" group - the Alamo Foundation.
In 1982 I was, among other things, a photographer, used a tele-extender and close-up lens and was therefore able to do 25x blowups.
Many may have taken this to be the "limitations" of this new computer which few understood - hardly! Again, I say, the coin images end not at the neck, waist, knees, or back - there is no end as if a huge fabric of large coppers are overspreading the entire body, front and back.
I can understand the human desire to make one's Savior in one's own image - to look human - yet, it was ever so misguided an effort. The entire image of Christ has "muted" hidden information that not only brings out the 3-D nature of his body, but also the unknown coverings overspreading all.
The negative image of the shroud brings out a great amount of detail in extreme close-up. The question is how to prove who the image is of. More to the point, can anyone ever prove anything to the inclusion of all? Remember, this is a world that includes the flat-earth society.
After some study, I discovered that in the lst century, coinage (a soldier's wages) was often tied together (reworked and woven) to form a type of armor for man or beast - sometimes called penny armor or scale armor. Even in modern times (19th century), examples of "cash" armors are known. Having a central hole, the coinage was wired onto a heavy backing, or whatever. Indeed, a few lst-century examples still exist today!
It seems most all researchers want Christ to have received a total Hebrew burial. In part, it seems that he did. Yet also, the Roman military were graveside and mentioned in the Gospels; it seems their involvement reached even to His tomb and body. They, under orders from others, tortured, mocked and killed Him. Did they also cover him in Roman armor? It would seem so.
Recently, it has been pointed out that it was not a Jewish custom to place coins over the eyes of the dead. Neither did the Romans have any such custom. In fact, they preferred cremation. One lone archeologist found some coins in a broken skull in the area of Judea. From this, he went on to propose that they must have entered via the eye-sockets.
In other times and other places, people did indeed "pay" the fare to the ferryman of the dead to cross to the other side of said Styx. Why anyone would connect this practice to Jesus is only a matter of poor research. Perhaps, due to the lack of knowledge of early armor types, this was the only other thing that came to mind as to why coinage would be present at all.
As I said, I have done extreme enlargements of many areas (all, in fact), and I am convinced "His" body imaged from being covered by a great mass of large coins, Roman coinage, under, over and around his flesh.
The mystery is, none are imaged edge on; the coin-like images are all in neat rows, and perhaps squared somewhat. The one and only answer is also the perfect match, as one might say, of a fingerprint of a killer, coin-scale armor of the empire; parade armor of an officer, to be exact, and even more probably, is Roman war-horse covering.
The Mongols had a favorite way of killing a powerful enemy, rolling him up in a rug and riding back and forth over him until all movement ended. Comare this to: ....
Jesus, smothering under the weight of thousands of "brasses.";an idea few churches of today would like to imagine.Yet, no better way is often found to date a ruin ( OR BURIAL) than via coinage, none, except (thought many) carbon-14 dating. Over the last decade there have been no few ups and down in the fortunes of Shroud research. For the most part, it had centered around the supposed results of carbon dating. Much was made of its exactitude, the very finality of whatever its results. As you might know, the results were that the Turin Shroud is only about 40% old enough to be Christ's.
Now, over the last few years, new information points to the fact that all ancient fabric gives off shifted C-14 dates due to bacterial activity. Over time, the waste products of microbes eating on old cloth builds up and shifts the surface area into a more modern product. Via cross-testing mummy fabric and mummy flesh, a huge variance has been found to exist. It may now be some years before any worthwhile results can be had, save by the imagery itself. If indeed coinage was imaged with Christ, it is hard to imagine that this is by chance; compare to the photo of a kidnap victim with the clear image of today's newspaper, not by happenstance at all!
As stated before: Who was in charge? Who stood to profit? Who had reason and opportunity? As in a murder mystery or the J.F.K. killing; who was at the site of the crime and who caused the wounds, the death? It all points to the military, the tomb-guards of Rome. Not at all to a non-existent custom of burial with coins over the eyes - that was for other times and places, not lst century Judea.
Researchers, it seems, are afraid or unwilling to look away from the eye area in the study of coinage atop Christ in the tomb. Why? It is easily noted upon his neck and brow.
And, you might ask, how many coins in a full "horse armor"? Being a bit over one inch square each, the armor about 5'x 6', 120x30, minus saddle area, over 2000 coins at about 30 to the pound, the armor must have been over 60 pounds total (I have a few photos of these survivors of that period).
Were these probably somewhat sweat-soaked covering brought into the tomb to secure the body? To smother, as a slap in the face to all the followers, or was God's hand in all of this to create a work for the ages?
Jesus was whipping men of means, the moneychangers, out of the temple entry area. The activity of these men is little understood by most Jews or Christians of today. Moses spoke nothing of coin-age persay, it being hundreds of years in the future. Their over-turned tables may have been the one affront too many for the elders (Sarahedrin). The tables were for the trading of various undesired coin types for new and shining silver types. Most all of the Turin Shroud imagery is part-and-parcel mixed with the images of these undesired bronze coins, leptons included. Does this fact bring into doubt the venerableness of said Shroud? Hardly, for so also was Christ rejected. "For the stone that the builders rejected is become head of the corner (cap-stone)."
Even the wounded image of Christ himself, is it idolatry to venerate? Should the objects atop Christ be swallowed whole by the faithful and not be choked upon? Are we all mature enough to take the good with the bad? (literally in this case); images of Caesar and demons mixed with those of his competitor, Jesus ("are you a king then?").
One reason that war-horses were at times covered in veils of coinage scales was that they were strong enough to carry the load, and not to curse out loud, as overheated armed men are likely to do.
These stocky war-horses of Rome wore the heavy armor of the day, the next best thing to war elephants; In both cases, nearly bulletproof. There are at least two complete examples of these armored coverings for the Empire's mounts. One is of bronze coinage which has been holed and squared into a net-like grid, the other type of elongated "D" shaped, fish-scale-like.
Indeed, perhaps as a standard, a symbol of the power of Empire, Jesus was placed under a "parade-armor" of an important officer; a horse-armor kept tarnish-free, and of favorite coin types imaged with Caesar, women, heroes, cockatrice, whatever, or more probably, something more like a dirty horse blanket, dark with tarnish,
Because of the time and cost of production in these "modern" times, European and American film makers have been quite slow to use these scale or even mail-type armors in their films. Just the reverse was the case in the time of the Crucifixion, and even much later. Solid cast or sheet armor plates were the exception rather than the rule. The large coppers of Rome were everywhere at hand, and easily heated and punched so as to be sown onto a backing.
I had written to dozens of researchers back in the early 1980's on the subject, even to consider the involvement of the Roman tomb-guard, in the final covering of Christ, before the door-stone was rolled in place. Perhaps the idea of Jesus being smothered out like a flame under a great weight of images of Roman Empire, was and is too much. The negative idea - the idea of turning the resurrection into a dead end, a darkened star. Yet, realistic thinking brings me back to the reality - how many, if any, Shroud researchers are really up on the vagaries of lst century armor. Am I looking toward an implausible chain of events? ; Hardly! There was a military chain of command in Jerusalem during those very days and nights, and it is clearly stated that there was a great fear of what would happen to any of the guilty, a quaking of the earth, the darkened sun, the cracked temple, torn veil. In fact, the Jordan River Valley is a rift in the planet, called a subduction zone. Thus, this is why the Dead Sea is so deep below the "sea-level," and so dead. In places, Israel and Jordan are being pulled down, and in time will be swallowed up, the reverse ,as to the action taking place in, say, Iceland.
So what was formed that day might well be called the first camera and photo image; in part, it would seem ,constructed by Christ's own tormenters, the Roman military. Here, then, were the exact conditions needed to form the Turin Shroud image as known today, the image of a well known holy man.
If pressed in a book, flowers and their auras will transfer to the leaves of paper. In the case of Jesus, his aura may have been made stronger by his great pain (whipping, pierced feet).
I am claiming that there is a sort of (two-in-one) imagery contained upon the fibers of said Shroud, projected aura via skin and its pores (see texts on krilian photography).
Via this energy, there are reflected the covering atop the body (enwrapping it) with the fabric, sandwiched between, as in a fun-house mirror, both the body and the mirror are noticed. Armors, weapons, flowers (aloes) phylacteries, nails, whatever, all if in contact with the body, would image as a mix with the wounded body image.
As I said, "This" (coin imagery) is one way of pointing to the age of the Shroud image; coinage is imaged with both time and place. By design, many of these coin-images seem to have two messages (images) on the reverse, an eagle atop a globe and S.C. for senate consulted (consortium).
On the front, the face of what might be called one of the "anti" Christs - Caesar Augustus/Divus Augustus, the divine and august one, defeater of Egypt, "The God," Octavian, the adopted son of Caesar (coin struck in memoriam - died 14 A.D.).
If you would like a copy of the 1977 USA report on the Holy Shroud, you can try to contact the Holy Shroud Guild. Magazines of the period may also have photos of the 3-D images (model) clearly showing the scale-like nature thereof, as some have called it, the first photo, and others, Christ's own Gospel. Perhaps the revelation of Jesus being smothered in the tomb (his last spark extinguished) is a hard sell. Then again, perhaps he survived even this last attack and walked free. "Why seek ye the living among the dead? For He is not here."
In closing, the "Holy Shroud" suggests what historically did happen; the Empire of Rome was filled (like an empty shell) by the upstart sect, the "Christians"; by their vigor and moralism; by a Jewish sect turned international.
The Roman military won the wars,
put down the rebels, built the bridges and highways, controlled highway
robbery, opened the way, made "smooth" as seen by Isaiah, linked together
the Mediterranean and beyond: from Scotland to Persia. Then a few
100 years later, in comes the enemy, leaving the "faithful" to pick up
the pieces, to fill the void of government and education. Within
500 years or so, the "church" was left standing, a shadow of the original
"Evil Empire," and called the body of Christ;and....inheriting the EARTH...,ie,empire.
As I said, the Shroud imagery points to all of this, for indeed, the spread of nonviolence and of the faith required the empty shell of "Empire" to spread like a living thing, to invect with its doctrine, the germ of an idea to do no harm, or even to heal. This I S, the great dualism evidenced by the said 3-D imagery of Yeshua, the Christ, the Beaten Jesus vs. the Men Under Orders (Government) of Rome/Caesar. The projected body image of himself - encased in a veritable shell of Empire (Roman armor/armor of men rather than that of God)and , reflecting back upon himself and his shroud, the final outburst of his dying cells, the glory of his quickening and revival (or transmutation).
All this, enabling the end product,
the Shroud of Turin, which has surely far outlasted Christ's own flesh,
witnessing God's great plan - to become just another idol to deceive?
or, more to the point, like a pressed flower leaving its glory on two pages of flax ("I am
the Rose of Sharon").
These conflicting forces -- together for some few hours in the tomb of Joseph, the smothering weight of bronze armor, etc., atop the "Son of God," being used to form the faint yet clear "5th Gospel" of his own testimony made without words, or text, as the City of God is said to be, made without hands.
Perhaps the image of a nude male, covering his genitals (mostly) with his crossed hands, dripping blood, is a bit too powerful for some to be of much interest.
Islam sees Jesus as a holy man, yet will not abide idols (human figures) to be worshipped, the Catholic Church is all for images of saints and Christ, as a way of leading souls to salvation.
Wars have been fought over much less. The Templars and the Cathars knew of this all too well though conflict and movements such as the Holy Inquisition, which were in part, motivated by the other, - the armor covering - LUCRE: "the root of all evil."
"For no man can serve two masters, for he will either cling to the one and..."
I do feel God wants Christ's
Gospel understood, and His Son, understood for what he was, while on this