Joe Zias on the Shroud of Turin
Considering that Joe Zias is one of the world leading scholars on crucifixion in antiquity, I’ve decided to ask him his opinion on the Shroud of Turin. Well, I know what he thinks, but, just to quote an example, in an Eastern documentary his word have been so mixed up and misquoted that it alsmost seemed that he believed the Shroud to be authentic.

1. Crucifixion and the Shroud
One thing which has been clear to us who deal with the topic is that few of the pro-shroud people know anything whatsoever about Jewish burial customs. This has long been the fundamental weakness of their attempts to show its antiquity. Every time I see another long haired Jesus I have to laugh, Jewish men in antiquity were short haired. Note the men carrying the Jewish menorah on the arch in Rome following the sacking of the Temple in 70 AD.

2. Ancient Jewish Burial Customs
Their total ignorance of this topic is what betrays much of their work, e.g. some have tried to show objects such as dice, spear, sponges etc on the shroud whereas in Judaism it is forbidden to bury the deceased with anything which can be used by others.

3. Coins-on-Eye Presumed Custom 
This is one of those absurd statements which has been around for decades, Jews never did two thousand years ago, and if they did, would they use the coinage of someone who was responsible for the event in the first place? 

4. Why don't shroudies quote other burial shrouds (fragments) found
For some of the pro-shroud people this is like a lot of other things in biblical arch. a cottage industry and an opportunity for people of similar belief to join up and exchange information. 

5. Why do they support the authenticity despite archeological evidence and C14 dating
As someone once said the world can be divided up into those who wish to believe and those who wish to know. The pro-shroud people continue beating a dead horse despite the overwhelming evidence that it's from the Middle Ages. Were they to admit that it's simply a relic from that time I would not get involved however they attempt to use science to back up their claims which is where we in the profession have to take a stand for the sake of science. When we show them that they are mistaken they follow the path of cognitive dissonance and continue to believe.  I tell people that Seneca once said that 'academics should be lawyers for the masses' which is why we have an obligation to set the record straight as the masses paid and will continue to pay for our education in the universities and colleges of the world.
«Those who wish to believe, and those who wish to know»
giovedì 13 settembre 2007

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