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Is the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth of Jesus?

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Is the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth of Jesus

The Shroud of Turin has been the center of controversy since 1898. We will discuss its history soon, but let’s first state the obvious. Those who believe it is authentically the burial shroud of Jesus Christ are unlikely to be dissuaded. Conversely, those who think it’s a fake will almost certainly maintain their skepticism despite evidence or faith.

Before we get into research regarding the shroud, it’s important to have the right mindset. Science cannot prove or disprove the divinity of Jesus Christ. Our Father has put all of the evidence we need in our hearts, through His teachings in the Bible, and within the clear cross-referencing of prophecies that have come true. If you are searching for truth, the Shroud of Turin can do little to persuade you in one direction or the other at this time because the individual can either have faith in the teachings of our Lord or the individual can adopt a worldview that excludes the Messiah. All the shroud can currently do is reinforce one’s faith or create a mystery in the secular mind.

Let’s explore some commentary about the shroud to see where it stands in today’s fight for the faith.

Clearing the biggest obstacle of authenticity

There is a way that many doubts could be taken away about the authenticity of the shroud. While it would not demonstrate clear proof that He is the Messiah who was resurrected as the first fruits, it could come very close to proving that the man who died on the cross in Jerusalem was wrapped in the shroud. The blood from the Sudarium of Oviedo can be compared to the blood on the shroud. This artifact is most likely the head covering that was used when Yeshua’s body was transported to the tomb and left there. Jewish tradition says that blood is part of the body and must be buried with it. Since the cloth had Yeshua’s blood, it would have been kept in the tomb.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

– John 20:6-7 (KJV)

Since the cloth has been tracked historically since the 7th century, it would be a clear debunking of the 1988 carbon-14 dating tests that The Telegraph and USA Today reported as being potentially reversed. Studies comparing the blood stain positioning between the two artifacts show the likelihood that they wrapped the same head. If the blood on the sudarium, which has been confirmed to be at least as old as the 7th century, is the same blood that’s on the shroud, it would leave no doubt that the carbon-14 dating placing the shroud between 1260-1390 AD is inaccurate.

One might ask why it’s so important to debunk the debunking. If, as I stated, the shroud is not a path to faith, why would we want it to be authenticated in the minds of the masses? To understand this, one must understand the tools and characteristics of the enemy. Today, so many people have used science as a reason to deny their faith and decry the teachings of the Bible. It is written on our hearts, solidified in our minds, and authenticated by the wonders of the world that we are created beings and that God is our Creator. Secular science has at its core the desire to explain the universe in terms that separate the creation from its Creator.

The shroud can be a powerful gateway into inquiry. Its presence, while proof of nothing, has a compelling story that could open up the minds of those seeking the truth to explore the Word and learn of God and Yeshua. The adversary does not need to disprove God. He simply needs to nurture the seeds of doubt that prevent us from exploring more deeply. This is why the carbon-14 dating results were tainted and its why an untold number of people have dismissed it as a fake. If the debunking of the shroud can itself be debunked, there’s an opportunity to plant a seed of curiosity in some people that can grow to a deeper exploration of the truth.

The only feasible explanation

To those who view the shroud as authentic, it’s a very clear indication of the resurrection. A deep dive into the scientific research and the faith that makes many believe it to be real tells an incredible story of mysteries that point to one feasible conclusion.

Scientists have spent a great deal of time trying to determine how it was created. One of the researchers, Barrie Schwortz, claims that their team spent hundreds of thousands of man hours with the goal of determining the way that the shroud was produced. He was skeptical at first, feeling that the mystery would be simple to solve once they applied modern science to it.

“Our team spent hundreds of thousand of hours and after that period of time, remembering that our primary goal was to determine how the image was formed, came back with nothing,” said Schwortz. “We could not answer that question, so in essence we can tell you what it’s not. We cannot tell you what it is.”

It is only when one goes in with the assumption that the Shroud of Turin is likely the cloth covering of the body of Yeshua after His crucifixion can they see the evidence as clearly pointing in that direction. To me, it’s compelling. To others, it’s simply beyond science’s ability to discern at this moment. The videos below go into greater detail about the evidence, but here’s a quick recap of some of the things that demonstrate its potential authenticity:

  • Rare Damascus Gate Dirt Found on Shroud: In 1978, a sample of dirt taken from the foot region of the shroud was examined at the Hercules Aerospace Laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah. The calcite in the dirt is rare, though it is in abundance around the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. This does nothing to prove authenticity but does point to the detail that would have had been put into its creation if it were a fake since there would be no reason in medieval times to believe that future generations would be able to tell the difference in dirt types from different regions.
  • Photo-Negative Nature of the Image: The controversy behind the shroud started in 1898 when amateur Italian photographer Secondo Pia photographed it. While processing the film, he was shocked to see that the negative established a much clearer image of a face than the positive itself. This means that whatever created the image did so in a way that was extremely improbable when producing a hoax but makes perfect sense from an authentic perspective, something we’ll talk about below.
  • AB Blood and Bilirubin: If we stay true to the scientific study, then we can draw a couple of conclusions. First, it’s definitely blood on the shroud as well as on the sudarium. Even skeptical scientists admit that ancient blood is present in the right areas. The presence of bilirubin makes it very likely that severe bruising and lacerations were present on the body when it was covered. These facts alone mean that it must be either an extremely elaborate hoax or a real burial cloth of a harshly scourged man.  Second, a close look at the debunking of the presence of blood demonstrates the uncanny depth to which the adversary will go to delude people. One, for example, says that a particular plant could be used to create a paint that mimics the characteristics of blood. That’s a pretty amazing coincidence if it was created in medieval times to fool the ages – they were very lucky to have selected the exact right flower that could stand up to 21st century microbiological scrutiny.
  • The Blood Goes Through the Shroud while the Image does Not: As they discovered when shining a light through the cloth and cataloging the other side, the blood stains go all the way through while the image on the front side does not. In fact, the image itself is only on the microscopic surface of the shroud, two microfibers deep. It’s either real or the artist was trying for an epic level of hyper-realism. Skeptics have suggested that, in order to produce a viable fake that could stand up to scrutiny, that they used real human blood to produce the effect. This is absurd, of course, because the blood soaks through in a way that shows it was truly lain over a body and not manually placed on a piece of linen for effect.
  • The Image Has Depth: This is one of the toughest pieces of evidence to explain. One of the videos below does a pretty good job at it, but here’s the quick layman’s version. Paintings and pictures do not have appropriate depth that can be measured with modern equipment such as the VP8 Image Analyzer. They become distorted. When the shroud was analyzed in this manner, it created a 3D image that corresponded with the face of a man as if the shroud image was created while draped over a man.
  • Pollen and Flowers: 58 pollen types are on the shroud and nearly half of them can only be found in the Middle East. One in particular pollen from a plant called gundelia tournefortii, is found in abundance near the head region of the shroud. It is a very thorny plant that could have been used as the crown of thorns. Many flower images can be found on the shroud, including Zygophyllum dumosum. This is an important discovery because it is only found in one place – near Jerusalem.

There are plenty of other points that could be covered, but perhaps the most compelling is the form of the image itself. It shows a man with wounds that match what would have been seen from a scourging with a Roman flagrum. There is a also wound on the wrist where a crucified man would have been held to the cross. There are blood spots that surround the head in a way that would have come from wounds caused by a crown of thorns. Lastly, there is an area near the 5th rib where a lot of blood gathered that matches what a spear wound would have yielded.

This last piece of evidence demonstrates that this is definitely not another crucified man. The similarities to the story of Yeshua’s crucifixion are too perfect.

Authentic or not, it points to one conclusion

There are only two ways that the Shroud of Turin could have been formed.

It’s Real

If you believe the shroud is authentic, then you will probably believe that Joseph of Arimathea purchased a linen cloth to use as the burial shroud for the crucified Yeshua. At the time of resurrection, our best guess from a scientific perspective is that the body dematerialized and the burst of energy that resulted created the image on the shroud. This is backed up by the fact that the image is present, though lighter, at points where the shroud is not touching the body.

The pristine nature of the blood wounds indicates the shroud was not removed. For them to appear as they do, the points on the body where blood is touching the cloth would need to suddenly disappear or there would have been clear smudging.

Light is the most popular theory for the creation of the image. Heat or other sorts of radiation are less likely, but light of some sort has been shown to work to produce the effect. In a recent study, scientists created similar results using UV laser pulses. Lastly, if the origin of the light was within the shroud (within the body, perhaps) then the effect could have produced the negative image.

Those who believe that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Yeshua can latch onto the scientific data that hypothesizes His resurrection as the moment that the image was imprinted onto the shroud.

It’s a Tool of Deception

With all that we now know, this cannot be an artist’s rendition. It is extremely unlikely that it could be another man who happened to be killed in the same manner. Does this mean that it must be authentic?

The evidence points to a supernatural origin, which means that if it is a fake, then it was created through forces and with knowledge that greatly exceeds science today, let alone in medieval times. This would mean that demonic forces have gone through a ton of trouble over the centuries to make it stand up against all scrutiny. The presence of the Catholic Church makes this a possibility as well. It’s not that the Catholic Church is universally bent towards evil – not by any means. However, the deceptions that have been promoted by evil through the Catholic Church could bring into question whether this is an artifact of reality or deception.

This is all possible, but there is one event that points away from this possibility. There are many reasons, some discussed above, that the carbon dating was flawed. One in particular points to a last minute decision regarding the area of the shroud where the carbon dating sample would be taken. Originally, samples from different sections were supposed to be used, but the decision was made under guidance of the Catholic Church to pull from a single location. That location has been shown to be a place where the shroud was repaired, meaning that the cloth was an interwoven area mixing the original shroud cloth with newer cloth.

I do not believe that the shroud is a tool of deception, but the possibility is there so it must be stated.

Either Way…

It doesn’t really matter which is true. We know that in either scenario, the shroud was clearly created through means that could not exist in a world that does not have heavenly forces of good or demonic forces of evil. Human hands could not have created the shroud, not today and definitely not 700 years ago.

The Shroud of Turin is an interesting study of the resurrection. Today, it is a small piece of the bigger puzzle. In the future, it may come into play more prevalently in the fight between good and evil.

Here are three videos that we recommend for further research on the subject:

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Culture and Religion

Study: 96.9% of straight people uninterested in dating transgenders

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Study 969 of straight people uninterested in dating transgenders

An column by Psychology Today lamented about the findings of a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships titled “Transgender exclusion from the world of dating: Patterns of acceptance and rejection of hypothetical trans dating partners as a function of sexual and gender identity.” found that 96.9% of straight people do not include transgenders in their hypothetical dating pool. the study asked:

“Regardless of your current relationship status, imagine for a moment that at some point in the future you were to find yourself single and looking. Under such hypothetical circumstances, which of the following people would you consider as a potential dating partner:

  • a cisgender woman
  • a cisgender man
  • a transgender woman
  • a transgender man
  • a person with a non-binary gender identification”

Evidently, the results weren’t good for trangenders. Karen L. Blair, the researcher behind the study, noted that only 3.1% of straight people were willing to date a trans person, which means only 3.1% of straight people think you can date a transgender and still be straight or are willing to engage in a situation that is technically heterosexual but homosexual according to politically correctness ie(man dating a girl that thinks she’s a man). Another way to word this is that 96.9% of straight people only want to date the opposite gender. Another way to look at this is a straight person willing to date a transgender person is over two standard deviations away from the average. People under the gay umbrella were only included transgenders in their dating pool only 55% of the time. Men who identify as women were the least favored according to the study. Karen Blair lets on that the results were more “disappointing” than she anticipated.

Indeed, nearly 20% fewer people indicated an interest in trans women than would have been expected based on the sexual identities of the individuals within the sample.

Need For More Education

The intentions of the study were made clear in Blair’s column in Psychology Today. She wants to actively improve dating prospects for transgenders. This study was performed with SJW intentions.

One reason for this may be that individuals with queer or bisexual sexual orientations are already looking beyond gender in many ways when selecting a person to date.

The tone of this sentence reads as though progress has been made by homosexuals, but Blair continues by trivializing procreation, employing gnosticism, and pulling the hate card.

The published study did not ask participants for the reasons behind their responses, so future research is needed in order to understand more about what leads to inclusion or exclusion. For example, some may only want to date people whom they can procreate with, others may not fully understand what a trans identity means or entails within a dating relationship, and some may simply hold negative views towards the transgender community.

Overall, it would appear that the most important step moving forward in terms of increasing the dating prospects for transgender and non-binary individuals is improving general knowledge and understanding concerning the diversity of gender identities and what each identity means. Furthermore, increasing accurate media representations of trans and non-binary people, as well as finding ways to increase contact may also be promising, as other research has found that contact with, and additional knowledge about, transgender individuals can effectively reduce trans prejudice.

The goal of the study seems to have been to demonstrate a need to educate people on transgenderism.

Worldviews and Logical Conclusions

Despite media blitzkrieg and pride months, straight people and almost half of gay people are unconvinced by transgenderism. If people believed that a man can be a woman trapped in man’s body, then that person would believe they are still straight if they fornicate with said person. Therefore the proportion of straight people who would include transgenders in their dating pool should align with the portion of the sample that has a stated affirmation of transgenderism. But this is not the case because people, if they say they believe in transgenderism, aren’t willing to take their own beliefs to their logical conclusions.

It’s the same as sanctuary cities not wanting to accept illegal immigrants. All the media and academic promotion only in the world, and 96.9% of straight people still don’t really believe in transgenderism.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Stossel: In defense of economic liberty

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Stossel In Defense of Economic Liberty

Reason TV makes the case for Economic Liberty, showing its vast superiority over socialistic slavery.

In his latest video produced for Reason TV John Stossel interviews Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute making the case that Economic Liberty [Or the false Marxist pejorative Capitalism] has created more wealth and brought more people out of poverty than any other system.

Stossel: In Defense of Capitalism

ReasonTV
Published on Jun 18, 2019
People acting in their own self-interest created modern prosperity, says Ayn Rand Institute’s Yaron Brook.

Progressives claim capitalism is “immoral” because some people become rich while others stay poor. Yaron Brook, chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, says the opposite is true.

“We have basically made about $2 a day for 100,000 years,” Brook told John Stossel. “In other wordswe could eat what we farmed and that was it.”

“And then something amazing happened.”

About 250 years ago, a few countries tried capitalism. For the first time, people were allowed to profit from private property.

“Two-hundred and fifty years ago we suddenly discovered the value of individual freedom,” says Brook. “We suddenly discovered the value of leaving individuals free to think, to innovate, to produce without asking for permission, without getting the state to sign off.”

As a result, humans “doubled our life expectancy,” says Brook. “We have dramatically increased the quality of our life and we are wealthier than anybody could have imagined.”

Brook, who’s an Objectivist, says that “doing for others is fine—but only if that’s what you want.”

“The key is that somebody else’s need is not a moral claim against your life,” he adds. “Your life is yours.”

[Our emphasis]

Please note that valuing Individual freedom is a vestige of philosophical individualism of Conservatives and True Liberals.

The unfair comparison: Collectivism in theory with Economic Liberty in practical reality.

In most cases, the Socialist-Left plays the game of comparing their theory of a perfect society based on their 2,400 year old ideas with the practical everyday problems of a functional but admittedly imperfect system. This is akin to polling that compares an unnamed – and thus ideal – candidate with a real candidate.

They do this so that they can speak of wonders an ‘Ideal state’ that works in sheer perfection and compare it to every problem and imperfection of everyday reality of Economic Liberty with every human society. Never mind comparing the record of accomplishment of Economic Liberty with the 400 years of failure that is the collectivist ideologies – they will repeat the tired old mantra that ‘Socialism has never really been tried’.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

The Bible Project: The new humanity

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The Bible Project The new humanity

Nothing can replace reading the Bible, praying, and living our lives by the lessons we learn from both. There are resources available that should not act as replacements but that can often help us to understand what we learn in the Bible through simplification and analysis. One such resource is The Bible Project, a series of videos that discusses complex aspects of the Bible in layman’s terms.

Their latest video is almost too simple, but in a world that is growing increasingly antagonistic towards Christian teachings, it is a benefit that can help those new to the Bible or possibly confused by its lessons to understand arguably the most important: Why Jesus walked the earth in the first place. This is straightforward to many Christians, but others have a hard time comprehending the purpose of His life, death, and resurrection outside of the basic and repeated concept that we needed Him to die for our sins.

The resurrection represented a new beginning, one in which a man who was broken and killed because of the sins of others would be redeemed and thereby redeem us in the process. It also gives us the hope of our own new beginning, our rebirth into the faith and the transformation believers are promised. It’s a beautiful story that is too-often framed by non-believers as unfair. To the anti-Biblical mind, fairness is the only thing that matters, and the whole story seems to unfair to be believed. Only the Holy Spirit can change the hearts and minds of those who refuse to see the truth.

We are promised a gift of a transformed, eternal life as long as we believe. This is easier than some think, as the faith required to appreciate our Lord’s sacrifice is within all of our grasps.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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