Remaking the Shroud: Antonio Lombatti on the Shroud of Turin

A must-read article!  Check it out:

In the last 20 years I have seen many documentaries on the Shroud of Turin. Each of them promised to finally solve the “mystery” of the most controversial Christian relic of all times. I have to say that “Remaking the Shroud,” recently aired by NatGeo TV, is the best one I’ve ever watched so far. It doesn’t want us to be convinced that this medieval relic is the real burial cloth of Jesus. It doesn’t want to convey the message that this artifact is miraculous or mysterious. It simply tries to distinguish if the Shroud of Turin has to be considered an icon made to evoke and inspire the faithful or a hoax forged to fool the gullible and help medieval monasteries to make lots of money.

This is the best Shroud film ever produced probably because most of the people who have been involved in it are professional scholars and not “shroudologists”: the medievalist Richard Kaeuper (University of Rochester), who speaks on the first owner of the Turin Shroud — the French knight Geoffroy de Charny; — the archaeologist Shimon Gibson (Texas A&M University), who refers on Second Temple burial cloths and rites, the art historian William Dale (University of Western Ontario), who deals with byzantine icons; and the chemist Luigi Garlaschelli (University of Pavia), the first scientist to remake a full-size shroud.

The documentary is divided into three main parts. In the general introduction, we are told what the Shroud is: a linen bearing a double image of a (presumed) man who should show the marks of Jesus’ crucifixion. However, there are many inaccuracies and the image is anatomically incorrect. When the relics first appeared in France around 1355, the bishop ordered an inquiry and found out that such burial cloth with a double imprint did not find any confirmation in the Gospels. Moreover, the Pope who had to face the first controversy on the public display of the Shroud wrote in the bull that he be granted permission to show it, but it had to be said with a clear and loud voice that it was a mere representation of the burial cloth of Jesus and not the real one. Finally, even the owners – the French family de Charny – when asked for permission to place the relic in their church have always referred to the Shroud as a representation.

via The Bible and Interpretation.

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How We Understand Poetry (and Ancient Literature)

I think this works for modern and ancient poetry (and literature in general).

Is This Not the Carpenter?

So I guess the news is out!  My forthcoming book with Thomas Thompson is nearly here!

Blurb from the publisher:

For some time, New Testament scholarship, particularly in its conservative and evangelical wings, have avoided direct questions regarding the historicity of Jesus. Many have followed Rudolf Bultmann, who had suggested that “The Jesus Christ who is God’s Son, a pre-existent divine being, is at the same time a certain historical person, Jesus of Nazareth…” (1941). This has become a mantra, which, today, is accepted and hardly questioned by most scholars, who, accordingly, have lost sight of the context of the literature of the New Testament, ignoring the theological emulations, allusions, and edifying functions of many of the Gospel narratives, the epistles, pastorals, and the book of Revelation. The presupposition of historicity supports an historical interpretation of the texts and makes alternative explanations for allegories, edifications, eponyms and allusions unnecessary. With the assumption of such figures as Jesus, Paul and the disciples as historical, significant intentions which are implicit to our texts are frequently ignored or misunderstood and whole subtexts are created which might never have existed in the past

We are faced with an endless production of works on the historical Jesus, without a clear engagement of historical methods and little discussion of the central question of the function of these texts. This study presents a dialogue, which raises the question of historicity directly, much as the so-called Copenhagen school successfully raised similar questions as to the historicity of the figures of the patriarchs and other origin traditions of the Hebrew Bible. The volume questions of the value of current trends of historical Jesus scholarship, presents a new perspective regarding the exegesis of the books of the New Testament (and primarily Paul as our “earliest testimony” to the figure of Jesus) and outlines the implications of the literary function of the rewritten Bible.

Find out more information about it here.

Quote of the Day – Justin Martyr

“For these words have not been fashionably arranged by me, nor embellished by human technique, but rather David sang them, Isaiah preached them, Zechariah heralded them, Moses recorded them. Do you recognize them Trypho? They are stored up in your Scriptures, or rather not in yours but in ours, for we are obedient to them, but when you read them, you do not understand the “mind” in them [ὑμεῖς δὲ ἀναγινώσκοντες οὐ νοεῖτε τὸν ἐν αὐτοῖς νοῦν].”

(Justin Martyr, Dial. 29.2; trans. Matthew W. Bates, ‘Close-Minded Hermeneutics? A Proposed Alternative Translation for Luke 24:45’, JBL 129, no. 3 (2010): 537–557)

Dennis R. MacDonald Defends Mimesis Criticism

He writes:

For more than two decades I have been investigating the influence of classical Greek literature on early Christian texts and have published four books and nearly a dozen articles on the topic, especially on the influence of the Homeric epics on the New Testament writings ascribed to Mark and Luke. I call this controversial methodology “mimesis criticism” to distinguish it from source, form, social-scientific, rhetorical, and literary criticisms. To this point I have not answered my critics directly, but two published reviews of The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark have picked a fight that I cannot avoid. One by Margaret M. Mitchell of the University of Chicago appeared in The Journal of Religion; Karl Olav Sandnes of Norway published an article on my methodology in The Journal of Biblical Literature.

Simply stated, a mimesis critic assesses a text for literary influences that one might classify as imitations instead of citations, paraphrases, allusions, echoes, or redactions. In ancient narratives such imitations usually obtain to characterizations, motifs, and plot—seldom to wording. Many such imitations disguise their dependence on an “antetext” (a term I prefer to the more ambiguous word “intertext”) by creating a hybrid that borrows from several models, what one might call “mimetic eclecticism.” Sophisticated imitations, on the other hand, may advertise their dependence so that readers benefit from a comparison of the text to its model. Such a rivalry or emulation may “transvalue” its target by replacing the perspective of the model with another.

It’s an engaging and provocative article.  Read on here:

Tina Guo performing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op. 107: II. Moderato

Absolutely incredible.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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