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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Author's Style Makes This Book a Favorite
Though the Shroud of Turin is infinitely fascinating, the research available on it is finite: the pollen; the negativity of its image; the bloodstains; the theorized Mandylion connection; its accurate depiction of the anatomy of a man who died by crucifixion; the evidence of Roman-style execution, down to the images of the weights on the ends of the whip used to beat the...
Published on April 25, 2004 by Danusha V. Goska

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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not again, Ian Wilson
I recently read Ian Wilson's second shroud book, which came out shortly before the carbon dating was performed. In that book, he evenhandedly stressed that a medieval dating would refute the authenticity of the shroud and confirm the direct documentary evidence that suggests a medieval origin. The other evidence he presented then was interesting and imaginative but...
Published on January 10, 1999


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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Author's Style Makes This Book a Favorite, April 25, 2004
This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
Though the Shroud of Turin is infinitely fascinating, the research available on it is finite: the pollen; the negativity of its image; the bloodstains; the theorized Mandylion connection; its accurate depiction of the anatomy of a man who died by crucifixion; the evidence of Roman-style execution, down to the images of the weights on the ends of the whip used to beat the victim; evidence of first century Jewish burial practices, etc.
All of this evidence adds up to two conclusions, neither of which can ever sit comfortably in the mind of an intelligent person. One conclusion is that the Shroud is a diabolical, intricate fake. It was designed by some Medieval forger who could predict how scholars, in a variety of fields, centuries hence, would seek authenticity, using features no Medieval audience would require or even accept - for example, Jesus' nudity and nail marks through the wrists, rather than the hands.
The other conclusion is that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. *That* conclusion is so stunning, so truly terrifying in its implications, that the intelligent person, while intrigued and delighted by the Shroud's mysterious features, struggles to find conclusive evidence that the Shroud cannot possibly be what it very much appears to be.
In any case, the evidence to support either conclusion is finite. If you read this book, or Mark Antonacci's book, or any number of other publications on the Shroud, you will be going over similar intellectual terrain. You will read of neutron flux, the sacking of Constantinople, the Knights Templar, and the peculiarities of Jerusalem's flora. As an artist, Wilson pays more attention to artist Isabel Piczek's theories than other authors have -- and that is a very good thing -- but, otherwise, Shroud fans will have read about much of this material before.
What set Ian Wilson's book apart for me was the author's style. Amidst the hard evidence, Wilson was willing to give us his own subjective response to seeing the Shroud for the first time. Wilson was willing to quote others' astounded reactions as well. Wilson wrote of scholars whose theories he does not accept with wit and graciousness. He was also willing to share with those of us outside Shroud politics the ins and outs of the Shroud world's gossip and infighting.
For these reasons of style, humanity, humility, and humor, Wilson's is my favorite Shroud book so far. I like it that he doesn't allow the pressure to prove the Shroud's value via hard science to silence his humanity. Wilson strikes me as a wonderful chap; reading his book, I wished I could be discussing the Shroud with him in person in a pub somewhere in the soggy English countryside.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting!, July 7, 1999
This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
True Believers of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin as the burial raiment of Jesus will mutter that the author, a True Believer himself, does not go far enough to propound their position on the matter. Those That Scoff, however, will howl their ridicule and dismay that the author could be so blinded by personal bias. Can't win, poor devil. However, as a non-Christian who has only an academic interest that the image on the shroud is that of Jesus or not, I found the book to be an enlightening and thoroughly fascinating treatment of the enigmatic cloth as a historical object. There are Mysteries for which we'll never have an answer, and I suspect this is one of them. Best leave belief to the faith of those who are so inclined.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science in Action, July 16, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
It seems that some of the previous 'reviewers' of the book have not read it yet, based on the nonsequiters to Wilson's text presented in their reviews. The discussion of carbon-dating alone is worth the price of the book. The carbon-dating tests on the Shroud are being challenged not by the 'Shroudies', but because of a discovery made by an American microscopist a few years ago which is relevant to ALL carbon-dating tests on artifacts. Briefly, the microscopist had reason to challenge the assessment of a Mayan artifact which was determined to be 'modern' because of a varnish-like coating on it. The coating turned out to be an acrylic-like accumulation of bacteria, fungi, and other biogenic material, hardened into a shell around the artifact. Because this material has a higher concentration of isotope carbon-14, the tests may assign any artifact coated with it a younger age than if the material were not present. When blood in the folds of the Mayan artifact was tested, it turned out to be authentic (400 AD). After this discovery, the Shroud (and many other objects) were examined, and the fibers were found to have this coating (the photos of the coated linen fibers are stunning!) This is indeed a wonderful new tool to assist in dating artifacts, and in potentially reducing the inconsistencies observed previously (old bones embedded in younger rock, for example) by many scientists. Actually, the carbon-dating tests of 1988 should have been discarded on the basis that the three labs were told the age of each of the samples (including 'controls') before they tested them, and they knew which one was from the Shroud. In any case, Wilson's discussions on carbon-dating and on the methods that may have been used to forge the Shroud are fascinating, as are the photos. It should be mentioned that the reviewer who finds McCrones 'painted image' theory to be compelling probably did not read the book. His 'paint' theory has been discarded by all but a few scientists who have studied the Shroud. In fact, McCrone's previous claim to fame, the determination that the Vinland Map was a forgery, has also been discredited by newer and better tests. Wilson is scrupulously fair to those who do not believe the Shroud is the burial cloth of the Nazarene, and he discusses all disagreements openly and fairly. This book gives an excellent summary of the scientific work done to date on the Shroud, and of the history of it. Wilson never says that the Shroud has been proven genuine - he leaves the evidence to the reader to evaluate.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The theories of the Shroud being a masterful painting..., August 31, 1999
By A Customer
The theories of the Shroud being a masterful painting byDaVinci (ignoring the cruel fact that DaVinci was just a few years oldwhen the Shroud first came to Italy--I don't think he was that bright) or a brilliant early "photograph" of a rotting corpse are even more unbelievable then the possible authenticity of the fabric. Wilson clearly documents the history of the Shroud and every scrap of evidence for its existence back to the time of Jesus--criticisms of Wilson in earlier reviews show that these individuals have not read the text. He also goes to great lengths to demonstrate that carbon dating results can be (and have been shown to be) skewed due to contamination. The Shroud itself has been backwoven and repaired several times; any chance this could alter the results? Other criticisms of Christians appreciating the Shroud as a possible relic or image of Jesus show no knowledge of Christian theology. Please read the book before you attempt to bash it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Convincing read, June 9, 2005
By 
Florentius (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
The Blood and the Shroud is an even-handed, scholarly treatment of the Shroud of Turin debate. While clearly a 'true-believer', Wilson treats his skeptics and critics with the utmost respect... even those whose sinister ulterior motives can scarcely be denied. The evidence offered in this book is compelling and thought-provoking. The now infamous 1988 Carbon-14 dating is laid bare for what it was: a poorly orchestrated effort on potentially contaminated samples of the Shroud which were snipped from an ill-conceived location.

I especially appreciated Wilson's attempt to reconstruct a provenance for the Shroud, using art history and ancient legends to connect it to the mysterious Mandylion of Edessa--an image of the face of Christ which was supposedly discovered hidden in the walls of the city of Edessa in the 6th century AD. His research is well and thoroughly done and I, for one, think there may be something to it.

In short, Wilson's work is at the very least, a masterful summary of the current state of research on the most famous religious relic in the world. Shroud enthusiasts and skeptics alike will be provided with much food for thought.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well balanced, May 15, 2000
By 
Despite the fantastic tagline, Wilson gives a very well balanced account of recent Shroud research. Most importantly, he does not prove that the Shroud is real...and makes it very clear that he is not claiming to, either. Rather, he asserts that it is *possible* that the Shroud is real, and gives some very compelling evidence in support of this assertion.
Wilson gives a great deal of time to Shroud skpetics. There are few books where such fair argument is given, without being entirely self-defeating. Anyone who is convinced that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the Shroud is a fake, should read this book. It may not change your mind, but it will definitely make you think.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is is real? What does science say?, May 26, 1998
Is the Shroud of Turin the death shroud of Jesus Christ? The answer, as this book points out, is far from resolved. The answer is likely to be based on faith as much as reason. The author, Ian Wilson, is upfront; he believes it to be authentic. He tackles all of the information head on. Carbon dating indicates that the shroud dates from between 1260-1390. However, Wilson discusses scientific reasons to doubt the accuracy of this result. He treats the sceptics fairly and even-handedly, not going in for any conspiracy theories or attribution of dishonest motivations on their part as claimed by some ardent defenders of the Shroud. Wilson presents an up-to-date elaboration of the scientific analysis of the Shroud. He attempts to track the existence of the Shroud back in history to the time of the crucifixation. Regardless of what you believe about the Shroud, if it is a topic you are interested in, this book is a must read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A model of skeptical yet honest inquiry, April 28, 2009
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This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
Wilson is unflinchingly fair and balanced in his treatment of the subject, considering all the theories and facts. He is also honest in relating his own inclinations and hopes on the subject, something every author should do at the outset, instead of the usual pretense of indifference.

Unlike many self-styled "skeptics" of today, who boast of their "skepticism" on the internet, Wilson is a true skeptic. He is skeptical of everyone, even himself. Today's "skeptic" is usually locked into a rigid, dogmatic point of view, which acts as a fact-filter - facts which don't fit are ignored. Wilson returns to the true old-world skepticism.

The weakness of most books on the subject is the tendency to pick and choose facts, to ignore those pieces which don't fit the authors' wishes. This kind of dishonesty seems to be absent here. Wilson lays out the evidence for us to decide, giving his own reasons for not being able to "see" the shroud as a forgery.

In the end, he does not have enough faith to believe that it is the product of some unknown genius endowed with knowledge and technology centuries ahead of his time, driven to produce a work that could not be appreciated until the invention of photography, a work that cannot even be duplicated today, despite claims to the contrary. A "cunning painting"? Try it yourself, reproducing all the characteristics of the Shroud, most notably the absence of any traces of paint application. Scorching? Good luck.

Consider yourself a skeptic? Read this book. Read other books. Look at Barry Schwortz's site, which provides papers for and against. Don't take the easy road. Think for yourself (Barry, of the Jewish faith, considers the Shroud to be genuine, I think). The path of a true skeptic is not an easy one. But it's the most rewarding!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science does not yet rule out religon's assent to the Shroud, September 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
It would seem that Ian Wilson makes his point accurately and well. While the evidence is persuasive, it is not overwhelmingly positive. The conservative and properly sceptical scientist will demand incontrovertible and corraborative evidence. Only after such evidence is set forth, will there be a sufficient paradigm shift. The current paradigm that the Shroud is not the burial cloth of a particular person killed two thousand years ago is scientifically reasonable, regardless of what our gut religious response might be to the apparent image. The pope and the Catholic Church have adopted an appropriate stance in this regards, and it is perhaps Wilson's greatest strength that he admits that the case for authenticity is good but not yet completely established. He piques our scientific curiosity to explore more avenues of research and to eliminate justly those bona fide objections set out against our scientific presumptions. It is especially disappointing to find out that the Russian professor-Kouznetsov is not really what he claimed to be. I was betting on the kinetic isotope effect to provide the alternative interpretation of the high C14 content from the 1532 fire. Now it would seem that the bioplastic matter will have to be considered, and the new data should lead to some definitive conclusion on the age of the Shroud and other ancient textiles. Egyptian textiles may well be in for some serious reevaluations. Whether by naturally explicable means or by direct Divine intervention, the creation of the image on the Shroud is as thought provoking a problem as the creation of intelligence or the universe itself.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very convincing evidence, April 2, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Blood and the Shroud: NEW EVIDENCE THAT THE WORLD'S MOST SACRED RELIC IS REAL (Paperback)
Ian Wilson's work is an even-handed, scholarly treatment of the Shroud of Turin debate. While clearly a 'true-believer', Wilson treats his skeptics and critics with the utmost respect... even those whose sinister ulterior motives can scarcely be denied. The evidence offered in this book is compelling and thought-provoking. The now infamous 1988 Carbon-14 dating is laid bare for what it was: a poorly orchestrated effort on potentially contaminated samples of the Shroud which were snipped from an ill-conceived location. In short, Wilson's work is at the very least, a masterful summary of the current state of research on the most famous religious relic in the world.
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