Monday, January 11, 2010

The Pray Manuscript (or Codex)

The Hungarian Pray Manuscript, or Pray Codex, is named after

[Above (enlarge): Hungarian Pray Manuscript or Pray Codex (1192-1195): Berkovits, I., 1969 , "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, pl. III]

György Pray(1723-1801), a Hungarian Jesuit historian,[27] who drew attention to its Funeral Oration as being the oldest surviving text in the Hungarian language.[9]

[Right (click to enlarge): Pray Codex: Funeral Oration and Prayer: Wikipedia]

[36] Since 1813, the codex has been kept in the Hungarian National Széchényi Library in Budapest. [20] [26] [33]

The codex was prepared at the Boldva Monastery (1175-1285) in Hungary [1] [33] and has been reliably dated to 1192-1195 [1] [9] [36] However, the style of the codex's miniatures indicate it may have been copied from a more elaborate end-11th or early-12th century work. [1] [21] [33]

The codex contains four pages of pen-and-ink drawings depicting the death and burial of Christ. [1] [9] The third of those pages (plate III) has two scenes: The Entombment (upper) and Visit to the Sepulchre (lower). [1] [9] [36] The fourth page (plate IV - see below) depicts Christ enthroned and an angel holding His cross with three nails. [1]

In 1978 historian Ian Wilson pointed out that the Pray Manuscript was one of a small number of 11-12th century deposition scenes (i.e. depictions of Christ's descent from the cross), that were strongly reminiscent of the Shroud of Turin in that they depicted the dead Christ being laid onto a large, double-length piece of linen intended to envelope His body over his head, with His hands crossed in front, right hand over the left, as on the Shroud. [28] [30] [33]

One of those deposition scenes cited by Wilson is a fresco in the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, Winchester Cathedral. The lowest scene

[Above (click to enlarge): Deposition fresco in Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, Winchester Cathedral, 12th century: Flickr.]

depicts Jesus about to have His arms crossed and enfolded in a double-length shroud over His head. This clearly is based on the Shroud of Turin, but the fresco is even earlier than the Pray Manuscript, having been commissioned by Henri of Blois (1101–1171), when he was Bishop of Winchester between 1129–1171.[29]

Another such scene, clearly based on the Shroud of Turin, and earlier than the Pray Codex, is the 1181 Entombment of Jesus, by Nicholas of Verdun (1130–1205) in Klosterneuburg Abbey, Vienna. Note that

[Above (enlarge): Entombment of Jesus, 1181, by Nicholas of Verdun, Klosterneuburg Abbey, Vienna. See BSTS Newsletter, No. 67, June 2008]

"again we see the so distinctive crossed hands burial pose, also a shroud of double body length proportions." [39]

Of these clearly related deposition or entombment scenes, i.e. they are all based directly or indirectly on the Shroud of Turin, the Pray Manuscript is unique in Jesus being totally nude, as He is on the Shroud. [28] [30] [33] [36] [40]

In 1986, the late Fr. André Dubarle (1910-2002), a

[Left (click to enlarge): Pray Manuscript `L'-shaped patterns of circles: Berkovits, 1969, pl. III]

Dominican priest and philosophy professor was informed by a correspondent that the Pray Codex's shroud had two sets of four tiny circles in an `L'-shaped pattern. [14] [34]

This was the clincher

[Right (click to enlarge): Back two of four sets of `L'-shaped burn holes on the Shroud: Wikipedia]

because the Shroud has four sets of this same `L'-shaped pattern of burn holes.[2] [20] [25] [38] [40]

There is no record of how these burn holes in the Shroud were made [25] but proposed explanations include: sparks from a censer, a "trial by fire" test of authenticity using a red hot poker, and hot pitch. [11] [40] The repeated pattern was due to the Shroud being folded in four and the burns penetrating through the folded cloth. [34]

There is also no record of when these `L'-shaped pattern of burn holes happened to the Shroud but they are on a 1516 copy of the Shroud attributed to Albrecht Dürer in the church of St.

[Left: Part of front of 1516 Lierre copy of the Shroud showing two of its four groups of `L'-shaped burn holes: Sugar Coated Shroud of Turin for Journalists]

Gommaire, Lierre, Belgium. [11] [14] [21] [34] The Pray Manuscript proves they are pre-1195.[16] [20] [25]

The leading geneticist, the late Prof. Jerome Lejeune (1926-1994),

[Above (click to enlarge): Pray Manuscript: Berkovits, 1969, plate IV (top)]

after personally inspecting the Codex, in 1993 published a list of common characteristics between the Pray Manuscript's third and fourth drawings and the Shroud: 1. the shroud is twice the length of the man; 2. a herringbone weave pattern; 3. an `L'-shaped pattern of holes on the front and back; 4. beard and long hair; 5. mark above the right eye corresponding to the reverse `3'-shaped bloodstain on the Shroud; 6. body naked; 7. right hand over the left; 8. long fingers; 9. no thumbs; 10. nail wound on the wrist of the right hand (pl. IV); and 11. three nails used for crucifixion (pl. IV). [2] [10] [20] [25] [37] [38] Professor Lejeune therefore concluded:

"Such precise details are not to be found together on any other known [Christ] image - except the Shroud which is in Turin. One is therefore forced to conclude that the artist of the Pray manuscript had before his eyes ... some model which possessed all the characteristics of the Shroud which is in Turin." [11] [38]

The 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud found "a calibrated

[Above: Triumphant announcement by Prof. E. Hall, Dr. M. Tite and Prof. R. Hedges in 1988 that the Shroud was carbon-14 dated to "1260-1390!": Ian Wilson, 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud," pl.3b.[8] [31] [35] ]

calendar age range ... for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of AD 1260 - 1390" which it was claimed, provided "conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval." [3] [12] [13] [15] [32]

Shroud critics make much of the middle date of 1325 (i.e. 1260 - 1390 is 1325 plus or minus 65 years), even claiming that was the date of the Shroud and highlighting the close agreement of this date with the Shroud's first appearance in undisputed history at Lirey, France in 1355. [7] [17] [18] [24]

But the Pray Manuscript: 1. with its at least eleven common characteristics with the Shroud, including the artist's representation of what are `L'-shaped burn holes on the Shroud, can only be based on the Shroud or a faithful copy of it; and 2. is dated at the latest 1192-95 (and probably at least a 100 years before that for the religious tradition to arise and become widespread that the cloth was the burial sheet of Christ [16]); which is is at least 65 years before the earliest radiocarbon date of 1260 [16] [34] [41] and at least 130 years before the middle date of 1325, about when critics claim the Shroud was forged.

Also, since Pray Manuscript proves that the Shroud of Turin was already in existence before 1195, then Bishop Pierre d'Arcis's Memorandum of 1389 claiming that the Shroud was "cunningly painted" and that "thirty-four years" earlier (i.e. 1355) his predecessor Henri de Poitiers knew "the artist who painted it" [6] [19] is false.[22] In fact, doubly false because it now "is the consensus that the image was not painted on the cloth" which "is now conceded by virtually every observer, even those who believe that the image is somehow the result of human artifice," including leading Shroud sceptic "Joe Nickell [who] ... excludes the possibility that the image was painted."[4] Yet "it is this memorandum of Bishop d'Arcis ... on which the sceptics' case formally rests"! [5]

Moreover, dating from 1192-95, the Pray Manuscript is confirmatory evidence that the Shroud was in Constantinople from 944-1204 [2] [21] [34] and if so, it bridges the gap forward from Constantinople 1204 to Lirey, France in 1355, and also backward from Constantinople, through Edessa to Jerusalem in c. 30AD!

Pray Manuscript links:
Clues from the Hungarian Pray Manuscript (YouTube): Shroud of Turin - Russ Breault.
Hungarian Pray Manuscript: Shroud of Turin Story.
Illustration Three from the Hungarian Pray Codex: The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ.
Picture of Jesus on the Hungarian Pray Manuscript: Pictures of Jesus.
Pray Codex: Shroud of Turin Facts Check.
Pray Codex: Sugar Coated Shroud of Turin for Journalists.
Pray Codex Illustration with Fabric Pattern and Burn Holes: Shroud of Turin Skeptical Spectacle.
Hungarian Pray Manuscript: Shroud of Turin Story.
The Hungarian Pray Manuscript and the Poker Holes: Shroud of Turin Story.
The Hungarian Pray Manuscript in the Quest for the Historical Jesus: CSI Forensic Science Quest.
What is the Hungarian Pray Codex?: The Definitive Shroud of Turin FAQ.
What is the Hungarian Pray Manuscript or Codex?: Shroud of Turin Skeptical Spectacle.

Related links:
George Pray: The Catholic Encyclopedia.
György Pray: Wikipedia
Pray Codex: Metropolitan Ervin Szabo Library.
Lierre 1516 Copy of the Shroud Attributed to Albrecht Durer or Bernard van Orley: Sugar Coated Shroud of Turin for Journalists.


Stephen E. Jones
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!


[1] "The Pray Manuscript was prepared at Boldva in the ancient Benedictine monastery. Its date is considered to be the end of the 12th century, between 1192 and 1195, but the style of its miniatures shows resemblance to the art associated with the middle of the century. It is not impossible that the miniaturist followed the illumination of an earlier, more elaborate manuscript, from the end of the 11th or the beginning of the 12th century, which has since been lost, and copied its compositions. On four pages of this volume, after the Micrologus and before the Calendar, there are large pen-and-ink drawings. Two of them cover a whole page, Christ on the Cross (fol. 27; Plate I) and the Deposition (fol. 27v; Plate II). On the next page the illuminator has depicted two scenes, such as may also be seen in some miniatures of the Csatar Bible, one, the Entombment, above, the other, the Visit to the Sepulchre, below (fol. 28; Plate III). Finally, on the upper part of the page is represented Christ enthroned with the Angel Holding the Instruments of Torture (fol. 28v; Plate IV)." (Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., transl., West, A., rev., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, pp.19-20).

[2] "This article cannot tackle the Shroud's entire history. However, it would be instructive to see if the history of the cloth pre-dates the alleged carbon date range of 1260 to 1390. ... About thirty years ago an important picture was discovered within the pages of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript. This was the first book ever written and bound in the Hungarian language. Inside is a picture showing two distinct scenes. Scene one shows Jesus laid out on his burial cloth showing only four fingers and no thumbs- same as the Shroud. Scene two shows the cloth wrapped around Jesus with a face image crudely showing that the cloth contains an image. Here is the clincher; the picture also shows an `L' shaped pattern of burn holes exactly as we see them on the Shroud. Lastly, the picture clearly portrays the distinctive herringbone pattern weave of the Shroud. It couldn't be any clearer. This picture dating from 1192 is depicting the Shroud that was kept in Constantinople and is the same cloth that resides in Turin today. ... Is the Shroud medieval? Not a chance. As long as we keep pretending the carbon date is somehow accurate despite the bad sample, we will continue to look for the alleged medieval artist who created it. If you are looking for the artist, start looking in the sixth century." (Breault, R., 2009, "Is the Shroud of Turin Medieval? History Tells a Different Story," EzineArticles.com, 18 October).

[3] "Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich. As controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated. The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval... The results of radiocarbon measurements at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range with at least 95% confidence for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of AD 1260 - 1390 (rounded down/up to nearest 10 yr). These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval." (Damon, P.E., et al., 1989, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, pp.612, 614).

[4] "As for the image itself, what meets the eye is intelligible, but how it was formed is a matter of vigorous debate. We shall need to review, although necessarily in a superficial way, the scientific analyses of the Shroud's image (detailed discussions, by writers competent in these matters, are available elsewhere). The battery of sophisticated and expensive tests conducted in 1978 by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) has yielded a few significant conclusions, and these have been admirably presented by L. A. Schwalbe and R. N. Rogers. [Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, 1982, pp.3-49] ... But although much remains unclear, considerably more is known now than was known when the Shroud was shown on television in 1973. Most important, perhaps, is the consensus that the image was not painted on the cloth. This is now conceded by virtually every observer, even those who believe that the image is somehow the result of human artifice. Painters outline a figure before painting it, but there is no tell-tale outline on the Shroud. Nor is there a hint of the directionality that brush-marks would produce. Finally, there is no clear evidence of any pigment on the Shroud, although here there is some disagreement. The STURP team, using microscopic, chemical laser microprobes, concluded that the Shroud shows no trace of `any of the expected dyes, stains, pigments, or painting media.' [Schwalbe & Rogers, p.27] .... In his recently published Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, Joe Nickell ... excludes the possibility that the image was painted, and concedes that `ferric oxide contributes less than about 10 percent to the overall image intensity.' [p.133]" (Drews, R., 1984, "In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on Its History and Origins," Rowman & Allanheld: Totowa NJ, pp.16-17).

[5] "Before seeing what sort of case the believers can present, we must nonetheless acknowledge that the sceptics' case would today be more difficult to make than it was when Chevalier and Thurston were writing. Those scholars rested their case primarily on a memorandum written in 1389 by Pierre d'Arcis, bishop of Troyes, to Pope Clement VII in Avignon. Bishop d'Arcis was distressed that `a certain cloth cunningly painted' was once again exhibited in his diocese and was popularly regarded as `the actual shroud in which our Savior Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb, and upon which the whole likeness of the Saviour has remained thus impressed together with the wounds that he bore.' ["Memorandum of Pierre D'arcis, Bishop Of Troyes, to the Avignon Pope Clement VII," 1389, Thurston, H., transl., "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, 1903, pp.17-29] The Shroud had first been displayed some thirty years earlier, and had immediately attracted attention not only in all of France, but also "so to speak, throughout the world." D'Arcis went on to recount how the then bishop of Troyes, Bishop Henri, was told by the theologians and other wise men that the claim for the Shroud could not be true, since the holy Gospel made no mention of any such imprint, while, if it had been true, it was quite unlikely that the holy Evangelists would have omitted to record it, or that the fact should have remained hidden until the present time. Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. It is this memorandum of Bishop d'Arcis that Chevalier called to the world's attention in 1900 and on which the sceptics' case formally rests." (Drews, 1984, pp.23-24).

[6] "STURP is young, but the Shroud is old, and ... we would do well to review some historical facts about the relic in question. Around the middle of the fourteenth century there appeared in France a cloth which its exhibitors claimed was the true Holy Shroud. No attempt was made by the object's owners to establish a provenance for it, and its authenticity was dismissed by Henri de Poitiers, the Bishop of Troves, as well as by his successor, Bishop Pierre d'Arcis. In 1389, d'Arcis sent a memorandum to Clement VII in Avignon, the Pope of the Great Western Schism, charging that the Shroud was a fake. In this letter, the earliest extant written document dealing with the Shroud, the Bishop declares it to be a `cloth cunningly painted upon which by a clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man .' D'Arcis says that it had been determined how the cloth had been painted, `the truth being attested by the artist who painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed.' (Clement eventually issued an edict declaring that whenever the cloth is exhibited it be announced that `it is not the True Shroud of Our Lord, but a painting or picture made in the semblance or representation of the shroud.')" (Dutton, D., 1984, "Requiem for the Shroud of Turin." Review of Report on the Shroud of Turin, by John H. Heller, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983 & Inquest on the Shroud of Turin, by Joe Nickell, Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1983. Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. 23, pp.243-255).

[7] "Postscript, 2005: In 1986, reviewing Ian Wilson's Evidence of the Shroud for the Christchurch Press, I predicted that if the cloth ever were to be carbon-dated it would come in at A.D. 1335, plus or minus 30 years. When the Shroud was finally dated and the results came back from the participating laboratories, the collated result was A.D. 1325, plus or minus 65 years. I was ten years off. " (Dutton 1984, p.245).

[8] "On October 13, 1988, at nearly simultaneous conferences in Turin and London, the results of the three laboratories were released. In London the press conference, held at the British Museum, was headed by the museum's Dr Michael Tite, who had been the overall supervisor of all three research teams. He was joined by Oxford's Professor Edward Hall and by Dr Robert Hedges, the chief Oxford technician. Behind them on a blackboard someone had triumphantly chalked, in very large letters, 1260-1390! As the three men explained, the datings independently arrived at by all three laboratories were so similar as to indicate, with a certainty close to 95 per cent, that the Shroud's flax had been cut down to be made into linen sometime between these dates. As might have been expected, some devotees tried to suggest that there had been a switching of samples, inadvertent or otherwise. Several books have been written to explore this idea. However, I believe that the scientists who worked on the carbon dating were honest men and good scientists who carried out their procedures as thoroughly as could be done at the time." (Garza-Valdes, L.A., 1998, "The DNA of God?," Hodder & Stoughton: London, pp.8-9).

[9] "The Pray Manuscript In his book on the history of the Shroud of Turin, a Dominican priest, Fr. Andre M. Dubarle, O.P. remarked that an image of the Shroud appears in the first extant book in the Hungarian language. This manuscript is known as the Pray Manuscript or Codex, named after Georgius Pray, who discovered it in the eighteenth century. [Dubarle, A. M., Storia Antica della Sindone di Torino fino al XIII secolo," Edizioni Giovinezza: Roma, 1986, pp.48-51] This codex, kept at the Budapest National Library, is believed to have been written between 1192 and 1195 because of the historical details it relates. The manuscript contains four pen and ink drawings pertaining to the death of Jesus. The first panel depicts the Crucifixion; the second shows the descent from the Cross with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus holding the body of Jesus while the Virgin Mary holds His head; the third panel is divided into two, the top section showing the body of Jesus laid out on a cloth for burial, and the lower section depicting the arrival of the holy women on Easter morn who find an angel at the empty tomb; and the fourth panel is that of the glorified Christ." (Guerrera, V., 2000, "The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity," TAN: Rockford IL, p.104. Emphasis original).

[10] "The French geneticist Dr. Jerome Lejeune delivered a paper at a conference in 1993 in which he discussed the Pray Manuscript. ... He remarked that the artist's attention to details suggested he was familiar with the image on the Shroud. Lejeune noted the following common characteristics between the Pray Manuscript and the Shroud [Lejeune, J. "Unfolding the Shroud," The Catholic World Report, July 1994, pp. 51-52].

o The Shroud was twice the length of a man.
o The Shroud has a herringbone weave.
o The cloth had `L'-shaped hole marks on the front and back.
o Jesus wore a beard and long hair.
o There is a scar above the right eye corresponding to the "3"-shaped bloodstain on the Shroud.
o The body was completely naked.
o The right hand was laid over the left.
o The fingers were unnaturally elongated, and the thumbs invisible.
o The wound on the left hand is in the palm, but on the right hand the wound is on the wrist.
o One panel shows only three nails used for crucifixion.

One of the most minute yet most revealing similarities between the Pray Manuscript and the Shroud of Turin is what Wilson refers to as the `poker holes' on the Shroud. These two parallel groups of small puncture-like burn marks are located near the hands of the man on the Shroud and on the dorsal image on each side of the man's thighs. On the panel of the codex depicting the arrival of the three holy women, similar `poker holes' formed like an inverted, upside down `L' can be seen on the top sheet which represents the Shroud partly folded over. Other small holes can be seen on the bottom part of the cloth between little red Greek crosses representing bloodstains." (Guerrera, 2000, pp.104-105. Emphasis original).

[11] "According to Fr. Dubarle, these puncture-like burn marks were probably caused by sparks from a censer. Wilson suggests that they were caused by some sort of test for authenticity using a red hot poker, perhaps when the Shroud was supposedly subjected to a `trial by fire' in 1503. In all likelihood these burn marks were caused by pitch, which can be detected near the holes. Evidence of these `poker holes' pre-dating the 1532 fire can be seen on a copy of the Shroud reportedly made by Albrecht Durer in 1516 and kept at the Church of St. Gommaire in Lier, Belgium. Tests conducted on the Shroud of Turin by Vern Miller in 1978 showed that the burn marks of the 1532 fire fluoresce due to the fact that the fire occurred in a closed box. The burn marks of an earlier fire did not fluoresce, possibly because the fire took place in open air with ample supply of oxygen. In the words of Dr. Lejeune: `The artist who produced the Codex of Pray had before his eyes . . , a model that possessed all of the unique characteristics of the Shroud of Turin.' [Lejeune, J. "Unfolding the Shroud," The Catholic World Report, July 1994, p.52]" (Guerrera, 2000, pp.105-106. Emphasis original).

[12] "The first lab to report its results to Tite was the Tucson laboratory on May 6, 1988. The second lab to submit its data was Zurich on May 26. Finally, Oxford submitted its results several months later on August 8, more than ample time to hear of the results of the other two labs. Subsequently, the journal Nature reported that `the results of radiocarbon measurements in Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range with at least 95% confidence for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of A.D. 1260-1390... . These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval.' [Nature, February 16, 1989, p.614] Even before the data was officially reported to the proper Church authorities, there were leaks in the media. Sox, who was privy to the tests in Zurich, anticipated the publication of the results by producing a program for the BBC which aired on July 27, 1988. The program, originally entitled Verdict on the Shroud, was surreptitiously renamed Threads of Evidence when the results were not forthcoming. The following month, on August 26, the headline for London's Evening Standard was `The Shroud of Turin is a Fake.'" (Guerrera, 2000, p.131).

[13] "The report by the 21 scientists was finally made public in the journal Nature, February 16, 1989, five months after the announcement of the test results was made. Standard scientific procedures call for a critique of the data through peer review; this was not followed in this case. On October 14, 1988, the day after Cardinal Ballestrero issued his press release, the British Museum held its own press conference. Seated at table were Tite flanked by Hedges and Hall. Behind them on a blackboard was written the estimated date: `1260-1390!' The non-professional addition of the exclamation mark is an indication of their unrestrained jubilation over the results." (Guerrera, 2000, p.133).

[14] "The Hungarian Pray Manuscript: Four Fingers and Four Circles On the Shroud today one notes that, in addition to the distinctive marks of the 1532 fire, there are four sets of triple burn holes that are the result of some incident previous to the famous fire that damaged the Shroud. This prior existence is known because a painting of 1516 from the Church of Saint Gommaire, in Lierre, Belgium, clearly shows the four sets of triple holes. In 1986, the French Dominican Father A.M. Dubarle, corresponding on the subject of the Shroud-like figure on the Hungarian Pray Manuscript (1192-1195), had his attention drawn to some curious holes noted on the Shroud in the illustration. Wilson points out that `clearly visible on the sarcophagus in the scene of the three Marys visiting the empty tomb was a line of three holes, with an extra one offset to one side.' [Wilson, I., "Holy Faces, Secret Places," Doubleday: London, 1991, p.160] Even more curious, though almost vanishingly tiny, was a similar set of three holes to be seen on the Shroud or napkin-like cloth depicted rolled up on the sarcophagus. It appears that the artist of 1192 who illustrated the Hungarian Pray Manuscript was aware of the `burn-holes' on the Shroud in his day. If correct, it would set the Shroud's date nearly a hundred years earlier than the very earliest date allowed by Carbon-14 dating. Significantly, Jesus is depicted as naked and laid on a Shroud. His arms are crossed, with the right hand placed over the left, and the hands show only four fingers. There is a herring-bone weave in the lower illustration. There is an imprint of a body on the inside and not on the outside of the Shroud. However, on the illustration there are four circles that appear to be burn holes on the Shroud. The othonia (other burial cloths) are rolled up separately. The appearance of only four fingers and four circles on the illustration and matching the same on the Shroud is highly significant. Pathologists studying the Shroud noted that only four fingers appear to the viewer, and the thumb is not seen, as we noted earlier. Moreover, the four burn holes seen in the Hungarian Pray Manuscript correlate to four holes found in the corresponding area of the Shroud and predate the fire of 1532." (Iannone, J.C., 1998, "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin: New Scientific Evidence," St Pauls: Staten Island NY, pp.154-155. Emphasis original).

[15] "The C-14 Laboratory Test Results Unfortunately, as often happens, the newspapers printed the results prematurely. The London Times stated on August 27, 1988 that Oxford scientists had leaked the results. Shortly thereafter, the Vatican made an announcement in Turin, Italy on October 13, 1988. The results of the test were first officially published in an article entitled `Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin' in 1989 in Nature Magazine. [Damon, P.E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature February 16, 1989, p.612] The official report stated that the Shroud of Turin was dated between 1260-1390, and this would make the Shroud between 607 to 737 years old. ... The report stated the following conclusion: `The results of radiocarbon measurements at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich yield a calibrated calendar age range with at least 95 percent confidence for the linen of the Shroud of Turin of A.D. 1260-1390. These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is medieval.' [Ibid.] Headlines all over the world jumped on this report and, ignoring the vast body of evidence to the contrary, and the warnings of the perils of the C-14 test, prematurely accepted the results of this one test to condemn the Holy Shroud as a `fake or fraud.' Sensationalism was the operative word. The newspapers in New York, as an example, capitalized on the negative test results of the Holy Shroud. Some headlines read as follows: `Test Shows Shroud of Turin to be Fraud, Scientist Hints,' read the New York Times on September 22, 1988. `Turin Shroud Made After Crucifixion,' was the Associated Press headline in the Daily News, September 28, 1988, which went on to explain that the Shroud was created almost a millennium after the death of Jesus. `Shroud of Turin Legend in Tatters: Carbon Tests Date it to the 14th Century,' was the headline in the New York Post on September 28, 1988." (Iannone, 1998, pp.164-165. Emphasis original).

[16] "There is no longer any question but that the artist's rendition preserved in the Hungarian Pray Codex [1192-95 AD] represents the cloth we now recognize as the Shroud of Turin. Moreover, by that rendition we know that this is the earliest firmly documented demonstrable viewpoint that the cloth we know as the Shroud of Turin was the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ. In color photographs of the Codex even one set of the angular flows of blood down one of the arms is clearly visible-an observation I believe was first made by the Belgian scholar, Jef Leysen (personal communication, Spring, 1998). And here is shown-as already noted-a comparatively accurate portrayal of two different sets of holes that represent the pre-1516 burns at the two ends of the Shroud. Therefore, the pre-1516 burn marks are more accurately termed pre-1192 burn marks. But, most importantly, their existence some 65 years prior to the first bracket of the 1260-1390 radiocarbon date creates a problem for the 95 percent confidence level claimed by the three labs because one must conservatively add at least 100 years onto the above date to allow for the development of a tradition that the cloth portrayed by the artist was in fact the burial cloth of Christ. On the other hand it would be commensurate with a 68 percent level of confidence which expands the window to a 500 year opening that would encompass that date. Still, the labs have insisted that the 95 percent confidence level is the level achieved by their tests." (Maloney, P.C., 1998, "Researching the Shroud of Turin: 1898 to the Present: A Brief Survey of Findings and Views," in Minor, M., Adler, A.D. & Piczek, I., eds., 2002, "The Shroud of Turin: Unraveling the Mystery: Proceedings of the 1998 Dallas Symposium," Alexander Books: Alexander NC, pp.33-34).

[17] "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, pp.xx"Finally, Father Rinaldi had to endure the pain of having three top carbon-dating laboratories date the `Shroud' to 1325. ... I am especially grateful to a group of scientists who carefully evaluated the publications of the Shroud, both STURP's and my own and wrote to me with their considered conclusions regarding my conclusion that the Shroud is a fine medieval painting; the personnel of the University of Arizona, Oxford, and the Zurich Technological Institute who did such a fine job of carbon-dating the Shroud and, incidentally, agreeing on a date only 30 years different from mine (1325 versus 1355)." (McCrone, W.C., 1999, "Judgment Day for the Shroud of Turin," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, pp.xx-xxiii).

[18] "Many other points along the way may be appreciated more, I think, if I tell you now that: 1.) My microchemical analyses led me to publish in 1980 my conclusion that the Shroud is a beautiful medieval painting; 2.) The Shroud was carbon-dated in 1988 and found to date from 1325 ±65 years. The Shroud was most likely painted by an artist about 1355 probably as a decoration, perhaps as a relic, for a newly built church in Lirey, France. It was first exhibited there in 1356 and immediately accepted by devout pilgrims as the true Shroud. Only Henri, Bishop of Troyes, tried to stem the tide by claiming that `he knew the artist who had painted it.' 3.) All of the image substance on the Shroud proves the Bishop was right. The image is due to two paint pigments in two very dilute collagen tempera paints; there is no blood in the Shroud image. The Shroud was first painted with a dilute red ochre paint. Then, the blood stains were added with a second dilute vermilion paint." (McCrone, 1999, p.1).

[19] "I began my tests expecting the `Shroud' would be authentic, in spite of Bishop Henri claiming it to be a forgery. ` ..... Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. ` These words, written in 1389 by the Bishop of Troyes, Pierre d'Arcis (d'Arcis, 1389), described the efforts of his predecessor Bishop Henri de Poitiers in 1356 to halt the exhibition of the Shroud in a new church in Lirey, not far from Paris. As had his predecessor, Bishop D'Arcis was writing to the Pope to enlist aid in preventing further exploitation of the Shroud for personal gain: `...now again the present Dean of the said church with fraudulent intent and for the purpose of gain suggested ...to have the said cloth replaced in the said church, that by renewal of the pilgrimage the church might be enriched with the offerings made by the faithful.' Both Bishops failed in their earnest efforts to prevent exhibitions of the Shroud." (McCrone, 1999, pp.1-2).

[20] "In the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest, Hungary, there is a book dating to the 1190s known as the Pray Manuscript. One of its illustrations has two panels. In the upper panel, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are shown preparing Jesus' body for burial. The lower panel depicts an angel showing three women the empty tomb of Christ. There are certain features of the portrayal that are reminiscent of the Shroud of Turin. First, the dead body of Christ is depicted without thumbs, although in other illustrations in the book, all five fingers are shown. Second, over the right eye is a bloodstain in the same position as the `3'-shaped stain on the Shroud. Third, in the lower panel is depicted a shroud partly rolled up on the lid of Jesus' tomb. The cloth has a set of little holes that correspond exactly to the four groups of `poker holes' that are not associated with the 1532 fire. Fourth, the shroud in the picture is represented with the herringbone pattern seen on the Shroud. [Wilson, I., The Blood and the Shroud, Free Press: New York, 1998, pp.146-147]" (Ruffin, C.B., 1999, "The Shroud of Turin: The Most Up-To-Date Analysis of All the Facts Regarding the Church's Controversial Relic," Our Sunday Visitor: Huntington IN, pp.59-60).

[21] "Ilona Berkovits, the premiere interpreter of the Pray Codex wrote: `It is not impossible that the miniaturist followed the illumination of an earlier, more elaborate manuscript, from the end of the l l th or the beginning of the 12th century, which has since been lost, and copied its compositions.' This burn-pattern ... was already present on the TS before the Lierre copy (dated 1516) was made ... The Pray Codex is evidence that this pattern was seen on the TS even earlier-when the Shroud would have been in Constantinople, where a shroud of Christ was, in fact, amply documented." (Scavone, D.C., "Greek Epitaphoi and Other Evidence for the Shroud in Constantinople up to 1204," in Walsh, B., ed., "Proceedings of the 1999 Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Richmond, Virginia," Magisterium Press: Glen Allen VA, 2000, p.196).

[22] "Mario Latendresse, a computer scientist from the University of Montreal, has reminded us (personal letter) that if the Pray Codex, in fact, proves the Shroud in Eastern Europe (and more precisely in Constantinople) in 1192, where a shroud was documented by Robert of Clari and numerous others from 944 to 1204), then the artist of Bishop d'Arcis's Memorandum (1389) could not have created the original shroud thirty-four years earlier, in 1355, no matter what he told Bishop Henri de Poitiers. The word `depinxit' in the Memorandum then must mean `the artist copied,' and not `the artist painted' the Lirey Shroud." (Scavone, 2000, pp.196-197.

[23] "In the crucial illustration from the Pray Codex, the tomb slab is strangely decorated. What is one to make of the very `noisy,' unusually flamboyant Greek key motif? As in so many cases, to cut to the point, obscurities such as this often become brightly lit when one inserts the Shroud into the context. Arguably, then, it is possible that this naive artist was naively representing the herring-bone twill of the TS. The early date of this Codex and the presence of these several Shroud elements strongly suggest that the artist of the Codex saw the Shroud during its Constantinople period." (Scavone, 2000, p.197).

[24] "The Shroud's Medieval Radiocarbon Date Without question, the most spectacular refutation of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin was the determination that the linen on which the image lies dates from approximately 1325. The Shroud was sampled and the dates determined by the most scrupulous and scientifically-valid techniques and procedures that are possible. Sampling was carefully conducted and witnessed, the samples were properly cleaned and prepared, and three different laboratories performed the 14C dating using blind control samples in addition to the Shroud samples. All the dates were consistent among the labs. ... the quality of the radiometric data are so rigorous that no objective, rational person can reasonably deny them." (Schafersman, S.D., 1998, "Unraveling the Shroud of Turin," Approfondimento Sindone, Vol. 2. Emphasis original).

[25] "Triple Burn-Holes Depicted in a Twelfth-Century Manuscript In the book Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI - XVI by Ilona Berkovits, published in the early 1970s, there is a colour illustration from a `Pray' (Codex) Manuscript of Jesus being placed on His burial shroud. His arms are shown folded at the wrists and His fingers appear unnaturally long, as they are on the Shroud, and there are no visible thumbs. Although undetectable in the reproduction overleaf, there are three tiny holes on the herringbone weave of the shroud at the foot of the picture. These are identical to the three tiny burn-holes showing in one of the copies of the Shroud that was painted around 1516 ... This finding was confirmed by Professor Jerome Lejeune, who examined the `Pray' Manuscript which is preserved in the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest. There is no historical record of how and when these so-called `poker holes' were made on the Shroud, but from the `Pray' Manuscript illustration it is clear that this damage occurred before 1195." (Whiting, B. , 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia, p.91. Emphasis original).

[26] "The Funeral Sermon and Prayer ... is an old handwritten Hungarian text dating to 1192-1195. It was found on the 154a. page of the Codex Pray. The importance of the Funeral Sermon comes from that it is the oldest surviving Hungarian, and Finno-Ugric text (although the first records of Hungarian are in a charter dated to 997). The whole sermon has two parts: the sermon's text (26 lines and 227 words) and the prayer (6 lines and 47 words). If one does not count repeated words, there are 190 individual terms in the script. The work was written after a Latin version (whilst the Hungarian edition is a particular writing rather than a translation). Since 1813, the manuscript has been kept in Budapest, Hungary." ("Funeral Sermon and Prayer," Wikipedia, 10 December 2009).

[27] "György Pray (also: George Pray, 11 September 1723 - 23 September 1801) was a Hungarian Jesuit Abbot, canon, librarian of the University library of Buda and important historian. ... His literary activity embraced the history of Hungary, especially the early centuries, the history of the Catholic Church in Hungary, and editing the sources of Hungarian history. He was the first to draw attention to the oldest coherent text in the Hungarian language, Funeral Sermon and Prayer (Latin title "Orati' o funebris", meaning 'funeral oration'), dating probably from 1199, in a manuscript which was called after him the Pray Codex." ("György Pray," Wikipedia, 24 December 2009).

[28] "Closely related to these are equally innovative Deposition scenes, one at Nerezi, another forming part of the fresco decoration of the tiny Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher, Winchester Cathedral, England. The common factor to all these is the use of a large, double-length piece of linen, obviously intended to envelop the body over the head, a cloth we would unhesitatingly identify as a shroud. At precisely this same eleventh- to twelfth-century period, no fewer than three separate but related types of representation of the body of Christ, closely associated with this same development, appeared in Byzantine art. One group consisted of the Lamentation scene showing Christ's body in a very stiff attitude, with, as a complete innovation in art, the hands crossed over the loins. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has an ivory of this type dating from the eleventh century. [Weitzmann, K., "The Origins of the Threnos," De Artibus Opuscula, XL, Essays in Honor of Erwin Panofsky, New York, 1961, fig, 15, p. 165.] The State Hermitage Museum in Leningrad has a cross reliquary of the eleventh century, formerly in the Count Stroganoff collection, with a scene of this type in enamel carrying the significant inscription `Christ lies in death, manifesting God.' [Schlumberger, G., Mélanges, Paris, 1895, pl. XI] The Pray Manuscript in Budapest, dated reliably to the years 1192-95, has on the reverse of one page a drawing of the same type, unusual for the total nudity of the Christ figure. [Berkovits, I., Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, 1969, plate III] On all of these examples, the hands are crossed consistently, the right over the left with an awkward crossing point at the wrists, all forcefully reminiscent of the Shroud." (Wilson, I., 1978, "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, p.137).

[29] "The earliest Grail romance is the Perceval, or Conte del Graad by Chrétien de Troyes, a Northern French poet of the late twelfth century. ... Chrétien's patron was Henri, Count of Champagne, nephew of Henri of Blois, the Bishop of Winchester who commissioned the Shroud-figure style frescoes in the Holy Sepulcher Chapel, Winchester Cathedral, England." (Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, pp.312-313).

[30] "Obviously, it would be considerable support to such a theory if there is direct evidence that at some time while still in the possession of the Byzantines the Image's still hypothetical full-length imprint was suddenly revealed. There indeed seems evidence for this, beginning with sometime in the eleventh century. Without any explanation given, artists at this time begin to show scenes of Jesus' entombment in which, instead of being shown wrapped mummy-style as previously, his body is depicted enveloped in a specifically Shroud-type winding sheet. Several examples of this type feature, for the first time ever, his hands crossed Shroud-style over the loins, a particularly striking example of this being the Hungarian Pray manuscript, reliably dated 1192-95, which, like the Shroud, shows Jesus completely naked." (Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London, p.114).

[31] "The same afternoon Dr Michael Tite provided further details at a crowded press conference held at London's British Museum, accompanied on the platform by the Oxford laboratory's Professor Hall and Dr Robert Hedges. To minimize the possibility of anyone getting the results wrong, Tite or someone else had scrawled on the blackboard in large numerals: 1260-1390! According to Tite the three laboratories' datings were `all within a hundred years of each other' and made it 95 per cent certain that the shroud had originated sometime between the years 1260 and 1390, and 99.9 per cent certain that it dated `from about 1000 to 1500 AD'. The laboratories also exhibited a satisfying accuracy in their results from the control samples." (Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London, pp.8-9).

[32] "There followed in February 1989 a formal paper in the highly respected, international scientific journal Nature, carrying as its signatories the names of twenty-one of those most closely involved in the carbon dating. After carefully setting out all the procedures that had been followed to obtain the dating result, the paper commented: `These results therefore provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the shroud of Turin is medieval.' [Damon, P.E., et al., "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin," Nature, Vol. 337, 16 February, 1989, pp.611-615, p.614]" (Wilson, 1991, pp.9-10).

[33] "Although this is one of the earliest epitaphioi known, there is a consensus among scholars that it must have had antecedents, as is certainly indicated by the same type of figure being found in other art forms. A particularly notable example occurs in a work entitled the Funeral Oration, forming part of the Pray manuscript [Budapest, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár (National Széchényi Library), MNY I] preserved in the National Széchényi Library of Budapest. Four pages of pen and ink drawings accompany a text that is among the very earliest in the Hungarian language, and in one of these ... we see Jesus's body being laid out full length on a shroud, entirely naked, and with the hands crossed over the pelvis in precisely the manner so characteristic of the Turin `shroud' image. [Berkovits, I., "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, XI-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., trans., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland, 1969, pl. III] This drawing can be accurately dated, being reliably thought to have been made at the ancient Benedictine monastery of Boldva in Hungary between the years 1192 and 1195. And according to the specialist of Hungarian medieval manuscripts, Ilona Berkovits: `... the style of its miniatures shows resemblance to the art associated with the middle of the [twelfth] century. It is not impossible that the miniaturist followed the illumination of an earlier, more elaborate manuscript, from the end of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth century, which has since been lost, and copied its compositions.' [Ibid., p. 19]" (Wilson, 1991, pp.150-151).

[34] "Despite these difficulties, however, all is by no means as unforthcoming as might at first appear. For instance, long recognized on the shroud as preceding the very distinctive scars of the 1532 fire are four sets of triple burn holes that derive from some unrecorded damage incident that was certainly before 1516, as the marks are clearly visible in a painted copy of that year. [In the Church of St Gommaire, Lierre, Belgium.] The four sets back each other up, indicating that the damage was sustained when the cloth was folded in four, and they appear almost as if a sputtering red hot poker was thrust through the cloth three times, the topmost of the three holes having next to it an extra one, as if created by a stray spark. In 1986 French Dominican monk Pere A. M. Dubarle, a former scholar of the Jerusalem Ecole Biblique, was corresponding on the subject of the shroud-like figure on the Pray manuscript of 1192 ... when his correspondent drew his attention to some curious holes indicated on the illustration below this figure. Clearly visible on the sarcophagus in the scene of the three Marys visiting the Empty Tomb was a line of three holes, with an extra one offset to one side .... Even more curious, though almost vanishingly tiny, was a similar set of three holes to be seen on the shroud or napkin-like cloth depicted rolled up on the sarcophagus .... Could these have been intended to represent the `poker hole' marks that the artist of 1192 knew to be on the Christ shroud of his day, the one preserved in Constantinople? If this could be believed, then even on its own it would at a stroke set the shroud's date nearly a hundred years earlier than the very earliest date allowed by carbon dating." (Wilson, 1991, pp.160-161).

[35] "As the laboratory representatives returned home with their canisters, the Turin authorities released the news of their mission to the world and during the succeeding months, first the Arizona laboratory personnel, then Zurich's, then Oxford's ran their particular samples through their equipment. Despite the fact that they had all been sworn not to disclose their findings until these could be collectively released, all sorts of rumours began circulating, almost all of them suggesting that the Shroud had been found to date to the Middle Ages. During the second week of October 1988 press personnel of the English-speaking world were notified that the results would be announced on Thursday, 13 October in the British Museum's Press Room, with a near-synchronous press conference to be held in Turin that same day. ... At one end of the room had been set a low platform which three men mounted ... They were the already mentioned Dr Michael Tite, with the Oxford radiocarbon-dating laboratory's Professor Edward Hall and Hall's chief technician, Dr Robert Hedges. Nor did they have any Shroud to display. Instead their only `prop' was a blackboard behind them on which someone had rather crudely scrawled: `1260-1390!' .... For as Dr Tite explained, these numbers represented radiocarbon dating's calculation, to a ninety-five per cent degree of probability, of the upper and lower dates of when the Shroud's flax had been harvested. Representing an average of the laboratories' findings, which had proved in excellent agreement with each other, they indicated that the Shroud's raw flax had most likely been made into linen on or about the year AD 1325, give or take sixty-five years either way. .... The radiocarbon dates matched unerringly closely to the time in the 1350s when the Shroud had made its European debut in the suspiciously tiny French village of Lirey." (Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, pp.7-8).

[36] "However, if we look to images from this time of Jesus laid out Shroud-like in death with crossed hands - the Shroud pose that has so unjustifiably been criticised as indicative of artistic `modesty' - we are far from disappointed. In Budapest's National Széchenyi Library is a book called the Pray Manuscript [It is so named after its eighteenth-century discoverer Georgius Pray], greatly prized by Hungarians as the first surviving text in their language, and reliably thought to have been created at their Boldva Benedictine monastery between 1192 and 1195. But from the Shroud point of view by far its greatest interest is its four pages of coloured drawings, and in particular the third of these ..., which shows in its upper register Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus preparing Jesus's dead body for burial, with in the lower register the three Marys visiting the angel-guarded empty tomb. When I first came across this back in the 1970s, I was particularly struck by the way, in the upper register, Jesus's dead body is depicted in a quite unmistakably Shroud-like pose and totally nude, this latter feature alone certainly atypical of most Byzantine art. This seemed sufficient reason in itself for including it in my first book published in 1978." (Wilson, 1998, pp.145-146).

[37] "However, what I had failed to spot were other features linking it and its associated drawings even more closely to our Shroud, features which subsequently came to be noticed by French scholars, most notably by ... Professor Jerome Lejeune ... For instance, first, and specifically in the case of the manuscript's Shroud-like depiction of Jesus's dead body, the drawing shows all four fingers of each of Jesus's hands, but no thumbs, exactly as on the Shroud. Whereas in the manuscript's other drawings Jesus's thumbs are depicted perfectly normally. Second, in this same drawing of Jesus's dead body, just over Jesus's right eye there is a single forehead bloodstain, delineated in red, located in exactly the same position as the very distinctive `3'-shaped stain on the man of the Shroud's forehead. Third, in one of the manuscript's other drawings, of Christ Enthroned, while Jesus's left hand is depicted with the nail wound through his palm, the wound in his right hand appears unmistakably, and most unusually, to be through his wrist." (Wilson, 1998, p.146).

[38] "Possibly the most tell-tale feature of all, however, is one that was first reported in 1986 by the Dominican monk Pere A. M. Dubarle of St Joseph's Convent, Paris. In the lower register of the manuscript's page with the Shroud body there can be seen a shroud, obviously Jesus's, partly rolled up on the lid of the sarcophagus representing Jesus's tomb. If this piece of cloth is studied very closely, it can be seen that it bears a set of tiny `poker holes', three in a line and then one offset ... precisely corresponding to the four groups of these still visible on the Shroud ... and known to predate the 1532 fire. Another, larger, set of this same arrangement of holes can be seen on the sarcophagus lid itself. As Professor Lejeune felt bound to conclude from his study of all these different features: `Such precise details are not to be found together on any other known [Christ] image - except the Shroud which is in Turin. One is therefore forced to conclude that the artist of the Pray manuscript had before his eyes ... some model which possessed all the characteristics of the Shroud which is in Turin. [Lejeune, J., "Etude topologique des Suaires de Turin, de Lier et de Pray', L'Identification Scientifique de 1'Homme du Linceul Jesus de Nazareth: Actes de Symposium Scientifique International, Rome 1993, Upinsky, A.A., ed., CIELT, François-Xavier de Guibert: Paris, 1995, p.107]" (Wilson, 1998, pp.146-147).

[39] "Nearly four decades ago, casually browsing through Ilona Bercovits' newly published Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary in Bristol Central Library, I came across the now famous Pray manuscript drawing of Jesus's Entombment ... and immediately recognised its significance for Shroud studies. ... the Pray manuscript drawing, firmly dateable back to 1192-5, helps to push the Shroud back significantly earlier than the date ascribed to it by carbon dating ...Yet often overlooked in this context is a very equivalent Entombment scene ... on a champlevé panel that forms part of the decoration of a magnificent 12th century pulpit preserved at Klosterneuburg, near Vienna. The entire pulpit, incorporating many similar panels, was completed by the master decorator Nicholas of Verdun no later than 1181 (therefore yet earlier than the Pray manuscript), and on its Entombment panel again we see the so distinctive crossed hands burial pose, also a shroud of double body length proportions." (Wilson, I., 2008, "Nicholas of Verdun: Scene of the Entombment, from the Verdun altar in the monastery of Klosterneuburg, near Vienna," BSTS Newsletter, No. 67, June).

[40] "Perhaps most pertinent of all, however, is a discovery made by the distinguished French medical expert the late Prof Jerome Lejeune from studies of a very Shroud-like figure that is one of the illustrations in a Hungarian manuscript, the so-called Pray Manuscript of Budapest, datable to c. 1192-5. [Berkovits, I., 1969, "Illuminated Manuscripts in Hungary, X-XVI Centuries," Horn, Z., trans., Irish University Press: Shannon, Ireland] I had first come across this manuscript illustration in the 1960s and had immediately been struck by the figure's very accurate Shroud-like pose and similarly Shroud-like total nudity. I had also seen in the `Discovery of the Empty Tomb' illustration below this that there was a cloth depicted on the tomb lid, clearly intended to represent Jesus' shroud discarded after the Resurrection. But it was Prof. Lejeune who on a personal visit to the National Szechenyi Library in Budapest, where the manuscript is housed, spotted several crucial features that had escaped me. First, the Shroud-like depiction of Jesus' dead body features four fingers, but no thumbs, exactly as on the Shroud. Second, just over the dead Jesus' right eye in the manuscript illustration is a single bloodstain in exactly the same position as the distinctive three-shaped one on the Shroud. Third, and not least, the `shroud' cloth lying on the tomb lid clearly bears a group of holes that are just like the Shroud's so-called `poker holes' - damage marks that, whatever their causation (we noted that Dr Mechthild Flury-Lemberg suggested some liquid spillage), would have been the Shroud's most distinctive feature prior to the 1532 fire. And another, similar set of marks can be seen on the tomb lid, along with a pattern again distinctively reminiscent of the Shroud's herringbone. As a pointer to the Shroud's existence as early as the twelfth century, the evidence of the Pray Manuscript is therefore strong." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, pp.114,116).

[41] "The Pray Manuscript drawing of scenes of Jesus' burial (upper register), and empty tomb discovered by the three Marys (lower register). The manuscript can be dated no later than 1195, yet the Christ figure exhibits several striking affinities to the Shroud. Most striking of all, however, the cloth `shroud' depicted in the lower register seems to exhibit a set of poker holes (arrowed A on detail), identical to those of as yet undetermined date and origin, which are visible on the Shroud. A similar set of holes also appears on the tomb lid (arrowed B on detail) This alone seems striking evidence for the Shroud's existence well before the 1260-1390 date ascribed to it by radiocarbon dating." (Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.115).

Posted: 11 January 2010. Updated: 5 June 2016.