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Speaking to one Christian and he claimed the shroud of Turin was undeniable proof of Jesus raising from the dead. So I had a look over the arguments for and against, and against seems a much better case. 

One expert pointed out that the material used is a herringbone pattern, a type of material not in use at the time. More commonly seen in European materials centuries later. They have other examples of 1st century burial shrouds, and all of them are straight weave. 

 

The other thing they pointed out was there are blood stains on the shroud but that shouldn't be the case. The body is dead for a day or two, before being cleaned, annointed and only at the last step wrapped. Wounds wouldn't be bleeding and would have been cleaned. 

 

So the shroud is a write off. So what else do we have? Well no one has ever found the ark of the covenant, Noah's ark or any relic imbued with magic powers. 

It is said there is enough wood for sale, that is claimed to be from the true cross, to build a house. 

The Vatican claim to have the spear that stabbed Jesus and the cloth used to wipe his blood, but of course no one has actually seen them. 

 

I agree with historians that keeping a relic intact for 2-3 thousand years is incredibly hard. Unfortunately that just leaves us discussing philosophy cos there's nothing physical to research. 

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Well I have seen, with my own eyes, the wrist bone of St Paul. So there! I know it's real because there is a sign telling me. Oh, and at least three high-ups in the RC church verified it, although where it was for over 1500 years nobody knows.

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There are two HUGE theological problems when it comes to holy relics.

 

 

The first is the snare of idolatry. 

 

Very often believers place more emphasis on the relic itself and not what the relic is meant to guide them to - which is a closer relationship with god.  There are many, many examples in the OT of the Israelites being warned not to make graven images and not to worship idols.  The Golden Calf and Gideon's Ephod being two good examples.  So, placing a piece of the true cross or the bone of a saint in a container made of precious metal and setting it in a prominent place is perilously close to the sin of idolatry.  In Judges 8, after defeating the Midianites, Gideon requested a share of the plunder.  That of itself was not a sin in the eyes of god, but what he then did with that gold was.

 

26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 

27 Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

 

So, the gold itself became an idol instead of being used in some other way to glorify god.  Holy relics can easily become the same kind of snare, trapping the believer into venerating it and not bringing them any closer to god. 

 

 

The second problem is that the bible is quite clear that salvation is by faith alone.   No physical evidence is needed or is of any help in saving a believer's soul.  Nor are there any biblical examples of salvation being effected or assisted by relics of any sort.

 

Hebrews 11 : 1 - 3

 

1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

 

John 20 : 27 - 31

 

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 

31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

In both of the above the lesson is that believers are saved by faith in what they cannot see and not by anything they can see - like a holy relic.

 

Worked examples of this abound in the book of Acts and in the Epistles.  When Paul spoke at the Areopagus he presented no physical evidence, but nevertheless Dionysius and Damaris and several others came to believe and were saved.   In much the same way, the congregations of the churches of Rome, Corinth, Berea and the churches of Asia Minor saw no physical evidence of Jesus' resurrection, yet they believed and were saved.  

 

 

There really is no valid biblical or theological case for holy relics and there is much in scripture that argues strongly against them.  They play no role in salvation and venerating them after being saved runs the risk of idolatry.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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There are countless  problems with the shroud of Turin. The insurmountable problem  is that the shroud cannot be traced back to Jesus personally, although it could have been from the first century B.C. to the second century A.D, but even then some experts dispute that.  Of course there were countless other males that lived during those times. Also, the shroud had to lay with the decaying body for fifty to a hundred or more years to produce that image on the shroud. It could not have been the fictional aura of Jesus since Jesus way not there. Jesus supposedly physically arose from the dead and within days went to heaven, according to the story.  If so he had no decaying body that could have produced that image. It was just a bad but profitable joke for those that found and sold it, along with all the other artifacts claimed to relate to the life and times of the mythical Jesus.

 

Away from the Mediterranean in the surrounding area and dry desert, such preservation was possible for the thousands or tens of thousands of tomb burials that took place for the more wealthy of those times

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9 hours ago, nontheistpilgrim said:

Well I have seen, with my own eyes, the wrist bone of St Paul. So there! I know it's real because there is a sign telling me.

Positive proof!  😁

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On 6/16/2022 at 6:52 PM, Wertbag said:

The body is dead for a day or two, before being cleaned, annointed and only at the last step wrapped. Wounds wouldn't be bleeding and would have been cleaned.

Ah, but (according to the legend) Joseph of Arimathea did all that before sundown the day he died. 1.25 days later, voom! Magic aura from atomic transformation of body to super-god-bod with ripped abs. 

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Walter, the R.C. church has never had a problem with idolatry, as I'm certain you know.

I've been in R.C. churches here in the U.S. where they have retail stores within the church selling idols.

 

If Christ was a real person and he did in fact get into a wild tizzy over the money-changers as described in the gospel, imagine then if he walked into one of these modern R.C. houses of worship.. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

Walter, the R.C. church has never had a problem with idolatry, as I'm certain you know.

I've been in R.C. churches here in the U.S. where they have retail stores within the church selling idols.

 

If Christ was a real person and he did in fact get into a wild tizzy over the money-changers as described in the gospel, imagine then if he walked into one of these modern R.C. houses of worship.. 

 

 

 

Yeah, I know what you're referring to, aG.

 

There was a strong reaction against the 'Whore of Rome' by the Puritans, here in England.  So much so that a toxic mix of religion and politics lead to the English Civil War, the beheading of King Charles the First and the installing of a virulently anti-catholic Puritan by the name of Oliver Cromwell as the 'Protector' of the English Republican Commonwealth.  Later on this lead to the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the antipathy between Catholics and Protestants that still festers there. 

 

Ok, history lesson over.

 

I can't be so certain, but I believe that the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches have a similar problem with the veneration of Ikons.  That is, all too many of their followers place their devotion and their faith in the thing itself and not in what the Ikon is meant to guide them to - god.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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     I've seen the bones of St. Peter under St. Peter's basilica at the Vatican.  Rather, I saw what looked like a Tupperware box that maybe had something like teeth in it since they keep you back a ways and my eye-sight isn't so good.  They let you have a look-see at it and then you're given the chance to hang-out and pray if the old bones move you to do so, otherwise you're told to sit out in an alcove.  I wound up in the alcove.  I would have faked the prayer if I thought I could have some extra time to look around but it looks like they're onto that.  I've certainly sat in much worse places than the alcove.

 

     I also saw the foot prints, or rather the mold, of the actual feet of jesus himself out on the Appian Way.  There's the stone where jesus appeared to Pete as he was leaving Rome and jesus appears and says "Quo Vadis?"  At that point, apparently, jesus left imprints in the stone he was on.  So the stone is at the church there as is the mold.  Solid proof of jesus.

 

     I saw the bones of lots of dead guys and things that were proof of this or that.  As my guide who reminded me these things are simply a matter of faith for those who already believe.

 

          mwc

 

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1 hour ago, mwc said:

As my guide who reminded me these things are simply a matter of faith for those who already believe.

 

The cult leader I used to promote didn't have anything flashy, just a picture of a girl and a long story about her being raised from the dead. "You always ask for proof, so here's her picture" Oooohhh aaahhhh. None of her being dead, none of her being raised from the dead, just a picture of a girl.

 

But that raises the issue about what proof really is. In the movie Meet Joe Black, it looks pretty clear that actor Brad Pitt died when several cars hit him. I even slowed down the video frame by frame and saw his head smacking into a windshield. But none of it was real. So given the ability of fakery now, how do we know when we are being presented with factual news versus a clever ruse? Multiple sources of information are one method. Vetting the information is critical. But in the manipulated soap opera "news" we get these days, it's going to get harder to verify before people react. It's feeling more like the old Twilight Zone "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street". 

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On 6/21/2022 at 5:50 AM, Fuego said:

But none of it was real. So given the ability of fakery now, how do we know when we are being presented with factual news versus a clever ruse? Multiple sources of information are one method. Vetting the information is critical. But in the manipulated soap opera "news" we get these days, it's going to get harder to verify before people react. It's feeling more like the old Twilight Zone "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street". 

     This is a much more nuanced issue than I was thinking about above.

 

     I will say that this is a long-standing problem so I don't think we're going to sort it out any time soon.  There would have been no need for Pilate to say "What is truth?" if people weren't wondering where and how to find the solution to this problem even then.

 

          mwc

 

 

 

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The volume of "crap" you have to filter out is definitely higher than it has ever been.  This is getting off subject, but I believe they need to tighten regulations on passing on info that is damaging in some way.  Those were loosened several years ago.

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