Reason to Doubt – Allen Parr interviewing Jeremiah Johnston

In Reason to Doubt, Jordan responds to a video about the TS in THE BEAT with Allen Parr interviewing Jeremiah Johnston:

Allen Parr is WRONG about the Shroud of Turin

Here’s the original video where Jeremiah Johnston presents 5 reasons why the TS is authentic:

SHOCKING Evidence That Proves The Shroud of Turin Shows The Actual FACE of Jesus!

Evidence 5 is it is the most studied artifact.

Jeremiah: “The Turin shroud is the most study archaeological artifact in the world.”

Jordan: In terms of actual research being able to be done on the artifact itself people who have had access to the thing they’re studying there hasn’t been that much you’ve got one week of research in the 70s that was the STURP team.

Jordan is partially true here. Yes, STURP only had 5 straight days to do hands on study of the shroud. Outside of the RCC, they’ve had the longest direct study of the shroud. But, there has been countless hours of indirect study of the shroud through evidence collected by the STURP team, Enrie photographic evidence, Raes fiber/cloth evidence, historical evidence, art evidence, and textual evidence.

Jordan: But is it comparable to say like the Dead Sea Scrolls where many researchers who have expertise in relevant fields have had access to the documents them themselves.

I’d disagree with this. The Dead Sea Scrolls are locked up in museums. Few people have direct access to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most people can only indirectly study it through photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

You can view the Dead Sea Scrolls at:

Jordan: It’s not clear how we would even go about assessing this claim. And if we did go about it that the Shroud would come out on top. But more importantly the claim being made here is that this is the most studied artifact of all time and the implication of that is that with this much study there’s no way it would have been revealed not revealed as a hoax. If it wasn’t authentic basically there’s no way a hoax could have gone undetected all this time. In order for that to be to be persuasive at all at least to be persuasive to me scientists and historians would need to have actual like regular access to the artifact so they could run tests, so they could confirm hypotheses, so they could test their ideas over again and run additional tests as necessary in order to answer the questions that they have.

The issue is, if it is an artwork from a medieval artist, how was he able to elude modern scientists on how he did it? That makes no sense, esp since the shroud has been subjected to so many tests, including microscopic analysis, spectroscopy, infrared imaging, UV imaging, X-ray imaging, chemical tests, etc. The battery of tests are documented in several papers that have been published by STURP team members:

A comprehensive list of papers and articles from STURP members: … bliography

We can assess the claim it is the most studied artifact by looking at Jordan’s hard drive. In video 3, he admitted his hard drive is getting full of scientific papers on the shroud. “My hard drive is fast filling up with Shroud of Turin research.” What other artifact has so many scientific papers on it?

I want to add here we should qualify the statement “the shroud is the most studied artifact” to “the shroud is the most scientifically studied artifact”. The Dead Sea Scrolls are perhaps more studied than the Turin Shroud, but it is primarily studied theologically. Who knows how many theologians and Biblical scholars have been analyzing the DSS? Certainly much more than all the people that have studied the TS combined. How many people have been scientifically studying the DSS? Certainly not that many compared to the TS.

Jordan: In order for this to be persuasive at all at least to be persuasive to me scientists and historians would have actually needed to have regular access to do what they wanted over time. So they could run a test examine those results come up with new hypotheses test those new ones and kind of go through the iterative process that science is. That’s not the situation we have so at best this is a weak argument. But realistically I don’t think it carries much weight.

I’m all for more direct study of the shroud. But, the fiasco of the 1988 C-14 testing left a bad taste with the RCC and it’s going to take some time before they trust scientists outside the church.

If anyone wants a detailed report of the 1988 C-14 dating fiasco, read “The 1988 C-14 Dating Of The Shroud of Turin: A Stunning Exposé” by Joe Marino.

People also have free access to a vast amount of information on the shroud at Anybody can come up with hypotheses on the shroud based on all the available data.

On to number 4, the body image.

Reason #4: Image formation

Jeremiah: “21st century scientists modern science cannot explain how this image is on the cloth.”

Jeremiah: “Under eight feet the shroud vanishes we can’t explain that.”

Jordan: The Shroud does not turn invisible when you’re within eight feet of it like it’s an invisibility cloak or something. He doesn’t mean that the image vanishes in that like the coloring goes away. I’s that you you no longer perceive the image. But this isn’t like some weird convoluted thing. This is a we can absolutely 100 positively explain. What is going on it’s not even that complicated of an explanation so the reason you need to be further back in order to perceive the thing is because it’s super faint.

Jeremiah didn’t really explain the point well. And Jordan doesn’t counter it well either.

As Jordan says, no image is vanishing. The issue is the body image is hard to discern unless you’re around 10 feet from the image. Farther away from that, as Jordan says, the image is too faint to discern. But up close, it’s not discernible because of the halftone effect.

The problem for skeptics is why would a medieval artist use the halftone effect? How did he even know about it centuries ahead of time before it was invented? How was he able to achieve halftone? If the shroud was created to be displayed in public, would it even make sense for it to not be discernible more than 10 feet away?

Jeremiah: “It’s ridiculous the shroud of has survived three different fires. It’s been doused with water on at least two occasions. So you think about if it was a painting or if it was some kind of weird tattooed pigment you would see effects from that from the fires.”

Jordan: I don’t know I mean would you can we get a single shred of evidence for anything that you’re gonna say. Today like there
are plenty of marketing techniques that one stride and cured could survive. It’s high heat they could survive having water spilled on them.

The issue is if there was any pigment applied to the cloth, any heat or water would affect the image. We see no effect on the image from heat or water.

Jeremiah: “This is number one for a lot, it’s not my number one, or in other words you can’t come up with a forgery if you even wanted to.”

Jordan: I know that lots of people are convinced by this point because I hear about it all the time in our comments section. And to be perfectly honest I don’t get it this whole point, this entire thing is just I don’t know therefore it must be God.

Well, Jordan does the exact opposite. He admits he doesn’t know how the image was formed, but he concludes that it’s not Jesus.

But I will agree just because there’s evidence against a forgery, it is not sufficient to then claim it’s authentic. You need to also have evidence to support authenticity. So, to support the authentic position, one needs to refute the arguments for it being a medieval artwork and present good arguments that it is the burial cloth of Jesus.

Jordan: I don’t know means I don’t know I don’t. It does not mean therefore I do know and it was magic anyway.

Completely agree. And also I don’t know does not mean therefore it’s a fake.

The 3rd evidence is the C-14.

Jeremiah: “Number three the 1988 radiocarbon that’s c14 that’s the way things are dated in the scientific community. Radio carbon or Carbon 14 dating has been authoritatively shown to be utterly unreliable.”

Jordan: Wow now that is a bold statement. I’m sure he’s going to back it up with a ton of evidence.

Jordan: You would think that if you’re gonna make this one of your top five reasons you could have taken five minutes to understand it I mean or at least brush up on it maybe he does understand it.

Yeah, looks like Jeremiah has no idea about the details about C-14 dating. Jordan then spends several minutes explaining C-14 dating.

Jeremiah: “There are no less than six peer-reviewed Journal articles that call into question the three Laboratories that carried out the only radiocarbon dating which happened in 1988 on the Shroud of Turin.

Jordan: Well we wouldn’t want to be like your brothers in Christ and be
wrong because we haven’t read the articles. Which articles are they so we can go read them? Tou’re not you’re not you’re not going
to tell us? Okay well uh how about what they said? Can you at least tell me what they said? No not going to tell me that either? Just there’s some papers and trust me they they’re amazing?

Here’s the paper Rogers argues the sample is heterogeneous: … 3104004745

Here’s paper from Villarreal confirming heterogeneity:

Here’s paper from Brown with evidence of dyed cotton:

Even the official 1989 report mentions finding cotton:

Oxford thank P. H. South (Precision Process (Textiles) Ltd, Derby) for examining and identifying the cotton found on the shroud sample

Jordan again asserts an ad hoc explanation to account for the C-14 discrepancies.

Jordan: Let me emphasize that again a small difference in cleaning procedures from one lab to the others could be sufficient to explain the discrepancy between the three labs.

He then mentions about a defective ruler.

This is absurd this is ridiculous this is like noticing that your ruler has a factory defect and the lines aren’t quite evenly spaced you know so you’re trying to measure stick you see your rulers messed up like oh well well I guess the thing’s a kilometer long

What do you do with a ruler that is defective? Do you continue to use it or throw it away? Obviously you throw it away. Same with the 1988 C-14 dating. It should be thrown away.

Jordan: Jeremiah doesn’t call it this but this is known as the invisible reweave hypothesis.

He’s wanting to conjure this image that there’s like a patch it’s of a different material it’s cotton where’s the rest is linen.

According to William Meacham an archaeologist who published in 1983 he said quote my new traces of carbon fibers were discovered an indication that the Shroud was woven on a loom used for weaving.

Interestingly, this quote is before the 1988 C-14 dating. Not sure where Meacham found cotton, but most likely it was from the Raes sample. So then this is additional evidence the Raes corner is heterogeneous. When STURP members investigated the main part of the cloth, they did not find any cotton woven into the shroud.

Jordan: There are my new traces of cotton fibers there are a few fibers scattered all over.

The invisible reweave does not state it’s just a few random cotton fibers on the sample, but it was cotton yarn that was spliced with the linen yarn. There are trace material of many things found on the shroud – bugs, hair, pollen, dust, paint particles, etc. These are all inconsequential. But as for the Raes corner, there is evidence it was not just traces of cotton fibers, but cotton threads. I covered this in:


Here’s photographic evidence of a cotton thread that has been dyed that was from the C-14 sampled area:

Second reason is the VP8 image analyzer result.

Jeremiah: “This is my number two because again no other photo does this.”

To be clear another photo could do this if it were designed to do it that way.

This response doesn’t make any sense. The shroud would’ve been the first one to ever do this. And no artist has ever done this prior to the discovery with the VP-8. And how would a medieval artist have done this anyways without a VP-8 to confirm he did it right? Why would anyone do this anyways? So that it can be determined he was a super genius that would only be discovered centuries later?

Jordan again goes back to “I don’t know means I don’t know”.

Jordan: another thing that gets brought up constantly like it’s a slam dunk.Again I don’t know doesn’t mean therefore we do know in its magic. I don’t know means I don’t know.

Though Jeremiah doesn’t talk about this, the situation is not “I don’t know” for the authenticists, but there is a theory that does explain the depth encoding. So, if it’s “I don’t know” on the skeptics side and “I do have a theory” on the authenticist side, it would be a slam dunk.

Top reason Jeremiah gives is all data on the shroud, except for C-14, point to authenticity.

Reason #1: Kitchen sink

Jeremiah: “Shroud of Turin is legit because all data and I don’t use all lightly as a historian all the data excluding the c14 dating of the lower left quadrant of the Shroud which includes the floral the newest numismatic the textile the archaeological the hematological the fabric and the historical data point to a much earlier origin. Which helps us because it exhibits here’s the key word for the viewer very similitude with the world of Jesus.”

Jordan: Wow that was a lot of points he just kind of galloped past in a gishy sort of way now here’s the list again in case you missed it it went by pretty fast he said floral numismatic which is like having to do with coins textile archaeological hematological fabric which is different than textile in some way and historical data so I mean it’s kind of weird that he bundled seven points in point one.

Jeremiah: “Everything we see reflected in the crucified man in the Shroud of Turin is what we would expect if we saw an image of a crucified man from the first century in Judaica everything.”

Jordan: He does not justify a single thing he just said I am not kidding through the whole rest of this presentation he provides not one shred of evidence whatsoever to support his number one most slam dunk reason.

Jordan then goes to length addressing what Jeremiah might’ve been referring to. But he’s correct that Jeremiah does not go into any detail about these claims so it’s not sure what to really refute about his claims.

In conclusion, here’s Jordan’s analysis:

That’s their entire presentation? This is gotta be the worst presentation on the Shroud I’ve seen and I’ve seen a lot.

So Jordan has seen a lot of presentations and he decides to critique the worst presentation he’s seen? Why has he not picked the good presentations and addressed those instead? Why would skeptics want to attack the lowest hanging fruit and think they can then have any sort of strong counterargument against authenticity?