The Takhat Sulaiman (Throne of Solomon) is a large temple situated on the top of a hillock near the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir. It was renamed Sankarachariya by the Hindu Maharaja in 1848. There are four inscriptions, in Persian Sulus script, chiseled onto this monument, two of which are still legible. The inscriptions are recorded in Khwaja Hassan Malik’s book, Tarikh-i-Kashmir (Khwaja Hassan Malik, Tarikh-i-Kashmir, f. 56).
Concerning the year 54, mentioned in the inscriptions cited below, Professor Fida Hassnain notes the following:
“Note that since Islam did not exist during the reign of Gopadatta (79-109 AD), connecting the year 54 with the Muslim Hijra Era is absurd. During that period, the Laukika Era was exclusively used in Kashmir. As this era started in 3076 BC, the 54th year mentioned in the inscription would come to either 22 BC or 78 AD (since Laukika Year 1 is 3076 BC, 3054 would be 22 BC, and 3154 would be 78 AD.) As it was not possible for Jesus Christ to have traveled to Kashmir in 22 BC, I take the year 78 AD to be the correct date of his arrival.”
The Persian script is still legible on the monument today. That script is composed of the first two lines of an original four lines that once appeared on the monument. The last two lines can still be seen on the monument, but are now illegible.
We present the transliteration of the original four lines of the Persian script (recorded in several works, as you will read below), then the English translation follows.
“Maimar een satoon Raj Bihishti Zargar. Sal panjah wa chahar”
“Een satoon bardast Khwaja Rukun bin Murjan”
“Dar een waqt Yuz Asaf da’wa-i-paighambari mikunad, Sal punjah wa chakar.”
“Aishan Yusu Paighambar-i-Bani Israel ast.”
Khawaja Nazir Ahmad:
In his book, Jesus in Heaven on Earth: Journey of Jesus to Kashmir, his preaching to the Lost Tribes of Israel and death and burial in Srinagar, Nazir Ahmad states:
“After the conquest of Kashmir by the Sikhs, these last two inscriptions were mutilated. They are still visible but cannot be read intelligibly (Pirzada Ghulam Hasan, Tarikh-i-Kashmir, MSS. Vol. 3 f. 25 (b) (Research Library, Srinagar). Mulla Nadiri, the earliest Muslim historian of Kashmir, whom I have already quoted, gives the text of the last two only (Mulla Nadiri, Tariki-i-Kashmir, MSS. f. 35). It is identical with the one given by me. He mentions only these two, probably because they contained information of far greater historical value than the first two inscriptions. Khwaja Hassan Malik Chaduara, who wrote his Tarikh-i-Kashmir during the reign of Emperor Jahangir, mentions all the four inscriptions but does not give their text at all. (Khawaj Hassan Malik Chaduara, Tarikh-i-Kashmir, MSS.f 2-12). In Wajeez-ut-Tawarikh four inscriptions are mentioned but the text of the first three only is given. Khawaja Hassan Malik in his Tarikh-i-Kashmir also speaks of these four inscriptions. I will quote only the first and third inscriptions given in his book:
1. Maimar een satoon Raj Bihishti Zargar. Sal panjah wa chaharam.
3. Dar een waqt Yuz Asaf da’ wa-i-paighambari mikunad. Sal panjah wa chahar.”
“This reads exactly as the wording already given. It must be noted that during the times these three writers wrote their histories the inscriptions were intact and had not been obliterated.
“Major H.H. Cole gives photographic reproductions of the first two inscriptions. They read:
- Maimar een satoon Raj Bihishti Zargar. Sal panjah wa chaharam
- Een satoon bardast Khwaja Rukun bin Murjan. (Major H.H. Cole, Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir, 1, A, 68-69.)
“Again, I would like to point out that the first inscription as given by Major Cole corresponds exactly with the wording given by Mulla Nadiri. Major Cole also, without quoting their text, speaks of the two inscriptions:
‘There are also two mutilated inscriptions on each side of the two flank walls encasing the stairs. Their characters are in Persian’ (Ibid, 8).
The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Christ?
The Shroud of Turin is probably the most famous relic of the Christian world, but could it provide unique evidence to support the idea Jesus survived the Crucifixion?
The most authoritative website on the Shroud of Turin is Barrie Schwortz's Shroud of Turin Website (www.shroud.com). Mr. Barrie Schwortz was the photographer responsible for photographing every square centimetre of the Shroud of Turin during the 1978 STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) scientific investigations.
The Shroud of Turin provides fascinating insight in to the events of the Crucifixion and for some researchers supports the thesis that Jesus survived the ordeal, first proposed by a Catholic author, Kurt Berna, in his book, Christ Did not Perish on the Cross, published in German in 1962, and in English in 1975. Later, In 1995, Holger Kersten, offering updated research, published the book, The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud and the Truth about the Resurrection, in which he drew the same conclusion that Berna had drawn: that the markings and stains on the Shroud of Turin show not that the Man of the Shroud was dead, but that he was alive.
But wait - was the Shroud not exposed as a fake by radio carbon dating in 1988? Challenging new evidence has just come to light by chemical analysis of the samples taken for the carbon dating tests. The research paper by Raymond N Rogers claims to prove that the sample taken for the C14 test and an adjacent sample both show chemical characteristics that prove that they are from a rewoven part of the Shroud rather than the original cloth itself. This invalidates the C14 test as they were not carried out upon the actual original shroud cloth. This exciting new piece of research is examined in the section on Ray Rogers recent paper.
The Shroud Image and its Negative
The Shroud of Turin - Carbon Dating[top]
In October of 1987, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, of Turin, Italy, approved a list of three radiocarbon laboratories that would be allowed enough samples of the Shroud to carry out the test. These labs were: The Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s radiocarbon-dating facility at Zurich, and the University of Arizona’s facility at Tucson. The results was performed, and on October 13, 1988 in the British Museum’s Press Room, it was announced that the carbon dating had dated the Shroud to somewhere between the years 1260-1390. The conclusion was that the Shroud was a fake.
|Invalid Dating Result
Current modern research shows the sample taken for the dating was not a part of the original cloth, but a rewoven area of the cloth. Thus the dating is invalid.
The Shroud of Turin - Ray Rogers' 2005 Paper [top]
On January 20th 2005 Raymond N Rogers had an article published in the chemistry journal "Thermochimica Acta", Volume 425, Issues 1-2, pages 189 - 194. The paper was titled "Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of Turin". In the abstract for the paper Roger made the bold statement:
"The radiocarbon sampling area was uniquely covered with a yellow-brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Prolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area couple with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the age of the shroud."
Rogers' findings extend further than simply declaring the sample taken for the C14 tests to not be from the actual cloth. In the process of carrying out his chemical analysis, in particular the analysis of the amount of vanillin lost from the lignin on the shroud, he was able to estimate that the Shroud of Turin was most likely between 1300 and 3000 years old, much older than the C14 tests suggested (click here for more details). In a recent TV documentary Barrie Schwortz noted:
"Amazingly when we look at the UV florescence photography of that area; the area where the samples were taken is dramatically different to the rest of the Shroud of Turin."
The implications for this are huge. The single biggest obstacle for the scientific community in taking the Shroud of Turin seriously was the carbon 14 dating result of 1988. This result has now been declared null and void.
Ray Rogers [1927-2005]
Ray Rogers sadly passed away on March 8th 2005 after a long illness. Ray was the Director of the Chemical Research Group for STURP.
The first person to theorize that the Shroud markings indicate that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion was a Catholic man named Kurt Berna. The book was entitled 'Christ did not perish on the cross'. It is clear that he considered himself to be a good Christian, who was only attempting to set the record straight. He saw his discovery as confirming Christian teachings, and he cited a verse from the Bible to support his belief that the Shroud of Turin shows that Jesus physically survived the crucifixion:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have.” (Bible, Luke 24:39)
Berna stated in his book:
“The Gospels were written in the first century, at a time when a person was considered dead if he had stopped breathing. But it was held by the Apostles and the early Church that the body of Jesus Christ in the tomb was imputrescible [incapable of decay]. We know, two thousand years later, that to be imputrescible a body needs blood circulation... And this is exactly the important scientific fact proved by the Holy Shroud: the body was imputrescible in the tomb—the scientific proof, in fact, for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with flesh and bones, as Jesus said in Luke 24:39…”.
Click here for an extended extract from Kurt Berna's book.
The Shroud of Turin - The DNA of God? [top]
Controversy raged following the 1988 carbon dating incident, but research continued. There was some debate about if it was blood or paint upon the Shroud and this was an area of further work.
In 1995, threads that had been taken from the Shroud during the 1978 STURP investigations were examined at Genoa’s Institute of Legal Medicine. These threads had been taken from the foot area of the Shroud. Professor Marcello Canale, reported the following:
“‘We have extracted the DNA present on these tiny threads and have amplified this with a chain reaction that allows us, via a particular enzyme, to keep on replicating the DNA an infinite number of times. It is a method that can be used even in the case of a single cell…The DNA chain is very long, and we are able to identify very small sectors representing individual characteristics which can ultimately enable us to identify the individual from whom they derive.’”
Dr. Victor Tyron and his wife, Nancy Mitchell Tyron of Texas University’s Center for Advanced DNA Technologies, performed an independent test for DNA.
They first established that the threads contained human blood, and then that DNA was present in the blood.
The Shroud of Turin - The Oviedo Cloth [top]
Just as important as the Shroud of Turin and intricately connected with the Shroud its surprising that the Ovideo cloth, or 'Sudarium', has had such little media coverage, and is far less well known.
The Ovideo cloth claims to be the sudarium (face-cloth) applied to Jesus after the crucifixion and covered his face whilst transporting him to his tomb. These details are known from studying blood flows on the cloth as well as studying its recorded history. Using image overlay techniques Dr Alan Whanger was able to show that the frontal stains on the Sudarium share 70 points of coincidence with the Shroud, and the rear side shows 50. Thus there is very strong evidence that they both covered the same man at the same time. Both clothes also contain blood belonging to the rare AB blood group.
Interestingly the Sudarium has a documented history much before the C-14 date for the Shroud. In a recent TV documentary Mark Guscin, the leading English speaking expert on the topic, also states that some of the blood stains on the cloth are from the body "whilst its still alive". In this same interview Guscin also reveals that by studying the folds its clear the cloth was pinned to one side and did not cover the full face in Jesus' case.
The cloth was not wrapped entirely round the head because the right cheek was almost touching the right shoulder. This suggests that the sudarium was put into place while the body was still on the cross. The 2nd stain was made about 60mins later, when the body was taken down. The 3rd stain was made when the body was lifted from the ground about 45mins later.
The body was lying at the foot of the cross for about 45mins before being buried. The marks (not fingerprints) of the fingers that held the cloth to the nose are also visible.
Aloe & Myrrh
Felipe Monero, an expert in working with electronic microscopes, has found residues of what is most probably myrrh and aloes on the sudarium.