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Guillermo Gonzalez for sending me the issue of BAR with the Shroud article last November and encouraging me to act on it.Stephen Mattingly - Previously unpublished response to the article "A Letter to Hershel Shanks, Editor of BAR" by Dr.Such objects first appeared during the sixth century, in the Holy Land; in Greek they are called acheiropoietai (singular, acheiropoietos), which means "not made by human hands." They are called this because they are (apparently) contact impressions of holy bodies.They have become relics through physical contact with the sacred, and they are icons because of the resultant image; but in neither case is there (by definition, at least) any intervention by an artist.With bloodstains on the back, wrists, feet, side and head the image appears to be that of a crucified man.The details - the direction of the flow of blood from the wounds, the placement of the nails through the wrists rather than the palms - displays a knowledge of crucifixion that seems too accurate to have been that of a medieval artist.

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This relic (the column) appears for the first time in fifth-century historical sources, which describe its location in the Church of Holy Sion; but it is only in the sixth century that pilgrims began to see the image of Jesus' hands and chest impressed into its stone surface, left there, presumably, as Jesus was bound in place for the flagellation.

Alan Whanger - Previously unpublished response to the article When the Shroud of Turin went on display this spring for the first time in 20 years, it made the cover of Time magazine with the blurb "Is this Jesus?

" In BAR, we summarized the controversy that has enshrouded this relic, venerated for centuries as the burial cloth of Jesus ("Remains to Be Seen," Strata, Julyl August 1998, p 13).

The most characteristic form of acheiropoietos, however, is the holy cloth. Veronica stepped forward to wipe the sweat from Jesus' brow as he stumbled toward Calvary, and her towel already transformed into a relic through that holy contact miraculously retained the image of Jesus' face.

Known as Veronica's Veil, the relic became one of the most famous acheiropoietai of the Middle Ages.* Another such cloth image (also generated by perspiration) was produced on the night of the betrayal, as Jesus prayed intently at Gethsemane.And then there is the Shroud of Turin, seemingly produced by blood, blood plasma and sweat absorbed from Jesus' dead body at the time of entombment (see box, p. Several reputed examples of each of these holy-iconcloths have surfaced over the centuries.