Read Did Ancient Byzantine Artists Copy from the Shroud? See icons and images of Jesus’ face based on the shroud painted by artists over a thousand years ago.

In March of 2010 the History Channel aired The Real Face of Jesus. See the fascinating pictures of Jesus’ face that computer artists derived from the Turin Shroud.

The face of Jesus as a boy based on the Shroud aged backward by Italian forensic expertsPictured right is an image of Jesus’ boyhood face as aged backward by Italian forensics experts. Very cool.

Here’s an awesome LIVE webcam of the Holy Shroud’s Chapel in Turin (Turino Italy).  Every five minutes a new image is sent to the web page.  Refresh the page every five minutes to get the latest updated picture.  I “watched” it during a recent sunrise in Italy (after midnight in my locale).  This church gets its own webcam because this object is the holiest object in Christendom. It actually touched Jesus’ body and face AND it is physical proof of the resurrection because they can’t to this day determine WHAT caused the image to form.  (Hint to those skeptics:  the holy heat of the resurrection).

UPDATE: From April 10 to May 23, 2010 when you view the webcam above you will see much activity and probably throngs of people lined up outside, because for the first time in 20 years, the Shroud is open to the public. 1.5 million people signed up for a chance to view it…for three to five minutes as they file thru.

If only our powerbase, the sacred Temple Mount had a webcam.  You know,I wonder if the muslims have one set up to view the Dome of the Rock? I saw one set up by Jews showing the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall).

Gold Solidus Byzantine Coin 690AD first to show Jesus likeness Copy of Shroud face?
During the first reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian II (685-695), the first known coinage to feature Christ’s portrait appeared. The gold solidus at right dates from ca. 690
Image from The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the XXth Century, ed. Fr. Georges de Nantes (May 2000).
The Whangers (1998:20) found 145 points of congruence between the Justinian solidus and the Shroud face.  — Mark D. Williams Shroud website

Looking at both images it seems enlighteningly obvious that the coin is copied from the image on the shroud.  Look at the huge T (the Tau!) on his face with another bar looking shape for his mouth/mustache.  Look how the eyebrows are like bars and the eyes are round and beady on the coin because they didn’t know those were coins placed on the dead body’s eyes (to pay the ferryman after death).  The little double strand of hair above the forehead is there, too, and the high cheekbones.  This really clinches it for me that the shroud was not made in the 1300s! The coin clearly dates to 690AD and somebody had access to the shroud when they made this coin’s die-cast!

Positive image of the Shroud face. This is how the ancients would've seen the Shroud face, not having a photo negative available

My favorite  image based on the shroud, and my favorite image of Jesus’ face, is the modern composite one below that nobody knows who created. Some say NASA made it,  others say Sai Baba got it from on high!

Jesus from the South Gallery of the Hagia Sophia, the XC means Xristoc pronounced Kristos
From the South Gallery of the Hagia Sophia, part of the Mosaicof the Deesis, dates to 1260 – 1280 AD.

The Christ Pantocrator, (ca. 1148 C.E.) from the mosaic in the apse of Cefalù Cathedral, Cefalù, Sicily.  Look at his hand gesture. His fingers make the christogram, now a priestly blessing.  This is also the hand position the Old Believers of Russia still insist on using for making the sign of the cross.  Remember in our Catechumen Lessons we discussed how a change was forced upon the people 200 years ago and now the Orthodox Christians make the sign of the cross with their thumb touching the first two fingers and the other two fingers, ring and little finger,curled in toward the palm.

Christogram hand sign original sign of the crossJennifer Emick writes in her vast online SymbolDictionary:  “This is a gesture known as the Christogram, and is considered the original “sign of the cross.” The fingers are positioned to form the Greek letters ICXC, an abbreviation of the Greek name of Christ:IHCOYC XRICTOC. This gesture is ubiquitous in Renaissance images of Christ and the apostles, as well as in portraits of Saints and clergy. [+Katia adds:  And ubiquitous in Byzantine and early Christian depictions of Jesus].

The Christogram is used today as a traditional gesture of blessing by priests in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Bishop Katia uses it when she gives a blessing, and teaches the priests she ordains to do so also.

Curiously, the same gesture is known in Hindu and Buddhist traditions as the prana mudra, a symbol of healing.”

Mudras are “seals” and have been used in the Far East. See Wikipedia’s article on Mudras. I like the mudra used for expelling demons. How interesting it also is the “I love you” in sign language and if you fold the thumb, becomes the rude gesture Europeans call “corna”. Here’s the excerpt from Wikipedia:

Karana Mudra

The Karana mudra is the mudra which expels demons and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts. It is made by raising the index and the little finger, and folding the other fingers. It is nearly the same as the rude gesture known as corna in many western countries [whose origins can be traced to Ancient Greece], the difference is that in the Karana mudra the thumb does not hold down the middle and ring finger [but merely touches the tip of the middle finger]. (This mudra is also known as Tarjani mudra; Japanese: Funnu-in, Fudo-in).

Joseon Dynasty figure here makes the Karana mudra.

Jesus is often depicted with a book in his hand.  (Interestingly, so is Magdalene). On the gold solidus coin and the Hagia Sophia mosaic (two images up) his book has 12 jewels on it like the jewels on the breastplate of the High Priest in the Temple.  Look at his hand language, and the book, below…

Christ Pantocrator mosaic (ca. 1050-1100) from the dome of the Church at Daphni, near Athens
Christ Pantocrator mosaic (ca. 1050-1100) from the dome of the Church at Daphni, near Athens