I taught Id share this awesome video by Phillip, Craig and Dean. God is Great!
So how did director Darren Aronofsky and his crew pull off the construction of the ark for their upcoming Biblical epic, “Noah”? The old-fashioned way: They actually constructed an ark.
For at least the pre-flood part of the story, a good percentage of the “vessel to survive the storm” in “Noah” is an actual set, the design of which was inspired by “going back to what God tells Noah in the Bible,” according to Aronofsky in this behind-the-scenes featurette.
The Bible doesn’t provide just a basic description, either — there are actual measurements.
“In [the Book of] Genesis, the dimensions of the ark are laid out: 30 cubits high by 50 cubits wide by 300 cubits long,” says production designer Mark Friedberg, explaining that a cubit is roughly “the dimension of your elbow to the tip of your forefinger.”
Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark 300 hundred cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the top; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.… —The voice of God, Genesis 6:14 – 6:16
The exterior set of the ark followed these guidelines and was “built to the actual scope described in the Bible,” according to Aronofsky. The completed set, which took a year to design and six months to build, ended up being 55 feet tall and 85 feet wide. Some digital work was implemented to make the ark seem 500 feet long, though the physical version’s length is still rather impressive at 165 feet.
“Noah” will open in theaters on March 28.
The Shroud of Turin and the investigation to prove its authenticity – Currents correspondent Katie Breidenbach spoke with someone who knows the Shroud very well.
New study claims an ancient earthquake can shed light on the Shroud of Turin
Is the Shroud of Turin real or fake? Its authenticity has long been questioned. Radiocarbon dating tests conducted in the 1980s concluded that the shroud dated to the 13th–14th century. A recently published study in the journal Meccanica, however, claims that an earthquake that hit Jerusalem in 33 C.E. may have increased the shroud’s carbon-14 levels—putting into doubt the accuracy of the original radiocarbon tests.
The shroud is purported to be Jesus’ burial cloth. Front and back images of a man who seems to have been crucified can be seen on the 14-by-3.5-foot linen cloth.
As described by Vaughn M. Bryant, Jr., in the November/December 2000 issue of BAR, the tradition of Jesus’ burial shroud and the cloth now known as the Shroud of Turin has had a long and complicated history:
Eusebius reports that in 30 A.D. a certain Thaddeus, one of Jesus’ disciples, gave “a cloth with an image on it” to King Abgar V, whose palace was in Edessa (in modern Turkey). Abgar was severely ill with what scholars now believe may have been leprosy. However, after Abgar touched the cloth, he was miraculously healed. The news of his cure spread rapidly, and soon many pilgrims were flocking to Edessa to see and touch the cloth. More than 900 years later, in 944, the emperor of the Byzantine Empire, Romanus I, wanted to obtain the “magic” cloth, which by then had become known as the Mandylion, or “Little Handkerchief.” The city of Edessa refused to give up its sacred relic, so Romanus I laid siege to the city until the people surrendered the Mandylion. The cloth was then taken to the Byzantine capital of Constantinople.
According to Byzantine historians, the Mandylion bore only the facial image of Jesus. Some believers today say that the Mandylion was the shroud, folded into eighths to make a small square, leaving only the face visible. (This may be why—if the Mandylion and the shroud are one and the same—historians did not record that the Mandylion contained a full-body image. But why they wouldn’t realize its true size is hard to fathom.) In 1204 Knights of the Temple of Solomon (an order of monk-knights, also known as the Knights Templar) of the Fourth Crusade reportedly took the cloth—whether the Mandylion or the shroud—to France. It remained in France until sometime during the early 1300s, when it was removed to England for safekeeping after King Philip IV of France destroyed and confiscated properties owned by the Knights of the Temple of Solomon. After about half a century in England, it returned to France, and in 1357 a French nobleman, Geoffrey de Charmy, displayed a cloth to the public in Lirey, France, as the “true burial shroud of Jesus.” However, he never revealed where the shroud came from nor how he acquired it. This is the first verifiable reference to the object now called the Shroud of Turin. In 1453 that cloth was given to the King of Savoy. For more than a century, it remained in a castle belonging to the House of Savoy in Chambéry, France. After surviving a fire in the castle in 1532, the shroud was eventually brought to Turin, where it has remained since 1578, in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
In this contrast-enhanced photo, details of the Shroud of Turin become more clear. It has been suggested that the white marks on the forehead are blood stains, perhaps caused by the crown of thorns said to have been placed on Jesus’ head in the Biblical accounts. Photo: Vernon Miller. Numerous scientific studies—from radiocarbon dating to x-ray and pollen analysis—have been conducted over the past century, and numerous theories have been put forth. The Shroud of Turin has been regarded as a relic, a forgery and even a work of art. A research team led by Alberto Carpinteri of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy hypothesized in a newly published study that an earthquake that hit Jerusalem in 33 C.E. may have been strong enough to cause neutron radiation. This phenomenon in turn may have created the images on the shroud through radiation imagery as well as corrupted the radiocarbon testing conducted on the shroud in the 1980s. It may therefore be possible that the shroud is older than the 13th–14th dates originally suggested by the 1980s radiocarbon dating studies.
The study by Carpinteri and his team has been met with some criticism. As Christopher Ramsey, director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, told LiveScience:
One question that would need to be addressed is why the material here is affected, but other archaeological and geological material in the ground is not. There are huge numbers of radiocarbon dates from the region for much older archaeological material, which certainly don’t show this type of intense in-situ radiocarbon production (and they would be much more sensitive to any such effects). Carpinteri’s research—on piezonuclear fission—has courted so much controversy that in 2012, the Italian research minister conceded to a call by over 1,000 scientists from Italy and abroad to take a closer look at the research program.
Did Shroud of Turin wrap body of Jesus?
He went on to work in advertising, but the pull of the religious icon never left him. And he’s never found a definitive answer to its central question: Did the shroud once wrap the body of Jesus of Nazareth?
“My own personal view is, I think it could be (authentic),” the Atlanta man said Thursday while briefly stranded in Florida due to the ice storm in his home state. “Let’s explore the mystery. Let’s find out what we know, and find out what we don’t know.”
He will be coming to Minnesota State University on Wednesday. His talk, “Shroud Encounter,” starts at 7 p.m. in the student union’s ballroom. It’s free and open to the public.
The talk is sponsored by the Newman Center, a Catholic ministry near Minnesota State University.
The center heard about his talks, and asked him to come, said Joe Bakken, campus minister.
Their goal is to get a conversation about the shroud going.
“The mystery of the shroud is intriguing in general,” Bakken said. “Is it the burial shroud of Jesus Christ or is it a hoax?”
He said the Catholic Church has not claimed it to be either. Instead, the church calls it an object of veneration, a reminder of Jesus’ suffering, because its wearer was apparently scourged and crucified.
Breault likes that viewpoint.
“It’s in the heart of the individual believer, if you want to believe it’s authentic or not,” he said.
Breault isn’t a chemist or a forensic pathologist, but he’s familiar with their work.
He said scientific analysis has shown that the shroud belongs to someone with puncture wounds indicating its wearer was crucified, as evidenced by the blood stains.
Most tellingly to Breault, the shroud has markings consistent with the crown of thorns, the mocking punishment meted out to the man who some called the king of the Jews.
But attendees to his talk should have plenty of facts to defend whichever side they choose.
Radiocarbon dating completed in 1988 could have put these questions to rest. They have not.
Though the tests showed that the shroud originated between 1260 and 1390, the testing took one sample from a corner, Breault said. They should have taken three patches from different parts of the material. Moreover, the corner they chose is chemically different from the rest of the garment.
Further tests completed last year by a team from Padua University dated the shroud between 280 B.C. and 220 A.D.
He’s also bringing what he said is a museum-quality reproduction of the shroud.
And even if the shroud didn’t wrap the body of Jesus, doesn’t its centuries-old lineage and veneration make it an object of wonder?
Breault agrees, to a point.
“We live in a scientific, skeptical age. At the end of the day, I don’t care how religious someone is, they’d like to know whether this thing is authentic or not.”
The authenticity of the Shroud of Turin has been in question for centuries and scientific investigations over the last few decades have only seemed to muddle the debate. Is the revered cloth a miracle or an elaborate hoax?
Now, a study claims neutron emissions from an ancient earthquake that rocked Jerusalem could have created the iconic image, as well as messed up the radiocarbon levels that later suggested the shroud was a medieval forgery. But other scientists say this newly proposed premise leaves some major questions unanswered.
The Shroud of Turin, which bears a faint image of a man’s face and torso, is said to be the fabric that covered Jesus’ body after his crucifixion in A.D. 33. Though the Catholic Church doesn’t have an official position on the cloth, the relic is visited by tens of thousands of worshippers at the Turin Cathedral in Italy each year.
Carbon and quakes
Radiocarbon dating tests conducted at three different labs in the 1980s indicated the cloth was less than 800 years old, produced in the Middle Ages, between approximately A.D. 1260 and 1390. The first records of the shroud begin to appear in medieval sources around the same time, which skeptics don’t think is a coincidence. Those results were published in the journal Nature in 1989. But critics in favor of a much older date for the cloth have alleged that those researchers took a sample of fabric that was used to patch up the burial shroud in the medieval period, or that the fabric had been subjected to fires, contamination and other damaged that skewed the results.
The new theory hinges on neutrons released by a devastating earthquake that hit Old Jerusalem around the same time that Jesus is believed to have died.
All living things have the same ratio of stable carbon to radioactive carbon-14, but after death, the radioactive carbon decays in a predictable pattern over time. That’s why scientists can look at the carbon-14 concentration in organic archaeological materials like fabrics, bones and wood to estimate age. Carbon-14 is typically created when neutrons from cosmic rays collide with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere (though it can be unleashed by manmade nuclear reactions, too).
The group of scientists, led by Alberto Carpinteri of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy, suspect high-frequency pressure waves generated in the Earth’s crust during this earthquake could have produced significant neutron emissions. (They simulated this by crushing very brittle rock specimens under a press machine.)
These neutron emissions could have interacted directly with nitrogen atoms in the linen fibers, inducing chemical reactions that created the distinctive face image on the shroud, the scientists say. The reactions also could have led to “a wrong radiocarbon dating,” which would explain the results of the 1989 experiments, Carpinteri said in a statement.
Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical engineering at Padua University, published a book last year “Il Mistero della Sindone,” translated as “The Mystery of the Shroud,” (Rizzoli, 2013), arguing that his own analysis proves the shroud dates to Jesus’ lifetime. In an email, Fanti said he is not sure if a neutron emission is the only possible source responsible for creating the body image. (His own theories include a corona discharge.) However, he wrote that he is “confident” the 1980s radiocarbon dating “furnished wrong results probably due to a neutron emission.”
Even if it is theoretically possible for earthquake-generated neutrons to have caused this kind of reaction, the study doesn’t address why this effect hasn’t been seen elsewhere in the archaeological record, Gordon Cook, a professor of environmental geochemistry at the University of Glasgow, explained.
“It would have to be a really local effect not to be measurable elsewhere,” Cook told Live Science. “People have been measuring materials of that age for decades now and nobody has ever encountered this.”
Christopher Ramsey, director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, had a similar issue with the findings.
“One question that would need to be addressed is why the material here is affected, but other archaeological and geological material in the ground is not,” Ramsey wrote in an email. “There are huge numbers of radiocarbon dates from the region for much older archaeological material, which certainly don’t show this type of intense in-situ radiocarbon production (and they would be much more sensitive to any such effects).”
Ramsey added that using radiocarbon dating to study objects from seismically active regions, such as regions like Japan, generally has not been problematic.
It seems unlikely that the new study, published in the journal Meccanica, will settle any of the long-standing disputes about how and when the cloth was made, which depend largely on faith.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3 –Hydrogen nuclear fusion produces Helium and the light and heat of the universe. It wasn’t a lucky co-incidence, but the work of God’s infinite mind.
“All things were made through him (Jesus Christ), and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:3-4 (ESV) – People can’t live without physical light and heat. They can’t live forever without the spiritual light from the warmth of God’s love.
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5—God is Holy, Righteous, Pure Love.
“Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:16-God’s Astounding Glory!
“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path…”Psalm 119:105 – Use your Bible!
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” Isaiah 9:2 –Prophecy about Jesus’ ministry in lowly Nazareth.
“..and He (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:1-2—Peter, James and John, saw His light!
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:19-21—People change when they believe in Jesus!
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)—Jesus must be followed!
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6 – The Creator’s light shines in Jesus’s face which is full of grace and truth.
“To open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 – Paul related Jesus’ words to him after he was blinded, and had his spiritual eyes opened on the road to Damascus.
“…that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” Acts 26:23—God’s light clearly shines from Jesus’ empty tomb.
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Pet. 1:16—Peter’s eyewitness account is perfect evidence for faith in Jesus.