Tag Archives: Antonio Lombatti

Antonio Lombatti: The Shroud Debunked

Matthew Kalman has a brilliant report in the Daily Mail which features the complete debunking of the Shroud of Turin lunacy.  I hope this is the final nail in the Shroud-ers coffin.  It most decidedly should be.

It has been venerated for centuries as the burial shroud of Jesus and has attracted thousands to the chapel where it lies.  But an eminent Church historian says the Turin Shroud is probably a medieval fake and just one of 40 similar cloths circulating in Europe until the 18th century.  In a new study, Antonio Lombatti, a Church historian at the Universita Popolare in Parma, Italy, says the shroud appears to have originated in Turkey some 1,300 years after the crucifixion of Jesus in the Holy Land.


In a research paper to be published later this month in the scholarly journal ‘Studi Medievali,’ Lombatti says the shroud was most likely given to a French knight as a memento from a crusade to Smyrna, Turkey in the 14th century.


‘The Turin Shroud is only one of the many burial cloths which were circulating in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. There were at least 40,’ said Lombatti, citing research by the 19th-century French historian Francois de Mely, who had studied surviving medieval documents. ‘Most of them were destroyed during the French revolution. Some had images, others had blood-like stains, and others were completely white,’ Lombatti told the Daily Mail.  Based on unpublished manuscripts at the National Library of Paris, Lombatti reveals that the shroud was obtained by the French knight, Geoffroy de Charny, during a crusade to liberate the Turkish city of Smyrna from Muslim rule in 1346.

There’s a lot more which you will want to read and pass along.

Lombatti on Charlesworth’s ‘Reading’ of the Ossuary

Ok I said I wasn’t going to mention the vampire (ossuary) anymore but I can’t let pass Antonio’s sage albeit brief observation:

James Charlesworth’s interpretation of the lines and scratches at the bottom of the vase on the “Jonah ossuary” is arbitrary: he connects and/or disconnects them to obtain the desired result. As you can see above, the lines are a decorative motif and there is no inscription. Not a single Jewish ossuary has ever been found with a name inscribed in/near an image. This reminds me how people say they can read Greek and Aramaic inscriptions on the Turin Shroud, but obviously they see something that isn’t there.

See his post for the image to which he refers.  Here’s what Charlesworth says…

“Most likely,” says Princeton Theological Seminary scholar James Charlesworth, director of a project on the Dead Sea Scrolls, “we may comprehend the inscription as reading ‘Jonah.’ And I have no doubt it is a fish.”

That’s beyond comprehensible.  The only way to comprehend the ‘inscription’ as saying Jonah is to see it Rorschach style.  ‘What does this look like to you Prof. Charlesworth?’  ‘It looks like Yonah’.    Good grief.

If Prof. Charlesworth is right, then a consensus may form that the ossuary depicts Jonah being vomited out of the mouth of the fish. Because Jesus mentions “the sign of Jonah” in the Gospel of Matthew, the saga is traditionally used as a metaphor for his resurrection.

The problem is that Charlesworth isn’t right.  What on earth is going on with him these days?

The Chronicle of Higher Education: On the Verdict

Matthew Kalman has another report with more information and opinion in the wake of the verdict in The Chronicle of Higher Education including those asserting the authenticity of the inscriptions (in the middle of the essay) followed by those who don’t (at the end).  We pick up with the latter –

Across the Tel Aviv University campus, Yuval Goren, a prosecution witness and professor in the department of archaeology and ancient Near Eastern civilizations, was equally insistent in the opposite direction.

“I examined the materials covering the ossuary and the inscription, and we found out that the materials covering the inscription were not created in the natural processes typical of the Judean mountains area over the last 2,000 years,” said Mr. Goren.

“Since the verdict is not guilty, it means the accused had, first of all, very good lawyers but also there was no legal way to connect between them and the fraud. But it doesn’t really change much about the scientific conclusions because they are unrelated,” he insisted. “I think the scientific data still stands for itself.”

His view is supported by James E. West, adjunct professor of biblical studies at the Quartz Hill School of Theology and moderator of an influential online forum on biblical archaeology.

“Golan has harmed the field of archaeology in incalculable ways,” said Mr. West. “Whenever real, and important, discoveries are made, the public will view them with skepticism because now there will always underlie them the potential that they too are fakes. It may have been a good verdict for Golan personally—but for the field of ‘biblical archaeology’, this is a sad day, a bad day, and in truth, a tragic day.”

Israel Finkelstein, another professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, was also a prosecution witness. He continues to believe the items are fakes and says archaeologists should avoid any item not found in a supervised excavation.

“A judicial procedure is one thing and an academic investigation—and debate—is another,” said Mr. Finkelstein. “As far as I can judge, there is enough evidence against the authenticity of the inscription on the ossuary and the Jehoash inscription.”

Eric M. Meyers, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Duke University, said the failure to prove the items were forged “in no way means that they are authentic. The burden of proof that falls on the prosecution in a criminal case must rise to a high level of proof beyond reasonable doubt. The fact that the defendants have been acquitted thus does not end the matter of the quest to decide authenticity. This leaves much opportunity for academic opinion to continue to believe that these artifacts are not authentic and to question their provenance.”

Antonio Lombatti, an Italian church historian, said he expected the debate to continue. “If the carbon dating of the Turin shroud in 1988 didn’t put the word ‘end’ to the debate, I won’t expect a trial verdict to have the last word on a Jewish ossuary,” he said.

Antonio, you’re right…

Lombatti on Tabor and Jacobovici’s Fishy Claim

Antonio, as always, has frank insight into the ‘fish carving’ recently ‘discovered’ by Simcha and James in connection to the ‘Jesus family tomb’:

 The image found by Jacobovici et al. is not unique at all. Similar representaions have been found on Jewish ossuaries (see Rahmani and Figueras). The one over here was taken randomly from Rahmani’s volume. I’m not convinced that the fish shown in The Jesus Discovery book is a whale eating Jonah. It might be, but I’m skeptic. Much more interesting is the fish-like graffito found on ossuary n. 402 (Figueras) on which there’s also the name ישוע (Jesus). That would be worth investigating and, maybe, writing a book as well (I’ll post on this ossuary later on, don’t have much time now…).

So if these images are not unique, there goes the main claim to fame being put forth by the ‘discovery’.  Thoroughly unsurprising, isn’t it, that a button is being made into a suit by Simcha and Tabor.

Giovanni Garbini’s Newest Volume

I’ve heard (specifically from Antonio Lombatti) that Garbini’s newest volume is quite interesting.  Antonio remarks

It’s impressive. On linguistic grounds he advances the hypothesis that the Hebrew Bible was written only in the Late Hellenistic Age, and that the “monotheism ideology” of the Jews fully developed around 1st c. BC and 1st c. AD!

Must reading!

The Gospel of the Holy Grail

Antonio Lombatti’s newest volume arrived courtesy his publisher today and I’m looking forward to diving in (though it may – in fact – be a few weeks before I can as I’m presently working on several large projects).

IL VANGELO DEL SANTO GRAAL, says the publisher,

Chiunque possegga la coppa del Sacro Graal ha un indicibile potere sulle leggi del mondo, e solo un cavaliere, il predestinato, può riuscire ad ottenerla, dopo aver superato prove perigliose.

Molto si è detto e scritto sul Graal, le leggende si sono intrecciate nel corso dei secoli, ed il Graal ha assunto forme diverse: una coppa, una pietra caduta dal cielo, un simbolo, il calice che ha raccolto il sangue di Cristo.
Per far luce nei meandri dei significati e nelle false credenze, Antonio Lombatti ha indagato con la consueta perizia ed ha portato alla luce il rapporto del Graal con ciò che è terreno e ciò che è spirituale.

Il “Vangelo del Santo Graal” ci conduce nel mito, nella storia, nella leggenda, senza disdegnare i numerosi riferimenti letterari, filmografici e musicali ed il viaggio in questa narrazione risulta ipnotico e sincero. Ne usciamo come da una esperienza mistica, con qualche certezza in più.

A Forthcoming Volume on the ‘Holy Grail’ by Antonio Lombatti

Il vangelo del santo graal is coming out on December 3rd.

Antonio Lombatti ci svela, con la precisione di sempre, gli arcani misteri della storia e le leggende legate al sacro Graal.  Un libro molto particolare, che unisce la storia alla ricerca, imperdibile nelle nostre librerie.

I’m looking forward to reviewing it, a lot.  Anotnio’s books are always enlightening and really wondrously written and engaging.  His publisher notes

Antonio Lombatti si è laureato all’Università di Pisa ed è membro della Deputazione di Storia Patria e della Society of Biblical Literature. Nel 1997 ha fondato la rivista internazionale di sindonologia «Approfondimento Sindone». Autore di cinque libri (Il Graal e la Sindone; Sfida alla Sindone; Il culto delle reliquie; Geoffroy de Charny. Il cavaliere della Sindone; Inchiesta sulla Bibbia) ha pubblicato anche numerosi articoli scientifici. Per Accademia Vis Vitalis ha pubblicato nel 2010: I Templari e le reliquie. Collabora con il CICAP nel campo del paranormale religioso.

If you’re in San Francisco for SBL and you see the chap above, stop him, tell him you wish you had read everything he’s written, and then shuffle off to learn Italian so you can.  You won’t regret it.  I call him Antonio ‘the Mythbuster’ Lombatti.  I think it suits him.