Deeper Waters Podcast 2/13/2016: Mark Antonacci

What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The resurrection of Jesus is the central fact of the Christian faith and the rock on which everything else stands. If the resurrection is not true, then in agreement with Paul, we are above all men to be pitied. There is a lot about the resurrection of Jesus that as it were remains shrouded in mystery for some of us and one object that can remain shrouded in mystery is, well, the shroud itself.

That is, the Shroud of Turin.

This is a relic that caused a stir when it was discovered and to this day, it is still disputed. Most of us would no doubt consider it something remarkable and even those who are its critics do not have a way in mind yet that someone was able to make the image on their with all the ins and outs that it possesses. You might make an image that looks similar, but not one that has all the features that the Shroud of Turin has.

I prefer looking at different arguments for the resurrection, but I find the Shroud intriguing. What got me to get this book was a conversation with Gary Habermas when he told me about this book that he was reading about the Shroud of Turin. I decided to contact the author and see if he would be willing to come on and talk about the book. That author is Mark Antonacci and he is coming on to discuss his book Test The Shroud.

Going through, it is hard to imagine a book on the Shroud of Turin being more exhaustive in its scope. I can hardly think of a single topic about the Shroud that is not covered. For those who are concerned about the Carbon 14 dating test, yes, that is covered. For those who are concerned about the history of the Shroud, yes. That is covered. Antonacci has really left no stone uncovered in this massive work.

Hopefully also, we’ll be able to get the language in it to be more amenable to the layman as often he does speak in strong scientific terms that I will frankly admit I was getting lost in. Perhaps that is unavoidable, but when he spoke about the topics that I am familiar with being a student of the New Testament, I found that I was right there with him. If I could recommend at this point in time one book for someone curious about the nature of the Shroud of Turin, I would recommend this one.

We’ll be having Mark Antonacci be our guest and I do intend to try to ask the hard questions about the Shroud for all who are skeptical of it. At this point, I personally lean towards it being the real deal because there is just so much unexplainable about it, but it is not something I make an argument out of because I have not studied it that in-depth. I am thankful for people like Mark Antonacci who have and I hope you will be here for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Test The Shroud

What do I think of Mark Antonacci’s book published by LE Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In talking to my wife about reviewing this book I said this book could be more accurately named “Everything You Wanted To Know About The Shroud of Turin But Was Afraid To Ask.” It is hard to imagine a more comprehensive book on the Shroud of Turin than this one. Want to know about the flora on the shroud? It’s here. Want to know about the coins? It’s here. Want to know about medieval painting and how it was influenced by the shroud? It’s here. Want to have an interpretation that seeks to work with the NT data? It’s here. Want in-depth scientific argumentation relating to the shroud? It’s here. Want to know about the suspected history of the shroud? It’s here. Yeah, but what about that Carbon-14 dating that placed it in the medieval period? Talked about in abundance.

Antonacci has several chapters in this book dedicated to each subject so if you want to know about one thing in particular, you can go there. He goes through all the items that a medieval forger would have to be able to accomplish which quite frankly seems entirely unlikely. He answers the objections such as if this is the shroud, why isn’t it talked about in the New Testament and why did it seem to just suddenly show up in the medieval period? Why is it that the carbon-14 testing that was done on the shroud came out the way it did? Over and over, the question is asked if it is plausible to believe that a medieval forger did all of this.

When it comes to my view on the shroud, I would not really use it in an argument sadly because it does have that reputation due to the carbon-14 dating and I do not know enough science to argue the point, but when I see a case like Antonacci’s, it does look unlikely that a forger could have done all of this. There are too many details that are often in fact minute details that make a powerful case. If this is the real deal, it’s another argument along with other powerful resurrection arguments.

Also, as you would expect with a work like this, it comes with a plethora of pictures. Normally, I don’t care for pictures when I read, but in this case, they are a necessity. The images of the Shroud themselves are fascinating to look at.

The reader should be warned that the scientific data can be awfully heady and a reader like myself can be prone to get lost in it. If you are a scientifically minded person, then you probably won’t have too much of a problem with it, but if you are not, it will be a struggle, but there’s probably not much way it could have been simpler. Such is the nature of the beast.

Finally, if there’s something the book definitely needs, it’s a bibliography and an index. Antonacci has extensive endnotes for his work, but if you want to know specific books cited, you have to go through the work. An index would also be helpful so you could look up a specific section you were interested in. I hope future editions of this book include both of these.

Still, this is likely the most comprehensive work on the Shroud of Turin out there and critics of the shroud need to take it seriously.

In Christ,
Nick Peters