Well, if you can explain why a biased believer, highlighting a detail that flies in the face of her core beliefs, is still allowing her bias to dictate her findings, I'd love to hear your explanation.
Im not sure Tim, that i quite understand what you're trying to say here?
Could you explain before i respond?
Sure. You maintain that Frale, being a Catholic and working for the Vatican Archives, has a bias - which I'm assuming you mean is pro-Catholic, dogmatically and in terms of historical perspective. In other words, the Church maintains that everything in the Gospel narratives is true, accurate, and historical; that Frale believes this, and renders her findings accordingly.
Now, according to Frale, she's deciphered some sort of barely legible inscription on the Shroud itself that identifies the body once contained in it as that of "Jesus the Nazarean" or "Jesus the Nazorite". According to her (and no, I don't know this to be accurate because I've never heard it before either) the practice of labeling shrouded corpses in this manner by the Romans was so that the corpses could be claimed by relatives of the deceased after one year. Now, in the absence of anything I'm aware of to substantiate this, for the sake of argument let's say that there is substantiation for this (unnecessarily cruel) practice from independent research. Frale says it's there, just as somebody else thirty-three years ago said it's there (and granted, others say it's not, but I don't know why she'd risk her professional reputation on a lark, she's got too much to lose).
The Gospel narratives maintain that Jesus' body was taken down from the cross and immediately surrendered to the custody of Joseph of Arimathea, whereupon he and Nicodemas carted it to his private tomb and put it to rest there. This is what the Catholic Church maintains is true, dogmatically and historically; this is the Catholic "bias".
However, Frale is pointing to a detail that would be contradictory to that Catholic bias - a mortuary label which, according to her, would have been placed on the body by the Roman authorities, and which would facilitate the reclaiming of the corpse by relatives only after a year had passed, not immediately. Ergo, if what she's saying is true, then that calls the accuracy of the Gospel narratives - and the Catholic bias - into serious question. Why label a corpse for a year's retention and future pick-up when the corpse is being surrendered immediately to the relatives or claimants at the execution site? The presence of such a label hints a very different story than that related in the Gospels, and probably not one that the Church would want to advertise.
So my question, again, is why would Frale advertise this detail if she's letting her pro-Catholic, pro-Gospel bias color her conclusions?
Also, regarding the 'death certificates' allegedly used by Romans, i have never heard of this before, so wonder if you have further information or archaeology to support this?
Nope, I've never heard of it either.
I read a paper that completely refutes the 'words' on the Shroud, debunked by academics who said that it is easy to see things on the Shroud, when the areas are photographed, enlarged and looked at digitally. They argue that what Frale and others see, is just not there.
I can't imagine why she'd say it was there when it wasn't. Surely she'd have to show her work? One wonders what the agendas are. If she's right then that casts doubt on the orthodox position; if she's wrong, then orthodoxy is "safe". Interesting juxtaposition with the Vatican archivist casting doubts on the official byline though.
the "certificate" was, by practice, affixed to the burial shrouds of people executed by the Romans so that the bodies could be claimed by relatives after one year. That, in and of itself, flies in the face of the Gospel narratives, and I think a "believer" whose "bias" was coloring their findings would have covered a detail like that up.
Why would that make a difference?
Even if it is true - and there is evidence of this practice of attaching death certificates (what to every one they executed or just Jewish ones? Because only the Jews went back a year later for the bones?) being widespread - the Romans would have just attached a certificate as usual - because they wouldnt have known this criminal they just executed was going to be taken to a tomb and 3 days later miraculoulsy resurrected from the dead. And that the body would be missing.
It seems to me an irrelevancy about a 'death certificate'.
I can only venture a guess here, but perhaps this policy of keeping the remains of those executed for crimes against the Roman state out of the ground for a year served as a warning to others, i.e. not only will we put you to death, but we'll screw with your afterlife as well if you try anything so foolish. An example to others who might have similar ideas, basically.
But getting down to the specifics of this particular episode, why would the Romans have "tagged" a body they were going to hand off to relatives that day for immediate burial? It might make sense if the Gospel stories said they'd stolen the body or something along those lines, but they don't. The Gospel stories, as written, show a certain degree of sensitivity to Jewish burial customs in allowing the body to be taken down before sundown so that the family could get it into the tomb by dark. At that point the Romans are surrendering custody, no need to mark it because no one is coming back for it in a year.
And the Gospel narratives anyway, are not reliable historical documents.
I agree, but we're talking about Frale's perceived bias here. The Catholic Church has maintained for nearly two millenia that those accounts are true and accurate, historically and dogmatically. If she's tailoring her findings to comply with those conclusions, she's not doing the best job of it. Now, we can say that the Gospels aren't reliable historical documents, but we're not in the employ of the Vatican Archives. It's something else entirely for Frale to identify a detail that blows holes in Church orthodoxy. One wouldn't expect a Vatican employee to deviate from the script.
The very fact that Frale uses these 'writings' on the Shroud, and interprets them almost certainly as the Bible claims - its a little too neat, and in my view she is interpreting them to back up her prior beliefs. Also, if you read her books, it is VERY obvious she is a 'believer'.
But IS she interpreting things the way the Bible claims? She says the dates line up, she says it identifies the body once held in the Shroud as the man commonly known as Jesus the Nazarene (or Nazorite), but the consistency ends there. This detail hints at the possibility of a different ending to the story than most are familiar with.