[Sca-cooks] tablecloth, shroud or food cover?

Volker Bach carlton_bach at yahoo.de
Fri Nov 2 11:00:10 PDT 2007

>    This site reveals new findings on the Shroud of
>Turin. Fascinating material:
>    http://www.direct.ca/trinity/shroud.html
>    In the same article you will see that in 1993
>Rebecca Jackson, co-founder of the Turin Shroud
>Center of Colorado, published a theory that the
>shroud used to bury Jesus was the tablecloth used in
>the Last Supper. Apparently Joseph of Arimathea was
>not only on the burial committee but also on the
>planning committee that set up the Last Supper 
>so in haste grabbed the tablecloth to use as a
>shroud. Alas, apparently she has no proof. It is
>just a theory.

And sadly not a very convincing one. There is very
little reason to assume that even ultratraditionalist
Jews of Jesus' time would have used anything other
than the type of table common in the Greco-Roman
world. These were small enough that diners could reach
completely across them from every angle, typically
square or circular with a diameter of under a metre.
Even if you wanted a tablecloth to reach the ground,
it would measure no more than a maximum of 3,x3m, and
the typical size seems to have been closer to 1.2m x
1.2m, just hanging down halfway. The Turin shroud
measures 4.4 x 1.1 metres, which is appropriate for
some modern or medieval tableclothes, but excessive
for a Greco-Roman one. 

My first instinct looking at it would be that if it
wasn't custom-made (or just a piece of linen sold in
lengths for all manner of purposes), it could be an
opened-up mattress cover. 1m x 2m is a good, but not
excessive size for a kline, and mattress covers were
typically made of linen. It is too narrow for a
pallium and too long for a tunic. 

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