The Jesus Cloth
The appearance of a piece of cloth supposedly from Jesus' robe creates great hubbub in Odyssey.
Connie brings Whit a package that arrived in the mail from Alfred Brownlee, who used to send Whit unusual archaeological artifacts. The package contains an ancient, smelly leather pouch. Inside is a piece of very old cloth. A letter from Brownlee explains that he found the pouch and cloth at a dig site in the Holy Land. The cloth is dated from the time of Christ, and is possibly a piece of Jesus’ robe!
Connie is excited about this and urges Whit to see if it is authentic. Whit says he will check it out. He tells Connie to keep quiet about it until they know something for sure. But Connie lets the news slip out, and soon Whit’s End is besieged with people wanting to see the “Jesus Cloth.” Whit tries to convince them that there is no conclusive proof that the cloth is from Christ’s robe. But when he mentions that the only way to know if it’s even from the right time period is by radiocarbon dating, which involves burning the cloth, the crowd nearly riots, and the police are called to Whit’s End.
Whit sends the cloth to a museum in Jerusalem and sadly ponders whether we Christians are putting our faith in relics or in the risen Christ.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Can you think of a real-life example of “The Jesus Cloth”?
- How do people act around it?
- What do you think should be the real purpose of relics?
- Is it bad to believe in relics?
- Should we expect them to perform miracles?
- Explain your answers.
- Upon what do you base your faith?
Heard in episode
Mentioned in episode
|Eugene Meltsner||Connie Kendall|
|Alfred Brownlee||John Whittaker|
|Donna Barclay||George Barclay|
|Jessie Morales||George Barclay|
|Bernard Walton||John Whittaker|
- "The Jesus Cloth" was written around the time the Dead Sea Scrolls were released to the public. Many people were conjecturing that the scrolls would contain material that was contradictory to Scripture. This led the Odyssey staff to ask, “Upon what are we basing our faith?”
- Alfred Brownlee was referred to in this episode. He would later play a significant role in #355 – #357: “The Search for Whit”.
- Early in this episode Connie says in reference to Alfred Brownlee, "A real life Indiana Jones, huh?". This is a reference to the Indiana Jones movies.
- Main article: List of Indiana Jones references
QuotesConnie Kendall: You know, suddenly I'm beginning to feel very... warm.
John Whittaker: Oh, Connie.
Connie Kendall: No really, Whit, I think it's because of this cloth!
John Whittaker: I think it's because you're leaning up against the hot plate.
Connie Kendall: Huh? Ow, ow!
Dale Jacobs: What does the cloth, feel like?
John Whittaker: A cloth, Dale! That's what it is!
Dale Jacobs: Really? What a let down!
Connie Kendall: No, we haven't seen the ghost of John the Baptist!
John Whittaker: <reading a letter from Alfred> This sort of stuff has been going on for years. People finding a splinter from the Cross; a strap from Peter's sandal, or the Apostle Paul's toupee!
Connie Kendall: No, it [the cloth] wasn't delivered by space aliens!
John Whittaker: The "Jesus cloth?"
Dale Jacobs: That's the name Lucy gave it. Has a nice ring, dontcha think?
John Whittaker: No, I don't.
Dale Jacobs: ... Oh.