(Editor's Note: I am very pleased to make this collection of articles and letters available on this website and wish to thank the following organizations and individuals for granting permission to reprint their materials: the Biblical Archaeology Society and Bridget Young, its Executive Director, Gary Vikan, Walter C. Albert Dreisbach, Mark Guscin, Joseph Marino, Emanuela Marinelli, Gino Zaninotto, Dr. Mc Crone - Sidebar to Original Article Letters to the Editor - Reader responses published by Biblical Archaeology Review Deconstructing the "Debunking" of the Shroud by Daniel Scavone and an international group of researchers - Previously unpublished responses to the article Comments on the Radiocarbon Dating of the Turin Shroud by Dr. Karlheinz Dietz, John Markwardt, Mario Latendresse, Rev. Debunking The Shroud: Made by Human Hands by Gary Vikan - Original Article reprinted from Biblical Archaeology Review The Shroud Painting Explained by Walter C.

Alan Whanger - Previously unpublished response to the article When the Shroud of Turin went on display this spring for the first time in 20 years, it made the cover of Time magazine with the blurb "Is this Jesus?

" In BAR, we summarized the controversy that has enshrouded this relic, venerated for centuries as the burial cloth of Jesus ("Remains to Be Seen," Strata, Julyl August 1998, p 13).

Following Time's lead, we reported that although radiocarbon tests have dated the shroud to 1260-1390 A.

D., no one has been able to account for the shadowy image of a naked 6-foot-tall man that appears on the shroud.

With bloodstains on the back, wrists, feet, side and head the image appears to be that of a crucified man.

The details - the direction of the flow of blood from the wounds, the placement of the nails through the wrists rather than the palms - displays a knowledge of crucifixion that seems too accurate to have been that of a medieval artist.

But two of BAR's savvy readers have objected to our assessment.

The following articles suggest there is no reason to doubt that the image, as well as the cloth, was produced in the Middle Ages.- Ed (BAR) Nothing puzzles and intrigues the sindonologist - the student of the Shroud of Turin - more than the supposed mystery of how the image on the shroud was made.

"It doesn't look like any known work of art," they say.

The implication is that its creation was somehow miraculous, perhaps caused by a sudden burst of cosmic energy as the cloth came into contact with the dead body of Jesus.

But in fact, it is simply historical ignorance of what the shroud really is (or at least, what it pur-ports to be) that leads these people to wrongheaded notions.