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  #1  
Old Mar 28, '10, 7:45 pm
spotty spotty is offline
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Default coins on the eyes of the dead?

why would christians put coins on the eyes of the dead? and if the shroud of turin is authentic, why would coins have been placed on Jesus' eyes?
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  #2  
Old Mar 28, '10, 8:22 pm
momor momor is offline
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Default Re: coins on the eyes of the dead?

The eyelids naturally stay open in death. The coins hold them down.
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  #3  
Old Mar 28, '10, 8:44 pm
Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Default Re: coins on the eyes of the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spotty View Post
why would christians put coins on the eyes of the dead? and if the shroud of turin is authentic, why would coins have been placed on Jesus' eyes?
It was Jewish custom, for the practical reason mentioned by Momor.
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Old Mar 28, '10, 8:50 pm
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: coins on the eyes of the dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spotty View Post
why would christians put coins on the eyes of the dead?
The practical purpose of that is to keep the eyes closed, as momor said. But that's not a universal practice among Christians, or for that matter, Catholics. It seems to be more a local and cultural, rather than a religious, custom. Whether the families who practise this custom are Catholic is purely incidental. Now, some connect the coins-over-eyes with the ancient Greek custom of Charon's obol (a coin placed in or in the mouth of the deceased), but there is little evidence for this claim.

Quote:
and if the shroud of turin is authentic, why would coins have been placed on Jesus' eyes?
Well, it is still unclear whether those where actually coins or whether there were actually coins at all (personally, I also doubt that there were coins on the eyes of the Man of the Shroud). Contrary to what some say, as of now we still have not much concrete evidence from history or archeology that first-century Jews did have a custom of placing shards or coins on the eyes of the dead. So, both these points are still open for debate while we await further discoveries.
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  #5  
Old Mar 28, '10, 9:08 pm
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ElizabethPH ElizabethPH is offline
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Default Re: coins on the eyes of the dead?

I think this also is from pre-Christian times a pagan practice of paying the ferryman for taking souls across a river to the land of the dead.
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Old Mar 29, '10, 4:48 pm
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cctabb cctabb is offline
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Default Re: coins on the eyes of the dead?

Quote:
why would christians put coins on the eyes of the dead? and if the shroud of turin is authentic, why would coins have been placed on Jesus' eyes?
You have to remember that at the time of Christ's death those that would have attended his body for burial considered themselves Jewish. Jewish customs would have been followed, not Christian.

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Originally Posted by ElizabethPH View Post
I think this also is from pre-Christian times a pagan practice of paying the ferryman for taking souls across a river to the land of the dead.
I had not heard that one before.

And just to show that I learned something from reading the Percy Jackson books, the mythology is Greek, ferryman is Charon and the river is the River Styx.
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  #7  
Old Mar 30, '10, 2:08 pm
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JerrySeibert JerrySeibert is offline
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Default Re: coins on the eyes of the dead?

Cctab, you know your stuff.
Does anyone know if this practice is still around in the world?
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