The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is reputedly Christ’s burial cloth. It has been a religious relic since the Middle Ages. To believers it was divine proof the Christ was resurrected from the grave, to doubters it was evidence of human gullibility and one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of art. No one has been able to prove that it is the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth, but its haunting image of a man’s wounded body is proof enough for true believers. The shroud is wrapped in red silk and kept in a silver chest in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy since 1578. The shroud is unquestionably old. Its history is known from the year 1357, when it surfaced in the tiny village of Lirey, France. Until recent reports from San Antonio, most of the scientific world accepted the findings of carbon dating carried out in 1988.  The results said the shroud dated back to 1260-1390, and thus is much too new to be Jesus’ burial linen.

This sixteenth-century painting by Giovanni Battista shows how the body could have been  wrapped in a burial shroud in a position that would match the image on the Shroud of Turin

Click to view entire shroud enlarged (hi-res image).
Source of this image:

The Shroud of Turin, as seen by the naked eye, is a negative image of a man with his hands folded. The linen is 14 feet, 3 inches long and 3 feet, 7 inches wide. The shroud bears the image of a man with wounds similar to those suffered by Jesus.

The section of the shroud showing the face reveals dramatic features
when viewed as negative image (click on the right image to enlarge).

Three-dimensional relief of the Shroud face after smoothing of rough transitions
with a recursive filter.The computer showed us what the face of Jesus Christ probably
looked like before the Passion or after Resurrection, through an electronic cleaning
of the blood and wounds which provides the almost natural images of the face

This frontal image (above) shows the forearms, wrist, and hands. There appears to be a large puncture wound on the wrist. This is significant because if nails were placed through the palms of the hand, this would not provide sufficient support to hold the body to the cross and tearing of the hands would occur. Only if the nails were placed through the wrists would this provide sufficient support to hold the body fixed to the cross.

We can also see a large blood stain and elliptical wound on the person’s right side (remember, in a negative imprint left and right are reversed). From studying the size and shape of this wound and historical records, we can deduce that this wound could have been caused by a Roman Lancea. This lance is pictured in Slide 13.  In addition, by measuring the angle of dried blood on the wrist, one can reconstruct the angle at which this person hung from the cross. He mainly hung from a position 65 degrees from the horizontal.  But there is another angle of dried blood at 55 degrees. This shows that this person tried to lift himself up by 10 degrees. Why? Medical studies show that if a person just hangs from a position of 65 degrees in would start to suffocate very quickly. Only if he could lift himself up by about 10 degrees would he be able to breathe.  Thus he would have to raise himself up by this 10 degrees by pushing down on his feet which would have to have been fixed to the cross. He would then become exhausted and fall down again to the 65 degree position. Thus, he would continue to shift from these two agonizing positions throughout crucifixion.  That is why the executioners of crucifixion would break the legs of their victims to speed up death.
If they could not lift themselves up to breathe, they would suffocate very quickly.

Image Formation Theories

© Dr. John DeSalvo

The Painting Theory

One theory is simply that the Shroud is a painting . It has been proposed that it was painted using iron oxide in an animal protein binder. The STURP scientists have concluded from their studies that no paints, pigments, dyes or stains have been found to make up the visible image. Small amounts of iron oxide have been found on the Shroud but the iron oxide is evenly distributed all over the Shroud. If it were painted using iron oxide you would expect its concentration to be greater in the image areas verses the non-image areas. This is not the case but the iron oxide is evenly distributed all over the Shroud. Thus it is probably a containment caused by the presence of the Shroud in artists studios throughout history who were copying it. It is also possible that the copies may have been touched to the Shroud to transfer its sacredness and this contaminated the Shroud with iron oxide.

Also no painter has been able to reproduce all the different qualities and characteristics of the Shroud. That is, its negativity, 3D effect, no brush strokes or directionality, perfect anatomical details from blood stains, scourging, etc. and the image is a surface phenomena, that is the image only penetrates about 1/500 of an inch into the cloth. It was shown that the blood went on first and than image. Try doing that and then painting the body image. Thus up to now no one has been able to reproduce the Shroud in all its characteristics. Most scientists reject the painting theory.

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  1. Elijah says

    The carbon-14 dating of the Shroud speaks of itself to say not only FRAUD but also the intent of the fraud. In th ebook of Daniel it says there will be 1260 days and 1290 days and 1335 days of which for 2000 years the overwhelming mass of religious interpretation is to regard these as years predicting forward. Those who lived during the Catholic empire whether for or against The Church expected these years to be from the birth of Jesus. Thus 1260 AD is a year that The Church or fractions of it would expect fulfillment. So whether a small cult creates this to lead away from the Church, or whether The Church does this to rid the cult followers by creating a prophecy-fulfilled, it is clear that the Shroud was created in 1260 AD to claim that Daniel was fulfilled in the keepers of The Shroud. But i find that simple true answers are never wanted, that people fabircate the sci-fi and the evolution and the big new answers of the day, the lies to keep mystery and suspense going with no concern of whether the lies we believe will kill us for the day. (Elijah, a voice in the wilderness, ignored, and laughed at. Hey it’s your lives at stake. My compassion, my empathy, has ended. My love for truth, for God, continues, my love for you people has become apathy as you deserve.)

  2. Michael says

    The oldest surviving physical description of Jesus is that he was a dark-skinned hunchback with a uni-brow. The is of Jaques De Molay Grandmaster of Templars.
    Read The Hiram Key…

  3. Ron White says

    Has anyone heard about a novel called “The Inquisitor’s Key” by Jefferson Bass? I’ve been seeing it on blogs lately. It’s supposed to document the techniques used to create the Shroud as well as give an interpretation of whose image might actually be found on the Shroud.

  4. caleb says

    There is a very good chance that the image of the person in the shroud of Turin is actually that of the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne or one of his relatives. Prince Charles of England is a direct descendant of Charlemagne and you can still see the resemblance. It’s very possible that either Charlemagne or one of the latter Merovingian Royals was the person whose face is recorded in the shroud. I don’t know why anyone has ever bothered to research this topic- most likely it will be proven that the shroud is the burial shroud of a very old Merovingian Royal or King.

  5. says

    I don’t necessarily feel compelled to believe that the Shroud is the burial shroud of the Christ. I am compelled to believe that whomever was buried in the shroud is a very, very special and, most likely, a very, very spiritual person. I don’t know who this might be. Was there a very spiritual, dynamic man living in Medieval times that was a great Avatar; a man beloved of God and his fellow men? There must have been such a man….perhaps more than one. Those were tumultuous times. Perhaps we should be researching history to find out who this marvelous man was.

    It appears that the shroud was real, but perhaps just not of Jesus; so instead of remorsing over the lack of the Shroud/Jesus connection, we should be more focused on finding out who actually was buried in the shroud. I’m sure there would be a magnificent story here, and the history would be more accessable. I would love to know who this man was.

      • Ron White says

        Keith, I believe that you might be interested in that novel “The Inquisitor’s Key” by Jefferson Bass that I mentioned in my other comment. Jacques de Molay’s actually a character. You might just be right about the Shroud image.

  6. says

    Jesus was proved to be a real person but his claim that he is the son of god is totaly made up in my opinion. My theory is that Jesus was power hungry and he convinced his followers to write about him but to describe him as a holy figure so that he could minipulate people into doing what he wants

    • Doug Marinchick says

      Makenzie, what type of things would he manipulate people to do for him ? like bring him food and rub his shoulders ? Oh, you mean he lived like a king but wanted people to think he was poor and holy because then history would be confused and idiots like you could make thoughtless statements.
      You really must be full of yourself which smells of B.S.

    • anne says

      I think you are right. Also, where is he now? There are lots of people in the world Today who are suffering and he is no where to be found.

  7. Christopher Wood says

    I do not doubt for a moment that Christ was a real person. One has only to look at studies of the bible. There are multiple references to him in many publications from soon after his death by many diffrent authors.
    What he was not, of course, was the son of God. In today’s parlance he would be termed a left wing trouble maker. He was certainly a charismatic figure who, during a period of unrest caused by the Roman occupation, inspired many people. Whether he exploited his religious teachings is, of course, open to question.

  8. Debbie Bretz says

    The Shroud of Turin I believe is a hoax. It could only have been done by DaVinci. Who else would have had the expertise especially during the 16th century. I would love to believe that The Shroud of Turin is real. I believe that Christ is real, but sciencetific evidence proves that the cloth is from the 14th century. What ever happen to the Veil of Veronica? It is also suppose to have Christ’s face on it. It was a gift to Veronica for helping Christ when he was carrying his cross.

  9. Alfonso Barrs says

    Put the shoe on the other foot. To those who believe the shroud is a fake, let them prove that is was not the burial shroud of Jesus. Let them begin by proving what method was used to imprint a negative image on it and answer why anyone would purposefully paint or otherwise make a negative image instead of a positive image? What purpose was a negative image supposed to serve that a positive image would not have better served. We best admit that we humans don’t know everything about everything on Earth or in the Universe…

  10. says

    How thick is the cloth? Shouldn’i the image and blood be more intense on the other side that had direct contact with the body? My question finally came to me the other day. I enjoyed your “Coast” show!

  11. Ab Asaff says

    The shroud has to be a fake as there is not a thread of historical evidence what so ever that Christ was a real person.

  12. Jacques says

    I think Dr. gibsons findings are to be concidered correct, as the Bible confirms the same descriptions. As for the shroud itself I think it is from Europe, and from France specificly. According to a previous analisys in an independant lab, it proved that the way it was weaved is a European and did not exist in Paliestine and that style dates of the crusaders time,,, Also the seeds found in it and the fiber did not exist in the Middle East but in Europe.

  13. Pekka says

    Archeologist Shimon Gibson with his colleagues found the tomb discovery in Jerusalem 2009. The discovery exposed remains of the man who had suffered leprosy and died tuberculosis. The researches records that deceased have lived in 1-50 A.D. (in the time of Jesus) and the tomb was obviously the family tomb of upper class or priest family.

    Gibson said that the man had been buried according to manners of the Jews at that time. The manner was that the body wrapped to linen clothes, and the head wrapped with separate face linen. Gibson said that if the person wasn’t actually dead and woke up, he could shake and blow off the face linen and shout for help.

    Professor Shimon Gibson said that the shroud of Turin doesn’t fit together for burial practices in first century Palestine. Gibson said that the shroud of Turin is a single sheet made with a twill weave. According to Gibson the twill weave was known only from the medieval period.

    Shimon Gibson’s archeological evidence is accord with the testimony of the Bible. According to the Bible Lazarus and Jesus had been wrapped with linen clothes and the head with the separate napkin.

    John 11: And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

    John 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

    John 20:
    6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
    7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

    The Bible gives the testimony that the bodies, hands and feet of Lord Jesus and Lazarus wrapped linen clothes and with the separate napkin. In the case of Lazarus Greek text use from the word graveclothes word keiria, which is in plural. This means that Lazarus’ body, hands and feet had been wrapped with several linen clothes. In the case of Lazarus the napkin is in Greek text soudaria and in a singular form. According to John 11:44 Lazarus’ head wrapped with the separate napkin (face linen) as his body, hands and feet. Shimon Gibson’s archeological discovery’s man had been wrapped the exactly same way as the Bible describes wrapping of Lazarus.

    John 19:40 the napkin word is in Greek text othonion, which is in this verse plural. John 20:6 the linen clothes is in Greek text othonion and in plural form. John 20:7 the napkin is in Greek soudarion and in a singular form. The discovery of Shimon Gibson with his colleagues is accord with the testimony of the Bible, because Jesus’ body, hands and feet had been wrapped with several linen clothes and in His head had been separate face linen (the napkin).

    According to the theory of the shroud of Turin Jesus’ had been wrapped on a large linen (shroud). According to the testimony of the Bible, the shroud of Turin is the deception and the fake.

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