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Shroud of Turin

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The Shroud of Turin is a long cloth that contains the image of an apparently crucified man who had also been scourged and crowned with thorns.[1] Many believe it was the burial cloth for Jesus. It has been the source of intense scientific controversy and there have many modern attempts to prove or disprove its authenticity. It was owned and maintained by families in Italy for centuries and given only in the late 20th century to the Roman Catholic Church, which has never taken a position for or against its authenticity.

The Shroud has several unique characteristics. First, its image is brighter in as a photographic negative, suggesting some extraordinary type of interplay of light in the burning of the image. Second, the nail wounds are through the man's wrists rather than his hands, despite the unanimous and inaccurate medieval depiction of the nail wounds for crucified victims as being through the hands. Modern analysis indicates that the hands are not strong enough to sustain the weight of man on the cross, while the wrists would be. Third, all the indicators of the unique scourging and crucifixion of the man are present on the Shroud, when it is unlikely anyone else would have been both scourged and crucified. Computer analysis suggests the image of coins on the Shroud that date from the time of Pontius Pilate.

As reported by the BBC, the leading secular British news source, "Mechthild Flury-Lemberg found that the fabric was woven in a three-to-one herringbone pattern, used for high quality cloths in the ancient world."[2]

Scientists have devoted years of work in analyzing the Shroud. Several of these scientists who have studied the Shroud converted to Christianity as a result.[3]

Dating the Shroud

Raymond N. Rogers, a retired chemist from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, studied the Shroud and declared, "The chemistry says it was a real shroud, the blood spots on it are real blood, a
Shroud of turin

The Shroud of Turin

nd the technology that was used to make that piece of cloth was exactly what Pliny the Elder reported from his time," about A.D. 70. "It's a shroud from the right time, but you're never going to find out (through science) if it was used on a person named Jesus," Rogers said.[4]

In 1988, carbon dating of a small snippet of the Shroud was performed, and the results suggested that the Shroud originated between A.D. 1238 and 1430. However, a peer-reviewed scientific paper later demonstrated the invalidity of those results, suggesting instead that the Shroud is between 1,300 and 3,000 years old.[5] [6] The sample for the 1988 analysis had actually been taken from cloth woven into the Shroud during the Middle Ages, thereby giving a false result.[7] Moreover, "the 12th Century Hungarian 'Pray Manuscript' come to depict Jesus being wrapped in the shroud - with authentic herringbone pattern and burn marks - 100 years before carbon-dating says the material originated."[8]

The defect in the carbon dating was that the samples were "uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin." Instead, [e]stimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses."[9]

The Lamb

According to a paper by Dr. Petrus Soons scientific research of some of the photographs of the shroud show an oval object under the beard of the image. After much research three cursive letters were identified and translated from the Hebrew. The meaning of the translation was, "The Lamb," a name in which Jesus was refered to in the New Testament.[10] This finding now makes the person on the shroud exclusively identified with Christ.


  5. Rogers, Raymond N., "Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of turin". Thermochimica Acta, Volume 425 Issue 1–2, pp. 189-194 (Jan. 20, 2005)[1]
  6. Mark Antonacci, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence" (2000)[2]
  10. Dr. Soons Paper


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