The Case for the Shroud of Turin
Guests: Doug Sharp and Rich Geer
Description: 1.The Image and HIstory
A. What is it?
1.The man on the shroud was about 5’10’, and His build allows the weight to be evaluated at about 176 lbs.
2.There is no trace of bodily decomposition on the shroud.
3.on the right side, between the 4th and 5th ribs, there is an oval shaped wound which is 4 centimeters long. The blood from the wound is not coagulated, which indicates that blood came from an already dead body.
4. On the chest, back, and legs of the man, there are more than a hundred markings ( I’ve heard that there may more than 300 in recent forensic analysis). These are less than an inch large indicating a cause by the tearing of the skin and bleeding under the skin. These wounds occur in groups or 2 and 3 which is what a flogging with a Roman Flagrum would produce.
5. Below both shoulder blades and above the right shoulder blade, appear large bruises attributed to the weight of a heavy and tough object – perhaps the heavy cross beam convicted prisoners were forced to carry.
6. Nail wounds on hands and feet correspond to a crucified victim, including the pattern on the forearms and legs. The thumb is hidden in the palm by a constriction reflex, caused by a lesion of the median nerve in the wrist.
7. Traces of soil mixed with blood were found on the knee and feet imprints. Samples taken from the imprint of the right foot matched limestone found in the Middle East.
B. The full length 14’ x 3.5″ cloth became known in historical records during the 1350’s when a French knight named Geoffroi de Charny presented it to the dean of the church in Lirey as Jesus authentic burial shroud.
C. Around 1389, Pierre d’Arcis—the bishop of Troyes, France—sent a report to Pope Clement VII claiming an artist had confessed to forging the shroud. Furthermore, d’Arcis claimed the dean of the Lirey church knew it was a fake and had used it to raise money anyway. In response, the pope declared the shroud wasn’t the true burial cloth of Christ. Still, he said the Lirey church could continue to display it if it acknowledged the cloth was a man-made religious icon, not a historic relic.
D. Before the shroud moved to Turin, it was almost lost in a fire.
In 1502, the house of Savoy placed the shroud in the Sainte-Chapelle in Chambéry, which is now part of France. In 1532, a fire broke out in the chapel. It melted part of the silver in the container protecting the shroud, and this silver fell onto part of the shroud, burning through it. The burn marks and the water stains from where the fire was extinguished are still visible today.
In 1578, the house of Savoy moved the shroud to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, which later became part of Italy. It has remained there ever since, with the exception of World War II, when Italy relocated it for safekeeping.
E. Many theories have arisen as to the whereabouts of the shroud before the 1300’s. It has a somewhat traceable history from Jerusalem to Lirey, France through Edessa, Turkey and Constantinople.
F. In 1898 amateur photographer Secondo Pia took the first photograph of the shroud. The negative revealed a startling positive image of the man embedded on the shroud.
2. Evidence for and Against the Shroud.
A. There have been many scientific studies about its authenticity. Despite the fact that Pope Clement VII declared the shroud a fake over 600 years ago, there has been no end to the debate about the shroud’s authenticity. Starting in the 20th century, people on both sides of the debate began to bolster their arguments with scientific studies.
In 1978, the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) said the markings on the cloth were consistent with a crucified body and that the stains were real human blood. In 1988, one group of scientists said their analysis showed the shroud originated between 1260 and 1390, another said their analysis showed it originated between 300 B.C. and A.D. 400. In 2018, researchers used forensic techniques to argue the blood stains on the shroud couldn’t have come from Christ.
B. What about the 1988 Carbon 14 dating that placed it in the 13th century?
There are several problems with the 1988 Carbon 14 study, including:
1. The samples were collected from a single location. The outer fringe which has been shown to have been interwoven with cotton fibers from the mid 13th- 14th centuries.
2. This location includes repairs done to the shroud after the fire of Chambery in 1352
C. What facts about the cloth are consistent with 1st century origins?
1. Composition of the cloth: material of the threads consistent with known 1st century plants.
2. Herringbone pattern of the shroud known and documented in other 1st century textiles.
3. Faults found in the weave are consistent with 1st century techniques.
4. The dimensions of the cloth match the cubit measurement used by Jewish law and custom for a
D. Are the blood stains real?
1. The blood on the shroud is the rare AB+ same type that is found on another cloth purported to be a head covering only. This cloth has no image, being removed before burial.
2. Blood plasma around the blood stains is revealed under ultra violet light. The stains match the Gospel descriptions of the Passion of Jesus.
3. Blood particles reveal a high content of bilirubin significant for two reasons:
a. It is consistent with bodily response to extreme trauma eliminating the possibility of using a dead body to produce the image
b. Blood with a high bilirubin content stays bright red over time and does not turn dark brown This is consistent with the stains on the shroud
E. External evidence
1. Pollen grains that are unique to Judea.
2. Seems to be evidence of roman coins on the eyes of the image, minted by Pontius Pilate in 29 AD
3. Correspondences with another relic, the Sudarium Christi: Simmilar pollen grains, 124 exact matches to wounds on the shroud and the same AB blood type.
4. At least 4 other dating methods have been used on the shroud and the results indicate and average age of 50 AD plus or minus 200 years. A 96% confidence level.
3. What is So Special and Mysterious about the Image on the Shroud?
A, There is no other known image like it. And it has not yet ever been duplicated even by modern techniques.
B. Shroud is a precise photographic negative on a non-photographically sensitive cloth. Revealed first by photographer
C. Image has not been created by using paint, dyes, vapors, or scorching.
D. The image is restricted to the uppermost part of fibrils. Not penetration of the cloth as there would be with paint or any other medium.
E. the blood imprints precede the formation of the image.
F. 3D imaging on the shroud reveals bones inside of the hands and flesh surrounding the bone. This has been used to create a 3D sculpture.
4. Final Thoughts
A. The bottom line is that science has shown the image on the cloth is an ‘impossible’ image, one that cannot be replicated. One of the main reasons is, as scientists have now confirmed, the image on the Shroud had to be caused by a mysterious burst of light that is, electromagnetic radiation.
B.In short, the evidence indicates the Shroud was wrapped around a real body that simply ‘dematerialised’ without disturbing the perfectly formed blood clots on the cloth. That could only happen through an event like that described in the Gospels as the resurrection, an event that, as the Gospels state, freed Jesus’ body from material constraints.
C. Debunking the Debunk. Raw data from the carbon tests, released after 29 years by a freedom-of-information action, has revealed that the tests were not definitive at all. This fact is confirmed by historical research indicating the Shroud was around long before the carbon date that dated it in the Middle Ages. The evidence has been further strengthened by new dating tests that have dated the linen cloth to the first century. One of these tests, Wide-Angle X-Ray Scattering, recently dated the Shroud to the first century.