The Shroud of Turin

I had thought that it was settled that the famous Shroud of Turin was made in the Medieval Period and so is not the cloth that Jesus was buried in. It turns out, though, that the issue of the Shroud’s age and origin is far from settled. According to ABCnews.

Has the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin finally been proven?

A new study by Italian scientists may not be definitive on its origins, but it does refute the popular notion that it was faked during the Middle Ages.

Experts at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Developmenthave concluded in a report that the famed purported burial cloth of Jesus Christ could not have been faked.

According to the Vatican Insider, a project by La Stampa newspaper that closely follows the Catholic church, the experts’ report says, “The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory … This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.”

The centuries-old shroud contains a faint impression of the front and back of a human body, along with blood, dirt and water stains from age.

Many have long questioned the shroud’s authenticity, and others have suggested that it was faked during medieval times.

The Italian researchers, who conducted dozens of hours of tests with X-rays and ultraviolet lights, said that no laser existed to date that could replicate the singular nature of markings on the shroud. They also said that the kind of markings on the cloth could not have come from direct contact of the body with the linen.

Previous investigation has determined the markings could not have come from pigments or dyes.

The Italian scientists said the  marks could only have been made by “a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation.”

Such technology did not exist in the time the skeptics claim the shroud could have been forged.

Just a quick scan of the Wikipedia article reveals that almost no aspect of the Shroud’s history is without controversy and the more tests that are done on it, the less they seem to be certain of. No one seems to have a good idea how the image was formed. Even if the Shroud were dated to the first century, it wouldn’t mean that it was Christ’s burial cloth, but there would still be the question of how it was made.

For my part, I doubt the Shroud is genuine if for no other reason than there seems to be no historical records of the Shroud before 1390, and no good account of how the Shroud was transported from Palestine to northern Italy. I would think that such a relic would get a lot attention, with every movement recorded. This mystery, although a minor matter, does show how little we really know about the world we live in.


Русский: Спас Отпечаток лика Христа на Туринск...
The face of Jesus?



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