The Shroud of Turin is a 14-foot piece of linen cloth with a mysterious head-to-head image or imprint of Jesus on it after He was crucified.
Gospel of Mark
The Holy Shroud, as it is called, is thought to be the same linen burial cloth referred to in the Gospels.
This 17th century painting shows how the ventral and dorsal images of Jesus were formed.
You can see the blood from the crown of thorns, the lance thrust, and the crucifixion nails, as described in the Gospels. The blood marks are red, the body image is made of different shades of yellow, and the linen is whitish. (c)1978 Barrie M. Schwortz Collection, STERA, Inc.
You can see marks from the scourging of Jesus as well as the blood coming from the lance wound. (c)1978 Barrie M. Schwortz Collection, STERA, Inc.
reason to believe
A sign is a reason to believe God has communicated Himself to mankind. The discovery in the 1960s that the universe began to exist 14 billion years ago is also sign because the Bible says God created the universe from nothing.
The quotation mentions only the body image. The blood marks are anatomically and historically accurate and increase the difficulty of explaining the image.
The Catholic Church grants indulgences to Catholics who say this prayer before a picture of the Holy Shroud.
Cult of the Shroud
This is a 14th or 15th century medallion sold to pilgrims who visited the Holy Shroud in Lirey, France. It shows the coats of arms of Geoffrey de Charny and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy, the first owners of the relic. It is not known how this couple of modest wealth obtained possession of it.
The Catholic Church has always supported the veneration of this relic. On June 5, 1357, twelve bishops signed a document granting indulgences to pilgrims for visiting the relics at the church in Lirey.
1988 Carbon Dating
This peer-reviewed article refutes the theory that the Holy Shroud is a medieval painting that transformed into its present mysterious condition due to the ravages of time.
That the blood marks are not smeared and the image is so detailed means that the Holy Shroud is a work of human ingenuity, rather than a naturally occurring imprint of a crucifixion victim.
This is a computer recreation of the face image. The computer assumed that the image was determined by the distance between the body and a parallel plane.
The high position of the blood flows on the hand and the two angles that the blood flowed are examples of the anatomical accuracy of the Holy Shroud. The two angles might be the result of the victim changing his position in an effort to breath or the removal of the nail from the hand.
The marks from the scourging show that two people, on either side of the victim, were carrying out the torture.
The marks on the back correspond to those that would be made by a Roman flagrum whip.
This photograph shows that the body image is a superficial coloring that appears only on one side of the cloth. (c)1978 Mark Evans Collection, STERA, Inc.
both sides of cloth
The blood marks are not superficial but are caused by the remnants of blood. The blood soaked through the cloth and appears on both sides. (c)1978 Mark Evans Collection, STERA, Inc.
elementary plant cells
Linen is made from the flax plant which produces cells 1 to 7 centimeters long and 0.010 to 0.015 millimeters in diameter. This is a photograph of one of the cells. It consists mostly of cellulose, the nucleus of the cell having disappeared after doing its job. The fiber cell is white but is discolored to yellow at certain points. The body image is the result of different shades of yellow. Just like a photograph is different shades of grey. (c)2002 Raymond N. Rogers Collection, STERA, Inc.
In the 1980s researchers argued that the discoloration was caused by something that degraded the cellulose. This peer-reviewed paper shows that this theory is still considered.
A new theory is that the discoloration doesn’t come from the cellulose but from starch and sugars coating the cell-fibers at the surface of the cloth.
The research in this paper supports the theory that starch and sugars on the two surfaces of the cloth are responsible for the body image.
Side View of Cloth
I could not see the image on the “Non visible side” even though it was computer enhanced. This diagram shows that the threads in the cloth are 0.25 mm, which means they consist of about 100 cell-fibers.
Translator of Greek
Another famous image of Jesus is the Image of Edessa, which disappeared from history in the 13th century. There is a lot of evidence that the Image of Edessa and the Shroud of Turin are one and the same.
Edessa was an independent kingdom from 163 BC to 242 AD, and was the first kingdom to convert to Christianity. Moslems conquered Edessa in 639 AD. On August 15, 944 AD, after protracted negotiations with Byzantium, the Image of Edessa was transferred to Constantinople. This 11th century illustration shows the Image of Edessa being given to the Emperor of Byzantium.
siege of Edessa
This is the first historical reference to the Image of Edessa. Edessa was actually evangelized in the late 2nd century. That Jesus communicated with the King of Edessa (King Abgar V) in the 1st century is just a legend.
King Abgar V
This is a 10th century painting of King Abgar V getting the Image of Edessa.
This quotation indicates that the Image of Edessa was considered to be a painting in the 3rd and 4th centuries.
This quotation pushes the possible date of the Image of Edessa into the 2nd century.
immorality of Gnostics
Gnostics thought you got to Heaven, not by being good, but by being bad. Gnostics may have been capable of crucifying someone in the 1st or 2nd century in order to create an imprint of his body. If so, the technique and skills they used to do this have been lost to history.
There is evidence that there were a lot of Gnostics in Edessa in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
Bust of Christ
This is a painting from the Catacomb of Commodilla in Rome, 350 AD. It shows a bearded long-haired Jesus, just like the Image of Edessa and the Holy Shroud.
This is from a painting in the Tomb of the Aurelii in Rome, 250 AD. According to Robert Drews (In Search of the Shroud of Turin: New Light on its History and Origins), “It is not known that the Aurelii were Gnostics, but they do seem to have been a para-Christian family, and in the first half of the third century there were a good many Gnostics in Rome.”
The conflict about the authenticity of the Holy Shroud is another instance of the conflict about science and religion. In my opinion, this conflict is caused by a lack of understanding of the mind-body problem. The highly intelligent author of the above quote has a blind spot because he only grasps two solutions: materialism and dualism. There is no evidence supporting these solutions. Conflict, anxiety, inhibition, and bias prevent the author from grasping the solution supported by the evidence and judged to be true by rational people: It is a mystery. One way of expressing this is to say: Humans are embodied spirits.