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What The Shroud Tells Us

Updated on January 9, 2019
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Deidre has a Masters in applied linguistics and translation for her 20 years overseas, then she worked as a certified provider of the MBTI®.

The Shroud of Turin is a mysterious 14-foot long linen cloth that resides in Turin, Italy and bears the faint image of a crucified man. It is believed it to be the authentic burial shroud of Jesus.

World Net Daily ( reported that scientists are building the case that the image of a crucified man on the Shroud was created by radiation that emanated from the body itself.


In 1988, when the cloth was carbon dated by three laboratories in Zurich, Oxford and Arizona, they came back with a date range of 1260 to 1390.

They declared therefore that the cloth only 600-700 years old. So much for the Shroud being authentic, it was thought.

The radiocarbon sample that was used to date the Shroud, however, has a very different composition and structure than the rest of the cloth and was not valid for dating the Shroud. There were a number of violations of scientific protocol in that study, it turns out.

The book shown at the right by Mark Antonacci is far more comprehensive than others about the subject. The author methodically addresses every argument against the authenticity of the Shroud with careful documented research.

The scientific authenticity of the Shroud of Turin

The Museum of the Holy Shroud, Turin, Italy


Author Mark Antonacci reports in Resurrection of the Shroud the many things that are now seen with modern equipment that could not be seen without it years ago, or with the naked eye.

It would not affect my religious faith, at all, should the Shroud of Turin be exposed as a fake. What is so fascinating about it, though, is that despite decades of careful study, researchers have been unable to show it is fake. This remarkable book explains why.

Antonacci's book provides both an excellent introduction to this subject for the novice, and is likely useful even to those knowledgeable about the Shroud and its history.

The Man in the Shroud

The man of the Shroud was Jewish

Antonacci explains the evidence that identifies the man as Jewish:

  • His physiognomy is Jewish; hair part, length, pigtail and beard follow traits of Jewish men in antiquity.
  • Appears to have had a chin band around his jaw – a Jewish burial custom
  • Burial posture matches that of skeletons at the first century Jewish community at Qumran
  • The single linen shroud matches ancient Jewish burial practices.
  • His body was unwashed as was ancient Jewish burial practice of a victim of violent death, in which blood that flowed during life and after death is present.

The man of the Shroud was buried in Jerusalem

There is evidence that this man was buried in the area of Jersusalem:

  • The vast majority of pollens found on the shroud grew in Jerusalem.
  • The flowers in bloom around the victim collectively grow only in Jerusalem, and only in the spring.
  • Limestone found on the shroud matches that found in burial tombs in Jerusalem.
  • Using coins at Jewish burials was common practice in Second Temple Jerusalem, occasionally placing them over the eyes.

The man of the Shroud was crucified by the Romans

The evidence shows this man was crucified by the Romans:

  • The instrument that matches the size and shape of the repeated scourge marks is the Roman flagrum (and Roman citizens were never beaten with it).
  • The elliptical lesion on the man’s side as matches several excavated examples of the Roman lancea; that has a long, leaf-like tip that thickened and then rounded off toward the shaft.
  • Mocking and tormenting of crucifixion victims was commonly done by the Roman military guard, and this victim appears to have endured this treatment in the form of a crown of thorns. Pollen left on the shroud was from a thorny plant that grows only in Israel and parts of the Middle East.
  • This is similar to Yehohanan , another Roman crucifixion victim (in Jerusalem).

The man wrapped in the Shroud is dead

The victim who was wrapped in the Shroud is dead:

  • Rigor mortis is present on numerous places throughout the body.
  • Blood flow on the foot and side wound is postmortem.

What the man of the Shroud's wounds tell us

The victim’s wounds shown on the Shroud provide us further information. These are some of the more significant facts that have been reconstructed:

  1. The man was first beaten about the head.
  2. His head (top, middle of back, sides and forehead) was pierced over 30 times with sharp objects.
  3. He received a savage scourging.
  4. Broad excoriated areas cross both shoulder blades like something rough and heavy was on his shoulders.
  5. He apparently fell and was unable to break his fall with his hands.
  6. The wounds were inflicted over a period of several hours.
  7. His wounds are of one who was crucified;
  • foot and wrist wounds were inflicted by large nails driven in,
  • blood flows down the arms at angles formed by a body moving repeatedly in a seesaw motion, up and down,
  • abnormally expanded ribcage,
  • enlarged pectoral muscles,
  • upraised left leg and vertical position at the time of death.
  • Even the blood chemistry and color are consistent with a crucifixion and preceding tortures.

After he was dead, a spear-like object had been thrust into his right side and pierced his heart.

However, this man of the Shroud is unlike most crucifixion victims in these ways.

  • It was not necessary to break his legs to kill him.
  • Postmortem flow from the side wound consists of blood and a watery fluid.
  • His corpse lay in the Shroud for no more than two or three days. No decomposition stains are found anywhere.

Curious features on the Shroud

There are curious features on the Shroud that are noteworthy.

  1. Encoded on the Shroud are details of the body surfaces and blood marks that could not have been transferred through direct contact between it and the body, alone.
  2. The "anatomically flawless representations" are of a body whose only distortions are consistent with a cloth draped over it.
  3. To have removed the cloth from the body by any human means would have broken, or smeared, most of the blood marks.
  4. All other artificial body models such as statues, bas reliefs, engraved lines, etc. are eliminated as possible explanations by scientific means.
  5. The body image is encoded with uniformity only on the tops of the thread fibrils.
  6. 3D information is encoded on the Shroud’s 2D surface. In a unique way it operated through space on a vertical path, transferring information pertaining to distance.
  7. The combinations of these and other evidences found from the Shroud cannot be matched with any other known or hypothetical series of events.
  8. Numerous signs indicate that radiation coming from this dead body produced its image.

The Holy Shroud

Replication of the image on the Shroud

From the scientific point of view, some explanations which might be tenable from a chemical perspective are precluded by physics. Likewise, certain physical explanations which may be attractive are completely precluded by the chemistry. They do not know how, therefore, to replicate the image on the Shroud.

Sticky Issue 1: The 3D dimensional distances from a body to a cloth draped over it, and being encoded in a vertical path, have only been explained by scientists with bursts of culminated radiation from the body to the cloth.

Sticky Issue 2: Only a method using radiation from a body would act uniformly over hair, skin, teeth, bones, coins or flowers and emanate throughout the length, width and depth of the body—something a nuclear laboratory cannot even reproduce.

Sticky Issue 3:  All other methods proposed over the centuries for producing these results have failed to explain the images and blood marks, until the recent development of the Historically Consistent Method. This is a theory that combines research from scientists throughout the world on all aspects of the Shroud.

Sticky Issue 4:  This theory says if a body instantaneously dematerialized or disappeared, particle radiation would be given off naturally and the cloth falls through the radiant body, thereby encoding all the unique features found on the Shroud’s body images and blood marks. (See the details in chapter 10.)

Shroud of Turin (part 1, of 4)

© 2010 Deidre Shelden


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