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What The Shroud Tells Us

Updated on April 12, 2017
Ms Dee profile image

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 (wnd.com) 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.

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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

Source

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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    • Souheil Bayoud profile image

      Souheil Bayoud 4 years ago from Beirut, Lebanon

      Hello Ms Dee.Thanks for your comment and definitely for the repentant.God bless you and your family.

    • Ms Dee profile image
      Author

      Deidre Shelden 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Souheil Bayoud, Yes, only for the repentant, while true regardless of what others may think. Good to have your book recommendation!

    • Souheil Bayoud profile image

      Souheil Bayoud 4 years ago from Beirut, Lebanon

      The shroud of Turin is the real love story only for the sinner.It is true.Read the coin of the temple.

    • Ms Dee profile image
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      Deidre Shelden 5 years ago from Texas, USA

      This sure gives some striking evidence of Christ's resurrection!

    • Ms Dee profile image
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      Deidre Shelden 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      Hello Rich Savage! No, I don't remember off hand "how many" stains were determined to be venous blood and arterial blood. It's been a couple years since I read the books. However, I'm sure you can find out from the reports on these studies of The Shroud. I've posted some of the books that describe the studies for the public, so would suggest starting there, or even Googling to see what comes up.

    • BL Tween profile image

      BL Tween 6 years ago

      I believe that Jesus died and rose again and is alive today! Thanks

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Very good comprehensive article Dee. I'm impressed. voted up.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very interesting hub about a subject of interest to scientists, Christians and others. This shroud certainly tells a story of the horrible torture and death of a man back in that time frame whether skeptics choose to believe it is Jesus or not.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin becomes a subject of importance after the discovery of radio-carbon dating. By the lapse of centuries after centuries many unknown things were discovered with authenticity. Human era also can think of absolute authenticity of Jesus through the Shroud of Turin by vision of intensive research in the future years to come.

    • Ms Dee profile image
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      Deidre Shelden 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      Your question, lifegate, is a good one, I assume from what one of the Gospels, John 19:40, referring to cloths, plural. I've understood it to refer to the large clean linen (referred to in the other Gospels) plus the facecloth, as John includes in 20:7. Both had been wound, meaning bound, about Jesus' body, but not strips wound around. See following, particularly page 7, for further explanation: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28815350/Shroud-of-Turin...

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 7 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I always thought that the Jews wound their dead with strips of clothes interspersing the layers with spices and sticky resins. Is that true, and if it is how does that affect the idea of the shroud?

    • Ms Dee profile image
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      Deidre Shelden 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      Kristus anestes! My Greek is rusty, but yes, Christ lives, indeed! Judah's Daughter, I'm not real sure, but the article I linked to (http://shroud2000.com/CarbonDatingNews.html) says apparently it took some years to realize that the piece of cloth the carbon-14 dating was done on was actually the handiwork of highly skilled French re-weavers. Those weavers must have been so good they fooled the scientists. Also, a bigger mistake was that micro-chemical tests on the sample to make sure it was representative of the entire cloth was not done! Not very thorough.

      Yes, the spiritual war we are in is a heavy and tricky one. We've got to be on our toes! And like you remind us, if a heart isn't ready to believe, no amount of proof will be enough, as I've seen in my own experience with people. Yes! The conviction of things not seen!! Heb 11:1

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 7 years ago from Roseville, CA

      I find this topic fascinating. I just don't understand why it wouldn't be allowed to take another piece of the cloth for carbon dating ~ one that wasn't repaired with newer materials due to handling and subsequent damage. I'm sure the 'god of this world' would do anything he could to keep this from being proof of the historical and Biblical account of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Even if it was proven to be authentic beyond doubt, Jesus so wisely stated in Luke 16:31, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'" Amazing, one's heart could be so closed.

      Jesus said in John 20:29, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." Truly, we are saved by His grace through faith (Eph 2:8) and without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Heb 11:1).

      I know my Reedemer lives, 'cause I just spoke with Him...and He speaks to me...love, love, love!!

      Praise God!