The Shroud of Turin has been in the news of late -- new dating seems to suggest that is was from the time of Jesus. Some are passionately for the authenticity of the Shroud and others equally vigorous in their dispute of this conclusion. Most of us are caught in between -- with a mixture of curiosity about the Shroud and hope that perhaps it might be real and an ancient icon of the Lord. I admit to uncertainties, curiosities, and, yes, a little hope.
You come to your own conclusions. I merely pass some things to consider...
The latest scientific tests show that the Shroud of Turin dates to the first century. Go here to read more. Still, Shroud skeptics say it’s a medieval forgery. So here are some questions for them:
1. If it’s a fake why hasn’t anyone–even with modern technology–been able to reproduce it?
How did the forger not only know about photography in the Middle Ages,
but manage to produce what is, in effect, a photographic negative?
3. The image is not painted, but “singed” or burnt on to the fabric. How did they do that?
4. The “burned” image doesn’t penetrate more than the surface level of the cloth. Paint would soak in wouldn’t it?
5. When paintings are put into a 3-D replicator they don’t produce successful 3-D images. This does. How did the forger do that?
They found pollen and traces of soil from the area of Jerusalem. Did a
medieval forger in Europe think of that and travel out there to get
7. Are carbon 14 dating tests ever wrong? We’re assuming
someone in the Middle Ages was a fraud. What if the modern scientists
cheated? Its possible isn’t it?
8. The man in the shroud was
nailed through the wrists. Medieval artists showed Christ’s nails
through his hands. How did the medieval forger know that the Romans
nailed through the wrist and not the hand as people thought back in the
9. The forger even got the details of the wounds
correct because the flagellation wounds correspond not only to Roman
flagella, but to the direction from which the two men would have whipped
the victim according to Roman torture techniques. How did the forger
10. The pigtail at the back? It links up with the hair
style of Jewish men who had taken the “Nazarite vow” in the time of
Christ. This was some fantastic forger no?
And a great documentary that frames the whole debate. . .
In a fire in 1532 molten silver fro the container in which the Shroud was "stored" fell on it, and burnt holes in it. After the fire, the Shrous was repaired and some new, or "extraneous," cloth was sewn over the burn-holes. (One report which I read, year ago, suggested that there were earlier holes, or rents, in the cloth (perhaps around its edges IIRC) that were likewise, at an earlier date, repaired by adding "new" cloth to it.)
Some people have wondered right from 1988, when the carbon dating tests seemed to demonstrate that the cloth was of 13th/14th Century origin, was whether some of the bits of cloth extracted from the Shroud for these tests might have been taken from the newer "additions."
If from even a time thought to be within decades of the death of Jesus of Nazareth, and fairly verified to be linked to Jerusalem, isn't it still a huge leap to say this is an image of Jesus of Nazareth? Realistically, weren't crucifixions very regular, with many persons per time (every week or day maybe)? Probably many of these poor people would have been heinously whipped before being terribly crucified to death.
What can be known of the shroud, if genuine, is that it is a single historical remnant of an unfortunately regular, much happened occurence over decades or longer (maybe centuries) in a time and place.
William Tighe: Some people have wondered right from 1988, when the carbon dating tests seemed to demonstrate that the cloth was of 13th/14th Century origin, was whether some of the bits of cloth extracted from the Shroud for these tests might have been taken from the newer "additions."
According to the scientific article, "Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin" (Nature, Vol. 337, No. 6208, pp. 611-615, February 16, 1989): "The strip [~10 mm x 70 mm] came from a single site on the main body of the shroud away from any patches or charred areas."
In his 2008 paper, "A New Radiocarbon Hypothesis," a former Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) member, John P. Jackson, states "One hypothesis is that the linen sample used in the radiocarbon dating actually came from a medieval “re-weave”. While this hypothesis has been argued on the basis of indirect chemistry, it can be discounted on the basis of evident bandings in the 1978 radiographs and transmitted light images of STURP. These data photographs show clearly that the banding structures (which are in the Shroud) propagate in an uninterrupted fashion through the region that would, ten years later, be where the sample was taken for radiocarbon dating." Jackson's paper does discuss another hypothesis of contamination from 14CO.
The recent claim of a much earlier date for the Shroud is in a recently published Italian book by University of Padua professor Giulio Fanti and Saverio Gaeta, an Italian journalist. The experimental data has not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
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