Shrouded in Mystery?

December 9, 2019 at 10:27 AM

I’ve written a few articles on the Shroud of Turin. They can be found here and here. I’ve actually been studying the subject of the Shroud for quite some time. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is likely a genuine artifact. I say that understanding that there are many others who do not see it that way and they have their reasons. For them, the Shroud is a complete fake or at the very best, it is of a crucified man, but not Jesus.

I recently came across another article on the ‘Net which explored the Shroud in ways that I had not yet understood. The article posits that the Shroud is very real and proceeds to explain why that is the case. Some of the surrounding facts related to the Shroud are absolutely fascinating in my opinion. I’ll reprint part of that article here with a link to read the remainder of that article at its original site.

Several things I’d like to point out right from the start though. First of all, I’d like to state without equivocation that the Shroud – whether it is real or not – has not convinced me of anything that is already not clearly laid out in Scripture. Did my faith increase because of my belief that the Shroud is real? Not at all. What I already believed about Jesus suffering the terrible beating/flogging, the placement of the crown of thorns and ultimately the unbearably painful death by way of crucifixion is already presented in the Bible. The Shroud (if it is authentic), did not tip the scales in God’s favor. The truth of His Word is very clear about Jesus’ life, agony regarding His death and the fact that He rose from the dead. All this can be easily proven from the Scriptures.

Second, if the Shroud is authentic, I believe simply that it is a gift of God to this particular generation. Why this generation and not the ones prior to this? As the article points out, it is very likely that the image on the Shroud was made with microbursts of light (not heat).

The images are scorch-like, yet not created by heat, and are a purely surface phenomenon limited to the crowns of the top fibers.[1]

This can finally be somewhat replicated today using high-frequency lasers, which were not available of course during the time that some scientists believe the Shroud was created. Hundreds of years ago, the only way to successfully create something like the Shroud would have been with some form of paint or ink pigments. But it is clear that the image on the Shroud was not made with any form of pigment. The actual image is so shallow (0.6 micrometers).

A more recent measurement of the coloration on one of the fibers was found to be about 0.2 micrometers thick (or one-fifth of a thousandth of a millimeter)…Such a miliburst [of light] might cause the purely surface phenomenon of the scorch-like (scorch-by-light) images, and possibly add Carbon-14 to the Cloth.[2]

Had any form of paint or ink pigment been used to create the image, the thickness of the image would have been far greater. The article also explains how some of the microscopic paint particles found their way onto the cloth though they are clearly separate from the image itself.

I’ve read many articles that discuss the Shroud in comparison to Scripture. Emphasis is placed on the facial cloth (the Sudarium) and strips of linen. I know for instance, that the folks at Sword of the Lord refute the claim that the Shroud is authentic and part of the reason this is done is based on the testimony of Scripture. However, the article below addresses that as well as the historicity, archaeological evidence and the Word of God.

One of the other arguments against the veracity of the Shroud has to do with the commandment to not worship images made with human hands. Paul the apostle combated this error a great deal with the members of the Corinthian church. It wasn’t just Corinth either but many places throughout Greece and Macedonia were filled with temples to false gods. Pagans who became Christians often had the difficult time of separating themselves from these false gods to worship only the one true God in Christ. It was a very serious problem.

So if the Shroud was indeed created by human hands, then we have a serious problem, don’t we? If we see the Shroud with any form of honor (yet it was found to be created by people and not God), then obviously we are in serious danger of worshiping an false image, aren’t we? This must be avoided at all costs and in every area of our lives.

However, if the Shroud is authentic, representing a microburst of light at the moment Jesus re-entered His physical body during the resurrection, then what do we actually have? In essence, we have a “photograph” of Jesus taken at the very instant He rose from the dead. If it is a photograph not created by human hands, then if we are to honor that “photograph,” are we then guilty of idolatry? I’m not sure how that can be answered in the affirmative.

If there was a chance that an actual photograph of Jesus existed, would you want it? Would you frame it? Would you place it up on your wall somewhere to gaze at from time to time? If you would argue that this is blasphemous, then I suggest that you need to take down every photo of all your loved ones in your home and wallet. In fact, if the Shroud of Turin is authentic – and was actually created by God at the very moment Jesus resurrected Himself – then the image on the Shroud was clearly a result of that act and not at all man-made.

I find it also very fascinating that, according to scientists, the man contained in the image of the Shroud was about 5’10” tall, his blood was a very rare AB (yes, there are blood spatters on both the Sudarium and the Shroud and they are both the same type of blood), and all of the wounds on that man’s body, head, hands, and feet match the written record of exactly what Jesus went through leading up to His death on the cross.

While the above is fascinating, what is even more fascinating to me is that we cannot say with certainty how the Shroud was actually created. Only today can we possibly guess scientifically as to how the image came to be on the linen cloth we call the Shroud. We know it was not done with paint or ink. It wasn’t done by burning. It appears to have been created by a very fast light-intense microburst. How could that possibly have been done in the first century or for that matter how could it have been created in any century up until the point where the laser had been invented?

I’m not trying to convince anyone of the Shroud’s authenticity or not. That is, of course, up to each person to decide. What bothers me with this whole subject (as with many subjects within Christendom), is the way in which people take sides and vehemently attack others who do not take that same side. There are many good, intelligent people on both sides of this issue. There are also very judgmental people on both sides of the issue who use the subject of the Shroud to attack those who do not agree that it is either authentic or inauthentic.

Frankly, this concerns me because so much within Christianity seems to be up for debate. At least some of it is a worthwhile debate (once saved, always saved, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, etc.). However, some of what Christians argue about is worthless, in my opinion.

I will also say this. Please refrain from attacking me if you deign to think that I am being blasphemous or idolatrous because I tend to see the Shroud as legitimate. All you’ll end up doing is judging me based solely on your opinion in the matter and if we were to sit down and discuss this, you’d likely generate hostility toward me because of the fact that you believe I’m being an idolator. I assure you I’m not and as I’ve stated, I don’t need the Shroud to convince me of the fact that Jesus died a horrific death and was raised from the dead on the third day. That is clearly evident in Scripture. The Shroud did not convince me of that. At best, it confirms what I already knew to be true, but if the Shroud did not exist, I’d still be very intent in my belief that Jesus died and rose again.

So either the Shroud is a gift to this generation or it is a calculated fraud. If you are interested at all in the Shroud, then each person will have to decide for themselves. At any rate, to the article. Here is an excerpt from it and for those interested, please follow the link at the end to read the full fourteen page article.

The Shroud of Turin – Evidence it is authentic
New experiments date the Shroud of Turin to the 1st century AD.  They comprise three tests; two chemical and one mechanical. The chemical tests were done with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy, examining the relationship between age and a spectral property of ancient flax textiles.  The mechanical test measured several micro-mechanical characteristics of flax fibers, such as tensile strength.  The results were compared to similar tests on samples of cloth from between 3250 BC and 2000 AD whose dates are accurately known.

FTIR identifies chemical bonds in a molecule by producing an infrared absorption spectrum.  The spectra produce a profile of the sample, a distinctive molecular fingerprint that can be used to identify its components.

Raman Spectroscopy uses the light scattered off of a sample as opposed to the light absorbed by a sample.  It is a very sensitive method of identifying specific chemicals.

The tests on fibers from the Shroud of Turin produced the following dates: FTIR = 300 BC + 400 years; Raman spectroscopy = 200 BC + 500 years; and multi-parametric mechanical = 400 AD + 400 years.  All the dates have a 95% certainty.  The average of all three dates is 33 BC + 250 years (the collective uncertainty is less than the individual test uncertainties)…

Article continues at the following link:



[2] Ibid

Entry filed under: christianity, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , .

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