Shroud of Turin

wpe1.jpg (22478 bytes)

One of the most interesting pieces of possible evidence for the divinity of Jesus, is the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin may be the burial shroud of Jesus, or it may be an artistic creation from the middle ages.

The shroud, shows the image of a man who appears to have been crucified, based on the wounds on his wrists and elsewhere.  Furthermore, the shroud is said to show specific wounds that Jesus suffered, such as to his chest and back.  

It is notable that the shroud looks much more impressive when the film "negative" is viewed, instead of the normal or positive photo.   This is one piece of information used in the authenticity argument, since proponents point out that photography did not exist whenever the shroud came into being, so why would an artist render it to appear more striking in the negative.

Pollen was said to be found on the shroud from samples taken in 1973, by a Swiss criminologist named Max Frei-Sulzer.  In 1976 Frei-Sulzer reported that certain pollens he found on the shroud, "could only have originated from plants that grew exclusively in Palestine at the time of Christ."   Frei-Sulzer also claimed to have found traces of ointment made from a type of aloe that grows only on an island off the coast of Yemen that according to ancient writings, was used on bodies prior to burial.

Frei-Sulzer has been criticized by opposition experts for not using control samples and for his samples possibly being subject to contamination, by the shroud's visitors.  Other experts claim that except in rare cases, pollen can only be identified as far as the genus of a plant and not to the species, casting doubt on the work of Frei-Sulzer. 

Frei-Sulzer's reputation also was damaged, when claiming to be a handwriting expert, he "authenticated" the Hitler Diaries, which were shortly thereafter discovered to be a rather amateurish forgery. 

Various scientists have cast doubt on Frei-Sulzer's credentials and work for other reasons and some have accused him of a deliberate deception.

Carbon-14 dating has been conducted, showing the shroud to be from the middle ages, however those results have been disputed by shroud believers, who claim surface contamination biased the results.

Reportedly the DNA of a man has been found on the shroud and believers sight this as evidence of it's authenticity although skeptics say the DNA could be from anyone that handled the shroud extensively, kissed it or shed tears over it.  

One group of international scientists found no human blood on the shroud, while another group from Texas claims it found human blood.  So you can see how highly charged the testing of the shroud is. 

In April, 2001, SRSR was surprised to see the famous Christian author Hal Lindsey on TV talking about the burial "clothing" of Christ.  He detailed how Christ's body would have been wrapped in linen strips that had been soaked in aloe and myrrh, which dries into a shellac like coating.  Christ's body he went on would therefore be encased in something of a hard shell.  SRSR wonders if his information, if correct contradicts the case for the shroud?  Lindsey said that upon resurrection, Christ would have left this casing behind.  What then of the cloth shroud of Turin, was he wrapped in the shroud, or in the linen strips?   Shroud proponents sometimes say his image was created by a burst of radiation (or something) at the time of resurrection, so they seem to be implying that Christ was wrapped in the shroud.

In SRSR's opinion, the jury is still out regarding this impressive artifact's authenticity and differing parties are never likely to agree.  Interested parties are encouraged to study this fascinating subject further.

Shroud of Turin Research

Unravelling the Shroud of Turin

Investigation Into The Photo-Like Image On The Shroud

Full length photo of the shroud.