The Shroud of Turin

Among many other pieces of evidence, the shroud of Turin is evidence of the reliability of the Gospels account.

You must be joking. Even supposing the shroud was not an obvious 14th century forgery, all that would show is that some man once had a piece of cloth covering him.

How do we know it’s the actual Jesus, that he actually rose from the dead? It demonstrates nothing of the sort. At best it just shows that some person once had this piece of cloth covering his body and it left some imprints.


The shroud has been one of the most studied object in the history of science. Despite this, science has come with absolutely no clue as to how the image on the shroud has been produced. And you would like us to believe that you have the answer to this profound mystery, I.e., that the image was formed simply because « some man once had a piece of cloth covering him »!!! It is fascinating to see what our materialist friends are willing to believe in order to escape what they see as inconfortable facts.

The shroud has also been radiocarbon dated to 1260 - 1390 AD with 95% confidence intervals. The work was done by three independent C14 labs each using multiple methods on the samples to ensure the samples were not contaminated. The results were published in the science journal Nature.

Radiocarbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin

Since that time a number of Shroud literalists have offered some rather bizarre excuses for the C14 dates including smoke contamination, handling by medieval monks, even an earthquake which released “neutron radiation” and altered the carbon content. None of the proposed excuses has gained any traction in the scientific community.


That is wrong. The “shroud” is kept hidden away by Church authorities and rarely is anyone even permitted to so much as glance at it. One of the very few times it has been subjected to scientific scrutiny is the radiocarbon dating study which revealed it to be a medieval forgery.


[by whom?][by what measure?][Citation Needed]

[Citation Needed].

Actaully assuming that was true the image can be proof of nothing at all. You’d have to know how it was produced to say it must be evidence of some claim in the Gospels. As in the Gospels would have to say that such an image should be formed by some mechanism leaving some particular physical evidence.
Last I checked the Gospels say nothing about Jesus magically leaving imprints in cloth. Without this, discovering some imprint in a piece of cloth can’t be evidence for Jesus magical powers leaving the imprint.

Another point is that we have every reason to believe that Jesus, supposing a man that inspired the new testament stories even existed, looked nothing like his usual depictions as a young prototypically Caucasian man with long hair and beard. People in that area at that time generally didn’t look like that.

Seriously, just what the heck is it you think this shroud even proves? The “reliability of the gospels”? In what way?

Your statement is false of course, since it could have simply been painted on by some huckster. It was carbon dated to the 14th century and various catholic apologists have been coming up with obviously bad excuses like “no no the piece being carbon dated was a fragment used to restore the original shroud much later”. Riiiiiiight.

No, but that’s all it would demonstrate if by SOME means a man left that imprint. A man left an imprint on a piece of cloth by a method we don’t know. If we don’t know how it happened, yet we are somehow sure it was left there when resting on some person, then that is all we could say.

Now, you have been kind enough to assert that in fact we have no scientific idea of how that imprint came to be on the cloth(a provably false claim, but we’ll go with it for the sake of argument). Well then we have zero reason to believe it even comes from having rested on a man at all. It could have been painted, rained, passed-wind on, or maybe God came down from heaven and wished the cloth into existence himself with the imprint on it already formed, completely independently of Jesus death and resurrection. If we don’t know AT ALL how it was made, there’s no reason to believe it comes from Jesus.

Of course, it’s not like painting some colors on it in the likeness to some Jesus sculpture is a miraculous achievement. As should be rather obvious to any rational person.

It is fascinating to see what our materialist friends are willing to believe in order to escape what they see as inconfortable facts.


Yep, there goes another Irony meter.


Speaking of relics, Erasmus had perhaps the best quote of all:


Here’s a site with an interesting theory about how the Shroud could have been forged:


As a kid I remember the Shroud of Turin, ancient astronauts, Kirlin photography, mood rings and talking to plants were big things in the popular press. Up there with pyramid power too.

It is an incontrovertible fact that the shroud of Turin has been one of the most studied artifact in the history of science and it is quite embarrassing that you deny it. Below is a link that should help you to develop a better understanding of the topic.

A recent study performed on the raw data of the Nature paper shows that the conclusions of this original study are flawed.

Are there valid 14C dates that put it in the right era? Are there any valid scientific tests that give the right dates?

In a recent conversation here at PS entitled “Snelling: recent carbon dates for cretaceous wood”, you dismissed Snelling’s argument by invoking the contamination problem. And now, you disqualify those that are skeptical of the carbon dating of the shroud because they are invoking the contamination problem. It seems to me that you are playing here the dishonest game “Tails you lose face I win”!

Instead of giggling childishly, I invite you to have a look at the link below about the work of a multidisciplinary team of experts that examined in depth for two years the shroud of Turin. Note that this research project called the STURP, although the best-known one (not by you obviously), is only one among countless others that has been done on the shroud.

So, if this was true, it makes a total hash of your claim that the “shroud” is the most studied in artifact in history. According to you, it hasn’t even been reliably carbon dated, which would be one of the most basic aspects of a scientific assessment.

Not that I think either of your claims have even a tiny bit of truth to them.


First, the shroud is not at the edge of detection for carbon dating like the wood sample is. When you get to ages of 40,000+ years old very small amounts of contamination can have a large effect because very little 14C is left at 40,000 years. Even samples that are billions of years old would be expected to have measurable amounts of 14C due to contamination. For a relatively young sample, this tiny amount of contamination is not going to have the same effect.

Second, much more care was used to prevent contamination of the shroud samples than was the case for the wood sample.

Third, the 14C date for the shroud coincides with the first reports of peopling seeing the shroud which is around the 14th century.

Fourth, there are many known fake christian relics out there. The assumption should be that a claimed relic is fake until proven otherwise. As Erasmus noted in the 16th century, if you gathered all of the claimed relics of Jesus’ cross it would be a large load for a cargo ship. Monks were known for digging up random corpses and passing off their bones as the bones of disciples or saints.


LOL! Hardly. A team of non-experts who decided ahead of time the shroud was 2K years old . They didn’t actually examine the shroud, just looked at 30 year old archived raw data and figured out a way to statistically finagle it so to claim the three independently done radiocarbon tests were all false. :smile: Pretty amazing all three independent tests were wrong yet all gave the same medieval date to within +/- 80 years.

Here’s another paper on the shroud from the same journal:

The Evidence of Crucifixion on the Shroud of Turin Through the Anatomical Traits of the Lower Limbs and Feet
Caja, Boi
Archaeometry, Vol60, Issue6, Dec 2018, pp 1377-1390

Abstract: The imprint of the feet and lower limbs, as well as the blood and rivulets, present on the Shroud of Turin were analysed with regard to anatomical and pathological characteristics. In the dorsal image of the cloth, the crucifixion position shows the left foot on top of the right one; in the frontal view, the feet are almost parallel. The nail used in the crucifixion was driven through the foot. In the frontal image, the knees, the tibiae and the ankles seem to be parallel with different varus–valgus angles; the left one is straighter than the right one, which shows a greater angle. Because of this parallelism, both ankles show a plantar flexion that is dissimilar in the dorsal images. We describe for the first time the anatomical study of the image of the Shroud through modern concepts. At the level of biomechanics and anatomy, the image on the Shroud of Turin does not comply with modern knowledge; in fact, the image fails with regard to some aspects that we cannot interpret yet.

Looks like the drawing isn’t anatomically correct and according to current medical knowledge could not be of an actual human. Oops!


Looks like your debunkers have been debunked!

Interesting. Thanks.

I just had to do the math.


N(t) = No x e^(kt)

N(t) = grams at time t
No = grams you start with
k = decay constant
t = time

Since we know the half life of 14C is 5700 years, we can solve for k (the decay constant) which is -0.0001216

Using these equations, at 700 years (the 14C age of the Shroud of Turin) you will have 92% of the original 14C. At 40,000 years there is just 0.77% of the original 14C left. At 100,000 years there is just 0.000523575% left.