The Shroud of Turin

Hi everyone,

The following articles may be of interest, on the topic of the Shroud of Turin:

Smithsonian Channel: How to Fake the Shroud of Turin

Without the use of pigment or paintbrushes, could the Turin Shroud have been faked? Luigi Garlaschelli thinks he has the answer - and will re-create the Catholic relic to prove it’s a medieval fake.

The Bloodstains On The Shroud Of Turin Are Probably Fake, Say Forensic Experts by Dan Vergano (Buzz Feed News, July 14, 2018)

The bloodstain pattern investigation reported on Tuesday by the Journal of Forensic Sciences is the first such analysis of the cloth, looking at its purported blood splatters and their alignment to each other in a kind of crime scene analysis. The researchers concluded that the linen appears patched with bloodstains from a standing model, not a crucified man or facedown corpse, adding to evidence that the shroud is a medieval fraud.

“This is the kind of forensic work done all the time in police investigations,” Matteo Borrini, a forensic scientist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, told BuzzFeed News. “Even a crucified or hanging person should leave a distinct blood pattern on the cloth, which would be fascinating information to have.”

Borrini conducted the analysis with chemist Luigi Garlaschelli of the University of Pavia in Italy, using real and synthetic blood samples on cloth to test the orientation of stains on the better-defined left side of the cloth (they also compared the two liquids to see if they flowed the same way). They hoped to answer a debate over whether the crucifixion depicted on the cloth was T-shaped, Y-shaped, or some other manner of ancient Roman execution.

Instead, they found that the bloodstains are inconsistent with any one pose, suggesting that a standing model was used to imprint the patterns at different angles for the hands, chest, and back. If it were a death shroud of a bleeding, executed person, hung on a cross, or pulled down from one for burial, Borrini said, “the bloodstains shouldn’t be so inconsistent.”

The Shroud of Turin: Burial cloth of Jesus or cheap fake? by John L. Ateo and Rachel C. (Silly Beliefs, 2009)

And of course, as I’ve already mentioned, there are evidently serious anatomical problems with the image — “Jesus’ face, body, arms, and fingers were unnaturally thin and elongated, one forearm was longer than the other, and his right hand is too long. The man is improbably tall, between 5’ 11½” and 6’ 2" tall. Jews who lived in the 1st century were much shorter than this." (As someone has commented, if Jesus was really this tall he would have really stood out and there would have been no need for Judas to point him out to the Romans). “The head is disproportionately small for the body, the face unnaturally narrow and the forehead foreshortened, and ears lost. The front and back images, in particular of the head, do not match up precisely, and the back image is longer than the front. The back of the head is wider than the front of the head. The hair is hanging straight down, as if the man was sitting.”…

The Turin Shroud is a fake… and it’s one of 40: Historian claims linen cloths were produced 1,300 years after crucifixion by Matt Kalman (Daily Mail, 10 June 2012)

Not only is the Turin Shroud probably a medieval fake but it is just one of an astonishing 40 so-called burial cloths of Jesus, according to an eminent church historian.

Antonio Lombatti said the false shrouds circulated in the Middle Ages, but most of them were later destroyed.

He said the Turin Shroud itself – showing an image of a bearded man and venerated for centuries as Christ’s burial cloth – appears to have originated in Turkey some 1,300 years after the Crucifixion.

Is the Shroud of Turin Real or Fake? by Wayne Jackson (Christian Courier):

As mentioned above, the Shroud is one piece of cloth that allegedly contains the entire imprint of the body of Christ “from face to feet.” Though the New Testament synoptic writers mention the linen cloth (Greek sindon) in which the Lord’s body was bound (Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:46; Luke 23:53), it is also significant that other “cloths” (othonion, diminutive, plural) were used to wrap the body as well (Luke 24:12; John 19:40; 20:5-7). And Christ’s head was separately covered with a small cloth (soudarion) according to John 20:7, which was somewhat comparable to a handkerchief (cf. Acts 19:12).

Here is an interesting question: If the large Shroud covered Jesus’ face, why would there be a need for a smaller cloth on top of that?

Turin Shroud: “Blood” Still Fake by Joe Nickell (Center for Inquiry, July 28, 2017):

Again and again, Fanti and other do-or-die shroudologists have relied on questionable shroud samples. These are being passed around among devotees, but Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia insists they cannot be authenticated as having come from the Turin cloth. (Allegedly they are snippings left over from earlier tests, and they only turn up in the possession of shroud believers.) …

Actual shroud “blood” samples have been shown, by internationally known forensic serologists (blood experts), to fail all of the microscopical, chemical, biological, and instrumental tests for blood—not surprisingly, since the stains were suspiciously still red and artistically “picturelike.” One expert found traces of apparent paint, and famed microanalyst Walter C. McCrone (1996) identified the “blood” as red ocher and vermilion pigments in a collagen tempera medium.

Shroud of Turin (Wikipedia):

Radiocarbon dating

Some proponents for the authenticity of the shroud have attempted to discount the radiocarbon dating result by claiming that the sample may represent a medieval “invisible” repair fragment rather than the image-bearing cloth.[8][9][16][13][80][81][82][83] However, all of the hypotheses used to challenge the radiocarbon dating have been scientifically refuted,[10][11][12] including the medieval repair hypothesis,[13][14] the bio-contamination hypothesis[16] and the carbon monoxide hypothesis.[11]

Vibrational spectroscopy

In 2013, Giulio Fanti performed new dating studies on fragments obtained from the shroud. He performed three different tests including ATRFTIR and Raman spectroscopy(absorption of light of different colors). The date range from these tests date the shroud between 300 BC and 400 AD.[84][85][86] These studies have been publicly disregarded by Cesare Nosiglia, archbishop of Turin and custodian of the shroud. Archbishop Nosiglia stated that “as it is not possible to be certain that the analysed material was taken from the fabric of the shroud no serious value can be recognized to the results of such experiments”.[87][88]

In the light of the above evidence, I think it’s time for Shroud backers to admit that theirs is a lost cause.

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Thank you @vjtorley. @Giltil there is better evidence for the Ressurection you know: Peace Be With You.

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I disagree. If you assume that the Shroud is the burial cloth from a crucifixion victim of the first century, then the probability that the victim is Jesus is huge. No chasm at all here. This is because so much very specific details reported in the Gospels about the crucifixion of Jesus are also recorded on the Shroud.

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I urge you to investigate the question of the shroud by yourself. You will see that it is a unique artifact, absolutely fascinating. It has transformed the lives of many and will continue to do so even more in this world that needs signs of hope so much. Here is a very nice video that should help you to form an educated opinion on this very important topic. Truly amazing!

I’ve read such claims in the past but not found the specifics all that convincing—but perhaps you have more evidence than what I’ve seen published for peer-review. Please post some details.

I have also pondered the small possibility that a genuine crucifixion shroud from centuries of Roman rule might have been preserved into the Middle Ages and eventually “helped along” with the strategic placement of blood and other features in order to conform to expectations based upon the Biblical text.

I’m a born-again Christ-follower but the Scientific Method brings with it a skeptical approach to any bold claim that can best be addressed with copious evidence and falsification testing/analysis.

POSTSCRIPT: Perhaps you’ve been here at Peaceful Science for a while, @Giltil, but I don’t think I’ve welcomed you to our circle of participants. We are a diverse group but we all share a lot of intellectual curiosity. Welcome to the dialogue.

POSTSCRIPT 2: I see you’ve added a video. I hope to view it later this weekend after I’m in and out.

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John: Posts are hidden when they are flagged by readers. The moderators then referee the decision and the posts are hidden with a comment sent to the poster or restored.

Please refer to this link and let the moderators know by PM if you have any questions:

I can agree with that much.

What makes it fascinating, is the question of how they faked it.

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There it is. It is a legitimate artifact.

Whether it was used to cover Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth? I doubt it.

There are other claims made about the “shroud” that are as questionable as they are bold: e.g. that it contains an image that has been produced by no process known to man.

Why do you doubt it? This seems quite strange to me, given all the evidence that support this thesis!

Thank you for your kind words

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It’s been demonstrated scientifically beyond all reasonable doubt the cloth was produced in the 1300’s. That means it can’t be an artifact from 2000 years ago. Not that scientific evidence will ever sway a True Believer. :slightly_smiling_face:

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What details recorded on the shroud are unique to the crucifixion of Jesus and exclude the tens of thousands of other known crucifixions done by the Romans in that time frame?

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Also my earlier link to the same. Sorry, I sniped you. :wink:

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Or at least a chain of historically reliable sources tracing the artifact back to the first century… the absence of such seems glaring in this case.

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The video is quite long, about 75 min. If you are short of time, you may first read the piece below, which is a nice but short summary of the evidence supporting the authenticity of the Shroud.

This hypothesis doesn’t work because we know that the image was formed after the blood stains.

In light of the evidence below, I am wandering whether it is not the Shroud doubters that should admit that they were wrong to dismiss the authenticity of this remarkable artifact.

…and here is the conclusion of the article:

Weighing the Evidence
We began our journey discussing the 1988 carbon date and the nature of truth, especially the question how you tell what is true from what is not true. The tests of truth was given as direct observation (witness), correct interpretation (understanding), correspondences with other known truths (correlation and other explanatory principles), and coherence (It all fits together.). We have told a story, not without flaws, but which generally follows these principles which we can sum up with the following diagram.
Figure 21: A Network Summary Of Our Journey. There is one anomaly in our story with is the 1988 Carbon Date. Thus the story is not complete but the preponderance of evidence and the high coherence suggests that the shroud is authentic.

Summary and Conclusions
We have touched a large proportion of the material that applies to the 1988 carbon dating as well as the journey that the shroud must have taken if it is authentic from first century Jerusalem to its appearance in Lirey, France. The shroud has been shown to be a remarkable and totally unique object with an image that is simply unexplainable as a 14th century forgery. Such a forger is quite impossible. There is little question that the carbon dating technology was professionally applied, but it depends on the sample being representative in order to be accurate in dating the cloth and there is a massive amount of evidence that the samples were not only not representative but had been modified and manipulated with intrusives, dyes, and that the dating actually follows closely the UV fluorescence. Thus the conclusions are:
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  1. The carbon dating was of samples that were not representative of the cloth as a whole and so are not appropriate for determining the cloth’s age.
  2. The preponderance of evidence not only suggests authenticity but further exposes the overwhelmingly unlikely possibility that the image could be accounted for by a forger.
  3. Mysteries remain as to exactly how the shroud got to Edessa, and where it was between Athens and Lirey. Also the details of the skewing of the carbon date need to be further explored so that the reason for the anomalous sample can be fully discerned.

You will find such chain in the reference I offer to@vjtorley at 71.

Beyond reasonable doubt? Are you sure? Please have a look at the reference I give at 71 and you will see that they are very good reasons to doubt the conclusions of the 1988 carbon dating.

He said beyond reasonable doubt. There are, of course, lots of unreasonable people out there.

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