The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus of Nazareth
"...among the most fiercely debated subjects in contemporary science, an extraordinary mystery that has defied every effort at solution.
National Geographic Magazine
April 17, 2015
The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth measuring 14’ 3” x 3’ 7” (8 x 2 cubits) which bears the front and back image of a bearded bloody crucified man. It is currently housed in a Catholic Church in Turin, Italy. It is by far the most studied and controversial artifact in human history because of the possibility that it truly is the burial shroud of Christ. National Geographic called it "one of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times". Time Magazine called it "The Riddle of the Ages".
Modern investigation has not ceased since 1898, when Italian photographer Secondo Pia, the first to photograph the shroud, discovered in his darkroom that his negative plate contained a perfect positive image, and therefore, the faded yellowish shroud image itself was a perfect negative. This is but one amazing property of the image that has not been reproduced. A century of scientific research hours have been invested since that time, yet the basic questions remain, “Why is there an image of a crucified man on this ancient linen cloth and how did it get there?”
Scientific investigation by the Shroud of Turin Research Project in 1978 (STURP) conducted 120 hours of hands-on testing and has made one conclusion certain; the image is not formed by any known process, including the application of paints, inks, dyes, powders, stains, or chemicals. All attempts to duplicate it have failed. The shroud of Turin remains absolutely unique in the world. In 1988 the shroud was carbon dated to the 14th century, yet peer reviewed findings in 2005 by Los Alamos Lab Chemist and STURP member Ray Rogers has overturned that verdict when it was discovered that the C-14 test sample of the linen cloth was contaminated by an interwoven cotton patch. See article in the journal Thermochimica Acta.
Is the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth? We believe that all evidence affirms authenticity and that it is a love letter preserved by God to the modern age.
Documentaries on the latest findings are amazing, faith-building and presented below.
DOCUMENTARIES ON THE SHROUD OF TURIN
Unwrapping the Shroud
Videos 1, 2 provide an overview of the amazing properties of the Shroud which have not reproduced by anyone anywhere. Videos 3, 4 deal with the C-14 testing and the 2005 findings of Los Alamos Lab chemist Ray Rogers proving that the C14 sample in 1988 was mix with a cotton rewoven patch published in Thermochimica Acta.
Videos 10 mins each appx.
Jesus and the Shroud of Turin
This documentary was made in the 1990's for The Learning Channel. It provides a good overview on the Shroud of Turin image properties which have never been replicated. 50 mins appx
Overview of Shroud Properties
- First photo of Shroud in 1898 by Italian photographer Secondo Pia revealed that the straw yellow image is actually a photographic negative. (light and dark colors inverted) Pia's negative plate was a shocking positive. Pia earned many accusations of fraud for this photo.
- Second photos by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931 confirmed Pia's photos were not fake.
- 1972 VP8 Image Analyzer revealed linen to body three dimensional information within the Shroud image. This characteristic revealed that the Shroud image was unique in the world. No attempt at duplication has been able to create an image with this property. This revelation prompted world-wide interest.
- Blood on cloth is real, type AB
- Post-mortem blood was found by detecting serum halos under ultraviolet photography, invisible to human eye.
- No image below blood. The blood was on the cloth first. All image formation theories must account for this.
- Image is a faint straw yellow color penetrating one microfibril deep. 1/500 of an inch. Only select fibrils have color. This is not one thread deep, but one microfiber, a couple of microns thick. Color is on portions of micro-fibers.
- The image is thermally stable. One drop of molten silver burnt through the cloth from a 1532 fire in a church in France where the Shroud was kept in a silver box. Silver melts at 900+ degrees C. The image next to the scorch was not changed, as it would be if any substance formed the image.
- The image is not defusable. Water was used to put out the fire on the Shroud and if any powders, dies, paints were used, they would have been diluted and spread. The image did not respond to the water.
- 1978 - 24 Scientists of the Shroud of Turin Research Project formed in 1977 (STURP) were allowed to examine cloth for 5 days around the clock.
Conclusion published after 3 years of data analysis in 1981 and is still true today:
"There are no chemical or physical methods known which can account for the totality of the image, nor can any combination of physical, chemical, biological or medical circumstances explain the image adequately. Thus, the answer to the question of how the image was produced or what produced the image remains, now, as it has in the past, a mystery. We can conclude for now that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin.”
A discussion on the Image Formation problem by Adler demonstrates why all attempts to duplicate the Shroud have failed because they cannot replicate all Shroud properties.
- Visit the Shroud Exhibit and Museum for additional presentations by Pete Schumacher, VP8 Image Analyzer Engineer. See interview with Pete here.